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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair



  • I have followed this board for some time and can relate to and share most of the frustrations w/ the previous posts here. Fortunately, I've been lucky so far and have not had any major issues like the previous posts where the car has been out of commission for days to weeks. I am the original owner of a '98 2.8 Quattro w/ about 92,000 miles. The car has always been serviced at Audi dealer(s) (at much expense) and only recently did I take it to an independent shop (for the 90,000 tune up- and saved about $1500). So far the car is running fine, and not giving me any major heart burn, but given the poor reliabity that seems to be inherent in this model should I bite the bullet and sell it now while it's running ok, or keep it until it breaks down (which hasn't happened so far-knock on wood)? BTW I have always tried to maintain it as suggested by Audi so far. So should I sell or keep? Any input from other 2.8 owners would be appreciated since it seems that most of the problems are w/ the 1.8T models.

    '98 2.8 Quattro
  • My first clutch & flywheel (A4 1,9Tdi) was replaced at 65,000 miles covered by my maintenance plan so I didn't worry too much. (I didn't even know it needed replacing until the service agent advised me) I was shocked that it had gone so soon, as I consider 65K to be a very short life for a clutch, but my service agent told me that was about average.

    My second clutch has now totally collapsed just 15,000 miles later and Audi are refusing to replace it under the maintenance plan claiming I must have abused the vehicle. I'm getting ready to fight with them, legally if necessary. My other car (Mazda) has just done 150,000 miles on its first clutch, so it can be my driving, and I've been driving for 35 years (+/- 500,000 miles!)

    I think the clutch design with the damper built into the dual mass flywheel results in a higher than normal heat build up on the front face of the clutch plate. My service agent confirmed that 30% of the clutch replacements they do require new flywheels also, and that doubles the cost of the repair.

    I think its time Audi acknowledged their clutch is a weak point on an otherwise good vehicle.
  • i am having the same problem with my 2005 a4. no sound in below freezing temps until car is completely warmed up. i have the bose system with xm. the dealer is playing dumb right now - what i expected. has anyone had a dealer acknowledge the problem so i can put my dealer in touch with them. thanks.
  • having the exact same problem. my dealer claims no reports of any problems from other owners or from audi. would like to hear from anyone else in this situation or anyone who has had a dealer acknowledge this defect.
  • rdsmdrdsmd Posts: 4
    They replaced my radio about 2 weeks ago and this week was the first cold weather (below 30) So far no problem, it is working fine. Audi is well aware of the problem.. it took 4-6 weeks to get the new radio... when I asked the service manager why he said that all existing radios of this type were cleared from parts, and they had to wait for a shipment from Germany. So obviously they are aware there is a problem with these radios. I had it serviced at Jack Daniels Audi in Fairlawn, NJ...if you want your dealer to call, they can speak to the service manager there. They said they have replaced several radios of this type, and so far no problems with the replacements. I think it is specifically the 2005 Bose system with XM that does it. By the way I did not have to reregister my XM.. I guess that part of the radio module did not have to be replaced.
  • cneffcneff Posts: 65
    Hi "Junk car owner"
    Sorry for the late reply, below is a list of my issues, which have been repaired many times only to return. To make it worse after a failure soon all would be fine again...all random events and witnessed by Audi techs. (2003 A4 3.0 Quattro)
    Failed key fobs
    Failed memory seat option
    Failed alarm
    Failed auto door locks
    Failed wipers
    Failed wiper fluid pumps
    Failed headlight washers
    Failed rear defroster
    Failed CD player
    Failed radio
    Failed speakers
    Failed tail lights
    Failed moon roof
    Failed dash lights
    Failed right side "reverse" tilt of mirror
    Failed Equal Brake Distribution CPU
    Failed trip/temp computer
    Blue smoke coming out of exhaust for awhile
    Engine warning lights
    Fluid dripping from front
    Suspension bangs
    Steering column problems

