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Posts posted by Tunbridge

  1. I wouldn't worry, a turbo blowing up on a 1.8T engine is very rare. It's obviously not impossible but you'd be very unlucky if it happened to you and would only happen due to either a manufacturing fault or abuse.

    Seem as all 'old' S3 are well beyond the age where a manufacturing fault could be blamed you should be ok, just make sure you buy a well cared for example. If it's been serviced as it should then it should be fine.

    I know its always a worry buying second hand cars but the 1.8T engine is about as robust as they come, the only well documented faults are coil pack failures and these aren’t then end of the world. These engines are even reliable when chipped up to 260-280bhp so they must be built to last.

    Good luck and hope you find a good one

  2. I always run with my xenon’s on dipped even during the day. I once read a report by one of the German bulb manufactures that this drastically reduces the chances of being involved in a collision with another vehicle (about 40% IIRC)

    That was enough to convince me.

    Unfortunately I can't find a copy of it now smashfreakB.gif

    ...but I'm sure somebody will

  3. Car: 2002 Audi S3 (8L) 225bhp

    Mileage When Bought: 40000miles

    Current Mileage: 46000miles

    I have now owned my S3 for 9 months and covered just over 6k miles so I though I'd put a few of my thoughts down and give some advice to help anyone who wants to buy an S3 but doesn't have the £30k for a new one.

    The car was bought from Teesside Audi for £14250 last July, I know you pay through the nose for buying from Audi but the 1 year warranty appealed to me and I've more than had me moneys worth out of it.


    I love the look of this car, it is the perfect blend of aggressive looks without attracting too much unwanted attention. Most people (who don't know anything about cars) have no idea what an S3 is, so if you want to show off to the ladies buy a TT instead. Personally I prefer the understated looks and this stops all the 'max power' boys wanting to race you everywhere.

    Mine is fitted with the standard 17" Avus Alloys although I think the that optional 18" RSTT Alloys look much better.

    One thing I can't stand is having a common car so the fact that the S3 is a relatively rare sight on UK roads is a bonus and the Ming Blue Pearlescent Paint looks fantastic when clean (but does shows every scratch, stone chip and swirl mark). As usual with Audi's the galvanised body is built to last and there is no sign of any rust on the car.



    This is what sold the car for me over the R32 which was also on my short list. The quality of materials used through the interior is leagues ahead of anything else you'll find in a hatchback of this age and the whole interior oozes a class and sophistication that others just can't match. Mine is fitted with the full leather Recaro seats which are the best I've ever experienced for comfort, the pull out thigh support is excellent making it easy to get into the perfect driving position.

    I would advise anyone thinking about an S3 to find one with the full leather. In my experience the alcantara seats seem to wear and go 'bobbly' which doesn't look great (although being more grippy they do hold you in place better). The only regret I have is not having the heated seats as the leather can be cold in the winter (although I'm being picky).

    Another must is the optional BOSE sound system. This includes upgraded speakers and a discrete sub in the side of the boot. I think this is a much better set up than the standard system and unless you start fitting aftermarket speakers and spoiling the OME look it can't be beat.

    Mine is also fitted with the interior lighting pack which gives a lovely red glow to the cabin at night.


    Engine & Performance

    The 1.8T engine is excellent and renowned for it's reliability and is easy to tune. Being a 4 cylinder turbo it isn't the most tuneful engine in the world but the rasp of the engine accompanied but the whoosh of the turbo has a character of it's own that becomes very addictive. Despite this the noise isn't intrusive, even when pushing things and is quite enough and relaxed at motorway speeds. As you would expect from a turbo engine, not mush happens until about 2500rpm when the turbo spools up but once it's away the power delivery is smooth with plenty of mid-range torque available making overtaking effortless.

    The engine develops 225bhp (210bhp in the early cars) and I can't fault the performance, the car is more than quick enough in every gear and people have said the claimed top speed of 151mph is easily achievable. The 0-60 dash of 6.4 seconds seems just as easy to achieve with the grip available from the Haldex Quattro system, this makes using all the power possible on the all too common wet and greasy British roads in ways that 2WD cars just can't match. You don't realise just how much the Quattro system is working till you get back into a front wheel drive car again only to wonder where all the grip has gone.

    The only criticism I have is the ESP (Electronic Stability Program). This is far to quick to interfere and often dips the power before the Haldex system has had time to transfer more torque to the rear wheels, why Audi can't develop a system that recognises this and works with the Haldex is beyond me. That said, the ESP it is capable of correcting the car from slides which would normally be impossible to save, something that become evident on the snow covered winter roads.

    The 1.8T engine is mated to a 6 speed gear box (5 speed in the early cars) which is criticised by some as a little 'notchy' personally I think this is unfounded. I would describe it more as a positive shift rather than 'notchy'. Either way the 6 ratios are reasonably well spaced (although I sometimes feel 1st is a little short) and work well whether pottering round town, cruising on a motorway or blasting down B roads.

    Ride & Handling

    The ride quality is probably one of the S3's weakest points, as with most Audi Sport/S-line models the suspension is a little too firm. This certainly helps the handling and it's fine on smooth tarmac but can be crashy and fidgety on uneven surfaces, it seems to lack the control and finesse that it should. The steering has also come in for some criticism although I think it is well perfectly weighted it can lack feedback at times. One thing to remember is this isn't a light car, although for its weight and size it is still agile and great fun on any B road. The handling is tuned more towards safety with mild understeer and will suit the majority.



    When you consider the performance available this is a practical car, it's not as spacious as some hatchbacks and it is a little cramped in the back but it's the right choice if a two door couple isn't quite practical enough. The boot is also not as big as you might think and has a higher boot floor than the none Quattro A3 but it is adequate for most people. If you do need to carry anything big the seats fold down to create extra space.


