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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair



  • buldoggebuldogge Posts: 1
    I just did this so better late than never on a reply....
    Inside the plastic hatch jamb (next to the rear lights) is one little plastic circle.
    Pop this out and access the single screw holding the entire rear lens assembly.
    (Use a magnetic phillips on this as it's a very long screw which must be removed completely but can easily be dropped down within the body.)
    As this is the only screw, you can now gently remove the entire assembly - you may get some resistance from the two rubber mounts on the outer edge but they will eventually unstick.
    Once the assembly is out you just unclip the white plastic housing for all 3 bulbs.
    Swap the offending bulbs, snap it all back in and you're golden.
  • glasscalglasscal Posts: 1
    Did you ever find out what the problem was? My Check Emissions light came on, so I took it to the dealer to be "fixed". After spending $350, the light cam on the very next time I drove the car. Any insight would be appreciated!!
  • mike59mike59 Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Audi A4 1.8SE that has developed a strange knocking noise at the front of the car. The knocking occurs above 15mph when turning the steering wheel in either direction. The noise is not noticeably louder in either direction. I’ve tried the usual reversing trick to check the CV joints and it remains quiet. All rubber gaiters are intact.

    I’ve had it checked by two garages and they don’t know where the noise is coming from.

    Further Information:
    No vibration felt through the steering wheel
    Noise doesn’t appear to be louder on one side of the car
    Will not knock at lows speeds below 15mph
    Recently had one cv joint replaced and it made no difference
    No excessive play in the wheel bearings
    All ball joints appear to be in good condition
    The steering wheel only needs to be tuned slightly – not full lock.
  • alfabalfab Posts: 1
    I had a similar problem, resulting in slipped timing belt, dropped valves, damaged pistons, and total engine replacement at 114,000 km (70,000 m). Dealer did all service, even on their recommended schedule, but won't acknowledge the secret "warranty extension".
  • rmotwanirmotwani Posts: 7
    I also had a problem with my Audi Jack. I have had my A4 for 4 years and have changed the tire on it before using the jack. But a few weeks ago when I tried using it (to change my front passenger tire), the jack started to bend and the car was lurching forward. I tried a few times and the same thing kept happening. I took the jack out before any further damage was cauused. In looking at the jack, it looks like it has warped. I also never set the put on the handbrake, and I have changed my tire before without doing that so not sure why that is necessary. And I have used the jack only a few times, so I do not know what happened to it all of a sudden.

    Did you get a new jack--if so, how much were you charged for it
  • rmotwanirmotwani Posts: 7
    Check your wheel bearings on the tires --- I was having excessive squeaking noises coming from one of my tires, and it only came when I drove at high took three trips to the dealer before they finally figured it out, they originally had me change the tire thinking it was bad and I need a new, but the noise still appeared even after replacing with a new tire.
  • oschun26oschun26 Posts: 1
    Its the turbo! Believe it or not, mine just went out Friday. I have an 02 A4 1.8T and I heard this whining noise Friday morning that go progressively louder throughout the day, and finally my car wouldn't drive over 40mph. Took it to the dealership Friday afternoon and they say its the Turbo. They called me this morning to let me know the price... $2700!!! Parts and labor! Good luck.
  • speyspey Posts: 1