    Audi tells me I am having a unique experience...guess I have a real classic
  • cneffcneff Posts: 65
    I am staying away from Audi for good, and not because I had a terrible experience with reliability. It is because I had horrible service. Audi absolutely refuses to stand by their products when things get ugly. It is not their fault but the dealers.
    They only way they respond is if you threaten them with some poor PR of legal attack.
    They have a lot of technical issues that they hope does not become public. As an example, Edmunds just did a Long term follow up with a 2005 A4. They had a key fob issue. By the way, what happens is the two CPUs stop communicating (can't unlock the car, arm the alarm or memory seats move all by themselves) and the only way to fix it is to have them re programmed, but that has not worked for Audi as the keys would lose the programming. So their answer was to replace the keys, however, many times the new keys would freak out just the same. Well, I can tell you I had 6 of those key fob events, and the QA manager from Audi in Germany who came out to examin my Audi disaster told me they fixed those key fob failures couple years ago. Guess they have not emptied the parts bin yet. In fact, my moon roof had the same issues as past moon roofs that he swore to me were repaired 100% in the 2002 line up. Guess I got retro parts (mine is a 2003). What was intriguing was how interested the German engineers were in all the failures I was having with my car (glad I could help), so what happened? Well, the car still does not work and Audi thinks enough people have worked on my case. Bottom line, my car has had over 20 issues and 150 days at 4 dealers - just wonderful or is that pathetic?
    Audi is not ready for prime time. There are many brands out there that back the product and understand that if you are honest with a customer they might just stick around awhile. As Audi says, Never Follow
  • cneffcneff Posts: 65

    Audi loaner program is as follows: this was told to me by a manager at Audi Corporate:
    The dealer has the right not to offer a loaner car to you, however, Audi does provide a loaner if the car will need to stay more then 1 day for repairs. A bit vague but call Audi Customer Care and push them.
    As for Lemon law electrical (which the engine warning light is) is tough to win. The car still runs, and is not endangering your life. However, Audi hates bad PR (they have so much of it). Call Customer Care and tell them that they have one more chance to fix it for good or you will be forced to contact the Automobile consumer protection agency (forgot actual name but it is inside your Audi customer care manual). If Audi does not respond and you want to keep pushing (as a last resort) call one of the lemon firms, very easy to find in the yellow pages or online. You might just get a quick settlement, like a month back. It is something.
    My Audi has been about as reliable as the weather and the service as professional as a salesperson short of quota at months end. I won't be back
  • Here in St.Paul/Minneapolis we have 2 Audi dealers owned by the same franchise but operate as separate companies. An Audi purchased in St. Paul does NOT qualify for a free service rental at the Minneapolis dealer and vice a versa.

    BTW, the St. Paul dealer is moving into a new $8 million facility on Monday. The Audi business must be profitable here in the twin cities!
  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 144
    Thanks cneff for your tip. I will keep documenting the problems and let's see what happens. I will definitely contact Audi Customer Care and I hope that they can at least repremend my dealer for the crappy service I received.

    Marleybarr, is a shame that even the same dealership (owned by the same family) does not provider loaners to someone that purchase the car in the other facility.

    I was wondering if BMW dealers are the same way. Any experiences anyone?????
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    I ask because ny BIL's Audi has terrible FM sensitivity-it can'd pull in most FM stations when you are more than 25-30 miles away. I experienced a similar problem with an aftermarket PHILIPS car radio-it was bested by a OE Chrysler radio, which had much better FM reception. It turns out that FM car radios in europe don't need good FM sensitivity-they have repeater stations al over the place.
  • cneffcneff Posts: 65
    The techs told me Audi uses Panasonic. And the Bose radio is the same as the basic...they just choose a different code. Audi radios are not known for their reliability or quality.
    I had major static on FM stations and even playing CDs...not to mention certain features freaking out or the radio just failing altogether. Gone through two radios, many re programs and finally just gave up.

    Some tech might be honest and tell you Audi has had radio issues for almost 7 yrs.
  • This "leatherette" upholstery is really vinyl, right? What product(s) do you recommend to care for it? Thanks.

