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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair



  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Have most people's turbos been ok? It will be paired up w/a manual.

    I will be buying an A4 in the next 2-3 weeks and want to know how the turbo holds up. I prefer the 2.8L V6 but not many are available in my price range.

  • I'm a 1998 Audi of Bernardsville victim too! I leased a pre-owned certified A4 in 2001. The maintenance costs alone are about $7,000. Now my timing belt snapped on Rt 287 and it was towed to Audi of Bernardsville. It has 86,000 miles and the manual states the timing belt should be replaced at 90,000 miles. They told me it has damaged the engine and has over $5,500 worth of damage without tearing the engine apart. They told me to work with Audi. Audi told me "too bad", it's my problem. The car is now sitting on the lot in B'ville because I haveb't given them permissin to fix it. The lease ends August. It will cost me $9700 to buy the car, $5,500+ to repair the car, and I owe $2000 for over mileage!! I've paid $14,400 in lease payments. I'll only get $6,800 if I sell the car privately after I fix it. Do you have any suggestions????
  • colecole Posts: 67
    I've got a '97 1.8T Quattro that's starting rumbling lately. It almost sounds like one of those exhausts that kids put on their Civics, except that the noise is most definitely coming from the engine compartment and not the rear of the vehicle. Any ideas on what could be causing this?

    My car has 87,000 miles on it and this will be the last Audi I ever own. The maintenance has been ridiculous - I also had the timing belt blow out well before the 90k mile mark, as well as having to have the tie rods replaced. I've spent almost as much on repairs as I did when I purchased the vehicle 3 years ago.
  • colecole Posts: 67
    It actually wasn't only the timing belt. It was the cam tensioner bolt as well. Other problems:

    1. Bottom edges of both side view mirrors have a rust color creeping up them. I'd think it was just me, but I've seen the same thing on other Audi's.
    2. Brakes constantly have a scraping noise upon first start. They've been cleaned several times and they don't need to be replaced. It's just an annoyance.
    3. EXTREMELY loud fan noise when the A/C kicks on upon starting the car on a hot day. It's flat out embarrasing. It sounds like I've got a car that's about to explode!
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    A while ago (#335-339) I wrote about losing my gas cap (2002 A4)and getting this little gas pump light appearing in the message centre. I bought a replacement gas cap from the local VW dealer (not an Audi dealer. the Vw cap looked and fit perfectly but the flashing light did not disappear. A member suggested it would go away after a fill up. It didn't. So, I trotted off to the Audi dealer many miles away and was surprised when the service rep said I was nuts. He suggested the flashing light meant that I simply needed Gas! He insisted there could be no "gas pump" picture in the location I indicated. Now, understand this. I'm talking about a flashing picture of a small fuel pump located in the bottom right hand corner of the message centre. NOT the fuel pump you typically get at the top (much larger) when you need fuel. Anyway, after suggesting I was silly, the service rep then spoke with a repairman in the shop who said "Oh ya,that sign means you have failed to replace the filler tube cap" "Ah Ha" I exclaimed with self righteous indignation. That is what I had been saying all along. I didn't replace the cap - lost it - and the light continued to flash. Anyway, I write now only to assist my brothers and sisters. I had to buy a new Audi gas cap. The $42.00 (Cdn) VW cap that fit perfectly (although it did not have that white lettering all over it) failed to include some kind of magnetic mechanism that only the Audi cap had. Can you believe it? So, I had to order an Audi cap with the white lettering. Guess what? It actually worked! Now was I hosed or was this legitimate. The dealer was great though. I wasn't charged the $72.00 (Cdn) but really - can all this be true? The little flashing gas pump went away. Hope this helps someone.
  • astro007astro007 Posts: 1
    Wow - my first time on this site and i find EXACTLY the same problem!

    I have had this problem since day one, exactly as you state. I took my car to the DShip and they had it for a week. They drove it around (when cold) with a computer hooked up to it, and even had a regional maintenance tech ride along. There conclusion: this is common to ALL 2002 A4 CVT's and thus it is "normal". The condition is caused by the computer wanting to see the CVT fluid temperature to be within so many degrees of some other temperature, which only takes a few minutes after start-up.

    I will be taking it in again in this winter, and if they say the same thing (that it is a "normal" condition) then I shall contact Audi of America and tell them they have a safety-related issue with this line of cars that requires their immediate attention...

