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Audi A3: Problems & Solutions

kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
edited March 2014 in Audi
Am wondering how folks are fareing with the A3? Any ongoing problems, recalls, or items prospective buyers / owners should know about?


  • mapinmapin Member Posts: 27
    Close to 3000 miles, and no problems to report thus far. Loving my A3 every time I drive it !

    I had a very small creaking sound appear a few weeks back coming from the sunroof area, but it has since disappeared on its own.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    I moved two posts that weren't really about solving a problem to the main Audi A3 discussion.

    Let's try to keep this discussion focused on actual problems - although it's good to see no one has had any yet! :)
  • 416guy416guy Member Posts: 1
    In answer to previous posts in this thread... I recently picked up a new - fully loaded A3. I've had the car for 10 days and have an, as yet, unresolved problem that started on day 2.

    The problem is that the vehicle will not start at times. Turn the key, everything lights up and works, but the engine won't crank. The service manager at my dealership has had the same with his vehicle and is aware of other customers who have also had the problem. Audi don't have an answer.

    For me, the problem has occurred randomly and, with two exceptions, the vehicle has always started on the second turn of the key. However, the incidence of failure is increasing - from one or two times in the first few days, to more than 8 times in one day at the weekend.
  • 452820452820 Member Posts: 6
    This happened to me on a one-week old A3 as well. It happened once, exactly like you described. I thought this may have something to do with the design of the key - when you turn the key, you are squeezing it, and in this process you may have pressed the panic button or something on the key. So I learned to hold the key more carefully and not press anything on it.

    It has not happened again, yet.
  • pmagpmag Member Posts: 22
    According to info on various other Audi forums there's a chip in the key that has to register (with the immobilizer?) or the vehicle won't start.

    The general consensus seems to be that when this happens your turning the key to quickly after putting it in the ignition. This happened to me a few times when I first got the car. Once I started pausing briefly before cranking the engine this didn't happen again.

  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    Just picked up my A3 last night. There was an annoying wind noise above 60 mph on the highway. Not sure where it came from; possibly side mirror. Any comments?
  • pmagpmag Member Posts: 22
    I assume this was with the windows closed... Do you have OpenSky? Roof rack?

  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    All windows were closed. OpenSky: yes; roof rack: no. I just found that there were discussions about this problem on some European forums.
  • pmagpmag Member Posts: 22
    My guess is the noise is coming from the OpenSky.

    There are a number of Audi A3 forums that anybody reading this forum will also want to check out (in addition to this forum). Unfortunately, the "Rules of the Road" for this forum do not allow me to post links to these. However, google is your friend...

  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    Just talked to the guy who sold me the car about this. He said they were aware of it, and claimed that this was because the hatchback design. I don't necessarily trust this young kid though...
  • pmagpmag Member Posts: 22
    Just talked to the guy who sold me the car about this. He said they were aware of it, and claimed that this was because the hatchback design. I don't necessarily trust this young kid though...

    By "this" I assume you mean highway noise with the OpenSky? I think blaming it on the hatchback design is just some salesman's way of trying to make the problem go away.

  • seanestaseanesta Member Posts: 4
    I have almost 10k on my A3 and have a couple of issues already.

    At 4k the radiatior needed to be replaced. My car started leaking anti-freeze on the GW bridge in NYC (not a good place to stop). I was told that that issue was a 'bad design' and that the clamps that hold the fan to the radiator actually wore holes into the radiator thereby creating a radiator leak.

    At 7k my AC stopped working (of course on a 4hr drive to a wedding on a 95 degree day). I was told that an air sensor needed replacement and that it's an issue that they are having in the new A4 & A3.

    When it's running, it's really fun to drive.

