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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair



  • boas13boas13 Posts: 30
    Hi everyone. Just sold my 2006 BMW 325xi (that was a repair nightmare) and have a new, 4 week old Audi A4 2010. Much better than the BMW and the dealer has been fantastic, great car. Only issue is the mode switch on left side of the steering wheel that broke a few days after I picked up the car. Dealer advised could not order new one until they could inspect it. In at 7am and twenty minutes later they advised 1. It was a bad switch 2. There were none (zip, nada, zero) in the country and 3. Had to be ordered and no clue when it would be in.
    Did the survey and gave the dealer and car 5 stars (based on my BMW experience if you mark anything on the survey low Corporate slams the dealer, regardless of any facts.) I noted on the survey I wanted someone from corporate to call me - no one did - and just spoke with my sales rep to get me a name and number. I admit the part is not critical but it is disturbing they don't have one part in the country on a new car and no idea when it will be in.
    Is this an isolated incidendent or can I expect this to be a routnine occurence? thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,257
    dealers are franchisees. Some will go the extra mile for you, some could care less. My friend's dealership (unfortunately not Audi) would track down that part for you if it were humanely possible to find one.

    To be fair, sometimes replacement parts on a brand new model *are* hard to come by. I just don't like the "no clue" part of their answer as to timeframe.

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  • boas13boas13 Posts: 30
    I feel my dealer did go the extra mile but when there is no part in the country, its just simple logistics and it is the corporate office to blame. Just got off the phone with Audi Customer Relations. Very nice rep and said all the right things but..... "we will call the dealer to investigate and get back to you by Wednesday". They have the VIN, you would think they could look it up in SAP and tell me later today where the part is. Not too promising but maybe, just maybe, they will get a few more parts in the country. And I do hope the dealer doesn't get slammed for a part Audi decided not to have in the entire country. Thank God it is not a major or essential component as I would not be happy to have my car laid up for several weeks waiting for a transatlantic delivery of a $3 part.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,257
    Well in a perfect world they'd be on the horn to Germany and have a part shipped for you or at the very least put in the pipeline and verified. I used to do things like this for Benz back in the 1970s when I worked at corporate. But alas, that was a simpler world I guess.

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello, boas13. It appears that the dealer is making a reasonable effort to take care of this annoyance. However, if they really wanted to impress you, they would pull one of the salesperson's demos into the shop and remove the part from THAT car and install it on yours. Better that the sales guy/gal takes the hit and waits for the part than a good customer who just spent $40,000 on a defective car. audiophile1
  • mercopsmercops Posts: 34
    vwdawg hit the nail on the head, only problem is that it makes too much sense and would provide REAL customer service.......something that in todays world even money can't buy.
  • boas13boas13 Posts: 30
    Well, 24 hours later I get a call from the dealer, and then 30 minutes later from Audi Customer Relations department. Part is on its way, here tomorrow and, due to my schedule, will be replacing the defective part in my car on Friday morning. Beside the logistics issue of not having the part in the country in the first place, I am impressed that Audi Corporate did get back to me so quickly and is addressing the issue. I really do love the A4, the dealer has been great and corporate was nothing but professional and took immediate action. Compared to the three oil sensors that went into my then new BMW 2006 325xi this experience gives me hope that Audi will be light years ahead. Audi, if you do read this board, good job to The Exchange in Illionis and to your Customer Relations dept. Now just take care of that logistic management problem you have.
    Will post again after Friday after visit to the dealer. Thanks to all for their comments.
  • mercopsmercops Posts: 34
    Sounds like you found a solid dealer that cares. Now if they could clone him and distribute around the country they would have a winning line of cars. Look forward to you post-repair comments.
  • Hey, I'm going in tomorrow to diagnose my mystery noise. Was putting it off, but yet another coil pack (the 4th so far) failed today. I'm assuming it failed; typical symptoms. Check engine light, shuddering etc. If I had the money I'd swap all remaining packs out, but I don't and I need xtnd warranty to pay, and of course they do it as needed. Ugh. On the bright side, I'm hoping the mystery noise turns out to be coil pack related. Seems unlikely though. I hate when this crap happens late in the week, because if they can't fix it all tomorrow I'm without car for the weekend. Grr. I will update when I get the results. :sick:
  • So my mystery noise / rattle turned out to be a broken exhaust support. New part was allegedly $500.00 or so. Service center is going to weld the old one and just charge an hour of labor. Whew. Also, my 4th coil pack failed. Was told that a recall is coming for the coil packs. Other forum thread says it will be 2001-2007. I can't confirm that; just know it was the case for my car (2005). And while the recall isn't in effect yet, they have an agreement to do it in advance if people come in w/ bad coils. So, they replaced all of my suspect coils. Good news all around. :shades:
  • boas13boas13 Posts: 30
    Back from the dealer and it was a very interesting morning. Took about an hour and the Service Advisor said I was good to go. Got in my A4 and found a 2+ inch scratch/cut on the steering wheel leather. Was not a happy camper; they said they would repair it, give me a loaner, deliver my car and then pick up the loaner where I worked 40 minutes away. Received a phone call from the SA, advising they were sorry for the damage and replaced the entire steering wheel with a new one. Got my car dropped off, looking brand new. A bad situation handled very well by the dealer to bring it to a good ending.
  • WOW!!! Sounds like you found a great dealer who still knows how to provide service that exceeds expectations. Now if the rest of the dealers could catch on AUDI would have an outstanding reputation. Thanks
  • You are correct about the recall notice. I received mine in the mail yesterday. The recall number is "Voluntary Emmissions Service Action 28F2/J1"

