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You have questions.  I have answers.

1. What is the price of the vehicle?

2. Where is the vehicle located?

3. Is the vehicle in good, fair, or poor condition?

4. Has the vehicle been modified in any way?

5. What exactly is an "Avant" anyway, and is that a roof rack?

6. How many child car seats can be used at once?

7. What kind of fuel economy does it get?

8. Does this car have "quattro" all-wheel drive?

9. Why is the Audi Drive Select (ADS) option so desirable?

10. How do the low-profile tires and 19" wheels handle? Is the ride rough or harsh?

11. What is so special or unique about the S-Line package?

12. Who performs the maintenance on the vehicle?

13. How long do you expect this car to last, and is it expensive to own and maintain a German vehicle?

14. Has the vehicle ever been in an accident?

15. What parts have you replaced recently?

16. Why are you selling the vehicle?

17. Is there anything wrong with vehicle?

18. Does the engine consume any oil?

19. Why should I pay more to buy your vehicle when I can find others for less money?

20. I love your car but I'm holding out for a 2009+ A4 Avant with a manual transmission? Where can I find one?

21. Why have you built such an extensive website to sell your vehicle? Are you a car dealer?

22. Who do I contact for more information about the vehicle?


1. What is your price for the vehicle?
NOTE: This vehicle has been SOLD. Thank you for your interest!

The price includes the car as well as an extra set of 4 nearly new tires, a spare 5th wheel, and 2 extra sets of floor mats (in addition to the mats in the car now). According to TrueCar ClearBook (which uses nationwide comps and compared 1,449 data points with 97.22% price certainty), the
market average sale (transaction) price for 2009 Audi A4 Avants with my exact trim and options is $24,852. This figure doesn't account for a vehicle's specific condition, nor does it factor in any improvements that I've made, the extra tires and accessories that I'm including, or the car's well-documented 1-owner history. I believe that all of these aspects certainly merit a small premium over the average 2009 A4 Avant sale price, because my one-of-a-kind S-line Avant is certainly above-average in many regards. Please continue reading this FAQ (especially: 19. Why should I pay more to buy your vehicle when I can find others for less money?) and I'm sure you'll agree. Any reasonable offers will be considered (and I'm willing to discount the price by excluding the extra tires), but the first person who meets my asking price gets to take the car home and put it in their garage. Please note that I am not interested in any trades. Back to top

2. Where is the vehicle located?
I live near Athens, Georgia, approximately an hour east of Atlanta (closest major airport = ATL). Buyer assumes all responsibility for pick-up or shipping, although I may be willing to deliver the vehicle to buyers within a reasonable distance. Back to top

3. Is the vehicle in good, fair, or poor condition?
The gallery photographs and meticulous service history should speak for themselves. This vehicle is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. I don't want to misrepresent the vehicle or mislead a potential buyer, so I'll admit that the vehicle isn't perfect. I rate the exterior condition a 9 out of 10 (with 10 being perfect or showroom new) and the interior a 9 out of 10. The interior has worn well over the years--there are no stains, gashes, or tears and the leather is still soft and supple (not dry, hard, or cracked). The driver seat leather has a slight crease or wrinkle in the left thigh bolster (from compression during ingress and egress), and the door sills naturally have a few minor scuffs. I am a non-smoker and nobody else has ever smoked in the car either.

As with any vehicle this age, there are a few tiny rock chips and very minor hairline scratches in the finish. Audi's glossy black B-pillar trim is notoriously soft and collects swirl marks that are easy to polish out. The vehicle has primarily been hand-washed and hand-waxed (using P21S Concours carnauba wax), but I have been guilty of taking a rare trip to the touch-free (brushless) automatic car wash for a quick touch-up (maybe once a year in the winter when it's too cold to wash the car outside but I want to quickly rinse off any grime). The body is perfectly straight--not a single dent or even a door ding, although if I'm being super picky (and I'm already pretty picky!) there are 2 almost imperceptible dimples on the roof (from acorns that fell out of a tree and landed on the car) that are hard to see and not worth repairing or fussing over. The wheels, which were purchased last year, are in perfect condition too and have absolutely no curb rash whatsoever (the only wheel that has any damage is the spare 5th wheel in the set, and that's why it's the spare). I have never washed the engine compartment (with water) but it's generally free of grime and only has a light coating of dust (or pollen?) in the areas where I can't reach or am afraid to wipe down by hand. There is no sign of rust or corrosion anywhere on the body. The vehicle has been garaged for all of its life, and looks as good as the pictures indicate. It probably won't win any Concours awards as it's a driver (not a trailer queen), but it does show well and compares favorably with other A4s on the road today. Some people even confuse the car with a new vehicle, and are surprised to learn that it's from 2009. Back to top

4. Has the vehicle been modified in any way?
Even though the Audi A4 was a Motor Trend Finalist for "Car of the Year" in 2009, I've made some noteworthy improvements to mine to make it even better. Mechanically speaking, the car is stock but I have installed the latest (Version 2.0) ECU tuning software from APR, the most well-known Audi tuner in the U.S. The new electronic software (which is 100% reversible and comes "fully loaded" with 4 different programs, including the factory stock tune and valet mode) is one of the most popular and conservative tunes on the market--it doesn't have the highest peak gains or most aggressive programming, but it has been thoroughly tested to be safe and reliable. With 266 hp and 322 lb-ft (max gains of +66 HP @6350 RPM and +74 lbs-ft @2600 RPM over stock), the new software has made a world of difference in tip-in responsiveness, acceleration, and drivability (especially at partial throttle). There is more power available everywhere throughout the rev range (increased "area under the curve"), and any flat or dead spots with the factory tune have been smoothed over with a more consistent and uniform power delivery. In stock form, the Audi 2.0T runs out of steam at higher RPMs and feels somewhat breathless. However, APR's revised software dramatically increases low-RPM grunt (basically equaling the torque generated by the Audi S4's 3.0L V6 supercharged engine) and lets the engine pull hard all the way to redline, continuing to gain power for an additional 800 RPM past the stock horsepower peak before output gradually levels off. In addition to offering optimized fuel mapping, APR's software also raises the top speed limiter (essentially removing it) and includes some basic diagnostic tools.

Cosmetically, I have made some tasteful modifications that produce a mildly tuned "OEM Plus" look. The first visual modification that distinguishes my A4 from all others is the Caractere B8 front bumper cover kit that I imported from Belgium. This is an expensive, high-quality product manufactured with PU-RIM (Polyurethane Reaction Injection Molding) technology that closely matches the density, properties, and fitment of the OE equivalent. The Caractere bumper kit is heavy duty and solid--not the cheap, thin, aftermarket fiberglass junk that cracks easily. If you push against it, it has some give and torsional flexibility like the original bumper cover (which also helps facilitate precise alignment with adjacent panels). And if you were to accidentally bump into something, the front bumper cover will flex somewhat and then return to its original shape (vs. cracking) without permanently deforming. I chose to finish the lower mesh grills in gloss black (to match the RS4-style black optics honeycomb grill) and paint the front diffuser in satin silver to match the other bright trim on the car. The new front end, with its lower/deeper fascia, sculpted and chiseled surfacing, larger cooling vents, and RS-inspired grill and fog-light shrouds, all combine to produce a more aggressive demeanor and imposing (if not sinister and menacing) look. The best part is that most casual observers with an untrained eye won't really notice the changes (it will just "look right" to them), while enthusiasts will recognize a unique and distinctive remix of Audi's original themes and design language. The overall look suggests that the car might be an RS6, whose front end has a similar treatment.

