The time has come to start modding your B7, however, you’re not entirely sure which route you want to pursue. Are you hoping to build a fun track car or are you simply looking to add a few cosmetic upgrades? Here are our top 10 B7 A4 mods that will make you fall in love with your car again.
Ok, this may not be a mod per se but it will help you avoid issues when you do start modding. One of the first items on the list should be a high-quality oil change. Using the correct type of oil will ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly. We recommend 5W40 Volkswagen / Audi approved oil. Both 2.0T and 3.2L V6 oil change kits feature only the best brands of oil.
Being that these vehicles are a bit older here are a few of the most commonly failed parts.
- Vacuum Pump. The vacuum pump usually leaks from the housing, not the gasket. We recommend changing the pump to the newest revision to avoid any issues.
- Oil Filter Housing Gasket / Oil Cooler Gasket. They are also a very common problem area that should be addressed. 99% of oil leaks on the B7 A4 come from the vacuum pump and oil filter / oil cooler housing gaskets.
- Cam Follower. The cam follower on the 2.0T should be checked and/or replaced every 10,000-15,000 miles. A broken cam follower can lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.
- Coil Packs / Spark Plugs. A coil pack failure can lead to misfires and should be replaced all at once, spark plugs should be replaced every 40,000 miles.
Making sure that the vehicle is in proper working order should be your number one priority, once these issues are addressed it’s time for some fun!
2. VCDS (VAG-COM Diagnostic System)
With a Genuine Ross-Tech VCDS (VAG-COM Diagnostic System) you will be able to perform small mods by unlocking hidden features.
- Gain factory level access to all systems in most VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda and Bentley models from 1990 through the current model year
- Scan for and clear DTCs with 19,000+ fault codes decoded into plain text
- Alter settings through module coding accessible only by factory level tools
- Perform various country-specific modifications to your car (remove seat belt chime, enable gauge test/needle sweep, enable lap timer, operate windows and sunroof with remote, and much more)
- View and log live data
- Reset service reminder
- Perform built in tests and calibrations normally reserved for factory level tools
- Diagnose real failures instead of swapping parts!
Here is a great Audizine thread for simple Audi A4 B7 VAG-COM modifications.
3. Tune / Chip / Software Upgrade
The 2.0T FSI motor is de-tuned and has a lot of hidden potential. We recommend a Revo Stage 1 tune for those who do not have any exhaust or catalytic converter mods. For those who do, Stage 2 tune will be perfect. Expect gains of roughly 50hp and 100 ft lb of torque with the proper supporting mods. We offer Revo tunes for most VW and Audi models in our Piscataway, NJ location.
4. Exhaust, High-Flow Cat, Test Pipe
Now we get to the fun stuff! Any turbocharged vehicle will benefit from a lower cell count. A lower cell count means that there will be less restriction resulting in a faster spool time. Faster spool means that the vehicle will be quicker. Your initial decision on purchasing a high-flow cat or test pipe should be determined by your needs and the laws of your specific state. Certain states will not allow test pipes while others will not allow any catalytic converter modifications at all.
- Test Pipe: We recommend using an 034Motorsport test pipe on your B7 due to the high-quality construction and free flow technology. Test pipes have absolutely no restriction however they will give off a slight smell. Please check your state’s regulations regarding test pipes.
- High-Flow Cat: The 034Motorsport high-flow cat will lower the cell count while still offering a functioning catalytic converter. The difference in gains compared to a test pipe are minimal and it will not put out a nasty smell. We recommend high flow cats over test pipes.
- Cat-Back Exhaust Systems: The most popular option on the market since the B7 was introduced is hands down the Europa Parts cat back exhaust, available for manual and Tiptronic transmissions. Mandrel bent T-304 stainless steel and an aggressive yet drone free tone is what made this the most popular exhaust system for the B7 A4. If you have any questions regarding any 034Motorsport products or our exhaust feel free to contact us. Did we mention that they mate up perfectly without any modification?
5. Lower It!
Lowering your vehicle will not only help it handle better but it will eliminate that horrid factory wheel gap. There are typically three ways to lower a car.
- Lowering Springs. This is the entry level option. Lowering springs should not be used on stock shocks as they will blow out within a year. If you plan on using lowering spring we highly recommend picking up a set of Koni yellows or a set of FSD shocks. These will be able to handle the lowering springs without blowing out.
- Coilovers. Coilovers can range from $300 – $3,000 and you really do get what you pay for. Anything under $700 will typically ride extremely harsh and not offer the luxury feel that the Audi brand is known for. If you plan on running coilovers we recommend purchasing a good set. Buy nice or buy twice.
- Air ride. This is the most expensive option but allows you to raise and lower your vehicle with a push of a button. Air can be the most functional option however it will have the most issues if not installed properly. A blown line or bag, failed compressor, or any combination of the two can leave you stranded without being able to move or possibly tow the vehicle.
Now that your vehicle has it’s maintenance done, is tuned with the proper supporting mods, and lowered, it’s time for a nice set of wheels. If you’re not sure what route you want to go in as far as wheel are concerned feel free to read our Beginners Guide to Wheels.
7. Stiffer is Better
Loose is never good, especially when it comes to cars. The stiffer the suspension the better it will be for handling. Lowering your car is the first step but what about sway bars, motor mounts, snub mounts, and transmission mounts? 034Motorsport offers all of these for the B7 chassis and we have each component in stock. If you have any questions regarding making your vehicle handle better, feel free to contact us.
8. Body Mods
The days of body kits and gaudy body modifications is over. Keeping an OEM+ look is the way to go. The B7 body came in two different options, an S-Line and a Non S-Line. All 08 vehicles had an S-Line exterior but were not “true” S-Lines. The easiest way to tell if you have an S-Line or Non S-Line exterior is to look at your fog lights. If the fog light cover is black and can be removed you have an S-Line. If the trim cannot be removed and is color matched to your vehicle then you have a Non S-Line. Although B7 A4’s did not come with DTM packages they can be fitted and are a Genuine OEM option. As far as grilles are concerned S-Line, S4, and RS4 grilles can be interchanged while Non S-Line and DTM grilles can be interchanged with one another.
Not all B7 A4’s came with Xenon headlights but we do recommend upgrading if possible. You will need an aftermarket wiring harness, along with ballasts and bulbs. We do not recommend putting in aftermarket H.I.D. or xenon kits in halogen housings as it will blind oncoming traffic. We offer OEM Xenon housings that will not only make your car look better but increase the light output as well. The factory B7 Xenon bulb is a D1S which we offer in stock 4,300k and a cleaner, whiter 5,000k.
10. Cold Air Intakes
Save your money, they do nothing for turbocharged vehicles. Save your money and use it on numbers 1 – 9.
If you have any questions regarding upgrades or maintenance for your B7 chassis A4, feel free to contact us.