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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm looking at buying a 2009 S5 with 45k miles on the clock. Other than the usual checks when buying a car, is there anything else I should look out for? Do other owners recommend the car? Any downside? Reliability? Known faults?
All thoughts appreciated. Thanks for the help.
 

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They are a very underrated V8 coupe! :)

Pros
Thumping V8 with gorgeous sound track
Great looking
Easy to maintain
Plenty of aftermarket parts

Cons
low mpg (but you don't buy this car for that!)
High tax (£550 a year I think)
Slightly 'lazy' V8
Auto box is the 'older' tiptronic full auto. Not suited to the V8 in my opinion.

Issues
Door handles' internal catch stick 'open' rendering the handle useless - lubing it up fixes this
Engine carbon build up - need proper clean, but not a huge problem
Clutches on manual 6 speed tend to give issues from around 40k miles
Intake flaps give some issues
Window regulator can fail, About £350 at a dealer to fix, but much cheaper elsewhere, as anything.

All round solid car! Beware there are some 'dogs' around, but a low mileage, low owner good condition one should serve very well as a toy or daily driver. Just bear in mind the above issues and look into it's history for work done on those issues.

Spend anothe £6k and whack a supercharger on there for another 500+bhp - that turns it into a decent performing V8 coupe. :)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They are a very underrated V8 coupe! :)

Pros
Thumping V8 with gorgeous sound track
Great looking
Easy to maintain
Plenty of aftermarket parts

Cons
low mpg (but you don't buy this car for that!)
High tax (£550 a year I think)
Slightly 'lazy' V8
Auto box is the 'older' tiptronic full auto. Not suited to the V8 in my opinion.

Issues
Door handles' internal catch stick 'open' rendering the handle useless - lubing it up fixes this
Engine carbon build up - need proper clean, but not a huge problem
Clutches on manual 6 speed tend to give issues from around 40k miles
Intake flaps give some issues
Window regulator can fail, About £350 at a dealer to fix, but much cheaper elsewhere, as anything.

All round solid car! Beware there are some 'dogs' around, but a low mileage, low owner good condition one should serve very well as a toy or daily driver. Just bear in mind the above issues and look into it's history for work done on those issues.

Spend anothe £6k and whack a supercharger on there for another 500+bhp - that turns it into a decent performing V8 coupe. :)

Good luck!
Thanks for the comprehensive response Dave. I forgot to mention that it's the convertible I'm going for, so the engine is actually the v6 supercharged with STronic gearbox. Thanks for the tips about things to look for and known faults. Very much appreciated.

Test drive on Sunday, fingers crossed it's a good one!
 

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Ah, ok! complete different kettle of fish!
The V6 engine is also good with main issues being;
Thermostat and water pump issues (check for overheating or temp spikes on the needle after a short drive), which should have been ironed out by now on that age of car as they appear at low miles.
The other not so common issue is the intercoolers in the supercharger can leak into the engine giving head gasket failure symptoms, but is actually just the intercooler leaking.
Make sure the oil changes have been done as early chained engines can suffer with tensioner or stretching issues. Listen for rattles or lumpy idle (normally means the chain has already stretched or jumped a tooth or 2.

The early S-tronic gearbox did suffer from mechatronic valve and sensor issues. Relative simple fix, but a gearbox dismantle is required.

But again check the above in the history to see if these have been rectified. Modified versions of the issue parts are now available and fitted if rectified.
 

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Ps, if you know anyone with VAG com or VCDs, take the diagnostic reader with you. A member on here bought an S5 and had the dreaded Gearbox malfunction warning with a day of buying it second hand. A diagnostic scan showed them that the previous owner know about it as the fault was logged in the ECU.

Not trying to cause fear on your test drive, but normally if there is a gearbox issue it should show after a decent test drive. Make sure gear changes a smooth and don't hang in gear.
 

