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Cold Weather Problems

megawhizzmegawhizz Posts: 6
edited August 2014 in Audi
I've recently noticed some problems with my 2002 A4 1.8T Manual, and was wondering if anybody here has noted the same issues.


The problem appears whenever it is very cold outside (below freezing). Upon starting the car it moves very slowly, behaves as if the parking brake was on. Acceleration is poor, the car drags and the moment I take my foot off the gas the car stops quickly. The problem disappears as the car warms up with continued driving. The colder it is, the worse the problem is.


Never had this problem with previous winters.


Any help is appreciated!


  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Check your brakes. It sounds like they are dragging.
  • If the brakes were indeed the problem, why does the problem disappear as the car heats up?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Could be contaminated brake fluid, cruddy calipers, or ice forming on badly grooved rotors. It's a peculiar problem but does seem to be brake related.


    I'd try leaving the emergency brake OFF overnight and let us know what happens.

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  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    on most of my cars over the years when it gets cold. likely where the cable comes in through the back of the brake assembly, GM once pointed that out in a manual I had. things get warm enough, the issue is gone... and a dragging brake will warm it up some.


    just to be sure, have a little brake fluid bled from each brake, to be sure you don't have a little icy clot keeping pressure on one or more wheels. it's recommended you replace the fluid every couple of years anyway, so you're close enough to have somebody evaluate it on the caliper end.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    And in my case, I've tracked down brake dragging to "bad" calipers, where the piston and bore had mating surface problems. Solution: Replace the bad caliper(s), and bleed and replace the brake fluid.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I have been given an idea by alldata that there are actually e-brake shoes in my disk rears on my exploder, but it's cold and I don't want to squirm around in the salt taking things apart to look at it. regardless, once it warmed up, the ebrake released again, and we're back to normal.


    a dead caliper could well have caused the right rear to have burned through the pad and gouged the rotor past cleanup last spring. all those issues were addressed at the time. doesn't explain how the brake techs missed the e-brake cables being seized up, for which I gave them a good talking to.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    here's an interesting article from Edmunds editorial that you all might enjoy reading:



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  • So I took the car into the dealership - and they told me that they could not reproduce the problem (wasn't that cold overnight). They feel that the parking brake cord might be getting stuck because of freezing, and the brake does not disengage even after I put it down.


    They lubricated it again, and hopefully it will stay fixed.


    Thanks for all your input, and I'll post again if something new develops.
  • Help....I am wondering if anyone has info on WRX clutches having problems. My 2004 Impreza after an extremely snowy evening would not go into 1st or 2nd gear. I had someone tell me that they read that there were problems with these cluthes. Can anyone verify?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Use the search feature on the left of this page.


    If you go to "advanced search" and then click on "message text" search, you can combine two keywords like WRX + clutch, and read every single message ever posted that has those two words in the message!


    Yes, there have been plenty of discussions about chattering clutches, but I"m not sure about lazy clutches in cold weather.


    One thing you can do is start the car with the clutch pedal in, and then gently engage the clutch just enough to create a little forward motion. You can even have the handbrake on. This should warm up the clutch enough so that when you do warm up the engine and are ready to go, you should be able to engage the clutch easily.

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  • Audis do not like cold weather! Whenever it gets cold, like below 24 F, or so, my A62.7T fan heater blower motor will "squeal" until the car warms up, and also some of the pictographs on the dash trouble management system will come on, also until the vehicle warms up. Since using 0w-40 synthetic oil, it drives off okay when cold, just the annoying interior stuff when starting out cold.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Your heatger fan heater shaft bearing is probably worn a bit or wasn't lubricated well when assembled.

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  • You could be right. I had the blower fan replaced 23,000 miles ago under the factory warranty. The first one made the same noise when cold. After the Audi has been driven for 15 minutes or so, the fan quiets down. No problem whatsoever in warm weather.

