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proautotech, Auto Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1243
Experience:  College Training. Current Lead Tech
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A6 Quattro: Hi I need some advice Im choosing between 2 cars.

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Hi I need some advice I'm choosing between 2 cars. The first car is an 1997 Audi A6 Quattro. I spoke with the owner the only thing wrong with it is the ECU got fried from getting wet and it needs to be replaced. The car is in great shape inside and out it has 140,000 miles on it he replaced the timing belt and water pump at 120,000. Hes looking to buy an suv due to having a baby on the way and hes only $700 short of his downpayment he had it priced at $ 1000 but he said hed sell for $ 700. I found ECU's for 100 and up so thats good to me . The Second car is a 2000 Kia sportage with 106,000 miles on it and the guy is a dairy farmer and really needs the money for his kids school supplies he's sellin it for $ 800 . Please help me decide I am so stuck on what would b the best option for me.
Thanks for trusting us with your problem. I have trained in the automotive field and currently work as a lead technician. I will be helping you today

What are you planning on using the vehicle for?
Are you just getting a second vehicle? Looking to buy fix and sell?

Or are you needing a reliable and good main vehicle?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Im looking to have something reliable for college it's a 600 mile round trip to take and I usually take it 3-5 times a year and the rest I drive it around school but when at school I'm commuting very little in miles and basically th same thing when I'm home for the summer time
I can make it easy. Go with the kia unless you have a bank roll to afford making repairs to the audi.

They don't break down but they are up there in the same bracket as a benz or jaguar.

When they need repairs it is not cheap so you have to have the money. Many things will need to be flashed with a handheld that only a dealer has or high end shop. So if something goes wrong your out the vehicle for a great deal of money to get it going again.

So basically if you want to look good get the audi but it will cost you a great deal more than the kia which will save you way more.

If you have any further questions just ask. I work on both all the time and have owned many audi's so I just want to be honest with you.


The Kia is a solid reliable vehicle that will last a long time without any major repairs. Anything can be fixed by almost any mechanic shop.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your honest answer i wish u would of said the Audi. I've looked at other Audis for sale and some have more mileage than the one in looking at and I've looked at Audis on forums and seen how people are running them to over 200,000 miles with the only big replacement items which is the timing belt and water pump. The ECU I can get for 100 and I just plug it in where the old one Is and I'm good to go right ??? I've read about the Kia and it has mixed reviews some say it's the worst car ever and other people swear by it
Yeah you can get a ECU and throw it in if it is the matching unit. But most of the time we still have to connect the computer and run the flash on it for it to work right.

But it should work. The fact the other guy is saying that is the only problem could be false information but for 800 you are not losing much because you can resell it anyways.

But reviews are always mixed on most vehicles.

Either way you will be okay but it is up to you on which route you want to go on.

Since you really want the Audi. Order up a used ecu from tell the guy 700 to cover the cost of the ecu and get it running. If it runs good drive it but if you find it has a bunch of other issues you can always get rid of it and pick up something else. You would not have any problem reselling it again for the same price.

Hope this helps. Please take a moment to leave a positive rating.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the website that's a great site i found a few places that have them for $100 to $150 and I can pick it up so that saves me a lot of time. I think what I'm going to do is buy It and bring it when I go check out the car and then if the car starts and drives I'll have it checked out by a mechanic and see if it's worth it
That is a great idea.

i am glad I could help.

Please take a moment to leave a positive rating.

You can still reply if you need anything.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
One more thing if u were in my position what car would u go for ??
I would likely jump on the audi but than again I have gone down the wrong path and spent many hours and money making up for my mistakes.

But I always like a good looking vehicle.
Please let me know if I can provide anything else.

Rating me is the only way I will be credited for my time.

This does not cost you anything more.

you can still reply anytime.

Thank you!
proautotech and 3 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I need a full explanation on how to change the ECU myself.
No problem.

You just have to pull back passenger side carpet. Use a phillips screwdriver to remove cover and access the unit.

I have attached an image. CLICK HERE- ECU
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok the diagram is deff helpful but what's the procedure in steps so I can follow step by step instructions because im not goos with cars. Dont u need to diss connect the battery
Just have to turn ignition off.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the steps that is going to b do much easier now. I orders the ECU and the women called me back to confirm the code of the ECU I bought is matching the ECU coder that's in the car now. Since they are a perfect match can I just swap them and then the car will turn on and drive then?? . Or does does it have tO b recoded ???
Most of the times it has to be coded to the vehicles vin.

I have seen many work as long as they match. Most of the time it wil start and run but will not work like it should until it is properly codes.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok that's good well is it damaging to the car running it without it matching the vin ?? Is it safe to drive for a day until I can get it coded ?? How much estimated would it cost to b coded to the vin
It will not damage anything.

They charge about 30 minutes of labor!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi I bought the 97 audi A6 i got it for $700 and i had to spend $150 on the ECU that was the matching one the car started right up it drives nice. I got inspected and i need to replace the front right and left axles because the cv joint boots are torn. Also the mechanic wrote RF differential seal leak is this really bad ??? what is it??? I also need to replace one oxygen sensor

The diff leak is from the front part the cv axle slides into. They are easy as cake to change out.

