S6 to keep for 2nd vehicle

Considering what might be a bad, expensive decision…

I currently have an '09 S6 with 135K mi. that has been my daily driver for 5 years. I have really enjoyed the car: styling, sound, power, uniqueness etc. I have not done any JHM performance mods but those should make the car even more fun. I have, however, spent a ridiculous amount of time and money having it repaired by local mechanic and an Audi dealer. Many of the issues turn out to be small, inexpensive parts that take forever to find. The CEL usually comes on a few times a year for one reason or another. Right now the CEL is on and occasionally low oil light flashes, yet it has plenty of oil. Also the ESP light is on, no idea what that’s about, haven’t had time to run a scan yet.

My current thought is to buy a lower mile version of this car, do the JHM mods and replace other things while they are in there (coil packs, etc) then keep the lower mile car as a second vehicle for many years. In several decades, this V10 will be an interesting model to own with all of the turbo, hybrid and all electric models being produced today.

I don’t work on cars myself so I’m at the mercy of someone else doing the mods and keeping the car running. There is a very good VW/Audi shop 45 min away who has done great work for a friend’s S4. They seem very capable of getting a car into good shape.

What I don’t want is to dump more money into another S6 to occasionally drive the car and still have CEL problems and other issues. Is it even realistic to think that a car like this can be tuned and repaired to keep it running for a long without error cods?

Also, how hard is it going to be to source parts for these in the future?

Other V10 owners have any thoughts?

As with any vehicle that is aging, parts will eventually become an issue. Fortunately many parts serve more than one platform, so that will be helpful. I currently drive a UrS6 (25 years old) and while parts are harder to find, I am able to keep it on the road.

One big difference for me, and this may be a factor for you, is that I am able and willing to do the work myself. This is a major factor and is allowing me to take my 200,000 mile S6 C6 engine out of the car and do the work to keep it running well. It also coincides with the IM failing so there is a larger expense (probably almost half the parts cost) to doing this. At 200,000 what has started to happen is oil leaks (oil filter housing, cam actuator O rings, valve cover gaskets and cam girdle gaskets (which requires an engine drop).

Once you reach the time where the engine has to be pulled, you are at a decision point:

  1. If it’s just oil in the spark plug wells, you can clean that up and keep doing it every so often and fix anything else that comes up, including a carbon clean.

  2. If the oil leaks become a problem and solving any of them require dropping the engine, or you have coolant in the oil from the timing chain cover O rings, then you may wish to look elsewhere for a vehicle rather than spending the 2K - 3K to drop and reinstall the engine (not including any work you have done)

Now I keep my cars forever, so my perspective is going to be much different than your average owner. Depending on the costs involved (I have not looked at C6 S6 sale prices recently) you may find a good deal and that will have an effect on the value of doing this.

The only other thing I will offer is that it seems the engine and transmission mechanicals are rock solid, so whatever you do wind up investing won’t be wasted because you threw a rod or burned a piston. That along with a sharp interior, excellent ride and timeless styling may influence you to look for another S6.

Now if I were looking for a newer Audi today, the RS7 would be at the top of my list!

I am sure others will have more to say and different perspectives.


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As someone that regularly work on these cars and has been looking for a good shape S6 for a while now I would say either yourself or a good local indy is going to be the best way to go.

If you were using the dealer you will be surprised how little the dealer knows about cars as they get older and how a good honest indy is not only a cheaper but better way to go.

Honestly. After you tackle the standard issues with the cars. They are really solid cars. It’s almost better to keep the car you know vs getting a car you don’t.

List all of the things you have done to the car and that will help tall more of the story on how far along you are in maintenance cycle.

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Probably better to just keep and fix the one car rather than hop into another one. I got my car with low mileage, but it didn’t really make much of a difference. The age seems to be more important when it comes to seals, etc. My car is on its second engine drop now, but thankfully everything is being done correctly in the hands of a loving enthusiast, so everything should be covered. But yeah, those sound like small problems overall. You can confirm if you can get it scanned with VCDS. EIther way, better to have one S6 that may need an engine drop rather than two S6s that may need an engine drop lol.

