Timely maintenance will keep your Audi in shape

Thursday July 2 2020

Cabin space in the Audi A4 is exceptional for a

Cabin space in the Audi A4 is exceptional for a full-size vehicle, able to seat 5 adults, though for long trips, full capacity is not recommended. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By Joan Salmon

Ronald Jabo
Ronald Jabo, the proud owner of an Audi A4, says the Audi brand is well known for reliability and comfort.

“Besides that, the car is very durable if well maintained. Unlike many other brands out there, Audi is not the kind of car you will tire to drive after a short while as it maintains its appeal.”

True to the love he professes, Jabo bought his car eight years ago and is not about to part ways with it. “I bought it at Shs35m and I do not regret the purchase as it continues to serve me loyally.”

Highlighting the beauty of driving an Audi, Jabo says just like most German made cars, it is comfortable. “The seats are comfortable and the interior is very elegant outfitted with quality materials and well-designed cabin. Indeed, it is a joy to drive,” he says.

With regards to spare parts, Jabo says he buys his locally. “Most parts are readily available. However, the cost varies depending on the part you want. Nonetheless, I find the parts to be cheaper than those of my other vehicle, a Toyota Harrier.”

He shares thinking that German cars are expensive to maintain is a fallacy. “This might only be true depending on the type of driver. A poor driver will ignore early warning signs that the car needs urgent attention, hence struggle to enjoy the car and assume it is hard to maintain. Therefore, the key to low repair costs and durability is good and timely maintenance,” he shares.

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Samuel Okello
Okello owns an Audi A4 B6 Avant model year 2002, the literal wagon version of the A4 in its generation. Okello says buying the car was a timely decision in 2018 locally from a previous owner who used it from first registration in 2012 till it developed a gearbox fault and decided to park it.

“With both a mix of luck and calculated planning, I bought the car at Shs8m, in installments as my first car.”

Under the hood of the vehicle is an APR tuned 1.8T AMB engine tagged to a five-speed Quattro gearbox. “It is the kind of combination that delivers both torque /power of 0-100km/hr in six seconds and assurance of getting out of every sticky situation or road condition such as muddy grounds, rocky and loose surfaces,” Okello smiles.

Daring to pass in places where others were backing off and using alternative routes, he says he is at peace whenever he starts his journey because he knows he will get wherever he wants without fear of extremely bad road conditions.

Despite its averagely low ride height, which calls for caution when driving on uneven ground, Okello says the car is swift to achieve cruising speeds of 180kph and even at that speed, it feels so comfortable, intact and in sync with every driving condition.

With leather seats, seat heaters and coolers, a radio unit to catch up on YouTube and DVDs, phone connectivity and mail on the go, he says it feels like he has an office on the move.
“To a speed merchant like me, the fact that I can shift my gears manually from the steering wheel is icing on the cake.”

The VW and Audi technician at S-Line Motors LTD, has no problem locating spares.

“I normally get my items off the shelf, or on order from Nairobi or UK after searching locally for available options. Since I do not compromise on quality, most times, for things I do not have, I end up ordering,” Okello shares.

That said, service costs are between Shs250,000 and Shs680,000 depending on what parts he is getting.

“Repairs are usually minor and the best way to keep it in shape is to always address a fault as soon as it appears. Beauty about it is that it does not breakdown unannounced as it warns for even the slightest fault such as low tyre pressure or windscreen washer fluid low,” he shares.

Challenges
The biggest issue has been a faulty gearbox. “It took me three attempts to find the perfect one, because of scarcity of the Quattro A4 B6 models. That cost me a total of Shs6m. The suspension was also taxing as I knew the quality brands to put in. In the end, I parted with Shs3m for the quality I wanted.” But seeing that he fixes the car himself, Okello can save on labour charges.

Its average consumption is not fair though, doing currently, 8km per litre within town and averaging 17km per litre on the freeway.

“Overall, the joy of driving the car, makes you forget the financial commitments it demands from you.”

On a whole, Okello says it is a car for keeps that has a good landing in the hands of someone whose travel schedules are frequent and unpredictable.

Faisal Kakooza
Years back, before 2009, most German car manufacturers did not like the sound of a five-door car. However, Audi changed that with its Audi A5. Faisal Kakooza, is a proud owner of the revolutionary car which he says he loves for its speed.

Bought in 2016 at $18500 (app. Shs66.6m) before taxes he says it is reliable. “It will not break down easily because it will warn you in time even with the slightest issue. More to that, it is very beautiful to look at.”

Kakooza also says its control system works beautifully. “As such, even on a wet and slippery road, it manoeuvres well without skidding. However, with our roads, its clearance is not good enough for the big potholes and unreasonably high humps.”

With regards to spare parts, he gets his from the UK.

“It is cheaper to get them from there than locally. However, shipping and taxes may be slightly expensive.” Apart from the high taxes one has to pay for the car, Kakooza has found little or no problem with his car.

“To enjoy it even better, timely maintenance with the right mechanic will have you driving it for long,” he says.

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