We just added another VAG vehicle to the fleet! Brittany (Lancer) has served us well but after our camping weekend last week in the B5 A4 it became quite clear we needed more room. The Lancer would have been the vehicle of choice for the camping but when I finally checked into the suspension noise a week prior to the trip I found DS/PS control arm ball joints blown, and the inner tie rod ends loose. And while the girls were driving the Green Beret leading up to the trip, I drove the Lancer to the bus stop a couple times (with the blown suspension) and ended up with a flat tire!
The other thing that really drove me nuts about the Lancer was the lack of part availability. The only 2 options were the Dealer and eBay.china. Dealer is insanely expensive (i.e. $350 for a control arm, $40 for an air filter, $120 for ONE sway bar link...) and eBay parts last about a year (3 sets of sway bar links in 3 years, latest control arm lasted about 1.5 years).
The requirements for the new vehicle were:
- Wagon, but not too big because it needs to share the garage in the winter with the B5A4.
- Budget was about $6-7k.
- Preferably VAG for part interchangeability.
- Not too nice since it's the girls' daily driver. I'd stress too much over a pristine example.
- Preferably manual, but auto is okay too.
- Decent enough condition that I don't have to rebuild the entire thing right away.
I went on Kijiji Ottawa and found a 2005 B6 A6 1.8T Avant at a little dealer on Wellington. Price seemed okay and the car looked clean. I called the number in the ad and along came... Bobbie. The fast talking stereotypical car salesman who claimed the car is in showroom condition and the best deal in town. He talked a mile a minute and on and on and on about anything and everything. I stopped in to check the car out last night (12/07/16) and he was telling me how he used to detail cars and has never seen the space between the vents and buttons so clean on any other car. I didn't say much during the 2 hours I was looking at the car, mind you I spent about 45 of those minutes on a solo test drive. I knew I wasn't going to get any reliable info from the guy. After the extended drive and a decent visual I said I'd take it. For about 30 minutes leading up to that decision he was going on and on about losing money on cars and dealing with people who low ball him and getting stuck with lemons, so when I mentioned $6k instead of $6.2 he nearly had a heart attack. I just said fine, whatever, if it got me out of there quicker it was worth the $200 bucks.
I named this car Bobbie as a reminder of the transaction, which in the end wasn't bad but definitely not straight forward.
2005 A4 1.8T Avant Automatic
Dolphin Grey, black leather interior
184000 KM with no service records. A gamble, I know...