From the side, the first thing one notices are the dramatic RS6-style wheels, with their faceted 3-dimensional spokes, deep pockets and lips, and slight concave dish. The wheels are finished in matte graphite gray with bright machined (and clear-coated) aluminum accent lines. The angular wheel design, with its more severe chiseled surfacing and contrasting color scheme, significantly updates the looks of the car to be more in line with contemporary Audis, and the charcoal color has the additional side benefit of masking brake dust too. The wheels are all the same size as the OE wheel (19x8.5, 5x112 bolt pattern, 66.56 hub) so they can still be properly rotated, but they look more sporty due to a slightly more aggressive ET35 offset that sits 8mm further out than the stock ET43 wheels. This essentially widens the car's stance and reduces any fender gap by filling out the wheel wells better. Viewed from the front or rear of the car, the new wheels sit almost flush with the sides of the car and wheel housings in each fender (vs. being tucked under and inboard of the wheel well), providing an aggressive appearance and a more stable cornering platform. The high-quality, low-pressure cast wheels were manufactured specifically for Audi fitment, so they are hub-centric (no hub centering rings are needed, avoiding any wheel wobble issues), and accept the same factory ball-seat wheel bolts and Audi logo center cap. They also meet strict TUV safety standards.

Out back, I have tidied up the rear by removing all badging and emblems except for the 4 chrome Audi rings, and dressed up the stock bare metal exhaust pipes with Audi Q7 102mm stainless steel exhaust tip finishers that really punctuate the lower diffuser with a bold, "I mean business" look. To update the rear to match modern Audis, I installed genuine Audi Allroad "facelift" LED taillights using a modified Kufatec wiring harness adapter kit and custom (reversible) coding so that the lights operate with the same light pattern used in European markets. While North American market Audis combine the turn signal and brake lights into one integrated "block" that only come on together (no matter if the braking or turn signal function is used), my car is programmed to work like the cars in Germany, where the turn signals are discrete and flash independently of the brake lights. I did however preserve the (North American-only) rear corner marker lights because I like them. Because there is no "bolt-on" adapter kit and very limited documentation or support in English, this uncommon retrofit was extremely difficult and took a lot of trial and error to get the programming right. (U.S. cars do not even use the same wiring harnesses or pin order as cars in other markets, and B8 A4 Avants do not have liftgate taillight wiring that is connected to the outboard lights, so new wires had to be routed up the D-pillar and through the liftgate so that they could illuminate together.) Due to the daunting complexity, high risk for failure, and irreversible nature of this mod (you do have to cut your existing wiring harness connectors off), most people never dare to perform this upgrade and my car is one of only a handful of B8 A4 Avants in the U.S. with properly retrofitted facelift LED taillights. But the effort was worth it, because the modern design of the facelifted lights completely transform the character of the car at night, and the light output is a tremendous improvement. The brighter turn signals and hazard flashers have more immediate "pop" from the faster diodes, and the running lights are the smooth wraparound "light-pipe" variety that are highly visible from all angles (and look mean as hell going down the road). The more directional brake lights really get other drivers' attention with their "right now" engagement and unmatched intensity. Despite the complication of wiring the LED lights using custom harnesses and Euro-specific programming, I even managed to maintain the rear fog light capability (which usually requires a lot of extra configuration to enable). The super-bright rear fog lights came in very handy at 5,400 ft on Haw Knob mountain, Tennessee last June. The facelifted lights may be my favorite modification of all, because the high-tech LED arrays really make the car look newer and less out of place among brand new Audis. After replacing the old dated-looking incandescent tail lamp housings with crisp new LED ones, I became dissatisfied with the dull yellow color of the license plate lights so I changed the entire housings to new ones with much brighter LEDs in a pure bright white color.

Serving both cosmetic and functional purposes, I protected the interior of the car with an expensive, high-quality, heat-rejecting, nano-ceramic window tint film manufactured by Huper Optik. This film, developed in Germany, has superb solar performance and UV-filtering technology with excellent optical clarity and selective spectral enhancement. Without any dyes, it will never fade. And because there is no metal in the film, it won't interfere with radio reception or reduce the range of keyless entry signal transmission. The 30% tint is just dark enough to increase privacy and reduce glare, avoiding the (almost completely black) "limo" tint look that would be impossible to see through at night.

Inside the car, I replaced the thin, cheaper-feeling factory floor mats with plush deep-pile carpets that have contrasting piping and "A4" logos embroidered in silver thread. As seasons change (or the situation demands), I switch to a set of rubber all-weather floor mats (so I have a total of 3 different sets of floor mats, with 2 in active rotation). I have also replaced all interior dome, vanity mirror, map, glove box, trunk, and puddle light bulbs with LEDs (in a crisp cool white color). Lastly, I used a simple "Add-a-Circuit" to hard-wire a switched power source (from the fuse panel) to power a Valentine 1 radar/laser detector with remote display (on the steering column). I plan to keep the actual radar detector and remote display but will leave the hidden wiring connections in place for future use by the next owner. Nothing has been permanently modified, so this can be removed quite easily if desired, restoring everything to its original state. Back to top

5. What exactly is an "Avant" anyway, and is that a roof rack?
"Avant" is simply Audi's marketing term for a 5-door "wagon" (or station wagon, "estate" car, etc.), similar to how BMW refers to their wagons as "Touring" models. However, while many manufacturers treat their wagons as afterthoughts, Avants have a special place at Audi, as their fastest, most-powerful models were typically only offered as wagons (see RS2, RS4, RS6, etc.). Like Volvo and Subaru, Audi is also sometimes associated with the wagon body style, having produced some of the most famous, high-zoot, high-performance wagons ever.

The Audi A4 Avant is a rare and perfect blend of practicality, performance, luxury, and beauty. Many car companies promise those attributes, but they typically emphasize one quality over another or sacrifice comfort and practicality in the process (or they sacrifice value, as it's easy to be the best at everything if price is no object). The A4 Avant offers efficient performance and luxurious comfort in a stylish and versatile package that can accommodate up to 5 passengers plus luggage, or
large loads in the trunk with the seats folded down (all while driving like a car, and not a truck-like SUV or crossover). Unlike the classic Detroit "station wagons" of the past, the Audi A4 Avant is light and agile on its feet. And it arguably looks better than its A4 sedan counterpart, with better front/rear weight distribution to boot. Audi also designed a number of convenient and thoughtful Avant-specific features, like a clever reversible cargo floor, a retractable partition net, and a retractable privacy shade that also slides up D-pillar tracks for ease of access when the (power) liftgate is open. The electric liftgate is programmable to remember your preferred maximum opening height position (for lower ceilings), and for safety it will automatically re-open if it detects an obstruction when closing. And who can forget the Avant's breathtaking panoramic sunroof (and power retractable sunshade), which brightens the interior and affords the rear passengers an expansive view of the sky or cityscape. Audi Avants also enjoy more exclusivity (in the U.S.) than their way more common sedan siblings. And with wagons in general becoming more and more rare, there is really nothing else like it on the road. As a proper wagon, the A4 Avant will never be confused with a crossover or "cute ute."

The past 7 years have thankfully affirmed our decision to choose the A4 Avant as a practical all-around vehicle as it has many positive personality facets. It's perfectly comfortable charging mountain switchbacks with point-and-shoot accuracy (when you don't even notice you're driving a 5-door "family" car), or folding down the backseats for a run to the home improvement or big box store. The A4 Avant has swallowed all of the loads we have thrown at it (transporting 4 tires is a breeze), and it never lost its composure doing so. It has also been very reliable and capable, whether commuting to work or shuttling our family to different activities in all kinds of weather conditions. Despite having 2 other (larger) vehicles, we still sometimes choose to take the A4 on road trips because it's such a fun, sporty, and economical car. It's simply a pleasure to operate, and a great place for extended "wheel time."

