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AudiDoc, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 7387
Experience:  Independent European garage owner. Over 20 years experience
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Thinking of buying an A4 3.2 Quattro FSH 90K so looks to be

Customer Question

thinking of buying an A4 3.2 Quattro FSH 90K so looks to be in good shape but now hearing some nightmare stories on the cam chain needing replacing and it costing a lot of money, now not sure if to go ahead, car is on sale for £4k
Assistant: What year is your Quattro?
Customer: 2005
Assistant: Are you fixing your Quattro yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: not fixing it, I'm thinking of buying one
Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, it's all in my txts
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Audi
Expert:  AudiDoc replied 8 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** will be helping you with your Audi question.

So I'll start by saying that the trepidation is valid. If the car has a very good maintenance history, regular oil changes done at 5-7500 mile intervals, then this engine should work well for you at least until 150k miles. However, with spotty or no maintenance history, I'd be concerned. The key here is to open the bonnet when the engine is dead cold, have someone else start the car, and listen for any telltale metallic rattling near the rear of the cylinder heads. Any noises like that, and just walk away.

Please let me know if I can offer any further information.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The car has a good maintenance history and low for year mileage, I'm trying to assess the risk still, for e.g. what % of 3.2 with chain belts have issues that have been looked after, sorry to put you on the spot, I'm guessing your the best person to ask and also independent but it has made me question my decision on buying this model at all, huge thanks Rob
Expert:  AudiDoc replied 8 months ago.

Well, I have owned 2 Audis with this engine in it, or at least the US variant of it. The first one I bought to resell, knowing that it needed an engine due to a failed chain. That car had approximately 120k miles on it, and had spotty maintenance history. The second one had no problems at all with 130k on it.

As far as customer cars go, we work on a few dozen 3.2 cars, from A4s to A6s to Q5s. I will say that once they reach that 150k mark, most will show signs, either an engine light or outright running problems, that something in the chain drive has failed.

From my experience, at 90k miles, if maintenance is kept up, you should have a good 50k miles to go before a large repair is needed.