    Ken in N.C.
  • My engine makes a whining noise while accelerating from about 45 – 55mph. It doesn’t really happen at speeds higher or lower than that. It almost sounds like the sound an old AM radio makes. (but my radio isn’t on when this happens.) I brought to dealer and he agreed the sound wasn’t right, they said they tightened something, but it still makes the sound. Any idea what it could be? It sounds like it is coming from the driver side, close to the passenger compartment. Thanks
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Ive had good luck with Vinylex,you can get one half-liter for about 6 bucks at pep boys or where ever.

  • cicerocicero Posts: 51
    What kind of Audi do you have 1.8T, 2.0T or one of the 6'? What year,etc. That info may get you a response. I have not experienced that problem in my 2003 1.8T Q Tip. Good luck. Cicero
  • kocourkocour Posts: 11
    I have read previous posts from Audi owners who have had problems with their radios in cold weather. It was about -10 Fahrenheit here in the Midwest this morning so I tried the AM, FM, Sirius satellite radio and CD player in my 2005 cabriolet (it has Bose premium audio package) - and found that it does not work. I will be calling the dealer on Monday. Other Audi owners who live in cold climates may want to check their radios. For others who have had this problem - are the replacements radios better?
  • I just had the L and R Front control arms, L and R control arms and tie rod ends replaced on my 2000 A4. for about $ 300.00 labor and $630 in parts by a non dealer Audi repair shop. Is this reasonable? It started as only needing tie rod ends and escalated in to a huge job. I am sure I have been ripped off but still want to know the truth.
  • ll137ll137 Posts: 1
    Long time reader, first time poster..

    hello all, I would just like to share some of the experiences i've had with my '05 A4. I leased it Jan 2005 (before the new 2005.5 styles came out) got a great deal on it. (currently has about 17,000 miles) Its been a fab car to drive, great in the snow, handles and moves very well... everything was dandy til about 2 months ago...

    In Dec, the car started making a "whine" as I approached higher speeds (50+) and continues to get louder as you go faster. It was more of a clicking noise that came together to create a whine as you drove faster. I took it in to get it checked out.. turns out it was the transmission, and I needed a brand new one (I have the 6 speed manual)... so they ordered and got that replaced, car was in the shop for about a week. no big deal. I had a loaner.

    about a month later, the check engine light came on.. took it in, they said the code read as "mis-fire on 4 cylinders" turned it off, and told me not to worry about it.

    Yesterday, started the car to go to work.. the traction control and ESP lights came on and would not go off. I tried backing out and could not get the car to rev past 1500rpms, so basically could not get the car moving. tried re-starting the car, lights still stayed on.. left it running or about 5 mins, check engine light came on, and the car started shaking. So i had to call for a tow truck and took the car to the dealer.. wanted a loaner - to no avail.. spent about 5 hours waiting as they diagnosed the problem. (diagnosed the same code, mis-fire on 4 cylinders) and apparantly the traction control lights didn't come on when they drove it into the shop...They ended up just cleaning out the throttle body.

    who knows..Just wanted to share.. anyways.. thanks for listening/reading! :(
  • henry3henry3 Posts: 22
    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to express my sympathy to all the owners who have had issues with this car make. I am frustrated and upset with myself at the moment, so if you take offense from what I'm about to write, please accept my apologies.

    I have had my A4 2003 3.0L Quattro for 3 years now, I have about 57,000 miles on it. After about a year my car started turning itself on after being parked coming home from work. This kept on draining out the battery and had to be towed away to the dealer. They fixed it, some electrical issues. Few months later engine light kept coming up so dealer checked and said no big deal, some typical stuff (what ?!?!). Last weekend the car was started in the morning and made horrible engine noise. I started driving it and the oil light came on. I check and saw the engine was dry on oil, put two quarters in and looked under the car where I saw all of it leaking down to the floor. Called the audi and they told me to bring it in. Trying to drive there the car stalled. They had to tow it away. Now, it looks like I will be in for thousands of dollars for the engine seemed to have gotten damaged and I'm couple thousands of miles out of warranty.

    Ok, now, previously I had an Accord for 3 years and before that I had 30 month lease on BMW 3 Series. Not once did I have any minor or major issues with those cars. When I was looking to replace the Accord I was choosing between 3 series and A4. I figured to give Audi a try since I have owned bimmer already and just loved the A4's styling. I heard some bad stories about Audi's reliability but in spite of that I figured the new models might/should be improved. Well it appears that's not the case. I love the styling and materials inside and out, but what's underneath these cars or how they are put together just begs for improvement. I will never ever again buy an Audi no matter how great it looks and feels, I learnt my lesson.