As for roof racks, the A4 Avant does come standard from the factory with satin silver "flush" style (vs. raised) roof rails with an outboard ridge or lip and inboard slots for accepting most universal cross bars. I have used both Audi-branded cross bars and Yakima Whispbars with a Yakima SkyBox Pro 16S cargo box in the past (but I no longer have those accessories because I sold everything after purchasing a pickup truck). With the right equipment, you can transport bikes, skis, snowboards, canoes, and kayaks with the A4 Avant too, and the best part is that since the car is so low to the ground (compared with a taller SUV or crossover), it's very easy to lift your gear up to the roof (or lower it down again). Back to top

6. How many child car seats can be used at once?
Technically speaking, 3 child car seats can theoretically be used at once, but I recommend only using 2 at a time. The backseat features a total of 4 Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) points to accommodate child car seats (or boosters) in the 2 outboard rear seats, and there are 3 upper tether anchors on the back of the rear seat (1 for each outboard seat and one for the center seat). Convertible child car seats can be installed either forward- or rear-facing (according to your seat manufacturer's guidelines and specifications). As far as seating 3 child car seats at once, it may be possible but the seats would have to be very narrow (and I've never tried it myself). A seat like the Combi Coccoro, which is a very compact seat with a narrow footprint, might be able to squeeze 3 across but more than likely you'll want a larger vehicle for everyone to be comfortable anyway. If you have children of different ages, with some forward-facing and others rear-facing, then you may be able to "puzzle fit" (or nest) all of the child car seats by alternating the installation order or sequence (front-facing | rear-facing | front-facing, or rear-facing | front-facing | rear-facing, etc.). While I have no personal experience trying to fit 3 child car seats in the back, I do know that 2 across fit perfectly fine (though if the driver or front passenger are over 6' tall, convertible car seats in the rear-facing configuration may start to impinge on their legroom because of the clearance needed).

What about installing a single child car seat in the center position (between the 2 outboard positions)? Yes, this can be done but you'll likely have to install it using the car's 3-point seat belt since the center seat doesn't have its own set of dedicated LATCH anchors. Why can't you just "borrow" one LATCH anchor from the 2 outboard seats? In general, it's only considered acceptable to use 2 inboard LATCH anchors (the closest anchor from each of the outboard seats) to install a child car seat in the middle/central position if both the car manufacturer and seat manufacturer permit it. I do not know for sure if Audi permits it, but several major car seat manufacturers permit it when the 2 inboard anchors are between 11"-14" apart (but please refer to your car seat's owner's manual, and check out this link for even more detailed guidance). Back to top

7. What kind of fuel economy does it get?
The A4 Avant's wagon profile ends more abruptly than the gradually sloping rear end of the A4 sedan, so the Avant has a slightly higher drag coefficient, but according to the EPA both body styles achieve the same measured fuel economy. I have been averaging approximately 24 MPG over the life of the vehicle, which is right around the EPA's combined estimated fuel economy rating of 23 MPG. The car is officially rated at 21 MPG in the city cycle, and up to 27 MPG on the highway. With a 16.9 gallon fuel tank, that provides an effective range of 354 miles (city) to 456 miles (highway). The APR software tune has made no discernible change to the car's fuel consumption (and the car requires 93 octane "premium" gasoline in stock form too). Back to top

8. Does this car have "quattro" all-wheel drive?
Yes, unlike A4 sedans which were also offered as front-wheel drive models, all 2009 A4 Avant models sold in the U.S. came standard with Audi's legendary, Torsen-based, permanent, full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Audi's famous quattro system has seen numerous evolutionary improvements over the years, and a new aspect for the A4's quattro system is its rearward bias (to simulate driving characteristics more common to rear-wheel drive vehicles). Per Audi:
"Quattro operates purely mechanically and reacts instantly to changes in the driving situation, allowing the system to produce sporty and highly agile driving dynamics. Under normal driving conditions, 40 percent of propulsion is distributed to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear wheels. Whenever required, the self-locking center differential redirects most of the torque to the axle with better traction. This means that when driving at the handling limits, the new Audi A4 often does not require ESP or EDL to intervene, and there are also significantly fewer brake ESP or EDL braking interventions."
Not all AWD systems are created equal, and Audi's quattro is one of the best in the industry with proven performance advantages. It's important to understand that the Audi A4's permanent full-time system is very different from systems offered on other vehicles that claim to be "AWD" but really only employ an "on demand" (part-time) AWD system. The reactive nature of these on-demand AWD systems (without a true differential or viscous coupling like the A4's Torsen system has) means they act more like a 2-wheel drive vehicle (most of the time) until slip is detected, and exhibit a slight lag time before re-distributing power between axles. Also, many of the other AWD systems on the market require regular maintenance (oil and filter changes) while the Torsen systems in the A4 are generally maintenance free. Additionally, because many part-time AWD systems are dependent on data from all 4 wheel speed sensors, all 4 tires must be at identical wear levels (or have the same rolling diameter). The A4's Torsen-based quattro AWD system suffers none of the aforementioned limitations, so buyers cross-shopping other "AWD" vehicles should be mindful of which type of system is used. I recently
drove the A4 on the famous "Tail of the Dragon" (318 curves in 11 miles near the North Carolina and Tennessee border), ascended 4,000 ft over the 43-mile long Cherohala Skyway, and conquered nearby winding roads, and each time the surefooted quattro drivetrain performed flawlessly on varying surfaces under both wet and dry conditions. Back to top

9. Why is the Audi Drive Select (ADS) option so desirable?
This powerful feature allows the driver to quickly change engine/transmission mapping, steering, and suspension controls using 3 selectable modes (Auto, Comfort, and Dynamic) as well as a 4th user customizable mode called Individual that independently configures (and remembers) each of the above parameters according to the driver's preferences. This 4th Individual mode was only offered on cars (like mine) that were also equipped with the full Multi Media Interface (MMI) and optional $2,500 navigation package.

According to Audi:
The engine’s throttle response, the speed-dependent servotronic power assistance and the Tiptronic shift points all can be programmed into three main fields. The ‘comfort’ mode is ideal for relaxed driving on long journeys or over poor road surfaces; ‘auto’ is the most balanced setting and ‘dynamic’ is the tight, firm stage where the chassis of the new A4 can demonstrate its package of power fully. Changes between the modes are made using two arrow buttons on the center console. All such changes are performed safely and smoothly. The driver can clearly discern them but is not distracted. The driver has a fourth mode available, known as ‘individual.’ Within practical limits, this personal profile can be assembled from a wealth of possible settings. With Audi drive select, the new A4 is up to four cars in one.

Audi Drive Select includes the following hardware:

Adaptive suspension system
- Variable hydraulic suspension dampers
- Sport suspension springs (20mm lower than normal)

Dynamic steering system
- Variable assist (Servotronic) steering (already standard on A4)
- Variable ratio dynamic steering

Controls the following vehicle attributes:
- Suspension damping
- Steering assist and ratio
- Throttle and engine response characteristics
- Transmission shift characteristics (for automatic transmissions)

Four operating modes, controlled by buttons on the instrument panel:
- COMFORT: all vehicle attributes operate in a more comfort-oriented manner
- DYNAMIC: all vehicle attributes operate in a more sport-oriented manner
- AUTO: all vehicle attributes are automatically adjusted based on vehicle speed, driving style, and road conditions
- INDIVIDUAL: recalls a user-defined configuration that is set-up in the MMI system

Continuous control: The CDC shock absorbers
The Audi drive select is augmented by yet another innovative technology - electronically governed shock absorbers. The central element is a new high performance control unit. The computer continuously analyzes the signals from 14 sensors, and it calculates the current for the electronically governed shock absorbers at each individual wheel 1000 times per second. The so-called CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers are gas-filled hydraulic shock absorbers whose operation can be varied continuously. An electromagnetically triggered valve regulates the flow of hydraulic fluid between the inner and outer shock-absorber tubes. A smaller flow cross-section makes the damping characteristic firmer, while a larger one makes it softer. Every single driving situation requires a specific damping force. In order to keep body movements as low as possible, for example, a high damping force is required. When driving over ridges, low forces are needed, so that when accelerating the jolts are felt as little as possible by the passengers. For good ground contact and minimal wheel load fluctuations, a medium level of damping force is required, as the wheel must not be damped too much or too little. The control unit selects the optimal damping force for every driving situation. The CDC shock absorbers are joined with sporty springs, which lower the body by 20 mm (0.79 inches).