  • That clunk sound is your V-6 transmission. V-6 Accords and Acuras have been known for this problem.
  • My wife and I have to move from Arizona to Ohio this summer, and are wondering if we should keep our A4 Cab - 1.8T, CVT. I'm assuming with the ESP that the car will handle wonderfully in the white stuff, but can' t say as I know for sure. Does anyone have any light they could shed on this subject? Additionally, what would we have to do for winter tires?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    On my past two cars I simply bought winter tire/wheel packages from Tire Rack. Around December 1 I take off the summer rubber and then I slap 'em back on in early April. It only takes about 30-40 minutes. As for your A4, it should be fine in in ice and snow.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    You can ask the tire rack people right here what they recommend:

    Ask Connor at the Tire Rack

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  • cyberpmgcyberpmg Posts: 83
    Being a fellow Ohioan, welcome to the state! I know there are many other A4 Cab owners around here. While nearly all Audis sold here have the quattro package, it's not to say you can't drive around with CVT. ESP will help out, but it's advisable to disengage ESP if you have a lot of snow piled up on the street (several inches deep) - at least that's the recommendation with quattro. Check your owner's manual. There should be remarks about ESP and winter driving for your car.

    A wise investment would be to get a set of wheels for winter use (go with 15" wheels if you're still stock) and a good set of dedicated snow tires (Blizzak and Michelin are good sources). If you're up near Lake Erie, expect to put the tires on early in November and keep them on until mid to late April.

    We only have 2 seasons around here: Road Construction and Winter. ;)
  • Thanks for the help. One last question: Is there any special care for the cloth top?
  • cyberpmgcyberpmg Posts: 83
    I don't have a Cab (but like them). I've heard from other people that they've had no problems with their top in the winter. It has excellent insulation so you won't loose any heat. The only care item I've seen is to just keep an eye out for any ice buildup. It wouldn't damage the top, but may cause some rattling noise while driving.

    Another option to consider is purchasing an after-market hard top to use during the winter. There's a company in Germany (Weismann) that produces a hardtop that would fit the A4 Cab. It looks like a good product, but may be very expensive (and there doesn't appear to be any US based sales centers. You can go see it for yourself:
  • airdyairdy Posts: 2
    i would just like to know is it correct to start driving a car without warming the car up( let it idle for a few mins) in weather conditions that are just above 0 degrees? i've read in articles that you should'nt idle the car until their optimal temp, and should rather drive slowly till it reaches its optimal temp? which is right?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Start the car and let it idle for 30-90 seconds. Drive it gently for the next few miles and you should be good to go.
  • bb93bb93 Posts: 1
    I bought a new Dodge Grand Caravan and it was never undercoated/rust-proofed. I am living in a state that has snow and uses salt on the roads. The van has gray primer paint on the metal underneath. Is the factory paint enough, or should I pay to have it undercoated? Is undercoating a waste of money?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and that will have to be rechecked every spring. frankly, all you're doing is delaying the inevitable. you could, perhaps, put a real solid double-coat of rust inhibitor paint on the whole underbody, and then undercoat that... but we start getting into fantasies here. depends on whether you want to rust out in 7years or in 10....
  • floyd2floyd2 Posts: 1
    Did you find a solution to the squeal in the fan heater blower motor? I think I have the same problem. With a 2001 A4 1.8T.
  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    I had the fan motor replaced under the factory warranty at 49,000 miles on my A6. Unfortuneately, it didn't solve the "squeal", which, only occurs in the cold weather and only for the first 10 minutes or so until the Audi warms up. Presently, w/80,000 miles, the fan works perfectly in the current warm weather, expecting the "squeal" to return this winter.

    An Audi service advisor claims it has to do with expansion/contraction due to the ambient temp of a plastic part built into the blower motor that rubs against the motor shaft as it runs.Who knows? All I know is that it is quite "annoying" for the first 10 to 15 minutes of cold weather driving to have to listen to that motor making noise!
  • wyowyo Posts: 1
    i have moved recently from texas to wyoming. the weather is fixing to get cold. i am wandering if the 2003 sorento lx. if fitted for an engine block heater. i couldnt find it in the owners manual. somebody help
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    The dealer in your area is the best resource, but virtually any car can be fitted with a heater that will warm up the coolant in the water jackets. Check with an auto parts sales store.
  • The first freezing cold day I went out to start my Audi A4 Quattro 2002 and let it warm up a bit.

    When I was expecting to get into a nice warm car I got into a freezing cold car instead. the only heat I had was from the heated seats. I could not defrost the windshield so I used wiper fluid to be able to see. The wiper fluid ran out and I had to pull off the side of the road until help came.

    About 30 minutes later the blower began to work and worked the rest of the day. The next morning the same thing and the next the same thing. It has been above freezing these last couple of days so no problems.

    Any suggestions?
This discussion has been closed.