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Audi A3 Suspension Questions



  • ak496ak496 Posts: 4
    I have had my A3 since last august and I am approaching 15K miles....Ever since about 6k I have been getting a road/tire vibration noise that changes its vibration rate and noise frequency depending on speed. I hear it all the time from slower speeds like 30-40 mph and at hire speeds like 70-80 mph.

    Back in February I took the car in for the first detail of the EPP program I purchased and to have the knocking behind the glove compartment fixed (they had to replace a part under warranty)

    They kept my car for like 5 days to try and figure out what the vibration and noise was coming from only to end up with "Your wheels are out of alignment and now your tires are feathered" So I paid the $150 for the alignment with the understanding that it wouldn't go away immediately because I needed to wear down the feathering.... but at this point 5,000 miles later it has only gotten worst to the point where it's driving me nuts in the car!

    During those 5 days I had an A3 loaner with the Sports packages (different suspension and larger tires) and the loaner car had the same problem as mine so I know it's not just my car. They have said the A3's are suceptable to wheel alignment issues but I have never had this much noise and vibration from another car before...I don't think constant wheel re-alignment is the answer.

    Does anyone know how to fix this problem and prevent it from happening again?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "During those 5 days I had an A3 loaner with the Sports packages (different suspension and larger tires)..."

    Ummm, are you sure? IIRC, the S-Line (nee. Sport Package) equipped cars do in fact have a different suspension and tires that (typically) have a summer rubber compound, however, the all versions of the A3 sport 225/45 R17 tires. Yes, no?

    Best Regards,
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Posts: 126
    When i first started having the tire-road noise, the first thing the dealer did was do the re-alignment thing...they said 2 of my tires were wearing...or cupping as they called it...probably the same thing as the feathering issue.Now they don't want to rotate em because of this.
  • ak496ak496 Posts: 4
    My bad...I meant that the loaner with the sports package has the sport tuned suspension and the summer performance tires (different brand, not the perellis I believe, and mine does not have the sport tuned suspension and I have the all season perelli tires on it...
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    am curious what kind of roads folks with Noisy A3's are on?

    Am relocating to Oregon which has __very__ worn roads compared to other areas of the country (some of them look like they are gravel on top of concrete). Not sure how an A3 would fare on those.
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Posts: 126
    Just put on a new set of Bridgestone Potenza G 009's on my 06 A3...The road noise has completely disappeared. The tires look good and handle good.Now we'll see if i can get more than 20,000 miles out of em. The Pirelli P6 All Seasons were shot by 20,000 miles.

  • geewilliegeewillie Posts: 7
    overall, I've been jazzed by my A3 since late February. On the open road and rural back roads, it's been a blast, but yes, it has taken a lot of getting use to the jarring sports suspension and noisy tires in comparison with my former drive, a '98 VW Passat sedan. That's probably my major gripe, along with a buzzy engine in low speed climbing, some simple elements I enjoyed on the Passat but Audi chose to stay with the Jetta parts bin, e.g. horn that cannot be gently tapped for a "quiet" honk, lighted mirror visors that Passat had mastered (and are probably on A4s), and no lumbar support knob). But, back to your question: It can be improved with a new set of tires, which I'm not ready to purchase at this time (my Scottish nature). I had the same problem with the Passat's original tires, which were also Contis. Even the Audi dealer parts guy spoke about VW/Audi's thrifty nature with OE tires, obviously partly a ploy to get me interested in replacing the Contis now with dealer's Goodyears rather than wait until I can purchase in '09 at Discount Tire. But like all sports tires and the way I like to drive when there's a curvy road, the Contis probably won't last but a couple of years, even with my minimal driving. Even though my great set of Michelin sports tires improved both handling and noise on the Passat, the sports tires will not last as long as the tires that most Honda/Camry sedans are equipped with. So, enjoy the handling that's in part attributed to the high-profile sports tires, but turn the multimedia system up a bit higher!
  • geewilliegeewillie Posts: 7
    Don the Greek is right. OE for the A3 are Pirellis. My bad.
  • I love my A3 (2006). I got it with one of the first DSGs they had here in tree town. And the roads here are crap. Midwest winters and salt are not good for the roads. But this is a great car to drive even on what passes for a road here.

    So back to the tire issue...I had P6s on the car new. At about 20K the road noise was so horrible and the tires were so cupped, they had to be replaced. Audi said 20K was about right for tire wear, but Pirelli and I tried to get them to own up that they have a tire that doesn't have a warranty on the A3. It's the only size that doesn't have a warranty. So I bought a set of Yokahamas. Car has been amazingly quiet since then. And the new tires have a tread warranty for 65K miles. They also seem to handle fine. The tire dealer said that Audis, Porsches and some Benzes have some pretty aggressive suspension settings that cause the tires to wear prematurely. We'll see how long the Yokahamas last. Maybe I'll switch to the Bridgestones next time.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    Says that the A3 can only accomodate 235/45R17, but not 245/40R17's if I want to upgrade my traction and handling from the OEM 225/45R17's.

