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used Audi first time owner with a quick question

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Hi all, newbie poster here just saying hello🙋‍♀️

I am the proud owner of a used Audi A3 2.0 TDI. Very nice looking car and my first venture into the world of Audi. Previously have owned a couple of used BMW's and they were both great cars.

First question though, service spanner has come up on the dash, so service required. How much could I be expected to pay for a full service? The car is 10 years old and had done 77,000 miles.

Thanks

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Hello Chris, 

Does the car have any service history, when was it last serviced, and what level of service did it last have? 

Dependent on when it was last serviced and to what level, will dictate what will need doing now. 

You mention you need a price for a ‘full’ service, but you will need to decide if that is to include/must have a change of pollen filter, fuel filter (Audi don’t seem to schedule that), brake fluid, and the all important cam belt (if the engine is belted which I think it is ) and water pump. Until the forum knows what has and hasn’t already been done, then it won’t be possible to answer your question with any degree of accuracy. 

It will also be important to know whether you intend getting this done at a main dealer, independent, or a local garage. If the latter, it will be important to know whether genuine VAG parts are going to be used or not. 

Apologies for the questions. 

Kind regards,

Gareth. 

 

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Thanks for the reply Gareth.

It was last serviced in July 2019, where it had an interim service. It has FSH prior to that. As it is a new car to me I am happy to pay for a full service this time as I would like to know if there are any major problems. I intend having the service done at ATS which is near me. They are quoting £195 for the full service, which for me is expensive but if it gives me the peace of mind that the car is good then it will be worth it. 

 

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Hello Chris,

Many thanks for the additional information - it really does help. Since as you say the last service was an interim service, I think you are wise to consider having a comprehensive service now, so at least you will have a base point from which to plan ongoing services. I think  I would be wise to then consider the on-going servicing schedule from that point on, since this will dictate whether you opt for a Longlife  type schedule (which uses a specific oil) or whether you will be getting it serviced annually. 

To cut to the chase, I would not rate ATS’s service charge is being expensive, but I would question the ‘quality’ of parts which they would use - possibly ‘best deals’ from their local motor factors. Personally, I wouldn’t use such outlets for servicing, but would either investigate the costings at local independents, or local garages -where you can dictate what parts are to be used. Having a service is essential, but using any old Brand x oils and filters etc. may result in the whole thing perhaps being really not worth bothering with. Probably questioning any of the above with ATS will be met with ‘We only use OEM parts’. 

You don’t mention if the service history includes a cambelt change within the last 5 years, or when the brake fluid was last changed. 

Kind regards,

Gareth. 

 

 

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Thanks Gareth,

The brake fluid appears to have last been changed 03/07/18, although this is dubious as the service book hasn't actually got a stamp, it has just been filled in (just noticed). Not sure about the cambelt, is toothed belt the same thing? If so this is ticked as done at the same time.

When you say use a local garage so I can dictate the parts used, how do I know myself which parts I need? Do you mean genuine Audi parts from the Audi dealer? Obviously this will increase the cost? It shows Haldex: oil in the service record, I take it this is the recommended oil. Also, its previous interim service was conducted at Halfords.

Sorry for all the questions, but total newbie here when it comes to the complexities of Audi car servicing.

Kind Regards

Chris

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Hello Chris, 

No problems at all about asking additional questions. The asking bit is simple - it’s the answers are more complex! 

3/7/18 servicing work? Brake fluid and toothed belt (the all important cambelt) change, ticked but not stamped. Can we take it you just have a tick in the box but not an invoice? Have you got any information to point to who ticked the boxes/did the work? If not, realistically it should be treated as dubious. OK, the brake fluid not the end of the world for the moment, but an overdue belt renewal might be. Sorry to pass potentially bad news, but....   Just let the form know if you need more info. on this. It would be worth checking the service book for an earlier (stamped) toothed belt change. 

‘How do I know which parts I need?). Do you have an invoice for the last (Halfords) service? If not, but the book is stamped, what have they ticked as being renewed? Possibly just engine oil and filter? If this were mine, and I intended to keep it long term, I would be renewing oil filter, air filter, pollen(cabin) filter, and fuel filter. You will then have a good base point to move forward from - sorry, I think I have already said that. 

If you are from the school of ‘a service is a service’ and you are happy about that, then you could just accept what is done/not done and be happy with a stamp in the book. If you want to ensure the car is best looked after mechanically, then you ask exactly what is going to be done for your money - in relation to the filters etc. already mentioned. 

Quality of parts used? In terms of filters, I would only use main dealer ones (at discount) or Mann or Bosch as alternatives (nothing else). There are some pretty poor quality ones about! 

