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Hello there, I searched around and I did not find a thread summarizing what to look for when shopping for pre-owned R8 so I figured I would start my own. I half expected there to be a pinned topic on the matter, but here we go....

A little about me:
I am a highly competent mechanic and have been taking care of various BMW's all of my life. I admit this is my first venture into the Audi world, therefore I really do not know much about them. I do not mind getting the hands dirty, in fact, ideally, I want to take care of the car on my own with little to no outside mechanical help.

Why an R8?

I have always wanted a v10 vehicle. I was tempted by the BMW 2006 era M6 v10's but from what I understand it is an absolute nightmare to take care of with costly internal breakdowns being the norm (and they are just getting too old at this point). On the other hand, based on my preliminary research, v10 R8 engine seems to be more reliable and less prone to crazy breakdowns. It also seems like it can also be a reasonable daily driver.

What I know so far when shopping?
  • Go for a manual gated transmission. Although I may need to replace the clutch at some point there are some awesome kits out there. If the automatic transmission model breaks down it can be a bit of a costly ****-show as I understand. This works for me as I really miss the feel of a manual transmission.
  • Look for hairline stress cracks on the upper frame front end. It typically means the car is totaled or is on its way to being totaled. Did they fix this in later years?
  • Oil changes look like lots of fun, lots of drain points etc etc.
  • I am trying to keep the cost under 100k (80k would be nice)
Questions:
  • Is there specific (oldest) year I should shoot for where major revisions were made?
  • Maintenance history, proactive "big jobs" being done by the previous owner I should look for so I do not get hit with them if possible (bearings etc)
  • Space in the engine bay? For the most part can you work on this engine without having to go crazy with an engine crane? Is everything I need to access for the most part accessible or is in a nightmare?
  • Leaks versus mileage/age : Does this v10 have any notorious oil leaks or other fluid leaks that are going to pop up I should know about or perhaps proactively look for? Anything deep in the engine that requires massive hours (like valve stem seals)
  • Other than the typical maintenance items like plugs, coils, O2 sensors, brakes, anything else I should know about?
  • Anything else i should fix before it breaks and kills the car?
I am sorry for the long post, I just trying to educate myself as best as possible before shopping around, so if it unicorn comes around I can buy it with confidence!

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
 

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Hello there, I searched around and I did not find a thread summarizing what to look for when shopping for pre-owned R8 so I figured I would start my own. I half expected there to be a pinned topic on the matter, but here we go....

A little about me:
I am a highly competent mechanic and have been taking care of various BMW's all of my life. I admit this is my first venture into the Audi world, therefore I really do not know much about them. I do not mind getting the hands dirty, in fact, ideally, I want to take care of the car on my own with little to no outside mechanical help.

Why an R8?

I have always wanted a v10 vehicle. I was tempted by the BMW 2006 era M6 v10's but from what I understand it is an absolute nightmare to take care of with costly internal breakdowns being the norm (and they are just getting too old at this point). On the other hand, based on my preliminary research, v10 R8 engine seems to be more reliable and less prone to crazy breakdowns. It also seems like it can also be a reasonable daily driver.

What I know so far when shopping?
  • Go for a manual gated transmission. Although I may need to replace the clutch at some point there are some awesome kits out there. If the automatic transmission model breaks down it can be a bit of a costly ****-show as I understand. This works for me as I really miss the feel of a manual transmission.
  • Look for hairline stress cracks on the upper frame front end. It typically means the car is totaled or is on its way to being totaled. Did they fix this in later years?
  • Oil changes look like lots of fun, lots of drain points etc etc.
  • I am trying to keep the cost under 100k (80k would be nice)
Questions:
  • Is there specific (oldest) year I should shoot for where major revisions were made?
  • Maintenance history, proactive "big jobs" being done by the previous owner I should look for so I do not get hit with them if possible (bearings etc)
  • Space in the engine bay? For the most part can you work on this engine without having to go crazy with an engine crane? Is everything I need to access for the most part accessible or is in a nightmare?
  • Leaks versus mileage/age : Does this v10 have any notorious oil leaks or other fluid leaks that are going to pop up I should know about or perhaps proactively look for? Anything deep in the engine that requires massive hours (like valve stem seals)
  • Other than the typical maintenance items like plugs, coils, O2 sensors, brakes, anything else I should know about?
  • Anything else i should fix before it breaks and kills the car?
I am sorry for the long post, I just trying to educate myself as best as possible before shopping around, so if it unicorn comes around I can buy it with confidence!