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@Gerrard - have you done any research on the B8? It is not my place to dissuade you from your purchase but please be warned that a lot of owners have suffered from faults with the 0B5 DL501 s-tronic gearbox fitted to the early models. No disrespect to Dave but the faults have gone beyond just mechatronics and shift sensor. Yes if the diagnostic can prove the known faults then repair is possible, but expensive, yet we have read reports of owners having such fixes done but the further problems remain. FYI Audi revised the gearbox in 2011 and again in 2013. As Dave suggests you'll need to be sure of any history of gearbox work done and also servicing. That car must have had at least one gearbox oil change

Again as Dave advised listen for timing chain rattle (rear of the engine). I would also suggest shining your torch/flashlight (which you will have with you of course ;-)) down into the front of the engine to see the two drive belts. Look for any signs of movement on the pulleys. The crank pulley is 2-piece with polymer damper and this has been known to fail (and 45K is not too early for that). It's not too expensive to fix but it would be good to know about it.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, ok! complete different kettle of fish!
The V6 engine is also good with main issues being;
Thermostat and water pump issues (check for overheating or temp spikes on the needle after a short drive), which should have been ironed out by now on that age of car as they appear at low miles.
The other not so common issue is the intercoolers in the supercharger can leak into the engine giving head gasket failure symptoms, but is actually just the intercooler leaking.
Make sure the oil changes have been done as early chained engines can suffer with tensioner or stretching issues. Listen for rattles or lumpy idle (normally means the chain has already stretched or jumped a tooth or 2.

The early S-tronic gearbox did suffer from mechatronic valve and sensor issues. Relative simple fix, but a gearbox dismantle is required.

But again check the above in the history to see if these have been rectified. Modified versions of the issue parts are now available and fitted if rectified.
Thanks for the update. I'll keep an eye out for all you highlight. I'm guessing that the chain issues will be reasonably apparent if I look for them? I'm aware of the gearbox issues but have read that regular oil changes reduce the risk. It's one of the first jobs I'm going to have done if I buy it.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ps, if you know anyone with VAG com or VCDs, take the diagnostic reader with you. A member on here bought an S5 and had the dreaded Gearbox malfunction warning with a day of buying it second hand. A diagnostic scan showed them that the previous owner know about it as the fault was logged in the ECU.

Not trying to cause fear on your test drive, but normally if there is a gearbox issue it should show after a decent test drive. Make sure gear changes a smooth and don't hang in gear.
Good thought. Unfortunately I don't know anyone with one, but when I read your comment yesterday I order an Ancel OBD2 code reader from Amazon. Unfortunately I couldn't get the 500 in time (which is apparently tailored for VAG), so had to get the 310. Tried it out and it seems to functions fine. Just as long as it highlights and codes, it should be all I need when inspecting the car. If I buy it, I'll probably invest in a full Ross-Tech VCD.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Gerrard - have you done any research on the B8? It is not my place to dissuade you from your purchase but please be warned that a lot of owners have suffered from faults with the 0B5 DL501 s-tronic gearbox fitted to the early models. No disrespect to Dave but the faults have gone beyond just mechatronics and shift sensor. Yes if the diagnostic can prove the known faults then repair is possible, but expensive, yet we have read reports of owners having such fixes done but the further problems remain. FYI Audi revised the gearbox in 2011 and again in 2013. As Dave suggests you'll need to be sure of any history of gearbox work done and also servicing. That car must have had at least one gearbox oil change

Again as Dave advised listen for timing chain rattle (rear of the engine). I would also suggest shining your torch/flashlight (which you will have with you of course ;-)) down into the front of the engine to see the two drive belts. Look for any signs of movement on the pulleys. The crank pulley is 2-piece with polymer damper and this has been known to fail (and 45K is not too early for that). It's not too expensive to fix but it would be good to know about it.
Hi Dippy - Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am aware of the issues with the S-Tronic gearbox fitted to the earlier cars, but believe that this is mitigated with prompt oil changes? I would look for a later car (which I believe has a better gearbox), but it's beyond my budget.

