I purchased a ’98 Audi A4 from Livermore Audi (Livermore, Ca)in about September of ’02. This was a certified vehicle from a certified dealer. You would think that after doing a “many point” inspection you’d get a car that isn’t a P.O.S…but I got one. I left the dealership with my drivers window switch broken and only one $125 key (certified vehicles get two.) I left because I live in Sacramento (1 hour+ drive) and I figured I’d get the car serviced at my local certified dealer (Niello VW/AUDI) instead of going back to get my car at a later date. I waited a couple of weeks until I recieved the second key in the mail. I also found out in those weeks that my cruise control didn’t work either. So I took the car in and had those items repaired and got the new key coded which took a little more than a week. The car seemed fine for awhile…Then all a sudden, everything went downhill from there. I had the car in for a few small items, and like any good service advisor he found other problems with my car (Shane, who is no longer there. Good guy, I liked him.) I say good, because that is thier job. The list of things found on my car really got to me. I brought it in for a power steering type noise and another ticking (lifters) and after being at the dealership for a month and some odd days…the car had the entire power steering replaced from pump through to the rack and pinion. The camshaft lifters were replaced. The TURBO was replaced due to the wastegate not working properly and a few other things I wasn’t expecting either. TURBOS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO GO OUT ON THESE CARS SINCE THEY WENT TO WATERCOOLED BACK IN THE 80’S!!!! Long story short, the car was promised to me many times and I never got it. >>This will be a recurring theme in Niello’s way of doing things.<< I had the car in and out of the service department for months for various things. **My current service advisor comes into play here**…Things like the car not starting, smoking, tensioners, and exhaust leaks all over the place. The car not starting was due to a bad battery selenoid but Niello charged me $50 to INSTALL the battery…I brought them the battery and figured they would just throw it in there, but nope. I mean, they could have rolled it out of the shop and I would have dropped it in place for 50 bucks. Then my transmission got a little sticky shifting, I was told that it is the TT synchros and to put synthtic gear oil in there. I got charged like $100 for them to TELL me that. And as far as I know, that isn’t even allowed under the Audi Assured Vehicle Warranty…to charge for a diagnosis. I left and was satisfied for a short period of time. Then my POWER STEERING went out on me while driving on the freeway. Smoke everywhere and the car was binding up rendering it almost unsteerable. I just drove it straight to the dealership and said deal with it. It was only a few months since everything had been replaced. So this one is on Niello. While it was there, again a list of things sprang up. Small things. But there was one thing that persisted. Another small noise that I had noticed on startup…similar to a lifter tick but was not relative to the accelerator. So that got checked out but never fixed. They were fixing all kinds of stuff but never the stuff I brought it in for. I brought it back again for another noise AND the constant tick on startup (I am a perfectionist, but with a car you kind of have to be.) After replacing the spark plugs (ended up being a “favor”) and having a BG (decarbonization) service done (pulling straws at this point) and the timing tensioner replaced. The car was released to me after about two weeks. As I was driving home I heard the noise again, they fixed the startup ticking but the noise I had brought it in for persisted…like a loose metal type rattling which is the reason they thought it was the timing tensioner. Anyways…same noise. They got a tech out there that said it was the TURBO!!! I told the tech that “I was not a professional but I know a turbo when I hear one and we can go over to Audi sales and startup every 1.8T you have and I promise this isn’t the sound it will make”…a turbo????? And they call themselves the best and most qualified. B.S. So where I am at now with the car is it is being serviced for the TRANSMISSION. I had a gotten a new clutch (and they don’t make remanufactured flywheels for this careither, so you pay the whole thing by the way – $500 v. $50.) My car went in over a month and a half ago for repair. After exactly TWO WEEKS of waiting for them to determine if the noise was clutch related I called to find out the status. >>>The status on a Thursday was as follows: “We have your tranny apart and in pieces and we’re just trying to diagnose. I’ll call you back in a day or two to let you know…” I called them back that Monday. The service advisor said that it would be a couple of days and I had to authorize the possibility of paying 12 hours worth of labor ($1200) in case it wasn’t warrantied. Too bad the MF had already told me on Thursday that my tranny was in pieces!!! So I asked him and he said “oh no, I said we were doing the preliminary fluid checks and the simple stuff….that’s what I said.” No it wasn’t what you said…and I caught them in the first lie. So I waited about a week I think and I called back to check the status. They said that they were pulling it apart and taking pictures in case it was due to the clutch (since an outside shop did the clutch.) So another week goes by and I call and call and call and never get through…which is typical there. I had the secretary leave handwritten notes on his desk also…no returned calls. So I left work and drove there in my rental. I showed up to his surprise and we then “took a walk” to look at my tranny out back. Miraculously it was diagnosed as the torsen (sp.?) which, in case you don’t know is the transmission portion of the Quattro system. It was spinning out of circle or something. So, they said that in a week (parts had to be ordered and 12 hours of labor to put back together) I would have my car. A week past and I called and not to my suprise did he say, “sorry, some parts didn’t arrive so we haven’t started yet…” OK. Not in thier hands (assuming it was even the truth) So I gave them ANOTHER week and I called again wanting my car. They didn’t answer all day or return my calls AGAIN, so I took more time off work and went in…AGAIN. This time my temper finally got a hold of the advisor. I let him know how I felt in a not so nice tone of voice and used a few expletives in front of other customers. But I felt he deserved at least this. I don’t even know wether to blame him or the service techs or who, but he took the blow that day. I left being told that I would get my car back the next Tuesday due to the parts STILL not being there. It was Thursday. B.S.????? I used to work in a parts department and even special order items didn’t take that long…Anyways, Tuesday rolls around and my usual service tech is out on his regular day off, so I try another advisor…he was a very nice guy and said that the parts still hadn’t come in but he could PROMISE that the car would be ready to go that Friday. Friday comes and I call again…My regular advisor says…”I dunno what *blank* told you but I told him not to give out times and dates of completion, especially on tranny work…your car won’t be done until next Wednesday.” My rebuttle was…”this time you guys promised and when people don’t keep promises I get pissed…” I am leaving town tomorrow morning (the Tuesday before the Wednesday I am supposed to be picking up my car.) So I will not have had my car for two months and some days. All this time…I am making car payments, and getting very frustrated. I have to pay the tax on a rental car (yes, they gave me a rental but I had to shove my foot up their @$$ to get it.) which is going to be above $100 and my warranty is expiring in September and I know something else is going to go wrong too. Audi USA through all of this has done nothing to my aid. My car has had almost $10,000 worth of repairs in less than two years and I have paid over $1000 in deductibles ($50 increments)I have heard that they will extend warranties and/or refund deductibles. They don’t even care that my car is still there. I am a very upset Audi owner. Do not buy an Audi and do not deal with NIELLO AUDI. And as far as I am concerned…Do not believe the Audi certification process that Livermore Audi puts their cars though…UNRELIABLE. Jeff Sacramento, CaliforniaU.S.A.
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