    Under the recall the dealer will inspect and install new ignition coils free of charge. Also, Audi will reimburse owners out-of-pocket expenses for any replacements that were made prior to the recall as long as you have your supporting documents. You can check with your local dealer or possibly get the forms for submittal on-line.
  • I have just over 45K on my '06 A4. After my recent service they told me rear brakes are at 5MM and front are at 6MM. Does anyone have any idea how much I can expect the dealer to charge for new brakes (front & rear)? I hear they may want to replace the rotors as well. Thanks.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi af02144: OK...5mm and 6mm...did they say you NEEDED new brakes? Unless you're doing a lot of hard stop-and-go city driving, I would say you have quite a few miles left before this is necessary (maybe there's a brake guy on the forum that could provide specific advice). I'm not a big fan of bias is that they're overpriced, and you can get similar quality workmanship and materials at a lower cost at an independent shop. I'm guessing a dealer cost of more than $500 or $600 when you throw in new rotors. Furthermore, my take is that unless you've run your pads down to bare metal, there's no reason the rotors can't be turned. I would at least TALK to a reputable independent shop, develop a relationship, and get an estimate from them before committing to a dealer deal. audiphile1
  • I know there is probaly not a better solution than going to a body shop and relace the bumper. But it would not hurt to try it here. Your kind suggestions are highly appreciated.

    I believe I am not alone. Many of us thinks the front of the 09 A4 is really too low, yes, that is how it happened. Right under the fog light, the edgy bumper of my A4 hit something and left a dent on the edge. I tried to get a dent repair guy and he said he could not do anything since this is not a dent on the side or any major part of the body. Plus the bumper is plastic, a bent-in on a plastic edge is not fixable to him.

    I have read solutions for plastic bumpers, unfortunately, our A4 edgy bumper is a thick piece that you could not reach in from behind and push the dent out. I tried to use a small device to suck it out (after heating the bumper with hair dryer), but the edge made it impossible for a complete seal, which lost the sucking power. Any thoughts on this? Otherwise, I guess I should convince myself that it is so small a dent or convince myself it is worth it to pay $400 - 500 for a small dent.
  • wilnerwilner californiaPosts: 34
    1999 audi a4 6v 2.8l quattro with a 118, 000 mileage. my ignition key is stuck. what is the problem? what is the solution? thank you.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi mercops: Thanks for nice overview on sludging issues. I was aware of the problems here, and awhile back put a question on the forum regarding 1.8Ts that may ALREADY have possible sludge issues. I have a 2002 Passat 1.8T that I purchased with 55k miles a few years back. I did get rather extensive service records, and the oil was changed at various places, including independent shops AND dealers. Interestingly, the manual that came with the vehicle indicated that ANY high quality conventional or synthetic 5w-20 oil was OK to use in this car. Later, while reviewing various forum commentaries, I was shocked to hear that Audi/VW was requiring that ONLY VW/Audi-approved 0w-40 or 5w40 synthetic be used in these engines, contrary to what was stated in my manual. altair4 and shipo kindly advised that there was an addendum page that was issued a year or two after my manual was published, which, of course, I never received with the car. When I reviewed the service records, I noted that NONE of the shops provided any data about brand or weight of the oil used. To make matters worse, I had used Castrol and Valvoline conventional for the two changes I had already done. The vehicle still runs fine, but wonder if there might be some sludge in the engine that could cause problems, figuratively AND literally, down the road. Some writers have referred to a "de-sludging" procedure, and here are my questions: How is this done, can a DIY guy do it, is it a specialty procedure with special equipment/chemicals done by shops only, and has anyone tried any of the over-the-counter engine cleaners ("5 Minute Flush", etc.)? Thanks for feedback! vwdawg/audiphille1
  • Be aware, that "de-sludging" an engine can create more and significant issues with the engine. This should not be considered a "do it yourself" job. De-sludging an engine can create issues related to loss of compression, bearing issues, oil seal issues, turbocharger, etc.

