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Thinking about buying a 2003 RS6

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Thinking about buying a 2003 RS6

Old 01-02-2013, 11:35 PM
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Default Thinking about buying a 2003 RS6

Hey all,

I'm new to this forum, just signed up now that I'm considering buying a 2003 RS6. I'm hoping to get some pointers from current/past RS6 owners and/or anyone who has some experience with them.

First off, are there any obvious issues I should be on the lookout for when I go to look at one? Any specific questions I should ask about past problems/issues? What I mean here is any RS6-specific issue, I'm not looking for the generic buying-a-used-car tips.

Second, I'm planning to go look at one tomorrow (see link: 2003 Audi RS6 with upgrades, excellent condition!). It is for sale by the (second) owner for $21,595, has 93,000 miles, and according to the post has had all the periodic maintenance done as recommended by Audi. Also, it has an MTM TCU installed, as well as a Eurocharged ECU upgrade tune. Are these items something that will drastically alter the reliability of the car and should be avoided?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback/advice I can get! Thanks in advance!
Old 01-27-2013, 12:40 AM
audiprotein's Avatar
3rd Gear
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,254

Did you buy it?
The price seems to be a bit high.
Look at all available service records.
The two biggest issues with these cars are:
1. Transmission.
2. DRC suspension.

Transmission could fail at any mileage, rebuild would be around 4.5K ( not at the dealer)
Suspension - you can always get a set of nice coilvers instead of drc.
Other than that, lots of things could go wrong, the difference is only in $ parts.
Also, lots of sensor located under the engine, and if they go wrong, engine must be pulled/ lifted.
Old 02-24-2013, 04:13 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5

What specifically goes wrong with the transmissions? This is my biggest fear about buying a pre-owned RS 6. I am aware of the cost of brake parts, tires, oil changes, t-belt/water pump changes, fuel economy but I don't want to be out 5 grand in the event of a transmission problem. I prefer a manual anyway; I wonder if it would be less expensive to swap an 01E manual in there in the event of a failure.

How are the turbos on these cars? I've heard of a lot of B5 S4's needing turbos replaced.

I was under the impression that there was a TSB or recall out for the DRC?

I do not plan on driving this car every day, or even every weekend. I really want a large, powerful cruiser and the RS 6 has always appealed to me. I do my own maintenance although I have never serviced an Audi before. I could probably do the regular maintenance though advanced troubleshooting I would have to leave up to one of my Porsche/Audi master tech friends.

Last edited by MazterDizazter; 02-24-2013 at 04:16 PM.
Old 02-25-2013, 01:36 PM
audiprotein's Avatar
3rd Gear
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,254

This transmission was not made to handle 450hp and soo much tq.
With the tune, it become even less reliable.
Usually TC goes bad, as in 2003 models there was something wrong with the seals.

There are lots of options for an upgrade and rebuild. But thats about $4.5K.
I might be mistaken, but i've seen only one person with 120k miles + on stock tranny.

You can use this FACT when you negotiate on price.
There are also a lot of them for sale now with already rebuilt transmissions and lots of other goodies. A few of them are on rs6.com

DRC will start leaking eventually, and you could replace it with a good coilover kit ($1500-$2500)

Turbos are good, they are KO4 (unlike ko3 in s4).

The biggest issue is that if lets say primary 02 sensor fails, you will need to pull your engine (not really, just to lift it up high enough). But its a time consuming, and unless you know somebody (or a good shop), dealer will charge you thousands.

That's why a lot of people change egt and 02 sensors when they do transmission work.

The manual swap has been done, i believe there are about 10-12 cars like that in the States.
I would say, on average it would cost you about $7-8K.

Its a really fun car to drive.
If you are really set on getting it, do some research (rs6.com) and make sure that lots of things has been already fixed/changed.
Good luck
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