A new level of high-tech: Audi dynamic steering
Yet another innovative technology is available in Audi drive select: Audi dynamic steering. With this feature, Audi is opening a new chapter in the history of the automobile. At the heart of the system is a superposition gear that operates with no play and modifies the steering ratio in response to vehicle speed. When cornering at the handling limits, the dynamic steering system stabilizes the A4 by intervening instantly with small steering maneuvers. The superposition gear consists of a wave gear (also referred to as a “harmonic drive”) integrated into the steering column and powered by an electric motor. Harmonic drives have been used with a great deal of success in the robotics and aerospace industries. A harmonic drive was used for the first time in space in 1971 on Apollo 15. It was part of the single-wheel drive of the lunar rover that explored the surface of the moon. In 1997 the drive traveled to Mars as part of the Pathfinder mission, in which it was part of the “Sojourner” expedition vehicle. The drive also had a role to play when the Hubble space telescope was launched in 1990. Tested in the proving ground of outer space, the strengths of harmonic drive technology extend to a number of important areas. The system is extremely compact and lightweight with a high level of torsional rigidity. Its lack of play allows it to operate with extremely high precision and very little friction, while transmitting immense torque with a high degree of efficiency. Audi is the very first manufacturer to take all of these brilliant characteristics – that together far exceed the solutions offered by the competition – and apply them to automotive technology. Audi dynamic steering can vary its steering ratio in response to both the vehicle speed and the Audi drive select mode in use. Transitions are continuous and imperceptible. System involvement is very direct when parking. Drivers can cover the entire steering range in just two turns of the wheel – a maneuver made nearly effortless, thanks to a high level of power assist. At moderate highway speeds, the system becomes less direct and provides less power assist. At top speeds, an indirect steering ratio and low level of power assist make it easy to keep the vehicle in its lane.

Safety and driving pleasure: The countersteering effect of dynamic steering
ESP and dynamic steering work together closely to improve handling characteristics and vehicle safety. Dynamic steering supports the stability program, because it can perform a countersteering maneuver in considerably less time than the brake system needs to generate braking pressure. These rapid maneuvers eliminate the need for frequent braking and generate extra smoothness and dynamism. Despite their enormous effect, drivers generally do not notice the corrections. Fishtailing – a classic critical situation – is triggered by counterforces produced in response to sudden evasive action. Audi dynamic steering can correct for small to medium fishtailing by countersteering. Braking is not required unless fishtailing is severe, and even then it largely serves only to provide damping. Dynamic steering also provides assistance for understeering (when the car slides toward the outside of a curve). Steering briefly becomes less direct, very likely preventing the driver from steering beyond where the tires have adequate contact with the road surface. This function is available exclusively from Audi. None of our competitors offer it. Braking on surfaces with different coefficients of friction (known as µ-split braking) is another situation that can be difficult to manage. Higher braking forces pull the vehicle toward the side with the greater coefficient of friction. Audi dynamic steering in the new A4 resolves this problem – largely on its own. Just about all the driver needs to do is turn the steering wheel in the desired direction of travel.
It is important to understand that the advanced suspension on an ADS-equipped A4 can actually be more compliant (i.e. more comfortable) than the standard A4's suspension, but also programmed to be sportier than Audi's optional sports suspension, all at the flick of a switch, due to its extended range of variability. It really is the best of both worlds and the enthusiast's choice because you can fine tune the suspension's performance characteristics based on the situation and conditions (and your passengers too). I was initially most excited about the firmer Dynamic suspension mode, but surprisingly found myself appreciating the Comfort suspension mode the most, especially when transporting sleeping children or the whole family on long drives (because Comfort mode smoothes out bumps and minimizes jarring impacts from broken pavement or expansion joints). While the differences between modes are not quite night-and-day, they are certainly noticeable (yet still subtle enough that they won't upset the car's balance when switching modes while driving around a bend, etc.).

All of this the technology came at a steep price however, as ADS was a $3,000 option that was only available on the highest trim level. Since you couldn't order ADS with the Premium and Premium Plus trim levels, you had to spring for the Prestige trim level, which alone cost an additional $7,800 over the A4 Avant's base price (before you even added ADS to the equipment list). So the price of admission to obtain ADS was nearly $11,000 extra, which explains why it is such an especially rare and very desirable feature. ADS makes the car supremely flexible, and while expensive, takes the guesswork out of which suspension (or wheel/tire size combination) is best for the car with little risk of compromises or drawbacks. Do you want the firmest sports suspension and largest wheels with lowest profile tires? Normally that means sacrificing comfort, but not so with ADS. Or do you want the benefit of a softer ride that won't punish you on long drives? That usually means foregoing the sports suspension and sticking with the smallest wheels with the most tire sidewall, but the trade-off is more body roll, vague steering, and slower reflexes. ADS means you don't have to choose between those extreme ends of the spectrum anymore--you can truly have your cake and eat it too (especially with the Auto mode that constantly adjusts itself according to real-time conditions and driving style). With ADS, the days of living with (or regretting) compromised wheel/suspension decisions are over. For me, the price for essentially 4 cars in 1 (with their own distinct personalities) is totally worth it, and the added safety benefits when countersteering or understeering are obviously a nice perk too. Once you use ADS yourself, you won't want to live without it! Back to top

10. How do the low-profile tires and 19" wheels handle? Is the ride rough or harsh?
The wheels are all 19 inches tall and 8.5 inches wide (the same size as what came on the car from the factory). The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT tires (which are original equipment on the Audi A4 S-Line and S4 models) are 255/35 ZR19 (also the same size as what originally came on the car). When I replaced my original wheels with new RS6-style wheels, I did not go with a staggered setup (with rears wider than the fronts) because I didn't want to ruin the balance of the vehicle. I also like the ability to rotate the tires to optimize tire wear, and wanted to avoid any clearance issues or rubbing. I was especially concerned about confusing the quattro all-wheel drive system with different size tires front-to-back. I'm very happy with my decision to stick with 19x8.5's all around, as they are an Audi-approved size and with the modest 8mm wider offset, look aggressive in a tasteful factory-tuned way without significantly affecting suspension load and geometry.

