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Audi A4 Reliability

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  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Hi, listen I was just curious what current Audi A4 owners/lessors of A4's post 2007 feel about the reliability of the A4 is and what the future holds for not just the A4 but for Audi in general?

    Reason I ask is, having been a Japanese luxury owner.lessor for a few years and not really caring for German styling, I have taken notice and really like the styling, LED DRLs, of the new Audi lineup and might consider leasing one in a year and half when my current lease is up?

    Consumer reports and JD Power have listed poor reliability of the A4 pre 2006 and do not recommend it as a used vehicle but both sites have shown great improvement in reliability starting in 2007 to the current one; I wanted to know if this is true based on current Audi A4 owners/lessors and do you recommend leasing this vehicle or at the very least give it consideration?

    I really like the direction Audi has taken in the styling and interior department over the last few years but they aren't exactly known for impeccable reliability but I don't hold problems of the past against improvements in the companies current models, a good example of this is Nissan, so I would love some insightful criticism and opinions!!! both good or bad!!
  • When I purchased my 2005+ A4 (4 cylinder convertible model) I did so after reading that Consumer Reports had given the car decent ratings - including probable repair record. I'm satisfied with the car even though it needed two repairs. Those were covered under a good warranty issued back then.
    I find the car reliable and I think many people on this site do report on their car problems, but people satisfied with the car don't bother to report that fact. It's my opinion that Audi has more problem cars, but that doesn't mean the average car buyer will have more problems with their cars than buyers of American cars.
  • I currently own an audi a4 2000, and my father owned an a4 2001, which he was happy to get rid of. We both liked the cars, but frankly, the reliability of audi and vw is scary. The cars will not leave you stranded, but they will empty your checkbook very fast. There is a reason you don't see older audi's on the road.

    My experience with the audi a4 is:
    1) engine seals replaced 2 x
    2) diff seals replaced 2 x
    3) dash display replaced
    4) entire throttle body replaced (sensors, valves, etc)
    5) fuel injectors replaced 2 x
    6) driver's airbag replaced
    7) abs module replaced
    8) driver's and passenger window lifters replaced
    9) drive shaft boots replaced
    10) various sensors (temp sensors, oxygen sensors, etc)
    11) hoses, pipes, etc.

    This is a 10 year car which started breaking after 2.5 years. Thank god I had a full coverage warranty. The warranty paid out $12k in repairs, and from speaking with the audi/vw shop, this is typical of audi's.

    Have they gotten better? I hope so, but I can guarantee you that their reliability is still poor. By the way, consumer reports gave the a4 a good reliability rating in 2000 and 2001. We'll see what happens in a couple of years to the 07's.

    In comparison:
    1) 2002 subaru- no problems with anything
    2) 2003 camry- 1 engine mount went bad
    3) 1995 maxima- 2 starters

    In my mind, audi's are great driving cars, but horrible transportation cars. They are not reliable, expensive to fix, and expensive to own.

    There is simply no justification for getting one. Do yourself a favor and get something else. If you want performance and have to get a german car, get a bmw. They seem to be the most reliable of the german makes, although they are not close to the japanese cars.
  • I drove my 2008 A4 about 6 miles in the cold the other night not ever getting over 35 miles per hour. At a stop light the clutch developed an issue out of nowhere and would not allow me to go into 1st gear. I finally had to drive it home in 3rd gear but after getting it into my garage, could not get it into gear again.

    Upon driving it to the dealer, my clutch was burned out completely. This surprised me because I saw no smoke or heard no grinding noises whatesoever when I was driving it.

    Has anybody ever had this issue? I cannot believe that I "broke" my Audi A4 in a matter of 35 miles per hour for 6 miles.

    *confused......
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    My wife is driving a 2006 A4 3.2 auto - no issue. We were surprised it's more reliable than our Saabs (although we still missed them).
  • Unfortunately, I have had very similar problems with my now former 2005 A4 3.0 Quatrro. After the warranty expired the costs piled up. Within a year of the warranty expiring the car was towed twice and I spent over $2000 on new tires and brake pads. The first time the car was towed the car needed a very costly new fuel pump. The second time the car was towed the dealer informed me it needed a new $13,000 engine, worth almost as much as the car if not more!!! At 4 years old and 62,000 miles a car should not need a new engine. No one in the dealership could tell me exactly what went wrong except that I had an excellent service record and all my fluids were fine. The dealership tried to offer me $2,000 for the car, which I just shelled out for the tires to the dealership. They would also not make any deal towards a trade in for a new Audi, which I was willing to try again with Audi. Audi obviously does not stand behind their vehicles or their customers.
  • rrrxrrrx Posts: 1
    I'm hearing all these bad reviews for the A4 1.8T. I am about to buy a 2002 A4 1.8T that has 84,000 miles on it, it was owned by a female bank worker, the seems to be in great shape. It's a local dealer who has it for sale, they are not an Audi dealership. Should I stay away from this car? they have it priced @ 10,900.
    Any help would be greatly welcomed!!!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,899
    This is a really difficult question for anyone else to answer. The plus side is that it's really fun to drive. The minus side is that there will be times when you can't drive it at all, and it will require more than the average amount in repair bills to make it drive again.

