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Newbie guide to buying an S8


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Hi guys, first post - great forum by the way.

I'm looking to buy a D2 S8, either 2000 or 2001 model. Could you knowledgable chaps answer a few questions ?

1) What sort of mileage do you get from a full tank of petrol (average driving), and how much does it currently cost to brim it?

2) Reliability wise whats the costliest problems I could expect ? ( I've heard the engines are bulletproof but that the auto gearbox is a weakpoint..... )

3) What are the main service intervals ?

4) Any advice on what to look out for when I get one ( as I've never driven an S8 before.... or an auto...... )

Cheers for any help you can give, I've only had hatchbacks in the past but I've always loved the old S8's and having recently written off my old golf gti I'm serriously thinking the S8 is a viable option. ( just need to convince 'her indoors' that a 4.2 V8 is a more reliable option than another turbo'd golf :rolleyes: ).......

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Daz, the S8 is a great choice. In another league to a Golf.

1. Range sometimes says 425 Miles but I would say it does about 350 or so on a run. Expect about 16-17mpg with just normal town driving and the best I have had on a run is 24MPG.

2. The auto gearbox is a weak point, mine failed out of nowhere, the gearbox was spot on beforehand and very smooth. A rebuild is going to cost around £1.5k so you might want to factor that into buying the car if it hasn't already had a rebuild. Mine failed at 138k miles. If you get the gearbox oil changed this should help to prevent failure.

The S8 doesn't really have any other major problems, there are two valves right at front of the engine which are visible as soon as you pop the engine cover off, they should be attached by a small plastic arm, this sometimes breaks and a new one is £160 from Audi but you can refit it yourself easily in 5-10 minutes. Some people in the US have re manufactured some metal arms which you can buy for £30 or so.

3. Pre facelift S8 models have a 10k service interval, and facelift ones have the option of variable servicing, so servicing up to 2 years and 20k miles but I'm not sure I would want to leave the oil in my car for 20k miles.

4. Go on audipages Home there is a good guide on there.

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Cheers for the quick reply mate.

I was worried about the cost of a gearbox rebuild. How many miles have you done since ? Is it considered reliable to just rebuild rather than getting a new one then ? I take it a new one would be quite expensive. Other than that has yours been wallet friendly in your time of ownership ? I've heard their generally very reliable - switches,electrics,air con etc.

That fuel economy figure was expected to be honest but then again, the way I used to drive the golf I would only get 25 ish mpg anyway - once saw an indicated 9mpg mid thrash :eek: Although saying that I'm sure I could get the S8 mpg into minus figures with my heavy right foot.+++

Got to say I prefer the facelift models looks wise... and for the 360bhp motor of course !!

Cheers for the link aswell, that was a great guide to take with when I go hunting.....

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Daz, I haven't got my car back yet, gearbox went last week :(

I'm hoping to have it back by the end of next week. I have done 14,000 miles in my S8 and this is the first problem I have had apart from the odd lambda sensor CV boot and tie rod end which would be simlair to the Golf. I have seen 5MPG on the S8 when driving hard!

A new gearbox from Audi, bare in mind this doesn't include fitting and is an exhange with your old one is £3,800. Without your old one they want over £4k.. I enquired recently. A rebuild done properly should be fine, mines costing me £1245 but as I had an AA warranty they have agreed to pay £500 towards the repair with minuim hassale so its only costing me £745. Bargain. :)

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You'll love the S8 if you take the plunge

I've had my '02 S8 for a year now and it has bee totally reliable after i first got the niggles it came with sorted, MAF sensor, Throttle body gasket, My car was a reposession so was stood for 12 months when i got it but had just 50k miles on it. I've done 20k in the past year.

The thing i noticed when i first drove mine was how sensitive the throttle is, i thought something was wrong with it as the car was jerky..Soon got used to it though

Since buying i have upgraded the brakes with EBC turbo groove discs and Red Stuff pads. Well worthwile although they can be a little noisy under heavy braking but do their job well. i've also fitted a Milltek cat-back exhaust to bring out the V8 rumble without being too loud at the standard exhaust is a bit muted

As for fuel consumption i was quite surprised. On a full tank £80 quid-ish i can get from Huddersfield down to Luton, Not hanging around, usually cruising just below the ton where traffic allows. Then the return journey towing a 500kg trailer with 500kg track car and can cruise at 80mph with that on no problem and get home just as the petrol light comes on..340mile round trip..

I haven't regretted buying mine one bit..Good luck in finding your S8 +++

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cheers for replies, not put off too much by the fuel economy so going to try to find one for a test drive. There aren't too many about, I've only got 7k max to spend and I'd prefer one with less than 100 on the clock. Noticed some have a tiptronic option - is this recommended ? Also is it just 2000/01/02 models that had the 360 bhp engine? Any tips for where to look for them for sale apart from the usual pistonheads and autotrader ? I rang my local audi main dealer but they said they don't have cars that old .......

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Tiptronic is standard across all A8/S8s in the UK as far as I know, 360 BHP started from the facelift models so late 1999 and certainly 2000 + models. Its very rare for an Audi dealer to have a D2 in however someone did buy a 2000 S8 from Audi recently and are selling it now on this forum, might want to PM them? Its only done 56k and has an Audi warranty for nearly a year...