Audi's engineers clearly did their homework because the tires, wheels, and suspension components have been carefully matched and tuned for neutral handling characteristics. The stock ride quality (in ADS' default Auto mode) is generally compliant and the wide tires provide enhanced road sensitivity, excellent feedback, and confidence-inspiring grip and control. The vehicle remains
relatively flat in corners, exhibiting progressive body roll that sets up in a linear manner. The ride is tight and athletic (especially in ADS' Dynamic mode), but I would not describe it as harsh or rough (though I try to avoid potholes and slow down as much as possible for railroad tracks and speed bumps out of habit to protect the car from damage). The low-profile sidewalls enhance steering responsiveness and road feel, but also make the vehicle more sensitive to road imperfections at the same time. Tire selection and construction play a big part in this. It's also important to note that tire pressure adjustments can facilitate further tuning should different qualities be desired. I notice a difference (in perceived ride quality and tracking ability) with only 2 psi adjustments. For me, the enhanced looks and handling of the 19" wheels are well worth the small loss in comfort from a shorter sidewall. Having owned many vehicles with both "plus-size" and stock-size wheels, I can honestly admit that I would never trade my A4's excellent control and agility for smaller wheels (with their more conservative looks and less communicative steering). Besides, the sporty 19" wheels just look killer, especially in motion! Back to top

11. What is so special or unique about the S-Line Sport Package?
The S-Line Sport Package was a $2,450 option, only available at the highest Prestige trim level (another $7,800 on top of the base price). It dramatically transforms the otherwise beautiful "base" A4 into a more purposeful, performance-oriented machine. Not only does it include the 20mm lower sport suspension, .9mm larger front sway bar, 2.1mm larger rear sway bar, exclusive 19" quattro GmbH wheels, and ultra high performance summer tires, it features a distinctive sculpted front bumper and fascia that is identical to the S4's. Additionally, S-line A4's have different rhomboid-shaped side air inlets near the front fog lights, and a thin air diffuser in contrasting matte graphite gray finish below the grill. In the rear, the chamfered bumper cover is completely different, with a black 3-dimensional honeycomb mesh diffuser inlay and a beveled exhaust pipe blend panel that is also finished in matte graphite gray like the front diffuser. This combination looks a lot nicer than the standard A4's plain flat black plastic. S-line cars also have silver S-line emblems on each front fender, and S-line Avants also have a bigger rear spoiler above the liftgate. Below the doors, Audi adds aggressive side "blades" (or rocker moldings/sill extensions) that match those found on the S4. These blades protrude from the car like body armor, and protect the sides of the car from spray and rocks flung up by the front tires.

Besides the higher performance equipment and external cosmetic enhancements, S-Line cars feature a unique interior with special treatments too. The leather sport seats have embossed S-line logos, contrasting silver stitching, and lovely perforated Alcantara inserts (my favorite part). Alcantara is an ultra-soft suede-like material that will never burn your legs in the summer or feel cold in the winter like leather. Its plush fibers also grip your back and hindquarters better than slippery leather can, keeping you in your seat better when cornering or braking hard. The door panels have matching Alcantara insets with matte brushed aluminum trim, and both front and rear doors have a brushed aluminum sill plate with a red S-line logo. S-Line cars also have a unique 3-spoke sport steering wheel with multifunction controls, S-Line badging, perforated leather wrap, and silver stitching. This contrasting stitching is used on the shifter boot too, complemented by a perforated leather gear shift knob. The only way to get an Audi A4 with a dark headliner was to order the S-Line sport package. All other A4s have light gray or beige headliners (and rearview mirrors too), even those with (otherwise) "black" interiors!

Because of its high price and exclusive pairing with only the most expensive Prestige trim (meaning an S-line car essentially cost $10,250 more than a base car), the S-Line sport package was only ordered by a handful of the wealthiest enthusiasts and thus S-Line cars make up only a tiny fraction of total A4 production. A normal A4 is a nice-looking car, but the S-Line version looks sharper, bolder, and more formidable (very similar to an S4) while still remaining understated and tastefully restrained in the typical German tradition. While the A4 is not an uncommon car by any means, it's extremely unusual to see another S-line A4 on the road (unless you're at an Audi club gathering, and even then it's not a common occurrence). You'll probably see more S4s than S-line A4s.

To help "move more metal" (or sell more cars, in auto sales parlance), Audi did a curious thing in later years of A4 production by selling cars with S-line optics (an exterior-only appearance package). It's important to realize that this is not the same thing as the full-blown S-Line Sport Package featured on my car. The S-line exterior appearance option was a watered down version of the full meal deal, purely a cosmetic dress-up kit with body components raided from the S-line parts bin. The bespoke Alcantara interior with contrasting stitching and special steering wheel with perforated leather were all missing, and most criminal of all, the sport suspension wasn't part of the package either, so an A4 with just the S-line exterior package has the softer standard suspension (with smaller sway bars) that is a full 20mm higher than a "real" S-line car. With no functional enhancements, these A4 cars with the S-line exteriors are "all show and no go" and should NOT be confused with cars with the complete S-line Sport Package treatment (again, only found on the more expensive Prestige trim cars). Audi probably should have offered a different optics package or at least called it something else entirely, instead of diluting the existing S-line Sport Package (by stripping away some of its best and most unique qualities) and confusing consumers at the same time. A raised 4x4 look (huge fender gaps) and standard interior are dead giveaways that you're looking at a car with just the S-line exterior treatment, even if it has S-line badges on the front fenders and is advertised as being an "S-line" A4. Be careful when viewing classified listings for other A4s claiming to be an "S-line" because you may end up wasting your time (and money) or being disappointed later when you find out it's only equipped with the cosmetic body kit. Caveat emptor! Back to top

12. Who performs the maintenance on the vehicle?
I handle easy things like bulb replacements myself, but I prefer to let the big boys do the major work, especially if it requires a lift or special tools. For all 73,000 miles, this car has been professionally serviced and maintained by specialists at (Jim Ellis) Audi Atlanta, the same dealership where the car was purchased from, even though the dealership is inconveniently located an hour away from me. All repairs and maintenance activities have either been performed by trusted Audi dealership techs or Audi/VW-certified mechanics (who may happen to be working at a VW dealership at the time but are more than qualified to mount and balance tires on Audi vehicles, for example).

Even after the original factory warranty and Audi Care prepaid maintenance plan expired, I continued to have the car serviced at Audi Atlanta even though there are plenty of great independent shops in the Atlanta metropolitan area. If you would like to speak with Audi Atlanta's service advisors about the quality of care we have lavished on my vehicle, feel free to contact them directly yourself. They know me to be an extremely picky and particular customer. For a complete listing of all service activity, please refer to the
service history page on this site. Back to top

13. How long do you expect this car to last, and is it expensive to own and maintain a German vehicle?
Since purchasing the car new, I have spent an average of $788 annually on maintenance expenses, but keep in mind that this cost figure includes dealership hourly labor rates, synthetic fluids, and the amortized cost of new tires every couple of years. The car has proven to be pretty reliable and since the original factory expired at 50,000 miles (roughly 23,000 miles ago), I have only spent a total of $411 on post-warranty repairs (to replace non-essential broken trim and a fuel door lock actuator because it stopped working and being a perfectionist I couldn't stand driving a "broken" car even though you could still open and close the fuel filler door just fine). While it is true that German car parts and repair costs can be expensive, I don't think my experience has been out of line or exceptionally expensive for an import vehicle. In fact, I have found the ongoing maintenance costs to be perfectly reasonable considering how expensive things like a set of 19" summer performance tires are (compared to more pedestrian 16" all-season tires on regular cars). I have owned some pretty old and high mileage German cars in the past (like a complex BMW 7-series with 205,000 miles), so I have multiple frames of reference on the subject and have no qualms about owning a German car without the safety net of an extended warranty (which can be purchased as an aftermarket product with different deductible levels should one desire). Much of it comes down to proper maintenance and preventive care if you want to continue enjoying these cars for a long, long time. While German cars have always been known for their excellent engineering, they have sometimes had trouble matching Japanese reliability and traditionally needed more "care and feeding." But times have changed and according to Consumer Reports, Audi is currently rated as the 3rd-most reliable brand (out of 28 brands), just behind Lexus and Toyota, and is by far the most reliable of all European brands.