Are you just needing the steps for the other parts?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

yes the steps to do what I need to have replaced would be great

CV axles on this are easy as cake. They bolt on and come out.

CLICK HERE-complete steps

For front diff seal CLICK HERE

I am not sure which O2 sensor but if you get an O2 sensor kit from autozone basically you will remove the electrical connector slide over the sensor and loosen. They are hard to get loose even with the socket. The heat over time almost welds them into place. But with the proper socket you can get it. Once you brake it loose it will come out easy as pie.

Now as for all these axles and seals. Many times a little cut in the boot mechanics will say replace. Since you are doing it on your own inspect it again. If the boot is decent you are fine and will last a great deal. If you force grease into the boot every 6-8 months you will never need to replace until it brakes.

They do sell the boots but this is a pain unless you have all the tools and do not mind getting wild with the parts.

Let me know if I can provide any further insight.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thank you for all your help if it wasn't for you I would of prolly never got the audi. The oxygen sensor is Bank # 2 Sensor # 1 I read on line this would fall under the upper stream for replacement is this true?? .. The diff leak does that mean the transmisson is going?? ... My last question for you is my check engine light is on for the oxygen sensor so i cant pass inspection I dont have the money to fix it right away and I need to pass inspection. I read online that I can reset the check engine so it goes off then I have to drive a full cycle so everything clears and I can be good for inspection. Is this true?? If this is true how long should the full cycle be before i get it inspected ??

Okay, I loaded an image to help locate CLICK HERE

The O2 is the issue with the engine lamp. So driving the cycle will not help until the problem is fixed. Than yes you do the drive cycle below.

Please take a moment to leave a positive rating for the assistance.

Begin Drive Cycle:
The vehicle should be driven approximately 7.5 miles within a period of approx. 23 minutes (1372 seconds) from a cold start. However, due to manufacture variations, it is necessary to perform only as much of the Drive Cycle as is necessary to reset the required monitors to a "Ready" status. Operate the throttle smoothly to obtain best results. Do not shut the engine off during the drive cycle.

CAUTION: Obey all traffic laws and drive in a safe manner!

NOTE: Extreme driving conditioning such as very high/low temperatures, rough roads and high altitudes may prevent some monitors from attaining a "Ready" status.

Step 1 (Engine Cold) Start engine, idle 20 seconds. Accelerate gradually and drive at 20-25 mph for 1 minute, varying speed.
Step 2 Accelerate gradually to 32 mph within 35 seconds. Decelerate to 0 mph in 10 seconds. Idle for 40 seconds.
Step 3 Accelerate at part throttle to 25 mph in 10 seconds. Cruise at 17-25 mph for 15 seconds. Accelerate gradually to 57 mph in 45 seconds. Cruise at 50-56 mph for 1 minute. Decelerate gradually to 0 mph in 40 seconds. Idle for 15 seconds.
Step 4 Accelerate at part throttle to 36 mph and maintain for 10 seconds. Decelerate to 0 mph in 15 seconds. Idle for 5 seconds.
Step 5 Accelerate to 30 mph and back to 0 mph within 30 seconds. Idle for 20 seconds.
Step 6 Accelerate to 36 mph in 20 seconds. Drive at 35 mph for 20 seconds. Decelerate to 0 mph in 15 seconds. Idle 5 seconds.
Step 7 Accelerate gradually to 26 mph and decelerate to 0 within 40 seconds. Idle 15 seconds.
Step 8 Accelerate to 27 mph in 40 seconds. Decelerate to 0 mph in 10 seconds. Idle 25 seconds.
Step 9 Accelerate to 26 mph in 15 seconds, maintain speed for 10 seconds, decelerate to 0 mph in 10 seconds. Idle 15 seconds.
Step 10 Accelerate to 23 mph in 20 seconds, decelerate to 0.5 mph in 10 seconds (no complete stop). Accelerate to 28 mph and back to 0 mph (momentary stop 1 second) within 35 seconds.
Step 11 Accelerate gradually to 34 mph in 45 seconds. Vary speed between 34 and 19 mph for 2 minutes. Decelerate from 25 to 0 mph in 25 seconds. Idle for 5 seconds.
Step 12 Accelerate to 29 mph in 15 seconds, decelerate gradually to 0 mph in 45 seconds. Idle for 30 seconds.
Step 13 Accelerate gradually to 28 mph and back to 0 mph (momentary stop 1 second) within 50 seconds. Accelerate gradually to 27 mph and back to 0 mph within 55 seconds. Idle for 15 seconds.
Step 14 Accelerate to 24 mph and back to 0 mph within 18 seconds. Idle for 10 seconds. Accelerate gradually to 22 mph and back to 0 mph within 50 seconds. Idle for 8 seconds. Step 15 Accelerate gradually to 30 mph within 50 seconds. Decelerate to 0 mph in 10 seconds. Idle for 25 seconds.
Step 16 Accelerate to 23 mph and back to 0 mph within 30 seconds. Idle for 10 seconds.
Step 17 Repeat steps 1 - 16 once again. Recheck the status of the "Readiness Monitors".

NOTE: Remember, clearing DTC's or interrupting power to the ECM after the readiness monitors have been reset to "Ready" will require that the Drive Cycle be repeated.