    If I have time this month I plan to go to the DShip and drive a 2003 or 2004 CVT (COLD!!) to see if it has the problem as well...
  • mtv65mtv65 Posts: 45
    Alright, sold the CrewCab over the weekend...ready to buy. Although we may get a somewhat biased opinion here, what's a good buy for ~$25k given this scenario. Young couple in their 30's with 1 child and a medium sized dog, Springer Spaniel if it matters =). We've looked at 3 and 5 series wagons as well as Audi Avants. From what I've read here at TownHall, Audi's are a reliability risk. Any specific years that I should avoid and why? I like the bmw sedans/wagons a lot but cost is a factor. Definitely no SUV's. Definitely has to be a euro performer. Thanks again to all!!!

    p.s. Recently test drove a 2001 Audi S4 Avant with 35k miles. Wife likes it a lot. Any specific issues with this model year??
  • moshermosher Posts: 6

    I bought a brand new 2003 A4 1.8T quattro - absolutely love it. However, it stalled at start up and been in and out of the service shop for the past three months. They are fixing one thing at a time for that (immoblizer, ignition, etc). NOW, this past weekend the car shudders like crazy and lost a ton of power (idles very rough). The car is not drivable. Most likely the coils... back to the dealer tomorrow. My question is - does ANYONE have a trouble-free A4? Is it possible this car will ever be fixed and I will be HAPPY? I traded in a 96 pontiac grand am for it (100k miles) NEVER had a problem with it. NEVER! Are there happy A4 owners? I have concerns, because basically this is the car my wife drives our newborn in. I bought it because it was supposed to be safe and reliable. Now I am researching PA lemon laws... I love the beautiful A4. I JUST WISH IT WOULD WORK? Again - is there anychance this will be fixed and turned into a reliable machine?
  • tim_hooligantim_hooligan Posts: 143
    Was driving my '01 1.8T auto today, when between 2nd/3rd gears it slipped badly, clunked back into gear, slipped again, then finally stayed in 3rd.
    Then, the check engine light came on. Didn't seem to shift well the rest of the way home. Called Audi roadside and had it towed to the dealer.
    My instinct says the tranny is failing. I've had it shuddering/shifting hard for about a year now. Dealer didn't find anything before. I will wait and see what the codes show. Anyone else have this issue?

    I've had sooo many problems it's silly.

    Hissing! Yes, I too noticed that! The turbo used to whine nicely, but now it hisses and seems to have lost its power!

    Stay away from Audi/VW if you can. If you have a good dealer you trust, it might be a decent choice. But you WILL get to know the service people!

    FWIW, I tried the lemon law buyback with AoA previously. If it turns out to be an issue brought up within lemon law timeframe, I'm getting rid of the car. It's fun, but a headache to no end.
  • moshermosher Posts: 6
    You tried the lemon law buyback with AoA previously? What was the outcome? I am on the verge of having what I believe to be a pretty good case, 2 months away from 1 year of sale. I want to love this car; 2003 A4 1.8T Quattro, its just not letting me.
  • tim_hooligantim_hooligan Posts: 143
    I tried the lemon law with AoA with no luck. I admit my case was weaker than most cars that just blow up...but I went with their inability to fix warrantable repairs.

    Lemon law can be tricky all depends on the state you live in. Which state are you in? If you have a really strong case, you can work with AoA and your dealer to get a comparable replacement vehicle, or get a refund of your purchase price + taxes & fees + interest paid on the loan.

    This is my second major powertrain failure since I've bought it. I'm so ready to buy a Lexus right now.
  • moshermosher Posts: 6
    I am in PA. Looks like I need at least 3 attempts to fix a recurrent stalling problem (stalls at startup) I am on the 3rd try as it stands right now, and a week after receiving it back, I experienced the loss of power/rough idle which seems like the coil problem I was told (by our salesperson) should have been limited to '02 models. So, now its in the shop again. Even our service rep feels for me...

    My real frustration stems from the fact that this is a car I bought for my wife (its manual) and we have a 4 month old baby she regularly needs to transport. I believe its a real safety issue, but what I believe and AoA believes is likely to differ. I can understand a glitch here and there, but bottom line is, the A4 needs to do a little more than sit broken down and look pretty.