    You should do a forums search here on the terms A4 problems. Then, assume that you will experience at least some of the problems mentioned by others. Can your budget handle that? If so, can you also handle your car being out-of-commission for those periods of time/frequency?

    I have owned two vehicles in my life with poor reliability histories. The first one, I was spending $800/month in repairs for about the last 5 months of ownership. The second one, I beat the odds and experienced almost no problems at all. It's up to you to decide whether you can afford the risks. Personally, if I were spending $11K on a used vehicle, I'd be looking at something less exciting, but with a better likelihood of lower impact on my future & ongoing budget.

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  • gatillo21gatillo21 Posts: 1
    I saw a cheap 07 A4 Quattro manual transmission with 100,000 and I'm thinking about buying it. What are your suggestions??? Tell me fast please I don't want to make an expensive mistake.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,346
    You didn' mention price or condition. Get it checked out thoroughly by a qualified indy mechanic. 1-150 bucks. Does it have a complete service record?
  • The seller is asking for $6k. It sounds like a great price for that car, but I'm worried about the things I've read on this thread.

    I just wonder that if the car has ran fine up to this point, no major problems, then that means it won't have any now?

    But others have told me that the problems start after 50k miles? Any opinions?
  • Hello, I have purchased a 2006 audi a4 with a 3.2 engine, automatic. The thing is that it has a salvaged title(passengers side was hit). I took it to dealer before purchasing he said no frame damage or mechanical, the car is fine.
    I am wondering what steps i should take to be sure that this car lasts? When and what should i change and how often? As you can tell i am a NEWBIE to German Cars, any help would be apprecieated.
  • gee8gee8 Posts: 1
    i have 2005.5 A4 turbo... it has 55,000 miles on it and it shivers.... took it to the dealer to check it out and they cannot tell me what is wrong with my car... they r telling me that they will start pulling my car apart.... piece by piece to figure out what is wrong with it... and why it is doing it.......... they dont know whats causing it so i dont know where they r going to start and they want to charge me labor and parts for what they think they will used .... no estimate of how much it will cost...... no assurance that they will fix the problem even after spending x amount of dollars. i called audi of usa to see if their tec could help to determine where the problem comes from and what is causing it...... sorry we have 50,000k warranty its out ! now your only choice is to do what dealer says......and but he doest know what to do .... so i am lost ... i wish they told me that our tec only make cars they dont know how to fix them if something goes wrong with it.
  • A few weeks ago my car started driving strangely and while stopped at a light I realized that the car was actually making very loud noises and the front end of the car was shaking violently. The car stalled and when I tried to turn it back on nothing happened. I noticed an EPC light on the instrument panel. I ended up calling Audi roadside assistance and they came and towed the car to the dealership.

    My service rep informed me that after inspecting the car it was decided that a new engine would be ordered. She stated that a representative from Audi of America had to come to the shop, taken some parts and he had placed the order for the new engine.

    The service report states the following:
    Bad Engine; pulled plugs and found the plugs and pistons damaged on cylinders 1,2, and 3. Pistons are all pitted.

    I am now concerned about several things, the car only has about 17k left of warranty and I am very worried that something will go wrong after the warranty expires. I am also concerned that a carfax report will show that the engine was replaced and that will affect the resale value.

    I am hoping for some input from forum members as far as what I should/could do next. Do I have a legitimate reason to file a complaint with Audi? I’m hoping that at the very least they would extend my warranty. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

    Luis
  • Just found this thread. Don't forget that people with problems are far more likely to post on forums like this.

