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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair

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  • Hi (again),
    My car has ended up not starting after i shut it off in the past - that happened a couple of times. It made a fast clicking sound when i tried to start it up - like a tiny machine gun going off. Im sure you guys know what im talking about. So anyway, i got a jump and it immediately was okay - that coupled with the fact that the voltometer or whatever, was down to about 8. After that, I went to Walmart and they told me that they had the battery for about $60. After they got under the hood though, they said they didnt have it. After that, i went to NTB, but they quoted me at about $120, then when i asked "So that includes any labor charges?" The guy kinda smirked and said .."Oh, thats about $20 more...So $140" or Whatever he quoted me at. Then i remembered that someone told me that if you already have a battery, you can go by NTB and they'll intall it for Free, so what the H#$% was he gunna charge me a $20 fee for? For me asking, i guess. So, i dont think i'll go to that NTB.
    Anyway, the car didnt start Twice yesterday. I had noticed about 4 days ago, that it was turning over slightly slowly as i started it up...but i figured it was due to the shaking issue and that the car has been having. I got (finally) got it jumped yesterday and it started up just fine. Later though, when it was umped, it didnt start, until the guy ened up making Sparks by puttling the clamps on the engine block and Other areas he touched the clamps with. I guess he knew what he was doing, because it ended up starting up. But just before they gave me a jump, the cashier at the gas station said that the clicking/tiny machine gun noise was a sign was that it Wasnt the battery, but the Starter and that if i just keep trying to start it, it'll probably start up. I told him that it made that same noise in the past and a jump worked. But i took his advice. As i suspected, it didnt start until later on when i got a jump.
    I couldnt find a car place that was open yesterday (since it was Sunday. I had seen Some store that said Open on Sundays, but i couldnt remember what store it was or where it was).
    So today...just my luck..the car wont start. Well, it did Start to turn over for like 1 second but then went to the clicking noise and at that point the battery/voltmeter showed it as being at 12....as i tried starting it again, and again, the voltmeter went down to just ablove 8...so that makes me fee confident that it Is the battery, and not some other prob. I guess I'll know for sure once i get a new battery at NTB or somewhere later on today.

    For the person who said "first mistake, taking it to a dealership" Well its an Audi; it only made sense to me to therefore take it to the dealership, to compile as much Audi related info as possible at least...and may as well get a quote while im there. Its not like i paid for any of their services. And i Have tried to look up/find Audi/German car people in the Northern VA area, and i havent been able to..i saw like 1 or 2 listings.

    Well, i gotta go try to get a jump.

    Later,

    Shevi
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,635
    You should approach this a bit more logically.

    Charge the battery up and then have the alternator output tested. If you keep jumping a dead battery and let the alternator try to charge it up time after time, you are going to wipe out the alternator soon enough.

    With a fully charged battery you can get accurate test results on load-testing the battery and also checking alternator output.

    If you just replace the battery, you may have cured only the symptom, not the disease....and thrown away a good battery and still have a bad alternator.
  • I dont see how getting a battery jumped, thats gone bad randomly is "not approaching something logically". You talk as if EVERYONE on earth would know about the alternator output, etc etc. How about You approach the situation logically and with an open mind? The battery was doing fine until yesterday and this morning, and during those times, i couldnt get to a car place. Think about it. Also, If i knew everything about cars, i wouldnt be on this website making inquiries.

    ANYWAY, I just got the battery charged, and im going to NTB now. I got some advice about the battery issue and how to charge it on my own. Since inconsiderate people like you are reading(thats my polite way of saying it), i hardly even want to share the info...but for the nice people, i will: This lady said that she's started her battery before using SODA. I really didnt think it would work but I walked to store and came back and tried it. Sure enough, my car started up. Isnt that something? Well anyway, I'll go have the whole battery situation looked at now, hopefully whatever the issue is, NTB will fix it - thats not always how it goes.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,635
    Well no offense intended I assure you. By "logically" I meant the problem, not you. I was just trying to suggest how to avoid a costly mistake and also to avoid damaging your alternator. I wish you luck solving your problem.
  • Thank you for the clarification. A lot of people are quite rude online and have warped mentalities. I guess they're dumb/inadequate in every other area of their lives so they feel the need to come online and act like they are the leading authority on something like Cars and act like smart a#$es all day. I have a high I.Q., love learning, and im Much more compassionate than most. So it irritates me when people act like they're on some higher level than the next person(when there's a 99% chance that im smarter than them about most subjects). I used to be extremely modest...but i think its time i set the record straight.