    And just for amusement, let me offer another little story: After I received the car, I tried to "shuffle" songs/CDs on the in dash 6 CD changer. It didnt work, (just shuffles songs on a single CD, not between multiple CDs). So I mentioned this when I brought it back for the 10k service. The AUDI DEALER agreed that it was not working correctly, ordered me a new radio, replaced it, only to have them later tell me that it doesnt shuffle songs between multiple CDs (unlike the manual states). So in essence, they replaced a radio that never needed to be replaced? Do these guys work on AUDI's or YUGO's?
  • Have a 2004 1.8L Turbo A4 quattro. Other than the turbo lag till 2000 rpm, it works great. Only had car for a month. The clutch is a little grabby too.
  • swimgalswimgal Posts: 11
    Geez...after reading all this stuff I think I might invest in the extended warranty. My 2001 A4 Quattro has threatened a few times but nothing major yet. 39K miles and only 2 oil leaks (minor ones)and now it's losing coolant and the gas gauge tells me I'm empty when I still have 1/3 tank left. Oh yeah, there are crickets in the fan, both hot and cold and louder when the recirc button is on. Sometimes they are triggered by a bump in the road. Dealer is never lucky enough to hear them. And why do my tires get unbalanced? Breaks are wearing thin and so are my tires.

    So my question is...I could use a little more clearance as I always hit the top bump in my driveway. Can I get taller tires than the ones that came with the car? I have the standard 16" rims. (the number 255 comes to my mind when I visualize what is on it now)Every mm counts!

    Thanks in advance
  • tim_hooligantim_hooligan Posts: 143

    Ok, I don't know the PA law so I might not be able to help. But do you know the total amount of time your car has been in the shop for repairs? Once you accumulate 30 days total, then it's eligible for lemon law. You need to document the exact problem and all the dealer's attempts to fix it. Write down the rep's name and the conversations you've had. If they (the dealer) acknowledge the problem, but can't find a fix, speak with their customer service liason. Open a case with AoA and coordinate with the dealer. AoA will most likely have a regional rep meet with you at the dealer and drive the car with you. If, by then, the AoA rep realizes there's an issue but can't recommend a fix action, then they will most likely approve a buyback/exchange.
    That's my advice!

    Hissing : Audi dealer called and said the vacuum hose was busted open. That explains the hissing and loss of power/poor shifting. Now, how long has my engine been sucking in dirty air and what damage has occured?


    You have 205/55/16 tires. 205 is your width, so a wider tire won't help (it'll just rub and make things worse). You'd be looking for a higher number than 55, but I don't recommend that. It will throw off your calibration. I'm assuming you have the sport package, so if you want more ground clearance I'd recommend replacing the sport suspension with the regular. I've torn the front underside up a bit from curbs...but i wouldn't worry about it if I were you.

    Coils were recalled for 2001-2003, FYI

  • moshermosher Posts: 6
    Just got my car back from the dealer. This time it was the ignition coils - and I was told there was a recall on them. Funny, why weren't they replaced BEFORE I bought the car? I never received any type of notice, and I bought the car last August. Would have thought the dealer would have repaired any recalls before selling me the vehicle??

    Can anyone provide insight as to the cost of an extended warranty and its coverage>?
  • tim_hooligantim_hooligan Posts: 143
    If I remember reading the recall correctly, it only is applicable when the coils fail. They will now replace all coils if any fail. Kinda silly, I thought.

    I'm glad it's fixed. Keep your fingers crossed that it runs well for a while.
  • jjfanjjfan Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 A4 Avant. It started "hesitating" and jumping into gear almost from day 1. After 2 years of complaining the dealer finally agreed to replace the transmission. Everyone but them knew that was the problem. Oh, everyone but their computer. So things were going pretty good for about 6 or 7 month and now the little yellow light with the lightning bolt through it that says check is on. The dealer said it's the secondary pump and it is going to cost $600+ to replace it. The car is one owner, one driver and has 23,170 miles on it. I am very very upset. Called Audi consumer advocate and the decision is yet to come. Of course, the person I spoke just happens to be going on vacation and someone else is taking over my case and will call me. Sounds like a scam switcheroo to me. I will never buy another Audi and plan to get rid of this one ASAP.
  • swimgalswimgal Posts: 11
    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the tire advice. I have the regular (not sport) package so it is already the regular suspension. It is a really steep driveway that delivers me to the flat street. What is hitting (mid car) isn't really a big deal, but I'd rather not... I put taller tires in my 1990 Subaru Legacy and it worked. I understand the calibration thing and will know that my speedometer and odometer will be slightly off. I can handle extends the warranty...apparently I will need this! But will this significantly affect handling/safety and what might fit in those wheel wells?

    Goes in tomorrow to fix the oil leak, water leak, stuck gas gauge, stiff trunk struts and 40K service. Crickets are on hiatus.

