I purchased the old S4 Avant just prior to the dreaded lockdown early this year. So although some 8 months have now passed, I have been able to use her very little indeed. Well finally last week we managed to get 3 days off and so I prepared the S4 (checked the tyre pressures and fluids, all ok) and we set off.
The place is truly magic! Only people who are resident in the area can enter, that is extended to anyone who stays in a nearby hotel as they gain temporary residence. We stayed in a wonderful local hotel, Villa Luisa www.villaluisaresort.it and walked to the baths, then we ate at the nearby Pizzeria Lucrino https://www.pizzerialucrino.com/
Here she is on the way, the car performed great and returned an average of about 9km/litre which for the Brits is about 25mpg. On the motorway it creeps up towards 10/28 but on the smaller roads this dives….
Blimey. What a challenge. I love this S4 V8 to death BUT she is very demanding. Only two months ago I was really enjoying her after the lockdown and then the steering suddenly became very heavy indeed, I needed Charles Atlas to help me to turn the wheel. Ah I thought, the hydraulic oil needs topping up, so I topped her up. But the new oil finished on the floor below the car. Mmmm.
When my trusty mechanic had a look at the car he again topped up the oil. That new oil was almost immediately thrown on the floor so he understood that there was a leakage problem. Upon further investigation he discovered that the high pressure pipe which takes the oil from the steering pump was split, so of course needed replacing. I was sent to order the parts plus 3L of Audi hydraulic oil, all arrived a few days later.
Well long story short, the rat took more than 6 weeks to sort out the dusty Audi and only when I issued some serious threats he finally “got round” to the poor neglected S4. Almost as a favour, cos he only wanted 100 Euro for the work, I paid directly for the parts and they were about 200 Euro. So the old S4 and I are back on the road and the steering feels WONDERFUL again. But I still need to sort out an electrical problem cos the new battery discharged in only a few weeks grrrrrrr.
More to follow, for sure…..but the car is lovely!!! Like a mature lady she gets better with age BUT needs loads of tlc for sure. This weekend FINALLY I am taking her away for a weekend so fingers crossed hehe.
Ok so its about time to change up a gear or two. We have recently made three VERY significant purchases so Service is getting ready to sprint. Here we go with a quick description of what we will very soon be offering:
Carbon engine clean device. From Epoch in South Korea. Arrived at last!!! The company in Seoul basically invented this very special device which cleans an engine from inside WITHOUT the need to dismantle anything! I contacted them many months ago and they sold me a device which is I think the FIRST and so far only one in Italy. See https://www.oxy-hydrogen.com/en for more info, plus the photo above. The first tests will be made on my two engines, diesel V6 TDI Mercedes and then my old Audi V8 petrol 4.2.
Exhaust gas analyser. From Capelec France and this arrived within 30 minutes of the Carbon clean system, amazing, having ordered them about 6 weeks apart. The idea here is to measure and record the exhaust gases before and then after the cleaning process so I can clearly show the (hopefully) positive results and so show the difference.
Industrial steam cleaning machine. From Menikini in the north of Italy. JUST arrived. The manufacturer is one of the best in Europe and specialised in these devices and especially important in these COVID19 times.
We have been locked-down at home since early March and it is just now starting to be eased, 3 months later. So the old S4 has been locked in the garage gathering dust and looking rather sad and sorry for herself. Now finally I have been able to take her out for a drive and wow she goes great!
I guess that she no longer has all of the starting 350 ish horses as she has more than 190k kms under her wheels, but she still goes very well indeed. (I have a plan for an engine carbon clean, more to follow). As I drove recently to buy some wine at our favourite winemaker (see https://www.facebook.com/cantineiovine/) I saw a car wash which was open and in operation, so I stopped for a chat with the owners.
Well the Audi was second in the wash queue and for 15 Euro they cleaned her very thoroughly inside and out, happy days indeed. Here follow a few pics to show just how good she now looks: In the coming few days the wheel centres will be painted and refitted too.
So during the dreaded lockdown I have been able to make very limited progress with the S4. Firstly I replaced the car battery as I noticed that the one on the car was too small (physically it did not fill the battery space, which is on the front bulkhead, as well as charge wise it was only 75Ah whereas the orignal is 95Ah) so I ordered a new Varta. Coincidentally I then discovered that the battery is identical to the one on my Vito van which I had replaced recently, so I managed to get one trade for “only” 130 Euro.