    You are suffering, almost without doubt, from worn ball joints on your front control arms. There are eight of these, four each side, which locate your front wheels and provide the correct camber angles etc. Although a fairly novel idea when the car was introduced, they have proven to be a weak point on the car. The ball joint cannot be separated from the arm therefore the complete assembly has to be replaced at significant cost. You may be able to identifly which joint is worn by elevating the car on a ramp and levering each joint in turn; they are quite accessible. Your local Audi franchise will do this for you, or use a good independant garage.
    In my experience, it would be sensible to replace all eight of these arms at the same time as you will always have one or more joints on the verge of unacceptable wear on a car of the age of yours.
    The good news is that these arms are available as a kit from Audi at a cost in Britain of approximately £400 - about $750. Sounds a lot? - consider that each individual arm will cost up to $200 dependant on which arm you require and it starts to sound more sensible. Alternatively, it is feasible to inject a good quality lithium based grease through the ball joint gaiter (there are no grease nipples) using a syringe. These will prolong the life of the existing joints considerably. You do, of course, reduce the integrity of your gaiter and water may find its way into the joint.
    Finally, the premature wear of these joints is commonly the subject of a safety recall; I'm reasonably sure this is the case in the US - approach your Audi franchise and ask, I'm sure the least they will do is check them for you. If you have a full service history with Audi then you qualify for free defective arm replacement in a significant number of countries. If continuously ignored it is not unknown for the joints to snap - not good for your ability to steer.
    I am aware of most of this due to owning a 1996 A4 1.8 Avant myself. I would best describe the car as rather fragile. The engine is a credible performer and is fairly long lasting as is the interior. The perceived 'quality' is used as a focus to elevate forecourt and list prices way above the level they should be - not a trend restricted to Audi of course. What is atrocious however are the labour rates and parts pricing, which have escalated as new car profit margins decrease. Avoid Audi franchises at all costs and use a good independant garage.
    My final words of wisdom? Buy a sensibly priced, reliable car. Don't be sufficiently vain to succumb to 'badge engineering' and pricing. Most japanese cars fit the bill but are of course perceived as being a tad dull. I can certainly vouch for Subaru - my Legacy has covered over 200,000 miles and has been subject to awful treatment in an attempt to break it as justification to buy a new one! The problem is it just keeps going.

    Good Luck
  • My 1999 A4 2.8 quattro is due for its 60,000 mile service. I live in Chicago, IL and the two dealers I contacted in the area quoted $775 and $600 for the service which would include replacing spark plugs, replacing air and pollen filters, checking brakes, coolant, etc., and a so-called 50-point inspection.

    The amount struck me as very high and I'm sure I can get it done for a much lower cost if I were to take it elsewhere. What concerns me is what the risks are of doing so. Can anyone advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of getting my car serviced by an Audi dealer compared to some place like Pepboys or Firestone? I'd be interested in knowing about the following areas:
    - Quality of the job undertaken
    - Looking out for other things that might need to be fixed so they don't result in greater losses down the road
    - Not messing around with the rest of the car (like switching parts, etc.)

    This is my first car and I've had it for only a year, so I'm pretty confused. If a non-Audi dealer would be acceptable, could anyone also recommend a service chain or a specific store in the Chicago area? Any input is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you all.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Find a good independent shop in your area that specializes in Audi (and possibly other German makes). Then have them do the items that are called for in the manual for that service only, they can also give the car a 'look over' for potential problems. Depending on where you live there should be several shops like this. There are also Audi tuner shops throughout the country that all do regular maintenance work as well.

    The independents can do a fine job if you find the right one and they don't load you up with a pretty high-priced series of inspections and check-this-and-that's. Your car likely only needs fluid changes, a few filters and a look at the brakes and suspension. It should not be as much as what that dealer quoted.

  • stinkya4stinkya4 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 A4 1.8T sport/Quattro with 25k on it. The car is always parked in a large shared parking garage. When I start the car with the AC or ventilation on, there is a bad smell that comes from the vents. After about 3-5 minutes the smell is mostly gone. I have taken it to the dealer twice. They reported "bacteria" build up in the AC system and sanitized it. The smell returned in a couple of days.

