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Cold Weather Problems

I've recently noticed some problems with my 2002 A4 1.8T Manual, and was wondering if anybody here has noted the same issues.


The problem appears whenever it is very cold outside (below freezing). Upon starting the car it moves very slowly, behaves as if the parking brake was on. Acceleration is poor, the car drags and the moment I take my foot off the gas the car stops quickly. The problem disappears as the car warms up with continued driving. The colder it is, the worse the problem is.


Never had this problem with previous winters.


Any help is appreciated!


  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Check your brakes. It sounds like they are dragging.
  • If the brakes were indeed the problem, why does the problem disappear as the car heats up?
  • Could be contaminated brake fluid, cruddy calipers, or ice forming on badly grooved rotors. It's a peculiar problem but does seem to be brake related.


    I'd try leaving the emergency brake OFF overnight and let us know what happens.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    on most of my cars over the years when it gets cold. likely where the cable comes in through the back of the brake assembly, GM once pointed that out in a manual I had. things get warm enough, the issue is gone... and a dragging brake will warm it up some.


    just to be sure, have a little brake fluid bled from each brake, to be sure you don't have a little icy clot keeping pressure on one or more wheels. it's recommended you replace the fluid every couple of years anyway, so you're close enough to have somebody evaluate it on the caliper end.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    And in my case, I've tracked down brake dragging to "bad" calipers, where the piston and bore had mating surface problems. Solution: Replace the bad caliper(s), and bleed and replace the brake fluid.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I have been given an idea by alldata that there are actually e-brake shoes in my disk rears on my exploder, but it's cold and I don't want to squirm around in the salt taking things apart to look at it. regardless, once it warmed up, the ebrake released again, and we're back to normal.


    a dead caliper could well have caused the right rear to have burned through the pad and gouged the rotor past cleanup last spring. all those issues were addressed at the time. doesn't explain how the brake techs missed the e-brake cables being seized up, for which I gave them a good talking to.
  • here's an interesting article from Edmunds editorial that you all might enjoy reading:



    Shifty the Host
  • So I took the car into the dealership - and they told me that they could not reproduce the problem (wasn't that cold overnight). They feel that the parking brake cord might be getting stuck because of freezing, and the brake does not disengage even after I put it down.


    They lubricated it again, and hopefully it will stay fixed.


    Thanks for all your input, and I'll post again if something new develops.
  • Help....I am wondering if anyone has info on WRX clutches having problems. My 2004 Impreza after an extremely snowy evening would not go into 1st or 2nd gear. I had someone tell me that they read that there were problems with these cluthes. Can anyone verify?
  • Use the search feature on the left of this page.


    If you go to "advanced search" and then click on "message text" search, you can combine two keywords like WRX + clutch, and read every single message ever posted that has those two words in the message!


    Yes, there have been plenty of discussions about chattering clutches, but I"m not sure about lazy clutches in cold weather.


    One thing you can do is start the car with the clutch pedal in, and then gently engage the clutch just enough to create a little forward motion. You can even have the handbrake on. This should warm up the clutch enough so that when you do warm up the engine and are ready to go, you should be able to engage the clutch easily.
  • Audis do not like cold weather! Whenever it gets cold, like below 24 F, or so, my A62.7T fan heater blower motor will "squeal" until the car warms up, and also some of the pictographs on the dash trouble management system will come on, also until the vehicle warms up. Since using 0w-40 synthetic oil, it drives off okay when cold, just the annoying interior stuff when starting out cold.
  • Your heatger fan heater shaft bearing is probably worn a bit or wasn't lubricated well when assembled.
  • You could be right. I had the blower fan replaced 23,000 miles ago under the factory warranty. The first one made the same noise when cold. After the Audi has been driven for 15 minutes or so, the fan quiets down. No problem whatsoever in warm weather.

  • That clunk sound is your V-6 transmission. V-6 Accords and Acuras have been known for this problem.
  • My wife and I have to move from Arizona to Ohio this summer, and are wondering if we should keep our A4 Cab - 1.8T, CVT. I'm assuming with the ESP that the car will handle wonderfully in the white stuff, but can' t say as I know for sure. Does anyone have any light they could shed on this subject? Additionally, what would we have to do for winter tires?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    On my past two cars I simply bought winter tire/wheel packages from Tire Rack. Around December 1 I take off the summer rubber and then I slap 'em back on in early April. It only takes about 30-40 minutes. As for your A4, it should be fine in in ice and snow.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    You can ask the tire rack people right here what they recommend:

    Ask Connor at the Tire Rack

    shifty the host
  • cyberpmgcyberpmg Posts: 83
    Being a fellow Ohioan, welcome to the state! I know there are many other A4 Cab owners around here. While nearly all Audis sold here have the quattro package, it's not to say you can't drive around with CVT. ESP will help out, but it's advisable to disengage ESP if you have a lot of snow piled up on the street (several inches deep) - at least that's the recommendation with quattro. Check your owner's manual. There should be remarks about ESP and winter driving for your car.

    A wise investment would be to get a set of wheels for winter use (go with 15" wheels if you're still stock) and a good set of dedicated snow tires (Blizzak and Michelin are good sources). If you're up near Lake Erie, expect to put the tires on early in November and keep them on until mid to late April.

    We only have 2 seasons around here: Road Construction and Winter. ;)
  • Thanks for the help. One last question: Is there any special care for the cloth top?
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