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Right...bear with me on this.... Unusual Question.....but it is bugging me.

Quick background............
Currently own a ’99 BMW 8 Series which I am contemplating replacing with the S5. Whilst waiting for the DSG to arrive, I’m pondering the merits of the 3.0 TDi over the S5. My diesel powered experiences are limited to my ’07 Defender...(yes, I know...different ball-park).
I have driven the A5 3.0TDi and was stunned by the car (fabulous...I needed a neck-brace).

Moving on......What bugs me is the NOISE a diesel engine makes!!

The NEW A5 TDi was very QUIET. Yet without exception, every diesel car (BMW, Merc, Audi – you name it) over 1 year old that I have ever listened to, sounds like a flipping tractor. My neighbour has a 1 year-old Diesel A4 & it is definitely a tractor!

The thought of buying (I don’t lease, tending to keep cars for 6-7 yrs) into that and then a year later suffering this horrendous racket as I drive puts me right off.

We all know that cars get noisier as they get older (do they – or is it subjective?) but why should a diesel become SO bad.....?

Any thoughts guys? Old age must be creeping up on me to suffer noise less.......!

Dave
 

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The 3.0TDI shouldn't get noisier. I've did almost 17,000 miles in mine and it's still the same.

But as usual with diesels, when they're cold they are oviously more noisy, the 3.0TDI is no exception, however, when it warms up it's far quieter. But in general, it's very quiet as it is. I actually like the sound, particularly on the motorway when the turbo is spinning away.

Even if it were to get noisier, when it comes to service time, that's often rectified.
 

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Most of the noise on older diesels is from the fuel pumps. They got noisier as they got older and wore more creating greater tolerances and then more movement and slap as the parts collided. The new pumps are electric and almost no noise. Hence the elimination of more noise as the parts wear.
 

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Yes, the new common-rail diesels are more quiet than the old pump dieseles such as the A4 B7/A6 2.0 TDI which isn't common-rail and makes quite a bit more sound than the Audi 3.0 TDI (or the new A4 B8 2.0 TDI common-rail) which has been common-rail for some time now....

However, cold even the common-rail diesels still make a clacking sound when accelerating... for someone coming from gasoline this may be a turn off so I suggest test drives in various weather and engine conditions (as well as on highway, city center etc.) to see how you like it.
 

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I have done 17,000 in mine after having a wonderful sounding v6 Alfa for 3 years and I can say for sure that it does not sound any louder or irritating now than when i first tested it. Any passenger comments have been positive too. Once it is warm, which does not seem to take nearly as long as with our older family diesel car, it is hard to detect the diesel clatter. In contrast, i tested a 3 series BMW 335d (which is faster) but the noise from that car was much more evident, so the other comments about engine design are true- designs are improving. In fact i tried a new VW Tiguan for the family car and despite some slightly adverse reports, I was amazed at the engine's ability to rev to 5,000 rpm so smoothly I began to suspect we had a petrol car with the wrong badge on it!

I know this is dangerous to say, but i suspect that if I was offered a swap for an S5 I would need to think a fair while before choosing it as a long term alternative to the A5; while I would love the extra performance and long for the "music" of a V8 "on song" I might be worn down with the trips to the filling station and generally higher running costs. Having said that think my heart would eventually overrule my head....:D

Turning back to the noise question, I find that I am adapting my driving style to drive in the narrower band of power and sweeter running of the 3tdi and if i had a synchronized sound recording of the noise of a v6 petrol engine playing through the sound system instead of the more muted "woosh" of the diesel, I would be completely happy. Irritating noise is not one of the minus points I would say about this engine, so if that is all that is holding you back, buy it!
The only negatives I find on the engine are- slightly too narrow power band, and difficulty judging (by engine sound) the best point to change up when in a "hurry" :).
 
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