    Good luck to everyone.
  • I have been going back and forth between the Audi A4 and the Acura TSX. I test drove an A4 2.0T and liked the speed and smoothness of it, but I've heard of the problems with "German" cars before.
    I e-mailed Car and Driver about it and got a reply from them saying that "most problems with German cars is in the electronics" & "same quality materials as the Japanese cars, they just can't seem to put it together as well"
    That made up my mind for the TSX.

    By the way: They still said I should try the 3 series, man they love those cars.

  • tcasboytcasboy Posts: 214
    Yeah, that is because they just have to drive them, not pay for the maintenance and repairs down the line. I loved the way my A4 drove, just couldn't stand all the trips to the dealer to get things fixed all the time.

  • casanova2casanova2 Posts: 40
    I have a new 2006 A4 2.0T AWD and love the car. It's got 2,200 miles on it, no problems as of yet, things looking great. However, I'm confused about gas mileage.

    On the highway I am getting 32 mpg, pretty good for the performance, very happy. But my commute is on long, windy roads (about 12 miles total) with not too many traffic lights and I'm only getting 22 or 23 mpg (according to the trip meter). On a tank of gas I'm getting maybe 320 miles as most of my driving is city or suburban.

    Can I expect my mileage to improve around the city? I was hoping for 25 or 26 mpg. I do notice though that mileage is better when it's warm. I live in Cleveland and recent mornings have been down to 15 deg F or so, takes the car a while to warm the engine up.

    Anyone got any thoughts on this? I am using premium 93 gas all the time.
  • blake77blake77 Posts: 1
    We had that noise too..brought car to the dealership 3 times but they could never hear/find what we were talking about. The service manager just thought we were crazy. Anyway, the warranty is up and the noise persists. I'm dreading the day that we find out what it really is.... I love Audis and for the most part they have a great warranty b/c they're willing to fix anything...if they can find it. But once you have to pay for things on your own, the bill won't be pretty. The simplest parts on Audis cost a pretty penny so if you keep it you have to decide whether or not you're willing to fork out probably thousands over the years for maintenance/repairs... I prefer Audi over BMW but a 3 Series will probably be my next car b/c they give much less problems after the warranty/lease is up.
  • joeykainjoeykain Posts: 1
    Problem #1 -I have an automatic 1996 A4 quatro.It won't go into gear. It drives in reverse but to drive the car, I have to drive it like a manual, 2,3,4 then D. Problem #2- ABS and brake lights are always on. Anyone know why?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    For starters, the listed EPA gas mileage on your car is 22/30 city/hwy. Keep in mind, however, that this is the most conservative driving to obtain maximum fuel economy.

    The nature of turbocharged engines is that when you're cruising along and not ever accelerating, you're using the 2.0L engine alone (in your case)... but whenever your accelerated and induce the turbo, you'll drink down some gas. If you have a tendency to hit the gas here and there, that'll drop your number.

