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Everything posted by Kraken

  1. IR35

    The IT contractor received notice from the Inland Revenue that he was being audited. He showed up at the appointed time and place with all his financial records, then sat for what seemed like hours as the Revenue accountant pored over them. Finally the Revenue's agent looked up and commented, "You must be a tremendous fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." "Why would you say that?" asked the contractor. "Because you've made more brilliant deductions on your last three returns than Sherlock Holmes made in his entire career."
  2. warranty

    Just cost me £760 for the 'official one' for my S4, they sent a reminder about 6 weeks before the expiry but then didn't follow up. Net result was the car goes in 2 days after the original one had 'invisibly' expired and came away with another £600+ of work to do on top of a £80 bill for the assessment. You have to have a warranty on the thing though - to my knowledge the thing has cost £10 a day for every day that I've owned it for parts and labour alone, before insurance, fuel, Meguiars, tyres etc of which so far the warranty has picked up about 85%. When the car's running it's sheer magic, but I am wondering whether I'd buy another 2nd hand peformance Audi given the problems my now 4 year old car has been through.
  3. S4 brakes

    Yeah - I know where you're coming from, it's scary sometimes approaching junctions and roundabouts with the ABS doing the old 'Fred Astaire' on your foot. My S4 went back to Wayside shortly after I got it and had the front discs replaced after I complained about nearly going over a roundabout because they couldn't slow the car enough. This did improve it some, but they're still cr*p! It's a major shame Audi got this wrong as it really does cramp the performance of what is otherwise an exciting car, turning it into a r e a l l y exciting drive for all the wrong reasons (Adrenaline City!). I don't think it's my driving style at fault as newer Audi A4's I've driven don't have any obvious problems in pulling up - in fact I've nearly had concussion in two loaner's I've had when hitting the brakes for the first time because they've stopped dead where my S4 would be gently slowing down. I was going to try some EBC pads once the OEMs are clapped - did you get to use yours and how much (if any) improvement did they give?
  4. Fontain motors - any comments

    Got to echo Bod on this one. When I was looking to buy an S4 I called them, but all the salespeople were busy or so the lady who took the call claimed. I said I was happy to hold since I had a few queries about the car they had at that time, only to have the line go dead after 5 minutes. OK - sh*t happens, I called again. Same lady, same will you hold? same dead line after waiting 5 minutes. No Sale - well if they don't want to talk to you about selling, what hope do you have with aftersales? Nice website though and their ads on it give the impression of a keen dealer. Unfortunately the sales team aren't as slick.
  5. Well I've finally got an official response from Wayside about the 'rattle/crackle' noise from 2500rpm upwards on my S4. Apparently it's my heat shields and despite the car being 6 months into it's "Approved Audi" warranty when I originally asked what the noise was, and now 9 months from purchase when they've confirmed it, it seems the warranty doesn't actually cover them. So it's over to me... In fairness Craig at Wayside says he's spoken with Audi UK and they're prepared to put in 70% as a goodwill gesture, but it leaves me with £680 (presumably plus VAT) to find. So what DID my warranty cover? Well apparently my dud heated mirror on the drivers door, the gas struts that don't open the boot and the linkage on the gearbox that makes a sound like a dropped aluminium (aluminum for our USA friends) ring pull going between 3rd and 4th. Reading the booklet the exhaust system is not covered (fair enough - they are perishable items), so I guess that the shields must be interpreted as part of the exhaust system. The reason for the massive cost is that it's an engine out job to sort it, so looks like I'm stuck with it. Personally I'm less than amused (surprise surprise)as it means the intended visit to 'Silicon Heaven' (Revo or AMD) in the very near future is now down the toilet while my 'Approved Audi' costs me and Audi combined nearly 12.5% of the purchase cost of the car 9 months ago. So 'Caveat Emptor' - even if it is an approved car from an Audi main dealer.
  6. Thanks guys - apologies to Drill, I got pulled up for spelling colour "strangely" elsewhere so I thought I'd better try and walk the middle line. (SOOL on that one...) I do happen to know the car's former owner (he bought a 2001 S4 as it happens) and after E-Mailing him as I thought he'd mentioned the Heat Shields before, I've been told that they were previously done on the car - under warranty. So I'm gonna be phoning Wayside to discuss the situation as he had all work on my car performed there and presumably they can explain what went wrong with their replacements. Rob K - thanks for the info, I'll mention that to Wayside about HWM Audi managing to do the deed without removing the lump. I also know that they use AMD for tuning mods etc, so perhaps they might chat with Scott about it. Failing that Bicester is only 20 minutes or so away. Bod - you're right, there is also no performance problem here, although the noise is exactly as Biturbo describes and more obvious on my S4 in 3rd gear and onwards, problem is the only way to drown it out is to apply a bit of gentle "music" - doesn't need much, but at least you don't hear the rattle!! Useful info about Powerflow thanks, not that far from me either so I may well get a quote there if Wayside stay high on price. I'm also a bit intrigued about what exactly the heatshield/s are - I know the function, but are they truly a part of the exhaust system? On that basis you/they could argue that so are the turbo's as they are integrated into the system also, or am I being just a bit too pedantic? I'd hate to think Biturbo's actuator linkages which are apparently making pretty much the same noise at the same RPM's and intruding on the earholes from the same gear as I'm getting, are another problem spinning off from the heatshields - mine makes the noise all the time now although it started as he describes it - about every 3rd to 4th time I used medium (not hard - although that DOES do it every time now) acceleration. Maybe I've got more bad news on the way. Guess maybe I'm being a whinging g!t, but I wasn't expecting this sort of expense having bought the full package from a main dealer. The site reckons that: "Audi Centres have a simple philosophy about the purchase of a used Audi. It should be no different to buying new. No different in peace of mind." then goes on to say: "The durability and high quality finish of an Audi means that what you can see might be difficult to distinguish from new. But you can also rest assured that we have done everything to make certain that it is also true of what you can't see. Before becoming an Approved Used Audi a car has to pass one of the most rigorous examinations in the business. A qualified technician makes no fewer than 110 separate mechanical, bodywork, interior and electrical checks, conducts a full road test and prepares a detailed written report...." Maybe heatshields don't get included on the 110 point check - they certainly can't be easily seen or maybe they aren't expected to be durable? And as for peace of mind - I'd like to give the person who came up with that bit of sales gab a piece of mind.
  7. "Fixed twice"?? - is there a fix outside of removing the engine etc or did you end up forking out £4K+ ? How long did the fix last for, coz I'm not thrilled with the idea of this sort of expense on a regular basis. (Once is a PITA, twice is a "Will I buy an Audi next time?" thing.) I had suspected from reading posts on the various Audi groups that the heat shields were at fault, but taking the head mechanic at Wayside out for a spin in the car back in December and getting the noise quite readily, he said he wasn't sure what the noise was. The suggestion was that I live with it until it's next service was due then they'd have a look. Not very impressed with that - more so as I did suggest that this was possibly the shields at that time!
  8. Retro-fit cruise control (A3)