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that one on ebay has done 91k indicated on display but has a single main dealer service receipt from 2006 that states mileage as 121k ? ! Cheap for a reason ...:rolleyes: where is the classified section on here then? Can't seem to find it. That s8 you mentioned sounds good and i'm sure one owned by residents of this forum would surely be a good one....

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Hi Daz.g

Bear in mind that whilst the costliest problem may be the gearbox, for any performance car around 10 years old and 100k the general running/wear and tear costs won't be cheap.

I've had my 1998 S8 for 2 years now and it still continues to impress. Bought it with 105k on the clock, now has 126k. I've had the following work done: rear calipers, 4 tyres, steering rack and other suspension components, front ABS sensor, 1 major service, 1 minor service, EBC redstuff brakes and grooved discs (front only), gearbox service, cambelt service, 2 injectors replaced and fitted a xenon hid kit. The cost of that little lot, using a VAG specialist comes to about £6k.

Now £6k in 2 years is steep in anyone's book but bought it for peanuts and now the big stuff is out of the way, hopefully the next few years will be just routine servicing...............

Agree with trikezx6r, the ECB redstuff pads and grooved discs are very good. Braking performance and brake feel are improved.

Whereabouts are you? If you've never driven an S8, I'm sure someone on this forum won't mind meeting up and letting you drive.

Good luck in finding your S8!

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I live in salisbury but can travel if anyone's near. I've found an S8 somewhere near London I was going to go and have a look at this saturday, but just to window shop as its done too many miles for me...

Speaking of red stuff pads and EBC discs - I had those on my old golf and thought they were quite crap to be honest ( although that was with standard calipers ), maybe they work better with the brembo's on the S8. Had porsche 4pot upgrade on the golf and got to say that was an awesome setup ( while it lasted :( ) , shame I can't afford to get the same for the S8 really.... As for the running costs I've had quite high bills in the past due to running a modified car and don't think it could be any worse with an S8 ( famous last words !! ), I must say the more pictures I see and more info I read I really want an S8...... Just got to find one........Facelift model............Preferably in black......... With black leather........... (Not that I'm fussy !!! :rolleyes:)

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Also a first post and in an almost identical boat to Daz.g and the discussion and indeed whole forum to date has been very useful. Fortunately I'm a bit further North so hopefully we won't be competing too much for dark coloured facelift D2 8s.

I also looked at the S8 mentioned in the ebay link a few posts back and while the lack of service history is a big worry, it is cheap. So my question really is how cheap does it have to be before it becomes worth the risk? or do cars with history crop up often enough that no one here would ever consider it?

Given that the car last saw Audi more than 5 years ago, and it had done 125k then it's likely that its well on towards the 200k mark by now - should this kind of mileage worry a newbie S8 buyer?

Not knowing the history, I guess a cambelt change would be in order - what sort of cost is this? If the car feels okay and drives okay, with no clunks, smoke, funny noises etc. is there anything else that should be done as a preventative measure?

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If there's no history for the last 75k then I'd be concerned.

Cambelt is in the region of £5-600 upwards if you include all the other stuff like pumps, tensioners, thermostats, etc.

I'd leave that one and hold off for one with better history (or if budget's an issue, look at a 4.2QS as you could maybe get one of them at a similar price with similar spec, but lower mileage and running costs).

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entropy - that cheap S8, the only service record was of a major cambelt service at 125k but obviously there's no clue of the accurate mileage. To be honest the guy sounded a bit dodgy and quite blasé about the mismatch of mileage with his only explanation being 'its probably had the clocks changed'. I'm pretty sure you can speak to audi and find out their records for the history, think you need the vin number, other guys on here might have more knowledge about that than myself. I think you can also check the mot history which will show if it's ever been refused an mot and anything it has ever failed on. These might give an idea of when the clocks were changed and if they genuinely were broken .... ?? I'm just off to look at a 81k facelift, 2000 model with all the options, wish me luck guys:D

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I am now the proud owner of a 2000 facelift S8 :grin: Cheers guys for all your advice..... Picked it up today, done about 150 miles already and got to say....... I LOVE IT :roflmao:Will get some pictures up soon for you guys and I'll have a few questions in the next few days I'm sure......

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  • 13 years later...

I have 2 A8 s  one 2.8 sports and 4.2 

cost on Audis always cost a lot but one tip I can give which apples to all owners of older models as we all know if we replace old part they put pressure down the line and it’s never ending .

if you join the AA with one basic product like home start  you can then. Join there breakdown insurance cover program it works out about £150 per year .

you can get parts and labour covered uo to £ 500 per claim or that amount put towards repairs , excess of £30 per job you get 5 claims per year .

i more or less rebuild my 2.8 with there help this is what they paid for 

fuel pump x2 


header tank 



water pump

callipers x2

timing gears  x2

spark plugs set  LPG TYPE 


rocker gaskets

£390 in excess  3 year period  £450 

On my 4.2 

rocker covers 



rear springs 

suspension parts 

sparkplugs  all LPG TYPE 

coil packs  all 

Keep you motor running tip top with cheep repairs please don’t send this to the AA :) 

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