    Now, aside from all of this, your engine is only 2200 miles old.... Many engines take a while (as much as 15k) to fully break in and reach the fuel economy they ultimately settle down at. So in addition to the above couple paragraphs, also keep an eye on your gas mileage after the next 5k+ miles.
  • amir1amir1 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem,
    my 2000 A4 audi with 120km.I bought the car 3 years ago ever since I've changed oil pump twise, ABS controller
    and about 15 times fog lights.and now the engine light came back. so I took it back to audi dealer this time they said
    its not the oil pump but crankcase gasgate leaking and few hoses needs to be replaced, looking around $2000.
    I told not to do anything, I'm sick and tired of this car.
    and now Iam looking for a 2nd opinion.
  • triple74triple74 Posts: 1
    I'm looking at a 2001 A4 wagon from Carmax (52k miles)
    this will be a car for my wife, need more space in a car because my wife is pregnant. she has a BMW 325is two door now. We live in the NorthEast and the Bmw is not great in the snow. Really like the all-wheel drive.
    my mother and stepfather both have 2001 audi (allroad,& A6) they have had no problems. I was looking at Audi because of the good luck they have had.
    From looking at this site I am getting cold feet about the audi. Any feedback on my choice to look at Audi could really help. It seems like I really should look into the extended warrenty they provide ir I go with this car.
    Thank you
  • zignerzigner Posts: 1
    Is your car still under warranty? This is a known problem. There is a radio signal amp under the headliner that tends to go. Needs replacing. They just did mine last week
  • meademeade Posts: 2
  • I now own a 2000 Audi Quatro 2.8 v6 which has been in the family since new, so I have seen all the problems this car has gone thru,but still didn't want to see it go, because it's loaded and in mint condition even with 158,000 miles, so I bought it. Boy am I sorry now, Like so many others the engine light kept coming on. The Audi dealer said I needed new Cat converters to the tune of 1200 dollares each and o2 sensors . Because of what the dealer charges to supposidly fix it and only for it to come on again, I went to a local German repair
    shop. Reset the check engine light and replaced 2 o2 sensors, drove it a week, light came back on.etc. Replaced the other 2 o2 sensors and reset light, drove light came back on, but the code was different. Reset codes drove all day without turning off and passed smog test. I decided since the old batterie was running down easily the shop agreed with me when the batterie loses some juice overnight it was tripping the old code back on. SO YOU MIGHT HAVE A SHORT SOMEWHERE. You could try resetting the code and use a trickle charger on it at night to keep the batterie up to the proper amps overnight
  • gangstagangsta Posts: 1
    hi all, i have a 1997 1.9tdi 110 bhp a4, recently i have had some probs with it. latley it has been getting stuck in gear (fifth mainly), when i change from 2nd to third it grinds, when i go from 4th to 5th it grinds, when i pull off the hole car judders realy bad. recently had a look but couldnt find anything, but did notice the thread on my ball joint on the driver side has pierced through the ball joint!!!!!, passenger wheel bearing has started to whine, probably from the strain of the ball joint? :cry:
    if any one has any info on what the gearbox prob could be please help. other probs i just put down to wear and tear as she has just done 100k miles. thanx gary
  • My 1998 A4 quattro was a gift from my parents last fall and was running great. Until recently, I went to go get into it the other day and it wouldn't start, no clicking noise, no nothing. I took it to a local mechanic and he said he could get the starter to work, so he figured it had something to do with the diagnostics, which he didn't have the machinery to fix, nice man didn't charge me a thing. So I have it towed 30 minutes away to the nearest dealership and they tell me that it is my starter and that I need a new one and it is going to cost almost $900 to replace(part+labor). Any advice on where to go now? I don't have this kind of money but I really need my car to work! Has anyone else had similar problems or know of a cheaper way to fix it? Please help!
  • My engine makes a whining noise while accelerating from about 45 – 55mph. It doesn’t really happen at speeds higher or lower than that. It almost sounds like the sound an old AM radio makes. (but my radio isn’t on when this happens.) I brought to dealer and he agreed the sound wasn’t right, they said they tightened something, but it still makes the sound. Any idea what it could be? It sounds like it is coming from the driver side, close to the passenger compartment. Thanks
  • deoddeod Posts: 1
    hello. i own an audi a4 2000. the date and time on my panel keeps on resetting every 3 days. i read the manual and it was indicated there that the date and time can be set manually or remotely; whenever the date and time does not get a radio signal where i assume gets the remote signal of some sort, it will be reset every 3 days. problem is, i live in the philippines and i don't think this "radio" signal that the audi makers are metioning is available here. does anyone know how to turn this thing off?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well I have some long term advice for you. If you don't have a lot of extra money and you are driving an Audi out of warranty, your future isn't going to be very prosperous. I'd fix the car and sell it and get a car that isn't going to have such high maintenance bills. Audis are very expensive to repair when they break.

    In the short term: When you turned the key to start it, did you get dash lights and hear various relays or was it dead dead dead.

    I'm thinking that you aren't getting the right diagnosis on this problem. How did one shop get the starter to work but the car wouldn't start and the next shop says the starter is no good? What's going on?