    Thanks for your input,

  • kjude514kjude514 Posts: 1
    Can I impose on you enthusiasts for some advice. I'm a wife in the market for her own car - i don't drive much, average under 5k/year (had a Honda Prelude 11 yrs), but i do love driving and fell in love with Audi's years ago - would love to have one but on a budget & should spend less than $10k on this 2nd car. Would you gamble & get a 96/97 A4 & hope to not have many maintenance problems ($), or is there possibly another car out there with the same feel/drive of an audi that would be more reliable/less expensive? I've read about the Jetta but am just not in love with it.
    Any advice appreciated!
  • feafea Posts: 1
    I just purchased a Audi A4 Cabriolet Quattro and am very pleased with it. My question is how well will the cloth top hold up in the snow. I live in New England and thought I'd drive it all winter because of the Quattro but know am having second thoughts about large snowfalls on the cloth roof. Does anyone else drive their convertable throughout a New England winter? Also, the car came with 17" wheels if I do drive it all winter and put on snow tires should I get new 16" rims and tires or will the 17" be ok?
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    Can't help you with the top but I put all season snow tires on my 17 inch rims this past winter and my A4 drove excellent in the snow.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    For $10K I'd be looking at three models that are sporty & reliable. Any one of these is likely to be more reliable & more economical than an older A4. The may not match the Audi for comfort & fit & finish, but are great cars & rank much higher in the reliablity low cost to own factors:

    1. Later model Prelude -- speaks for itself.
    2. Ford Contour Sport or SVT -- got rave reviews by everyone, relativey reliable set up, not many around.
    3. Late production Mazda MX6 -- classic looks, good performance, undervalued.

    I'd sell your Prelude with 55,000 miles to the highest bidder -- the teenagers will probably stand in line for it!
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I'd add to 204meca's list an Infiniti I30 or Nissan Maxima. Both basically the same car. The Infiniti is finished a bit nicer. I had a 2000 I30t and loved the car. Never had a problem. I actually miss the car. Good power at 227 horse with a nicer ride than the A4(less sporty - more sedan). You should be able to pick up a 2000 with 55000 miles for close to 10K US.
  • swimgalswimgal Posts: 11
    I just got my 2001 2.8Q back from its 40K service. They had my car for 10 days! Yes, TEN.
    When I took it in, I knew of an oil leak (my independent oil change guy told me about it...second one) I also told them that I was losing coolant and the computer had confirmed this...and the gas gauge read totally empty when it still had 1/3 tank.

    I got: new sensor in the gas tank, a new radiator (at 40K!), the oil leak took them several days to fix because every time they got it all put back together it spewed again and they had to remove the transmission to go in and fix it again. (a seal near the back of the engine...that's all they will tell me because I'm a girl.)

    So when I go to pick it up, I look at the service report and they also replaced the clutch plate because they found a crack. Holy cow. The service rep told me that they really weren't supposed to do the clutch plate replacement since I had not told them of a problem...It was their little favor to I am supposed to know this?

    So here is the warning: Apparently they are not supposed to do any warranty work unless the customer tells them there is a problem.

    BTW, I was curious so I asked the guy how much all of this work would have set me back had it not been under warranty. He said $1200...I'm thinking he is a bit low...any input on this? (I'm pricing extended warranties)

    Thanks, Swimgal
  • wia4wia4 Posts: 10

    PLease put a posting up concerning your results on researching extended warranties. Anyone else have any input?

  • ny202ny202 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 A4 Avant with 67,500 miles. It's been a terrific and fun car to drive for the most part --until it went off warranty. After $900 plus for new rear brakes, today the dealer said the car needs a new battery, a mere $300 including installation. I have had a six month problem with an airbag light that will not go off, despite being reset three times by the dealer. The dealer now says that it's the driver's door airbag and he's estimating $1,000 to get it fixed. The car has burned through three windshield wiper motors (covered under warranty)though I don't live in the tropics. Most spectacularly, the car stalled for a split second at about 70 mph on the highway, with all lights blinking and then immediately resumed running. This brought a shrug of the shoulders from the local Audi dealer. I can hardly wait until the timing belt ($2,000 plus?) needs to be replaced at 80,000 miles or so. The extended warranty covers none of the above, as far as I can tell (I did not buy it, it's about $2,000, I believe). The repair costs for my Audi look like they'll quickly cancel out those initial years of "free" maintenance. A Honda or Toyota may be in my future before the A4's timing belt goes.
  • cyberpmgcyberpmg Posts: 83
    That's why I chose to get an extended warranty for my 2002 A4. I have over 70,000 miles on it and have not yet had the need to use it (knocking on wood).

    For the blink of the lights and burning out the wiper motor sounds very similar to what happened to me. I had a problem where the lights would blink off and back on every minute or so. It would also stop the wiper motor while the wiper arms were in mid-motion. When I first brought it in, they couldn't find anything wrong.

