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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair



  • cicerocicero Posts: 51
    If money is an object and your new at the car thing I would have to agree with tcasboy; plus you can work your way up to the German cars. I have never driven the Japanese cars having moved from Jettas to Audis. Never had serious problems other than with my first Jetta GL and once the problem was solved the car was great. My Mom had one of those old Audi 100s and it was a complete mess. Long story short; if I were buying in your perceived situation, I would look at the new Mazdas including the 3s which are lookers for small cars and generate 160 horses. The 5 door is sweet as is the one that looks like a competitor for the WRX Outback wagon. Good luck
  • wia4wia4 Posts: 10
    I have never had my tires balanced after rotation and have yet to have a problem. As they are only moving the tires and wheels and not actually unmounting and remounting them shouldn't a "balanced" tire remain balanced no matter what corner of the car it is on??
  • wia4wia4 Posts: 10

    Can't reply on the long term, or the CVT, but my 2004 1.8T Tip has been puurrrrrfect since January.

    Go for it!
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I'm with tcasboy on this query. I really have grown to enjoy my '02 A4. I have had it for about six months now. But,it has had ongoing moans and groans that give me cause for concern which I have never experienced before. If you want a fun ride for the short term - go for the A4. But, if it's a long term purchase, I'd go Japanese.
  • I have an audi A4 with 85000 loving miles on it. Until recently, it was the only car that I'd ever had that I had no complaints about.

    At 85000 miles, I had a complete set of lower control arms (the second!), an upper control arm, and both tie rod ends replaced.

    Audi's response to my inquiry was that these are normal "wear parts" and the responsibility of the owner.

    I had planned to replace this with another audi when its useful life was at an end, but I now question the wisdom of this approach. Audi doesn't seem to stand behind their cars.
  • If you have read through the posts here, you probably have already come to the conclusion that you should not buy an Audi since you are looking for a reliable car with low maintenance costs.

    They have major systems like front end suspensions and timing belts that they think of as wear parts that need to be replaced regularly. Run, don't walk, and do not stop at an Audi dealer.
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    Sure, I'm a little wary of the Audi reliability issue. Then again, my neighbor's Pontiac needed a new front end at 75k miles. This seems to be par for the course if you own a Ford Taurus also.

    On the other hand, I own an Urquattro with only 61k miles and have had to replace the distributor, ignition module, and fuel distributor; not to mention the rebuilding of the cylinder head and valves since the timing cog broke. Granted - the timing cog may not have been properly seated and tightened by a previous mechanic. Still, it makes me wonder how many parts would have given out under normal circumstances. Knock on wood - the turbo's still good!
  • rayqiurayqiu Posts: 2
    If you are looking for cheap maintenance, low payments, go with Toyota or Honda. Audi, BMW, and MB are not for you. German cars cost you money.
  • kristinkristin Posts: 2
    I'm considering the 2005 Audi A4 3.0 Quattro Cabriolet. Has anyone had any problems yet with a 2005 model? Consumer Reports said reliability seems to be "on the upswing," but from what I have read about 2004 models, it has not improved much. Also, I was wondering if premium gas is absolutely necessary, since it is getting more and more expensive. Has anyone had a problem using regular grade gas? Thank you for any advice.
  • well I have a 1998 Hyundai accent. It has 115k miles on it. Aside from tune ups, tires, and brakes, I have spent less than $500 on maint costs since I bought it with 18 miles on it. It certainly does not compare to Audi, BMW, Acura, etc, etc, in terms of performance or luxury, but I cant help but wonder why people keep buying cars that are going to give them problems 2 years, 1 year, 2 months down the road after spending 30k on a car.
    Now, when I do see an Audi A4 3.0 or a BMW 325, Acura tsx, I LOVE what I see. I am planning to get a new car next year & doubt I'll get another Hyundai, but I can't justify getting something that will let me down.

    flame away!!
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    1. Keep your Hyundai if it's still reliable.
    2. Buy a used Audi if that's your "flame".
    3. Register the Audi with your insurance company as a "pleasure vehicle" - which costs less.
    4. Drive it when ever you want.
    If it breaks down, you always have the Hyundai while the Audi is waiting on parts or for repairs.
    That's what I do with my Urquattro, while my daily driver is a Mazda 3.
  • i have the exact same problem. Loud noise from each wheel well that transmits vibration into the cabin. too loud for a luxury sedan. let me know if you've found the problem.
  • sukisuki Posts: 1
    Has anyone ever seen a stain on the front and back pillars that looks like water or battery acid? I have received so many different answers from the dealer and the problem won't go away. Thanks.
  • Gr8t;

    Just when I was looking to buy I came across this article over at
    Volkswagen is warning 426,000 VW Passat and Audi A4 owners of an engine oil sludge problem, and the Center for Auto Safety is asking the Chrysler Group to correct sludge problems and extend the warranty on 2.7-liter V-6 engines in 1998-2002 model year vehicles.