    Do you really think you have a sludge issue? As you note, you may have been using the wrong oil. As for the oil issue, Audi/VW oil is no better than a good brand name oil that meets the viscosity and API service requirements for the car. If you are using an oil meeting the API service requirements you are OK. If you are now using the correct viscosity and a good brand your at least headed in the right direction. Heres why:

    Synthetic oil breaks down at a much higher temperature than mineral/petroleum based oils. Say your synthetic (dependant upon brand) 0w-40 or 5w40 synthetic breaks down at 450 degrees F, your conventional mineral/petroleum based oil probably degrade around 275 degrees F. Synthetics tend to adhere and stay on surfaces whereas regular oil runs off and pools at the low point. Synthetics also protects better against corrosion and protects an over-heated engine. Every turbine engine in the worlds runs using synthetic oil because it can withstand the high operating temperatures. Now consider how hot an exhaust driven turbo-charger gets. The bearings are the weak point. That is why you must use the right grade and API type.

    Best bet is to determine if you really have a sludge issue in the first place, before attempting to "de-sludge". One of the first indicators of a problem would be decreased oil pressure which can result from clogged oil passages. This will undoubtedly eat your turbcharger first as it is the hottest part of the car that requires oil. If you have good oil pressure (no warning lights, etc.) you can also do a relatively easy check by removing the oil cap and visually looking to see if there is any major accumulation of sludge in the valve head oil valleys or on the valve arms themselves. If you are really enegetic and have a good set of tools, you can always remove the valve cover (requires a new gasket kit and sealer) and visually inspect the underside of the cover (it WILL have a hard varnish looking residue, not a big deal) to determine if there is a major build up. Also as your car has more than 50k on it you may as well clean the valve cover and replace the gasket as they do leak oil over time. This is also a good time to check the oil seals around the spark plug coils.

    As a reminder, use only approved oils, do not exceed the manufacturer's change interval (better yet, change it at 4,000 miles, use Mann filters) and make it a point to give the turbo a minute or two of cool-down time after high speed or highway driving, which will prevent the oil from "coking" in the turbocharger's bearings.

    Hope this helps, good luck, and don't forget the extended warranty being provided for sludge issues if you do have them.
  • I'm thinking of buying a used 2005.5 Audi with 64,500 miles. Price is right, but I'm wondering if there is anything that I should be aware of for this call. Anybody have any advice or experience with this model? :confuse:
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hey cru: Sounds like a nice rig. You don't state which engine...2.0T or 3.2 V6? Quattro? I'm not real knowledgeable about newer Audis, but particularly with the turbo, I would not consider it unless the seller can verify that only VW/Audi- approved synthetic (Mobil 1 0w-40, etc.) has been used. Are you familiar with engine sludge? Check past Edmunds forum commentary on that. In fact, I would want ALL service records and a Carfax just to see what past problems may have occurred, such as "Check Engine", ABS, or other electronic stuff. I'm not sure of the timing belt spec for your engine, but a belt change might be recommended at 90k. I'm sure this is an "interference" engine...if the belt breaks, the engine is usually toast. Many owners opt for a change at 75-85k...figure at least $900-1,000. Final note...I would recommend bringing it into a trustworthy independent Audi repair shop and have them check all systems (electronics, filters, brakes, tires, fluid leaks, suspension, exhaust, cooling, etc.). You may be amazed to see what 30 minutes of VAG diagnostics and a check underneath will reveal...well worth one or two hundred bucks and may save you a lot of pain or provide an improved negotiating position. Good luck. vwdawg/audiphile1
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi mercops: Thanks for your thorough overview of the sludge issue. My oil pressure seems to be OK, and I did previously do the visual check under the filler cap. I couldn't see anything nasty, but wasn't sure if this was actually a way to check for this problem. I will do an "under the valve cover" inspection to see if there's any problem there. Perhaps I'm worrying more than I need to, but the horror stories out there make me a bit nervous. Thanks again for all the hints, and be well. vwdawg/audiphile1
  • No problem. What you may also consider, to put your mind to rest, is to perform a series of non-routine oil changes if you are handy with changing the oil yourself say at 1,000 mile intervals for the next 3,000 miles then doing normal oil changes after that.