    You could also go to 235/40R18's (with new bigger rims), but still, no 245/40R18's!

    Is this correct?
  • lilseamuslilseamus Posts: 1
    I also have enjoyed my '07 A3 since november. Speedy little girl with good handling and great options. However, I am struggling with this road noise and tire wear issue, and it is beginning to frustrate me. I have 42K miles, gone through 10 tires, 3 alignments, and hours of arguing. My current set of tires are 12K miles old, and are already Cupping!!!!! I can not afford to be buying new tires every 15K. I could just put that into my car payment and drive an A8. I drive ALL highway miles on nice roads. Does anyone have any idea what causes this problem? I really need a fix, not new tires. Please help
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Posts: 126
    I have the same concerns lilseamus...I might be swapping cars sooner than i want to...
    Last time i visited my closest audi dealer, there was a guy there with an A4 Quattro...(i have an 06 A3, my first set lasted 20,000)with 20,000 miles his tires were shot.

    I'm told by some local mechanics "Audi's" are know to chew up tires! I don't think the awd subaru's are prone to this.

    Help us out guys!!!!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    On my 2006 A3 2.0 DSG Sport I got the rarer OEM performance tires, the Dunlop Sport Maxx's. These are fantastic tires. Yes, they will barely last 20,000 miles, and if it was winter, I'd probably have to change them right now at 18K.

    However, they have fantastic grip and traction, especially on wet roads, it's almost like rain is irrelevant to my A3's handling with these tires. I believe most A3's came with Continental Performance tires which don't rate nearly as well from reviews I've read. I can't complain about 20K miles from ultra high performance tires, I think thats about right with my aggressive driving style to boot.

    However, due to a special deal I am purchasing Falken's FK-452's in 225/45R17 size (just like the OEM size). These are AA traction rated, Y speed rated, and 94 load factor just like the Dunlop Sport Maxx's, but for a lot less money.

    The only real complaint about my OEM tires is that I thought they had too much road noise develop when roads were not ideal. With smooth freshly paved roads however, they were quiet.
  • Hi!
    It's now march 2008... How do you like the potenza's?
    I need to replace the pirelli but i can't decide on a make.
    Thanks for your help
  • saccyclistsaccyclist Posts: 1
    I have nearly 8,000 miles on my 2007 Audi A3. Overall, I am very pleased with the car. It is simply a blast to drive. About a week ago, however, I noticed a rattle/clunking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. I checked the cargo tray, rear seats, spare tire, and even removed my roof mounted bike rack. All items were properly secured. The noise persisted. I returned to the dealership for assistance. Fortunately, the service advisor heard the noise. We then asked a technician to ride in the car. With a person sitting in the rear seat, the noise stopped. The dealership then tried to convince me that the noise was normal. To prove their point, they asked me to drive a brand new A3 and explained the vehicle's suspension has "elasticity". Of course, the new A3 did not make this same noise I refused to accept this explanation. The vehicle is still at the dealership. Has anyone else experienced a similar problem? Thank You
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    So there's a noise with no one in the backseat, and no noise with someone in the back seat and the dealer can't add 2+2 = 4?

    Well then, suggest to them that it *might* have something to do with the rear suspension, which is further compressed with rear passengers.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    I've had an extremely rarely occurring rattle in the back of my A3 as well. Check the seat belts, I'm sure its that, particularly the ones on the side that can have hard plastic and metal buckles coming into contact and vibration with the plastic trim, moldings, and panels on the rear/side panels.

    That's what it was in mine, and I haven't heard it since I adjusted the seat belt buckles on the belts.
  • tzhangtzhang Posts: 3
    I had my A3for about 2.5 yrs with 24K miles on it. The tire noise was driving me crazy. Every time when I drive on I-95 I had to turn up the music. I just replaced all the tires with
    Falken ZE-912. Man, that made a big different and the noise is gone.
  • Hey Marc,
    That is a bunch of crock. The A3 has some sort of issue with the suspension where at approx 5-7,500 the tires start "cupping". As a fed up A3 owner I hope they come up with a solution because I can't buy tires every 7,500 miles.
  • "cupping" will definitely increase tire noise. They'll wail like an 18-wheeler.

    Cupping is usually associated with a weak suspension BTW or at least a very active one that's doing a lot of hopping around.
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