    But back to the car: I just left Merchant Auto Center. I had gone to NTB and asked them about doing a diagnostic on the battery/alternator and told him that someone said contsant charged would mess up the alternator or something. He said he didnt know what they were talking about as far as that, but that based on what i told him about the car immediately starting up after the jumps, its Definitely not anything other than the battery. But they ended up telling me that they dont have some Electronic Coding thing that has to be done along with the battery, but that i could go to Merchants. I went to Merchants and the guys there were very professional/helpful(apparently, Merchant and NTB are affilated, he pulled up my info based on a previous NTB visit). It took about 2 hours for the guy to go get the battery (and toher parts they needed for their store) from some other place, but after he got back, my battery was Installed in like 20 mins. That was wonderful. I asked if they checked the alternator and stuff and the guy said that he didnt but that basically if the car starts up fine once your started it and shut it off, about 3 times in a row, then you know the alternator and everything else is fine (I know, its a run-on sentence...but oh well).
    So the battery issue should now be completely rectified. Thanks for the bits of helpful information that i was able to salvage from the sometimes erroneous comments that you all have made.
    Oh and the cost of the battery was $104. The labor/installation was $10 so it came out to about $127. At first he said $150 something. Then i said "Its $150? But he told me earlier that it was like $104 for a battery then $10 for labor." He said that they put a $15 Complete Check charge on there. He mumbled that He doesnt usually charge for complete checks,and said that he would give me $10 off. In the past, i would have just been like "okay" or really, i probably wouldnt even have said anything at the point of him saying it was $150..i wouldve just paid. But times have changed just a little, plus im low on cash. I said "Okay...But really, if they didnt do a "complete check" then i shouldnt be getting charged for it" Then he said "Was it outside before i went and worked on it?" I said "It was outside ALL DAY" Then he said "Okay, well I'll take the Complete check off".
    So now im just left with the Engine light issue - which could be a mass air flow sensor problem or a vacuum leak problem. But it will have to wait for now..and hopefully it can. Merchant said that they dont deal with that, or things like my A/C prob and that i would probably have to go to the dealership..or some other little shop that may work on those issues.

    Later,

    Shevi
  • Hey,

    I mentioned in an earlier entry today, that someone told me about "jumping" a car by using soda. I was pissed off at the time, so i gave scant details. I wanted to come back to give you guys the full details so that I can better assist you. :)

    The way i did it was (i used Sprite, but im sure it doesnt matter what kind of soda) I shook up the soda, then filled the cap with the soda. I placed a cap full on each of the parts where you would place the cables to jump your car (the + and the -). I was thinking " This sh#t isnt gunna work...but i was willing to try it. Plus, i was thinking that you shouldnt wet the battery, you know? But anyway, i went to start up the car and it DID start. So you can use that if you ever get a dead battery (at your own risk of course..for all i know it might mess up some part of your car. lol). Im guessing maybe you shouldnt touch the coda or anything..since it may be conducting electricity...but i have not idea...I've never read up on batteries extensively, or using SODA (of all things) on them...but personally, I made sure to not touch the soda after i poured it on there :P).

    And it lasted through like 2 other start ups that i had to do before i got to the Merchant Tire/Auto place to get the new battery.

    Take care!

    Sincerely,

    Shevi
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,635
    Yes, constant charging of a dead battery using only alternator power will definitely damage an alternator.

    Source is the Bosch USA factory website:

    http://jobs.boschusa.com/AutoParts/FAQs/AlternatorsStarters/

    Scroll down to last Q & A for a detailed explanation.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    =====================================================

    SODA POP:

    It's true, the acidic quality of soda pop can be used to possibly clean some corrosion from the TERMINALS of a battery, but if the soda pop gets INTO the battery, it will destroy it.

    source: California State Automobile Association website:

    http://www.csaa.com/global/articledetail/0%2C1398%2C1004010304%257C1804%2C00.htm- - - - l

    A better solution is a diluted mixture of baking soda and water, again only to be used to dissolve external corrosion on a battery terminal. The solution must NEVER get inside a battery or it's toast.

    Please work safely around car batteries.
  • Gosh. Will you ever let me breathe Joe? Im wondering if you put "TERMINALS" in caps because when i mentioned them in my previous post, i typed "the parts where you would place the cables to jump your car (the + and the -)". I couldnt remember the name of them at the time nor did i care to sit there and brainstorm over such a minuscule detail. But im giving it the benefit of a doubt that maybe you werent trying to be a smart aleck about what i said (since you put "INTO" in caps as well, im thinking that you were just, in essence,making both terms noticeable so that people would note the difference in the two situations: outside of versus inside of the battery).
    And as i said, i too think that everyone should be careful around the battery. I just figured i'd pass along what i found out - in case a person is stranded out in the middle of nowhere and without a phone to seek assistance. Its good to know that what may start your car may already be in it - soda.
    Okay, talk to you guys later. I dont think i'll be posting again unless something major happens.