    At the second dealer "repair" I suggested they check to make sure the drain for AC condensation was clear, as I have never seen any water dripping from my car after using the AC. The dealer reported all drains were clear and basically said to "run my heater on high" periodically to prevent the smell. The smell continues and I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem? The dealer mentioned they have encountered this before, but they don't really have a fix for it.. :confuse:
  • I take my A4 to Hessen Auto and I highly recommend them. They're out by O'hare airport. Just Google them. They are not the cheapest place you will find, but they are exceptionally professional and do not do any unnecessary work. Oil changes run around $30. The air and pollen filters are pretty easy to replace and I would suggest doing it yourself by getting the filters at Wal-mart( A lot cheaper than the Audi filters)

    A copule of examples: I knew that my brake rotors and pads were getting low, so I took them to Hessen instead of the stealership. From past experience, the stealership would have recommended complete pad and rotor replacement, and sugested a few thousand dollars worth of other things. These guys let me know I had 20% wear left, and suggested I come back in 6 months. Also, they always gave me the straight dope, and if they were wary about fixing something(airbag), they let me know. They gave me accurate quotes. They don't have a big fancy showroom with donuts and coffee, but i don't care about that. Also, they are not in a convenient area for shopping.
    By the way, I don't work for them, nor do I have any financial interest in them. I do want to make sure they stick around, because good, honest mechanics are hard to find.
  • clevecabclevecab Posts: 1

    Did you ever get your ESP light problem fixed? If so, what did they do? The ESP light on my 2004 cabriolet has been coming on sporadically. Stays on until I shut the car off. Happens about once a week, no pattern. I'm taking it in to the dealer later this week, but am guessing it will choose not to act up that day and they won't be able to diagnose.
  • rxs69rxs69 Posts: 1
    1998 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro, 102,000 miles

    My temperature gauge has recently been fluctuating between C and the middle point of C and H. It has never gone over the middle point but sometimes when it’s slightly below the middle it will drop down to C within a minute and slowly creep back up. Sometimes it will stay steady between C and the middle point with minor fluctuations. There are no leaks and the radiator and reservoir are full. Has anyone experienced any issues with the temperature gauge?
  • cyberpmgcyberpmg Posts: 83
    Make sure that before you turn off your car that the HVAC settings are set to allow fresh air in and not left in recirculation mode. If in recirculation mode, the vents remain closed and will trap condensation inside (which would lead to the musty smell). Leaving the car in fresh air mode will leave the vents open to the outside and allow any condensation to properly drain.
  • jgpjgp Posts: 7
    marleybarr- what warranty plan did you have? If you check the other forums on extended warranties, they advise you not to purchase them! They all seem to have terrible reputations. Though, I have heard Audi has something called the Pure Protection Plan.
  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    I went through Western National @ 1.800.722.4758. $2300 for 3 years or 50,000 miles w/$100 deductible. They are legitimate and covered the alarm repair and rental car. The only thing they won't cover is the "airbag" light on the dash. A module needs replacing to the tune of $880.00 and they don't cover that item. I have used up about $1500 worth of Audi repairs and have about a year /or 25000 miles left on the plan. I'm going to get the valve cover/cam gaskets replaced soon (regular cost$1200) so it was well worth going with this.
  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 144
    Yes, they fixed it. In my case both the ABS and the ESP light were coming on. They replaced a switch in the steering column. I believe by reading my receipt it was a new steering angle sender. This was done under warranty. Both lights are not acting up anymore.

    Hope this helps. Keep me posted if they fix the problem or not.

  • jgpjgp Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info. I did some research, and the problems you mentioned, and others that people have talked about on the forum, are all covered under the Audi Pure Protection Plan. Depending on the price, I will probably go with that, because you are one of the few people that has said anything positive about their "3rd party" extended warranty provider.
  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    Would never try ownership of one of these cars w/o some sort of extended service plan UNLESS the vehicle was paid for and then one could start a "savings account" for future repairs with the $500/mo. or so it takes to drive this car.
  • gunter1gunter1 Posts: 5
    I just bought a brand new 2006 A4 Avant 2.0T quattro, and it died on me the 2nd morning of driving. The malfunction light started blinking, the car started chocking and I only had time to pull to a parking lot. Once I turned the engine off and was not able to start it anymore. Had to have the vehicle towed to the dealership and they still don't know what's wrong with it (this is the 2nd day they have it in service).

