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'06-'09 A8 quality/reliability compared to BMW 750li

Audi A8 This full sized Audi A8 sedan offers interior luxury and spaciousness comparable to any car in the full sized luxury sedan class

'06-'09 A8 quality/reliability compared to BMW 750li

  #1  
Old 05-24-2011, 11:09 AM
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Default '06-'09 A8 quality/reliability compared to BMW 750li

I'm in the market for a flagship sedan. I've always owned Japanese and been happy with the quality of the engineering, but not thrilled w/ some of the style and performance.

I drove the BMW 750li and like it a lot, but from what I read, it's just not a well built machine (oil leaks, problematic electronics, constant error messages, etc.).

Some people will comment that buying an "exotic" luxury machine means more cost and more frequent upkeep. I disagree. When I spend more money, I expect better quality and better engineering than a $20k Honda, not just nicer leather and a bigger motor.

How does the A8 compare to the 750li from a reliability perspective? Also, are these newer A8's somewhat "shade-tree mechanic" friendly?

A big turn-off for me will be if I have to go to the dealer to change a battery or to do a brake job. In 20+ years of owning cars, I've never paid someone to do my brakes.

Are oil leaks a problem with A8's? I just don't have any tolerance for these kinds of problems......a $90k car's enginer shouldn't leak like an AMF Harley Davidson! With today's gasket and machining technology, there's no excuse for persistent oil leaks in an engine. Even my 2000 Corvette doesn't leak the slightest bit.

The BMW's also seem to have a lot of transmission failures. How does the A8 tranny hold up? I usually buy cars w/ 60k miles and keep them past 160k.....no issue w/ a well maintained Japanese car.

I saw someone post a 75k mile service was done at a dealer. What needs to be done to an A8 at 75k miles? Is is just fluids? Usually these dealer service intervals are just a way to "scam" money from the customer. They don't adjust valves, tune the motor or do anything of real value other than "check" everything and change fluids. Would I have to go to a dealer at 75k miles just to have them turn off my check engine light?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
 

Last edited by duck3986; 05-24-2011 at 11:28 AM.
  #2  
Old 05-24-2011, 01:01 PM
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With a Bentley manual, Vagcom diagnostic program/cable and huge forum support system, the A8 id shade tree mechanic car.

I've had an A8 ('01 D2) for 7 years (10 years old now) and put 75K miles on it...have never had an oil leak. 95% of the work I've done (minimal repair) has been scheduled maintenance.

Beemers are not famous for dependability....but that is only one factor in many for a car's desirability, esp if you do your own tooling...I've spent less on self-maintenance on my A8 than a VW sold at less than half the price.

Comparing A8 to 750li is meaningless...two different animals.
A8 is a 4-wheel drive, efficient, powerful, unique all aluminum masterpiece.
The 750 is a MUCH heavier, 2 wheel drive, one on every block, gas-sucking rich housewife car.
 

Last edited by silverd2; 05-24-2011 at 05:55 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-24-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by duck3986 View Post
I saw someone post a 75k mile service was done at a dealer. What needs to be done to an A8 at 75k miles? Is is just fluids? Usually these dealer service intervals are just a way to "scam" money from the customer. They don't adjust valves, tune the motor or do anything of real value other than "check" everything and change fluids. Would I have to go to a dealer at 75k miles just to have them turn off my check engine light?
100% agree with silverd2 on the Bentley & Vagcom (VCDS at Ross-tech.com).
Worth every cent.

You can view the maintenance schedules at http://www.audiusa.com/us/brand/en/o...intenance.html

I recently had the dealer do the 75K service on mine simply because I don't have the space or tools at my apartment and am between houses.
Nor do I have the time right now to do my own major repairs.

The big reason for the 75K is the timing belt. Some years have belts, some chains.
MANY owners change their own belts and rent the tool for it.

As someone who grew up as a mechanic I wouldn't hesitate to work on this car.
Between the Bentley and VCDS you are well covered.
Even if you don't want to attempt a repair you are going into a dealership or indy with an ace up your sleeve knowing what the problem is.

I've seen no leaks and am at 78,500 miles.

On a side note I looked very seriously at a 750li.
My brother who is also a mechanic and a wholesaler had the same concerns and thoughts and echoed what silverd2 said.
The biggest reason I'm glad I went Audi is that some weeks I work from home and the car never moves.
On a BMW you have to flip a breaker, on an Audi it shuts things down to protect the battery voltage level.
 

Last edited by jakematic; 05-24-2011 at 02:01 PM. Reason: forgot BMW reply
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