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Tech Article

Audi C5 A6 Quattro 4.2 V8 Rescuing Almost-Dead Cars

Last Updated: 09/24/2017
I'm about to start doing something peculiar on the AudiWorld forum. It's logical but not intuitively so. I feel the need to explain myself.

Essentially, I'm starting an informal matchmaking thing focused on these C5 Audi A6 Quattro 4.2 V8 cars. And no, I'm *not* selling mine here, nor anyone else's. To explain, here's some context based on a horribly-cynical timeline generalization:
  • First owner: Someone originally bought the C5 Audi A6 Quattro 4.2 V8 for a lot of money new, and he paid the dealer to maintain it nicely. When it's about ten years old, there's nothing wrong yet but he sells it because things are bound to start failing sooner or later. The guy can pay new-Audi money and he doesn't wanna deal with the anticipated unreliability. but he especially doesn't want his trophy wife to have to call a tow truck and miss her eyelashes appointment. Besides, she'd love to have a new one because they have the cool new Bluetooth feature and a back-up camera like the Mercedes-Benz SUV her friend Liz drives.
  • Second owner: The Audi gets sold to someone who starts out bravely and tries to go the dealer route, by which a ZF transmission filter will cost him $166 (actual price from my personal experience though I didn't actually buy the part from my local Audi dealer, just did a price check). Directly from ZF, that identical filter is $35 or so (yes, really). The A/C compressor is expensive at the dealer but if you know which Denso part number to buy (and I do, feel free to ask), you can get it literally at Wal-Mart new for less than $250. The Audi's second owner doesn't know this, so he tries to stay afloat but it's like dog-paddling with too-heavy lead weights. Eventually, he either drowns or cuts them loose. So, he sells the Audi, rationalizing that all the money he spent kinda sorta isn't really all that much, compared to what a new-car payment would have been.
  • The third-tier owner doesn't understand these cars and there's a high probability that his wife chews gum with her mouth open. But, wow, an Audi. So he buys it. He doesn't even pretend to go the dealer route. Hello, Autozone and the local service station on the corner. Imagine the worst nightmare August Horch could have: this is it. The car's fine engineering is trashed by someone whose mechanic skills consist mainly of claimed superiority through condescension. By denigrating the Audi, the mechanic intimidates the owner enough to choose him. The monologue might include that these cars are so fulla newfangled crap, most of this stuff is unnecessary and those gawdamm Germans make everythang so fornicating complicated and Oddies especially ... but no worries, buddy, I'll take care of it. The owner has a bad feeling about all this but he doesn't know what else to do anyway. Besides, he feels strangely owned in a sort of Alpha wolf dynamic so he doesn't feel like he can talk to the mechanic as his peer. He slinks away and hopes for the best. Pretty soon the car won't run at all any more. The mechanic is unusually truthful when the last thing he says is: "hey buddy, I don't know what to tell ya." That's the end of the cash drain, except for maybe one last tow truck session. The owner leaves the Audi parked on the street outside his apartment building until the battery is dead and either his wife badgers him long enough or the license plate tags expire. Maybe he adds in a couple of jump starts that do or don't fry any of the electronics, and then he advertises it on Craigslist for $1,000 or so.
  • These are the cars that I buy, perhaps with the brakes so bad the wheel won't even rotate any more, or bright red transmission fluid, or totally mismatched, stripped, missing or overtightened transmission pan bolts, or the engine speed sensor wires having been cut and reconnected the wrong way, or the engine speed sensor having been removed and reinstalled with the spacer missing so it hits the flywheel, or the outer tie rod end so loose that the car does a slalom even while I hold the steering wheel steady, or only one large bolt is still present, to hold the sub-frame in position ... all actual examples from the cars I bought.
I have a friend who has 37 cats. I understand why she rescues them. The same mindset inspires me to rescue C5 Audi A6 4.2 V8 cars. I've bought eight so far, as I recall. I bought a blue one as a present for my mom. I alternate between driving a black one and a silver one. And, as I recall, I have five more. I have overdraft fees in my bank account almost every week and I'm avoiding eye contact with the landlady due to all the dead Audis parked around my place. Even so, I keep finding more. I *have* to stop buying them. But, you don't.

If we don't buy these cars, they end up at Pick N Pull and that's like seeing Marilyn Monroe, no longer in her prime, selling unsafe sexual services for $20 in an alley. There's just something sacrilegious about the whole thing. It bothers me.

However, I'm no altruist. I do intend that there is a "win" in here for me too, because I own and manage a used parts company (Old Car Life Extension Systems, Inc.) that's a paid vendor on this site, and although I have yet to earn my first dollar on Audis, we do make some money on BMW and Mercedes-Benz used parts. I'm betting that if I point you to steal-of-a-deal C5 Audi A6 4.2 V8 cars going cheap, you might well also consider buying the used parts from my OCLES company especially if I point out what the almost-dead Audi needs and whether or not I have that part for sale and on hand (and if it's the transmission, then why yes, I do).

Besides, after addressing the main problem, you might well next spend the money you saved, on smaller items that you also buy from my company; convenience items or minor repair items that simply make the car more enjoyable to you.

So, if in this thread you see me pointing out used C5 Audi A6 4.2 V8 cars for sale in the greater American West, on the "go get 'em" premise, now you know why. If you're in the rust belt, then perhaps there's also just cause for you to be enthused. Within reason, I might let you temporarily use my parking lot as a staging area, plus a friend of mine has a F-350 truck he might rent out for towing, etc. So you don't HAVE to be local so as to buy a rust-free C5 Audi A6 4.2 V8 out West. Within reason, I'm happy to help since the more C5 Audi A6 4.2 V8 cars are on the road and the more helpful I am, the more likely you are to buy used parts from my company.
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