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Audi A6 Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello fellow Audi Owners,
    I live in Seattle, WA have a 2001 A6 2.8 with 60k miles on it and is currently experiencing catastrophic engine failure - or at least that's how it being described by my mechanic. About 2 weeks ago I was driving and my low coolant engine light flicked on along with that lovely triple beep alerting me to problem. I had only been driving for about 15 minutes that day so the engine hadn’t even heated up thoroughly. I was quick to pull over at Shucks Auto Supply store and popped the hood and visually confirmed that the coolant reservoir was completely empty. I bought premium priced coolant (just like the gas I pump into my beloved Audi) and filled up the reservoir. Bent down to check under the car to see if there was an immediate coolant leaking, which there wasn’t. I shut the hood, started up and drove down the road. The warning and beeping went away and thought that was strange to have a bone-dry reservoir but was content for the moment. Less than 3 miles down the road the coolant light and the triple beeping started again. My heart skipped a beat and proceeded to pullover and check again. I was shocked to see that the reservoir was yet again completely empty. Obviously the coolant was going somewhere and since I didn’t see it leaking from under the car – I thought that it must cycling through the engine somehow. I immediately drove to my mechanic, which luckily was only 5 miles away. He filled the coolant reservoir with water and cranked the engine while placed on the lift. It didn’t take too long to find the steady drip. He thought that it might be a hose and said he couldn’t work on the car right now but would check it more thoroughly the next day. No problem – I live walking distance from his garage. I purchased the car a year ago, and have put less than 6K miles on it. I walk my children to school and I walk to work. I basically drive the car on the weekends to go to church and to go shopping. I wanted a nice car for my family that was safe, practical, and not too flashy. I don’t drag race my Audi. The next day I got the dreaded phone call from my mechanic stating that it would be $150 just for the labor to find the source of the leak. I was like no problem; call me when you find the root of the problem. Almost 4 hours later my mechanic he said that I needed to come to the shop, he couldn’t explain the problem over the phone. I went to the shop and he inserted a video probe into the back of the engine block. What I saw on the video monitor was a steady spray but not a specific location from where. The mechanic said he believed that the engine was cracked and wouldn’t know the extent of the damage until he got $500 to completely remove the engine; which I reluctantly paid since I had to tap my savings account. 2 days later the mechanic called and I got to see the engine completely pulled out. The mechanic explained that there were actually 2 hairline cracks that weren’t visible until he heated the cracks with a torch. My question for anyone that read this long entry, would it make sense to find a welder to weld the cracks? Anyone every heard of an engine block cracking for no reason? Any ideas how the engine might crack in the first place? Is the only solution to replace the engine? Anybody know any decent places to purchases a worthy engine? Thanks in advance for your input. I am going to go to the bathroom and cry in private. – Vince
  • Hi

    Glad i found this site! My 2005 A6 was towed away on Saturday because it wouldn't start. Been having a load of trouble with the electonics. We've been told it's because a previous owner spilled a drink into the central console (sound familiar??) :mad:
    The tow truck driver called us Sat. evening because he was concerned about how DFW Audi were dealing with my car when he dropped it off..doesn't sound good...I'm about to call them and see what they have to the car but the problems with the electrics make it a real nightmare...wish me luck !
  • Just been told by my dealer that there are many complaints regarding the trunk latches and that these are in short supply.....if you're having problems suggest you get on to your dealer and make sure they can get you one.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I spilled a coke in our MMI console and it didn't cause it to go 'out' but the buttons became problematic.

  • Hey Fonefixer

    I disagree with your weather statement, as these cars were built in a country that gets pretty cold, so I have a feeling this would have been an issue there before… I will agree that the weather in the north is harder on any car. That said, after my issues were resolved (new turbos, EGT sensors & cam seals) I've had no trouble with my 2.7T and it’s not stock either. My issues were definitely caused by the previous owner's lack of maintenance, and I thank my lucky stars for the CPO warrantee. I believe MN get's way worse weather than here in New England, so I might be totally wrong.

    Certain Audis seem to get a bad rap as far as reliability is concerned, but I think these models require more care on the part of the owner, and a lack thereof is probably the primary reason for things going wrong later on. No disrespect intended, but when I bought my 2.7T I did my homework and I knew that this car would require extra attention. I think that many owners are never told and don’t know this and as a result find out when it’s too late. I’ve read many forum posts of people that bought these cars without knowing anything about the technology behind them. Then when things start going wrong they want to compare their 2.7T to their other V6 Honda or V8 Explorer, which you simply cannot do. Apples and oranges... IMHO, if a turbo powered car is well maintained it will be very reliable, but there are more points of failure in a forced induction power train so it will probably never be as reliable as a naturally aspirated counterpart, but I think the difference will be small.