Guess all I can do is check if it has already started to log faults, and provided it hasn't make sure I get the oil changed immediately and then regularly as required. Not sure what else I can do? I know there are many people that have experienced problems, but overall what proportion of cars does this cover? I suppose what I'm saying is that people only complain when things go wrong, and not when they are reliable. So maybe the number of owners with problems is over represented on forums compared to those that haven't. I dunno, it's a tricky one.

Incidentally, talking to the dealer he can't find any evidence of a gearbox oil change from the receipts, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. As it's on 45k miles, and the oil should have been changed at 38k, getting it changed 7k late shouldn't be too bad provided I get it done ASAP?

What do you think?

Thanks again for your thoughts and wish me luck for the test drive tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Incidentally, I spoke to Audi about the cost of the gearbox oil change and they quoted £190 which sounded pretty reasonable. I also spoke to Awesome Gti in Manchester (used them previously to maintain my Golf 1.8T) and they said there are actually 3 compartments in the gearbox that each need their oil changed, quoting £500-600!

When I told them what Audi quoted he suggested that they may only be doing the oil in one of the compartments?
Does anyone know anything about gearbox oil changes and which of the above is correct?
 

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Yeah Awesome are correct, but the centre diff and front diff don't need to be changed like the main gearbox oil. Audi will change just the gearbox oil and filter.

Good luck today!
 

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@Gerrard - you are absolutely right - these forums can make issues sound worse than reality. When I moved from the B5 to the B8 forums I quickly became aware of the reports about gearbox problems so I read a lot. But I do remember an owner of a 2010 S4 (could have been this forum) whose 'box was fine. I would agree that there have been a lot of people who reported problems who then admitted that they missed the oil change. And indeed there have been those who had problems which got better after an oil change. However those don't include when the DIS comes up with a 'reduced functionality' type warning for the 'box. That's when one of the repairs is needed. If I remember we have seen:
Sensor fault (I think this is for the selection lever)
Mechatronics failure (needs replacing but I believe there is a repair kit for a related fault)
PCB failure (bad heat protection - so it needs to be replaced)
Clutchpacks overheating

On the 2009-2011 gearbox there were 2 external oil filters which were supposedly 'lifetime' fitment. When the 'box was revised the bigger in-line one was deleted and the remaining one became a service item.

The same box fitted to the RS4/5 has a recommendation to change the gear oils at 19K as well as the ATF at 38K. Myself and others will nevertheless have the gear oils changed on our 'boxes just to be sure. My ATF was done at 3 years/13K and I'll have the ATF and gear oils changed at 6 years. Same with my sports diff - Audi say no changes required for the S5 but I'll have the ATF and gear oils changed at 5 years.
 

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Hey there, I have a 2011 Audi S5 3.0T Cabriolet and can vouch for saying it is an awesome car to drive ?

I have had mine for around 8 months and have had one major issue which was an intermittent battery charging fault which is kind of fixed.

I do find it can use a bit of oil when pushed but then it is mentioned in the manual that you need to check the oil every 1000kms.

Like others mentioned, water pump and Mechatronics unit seem to be the big ones, I was lucky in that the previous owner faced the dreaded mechatronics issue and Audi fixed it under warranty.

If it's a convertible, check that the rear glass is not detaching from the canvas and also the acoustic lining is not coming off as well. Very common on these cars especially in the heat.

Just thought I'd mention that there is a cheaper alternative to VAGCOM called OBDEleven. I brought one for my Audi when it experienced the charging fault - was actually a life saver as it showed me the voltage being put out before I set off on any journey. You install the OBDEleven app to your phone and it connects via bluetooth to the OBD dongle. You can use it to reset fault codes and service warnings, send fault codes to your email for further investigation in Google as well as make quick changes to the long coding by purchasing credits (or getting daily credits each time you connect to it) for things such as opening the MMI hidden menu, adding the battery level to the Car menu option, dipping the passenger mirror when reversing and some other cool stuff too. Have a look at: https://www.autoinstruct.com.au/product/obdeleven-v2-pro-pack-audi-skoda-volkswagen-diagnostics/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey there, I have a 2011 Audi S5 3.0T Cabriolet and can vouch for saying it is an awesome car to drive ?

