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New S8 D2 owner thoughts...

So picked up an S8 FE, silver with some seriously controversial purple seats. I have been accused of desecrating the memory of Prince.... But they are f*cking comfortable.

1 - TV in a car. Utterly pointless. It's freeview, there's nothing worth watching but Top Gear repeats...

2 - The slush box. What's that, a gap in the traffic where you can overtake? Quickly drop it into a lower... hum... ho... hum.... gear, woooooooooo! It's the age old complaints of slush box's.... So there are 6 speed manuals, but not wanting to destroy the character of the car, has anyone ever retrofitted a DSG in one of these? Do I just have to live with it? The lazy nature does lend itself to it's intended purpose as a family car. The sport mode and the tiptronic can be used to mitigate these things, but it just doesn't have the instantaneous response you sometimes need when your hair's on fire. I'm still finding it hard to modulate the acceleration - I suspect a problem that may caused by a vacuum leak somewhere (brake pedal goes solid overnight and audible hissing after turning off) - it's either lazy as a bear that's well fed, or an inpatient teenager.

3 - Handling, it's a bloody big barge, but once you figure out where the roll stops it's solid, besides from endless understeer. Can't wait till there's a good dose of snow so I can throw it around and find out where the limits are without ripping through a set of tyres!

4 - BiXenon headlights, best full beams ever.

5 - The novelty factor of the rear blind knows no ends.

6 - The steering is a bit "twitchy", is this a consequence of the quattro setup, or, like my b4 cab is the castor needing attention (something wheel alignment folks absolutely are not interested in). Or is this something to do with huge alloys, the B4 chassis was never designed for 17" wheels, so when you stick them on you get a fair bit of tram-lining which vanishes as soon as you put 16's on them.

7 - There's some serious disk warping somewhere on the brakes, are the fronts or rears more prone to warping, it's the first car I have had that's got vented rear disks, or are the 4 pots troublesome and bad for ceasing a piston on?

8 - I have not yet found a parking space the car fits in.

The car is so far awesome, it's a genuine wolf in sheep's clothing too. The seats are fantastic, the ride is a little on the stiffer side of "wafting limo" but passible. Engine power delivery is smooth and predictable when you need to push on (when not distracted by the above accelerator modulation), and savage from a standing start if you aren't braced.

Bit of a brain dump after a month of ownership and several beers....
Adrian E


TV reception is highly variable and can vary in terms of the channels it picks up - changing the parked position by 90 degrees can alter what you pick up. Once sprog shows interest in tv, trust me that CBeebies in the car can save your sanity!

Box does need some notice to wake up, but the torque available masks it to a degree. Have you played with Sport mode on the box? Helps quite a bit, I found, if you wanted the changes and throttle response a bit more alert. For planned overtakes I'd shift manually to drop it 2 gears, depending on revs. Just be aware that if you don't have the opportunity to go straight away it may drop into D again unless you've moved the selector over into the manual gate.

In snow, I'd be bloody careful on those wheels - when I bought it in 2010 it was the last proper snow we had down here - I very nearly didn't make it home! ABS is hyperactive when grip disappears but at least on full lock the wheels act as shovels and build up a wall of snow before you reach a kerb! This was about 2 miles from home after a 3hr drive home.

Agree the bi-xenon are great. There's upgraded vision plus bulbs in the main beam support/flash unit, and the front fogs, which also help.

The steering is very surface sensitive at town speeds, and camber sensitive. Defo worth finding a Hunter rig to have it checked when new tyres go on. I reckon a half degree movement on the subframe is all it needs, if you can find someone to do it. Maybe take the spacers off the back and see if it changes the behaviour?

I'd not noticed any issues with the brakes, but I'm pretty gentle on brakes. Fronts are OEM discs but on 2nd set of pads which are generic euro car parts jobbies so they may be leaving pad material on the disc, so it's possible they're causing an issue or  getting to end of life. Rears are Meyle IIRC but they don't do much work so I'd be surprised if they're warped? Pistons on the front calipers were all free when the pads were changed but you can never rule it out given the car's age now that something hasn't developed since the pads were done.