    ~Shevi
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,635
    The post wasn't addressed to you, sorry again for the misunderstanding. The links provided were to clarify alternator and battery issues for those Audi owners who may be doing DIY work in the future.
  • Hmmm...It "wasnt addressed to me", but yet you mentioned the two things that I had been talking about: the alternator/battery and the Soda. But whatever. Really, i was only half serious when i did that Terminology post. It was kind of a joke; I didnt really care about what you had said. I just found it funny that you had a bead on me all of a sudden. LOL.
    But thanks for taking the time to clarify and being sweet about it.

    ~Shevi
  • cogdillcogdill Posts: 1
    Was the service department able to fix your turn signal problem? Mine started working properly for several months but has just started malfunctioning again.
  • pvillipvilli Posts: 7
    Anybody have any info getting XM on Audi A4 that was not factory installed? Thanks
  • rapowitzrapowitz Posts: 12
    If your A4 is a "recent" year it may be pre-wired and you can get an XM module for $100 on Ebay from a variety of parts resellers. Instructions are pretty easy.

    If it's not a recent year, then any of the XM modules from Circuit City or Best Buy will work. That may be your ONKY choice. The difference among the dozen or so options is your personal preference and if you want to spend $50 or $300+ on the receiver. I have a basic "Roady" model in a 2001 A4 and it really works very well. I'd recommend the tape player audio output as opposed to the FM receiver because you'll never get fading or static. It looks a bit funkier with the exposed wire, but the tradeoff is worth it.

    Last, if you look on Ebay, you'll find cool little metal mounting brackets that work well with a variety of the XM modules. There's not a lot of great places to mount the modules, so the bracket is just the ticket.
  • I own the same year and model.

    I just replaced the left rear hub bearing.

    For $60.00 from a web site, a few hours labor and the special bearing press, it is as good as new. Wheel bearing noise gone.

    Chris
  • I hava a 1996 a4 quarto>

    I am having a problem with the air conditioning. It is blowing hot though it is charged.
    Local foreign car shop wasn't able to trouble shoot.

    He mentioned that he thought there was a recal about this year. Any ideas how to test switches and trouble shoot. Does the controller go bad?

    Thanks,

    chris
  • Hello,

    My 1996 audi a4 quattro is sticking.

    When started, it does not return to the on position, it stays in the starter engage mode. Manually you can turn it to on.

    Also, sometimes it will not shut off completely. It stays in the accesory mode.

    I am an advanced weekend mechanic. Will to diagnose and repair if any one has guidance.

    Thanks,
    Chris
  • rcmrcm Posts: 5
    I use the FM output with a Delphi module in my '02 A4. The car has the standard Symphony stereo unit (6-CD in-dash) and the XM audio quality is quite good. Not quite up to CD quality, but still remarkably good for a standard car stereo and speakers. The tape output sounded harsh to my ears, and looked absolutely awful. My only complaint about the XM unit is the antenna, which I suspect does not receive a signal as well as a factory unit.
  • kranierikranieri Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 A4 1.8 turbo. The clutch just went at 19,000 miles! My husband and I are both experienced stick shift drivers, however Audi tells us that it was "driver error."
    Funny how we have never replaced a clutch at less then 75,000 miles. Audi has done NOTHING to help us in this situation except put the blame on us. Seems like they are good at that being that I have seen similar posts about this issue. Is there any information or suggestions out there to prove that Audi makes a bad clutch? Any suggestions on how to deal with Audi will be helpful.
    I know that Audi doesn't care that they have lost yet another customer :mad:
  • kjh78kjh78 Posts: 5
    Currently I drive a BMW 330XI, however my lease is coming to an end and I was offered a GREAT deal to purchase a new 06 A4 2.0. I was going to just buy out my car (absolutley LOVE my current car-never had any problems), but it would mean I would have to finance for another 3 years. I could purchase the new A4 for $5k more but fianace for 5 yrs (plus lower payments). I feel I should take advantage of this great deal but worried about future problems/reliablity of A4. Reliablity is VERY important to me. I would appreciate any feedback/comments on experience with this car and suggestions about what I should do. Thanks!
  • kcook111kcook111 Posts: 2
    I have almost the exact posting! I have a 2005 A4 1.8T and the clutch died after 25,000 miles. To be exact, two days after having the car serviced. I have had several cars w/ standard transmissions w/out any problems. I agree, Audi is no help at all. Customer Relations will stated that they will support the decision made by the Audi Service department which blames the driver for wear & tear (surprise...surprise). I have complained twice in hopes of finding something to help recover some money. The warranty only states the clutch linings....I am not 100% sure what that means but I just had the "clutch" and "flywheel" replaced. Never mentioned anything about linings on the service receipt. Anyone out there with knowledge about clutches? Little clueless....that is why I bought a premium auto, so I could avoid these issues!
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