    I hear you though, as far maintenance costs on these cars... I am fortunate enough to be able to do most of the maintenance myself which definitely helps, but even buying the parts can get expensive. That said, if you have to get the car fixed and you have to rely on a dealership to do it, it gets crazy expensive very quickly!

    Most of the car manufacturers are now offering AWD systems and turbo charged motors on some of their models. Specially in the last few years, everyone seemed to have jumped on the “performance band wagon”. I think the “new guys” in the “performance segment” will see similar reliability issues with higher performance models, and unless they educate their vehicle owners, a vehicle’s unreliability might not be an indication of an inferior product, but rather an uninformed consumer.

    Then again… I’m just a computer geek that loves to tinker with his car, so I really don’t know what I’m talking about anyway! LOL So take everything I said with a “pinch of salt”… ;)

  • I had the same problem happen to my 2005 A6.The dealer says it was the battery (200 for the battery 200 for programming).Needless to say the car is still at the dealer almost two months later.

    Has anyone else had any problems with Paul Miller Audi in Parsippany NJ?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You might want to look up that dealership here: Dealer Ratings & Reviews. You can submit your own report as well.
  • This has been a bad month. 2002 A6 with only 76,000 is three months out of extended warranty. First the power steering pump went out ($1000) and now the dealer is telling me I need a new transmission. Dealer proposes installing a used (60,000 mi) one for $2,600. Is this car a lemon? Should I fight the expired warranty? Any suggestion re: course of action. Or should I just pay up and hope this is it for another 50,000. I've driven this like a little old lady from has been treated with TLC. Thanx.
  • NnewiNnewi Posts: 3
    I have a 1999 Audi A6 salon car. The sunroof and windows don't operate any longer. The alram does not work. Has anyone had this problem and if so what can I do to fix it?
  • NnewiNnewi Posts: 3
    I have change my bonnet cable 2 times in the last one month, and it got cut again, any solution? power windows do not work and the power option that control the central lock do not work. Any help in this matter.
  • I had this happen on my 2006 A6 on the rear drivers side and the front drivers side windows ceasing to open. Audi mechanics will tell you that the entire motor in the door needs to be replaced. Its actually an $8.00 part that's plastic. It the crank gear that is plastic and over a period of time will fail. You will have to pay the labor for the repair about 1 hour per door. Good luck.
  • I repeat my previous statement about the A6 2.7T being one of the most complicated cars to be repaired on the road today. If you can do some of the repairs yourself, well, of course, that will save loads of cash! Parts prices are unbelievable expensive, and of course, it is a more costly vehicle to operate and maintain than the average Honda civic. Is it worth it....of course...if you want to drive an Audi!
  • Had the same problem on a 2000 A6. Problem was the driver's door lock fell apart from the inside and disrupted the alarm system which caused the windows/sunroof to stop operating. Took about 2 weeks to airlift a new lock and key assembly from Germany. Warranty wouldn't cover changing out the ignition key since it was still operating okay. Ended up with w/ 2 different for the for the ignition. Cost would have been about $1000.00 to repair if not under extended warranty. Driving these types of cars w/o any warranty is financial suicide!
  • Audi says it's "tiptronic" transmission fluid is "lifetime." Don't believe it. All fluids wear out in time. I owned a 2000 A6 and an independent mechanic warned me to have the tiptronic fluid changed every 40,000 miles or so. Yours should almost be on the 2nd fluid change by now. The mechanic told me he sees these cars at 60 to 90,000 miles w/ tranny failure due to worn out fluid. Very bad information from the Audi dealer network.

    Probably will be very hard to fight the warranty expiration. Would research very carefully through the various internet services what your particular car might be worth on the retail, private sale, and trade-in market for your area assuming the car in good condition. Then deduct the nearly $4,000 in needed repairs. You will arrive at a close figure to determine whether to spend the $4000 or sell/trade for something more reliable. Personally, after driving Audis for 6+ years, would really go the "something more reliable" route...i. e....Honda, Toyota, Mazda.
  • i'm pretty sure your problem is in the secondary coolant pump, happened to my 03 and there is a bulletin from audi on this problem. I think it should have been a recall
  • NnewiNnewi Posts: 3

    Can somebody advise me on where to buy the following parts, second hard (fairly used). Who are the best dealers in terms of price for new ones?