    The wife has a 2001 A4 with over 150k miles, almost all put on by her, the rest by me. The car looks and drives like new. Sure there have been a few problems over the years, but only a few. The biggest was last year when she finally had the dealer fix a small leak and wiring problem (some of the warning sensors would go off occasionally) on the back side of the engine. Major disassembly was required and I think the total bill was around $2000. She felt it worthwhile because she will keep the car several more years. Other than that, struts, brakes and such which are normal. She now has a slow leak in the AC so we just recharge it every Spring and it lasts til Winter. She absolutely loves the car.
  • To anyone who either owns an A4 or is considering getting one, some quick words of advice:

    I currently drive a 2002 Audi A4 3.0 quattro; as many others on this forum have posted, the vehicle drives great and has considerable pick up. I love the way it looks and the interior; that said, I have some serious issues with both the reliability and the care provided by Audi dealerships.

    When I purchased my Audi, it was eight years old with 88k miles on it; it drove fine in the test drive and for the first several months afterwards. Since then, I have nearly bought it again in repairs. I had to get my power steering pump and front bushels replaced, twice; my A/C unit had to be replaced. I cannot stress enough the costs associated with owning this vehicle. To make matters worse, the primary motivation of ALL employees I have come into contact with at the Audi dealership seems to be getting my car in there once a month. As previously mentioned in this forum, Audi is very hesitant to stand by their product and quality of repair/maintenance. If you or anyone you know is considering purchasing this vehicle, drop the money to get it checked out by a mechanic you trust; in addition, I hope you have a good bit of disposable income because chances are you will get hit with a hefty repair bill at some point.

    For all you a4 owners out there, if any of you live in the Atlanta area and know a good mechanic who specializes in german vehicles and is trustworthy and affordable, please let me know.
  • ragtop53ragtop53 Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    Thought I would share my experiences with my 2005 Audi A4 Cabriolet. Loved the looks of the car, and the Dolphin gray color with light leather interior was very sharp. Bought the car with just under 40,000 miles and it had been well cared for, with hardly a scratch on it, and a pristine interior with an engine compartment you could eat off of. It handled great and got excellent gas mileage of 30 plus on a 1000 mile driving vacation.
    As for the reliability, it began having issues as soon as that trip ended. A coolant puddle appeared in the garage under the car and came with a repair bill of several hundred dollars. The windshield washer reservoir and pump failed within another month and another few hundred to repair. Tail lamp bulbs burned out along with center brake light strip for another three hundred. It was at this point where I became frustrated, cause I would have liked to replace the bulbs myself, but this required removing panels inside the trunk. Even changing the air filter required major disassembling of intake, which I found out after purchasing a K&N filter replacement. I was told by the service manager that repair work was where Audi makes the money, so it is not designed for much owner upkeep.
    The check engine light problems finally put me over the edge, and prompted me to buy my own hand held code reader rather than pay the dealer $69 to reset. My A4 had the CVT type transmission, and one of the codes Audi determined would require a new valve body at $2000. It was at this point I started looking to the internet to see if this issue was common with A4's having so few miles on them. Sure enough there are problems with the CVT transmissions and even though it is not recommended in the owners manual, the CVT fluid should probably be changed out every 25,000 miles. Failure to do so will cost money, since when the fluid ages it creates a variety of problems with seals and hydraulic pressure. I opted to give changing out the fluid for a couple of hundred, to see if this might help the hydraulic pressure and possibly reset the code. At this point I had no shifting issues or indications of transmission problems, the car had only 40,000 miles, and the code stayed reset for a week and then came back. After reading more horror stories about CVT transmission issues and $6000 replacement costs, I had some decisions to make. I had spent well over a thousand in repairs for the 3,000 miles we had driven the car, and still had a check engine light and code that would not reset. So I decided to fold my hand and limit my losses, and part with this car after less than a year. A 40K automobile should have better reliability!
    Still think the A4 Cabrio is a beautiful car, but to much wallet liability for me to worry about.
    If you ar thinking of purchasing an Audi A4, stay away from the CVT, and purchase an extended warranty to limit your liability. These cars seem to do well for the warranty period, but then require deep pockets to keep up.
  • slee_stackslee_stack Posts: 28
    edited February 2011
    You could argue the same for many makes. And used cars are always a gamble. Cars can look spotless and have a steady service history and be owned by a little old lady. But some little old ladies don't drive like the stereotype might suggest. And some have relatives who beat the snot out of their car when they borrow it. Point is, don't judge a book (or car) by its cover.

    I owned a Saab which had its share of CELs and fixes, but I was good with doing repair work myself and hunting for reasonably priced parts instead of buying retail from a dealer. Overall the car was fantastic, but its the kind of vehicle that really requires an owner with mechanical aptitude AND genuine interest. I had a similar coolant leak and took care of it myself in <2 hours and with $15 worth of parts (or less). The most expensive repair I ever had to make was a new DIC which set me back $150 buying one online. An owner that doesn't know any better would have forked over $500 to a dealer to install one (a 10 minute job by the way).