    Found this on AmD's site: which seems to include most Audi models - although £275+VAT seems a tad expensive. Fontain Audi offer an A3 installation for £150, but I'm not clear if that's only if you're having the car APR chipped or if you can have it done as a single job - see here:
  9. New S4

    Well I'm in an 'old' S4 currently and although a new car is tempting, I don't think the new S4 would be one I'd go for. The performance specs are mostly the same, difference being I guess it's going to be cheaper to very effectively boost my currently stock car than the new V8. I'd also tend to agree with the comments about too many models - the prospect of a Turbo'd V8 RS4 which will stomp all over the 'cooking' V8 S4 really seems to leave the car with an identity crisis - Audi's biggest engined A4 with some of the extra's already bolted on for you. Granted the new car isn't a slouch, but the extra 45bhp has produced figures that are pretty identical 0-60. As the performance bar get's regularly raised by the far east as well as Germany, to release it with no major performance improvement over the older model leaves it with an 'S' badge that IMHO lost some value - an A4 Sport effectively, because to Turbo it would have left no space for the RS. Styling-wise I'm also a bit cold to it, but then the slab-side style appears to be a 'now' thing (Vauxhall/Opel anyone??) Perhaps it'll grow on me with time or hopefully given the additional year or so developing the RS4, Audi will have a few styling cues to lift it a bit. I do love the 'Q' car ideal Audi has (remember the pic from the S4 advert with the Cheetah lying down in the starting gates staring down the track after the departing greyhounds?) I don't want 'flashy' but the new S4 does seem to come across as a little too understated. Running wise - well hopefully they've done something about the scary brakes, (a recent A4 2.0 loaner amazed me by actually stopping when I hit them so maybe - just maybe...) something most old S4 owners seem to have posted about at various points. Fuel consumption - well I get around 19.5mpg on average around Milton Keynes and OK there may be just a little bit of boost used ( ) so I'm a little curious as to just how much a V8 would use. Overall - I'm not really tempted by the pics or the specs to go and look at one, I think now the Turbo bug has bitten it would be hard to go back, so probably I'll be looking at an RS next time around....
  10. One for Blue ....

    Choose English from the first page. Run fast and pray for ammo!