    1. AUDI A6 electronic control units for convenience equipment - Parts Number - - 4B0962258C
    2. Bonnet Cable - 4B1823531
  • We have a 1998 Audi A6 Quatro, it has 160,000 miles on it.
    Problem: When the car is started and put into drive - it seems like it goes into gear, but doesn't. The car will free-wheel, but not kick into gear. It can be forced into "default" mode, and the transmission will go into 4th and then take off, but only in 4th.
    Reverse is no problem.
    Cannot find information to help troubleshoot this problem.
    Question: Is the shifting of gears electronic, mechanical or both?
    Could a bad wiring connection cause this problem?
  • lou24lou24 Posts: 5

    did you get a answer for the mmi system?
    took my car to the dailer and he told me that it wasn't from coffee or anything else that spilled in the car,he said it was the (main control modgeul) in the back of the radio>!!!????
  • Hi. read your post. My 1999 (160,000 miles) audi a6 quattro has similar problem. backs up no problem, no go in forward. I found a site indicating audi trans need fluid and filter changes 30,000 to 60,000 miles. (so I am 2 to 5 changes behind - was originally told trans fluid change was unnessary since there is no dipstick.) But there are drain / fill holes and screen in the auto trans pan. VW may have similar screen as audi. Please let me know what you have found. Thanks.
  • We have been doing an is / is not process on the car. We haven't quite figured out what the problem is but we feel we are getting close. We do not feel it is an oil change issues as everyone seems to suggest. We believe it is an electronic issue with the transmission control module, solonoid or relay.
    The thought behind this is, when we can get the car up to 5 miles an hour (rolling it down a hill), in tiptronic mode, the car will smoothly shift into first gear, and from there we can drive the car and shift from 1st - 5th and back without incident. When in 1st - it will stay locked in even when stopped. BUT, if we stop the car in 2nd, we are back to square one and the car will not shift into 1st.
    Also, with the same start of rolling it down the hill, we can get it into "D" drive mode, and it is fine while in motion, but will go back to doing nothing when we come to a complete stop.
    See if this works for you. If you find the same results let us know, maybe between the two of us we can get these cars to work.
  • I was driving my son to school this morning when the car just stopped going in forward. No gear would work. It would allow me reverse, and I drove back home in reverse. It will go forward at a snails pace, like it is straining.
    Was this what happened to you?
    Was it your transmission?
    Did you have to have it replaced? Was it your fluid? Or I'm wondering if it will do this if the fluid is low or out? I have an 98 Audi A6 Quatro. It has over 200k miles. The engine was rebuilt at 100k.
    3K to fix? Wow. I bought it for 3K from a dealer, it was a deal. I was very happy.
    Any info is greatly appreciated!
  • Same thing here with the door lock. I just use the trunk to open the car now. One turn to the left to lock and set the alarm, two turns to the right to unlock.

    Windows have issues too, The passenger window won't roll up in humid weather or rain anymore without great physical assistance.

    Not sure about my transmission now though. Today, it only goes in reverse. Just quit moving forward, except ultra slow. Bought the car for 3K. Totally can't afford a 3K fix!
  • We may have the same transmission type. Mine is 5 speed auto 'tiptronic' - Audi installed over several years. There are two versions identified by a tag on the bell housing immediately behind the engine - hard to find and read. My story is similar, my spouse backed out of parking area, but needed a push to move forward. Parked the car in the garage and was able to back out but unable to drive away. The availability of reverse is probably know as 'fail safe mode'. The problem could be electrical sensors/switches, but probably an internal mechanical problem. If you are able to slide below the car and loosen a 'fill hole' nut and sample the fluid, you may do some investigative work. If you find fluid dark and smelly - internal problem, if fluid is light colored and low smell - something else - possibly electrical and external and lower cost.
    I checked with local transmission repair and depending on problem cost between $100 (doubt it) to replace a small component/adjust controlling computer, to around $3,000 to repair or pull/replace with used or remanufactured transmission. Both have limited warrantys. I called an Audi dealership. $6,800 to pull and replace with a new transmission. Good warranty, but no on sight repairs or lesser costs. At our Audi's ages, I can not see that money being well spent. Hope your problem is electrical - heck for that matter I hope our problem is electrical!
  • "The availability of reverse is probably know as 'fail safe mode'. The problem could be electrical sensors/switches, but probably an internal mechanical problem....if fluid is light colored and low smell - something else - possibly electrical and external and lower cost."

    Wow! Thank you for all the info! I can only hope!!
    I love the car but... There's no way I can do 3-6K fix. Esp when the car was 3K when I bought it last year.