    Cost outlay would only be for the oil (correct synthetic type & API recommendation) and good filtration. I try to stay with Mobil 1 Synthetic as it is a Group IV PAO synthetic oil and is probably one of the best on the market and is comparably priced.

    This process would help to flush any residual non-spec oil out of the engine and help to "clean" the internal parts of the engine.

    Again, one of the things that you can do to ensure you Audi keeps running is "routine" owner maintainance and a good inspection when changing the oil and servicing the car. These are the times to "catch" those small items before they worsen, plus you get to know your car and what is in need of attention.

    Good luck and let us know how you make out.

  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Can any Audi types tell me where I can locate the EGR on the above vehicle? I have a basic manual which provides instructions on cleaning/replacement, but no photos showing location. Thanks, vwdawg/audiphile1
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Thanks again for the additional info. Yes, I do almost all of my work myself, and I have used only Mobil 1 0w-40 in my Passat since I heard of the sludge problems. You are certainly correct, one does get to know his/her rig when one does the work. I bought my old '97 A4 almost two years ago, AZ car, Sun City condition with 80k. I have owned four V-dubs with fairly good experience, and have been generally happy with the '97. However, not knowing much about Audis, I have replaced four control arms, two tie rod ends and one wheel bearing myself, and had the timing belt done by a good shop. The car APPEARED to be very well maintained, but I discovered that the cooling system and cabin filter were disgustingly filthy, indicating that the prior owned wasn't very diligent. All in all, not too bad of an experience, but I now believe that a diagnostic/inspection prior to buying is a very worthwhile investment. Thanks again. vwdawg/audiphile1
  • Sounds like a guy after my own heart, working on your own car! It's the only way you get to really know it's quirks!

    As for your comment relating to the prior owner not being diligent, Do not blame the owner. I own a 2002 A-4 Quattro that I took to the dealer religiously and I thought it was well maintained. After the car went off of warranty several problems popped up that sort of focused "lack of Dealer attention" to the car when it was in for normal servicing. Most notably, at 51k miles was the "non-service" of the air filter (engine air) that was not changed, (clogged with leaves, dirt & bugs) even though it was logged (at 40k miles) in the paperwork by the dealer that it had. Dealers have been know, especially when "performing" maintenance services during the first 50k to sometimes "pencilwhip" some of the items that need servicing. This is for several reasons...1 they get reimbursed by the parent company (AUDI-USA), 2. Their service dept. is usually understaffed and focusing on big money repairs, not the mundane items. So for the dealer its a win-win, low labor, easy reimbursement and the customer generally never questions it until the warranty runs out...then they are on their own.

    I said it earlier, best to crawl around inside your own car and be familiar with it by doing the routine maintenance yourself. Then you know it was done, it was done correctly, and you can take pride in making it run as it should.
  • I looked in my manuals and did not find any info that relates to a 1997 model. I did however find online a reference to it for the previous model year (1996). Don't know if this helps but here is the website:
  • I've read a few posts about the exterior door trim clips rusting and the trim falling off. I'm having that issue now. Anyone know where I can buy the trim and clips and what is involved in replacement if I do this myself?
  • My son a Marine just back from Afghanistan, has a question. HE is out in Cali. I am in Minnesota. so I I need to explain it to him.He is trying to remove and replace a timing valve cover seal on his audi a4 1.8 ltr. turbo any help would be appreciated.
  • My Parking Brake alarm is going off; 3 beeps every time. Going to get it fixed when I do my scheduled maintenance this week or next. In the meantime is there a fuse I can yank, or anyway to temporarily disable the alarm? Thanks!

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