I have had mine for around 8 months and have had one major issue which was an intermittent battery charging fault which is kind of fixed.

I do find it can use a bit of oil when pushed but then it is mentioned in the manual that you need to check the oil every 1000kms.

Like others mentioned, water pump and Mechatronics unit seem to be the big ones, I was lucky in that the previous owner faced the dreaded mechatronics issue and Audi fixed it under warranty.

If it's a convertible, check that the rear glass is not detaching from the canvas and also the acoustic lining is not coming off as well. Very common on these cars especially in the heat.

Just thought I'd mention that there is a cheaper alternative to VAGCOM called OBDEleven. I brought one for my Audi when it experienced the charging fault - was actually a life saver as it showed me the voltage being put out before I set off on any journey. You install the OBDEleven app to your phone and it connects via bluetooth to the OBD dongle. You can use it to reset fault codes and service warnings, send fault codes to your email for further investigation in Google as well as make quick changes to the long coding by purchasing credits (or getting daily credits each time you connect to it) for things such as opening the MMI hidden menu, adding the battery level to the Car menu option, dipping the passenger mirror when reversing and some other cool stuff too. Have a look at: https://www.autoinstruct.com.au/product/obdeleven-v2-pro-pack-audi-skoda-volkswagen-diagnostics/
Hey Audi S5 Aus - Thank for all your info, really helpful. I've actually bought the car now, so I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed I have a good one, or if anything does go wrong, it does so during my 3 month warranty! Oh, and on the 'heat', I'm in the UK! :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, so I went to see the car on Monday and it was immaculate. Couldn't find a fault on visual inspection, OBD showed no problems and the test drive was great. So I bought it :D

Collected the car on Thursday and drove it back from the Nottingham area to Cheshire and it performed perfectly. Can't find confirmation in the service history that it's had the S-Tronic oil changed so that's booked into Audi (just this once) on 29th to get that done. They offered to 'check' if anything else was required while it was in, so it will be interesting to see if they 'find' anything. If it's small I'll let them do it while it's there.

So so far I'm delighted with it. It's in fantastic condition and damn quick when I've needed to overtake, though I'm still taking it easy while I get familiar with it.

Lastly, thanks to everyone for their guidance above, it's much appreciated and I'll be updating this forum with anything useful I learn to help 'pay it back'.
Have a terrific Christmas all!
 

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Hey Audi S5 Aus - Thank for all your info, really helpful. I've actually bought the car now, so I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed I have a good one, or if anything does go wrong, it does so during my 3 month warranty! Oh, and on the 'heat', I'm in the UK! :LOL:
Haha! Ex. UK person too, in that case hopefully the rain doesn't cause any issues ?

Oh! One other thing to think about if interested (probably after the 3 month warranty), watch this video on YouTube, it seriously has me tempted:
?
 

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They offered to 'check' if anything else was required while it was in, so it will be interesting to see if they 'find' anything.
Of course they will find something ;)

Congrats on your purchase. :)
 

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Congrats!!
It might already be remapped!? But they do feel quick as standard! :)

As Dippy says, the dealer will most probably say this 'might' need changing, but at least you'll know if anything is a miss! Kinda like a a multi point check done by the dealer whilst there, so win win! :)

I took mine in for a recall and the service due came up just before. I checked the history and it had a major service 5k miles prior to me buying it, including oil, gearbox, brakes etc so I knew it was just the time based service of a brake fluid change - but they suggest I do the full £450 service!! :) Maybe that's why they messed mine up on the recall!! ;)
 

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Thanks for the update. I'll keep an eye out for all you highlight. I'm guessing that the chain issues will be reasonably apparent if I look for them? I'm aware of the gearbox issues but have read that regular oil changes reduce the risk. It's one of the first jobs I'm going to have done if I buy it.

Thanks again.
Have a good look at the rear window and how well its bonded, repairing it is a nightmare!
 
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