Have you found the dipping nearside mirror position when reversing? Helps judge kerb lines! It's a big car - no question - but the lock is excellent. I was always one of those people that'd rather walk from the far end of a car park to avoid tight spaces - multi storey car parks are best avoided unless you know they're spacious!! Up ramps can be like a 3 point turn lol

Glad you're enjoying the old girl - I miss the V8 burble  


Re: New S8 D2 owner thoughts...

That's a great looking car you have.  I've had mine a little under a year now and can put some input in...

2 - Have you checked the kick-down is working properly?  There's a knob on the floor under the accelerator pedal which needs to be turned clockwise until it clicks.  When in "D" or in Tip mode it will drop to the lowest gear fairly quickly, faster than you can manually change it.  You have to push your foot to the floor and press down again, I find it's further to press than you think.

4 - BiXenon headlights, best full beams ever.   Agree!

5 - The novelty factor of the rear blind knows no ends.  I love the rear blind, so easy to block out the idiot behind!

6 - Mine is on the 18" and not a FE but I do find it tramlines quite bad on some surfaces even after a Hunter alignment.  These do have speed sensitive steering and I'm not sure if there could be an issue with the relay, I think I've read it somewhere.

7 - I expect the warping is pad material being left on the disc which can be burnt off by bedding in again.  I expect it's not helped by being an auto and the tendency to sit on the foot brake at junctions when the brakes are hot.

8 - It's a big car!  I have the benefit of being able to use parent and child spaces...

Following Adrians comments my normal procedure for overtaking briskly is just to drop into sport mode while judging the timing.
I hardly ever use the tiptronic functions even though I also have the buttons on the steering wheel.
At the end of the day it's a big luxury barge and should mostly be driven that way, but also has "hidden depths".

Kickdown I don't really use, no need in any sensible situation. Though mine is "activated".

As for parking, I NEVER take it into a multi-storey. In my ownership the only time it's been in anything remotely resembling such a monstrosity it was a hotel car park and the valet put it in there, I just handed over the key.  

And yes, tramlining is worse on 20's than 18's. I have both - 20's for summer, 18's for winter.

Adrian, did you change the gearbox coding as I did on both my S8's?

I did find the super kickdown button at the end of the pedal travel. I guess it's just a case of getting into the habit of dropping gears in advance, something you'd have to do in a manual anyway.

I'm fairly certain the disks are warped but I have still to check them with a meter. I know a guy who will shave them down a tad to make them straight again but when I check with the meter I might have a go at bedding in the pads again. Like you said sitting at lights with foot on brake probably isn't ideal.

Anyone know what the OEM manufacturer of the disks was? Brembo?

I had an Alfa Brera a few years back and the best thing I ever did was take it out in the snow. You get to know what goes first in a slide and how best to catch it again. It had a rear biased four wheel drive however. The S8 appears to be 50:50 and prone to favouring the heavy side of the car so any time I have pushed on its endless understeer.

The parent and child spaces will be coming in Summer!

I often find the disks a bit "juddery" at the start of a run, especially if I've not used the car for a while and/or only use them gently. Seems to go away after a while, especially with a few heavier applications.
Having driven an S8 for almost 17 years now I'm pretty firmly in the surface material and bedding in camp; never actually had a warped disk.

So I headed out yesterday with the intention of doing a few hard slow downs from 60+ to crawling speed. I have to admit that the vibration is reduced but not gone completely. I may try another few hard stops and see how it goes when I get a chance.

I do feel like any exaggerated manoeuvre in this big bugger of a thing is an affront to it's character!

Also... What's the gearbox coding change?

Off the top of my head 001 to 101 but there are discussions on Audipages and the A8Parts forum (where I've commented) about it.
The Audipages stuff is US-based so not totally applicable to us but will give you an idea.

You need VCDS to check what it is currently and make changes.

Edit: Just checked. I changed 101 to 111 on both my PF (1998) and FL (2002/3) S8's with excellent results. Better driveability but less holding of a low gear when you revert to "wafting".

I was pondering getting VCDS for a long time but kinda limited on my old cab...  Will have to grab this now, because I still find it changes up waay after I normally would and changes down sooner than I would (during normal driving).

I feel if it was a bit more sharp with up-changes it might make the sport mode a bit more relevant.

Get on the A8parts forum and see who is local to you with VCDS.

The IT analyst in me wants one for myself... Forum Index -> Audi S8 (D2, D3 & D4) quattro
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