    What would you do in a situation like that? Would you keep the car? Do I even have an option of returning it (I don't, according to the dealer)?

    Have you heard of any problems with the new A4s? It was supposed to be such a great brand, but now the more I think about it it seems to me like a piece of expensive european junk.

    Opinions, comments?
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    If the issue is electronic and the dealer is competent and finds it then I would not be too upset. Electronic parts that fail usually do so early in their life and you could have a bad ECU or something like that.

    If the problem is mechanical and requires extensive tear-down to repair that would be a different matter, IMHO.

    Good luck,

  • 2ka4driver2ka4driver Posts: 2
    My wifes Audi A4 just started to go off many times a day. Just got a $175 ticket for noise violation here in the city. ouch. I tried to turn off the motion sensor on the driver side between the doors. Didn't work. Unhooked the battery and re-hooked. Nope! Turns out that the police broke into the car, opened the hood, took out the horn and left a note saying what they did. Now the car just blinks. So, I'm with you on not paying 750 bucks to replace a door and is that really the cause? Will let you know how this turns out. -2KA4Driver
  • decoannedecoanne Posts: 3
    My (98 A4) alarm started going crazy last night. It went off 5 times between 10pm and 4am. I made sure the windows were closed, restarted the car, reset the interior motion sensors, etc. By 2am I decided not to even lock the car and hence, keep the alarm off. Guess what...3am and 3:30am the alarm was going off and the CAR WAS NOT EVEN LOCKED. I was ready to start pulling wires. After a nice drive around the block at 3:30 the alarm decided to take a rest. None of the local dealers within an hour of me can fit it in for service before Friday. I am definitely disconnecting the battery tonight. I need some sleep and my neighbors do too!
    I'd be very curious to hear if other Audi drivers have had similar problems, and what the diagnosis was... Thanks!
  • watziznehmwatziznehm Posts: 3
    rowlandj & hydrocarbon,

    Thank you so much for your response! Your advise has been very very helpful. I've decided to take my car to an independent shop. I've also decided to give Hessen Auto a call.

    Thank you again.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Good luck, please let us know how it all works out for you.

  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    Also for decoanne: Had the same problems you two are describing. The driver's door lock "fell apart" from the inside causing all the alarm,window, and flashing light problems. Repair took 10days, a new lock was ordered from Audi in Germany,reinstalled, (the door had to be taken apart) and this solved the problem. Had an extended service plan that covered the repair, minus a $100 deductible,otherwise the bill would have come to about $750.00
  • decoannedecoanne Posts: 3
    Thanks for the update...
    I just read your original post and had to laugh...our dealer visits are ALWAYS $1000, minimum. It is a total joke for us now. We take it in for an oil change and it ends up being $1000, replace a light bulb = $1000. I probably just need to drive through the lot and my credit card would magically be charged $1000.
    Good luck to everyone with the alarm problem, a local dealer was able to fit me in today so I'll report back with the damage. Anyone want to guess what it might be???
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Posts: 220

    I hope that you were speaking metaphorically about your A4Q being "towed." Quattro equipped cars must be flat-bedded or the Torsen center diff will be damaged. Since you did mention that it's an '06 I assume that you do not live in the States? Anyhow hope your car is back in action soon. My '02 Avant has been very well behaved.
  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    The funny thing is.... have NEVER used the key to manually unlock the door.ALWAYS used the remote. Audi refused to rekey the ignition, (since nothing was wrong with it), so there are now 2 keys to this car. One to unlock manually, one to start the vehicle. Shoudn't be an issue as long as the remote works okay.

    Wouldn't drive one of these Audi cars(especially w/twin turbo) without some sort of extended service plan.Find a good independent mechanic that knows these cars and takes Visa, then call Western National @1.800.722.4758 to set up an extended plan.
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