Since I have strictly followed Audi's recommended maintenance schedule, diligently performing all service activities at the appropriate mileage intervals and only using the best "Top Tier" fuels and Mobil 1 synthetic oil, I think a catastrophic failure of the drivetrain is unlikely. The engine uses a timing chain, which is less likely (than a timing belt) to fail prematurely, and there are no outstanding recalls and service campaigns (like Suspension & Sunroof Service Campaign 23D6/C2, Camshaft Adjuster Service Campaign 15D6, Sliding Sunroof Service Campaign 60A9, which have already been performed by the dealer). Some early production A4's suffered from a steering shimmy or vibration, and my car was one of the first to receive redesigned lower control arms that completely cured the problem. Additionally, some parts of the car, like the engine pistons/rings, catalytic converter, engine electronic control module, and on-board diagnostic device are still protected under the balance of Audi warranty coverage for 8 years/80,000 miles. The fuel injectors are covered for 10 years/120,000 miles. The remaining life of the vehicle will primarily be determined by regular wear and tear and whatever future service regimen is followed. With a recent service that included replacement of the oil, oil filter, pollen filter, wiper blades, electric liftgate motors, and cleaning out of the sunroof drains, this particular A4 is ready for many more years of enjoyment. I feel confident driving this vehicle anywhere, alone or with my loved ones aboard (it's already served me very reliably on numerous road trips around the country).
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14. Has the vehicle ever been in an accident?
Yes, but only at low speed without resulting in any severe injuries or real damage to the engine or other major components. The rear had to be repaired from being a victim of hit-and-run parking lot encounters while the car was stationary, and the front and side needed collision repair due to "pilot error." With damage primarily limited to cosmetic body panels and trim, the car was never at risk of being totaled (and of course doesn't have a salvage or rebuilt title). I was very selective about which body shop I used, taking my car to a proven, award-winning, certified company that I trust (with a brand new state-of-the-art facility) vs. the one the insurance company suggested. Turning lemons into lemonade, I used the opportunity to replace whatever was damaged (or barely nicked) with new parts and even upgraded the whole front end to a Caractere B8 front bumper and RS4 grill in the process. I'm quite pleased with how the car turned out after surgery and I'm sure you'll agree. As the recently taken gallery photos show, the paint color match is excellent, all body panels line up with factory-tight gaps, and the car still looks correct. Most importantly, from behind the wheel you'd never know the car had been involved in an accident, as it runs and drives as good as ever. Back to top

15. What parts have you replaced recently?
I have replaced many parts on the vehicle, personally spending $11,000 on maintenance, upgrades, and accessories while I have owned it. Here is a quick list of some of the items that I have replaced (or added) in the past year, beginning with those items replaced most recently:
  • Rear seat trim ($67)
  • License plate frame and bolts ($47)
  • Windshield wiper blade inserts, cabin pollen filter, oil filter ($209)
  • LED license plate lamp housings and interior bulbs ($90)
  • Audi Q7 102mm stainless steel exhaust tip finishers ($100)
  • ECS Tuning RS4-style grill with glossy black optics honeycomb mesh and satin silver frame ($313)
  • Caractere B8 front bumper cover with custom paint scheme (glossy black optics honeycomb mesh grills and satin silver diffuser) ($2,000)
  • Audi Allroad facelift LED taillights & Kufatec wiring harness adapter kit ($1,000)
In the past year, the following items were also replaced with brand new parts under an insurance claim:
  • A/C condenser
  • A/C pressure sensor
  • A/C sensor pigtail
  • strainer
  • air inlet duct
  • oil pressure switch
  • tube
  • camshaft sensor
  • power steering cooler
  • radiator support
  • sight shield
  • right radiator support
  • front radiator shield
  • rear radiator shield
  • automatic transmission radiator
  • left air duct
  • right air duct
  • left radiator mount bolt
  • right radiator mount bolt
  • fan shroud
  • left fan & motor
  • right fan & motor
  • water pump line
  • overflow hose
  • left front suspension level sensor
  • right front suspension level sensor
  • left headlight
  • left headlight bracket
  • left headlight mount bracket
  • right headlight
  • right headlight bracket
  • right headlight mount bracket
  • front absorber
  • front impact bar
  • front left support
  • front right support
  • front cover
  • hood
  • hood lock & switch
  • hood safety catch
  • left fender
  • left "S-line" fender badge
  • right "S-line" fender badge
  • lift gate cover
  • trunk latch control modules (electric liftgate motors)
  • fuel door lock actuator
  • stereo amplifier
  • rear bumper cover
  • rear bumper left side support
  • rear spoiler
  • rear spoiler trim molding
  • right rear wheel
  • wire sets & housings
  • information labels
Please consult the
Service History page for exact dates and mileage figures for each item. That page also lists all items replaced during other older service activities. Back to top

16. Why are you selling the vehicle?
Basically it's just time for a change. I've never kept a car this long before (7 years, which is 2 years longer than any other car I've owned), nor have I ever driven another car this much before (16,000 miles more than in any previous car). So I obviously love the car, having kept it for so long. I still enjoy driving it (I'm certainly not bored with it) and I appreciate the attention and interest it continues to receive, but I feel it's time for me to move on because I see the car as a finished product and have no desire to modify it further. In my eyes, it's perfect exactly how it sits (though it's a shame Audi never imported any A4 Avants with a manual transmission to the U.S.--thank goodness for the steering wheel paddle shifters!). Now the next owner may want to go wild with other modifications, but I've taken the car as far as I would like (and I enjoy the journey as much as the destination). I've already molded it to suit my tastes, and if vehicle modification is a form of art or personal expression, then this one is direct extension of myself--a culmination of 7 years of work that is reflective of my values. Since we have 2 other primary vehicles, I am in no rush to sell the car but I am looking forward to the fresh challenge of a new blank "canvas" that comes with a different vehicle. Hopefully my A4 Avant is the perfect canvas for you or another passionate enthusiast to embark on their own journey! Back to top

17. Is there anything wrong with vehicle?
It's a relief to say this, but nope, not really! In the interest of full disclosure, I admit the following known issues:
  • 2 extremely tiny dimples in the roof caused by falling acorns (they are so hard to see that it took several attempts to capture them with my camera).
  • A small slice in the rubber window molding and some very fine scratches in the satin silver trim from an overzealous window tint installer wielding a sharp razor blade.
  • A tiny rock chip in the windshield that hasn't changed shape or size in years, and the only reason I notice it is because it's directly in the driver's field of view.
Being a perfectionist, I lose a lot of sleep about things. But I've learned to tolerate minor niggles like these, especially when we're talking about a 7-year old car that's been driven 10,000 miles a year. Are these items correctable? Certainly, but they haven't really bothered me enough to care, and I doubt most people would notice them unless I point them out. Other than the aforementioned blemishes (and maybe a tiny rock chip or two?), there is nothing else that can be fixed on the car. These nitpick issues nevertheless keep me from advertising the car as a perfect "10 out of 10" (it's a 2009 model year car after all, so some age and wear are visible). I'm sure there is a random swirl mark in the clear coat here or there that I may have missed (and I can guarantee the soft gloss black B-pillar trim will need some elbow grease every few months).

In terms of operation, everything works great (including ALL accessories). Even the features I never use often like the one-touch power sunroof sunshade, automatic tilting passenger mirror (in reverse gear), cruise control, lane change assistant (blind spot warning sensors), power seat adjustment, 6-disc CD changer, retractable partition net, defroster, rain-sensing wipers, rear wiper washer jets (which I just had cleaned out and re-aimed by the dealership), etc. I don't know why the newer Audi seat heaters barely get warm, but my older seat heaters will roast your backside (maybe it's the Alcantara?). The air conditioning is frigid cold and blows quietly, there are no leaking fluids on the car, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the Audi dealer gave the vehicle a clean bill of health at its 70,000-mile service just this past April. The interior doesn't rattle, squeak, creak, or make other noises over bumps, and the 505-Watt 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo is still one of the best sounding factory audio systems that I have ever heard in a vehicle (none of the speakers are blown and they still reproduce music with tight bass, crisp treble, and sweet mid-tones).