    Sludge buildup causes engine performance to deteriorate. In extreme cases, sludge can cause engines to seize.

    Affected Volkswagen models are 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines on 1998 to 2004 Passats and 1997 to 2004 A4s. VW won’t say how many engines have been replaced or repaired, or what it is spending to fix the problem.
    Link is here story&aff=national
  • Hi,

    Do you know where the Fuse Box is? I did not have the book when I bought this car. Thanks.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    The '02 A4 3.0 fuse box is located on the driver's side of the dash board. Don't know about the '98 A4. Check it out to see if it's the same. Greg
  • I have a 1998 A4 1.8T at 90k. The dealer is telling me the ball joints on my upper control arms are cracked and need replacing. I've searched the forums and I understand that this is a common type of failure for Audis of this vintage.

    My concern is this: the dealer is all over the map with regard to the severity of the problem. When they first told me the joints were cracked, I asked if it could wait since I was already in for a timing belt change and some other expensive repairs. Their reply was that it's not too serious a problem and that the worst that would happen is the ride would get bumpier and noisier.

    Now the last time I took it in, the mechanic told me I shouldn't drive the car until they're replaced, that I would lose control of the vehicle if they failed. The way in which he said it, coupled with the previous statement that noise and vibration was all I had to worry about, really set off my BS detector. I don't feel like I can get a straight answer out of these folks now.

    So is my car really an accident waiting to happen, or are they just trying to pressure me into expensive repairs? FWIW, there is no noise or vibration right now - I wouldn't think there's any problem at all if the dealer wasn't barking about it.

  • banxbanx Posts: 6
    You ask "if premium gas is absolutely necessary, since it is getting more and more expensive. Has anyone had a problem using regular grade gas?" I assume the manual calls for 91 octane. You could use 87 or 89 octane, but performance will suffer. Instead of 220 hp, your car will have much less hp available. Why pay for premium performance and not get it due to having bought cheaper, lower octane gas? There are knock sensors to adjust the ignition when you use a lower octane gas than required, but if the sensor fails, you could have engine-killing detonation. Is it worth the risk? How many miles do you drive a year? If 20K miles and you get 22mpg, that's 909 gallons/yr. If you bought 93 octane instead of 87 octane, that's $.20 extra/gallon or around $182/yr, or about $3.50/wk. That's a small price to pay for full performance from your Audi. What you could do to save $1/wk is fill it with 87 octane when the gauge is down to 3/4 of a tank, then fill it with 93 octane the next time, when the gauge is down to 1/2 tank. The weighted avg of the octane will still be at 91. If this extra cost of the gas gives you pause, you may want to consider another vehicle.
  • colecole Posts: 67
    Has anyone had an oil sludging problem? I've got a '97 A4 1.8T but didn't receive the oil sludge letter from AoA. My low oil pressure light has been coming on intermittently for about 1 month... It's in the shop now being checked out for the 2nd time. The first time (just before the oil sludge letter was issued), they told me that I just needed an Audi oil filter!
  • Just got a new A4 1.8 CVT. There is one thing which worries me - the first time I start moving after starting the car, I feel a scratching noise and vibration through the gas pedal. It only takes a fraction of a second and goes away. A service shop says that that's how traction control is activated. But still the sound is a bit strange. Any thoughts?
  • That noise is normal and it is the ABS system running a self-check and pressurizing.

    I have confimed this with many other owners over the past year so it is one of those 'they all do that' noises and nothing to worry about.

