Closer Inspection

After walking round the car, it is now time for a more detailed inspection...

The Doors: Open all the doors and check the hinges for wear - also looking at the A and B pillars for signs of rust or damage. 

Still in the door openings, run your fingers along the rubber door seals and check for cracks and tears.

Also feel for damp in the carpets and sill areas. Don't hesitate in removing any floor mats to check the actual carpet condition. Wear and tear should be in keeping with the age of the car...

The Tailgate & Boot: Worth a special look as some Coupes have a tendency to leak. Two clips on the rear light cluster housing expose the lamp bulbs and a circuit board. Do check there is no serious corrosion or crusty scale around the bulbs or tracking. Moisture problems here will result in disco effects for cars behind you !

Tip: You'll have to remove the spare wheel to check the left rear cluster, but thats as good an excuse as any for examining the spare wheel, it's tyre and that the jack and toolkit are in place. Also check the cubby holes in the rear most quarters for signs of repair or moisture ingress.

Seating surfaces: Audi interiors tend to wear better than many other manufacturers so a well kept car can have a very good interior even with well over 100k miles on the clock. Do check for tears in the seats or any damn cigarette burns.

The seats in the S2 are excellent as long as they can be adjusted properly for height, rake and lumbar - check all three controls on both front seats. Also make sure both seats slide smoothly on their runners when asked. While you're at it, check the seat release on both sides for access to the back seats. The in-seat cable control mechanism can break and is fiddly to repair.

Check that all seat belts fitted to the car extend, retract and lock as they should.

Pop the hood: Even if you are no expert with a spanner, you must check the following areas under the bonnet. 

Check all the VIN plates under the hood. There'll be more info on understanding the S2 VINs and their correct locations here soon. For now, you can use this Javascript VIN decoder.

Check for signs of repairs or kinked panels in the engine bay. 

Check there are no serious oil or coolant leaks and check the levels are correct. Do the same for brake and hydraulic fluid.

Note that an S2 must have green fluid in the hydraulic system. The proper stuff is Audi's G002000 fluid and it isn't miscible with anything else. 

Controls & Pedals: Before settling yourself into the drivers seat, you should feel for clutch fluid leaks between the clutch and brake pedals.

Now that you are on your knees you should take a few moments to get a proper look underneath the car. Primarily along the sills, checking for kinks on the cars underbelly or any nastily fitted brake or fuel lines from a previously botched job. Also look under the wheel arches for years of caked on mud and sludge which can lead to corrosion in serious cases (on any car).

Have a good look under the engine and transmission for oil leaks, but remember there is a protective sump guard under the entire front end so its best to look for oil leaks from inside the engine bay.

Once you are finally seated comfortably behind that lovely Personal styled three spoke steering wheel, you should adjust your seat for comfort and move the gearshift through the gates to make sure the linkage is nice and smooth. Action is better on the six speed box.

Check the feel of the brake pedal - it should be firm at rest and you need to remember to test the brake pressure accumulator at the end of the test drive.

The clutch should have a smooth positive action thanks to the excellent hydraulic system fitted to the S2 and most other Audis. You couldn't describe the S2 clutch pedal as very light, but it shouldn't be stiff or sticky unless the release mechanism is worn or any clutch diaphragm springs are damaged.

Finally check that the handbrake feels positive and is adjusted properly i.e It shouldn't require any more than 3 or 4 'clicks' on the ratchet to hold the car firm. Failure to do this could simply be an overstretched cable, but could also be worn out rear calipers, pads or discs.

A pukker S2 ?: The following details will help you identify a proper S2 if someone is trying to pass off an ordinary Coupe or Avant as an S2. The first thing to check is the model code printed on the VIN sticker which you will find at the front of the service schedule booklet. Follow this link for more info.

Next, with the hood still up, take note of these tips.

Proper S2 models have reinforced top suspension mounts with tidy stitch welding on the turrets and triangulated plates from the turrets onto the bulkhead. This picture shows the reinforcement plate and stitch welds on a 1994 S2 Coupe.

The S2 also has a strut brace fitted between the front turrets. Later models have part number 8A0 805 645A, but early S2's use a different one (Part # anyone ?).

The correct S2 badges should be fitted front and rear. These can look a little tatty with age so proceed carefully if the car has brand new badges and other 'reshell' tattle tales !

Standard trim panels on each door and above the glovebox were a form of perforated leatherette on the early S2. An option for carbon fibre trim panels was very popular and became the standard trim on later S2s. Some S2's may have the optional lookalike wooden trim panels, but they will be in the minority.

Part numbers for the Avus style alloys on later S2s are clearly visible - 895 601 025M - Speedline SL748.

Another tip for aging any second hand car is to check that the date stamps on the seat belts are consistent with the car's history. Don't be alarmed if the belts don't have identical dates as they will just have been pulled from the parts bin at the factory. What you are looking for is that the belts aren't stamped with a date later than when the car was allegedly built.

As a guide this picture is a Left hand drive 3B engined S2, whilst this one is of the later distributor-less Left hand drive ABY engine bay. 

Apparently, the earliest 3B engined cars had the battery in the engine bay like Coupes of the same generation. At some point in time, the battery location was moved to beneath the rear seat where it remained on all S2s. So it is possible to find a 3B engined S2 Coupe with or without the battery in the engine bay.

Pictured here is an early RHD 3B Coupe with the battery in the engine bay. This photo shows a 1994 RHD S2 with the ABY engine. Some minor differences between the two can be seen.

All ABY engined cars have the battery under the rear seat.

If in any doubt about which engine the car is fitted with, consult an expert !

Last Updated 23rd December 2001