    Mine hasn't faired too well in this department but I'm led to believe most examples will give you relatively trouble free motoring. The following parts have been replaced under warranty at Audi's expense:

    Gearbox (2nd Gear Synchromesh failed)

    Front Suspension Bushes

    CD Changer

    Headlight Switch

    Glove Box Lid


    Running Costs

    Don't buy an S3 if you want cheap motoring, it's not too expensive given the performance available but it certainly isn't cheap.

    I currently average 25mpg, this is doing nearly all short journeys (<10 miles) to and from work but on a tour around Cornwall recently I managed to average 35mpg over 1000 miles doing only long runs. If you budget for 25-30mpg you won't be far wrong.

    Servicing, my last service from Audi at 43k miles was £360 which included all the Haldex Oil Change etc. The next service should be cheaper. If you use your car sensibly the variable service should mean service intervals are well over 10k miles apart.

    Tyres cost approx. £100/corner for a reasonable quality tyre.

    Insurance is Group 18 although the quotes I have had in the past don't seem to reflect this, possibly due to the lack of boy racer image associated with this car. All the other cars with similar performance I've had quotes on seem significantly more expensive to insure.


    What Next?

    A few mods are on the horizon to freshen things up. New alloys are a must so I think a set of 18" RS TT's will be the first thing, possibly combined with the Audi Gmbh sports springs and maybe a set of spacers.

    Once the warranty expires I'll certainly consider a re-map. From what I've read on here the addition performance makes the £500 outlay look like a bargain.

    Future Replacement

    I certainly have no plans to change any time soon but when the time comes I think I'm going to struggle. Its hard to think of any credible alternatives that can match the practicality and quality with the performance and security of 4 wheel drive traction.


    Arguably the best all round hot hatch you can by in this price range, and certainly one of the best cars Audi has ever built. If you want a fast, practical, premium hot hatch with the security of 4 wheel drive grip you won't go far wrong with an Audi S3, certain to be a future classic.

  4. [ QUOTE ]

    worth noting I had to "tweak" the plastic cap that sits over the spindle and nut, as it was touching the glass.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'll have to look out for that, I haven't really run the wiper in anger yet, seen as I've been basking in the sunshine smile.gif

    [ QUOTE ]

    You just need to do the fronts now grin.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Next on the list, as soon as they split tongue.gif

    Will also be worth checking to see how the new set up goes with the RainX, I'm a big fan of RainX but there doesn't seem to be a lot of love for it on here confused.gif

  5. The rear wiper on my S3 (8L) has been knackered since the frost got it over the winter so I decided to upgrade to the Rear Aero Wiper as a much sleeker alternative to the standard set up.

    I know this has already been posted on here before but here is my take on it and a bit more info that I don’t think was covered in previous posts.

    First things first, the part you need is:

    Polo 2003> Rear Aero Wiper – Silicone Rubber – Part No.6Q6 998 425

    I bought mine from vagparts at a cost of £19.04 including p+p.

    This is what you get…


    This is what the car looked like with the standard arrangement…



    You need a 13mm spanner to remove the nut but that’s about it. It is worth noting that the Aero wiper does not have splines like the original but this doesn’t seem to have made any difference to the operation. The only time you might get problems is if your wiper has frozen to the window.

    Another point is that the polo wiper is about an inch shorter than the standard unit (see photo below) but I believe this can be rectified by fitting the blade from a Touran, personally I think its fine as it is and still has adequate coverage.

    You might also have noticed that you have to fit the wiper upside down as the parked position on the polo is on the opposite side to the S3, but again this doesn’t really mater.


    So here it is all finished…



    Well worth it for less than £20 quid 169144-ok.gif

  6. Just the usual stuff I guess, you can usually tell how well the car has been maintained by looking over it. Just make sure it has been serviced correctly and that the cam belt has been done.

    The only other major fault I would watch out for is the 6 speed gear box synchromesh. The 2nd gear failed on mine at 40k and I know of another one on here that also failed in a similar way at similar mileage. I believe it is a rare fault but worth keeping an eye out for during a test drive.

    Good Luck.

  7. [ QUOTE ]

    noise seems to be from around edge of windscreen. It's not loud just mildly annoying.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think mine might be the same although it is impossible to tell.

    Almost sounds like something tapping against the underside of the dash confused.gif

    I was going to take it back to Audi and get them to look at it again under warrenty but I really can't be bothered and can't see them fixing it. I've given up caring now and just turn up the tunes.

  8. Mine is the same. I recently had the lid replaced under warrenty and it has made no difference confused.gif

    I think it is coming from within the dashboard behind the glove box. I've had the glove box out myself but there is a lot of stuff behind there so it could be anything.

    I've found the Bose drowns it out if that helps? wink.gif

  9. On my recent service it was filled to the max mark. I also stopped half way home to investigate what was rolling around in the boot only to find a 1 litre bottle of oil for use during top ups.

    Very useful I thought . . . . but I'm sure it was built into the price of the service as another way of extracting more money from you.

    Shame mine doesn't burn any oil smashfreakB.gif

  10. Agreed, I remember what I was like driving at 19 and that was in my relativly slow 63bhp Mini Cooper. If I'd had near 200bhp I would have pranged it without a doubt smashfreakB.gif

    Just do what any sensible young lad would do and wait till you have the experence (and common sense) to have that much power on tap.

  11. [ QUOTE ]

    Would it not be worthwhile to upgrade the dampers at same time? Think you might regret it if you go for springs only.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thought about doing the dampers as well but I'm only really doing it for cosmetic reasons. I don't think I'd get any really benifit in the handeling department as I don't exploite it to the full potention as it is.