Cerebral Gibberish

What's on my mind, might just blow yours.

All Aligned Up

Posted by heymoe on 20th November 2007

Just got back from getting an alignment done to the Audi and overall everything checked out except for the front left wheel. The toe adjustment was out just a tad but it’s all better now. I was expecting the front right (driver side) wheel to be out of alignment but it was fine.

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Tires: Phew

Posted by heymoe on 18th November 2007

I have not even had the Eagle F1 All Season tires on my car for a week yet and I already found a screw stuck in the rear driver side tire. Luckily the screw was short (just slightly longer then the depth of the threads) and did not seem puncture all the way through. Phew!

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New Tires

Posted by heymoe on 14th November 2007

Goodyear Eagle F1 A/S

Well I finally broke down and bought some new tires for the Audi yesterday. The first set of tires I got with the Audi were Continental somethings and they did not last that long. If I remember right I just barely got a year out of them and only put at most 10,000 miles on them. The next set of tires I bought to were Avon Tech M550 A/S which I purchased from The Tire Rack. They provide a lot of information and customer reviews as well as their own in house testing of a lot of different tries. The other plus side is that they seem to have cheaper prices compared to buying them locally. This was my first time buying tires online and they made the process very simple. They have a list of recommend installers that you can search though to find one close to you and then ships the tires to the installer directly so all you have to do is schedule an appointment with the installer. You basically pay The Tire Rack for the tires and shipping and pay the installer to get them mounted and balanced. Any ways, the Avon’s seemed to be an upgrade over the Continental’s but toward the end of their life they got really noisy to the point that I thought I had a bad wheel bearing. The Avon’s did last 8 months longer and I was able to get about 15,000 miles out of them which is better but I was expecting more.

Goodyear Eagle F1 A/S
Goodyear Eagle F1 A/S

So I spent about a week looking into what tires to get next. I originally was going to get four BridgeStone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position, I then switched to Pirelli PZero Nero M/S since a lot of people at Audi World recommended them. Then I came across a new tire from Goodyear called the Eagle F1 All Season. There were the same price as the Pirelli’s and cheaper then the BridgeStone’s and from the initial reviews seemed to offer the same level of performance plus had some new features that have trickled down from racing tires like carbon fiber reinforced sidewalls. Being that these tires went on sale a few months ago, there are not many high mileage customer reviews yet so hopefully they will do as well as the Avon’s but I’m hopping better. I was going to buy the tires from The Tire Rack but got lucky and found a local dealer that quoted me $752 for four tires and installation which was around $30 cheaper then The Tire Rack and I could get them installed the same day. Goodyear also has a $50 rebate promotion on the tires so that was a nice bonus as well.

Any ways, I’ve only put around 35 miles on the new tires and the Audi is driving so much better now plus it no longer sounds like my wheel bearings are going bad. I have not pushed them yet since I want to get an alignment done first, which I have scheduled for Tuesday. Hopefully these tires won’t let me down.

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Another Car Update

Posted by heymoe on 23rd September 2007

Took the car back to the dealer last Thursday to get the head light level sensor and a clamp on the bottom of the car replaced since they did not have the parts last week. They are also going to check out the new leak that popped up after I picked the car up last week.

When I got there and it turned out they did not order the retaining clamp but did have the head light level sensor so they were able to at least to that. The leak turned out to be to be a broken head light washer valve and not a coolant leak. They said that since this was a new problem they should have changed me my deductible again but said they would cover it this time. Granted if they did charge me my deductible again I would have bitched since I’m sure it was something that got broke when they took the front end of the car off to do the water pump. It looks like I’ll have to go to the dealer one more time to get that retaining clamp replace.. Joy!

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Any ways, the dealer was getting their showroom ready for the unveiling of the new R8 road car later that day. The R8 road car was under covers on one side of the showroom so I could not take any pictures of it but they had a R8 Le Mans race car on the other side of the showroom so I took a few pictures of it. It’s an amazing looking car in person if I must say.

More Pictures

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Woot! All Fixed.. Sort of..

Posted by heymoe on 13th September 2007

My Audi service representative called me yesterday morning to let me know that my car would be ready to pick up after 1pm. She gave me a quick run down on the status of all the service items in which most of my nit-picking items were either “Thats normal” or “Could not reproduce”. She reported that the tech that did the test drive said the wheel bearing noise I reported is actually just worn tires. I’m still skeptical but at this point the only way to prove it is to buy new tires which I need to do any ways.

After being stuck in another more or less useless meeting at work, I made it to the dealer just in time to pick up the car. Even though the water pump service was covered under warranty, the bill for the timing belt service, 60K service and labor not covered by the warranty ended up being a little over $969.91 ($557.29 Parts, $305.00 Labor, $70 Misc and $37.62 Taxes). After looking up the cost of the parts online, it looks the dealer has a 200% mark up on their parts. I could have bought all the parts online for ~$275. I guess next time I’ll plan ahead and bring all the parts for the service with me and just have them install them.

I guess the silver lining is that if I did not have the warranty, this service would have ended up costing me around ~$2,000 or more.