    I think you need a third opinion. First thing I'd do is test the battery and clean all the battery cables and check the battery cable connection to the starter motor.
  • Did Audi make you post this. My Audi A4 has sucked since 25,000 miles. Every year a part or two busts costing $3000 annually: both front susppensions cracked, clutch fails on highway, gas pump fails on highway, ABS module fails -- I will NEVER buy an Audi again!!!!
  • b5v30b5v30 Posts: 2
    I've got similar problem, 1998, A4 2.8L. The pump keeps going after the engine off, cycling intermitely. i posted on audiworld but so far nothing. did you managed to find what is the problem?
  • sbeck1sbeck1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Audi A4 and am reaching the end of my warranty period at 50,000 miles. I've been offered a 48,000 mile extended warranty for $2300.00. This, of course, won't cover any items like brakes. Is it a good investment to spend that much money up front if I want to keep driving it for another four years, or should I just put the money in the bank for further repairs?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well let's do the math.

    The minimum out of warranty repair on an Audi would be say one hour labor + parts, with average parts at $300. So one instance of one repair would cost you $400.

    If you have only one repair a year for four years that's $1,600. You should probably count on that happening. So you have a theoretical differential of $700 "extra" spent on the extended warranty.

    question is, will your A4 behave in that manner?

    These extended warranties are not really warranties but insurance policies. You are betting your car breaks and the insurance company is beating that it doesn't; however, the premium they are charging you, and the exclusions they are throwing in, gives you an idea of how risky THEY think your car is.
  • b5v30b5v30 Posts: 2
    So far I found out that the above mentioned relay is inside the ECU weather resistant protective housing. If looking from the front of the car it should be on the left from the ECU metal casing..
  • I got an offer for a 75K 5 Year warranty for $1463, I would shop around for a better price before signing it, however i think its a good idea, especially for models 2005 and under.
  • rwolffrwolff Posts: 19
    I just purchased a 2000 A4 w/ 30K miles. It is out of warranty and I am searching for a good and ethical mechanic who works on German autos in the northern NJ area (Bergen county). If there's anyone who can recommend one I would appreciate it. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    a gentle's not enough to just work on "german cars". An Audi is not a Porsche is not a BMW is not a Benz. You really want someone who is comfortable with Audis specifically I think.
  • rwolffrwolff Posts: 19
    yes I do want someone who is very familiar and comfortable with Audis. Preferably in Bergen cty but within the NYC metro area is acceptable also.
  • henry3henry3 Posts: 22
    hmm, I just had engine on my '03 A4 3.0L Quattro replaced, yeah, I know, not a pleasent experience, the cost of this deal was around $14, any case, I now also hear a bit of a whistle sound when accelerating, but at a bit lower speed, probably somewhere in between 25-35mph, then it disappears...Not sure yet if I should take it back to the dealer to check it out, the noise is very unobstructive, and I have very little faith in audi mechanics/dealers/cars. I used to have Honda V6 coupe that did have similar noise but only coming up at first few yards the car would start moving, and probably was just the way it was designed (it was less noticeable), in any case, after the engine was replaced I have this sound now, so it does seem to have possibly something to do on how they put everything back on...I don't know...
  • rwolffrwolff Posts: 19
    I had the engine on my 02 A4 1.8T replaced last year and about two months ago heard a hissing noise when accelerating. It sounded like a vacuum hose to me so I took it in and sure enough that's what it was. It may be that also, I would have it checked out. Is your check engine light on?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Mr. Shiftright, comparing the following cars, and assuming both of these are __out__ of their warranty:



    1. Which will cost more to keep maintained?
    2. Is there an aprox. percentage difference?

    I like many features of the Audis, but am very concerned about their bad reliability record and the comments that they are very expensive to fix.
  • luetwuluetwu Posts: 1
    2002 A4 3.0

    Help. When i push any of the buttons on the stereo, nothing happens. I can't play radio, cd. It does not accept my cassette tape either. However, I think there is power going through the stereo since the display is lighted red. I'm afraid my battery is being drained. What to do?
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