Buyers Guide to:
Audi TT Mk 1
1999 to 2006
Audi Owners Club UK
The TT Owners Club
If ever a car was set to become an instant modern classic it was the Audi TT, a model that wowed buyers at its launch in September 1998. Unveiled three years previously as a design concept, the final model kept the Bauhaus-inspired styling and would prove immediately popular with those after a car that blended terrific looks with top-notch build quality. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as early models were recalled to fix handling issues, the cars benefitting from the addition of a small rear spoiler and electronic stability control to prevent instability at speed, but it didn’t affect the popularity. Buyers could choose from 180bhp or 225bhp power outputs and front or four-wheel drive. It was replaced by the second generation model in 2006.
- See checklist below.
- The panels for any signs of rust, although it shouldn’t really be an issue and likely to be the result of poorly repaired accident damage
- That the bumpers and paintwork are free of scuffs and scrapes. Haggle on the asking price if some tidying is going to be needed
- That servicing hasn’t been neglected, especially on the earliest examples. Cam belt changes are crucial, and it’s recommended that it’s done at 60,000 miles rather than the scheduled 80,000. Make sure the water pump was changed at the same time
- Whether the engine has been re-mapped for more power. It’s not necessarily a problem as long the work has been done well, but excessive outputs will put a strain on the transmission
- For signs of poor running as the engine can suffer from failure of the air mass meter and ignition coil packs
- The manual transmission for worn synchromesh or an obstructive shift. Clutch replacement usually involves engine removal, so make sure it isn’t slipping
- That the dual-clutch gearbox (if fitted) isn’t suffering from jerky or hesitant shifts. The ‘Mechatronic’ control unit can fail and repairs are pricey
- That four-wheel drive cars aren’t suffering from any clunks or nasty noises from the transmission, and check for dashboard warning lights. The Haldex coupling should have had the oil and filter changed at 40,000 mile intervals so make sure it’s been done
- For worn brakes, and make sure that the ABS warning light on the dashboard illuminates and extinguishes correctly on start up. Failure of the ABS pump leads to a hefty bill
- For rattles and clonks from the suspension. The main wear points are front wishbone bushes and anti-roll bar links. Look for scruffy alloy wheels, and scrapes caused by kerbing that could have affected wheel alignment
- The interior carefully. Build and material quality was very good so damaged trim points to a car that’s been abused. Leather is a desirable option and should be in good condition
- That all the equipment is working as the TT can be prone to electrical gremlins. Failed dashboard and LCD displays are common, although specialists can repair them, while items such as electric windows and central locking can fail
- For evidence that recall work has been carried out. As well as a stability issue on early cars that resulted in the fitting of ESP and a small rear spoiler, the TT has been recalled for issues with rear axle ball joints and airbag deployment. Check with an Audi dealer to make sure the work has been done on the example you’re looking at
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