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
Congratulations on a great choice. As a long time BMW driver (20 years now as my DDs) I love their cars, but the R8 just doesn't have a great competitor from Germany - just a fantastic blend of what's great, exotic, and emotional about Italians with the refinement, better build quality, and restraint that Germans bring to the mix. I might be biased being half Italian and half German, myself. :)

A few things:

- I think the clutch job would be very similar on a manual or R-Tronic as the R-Tronic is essentially a manual with an actuator. The S-Tronic, however, is a DCT, so completely different animal there. A clutch job on the manual or R-Tronic should run around $6k - $8k at a shop - clearly less if you're doing it.

- Yes, the oil change is complex given 6 drains. I don't do my own maintenance, but do some searching (or maybe someone will comment), but there's at least one of those plugs that requires a special tool, I believe... just an odd/tight spot, if I recall.

- The frame issue was addressed roughly in the 2011 model year time-frame.

- Each year saw some changes - most imperceptible to a casual buyer. The last "major" changes took place going into the facelift (similar to BMW LCI) years. For the US, the facelift years were 2014 and 2015. There was no model year for 2013 in the US. US cars went 2008 - 2012, 2014 - 2015. For the V10, they started in 2010 in the US.

- Proactive "big jobs" - not too many I'd point out. If they've been keeping up with their regular service, that's the main thing. Some of the services are larger - you can find the service intervals and work posted online if you search, but essentially they rotate between a few types of services every 10k miles or annually, whichever is sooner.

- Some things known to go:
--- Magnetic Ride Shocks (standard on all US cars minus the GT and V10+): the system is great, but they do tend to fail prematurely. The parts are fairly expensive with a set running around $8k to replace.
--- A/C compressor: these are also known to fail, and they're a bit difficult to get to... more so on the V8 than V10, but both are involved jobs as I understand it. Dealer pricing will run several thousand dollars ($4k - $5k).
--- Rear control arms: apparently fairly expensive as bushings can't be replaced separately.
--- Throwout bearing: some instances of this reported.
--- Frunk latches: not a huge deal (usually just need adjusting, but sometimes have been replaced). The large clamshell design often causes the two latches to not fully disengage and allow the frunk to open - more prone to happen on uneven surfaces, etc.

- The V10 won't crumble like that in the E60 (shame), but it does suffer from carbon build-up. If you're picking up an example with more than 30k miles and it hasn't had this done, chances are good it's ready. I think folks have paid around $1,000 - $1,200 for a walnut blasting.

- The V10 is reliable, but it's not indestructible. I'm one of a handful of members on the forum who have had a catastrophic failure. I've owned the car since new, and the failure occurred at around 16k miles 3.5 years into ownership - cracked valve. Perfectly maintained, not abused, not tracked, etc. Replacement (under warranty) was over $55k. For this reason, and some others, an extended warranty may still be worthwhile even if you're planning to do much of the maintenance.

- Leaks: there have been odd leaks reported here and there, but I can't say I've seen a lot of consistency to them.

- Coolant expansion tanks are known to explode (randomly). There's a recall for this, which essentially just fits a strap around the tank (silly, if you ask me) - just stops it from being a massive mess but doesn't stop the failure. Nonetheless, I'd look to see that it has been done or prepare to do it.