You are now left with being able to ask sufficient questions of whoever is going to do the work - and personally a trusted local garage who you can have a conversation with sounds a good bet. 

You can now decide whether you are going to have the brake fluid changed, and more importantly do the background homework on the ‘toothed belt’ done or not done saga. 

Hope some of this helps Chris.

Kind regards,

Gareth. 

p.s. Haldex and oil? Is yours a Quattro? If not nothing to worry about. 

Engine oil brands? I use Quantum (by Castrol?) This is/was the VAG group recommended brand. Available on EBay. 

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Thanks again Gareth.

I think we can take it as read that there is no evidence that the cambelt has been done, other than a tick in the box  on the 3/7/18 service (no stamp or evidence of who did it). This was (supposedly) done at 59k miles. The previous service record entry also has toothed belt ticked (again with no stamp), this was recorded at 55k miles in July 2017. Prior to those 2 entries, the toothed belt has also been changed (allegedly) in 2014 at 36k miles. There is actually no stamped service between 06/13 until 07/18, boxes filled in and ticked but no stamp or invoices, so dodgy I think. Bit annoyed didn't spot this at the point of sale, but didn't notice no stamps 😒

Got an invoice for the last Halfords service, it just says interim service and a a car service checklist is with it where 50 points have been ticked. One of the ticks is against 'check for timing (cambelt) replacement interval and report if replacement due according to mileage or age', so it looks like it was checked. What is the 'shelf life' of a cambelt anyway?

Re: haldex and oil, I am just going from the Audi service schedule book service record where Haldex: oil is one of the entries under 'additional work'. No, mine is not a Quattro.

I suppose it's all a bit 'after the horse has bolted' and these questions should have been asked BEFORE I bought the car, but hey ho, you live and learn.

As regards ATS, are they really that bad? I must admit they have done my last 3 mot's on my last car, and also couple of small repairs and tyre changes and I have found their service very good. They haven't found unnecessary work, and I have found the staff to be polite and helpful. The car is 10 years old, so if I can get another decent 5 years out of it I will be more than happy. I don't really want to spend huge sums on servicing. I plan to do about 7000 miles a year so a service to reflect that suits me fine.

Thanks again Gareth for your time in answering my questions.

Kind Regards,

Chris

 

 

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Hello Chris,

I’ll try to respond to your comments:-

We all gain more experience from making mistakes than from doing things correctly, so lesson learnt re. thoroughly checking the service history next time. 

Ignore Halfords reference to checking cambelt. If you read it, it refers to checking the interval at which the belt should be changed, not examining the belt for serviceability ( not possible anyway without some degree of dismantling). Seems someone likes to tick toothed belt boxes annually! If this were mine, I would take it that the belt, tensioner and associated water pump have never been changed and are now overdue x2, since the timed interval is generally every 5 years, even if the mileage covered is low. 

Forget Haldex if not Quattr. 

ATS? Defending my corner, I didn’t say they were bad and certainly not ‘really that bad’. The upshot is Chris, if you are happy with them, and what they carryout in terms of what you consider a ‘full service’ then I would be tending to stick with them, and simply not worry about what they actually do, and don’t replace. Come to think of it, it was me who ‘complicated’ matters by asking what they did do for your believed expensive service charge! Just as a aside, I knew a fitter who worked for ATS for years, but bought the same brand of tyres cheaper across the road, than he could at ATS using his staff discount! Things might have changed. 

I think you will be suited to getting your servicing done there, and that’s fine, but I would now be concerned about the apparent long overdue cambelt change (judging by the available evidence) -  and the potential for serious issues if this is ignored. 

Kind regards,

Gareth. 

 

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Just an update: Had the full service done and I have booked the cambelt change with my local garage to be done a week on Tuesday. Thanks for the help, Gareth.

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Heel Chris, 

Sounds good progress. 

Cambelt? Good move. Have you decided what quality parts are to be used? All important, since local garages just tend to use whatever is on ‘best offer’ at their supplying motor factors.

If not using genuine VAG parts (available mail order at discount) the garage are likely to tell you they use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, but this can often hide a multitude of sins. Then there is the question of the all important water pump. It it were mine, I would not use any other pump than a genuine VAG one - no exceptions. Too many reported catastrophic issues with early failure of aftermarket pumps. 

If your garage is going down the route of an aftermarket belt and tensioner, then the only make I would use would be Gates, but I wouldn’t use their water pumps - for the sake of a small saving. 

It’s great to have the belt assembly and water pump renewed, but just leaving at the garage and collecting it, is a bit like saying you want a new pair of trainers - and off they go and supply you with a pair they have just bought at the local outdoor market. 

Might be worth thinking twice and getting a good job done once.

Kind regards,

Gareth.

 

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