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Audi A4 Sludge Problems

Is engine sludge still an issue with new Audi A4s, or has Audi finally resolved this problem?

I'm looking to buy a new Audi and this is obviously a major concern for me. Don't want to plunk down $35k and then have it die on the highway after only 60k miles due to engine sludge.
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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Actually they resolved the issue back in 2003 when they retroactively changed the oil spec for their engines. Use oils certified to meet the 502.00 VW oil spec (or better still use oils that meet the higher 503.01 oil spec), change your oil on schedule and you shouldn't have any problems.

    That said, if you're making lot of short trips and never letting the engine fully warm up, then simply reduce your OCI, and take it out on the highway and put the pedal to the metal once a week or so.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • My 2003 A4 had a 50,000 mile dealer service 2 months ago. Servce included oil , etc. My oil light recently came on & I went back to dealer who now informs me of a bad sludge problem at 52,000 miles. Shouldn't something have shown up when they changed the oil 2 months ago??
  • does anyone know what years audi fixed the sludge problem on??? 2005 A4 is believed to be headed down this road and i have heard audi has handled the bill do to manufacturer fault --

    audioilsludge.com
  • rd7rd7 Posts: 3
    Hi Folks,
    I'm a brand new Audi A4 owner member on this website. I'd like to take the opportunity to wish you all a great 2010 !

    I'm writing to seek help and advise regarding the brand new A4 2009 2.0 T Quattro Premium Plus sedan that I bought a year ago. I've taken the car after the first 5000 miles to 2 separate Audi dealers in Massachusetts for this particular problem with essentially no solution. I recently wrote a detailed letter to Audi of America for help, I am enclosing a copy of the same detailing all problems. I would highly caution anyone who maybe planning on buying a new A4, do not waste your hard earned money, there are much better cars out there with pretty competitive pricing offers that would beat the A4 pricing in the long run. The letter is as follows :

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    I'm writing this letter with regards to the Audi A4 2009 2.0T Quattro Sedan that I bought as a brand new vehicle from :

    Bernardi Audi
    (401A23)
    521 Worcester Road
    Natick, MA 01760
    Phone: (508) 651-0388
    Fax: (508) 651-9835
    www.audiusa.com/bernardi

    After about the first 5000 miles, I started to experience very brief and intermittent episodes of the car getting stuck in 2nd gear, and having to literally floor the gas pedal / accelerator, in order for the gear to shift to 3 or higher, there was also accompanying slight jerking / jumping forward of the car upon bringing it to a stop, say like stopping at a 'Stop' sign or Traffic light. These issues were looked into at that time at the above dealership, however, nothing could be found to have gone wrong with the car by the dealership in Natick and I was re assured by the dealership that nothing was wrong with the car.

    At about 8000 miles or so, I started to hear a rattling / chain-like noise coming from the front end / bottom of the engine area of the car, which was especially prominent on a cold start, and was less prominent, although present when the car had warmed up. Additionally the engine started to sound relatively more noisy than when I had purchased the car initially, and the jerking / jumping of the vehicle just as I brought it to a halt also became more prominent. I did not give it too much thought, since I had been re assured by the above dealer that there was no problem, however, with the onset of winter, especially since October 2009, the rattling noise from the front / bottom part of the engine became much louder and lasting for more than a few minutes, and more alarmingly, even after warming up the car for as long as 15 minutes, upon trying to shift the gear into reverse, did not engage it to move backwards despite increasing some acceleration, and I had to actually wiggle the gear lever at least twice before it actually engaged into reverse with the car then backing up. This also affected the 'drive' mode on cold start with the car actually making a sputtering noise with lack of acceleration / power, and the vehicle actually stalling, and much later on with some driving wanting to move / accelerate forward upon bringing it to a near halt at traffic lights / Stop signs. It takes at least about 30-45 minutes for this to get better, only to get worse upon letting the car sit for 1 hour or more. This problem is prominent even when the car is garaged, which it always is when I'm home.

