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Cost Of Ownership

Hi, When I purchased my first 928 (an '81 model) a couple of years ago I was alarmed at the constant references to the enormous costs of 928 ownership. What have I done I thought!

That car was with me for nearly twelve enjoyable months and it was a cheap car to own costing about $700 over 12k or about 5.8 cents/km for repairs, tyres etc. Very very cheap!

I've had my '89 S4 now for about 15 months, covered 23k and the costs have been about $3000, about 13 cents/km for repairs, tyres etc. Very cheap for such a car!

By contrast,

a) my '02 Subaru Outback has cost about 3.2 cents/km for repairs, tyres etc. these cars are unbelievably cheap to own.

b) my 500hp Iveco PowerStar prime movers cost about 9.50 c/km ( averaged ) for repairs and tyres over whole of life (about 1.2m kms).

So the 928 is not really so expensive to own if you buy a good car and look after it. I did my own PPI in each case.

The following is a list of the things I've done to my S4 that have made it a better one - in order of "end result". The costs are mostly included in the figures above.

Of course all the normal maintenance things (check timing belt etc.) were done too.

1 - Replaced the vacuum "T" piece (wheel well canister) - about $10.

  • Using a different device with a small inbuilt 'reservoir', this has transformed the vacuum controls which are many and it has improved the car's performance.

2 - Tinted the glass - about $270.

  • Easier on the upholstery that now requires a LOT less attention and I have a MUCH cooler cockpit up here in the Tropics.

3 - Replaced the water control vacuum valve - about $30.

  • No more hot/cold indecision.

4 - Fitted a "RICK HEANEY" auto shifter knob - about $120.

  • An excellent and cheap upgrade - thanks again Rick.

5 - Changed the ATF to Castrol's fully synthetic Transmax Z - about $120.

  • This has greatly enhanced the Auto's operation both cold and hot and it can stay there for 100k.

6 - Changed the engine oil to Mobil's synthetic Delvac 1 5w-40 (from a synthetic 15w-50) - About $110 - this is an annual (or 25k) change oil.

  • This has made the engine significantly more responsive - quite amazing really and is partly due to the Ester content, lost a tad oil pressure but gained flow in the process.

7 - Changed the diff oil to Castrol's Syntrax 75w-90 - About $50.

  • This can stay there for 100k too.

8 - Fitted Bosch W7DP platinum spark plugs (installed with "Copper EZE" anti-seize compound and good for up to 80k+ without attention) - about $112.

9 - Spent 10c on repairing my rear hatch auto release - exactly 10 cents.

  • 2 x 5c pieces well spent - so far.

10 - Upgraded all H1 and H4 bulbs to Xenon (light yellow in fogs) - about $120.

  • I only used the "expensive" German made bulbs - both OSRAM and TRIFA - and stayed with the original wattage in each case. This avoids component & wiring overload. These bulbs are VERY long lasting.

The lights are MUCH better!

11 - Used "303" Aerospace Protectant on all internal surfaces, engine bay and tyres, and SONAX Wash & Wax concentrate on paintwork & SONAX R2000 Wheel Cleaner - About $70.

  • "303" is long lasting, the SONAX wash is easy to use - and the R2000 gets rid of brake dust very easily.

12 - Fitted fly-screen mesh across air cleaner intakes and air pump filter (prevents entry of things like horses etc.) - about next to nothing.

I hope this helps the newer members of our group to cut the costs of ownership a little and to generally improve the quality of our cars. - Regards, Doug Hillary '89 S4