  • I have seen a couple of posts on this and I am curious if anyone has had any luck. There seems to be a subtle sort of grinding from the rear driver's side of the car. When I turn to the right it is very noticeable but when I turn to the left it is non existent. It kind of sounds like the binding sound you hear when a 4x4 pickup drives by. Just had new brakes and new tires put on and there are no loose parts. Is this part of the Differential or Quatro system? Any help would be appreciated. O/w this car has been solid for 55k miles and some hard driving over rough dirt roads. I do have the sport suspension on this car.
  • I have 2003 A4 1.8T and my car has been in the shop for now 22 days. It all started with oil pressure warning sign coming on all of a sudden with loud beeping. I originally thought the engine oil level was low, so I immediately filled it with a quart of oil. The warning initially went away, but the next day it came back and I had to take the car to the dealer. On the way there, my engine sounded like a car I just dragged out of a junkyard. (Together with that high pitch hissing noise everytime I come to a rolling stop, my car just looked new, but sounded like 1980 Buick) Anyways, they told me that my oil pump failed and luckily(?) the engine wasn't damaged. I am not so sure that I trust their diagnosis. Right before this happened, my driver side seat warmer was broken during 100 degree heat, so I had the car in the shop a week before this oil sludge problem occurred. I am going to look into filing for lemon law claim to get rid of this car and get something more reliable - a Japanese car. Be careful with Audi cars. Talk to people who own them before you consider owning one yourself.
  • Sorry to hear about your problems. I hope that you've received the letter from Audi of America about the known oil sludge problem. Audi has extended the warranty of the 1.8T engine due to existing damage and now requires that all Audi service centers use synthetic oil during routine maintenance.

    The letter from Audi should include a list of approved motor oil that should now be used in the 1.8T engine. The synthetic oil will not generate the sludge that conventional (dyno) oil can. Those owners who chose to use synthetic oil on their own (and brought it in to be used during scheduled maintenance) have not encountered any problems with oil sludge.

    You were lucky that only the oil pump failed. With the pump failed, oil circulation stopped. You ran the risk of having the engine components fuse into a solid block of metal due to the missing lubrication of the oil.

    I don't think you'll be qualified for any lemon law as it usually referrs to repeated attempts to repair the same problem or having the car in for repairs over XX days and within the first year of ownership.
  • I just lease a new 2005 A4 3.0. Two questions:
    1) Is low gas mileage normal at first?; and
    2) When should I use the "S" gear?
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I felt the same way when I got my '02. I think it's the quattro. It really wasn't that bad though. As for the "S" gear I had the same question. I use "S" quite a bit. It's a great gear. If I'm in city traffic I use it all the time. Getting on a ramp for the expressway also or when I just feel like some giddy up. At red lights when that kid is next to me and is inching up I'll put the car in "S" and give it a go. Don't be afraid to experiment and mix it up. I go from the "trip" to "S" and "D" sometimes when I'm really feeling crazy. Quite frankly, I don't care for the "D". I'd love to drive another A4 to see if it's just mine or determine if the "D" is as choppy in all of them. I pretty much only use "D" when I'm cruising. Anyway, do whatever works for you. The "S" is your friend. Enjoy and Bonne Chance
  • giggs, you're not alone with the choppy feeling of "D". Mine's the same way when it upshifts way too soon. I mostly drive in Tip mode because I still like to control (partially) the gear selection. I'm fairly certain that for the next car, I'll be going back to stick.

    winwell, it is typical for the gas mileage to be low for the A4 (both the 3.0 and the 1.8T). Give it about 5,000 miles before noticing a climb in the fuel effeciency. I have close to 77,000 miles with mostly highway driving and get around 24mpg for my 2002 3.0.
  • Excuse my ignorance, but I am still not clear as to when to use "S". In city traffic at speeds below 30-40 or on open road at speeds above, say, 60? Is it for cruising or passing and does it eat up more gas than "D"? Should I be moving when I shift in and out of "S"? Thanks.
  • I believe your manual addresses your question. As I recall the S is for sporty driving as you choose. I use S when I am entering onto the freeway or in traffic and feel I will need a quicker response than I can get from D because the engine in S revs higher. I use S also because I don't want to shift in certain conditions using tiptronic. Because of the high revs your gas mileage is impacted of course but the fun is definitely there in "S" particularly if you have a 1.8T as I do. The tiptronic is also excellent for moving on and off the freeways at speed or negotiating twisties. Definitely learn the three choices you have to enhance your experience. When I first started I never used the tip, now I love it. Helps me unwind at the end of the day. Have fun.
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