I agree, I got mine 2 years ago with 6,000 miles on the clock. Now i have 20k miles. I haven’t had anything crazy break yet. But fuel pressure regulator, thermostat, some speaker issues and now recently a cracked sunroof tray are what I have run into. There’s a reason most people dump these cars after warranty lol the parts are never really that bad, it’s the labor that’s killer on these things.

All good points guys. If I got a lower mile car and told local indy shop to get it in tip top shape, replace everything that will fail and do the JHM mods, that would probably require doing everything I’ve already dumped into my existing car… IM, fuel pumps, TB’s, vacuum lines, coil packs, CV joints, injectors, etc. That is a very slippery slope.

ED, thanks for your response. Good to hear you think the engine and transmission are rock solid. Agree with your take on the interior/drive/styling.

justincredible, great points about dealer. They do seem like they are just trying to figure it out. The good news is they have always provided a loaner. The bad news is I drove one so long my family thought it was my own car! Here are the items that have been replaced (excluding brakes/tires/plugs/CC/other normal items):
Coolant leak, 1 throttle body, 2 injectors, fuel pump, oil separator, intake manifold, all vacuum lines, CV joints, oil cooler, radiator, water pump, coolant reservoir, coil packs, valve cover gasket, ABS Pump, sway bar, upper link bushings, brake vacuum pump relay (it is a little depressing to list all of this out, ON TOP of what the normal wear and tear items cost!) I would be better off paying an exorbitant price to lease a new car and never pay another dime of these repairs. Why don’t I do that?? My indy mechanic who specializes in Porsches says Audi’s are great to lease, not to own.

SIX6SIX, second engine drop. How many miles and what caused each drop?

V10S6PA, you found one with 6k miles and you are still seeing issues, that’s interesting. You only put 7kmi/yr on it but have had some issues. I thought component failures would be more likely with a daily driver, not a lower mile car. Components do fail just because of age and that’s a factor too. I also have an old 911 and that hasn’t have many failures, just normal items (knock on wood).

If low mile cars still have stupid component failures like V10S6PA says, then the ONLY thing that may be better for me with a lower mile car would be nicer/newer interior that will look better down the road since my current '09 does have more wear and tear than a lower mile version might not have.

Imo the c6 s6 will be valuable and a unicorn in a few years. I have no plans to sell mine but it is also my 2ndary car. You’ll never again get an awd v10 sedan.


take care of it, its just nuts and bolts!

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Well, I made what will probably be an expensive decision (especially since I don’t work on cars myself). I picked up a low mile 2011 S6 (49k miles) site unseen from Louisiana and plan to keep this car for a long time instead of my 2009 S6 (139k miles) that I have had for +5 years. I plan to have an independent shop do the JHM mods on the 2011.

Friends, mechanics and this site have all pointed out that the annoying repairs I’ve already made on the 2009 will probably need to be done again on the 2011. But my hope is having the lower mile car will be better in the long run. The 2011 engine seems strong and the exhaust has a slightly different sound but the newer car also seems to have more dings and blemishes than my 2009. Funny how that works.

The exhaust on the 2011 seems to have a slightly different sound than my '09. Did Audi change exhaust on the C6? The tips definitely look different.

At some point in the next few months, I’m going to offer the 2009 S6 for sale and it would be great if someone on this site, who really appreciates these cars buys it. PM me if you are interested and I’ll reach out to you when I’m ready to sell the '09.

Sorry to say but lower miles doesn’t mean much because I got mine with lower miles and everything was leaking primarily due to age, heat cycling, etc. The rubber still gets brittle. Mine was engine out for a reseal, etc

Yep. I’m sure that you are correct.

I’m about to put my 2009 S6 for sale in a few weeks: Black/black. $135k miles. All OEM parts, no mods. PM if interested.

Good luck with your sale. Godspeed. Prayers for max sell price.

Just posted the 2009 S6 FS…