- I'd familiarize yourself with the options. There weren't many, but they can transform the cars - carbon trim (interior), extended leather (on pre-facelift), full leather (on facelift), contrast stitching or diamond stitching are a few that apply to the V10 - other options for the V8 are standard on the V10 (e.g. engine bay carbon and B&O stereo). For 2015, there was also a sport exhaust option from the factory and red calipers. I'd look for a well optioned car.

Tons of great info on this forum - welcome aboard, and best of luck in your search!
 

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Only thing I’ll add is a PPI!!!
 

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I had to replace the 4 magnetic shocks several months after I got the car having 60.000 km. 1800 euro a piece, so better check them before you buy if not you will get into shock…..:sick:
 

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Another thing I will add is the oil pump leaks sometimes, as the seal needs to be replaced.
Ricky has just picked this up on mine. Looking at around £1k GBP to rectify.
 

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Part of the R8 design is to stop you being rich.
While off topic, and I know I've complained about it before, I'll take the opportunity to do so again - the R8 has proven it can do nothing that the state of CT can't one-up (and then some) when it comes to costs. Since buying the R8, I've paid the state of CT roughly $20k in excise taxes... just for the pleasure of possessing the R8. No, that's not a typo... it's just a sad reality of a system that's tax-happy yet still manages to be financially defunct. So, I'll forgive the R8 any future oil leaks it may possess and costs associated with rectifying it since, at a minimum, it'll be the result of actually utilizing and enjoying the car - not simply paying the greedy politicians who, despite their enormous taxes, still can't manage a budget. Rant over. :)
 

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While off topic, and I know I've complained about it before, I'll take the opportunity to do so again - the R8 has proven it can do nothing that the state of CT can't one-up (and then some) when it comes to costs. Since buying the R8, I've paid the state of CT roughly $20k in excise taxes... just for the pleasure of possessing the R8. No, that's not a typo... it's just a sad reality of a system that's tax-happy yet still manages to be financially defunct. So, I'll forgive the R8 any future oil leaks it may possess and costs associated with rectifying it since, at a minimum, it'll be the result of actually utilizing and enjoying the car - not simply paying the greedy politicians who, despite their enormous taxes, still can't manage a budget. Rant over. :)

Unfortunately, CT, who used to be a low tax state, has fallen into the Northeast tax and spend mentality. My sympathies for your dilemma; I solved mine by moving from NJ to FL; happy days now!
My Best Regards, really!
 

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Going side ways here you say you are bmw hands on repairs and you are scared of BMW s85 engine?
You should stop listening to all the people talking junk regarding the s85.
Not trying to be A bad guy here but if you are scared of s85 engine .
You shouldn’t buy a r8 v10.
If a v10 went bad in a r8 its a 40k engine to replace you can ask EZ here on the chat.
If synchronizes go bad in a manual transmission it could cost you a few dollars.
Again dont want to sound like a bad guy.
But all high end cars cost money to fix...especially German cars.
Go eyes wide open and look over cars..to buy .
Good Luck.
My V10s below
C534E521-1EB8-41C1-8D1C-FE7962488159.jpeg

744FC718-F5BE-424D-8C0F-A540BA0396A4.jpeg
 

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While off topic, and I know I've complained about it before, I'll take the opportunity to do so again - the R8 has proven it can do nothing that the state of CT can't one-up (and then some) when it comes to costs. Since buying the R8, I've paid the state of CT roughly $20k in excise taxes... just for the pleasure of possessing the R8. No, that's not a typo... it's just a sad reality of a system that's tax-happy yet still manages to be financially defunct. So, I'll forgive the R8 any future oil leaks it may possess and costs associated with rectifying it since, at a minimum, it'll be the result of actually utilizing and enjoying the car - not simply paying the greedy politicians who, despite their enormous taxes, still can't manage a budget. Rant over. :)
EZ the people in these states think we all are made of money.
They just want to take dollars from us all.....I’m tired .
 
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