    In your case with the A4 you probably made the right decision to get out from it. If working on cars was a hobby you enjoyed, it might have been worth holding onto.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,229
    What's CELs and DIC?
  • CEL is "Check Engine Light".
  • Hey gforaker,

    I have heard good things from my dad who takes our 2006 525i and 2006 325i (also 1998 Honda Prelude too, but you wanted to know about German cars) to Summit Auto in Decatur, GA.

    You can check them out on yelp and find more info about them on Google. They specialize in imports (European and Japanese Cars).

    It's a bit far out from where I am from (Alpharetta) but my dad says it's worth it.
  • wirelesswireless Posts: 47
    I used to drive from Alpharetta to Stone Mountain for Dwight Harrison VW. Well worth it and the best dealership I ever had the experience of visiting. For a good dealership a 30 or even 40 minute drive is well worth it.
  • Eddie,
    I'm getting ready to purchase a 2005 A4 convertible with only 32k miles on it. It has been garage kept and is beautiful.
    Wondering if you are still pleased with yours and if you have had any problems? This forum does cause me some concern and I've never owned an import. I know, American only but have been blessed. Husband's Lumina has over 241k miles and he changes the oil when the light comes on! Crazy!
    Thanks
  • eddie650eddie650 Posts: 26
    Yes, I have the 2005+ 4 cylinder A4 convertible, and I have no regrets with my purchase. Mine has about 69,000 miles. I was glad that my original warranty lasted 50,000 miles (I think that was the figure) since I needed some repairs and they were covered. I think Audi has more problem cars on the road than normal, but I seem to have bought one of the OK ones. I bought the car because I liked this convertible rather than the others out there. So far, I'd say that my repair record has been average. I drive the car more carefully than I did my Honda Accord since I'm anxious to avoid expensive repairs.

    Hope this helps.

    Eddie
  • brepeibrepei Posts: 10
    I had an A4 -2006, it was a beatiful car, handled real nice. It was a turbo Quatro and it was very fast and responsive. It only had 25,000 miles on it when I bought it in 2009 and I got it for a good price. But that's when I started having problems, I only had it a few days when it started missing and had no power. I returned it to the dealer and it took a couple of visits to find the problem, it was a bad cylinder coil (under warranty thank goodness) and 2 months later the same problem in another cylinder (also under warranty, whew!). In the meantime I got a letter from Audi that said they were having problems with the coils and that all future problems with them would be covered. I had previously owned a 98 Camary and I had only routine mantanence costs for the 11 years I owned the car so the Audi having problems was really scary. And I read on line that Audi owners really liked their cars but,they were expensive to fix. So I traded it after 6 months and bought another new Camary that I haven't had any problems with.
  • A word from a wise old driver about german automobiles. Unless you have pockets as deep as the Grand Canyon......stay away from them. Especially if they are out of warranty.

    German vehicles will eat your lunch. Germans love to tinker with their automobiles. The more problems, the better they like it. We Americans do not like to tinker with our daily drivers that we depend on.

    If your going to buy a German made automobile, you might be better off leasing the damn things. Get a new one every two to three years. All under warranty. Their problems. Not yours!
  • gforakergforaker Posts: 14
    edited April 2011
    Get real! You traded an A4 for a Camry because you worried it might have future repairs? You clearly are not the target customer for an Audi. You can ask several of my friends how reliable their Toyotas are. My A4 has not had much more in repairs over the past 160,000 miles than their cars.

    Of course an expensive luxury European car might cost more to repair, that is not the point, anymore than a beautiful girl friend might cost more to maintain and keep happy than a dumpy frumpy girl.

    A German car is lot like a trophy wife (or GF) - an awesome creature with an attraction unlike any other. But once you move in together, you find there are some less pretty stuff that she never advertised. She can just shut down on the side of the road, and remind you there's nothing you can do about it. And you'll hate her for a few days as she unloads your wallet. But once she comes back all dressed up and cute again, purring like normal, you fall in love all over again, pledging your undying love to the end. And guess what, some of us think it is worth it.
  • brepeibrepei Posts: 10
    That's a great reply, I have a 2000 corvette I feel the same way about, no matter how hard it is to work on, I still love the way she looks and drives.Getting back to the Audi, this was my wife's car and she gets really mad if she breaks down and I'm at hunting camp with no phone reception(intensional). So the Camary V-6 XLE made her happy, enough said. Regards.
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