This car doesn't need anything (it's ready to go "as is"), and it wouldn't take much to make perfect. The brakes are original, so they will likely have to replaced in the near future, and I am already including a set of 4 nearly new tires (Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT in the same 255/35R19 size) for when the current tires (which still have 5/32 of tread remaining) are exhausted. Back to top

18. Does the engine consume any oil?
Since the Audi A4 doesn't have a conventional dipstick, the current oil level can be conveniently displayed from the comfort of the driver's seat on the infotainment display via the Car menu. The graphical bar does not represent the total oil capacity (4.9 quarts)--instead it only represents the amount of oil between the minimum and maximum fill levels (the acceptable range normally indicated on a physical dipstick). So while the top of the bar is 100% full, the bottom of the bar means the engine is only a quart low (and at this point the car will warn you to add oil).

According to regular measurements, my engine uses less than a quart of oil (less than a full bar on the menu graph) in 5,000 miles. So the answer is yes, it uses a little between oil changes, but certainly not what I (or most reasonable people) would consider abnormal or excessive. Audi agrees, as they consider using 1 quart in 2,000 miles to be normal (and they don't consider oil consumption to be a problem unless it exceeds 0.5 quarts in 600 miles). In fact, my A4 Avant's EA888 2.0T engine uses less oil than the EA113 2.0T in my TT coupe did at nearly identical mileage. Many German high-performance turbocharged engines consume a little oil, usually because of piston ring blow-by and oil mist vapor losses through the PCV system. The Audi A4's 2.0T TFSI engine comes from the EA888 family of four-cylinder gasoline engines, which are notable for utilizing a timing chain and gear to drive the two overhead camshafts, instead of a toothed-rubber timing belt used on the previous generation of engines. EA888s also use Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) direct fuel injection, and feature Audi's "valvelift" technology, which complements the existing variable valve timing. But what is interesting about the EA888 engine (as it pertains to individual oil consumption) is the engine block. Audi specified grey lamellar graphite cast iron (GJL 250) as the material for the cylinder block and crankcase, due to its performance, low friction, and inherently good acoustic dampening properties.

Per Audi:
5.1 Tribological Properties of the Cylinder Bore
A major point in favour of GJL as a crankcase material is the functional reliability of the tribosystem of the cylinder face and pistons/piston rings with a high cylinder bore dimensional stability and good running-in characteristics. The material’s excellent antifriction properties, due to its good oil retention and good emergency running properties, ensure minimal friction losses and good fuel economy and in addition provide favourable conditions for continuing increases in lifetime mileages with extended service intervals.
What is important to note is that for economic reasons, Audi does not use a planar honing process for cylinder bores (which would deliver a brand new car ready to drive off without any necessary break-in period). This means that customers are responsible for the break-in process (which is described in the owner's manual and encourages variation in RPM, MPH, engine load, etc.). Since humans and other environmental factors are involved, there will obviously be a wide difference in the relative condition of the piston rings and cylinder walls between cars, simply based on the "quality" or effectiveness of the break-in period. An improper break-in would result in cylinder wall cross-hatching with inconsistent peaks, resulting in excess oil being left above the piston rings to be consumed by the combustion process. The end result is that every Audi 2.0T engine uses a different amount of oil (presumably because of how well their drivers adhered to proper break-in procedures, as well as due to production tolerances and other contributing factors). Some people's cars use more than a normal amount of oil, and other people (like me) can drive 5,000 miles or more before the oil level approaches the minimum level. I have a few theories about why my engine doesn't use much oil, but my mild consumption can likely be attributed to some combination of the following factors:
  • I religiously followed the recommended break-in procedure when I purchased the car new (yes, I'm a pleasure delayer).
  • I have always used Audi-approved Mobil 1 0W-40 synthetic motor oil, genuine Audi oil filters, and followed Audi's recommended service intervals.
  • I generally drive briskly and enthusiastically, but never abuse or baby the car (unless the engine is cold).
  • My drives are usually longer extended ones at moderate speeds (with very few short trips or stop-and-go city driving).
  • Luck (maybe I just got one of the good ones?)
Audi recognized that the likelihood of all engine component materials meeting design specifications was perhaps unrealistic or unreasonable to achieve (consistently), especially given unpredictable customer break-in behavior. Audi of America thus extended the warranty of 2.0T engines with engine code "CAEB" (not just in the A4, but all 2009-2011 Audi models with the same version of this engine) to 8 years/80,000 miles for covering any future repair possibly needed to correct an excessive engine oil consumption condition (which may not happen to everybody). So if a 2009-2011 Audi A4 2.0T owner believes that their car is consuming too much oil, they can bring their car to the dealer and Audi will first update the software and replace the front main seal and PCV with a revised design that permits a different crankcase vacuum (thereby reducing the tendency for oil to get past the piston rings). If the owner still experiences excessive oil consumption, then Audi will rebuild the engine with new pistons and rings free of charge (the repair takes a few days so a free loaner car is also provided). According to Consumer Reports, only about 4% of 2009 A4s have needed an engine rebuild (or said another way, 96% of 2009 A4s have not needed a rebuild). While this official warranty extension is technically only good for 8 years/80,000 miles, affected A4 owners have reported goodwill repairs being approved by benevolent dealerships and Audi of America at much higher mileages (even with 100,000 miles). Thankfully, I haven't had the need to exercise this warranty extension myself (as my oil consumption is minimal), but there is peace of mind knowing that Audi will stand behind their product and remedy the problem if oil consumption worsens within the next year or before reaching 80,000 miles (and possibly beyond). I personally don't worry or fret about it--I monitor my oil (like I do with all of my vehicles) and continue to enjoy the car with the knowledge that the warranty extension is there as an insurance policy if I need it later. But I don't expect the car's pistons and rings to suddenly fail when the rate of consumption hasn't changed much over time. The engine was broken-in a long time ago--you either have a problem or you don't.

Is this engine vulnerable to any other common ailments? Depending on your local fuel quality, driving style, and other conditions, carbon build-up can occur, which can cause engine stumble and idle roughness from misfiring. Carbon build-up is more common in direct injected engines like Audi's 2.0T because they don't have port injectors to "wash" away any intake deposits, especially on the back side of intake valves. Fortunately, if it does occur, excess carbon can be removed by a machine (basically a walnut shell media blaster) or by hand, either at the dealership or in your own driveway. So far, my car doesn't exhibit any of the systems of excess carbon accumulation (again: driving habits, fuel quality, and software control of air/fuel burn are believed to be critical factors). In addition, while the EA888's timing chain is designed to last longer than a timing belt would, there have been reports of timing chain tensioner guides showing some wear on higher mileage cars. Some cars may also experience a sticky intake manifold flap, premature failure of the diverter valve, or excessive play on the turbo wastegate actuator (rod pivot for the "flapper"), which would trigger a check engine light and fault code. These are just some of the things to keep an eye on as they may need to be replaced down the road as a preventive measure.