Now for the “Sort of” part. They did not have all the parts to fix a few of the smaller items so I will have to bring the car back to the dealer next Thursday. I should be able to wait for these items to be installed. Then again, I noticed a small puddle of what seems to be coolant under the front passenger side of the car at lunch time and again when I left work. I’m keeping my eye on it but if it continues, it looks like they will have to keep the car longer. If this happens I hope I get a newer A6 loaner.

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Car Update…

Posted by heymoe on 10th September 2007

I got up early this morning to get the car to the dealer to get worked on. I called Audi’s roadside assistance and got the tow truck rolling. They originally said it would be 1 – 1.5 hours for the truck to arrive but luckily it only took them 20 minutes to show up. The tow truck driver was really cool but I don’t remember his name off the top of my head. Delivering the car to the dealer was interesting as we lowered the car into a parking space. At the angle it was being let down from the flat bed it looked like my car was going to do a face plant right into the road but everything worked out just fine.

04AudiA4_1-DFront

After that I went and talked with the service representative to go over the items to be worked on. I provided her with a list of small nit-picky items on top of the 60K service, noise / coolant leak, wheel bearing noise check items. I then signed the paper work, was handed the keys to the 2004 A4 loaner and headed to work.

04AudiA4_1-PRear

On a side note, back when I was car shopping, the A4 was originally on my list but after looking and sitting in them decided to get the A6 for more room in the rear. Driving to lunch today in the loaner re-enforced the fact that I made the right decision since Justin’s legs were pretty much smashed into the back of the front passenger seat. I’m pretty sure no one could have sat behind me in the driver seat since I had it all the way back for my long legs.

Any ways, I got an update call from my service representative at 5:10pm telling me that the water pump was definitely the cause of the problems and since coolant got on the timing belt both the water pump and the timing belt would get replaced under warranty. I told her to go ahead and replace all the other items related to the timing belt service while they were in there so it looks like in the long run this minor inconvenience will pay off. They won’t be able to tell me about the wheel bearing and a few other things until they get all that replaced and do a road test. They estimated I would get the car back late Wednesday or Thursday. They quoted me an unofficial and most likely high estimate of $800 when everything is said and done. I estimated that the timing belt parts and the added labor to do the work not covered under warranty would be $400. I expect the wheel bearing to be around $200 so we are close to the $800 but I’ll have to wait and see.

Stay tuned..

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Scheduled Tow…

Posted by heymoe on 6th September 2007

Hehe.. So it turns out you can’t schedule Roadside Assistance ahead of time :P. Oh well, guess I’ll just wake up early on Monday and call them to come tow my car to the dealer.

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Oh Nos! I’ve Sprung a Leak!

Posted by heymoe on 5th September 2007

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Well on Tuesday when I got to work I noticed a odd sound coming from the car when I opened the door while it was idling. It sounded like something rolling / rattling around in a tin can toward the very front of the car. I turned the AC off to see if the noise would go away and it didn’t. The noise did change as I revved the engine so it would seem to be something run by one of the belts. Well I am just about due for my 60K service so I called and scheduled an appointment to get the service done and to check on this new noise as well as a few other items like my wheel bearings.

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Leaving work the car started fine but the noise seemed louder then it was in the morning and a few guys from the office even heard it from across the parking lot. I got home without any problems but I was taking it easy and kept my eyes on the gauges just in case it the noise was the water pump giving up the ghost. The engine was running fine but still making that noise so I shut it down. I popped the hood and pulled out a light to see if I could see anything but the way the engine is crammed into the front of the car I could not really see anything wrong.

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This morning I decided to take the motorcycle to work and upon opening the garage door I noticed water dripping from the bottom of the door. I thought to myself “Humm.. thats odd, I didn’t think it rained last night”. As I got closer to the back of the car I noticed two puddles of liquid that lead to the front of the car… Not Good. I could not see where it was coming from since the the bottom of the car has a cover under the engine so I could only tell it was coming from somewhere under the cover. I’m pretty sure the liquid is coolant since it looked like water (not thick like oil) but had a slight slickness to it and look kind of red / pinkish maybe (says the guy that is color blind). Since my car is manual, it can’t be Automatic transmission fluid, granted I’m sure the manual gear box has some fluid in it but I think it would be dripping further back. So it looks like I’ll be towing the car to the dealer on Monday and I’ll be riding the motorcycle until then. The dealer should provide me with a loaner on Monday.

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Now I guess some good news might come out of this if it does turn out to be the water pump. My Certified Pre-Owned warranty should cover the cost of replacing the pump and since the water pump is driven by the timing-belt, they are going to have to dismantle the whole front of the car just to replace the pump. So while they are in there I’ll tell them to go ahead and replace the timing belt since most of the cost of replacing the timing belt is labor due to having to dismantle the front of the car. Crossing my fingers.

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Singing in the rain..

Posted by heymoe on 26th August 2007

Actually I washed my car in the rain today, no singing involved, to let mother nature help me with the rinse cycle. Just trying to do my part with the water restrictions. The rain did not last all that long and did not come down that hard but some rain is better then no rain.

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