Next problem, the car started to leave the fans running when I switched off the engine, which flattened the battery overnight. Hmmmm. I then discovered, having tried to removed various fuses, that this car has side radiators as well as the usual front ones and no fuse would stop these fans, I had to disconnect the battery terminal every time I parked the car, hardly ideal.
So I got into contact with the nice guys at a8parts in the UK and they agreed that this was likely a failed ECU thingy which, being located under the car, will often fail on these cars ‘cos they are exposed to all the worst of the weather and road grit. So one of those arrived and I hope to get it fitted this week so news to follow, I sure hope that this will sort this problem!!
Next, the wheels. The lovely Audi 18″ alloys were looking a bit tired, not suprising with almost 200k kms under her belt. So I took the 4 wheels up to a local place, they removed the old tyres and rubbed down and painted the wheels in a lovely grey, which is called Gun Metal Grey from the Fiat paint range. In the meantime I ordered 4 new Conti tyres, and this week I had the new tyres fitted onto the new-looking wheels and then refitted them to the car. Wow, progress.
I finally managed to start the car up today and take her out of her 10 week garage/prison (covered in dust of course), up to my local car expert. Tomorrow he should fit the ECU to sort out the fans that won’t stop, and then I also gave him a full set of new Brembo discs and pads so I truly hope that I will soon have a great car!!
UPDATE today we managed to fit the ECU and YESSSSSSS the problem seems to be resolved and the fans no longer run all the time, at last!!
As previously reported, I recently took delivery of a 2005 B6 Audi S4 with that wonderful V8 4.2L engine and the Audi Quattro 4WD system. She has been very well looked after and has a full Audi service history (Audi Switzerland) so I could not ask for more and I think that the dreaded timing chain problem has also been sorted, that is a killer cos to change the chain requires the engine to come out of the car!!
The car arrived just before the dreaded virus lockdown so I have not yet been able to drive the car almost at all, just one very quick motorway trip up to Roma and back to flex her muscles. Since then she has been shut in a garage and even walking or cycling the 400m between house and garage has been difficult as the Police patrolled the town centre. So I have been visiting the car as and when I can, and I have taken a few photos just to show what I have been up to.
The car is 15 years old, she looks really good and everything seems to work from the lovely electric sunroof to the satnav to the memory seats (Audi in this case showing very good build quality, like my previous A5) BUT as she has spent most of her life between Switzerland and the UK then I assumed that the underside of the car would show some signs of the dreaded rust, which cars here in sunny Italy tend not to have until they are much older. Plus, I noted that the car battery was not the correct one (much smaller) so that needed changing, and I also saw that the alloy wheels had some scars so I planned to have them refurbished and found a local place that would do that.
When I removed the wheels my theory was proved half right and the wheel arches, suspension, brakes and all did have some signs of corrosion but not as much as I had feared, so far so good. I don’t have a ramp available so I removed the wheels one at a time and put axle stands under the car while I took the wheels away to be reworked. Some pics follow to show you the work in progress, loads more work to do but this lockdown slows deliveries down to a crawl…….UPDATE pics of my wheels being repainted just added…and a new set of Continental Sport tyres just arrived too, plus Brembo discs and pads all round!!
So the time has come to part ways with my cherished Audi A5, as well as some of my bikes. Garage space is one problem and cash flow is another as I now work part time so I have much less income of course, thus I have decided with a heavy heart to offer my lovely A5 to a new owner.
I kind of “adopted” the (2008) A5 Coupe four years ago when I found her in the corner of a used car parking lot near Roma looking very sad, scruffy and unloved. Indeed, she had been badly neglected and sat on four bald tyres and had scars all round, damage from careless parkers and door openers. The interior trim was also worn (the cloth was semi bald on the drivers seat) and she was dirty as hell. They wanted 20k Euro so I offered 15k and as I walked away the guy followed me so I knew that I should have offered less……
Long story short, I bought the car and started a labour of love to restore her to her original condition. You can read the story elsewhere on here, suffice to say that I now badly need the garage space so I must reluctantly let her go to a good home. She is in fine fettle, fully restored, looks wonderful and goes like shit off a shovel, I will post a pic below.
My old Honda VFR800 (2007) could also be up for grabs for the right money, as could my beloved restored 2010 Yamaha Giggle, pics below. Let the bidding begin…..