Acid can be a dodgy thing. You don’t really want to drink it unless it’s acetic acid on your chips or citric acid in G&T. In the days when Mrs. Shedd made jam sandwiches for Shedd’s lunch, he regularly picked up a whiff of the stronger, more potent industrial acids whenever he opened the Tupperware box. He’s never been able to prove anything in a court of law, but he knows for a fact that she once put nifty bleach on a toilet seat before his morning constitutional. This resulted in some ill-fitting foam to the undercarriage and a fair amount of screeching.
Human skin is acidic, and fortunately it’s pretty weak, but when you look at many German cars of a certain age, you wonder about their chemical reaction to the paint you used to put the switches and the like. Just like Mrs. Shedd, those rubbery things seem to react very poorly to human touch.
Today’s sub-£1,500 offering, the Audi A4 Avant, is a good example of this strange phenomenon. The coatings on pretty much all of its delicate surfaces – the switches, gear knob, steering wheel – have deteriorated badly. However, the rest of the proposal seems borderline intriguing. why? Because this is not common or park 1.8 Petrol or 1.9 Diesel A4. It’s a 3.0-liter, 30-valve six-cylinder petrol engine, which puts it behind the S4’s 4.2-liter V8 in the second-generation A4 ranking.
When you’re new, you can pair that 3.0 engine with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a faulty and troublesome Multitronic CVT, both of which will be front wheel drivers. You can have it with quattro all-wheel drive and a Tiptronic. Or, if you’re a solidly built PH manager the kind that climbs hard into the greasy pole of life, you can have it with a quattro and six-speed manual transmission. Saints should be praised, that is what we have here today.
You would do well if you had any type of B6 A4 Avant as your company’s engine in 2003. Even the base model was considered a nice and thoughtful choice. 3.0 was IDGAF’s choice. It made 217 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 221 lb-ft at a more useful 3200 rpm. That was enough to propel his well-resolved 1,570kg form at 150 mph, on his path potentially covering a dash from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.
If the B6’s famous hard seats could do the talking, they might now say “I’m telling you we’re right” because for the best part of two decades after this car derailed the line, there was very little wear or boosted landing in the show. They’re not leather, which is a shame, but had it been asking price it would probably have been more than £1,490.
Assuming you can afford to run on a 3.0 six – the fuel will be gone at 25 mpg if you’re lucky, 20 or less if you’re not, and the tax is £360 a year – what do you expect to go wrong? Well, if you hear a cracking sound from the upper end, it may be due to wear of the muzzle lobes. This mainly affected the 2002 cars but was not limited to them. The timing belt, water pump, and thermostat definitely needed to be changed every 75,000 miles, and this wasn’t an easy or cheap job. The PCV system can clog and damage the vacuum hoses for fun. Gaps can leak, coolant temperature sensors and catalytic converters fail, wheel bearings fail, and, of course, coils explode.
At mileage of more than 100,000 miles, you need to monitor the fuel pump and dual-mass flywheel. In general, the motor is a solid and stable unit that responds well to supercharging. Inside, the B6 glove boxes are notorious for breaking. Around the back, sub-structures and floors rust. As well as wheel arches. Easily there was no mention of corrosion in any of the previous MOTs going back to 2007.
The current MOT on this car is good through the end of August, and has only two slight jolts, one for a less-than-ideal steering gear and one for non-excessive oil leakage, which likely explains the presence of the oil bottle in the boot. This is unusual for one of these actually. The oil is leaking and not the bottle is in the boot. Shed keeps a bottle in front of everything that drives her, but in his case it usually has a brown beer bottle from a supermarket brand.