One of the coolest older Audis you can buy is the B5 Audi S4 Avant. Not only is it a proper sports wagon with sleeper-car looks but it also comes with a mighty twin-turbocharged V6 engine, five-speed manual gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive. The only real issue with the B5 S4 is that it can be a bit tricky to maintain, as evidenced in this recent episode of Wheeler Dealers.
In this episode, Mike Brewer buys a 2001 Audi S4 Avant that actually seems to be in really nice condition for its age. The body has held up well, there’s little to no rust, the interior is in great condition and, mechanically, it’s pretty sound. The only real issue is that it’s leaking oil from an unknown place when he buys it. That could either be costly or simple. Thankfully, his trusty mechanic can dig into it after the purchase.
As it turns out, the leak was just caused by a bad valve cover casket, which is common on cars of that age. The gasket essentially turns from rubber into brittle plastic, due to years and years of extreme heat from the engine. Once that happens, it cracks and allows oil to leak not only out of the engine but also into the spark plug wells.
After fixing that issue and doing some preventative maintenance and fixing a small dent, the B5 Audi S4 Avant looks fantastic. So how much is Brewer able to get for it after refurbishing it back into like-new condition? Surprisingly, he’s able to get a very impressive $12,250, which is quite a good amount of money for an ’01 S4 Avant.
If you’re a young enthusiast, you can likely find B5 S4s for significantly cheaper. They won’t be as nice as this one, obviously, but they’ll make for great project cars. And as you can see in this video, the B5 Audi S4 Avant is a great car to restore, as it’s an excellent balance of power, fun and practicality.