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Light Bulb Change Rant

broke90

Active member
Just a rant. Brake light and headlight needed replacing on the 4F. The brakelight required the whole light fitting to come out to access the bulbs. The headlight required the air filter to come out to get to the hatch (it was driver's side). Who comes up with stuff like this? Even if it's to go to a mechanic or dealer to replace, someone still has to do all that for what should be a relatively simple task. Whatever happened to the idea of making the access hatch accessible, instead of having to pull half the car apart just to get to it? This is literally a case of how many engineers does it take to change a light bulb.
 
Com'on mate, need both barrels. You need a C5 RS6 so that there will be more to rant about. The list is endless. My Audi life started out over 20 years ago with the A4 quattro, plenty of access, everywhere. Add the RS4 and the backward step was quite an issue. Add the allroad and it was looking good again, that was indeed a great compromise between bits and access. Swap that for the RS6 and the extra two cylinders in the engine bay really stuffed it all up. Even stuff that was easy on the allroad became a nightmare on the RS6, partly due to a change in design. Just one example, the RS6 headlights pretty well need the bumper to come off before they can be removed. Took a lot of effort to modify the headlights to make them removable (regularly needed to access bits below the headlights).

The older A6 has a access hole that would take a normal 1/2 drive socket to remove the lower torx bolt AND more importantly allow the captive washer to pass back through the hole when removing the bolt.
lower access hole.jpg

With the RS6, Audi reduced the size of the hole substantially so that only a special tool would pass through and the bolt with captive washer would not. One of the many modifications just to the headlights was to enlarge that hole (a lot) to allow the bolt to pass through as access behind the headlight was also much less and not able to grab it from below.

RS6 access.jpg

I can say that even in the same model / body shape, the later versions were more difficult than the earlier ones. I can only hope that those with more modern chariots don't find access even worse.
 
I can appreciate that with an RS6 it's more than just 2 more cylinders - it's 2 more cylinders plus 2 more snails, and the associated plumbing. But even then, what you'd just describe with reducing the access hole size just makes no sense. That said, I've been on the lookout for a C5 S6 for a while. I know the tail lights are a breeze. Don't know how the headlights go.
 
You would have thought that a C5 allroad and a C5 RS6 had common body panels in the structural sense, clearly they differ over the guards and different plastic work but really, the pressed metal parts were different. I tried to use the more common bits as an illustration of where design seemed to have gone backwards without any obvious reason.

The bits that suffer from stuffing more mechanicals in the same space are another story but at least understandable.

Should you ever get a C5 S6 (I looked but no bananas worth eating) then if you're lucky you'll have the allroad experience which is really very acceptable, or everything will become an engine out job, and then it's a case of you need to have a lot of love for it to accept that.
 
You mean experience you had with your allroad or the allroad in general was at least not a step backwards (like the RS6 is)?
 
My Audi life started out over 20 years ago with the A4 quattro, plenty of access, everywhere.

Mine started in 1993, with my 100 and soon the 90. The 90 with 5 cylinder inline and front drive meant the engine was so far forward the radiator was pushed to the side. Changing the radiator and water pump was an experience to behold. But at least changing light bulbs was still easy - unscrew the plastic cover between the radiator and the grille and there's the back of the headlight unit. The 100 had a longer engine bay so less cramped. Life was so much simpler back then.
 
You mean experience you had with your allroad or the allroad in general was at least not a step backwards (like the RS6 is)?

The allroad has the bigger C5 chassis so with the same 2.7 engine it had plenty of access room. This is all about access though, I wouldn't want to imply that the RS6 is a step backwards as a car. It is in a really different league altogether. The pandemic has reduced my ability to drive it as much as I would have so only 10K up since I bought it but the experience has been great. That doesn't mean it doesn't have faults and problems.

Actually I had a really good experience over 6+ years with the allroad so my personal experience was it was a great allrounder. If a new model in the C5 style was available today I would buy it.
 
......................... Life was so much simpler back then.

Amen to that. I may have been lucky enough to have had a number of iconic cars over the years but there aren't many that I would want to have back and drive today.

This is one I might like to try again though, my charger from 1972. Now that's engine bay access with a little bit of power available as a bonus.
a real engine.jpg
 
The allroad has the bigger C5 chassis so with the same 2.7 engine it had plenty of access room. This is all about access though, I wouldn't want to imply that the RS6 is a step backwards as a car. It is in a really different league altogether.

Yes, I was referring to backward step with access, not the overall design of the car itself.
 
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