    The second time I brought it in, I drove in with the problem happening so they could see for themselves. It turned out that there was a faulty relay that was cutting out the electrical circuit. Because of the sudden power cut and surge back on, it also blew out the wiper motor. I would have them do a detailed test on your relays. I've been fine since then. =)
  • I have had airbag problems on my '99 A4. The light goes on, gets reset, and a week or a month later comes on again. The technician tells me it's an intermittent high resistance value from the passenger side airbag. Of course, they designed it so it doesn't reset itself when the condition that caused the fault disappears. Way to go Audi USA!
    I doubt it's a faulty connector, so it's either the airbag module itself or the electronics circuit. Of course, the technician can't tell me which of these it is and so it's a $1000 gamble just replacing the airbag. There seem to be a lot of problems with A4 airbag systems.
    I've read too many horror stories about the timing belts going. I'm getting mine done at 75K. Does anyone know if the 99 A4 2.8 engine is an interference engine?
  • sxrxrnr1sxrxrnr1 Posts: 5
    Purchased an A4 Cvt Turbo. Purchased non quattro as feel CVT is a much better transmission.

    1. What moron(s) at Audi are in charge of interior ergonomics. Items of intense stupidity include.
    A. Turn of key. Radio goes off. No ACC position. Yes I know that you can turn radio back on by pushing button on radio, but you lose several seconds of what you wish to hear. Ford has a better idea here. Turn off ignition, radio remains on for a few minutes.
    B. The moronic chime system for seat belt warnings, door open, lites on, etc. Not only is it intrusively noisy, but would someone explain to me why it must chime with the motor running and the transmission is in park. Sometimes you just like to be able to do this and not hook up a seat belt or close a door. Yes I know you can get around it, but it is a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] and should not be required to figure how to outwit some engineer who probably rides a bicycle to work.
    C. Has anyone yet figured out the trip computer and all its permutations? We have a new Jaguar(no problem, far more effective and simpler to use)and a Lexus(not very effective but easier to use, well I lost my head here, it is pretty stupid also). Even my Audi salesman and service advisor are confused on Audi's system.
    D. Why are A/C--Heater controls so far down and hard to read and why must you take your eyes from the road to do anything like change temp or fan speed and why are lettering on controls so hard to read and lighting so poor? Beyond stupid it is unsafe.
    E. Why is the drivers seat so uncomfortable. I am a 5 foot 10 inch male at 175 pounds and no fat [non-permissible content removed]. Yet the pressure points on the edge of the seat are killers. I suggest that Audi take a look at the Lexus 430, Mercedes 560/sec or previous generation SL's for how to do a comfortable seat that also holds you in place. Audi is not alone in this, BMW also loves their extended Recaro crapola that most people hate. I cannot drive this car for 30 miles before am cursing the seat be causing of the tingling in my [non-permissible content removed] and thighs.
    E. Why that cow paddy on the roof for sat radio. Seems like Honda's works well at 1/4 the size.

    F. Why must I tolerate the hesitation when I step on the gas from a stop? I am told it is because of the CVT and cannot be fixed. This is again beyond stupid. CVT's have been out for years.

    G. Why when I paid for a power seat in our A4 did I not get a memory seat. Oh nooooooooooo, this only comes in the 3.0. Of course my stealer(sorry I mean dealer, I was thinking of Harley Davidson) did not tell me this and I find out the first time that I tried to change the seat from my wife's position to mine.

    I would suggest that some of the escaped institutionals at Audi go out and actually drive some of the creations that they foist upon us unsuspectors to see what us chickens are really eating out here. Oh did I mention the dumb place for their cruise control stalk which is too easy to confuse with the turn signals. Look at Mercedes(by far the best solution for cruise controls) for the correct direction on this please.

    Cars have been built and sold for over 100 years. In this time some ideas have worked well and most have failed. Why is it that some crafty engineer gets a burr up his butt to believe that they have a new clever way to do something when there are techniques and methods of building an auto that have past the test of time? Then they foist it on us and we take it like the silly sheep that we are. And of course the fools in marketing and management tolerate this insult to their customers and have no idea why their car is not selling and someone else's is. Where are the Car Mags on all of this by the way?

    Other then all of this tirade, I think on the whole it is a fine car, but why does it have a 100 less hp then an Acura TL for the same price?

    Enough for now, I will continue to drive our old 560 SEC(1986)sometimes the Jag(XJR) and be happy and my wife will drive the Audi. She loves it.

    Roger Schaaf
    Silicon Valley Ca
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