    I have since taken it to a second Audi dealership mainly due to distance issues, since Natick is much farther away from where I live. The address is as follows :

    Audi Burlington
    (401A14)
    62 Cambridge Street
    Burlington MA 01803
    Phone: (781) 272-8880
    Fax: (781) 229-2751
    www.audiusa.com/burlington

    I have taken the car at least twice for a thorough and detailed evaluation, including resetting the engine / transmission codes at the above dealership between November / December 2009. They were able to re produce the cold start rattling noise and problems with the gear shifting on cold start, although they said that no abnormal engine codes showed up upon their evaluation. (NOTE : I have always used Premium Fuel only).

    Thus far I have the car checked out at least 4 times, the problem seems clearly frustrating, alarming and totally unacceptable especially for a luxury brand like Audi.
    For the records, I have a 2005 Lexus vehicle, which has NEVER, had any electrical, electronic or mechanical problems so far and I have been extremely pleased with the purchase of my Lexus vehicle. I am finally beginning to feel that I made the biggest mistake by buying an Audi in the first place, since most of my friends had warned me against buying one due to serious quality issues, and had strongly recommended either a BMW, Lexus or Acura brand of vehicle, they, after all, may very well have been right about this fact. This has been my very first Audi purchase, and I'm hoping it won't be my very last one.

    I am writing to you to help resolve this problem. I'm not sure if it makes any more sense for to me to take it to any other Audi Dealership. I was wondering if this car could be taken back to be replaced by a new one, which seems the only logical thing left to be done.

    I am hoping to settle this rather serious matter amicable, and I truly hope I would not need to use the legal route, which I would not hesitate on doing if I am left with no other alternative.

    I look forward to hearing from you at the earliest.

    Thank You.
    Sincerely,
    RD7

    Any suggestions / advise would be greatly welcome and appreciated!
    Thanks,
    RD7
  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Just so u know, bmw also has its reliability issues, recently from engine heating to electronic glitches.

    Keep us updated about ur A4 and good luck.
  • abigbottomturnabigbottomturn Posts: 2
    edited February 2010
    just got some really bad news, I own a 99 a-4 130,000 miles, the resivor to add coolant up againist the firewall started looking like some kind of sludge,going through oil, drove it for a while car started running real hot, so i changed the thermostat, drove it got over heated within a mile, had it towed to a mechanic told me looks like oil in the radiator coolant, now keep in mind this car only has 130,000 miles on it. I am blown away this happen with so low of mileage, any suggestions. thanks
  • ivaylo76ivaylo76 Posts: 1
    just be very carefull i have 2003 a4 3.0 due to oil sludge a follower got seized and it messed up a camshaft.go to audiforum.com look for cam lob tread from quattro fan and you will see what i,m talking about
  • nwalkleynwalkley Posts: 9
    I had posted earlier this year problems with fuel tank resulting in a $3600 bill for replacement of tank in a 4.5 year old A4 2.0 Quattro. I sent an email to Audi on the national level, got a call from customer service next day, and within a week it was decided dealership that did the repair would reimburse me $1800 which I received 2 weeks later. It pays to complain. And I do not plan on servicing the car there anymore, needless to say!
  • nwalkleynwalkley Posts: 9
    Latest repair issue which is going to prompt me to sell this car as soon as it is fixed: car would not start. local mechanic could not fix, thinking it needed the Audi of America computer as it may be a key recoding problem. no - not that simple says Audi dealer - need new ignition cylinder - $545 plus tax....anyone ever heard of this? I think hitting the 5 year mark is resulting in this car I loved turning into a nightmare of repair bills.
  • 99a4q99a4q Posts: 2
    First Post- Any help would be appreciated.