    I was told to tow it to a mechanic, have them check and maybe fill the tranny fluid to see if that was it. ? Then see if it'll drive. Then, I'll know more... When I asked, They said these do not have dipsticks for an under the hood layman checking. They have to be checked with some device at a certain temp.

    I'm not sure I'm equipped to do the small check you mentioned.-? I'm an unmechanically inclined single mom, with nothing but a tire jack and screwdrivers, parked in 0º temp and more than a foot of snow! :-( I tried to take the snow guard off once before, unsuccessfully. I think that may be in the way of this tranny fluid check too.
  • Well, after these posts, I sure hope it's electrical, since we surrendered to the "change the oil" gods, which were fickle and replied - go fish.

    We've changed the transmission fluid, and still didn't correct the problem. We had issues with the "check engine" light, and among all of our tests, we found the battery needed to be replaced. We swapped it out with another one, and found the small wire on the plus side of the battery was corroded badly. We replaced the end, and reattached it. The check engine light hasn't come back on.

    We found if you remove one of the wires on the air cleaner intake, it will make the transmission (in our case) go into fail safe mode. You can drive the car in 4th gear only - without having to making the trip in reverse.

    This has become a major source of frustration, but we're still in the search and destroy mission to see if we can get this fixed without the major $$$ a new transmission would require or taking it into a shop to have someone say "it's only a loose wire".

    We were able to do the transmission oil check and fluid change ourselves, but realize not everyone has the ability or the tools required to do so. We will continue to post our findings to assist others if this information is helpful as we have looked long and hard to find some sort of solution with little help and few results.

    It seems shops have never heard of our problem, though through this site we realize it seems to occur and not an isolated issue.

    Best of luck to everyone, and we will keep you posted on our results - hoping an answer will soon appear.
  • Just reread the previous post to ours. Something in common. During warm, or wet and rainy, or even cold weather this wasn't a problem. The transmission problems arose during a time of heavy snow and an inch of freezing rain. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, with a layer of ice halfway in between. The roads hadn't been plowed, sanded or salted - in other words - really rough. There were some areas where it seemed we needed 4-wheel drive to traverse where tire chains had made the road really rough (driving on bolders).

    It would seem if the problem was the transmission, and 1st gear was gone, we shouldn't be able to get the car into 1st gear at all - regardless of what we do to the car or under any condition. We can get the car into 1st gear by pushing or rolling the car to reach a minimum speed of about 5 to 6 mph, at engine idle speed. In tiptronic mode we can run it up and down from 1st to 5th, no problem. If we stop with it locked into 1st gear, we are good to continue on, but if we stop with it in 2nd through 5th or in drive, it's back to no-go.

    For as rough as the roads were, we are leaning towards thinking it is electrical, as if a wire or connection has come loose. Again, we will continue to post our findings, and hope it is helpful to others or maybe someone out there someplace has gone through the same situation and has a suggestion or two before we part the car out, spend $$$, or the guys with the white coats come and take us away.
  • UPDATE: For those who are watching this subject.

    Changed transmission oil - no difference.

    Did a diagnostic check but got only readings of "no fault codes", with the exception of "brake light switch - implausible signal". Still trying to work through the electrical diagram to get a better understanding of the wiring. The brake light switch does connect to the transmission control module and the purpose of this switch - to our understanding, is to allow the gear shift lever to move in and out of park. This was not a problem - the brake light switch seems to work properly.

    Is it possible the brake light switch controls more than the gear shift within the control module?

    During the oil change process, all but one of the solenoids in the valve body were physically removed and checked. The one we did not check was not removed due to the location of the solenoid.

    During the diagnostic process, all of the pressure switch solenoids and shift solenoids seem to be working as we hear an audible "click" on and off as it went through each of the solenoids.

    At this point we are considering one of three possibilities. 1) A bad speed sensor within the system. 2) A bad wire or ground connection or 3) A bad transmission control module.

    We are steering towards the bad transmission control module, since we worked through the diagnostic process, the readout gave no fault codes other than the "bad brake light switch".

    Has anyone come across any other possibility?

    Again - we will keep you posted.
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    Try taking a look at the Audi Forum, it has more traffic regarding your problem. Good luck.
  • :confuse: My airbag service light just came on. My code reader will not read this type of code. Anyone else deal with airbag issues?
  • Hello,

    My husband just bought a 2005 A6. He filled up the gas tank 2 days ago and it still shows the needle as empty and it says he has 0 miles left in the tank. The tank is full. Has anyone ever had this problem? Thanks!

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