None of this information is presented to spook or scare a potential buyer (that would defeat the purpose of this website, which is to find a buyer for my car). I simply want my car's next owner to be making an informed and educated decision, going in with their eyes open (when purchasing a car is often an emotional decision). I would regret not being completely honest and forthcoming (or if the car's next owner suffered any kind of surprise or disappointment). None of this should take anything away from the engine's pedigree or outstanding performance. Don't forget that the Audi A4's 2.0T engine won the distinguished honor of International Engine of the Year in the "1.8-2.0-liter" category in 2009, and was also recognized as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2 consecutive years (2009-2010). Every engine has its quirks or deficiencies, and at least the Audi 2.0T's are well known and documented, with lots of active forums and DIY support for those who like to turn their own wrenches. Back to top

19. Why should I pay more to buy your vehicle when I can find others for less money?
I'm not selling just any regular Audi A4. There are several features that make this particular vehicle more valuable and attractive to Audi enthusiasts and car connoisseurs alike. From the day it was manufactured, this A4 S-Line Avant already belonged to a very exclusive and rare group of automobiles. While 37,070 Audi A4s were sold in the U.S. in 2009, only 7% (2,680) of those cars were Avants (wagons), and only 163 Avants were painted Brilliant Red. S-Line models, which could only be specified with the highest and most expensive Prestige trim, were generally "sold order" cars (meaning they were likely special ordered by customers, since dealers typically don't order many of the most expensive models to sit around in their lot inventory waiting for a buyer to come along). Therefore, S-line A4s, and especially S-line A4 Avants, were produced in very, very limited numbers and make up only a very small fraction of total A4 production. Of the infinitesimally small number of S-line A4 Avants produced, there were only 4 Brilliant Red 2009 A4 S-line Avants sold in the entire country, representing 0.1% of all 2009 A4 Avants in the U.S. These facts alone make finding another nice Brilliant Red 2009 A4 S-line Avant difficult indeed (let alone one with desirable options like Audi Drive Select too). According to Audi of America, my car is one of a kind in the United States, based on the year, color, specification, and combination of options. (When I ordered the car, I checked every option box except the ones for adaptive cruise control and backseat torso airbags, which were not recommended for use with small kids in child car seats because they are designed for adults.) You will not find another 2009 Audi A4 Avant exactly like it here, and certainly not an (almost) fully-loaded one ($51,525 MSRP when new) with facelifted LED taillights, RS6-style wheels, RS4-style grill, and custom-painted Caractere B8 front bumper kit imported from Belgium. (This is actually the 2nd one-of-a-kind Audi I've owned, by the way--I like special cars!)

Now consider the current market of older, abused, high-mileage A4s and my vehicle continues to stand out. It is in excellent shape and looks more like a new vehicle than one from 2009. The body, paint, and trim are all in great condition. The air conditioning is freezing cold, the stereo sounds great, and all of the power accessories work flawlessly. The leather and Alcantara interior has survived well over the years, and doesn't show signs of much passenger traffic. Nothing is broken, nothing leaks, and the mechanicals have been maintained by Audi-trained dealership technicians under the Audi Care pre-paid maintenance program. Dings, dents, scratches or broken accessories keep me up at night and prevent me from enjoying my cars, so I've spared no expense keeping this A4 as close to new as possible. My pain is your gain. It is ready for many more years of enjoyment and needs nothing. I constantly receive compliments on my A4 Avant and people cannot believe how well it looks and runs at such age and mileage.

Most importantly, the vehicle has been driven and maintained by a single conscientious and responsible owner (an Audi Club of Georgia board member who comes from a multiple Audi family). Why gamble on another car with an unknown history and an untold number of owners, when you can bet on a sure thing? This A4 has been cared for and driven by the same original owner its entire life! This is not a garage queen, and it has served me well as a driver for almost 7 years. It was spec'd at the factory as a driver's car, and deserves to be driven and appreciated by another Audi enthusiast.

If you are looking for "just another" A4 at an affordable price, then you may find a more suitable vehicle elsewhere (but beware of bargain-priced A4s that may need costly repairs, negating any initial savings). If you are looking for a clean, modernized, mildly-modded example of one of Audi's finest vehicles--one that appeals to the "OEM Plus" camp by sticking with genuine Audi LED taillights and RS-inspired wheels, front fascia, and grill--then this is the right vehicle for you. Every modification was tastefully selected and executed in a conservative "factory-tuned" approach, and nothing on the outside screams "look at me!" OK, nothing except the glorious red paint! Anybody can swap out interior light bulbs for LEDs, but for someone else to reproduce the rest of my car, they would have to go to great lengths (and expense). These are the top 10 distinguishing factors that are a little harder to come by and make my car stand out from the other 2,679 2009 A4 Avants in the U.S.:
  1. Only 1 owner with fully documented history
  2. Brilliant Red color
  3. S-line Sport Package
  4. Audi Drive Select option
  5. Caractere B8 front bumper cover (and ECS Tuning RS4-style grill) with custom glossy black optics honeycomb mesh and satin silver diffuser
  6. Audi Allroad facelift LED taillights with Kufatec wiring harness adapter kit and European light pattern coding
  7. Audi RS6-style wheels
  8. Driven in the southeast, with mild winters (never driven in salt)
  9. Meticulously cared for, only dealer-serviced (with Mobil 1 synthetic oil)
  10. Excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition--everything works!
Some may be wondering: How does this A4 Avant compare with an Audi Allroad? If you're considering a (stock un-modified) Allroad, you're probably on the wrong website. Allroads and Avants, though based on the same platform, diverge significantly in attitude and execution. One is lifted higher with a wallowy suspension and clad with gray plastic to project a rugged outdoorsy 4x4 look (ironically with limited off-road ability), while the other is a taut, sleek, low-slung AWD cruise missile. I know which one I prefer! I have seen a few "bagged" Allroads (aka "Lowroads") that are beautiful (minus the raised roof rails), but their owners have gone to considerable effort replacing the wheels and tires and slamming the car to the ground with expensive aftermarket airbag suspension kits (at which point it's essentially a lowered wide-body A4 Avant with gray fender flares). I don't know how well an airbag-lowered Allroad drives (compared with an A4 Avant with factory sports suspension and ADS), but I do respect the time and effort that goes into customizing one to that degree (they can look pretty awesome when done right).Back to top

20. I love your car but I'm holding out for a 2009+ A4 Avant with a manual transmission? Where can I find one?
You won't find one in the United States. Due to a number of reasons (lack of demand, poor sales history, additional cost of certification, no corporate support, etc.), Audi never offered Americans the choice of a manual transmission in any B8 (2009+) A4 Avants. So if you're waiting to find the perfect B8 A4 Avant with a manual transmission, you may be waiting a really long time! The last A4 Avants sold with a stick-shift in the U.S. were from the previous B7 generation, whose last model year was 2008. As a manual enthusiast myself, I enjoy changing my own gears as much as the next gearhead, but operating the Tiptronic with its steering wheel gearshift paddles isn't that bad (especially in ADS Dynamic mode) and didn't slow me down while hustling through the Dragon this past spring. This won't ever satisfy the purists, but for 95% of the population (especially those with a city commute), an automatic is perfectly fine. (Back to top

21. Why have you built such an extensive website to sell your vehicle? Are you a dealer?
No, I am a private owner who just happens to care a lot about my vehicle (in case that wasn't obvious). I have been an Audi Club of North America (ACNA) member for 7 years, and currently serve the Georgia Chapter as Treasurer on the Board of Directors. I am active on many Audi online forums, and I am a true auto enthusiast. Hopefully this website will help justify my price by showing potential buyers that I have been a very thoughtful and meticulous owner. Plus I expect a lot of interest and would rather put everything out there up front instead of answering the same questions over and over again via phone or email. It's not that I don't enjoy talking about my car (this website clearly demonstrates that I do), I just hate repeating myself and value everybody's time. Consolidating all of this information was fun for me, but most importantly this website will reach a wider audience, giving potential buyers the ability to learn everything there is to know about my car at their own convenience and pace. That way when the buyer ultimately shows up, he or she will already be intimately familiar with the car and supremely confident and comfortable in their purchase decision. I've only sold 2 of my previous cars to local buyers before--everyone else came from out of state on a one-way flight or had a buddy give them a ride. So this website sure beats hanging a sign on my car and parking it outside in the yard to get rained and pooped on! Back to top

22. Who do I contact for more information about the vehicle?
You can contact me, Ben Trapp, for any additional questions. Please view my Contact page to see how you can reach me. Back to top