    My A4 recently started acting up when pulling into traffic. At around 2K RPM's the car stutters and is sluggish, but once moving seems OK. To pull into traffic, I need to get RPM's much higher in order to ensure performance. Ironically at the same time the hesitation began occuring, the Air Conditioning would fade out when sitting in traffic and would only condition the air once moving. There is a slight "Catch" I can fill before the air begins to run cool. (not sure if there is a belt that operates the AC or not and unsure if the issues are related)

    Thanks
    Tim
  • I KNOW THERE ARE TONS OF PEOPLE HAVING THIS HUGE PROBLEM AND HAVING ALOT OF COMPLAINTS, SO I FIGURED I'D SHARE A GOOD ONE. BOUGHT AN A4 FROM A SISTER IN LAW THAT HAD 134K MILES FOR $3500. PRETY GOOD RIGHT? MADE IT 170 MILES, THE OIL PRESSURE LIGHT CAME ON AND THE CAR WENT UP IN A BALL OF SMOKE AND SOUNDED AS IF THE VALVES WERE STICKING OUT THE TOP OF THE ENGINE. I DID MY RESEARCH, GATHERED OIL RECIEPTS AND TOWED IT TO AUDI OF NORTH SCOTTSDALE. SERVICE ADVISORS WERE HELPFUL AND KNOWLEGABLE. THEY CALLED ONE DAY LATER WITH NEWS THAT MY NEW ENGINE WOULD BE THERE IN TWO DAYS AND WOULD BE READY IN ABOUT FIVE DAYS. CAR IS LIKE NEW AND WILL ONLY USE AMS OIL SYNTHETICS FROM HERE ON OUT!
  • deba4deba4 Posts: 1
    edited December 2010
    Not sure if this is related or not. I have a 2004 A4 3.0 with 82K miles. I bought the car new and have had the dealer do every single service on the car. No one has touched the engine except for the dealer. I have never had the oil light come on or added any oil to the car. But I now have to spend $3500 to fix the damage done by a worn/warped cam shaft lob that ultimately broke a lifter. I had no warning lights, no loss of power or bad engine performance, just a loud clicking noise after the car sat unused for 5 weeks. I asked the dealer what would cause this and he said "they don't know" but maybe oil sludge.
  • audiowner1audiowner1 Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    Within 10 minutes of pulling out of the Audi dealer after it had changed the oil on my 2004 A4 Cabriolet, 3.0 engine, with 109,000 miles, the oil light went on. Called dealer, who thought it might not have put in enough oil. Completed drive home and then next day drove to another Audi dealer that was open, and oil light went on again about 10 minutes into drive. 2nd Audi dealer confirmed oil level was proper. Then drove home, during which oil light went on again after 5-10 minutes. Car started driving roughly. 1st Audi dealer towed in car and claimed that engine "might" have sludge problem that first appeared (mysteriously) immediately after it had completed the oil change. 3 days later, dealer claims car needs a new cylinder head. Car was fine before the oil change, and now needs $4,000 repair. Make any sense to anybody?
    P.S.: The dealer had always used regular oil, but for the first time had suggested synthetic oil before this oil change. Not understanding why a 7 year old car would suddenly need more expensive oil, I had them use regular oil. Did they know something I didn't?
    P.P.S.: The recent class action settlement was for the 1.8T engine. Has anybody else had similar problems with a 3.0 engine?
  • rd7rd7 Posts: 3
    Just wanted to update all you folks who have or are unfortunately planning to buy the Audi (lemon) A4 2009 or newer models. My 2009 A4 sedan now has 30K miles (and under factory warranty), has been drinking oil every 2000 + miles, so needed to top off oil very frequently, brought up this issue to 2 Audi dealerships on several occasions, and finally one dealership, found faulty Piston Rings which are being scheduled for a replacement job. So much for the Audi 'Logo' / 'Status' of being a luxury / sporty / fun / reliable car. Does not even remotely fit any of the above mentioned characteristics. You would have far better luck even with a Toyota!! NO more AUDI / NO more German makes. SUBARU makes equally good AWDs + has the boxter engines, with reliability, comfort, handling, safety superior to the Audi.
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