    Good Luck Al!!!!
  • lovea3lovea3 Member Posts: 3
    I have about 1000 mile on my car, and for some reason it hesitates to start every morning. Just like when the car is out of battery. Does anyone know what might be causing that?
  • darylmarchantdarylmarchant Member Posts: 1
    I'm about to place an order for an A3 with Open Sky System. I took a test drive around town but not on the highway. I'm now having second thoughts after reading your posting. Have you come to any determination as to the source of the noise?
  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    We had heavy rain for a couple of days, and I haven't taken my A3 on a highway lately, so the wind noise issue needs to be revisited. I noticed one minor problem after the rain: the mpg indicator gave out random numbers such as 5, 12, 20, 50, 80 mpg continuously. I wonder if it will correct itself when the trip computer dries up. Having said the above, I love the car!
  • mapinmapin Member Posts: 27
    I have just over 3000 miles on my A3, and I also notice that it hesitates when starting from dead cold (mornining start). It always starts, but the hesitation makes me think that one of these mornings it just won't start.
  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    Apparently there has been discussion about wind noise on another VW board here. My suspicion was confirmed: someone found out that it came from the side mirrors. His solution was to attach two foam strips beneath the mirrors, parallel to the direction of the car. Air flow was disturbed and situation improved (but not perfect). He said that VW would have a redesigned mirror ready soon.
  • jdeng1jdeng1 Member Posts: 1
    My A3 has 1400 miles now; it's premium packaged w/ open sky. I had the same problem the first couple of days (won't start, start when retried) but the problem hasn't repeated since then. Don't know why? But this morning, all power window/sun roof died. Parked at work place, had a cup of coffee, went back to drive and it worked again. Sent to the dealer and they used computer to check and found a communication problem so it's in the shop for further diagnosis as I speak. Also it hesitates to ignite but kind of getting used to it. And sometimes it gave a popping noise when turning off the engine, no clue either. Otherwise, this car excels!!!
  • truckasaurustruckasaurus Member Posts: 44
    I test drove an A3 DSG the other day. It was a blast to drive, and I really like the paddle shifters and the speed the DSG shifts gears. I noticed just after the DSG had shifted gears there was a hydraulic hissing noise once in a while. Has anyone who owns one noticed this noise?
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483
    the mpg indicator gave out random numbers such as 5, 12, 20, 50, 80 mpg continuously.

    You probably know that, but it doesn't hurt to state it: in VW/Audis, there are two settings for the mpg display. Instantaneous = will display instantaneous mileage with rapidly changing numbers, and average = average over trip.

    Also, concerning the sunroof question, if your sunroof is not in the closed position and you close it with your key from outside, you may need to reset it to the zero/closed position on the dial before you can make it open, again.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483
    I noticed just after the DSG had shifted gears there was a hydraulic hissing noise once in a while. Has anyone who owns one noticed this noise?

    Sounds to me you are hearing the pressure management of the turbo. The 2.0TFSI has several mechanisms to "recycle" the air instead of just blowing it off when not needed. This keeps the turbo spooling even if there is no load for a while, thus reducing turbo lag. This would happen in particular under varying loads, such as when shifting.

    Many turbo aficionados love to hear the turbo.
  • levzhlevzh Member Posts: 3
    Hi all
    Did anybody had "Speed Limit" warning in 3 gear on DSG?
    Very odd: I was in traffic gem this morning moving rather slow (in "D") . Several times when reached 25 m/h DSG would indicate 3 gear and then MPH warning would come up.
    I haven't set any speed limits yet on the car. Any ideas?
    Otherwise - love it.
  • 452820452820 Member Posts: 6
    I was changing the clock the other day and may have touched something else accidentally. After that whenever I went above 5mph the speed warning would come up. I just went through the menu and unchecked the speed warning and never had it again.
  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    Yeah, I did figure it out. But 80, 120, 0 (no reading) for instantaneous mpg?!
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483
    Yes, if you lift your foot off the gas or coast downhill, that's what happens. Is it 100% accurate at that reading? I doubt it.
  • hmawditthmawditt Member Posts: 1
    I recently noticed on my 1999 audi A3, blistering paint on the roof over the rear quarter panels. It is obvious that the car is rusting under the paint.
    I am gutted by this as i have owned Audi and Vws in the past, that have been a lot older and have not shown any signs of rust.
    Does anyone have similar problems..
  • mapinmapin Member Posts: 27
    So i pulled the knob to see what the car computer estimated to be my next service mileage/date. I purchased the car brand new on June 3 2005. I have 3800 miles on it. According to the manual, my first service is due at 5000 mi/6 months whichever comes first. So I would assume the car computer would tell me about 1200 mi / and a few days left (since November is month 6). However it says 1200 mi / 230 days.

    Any idea why the days would be so far off?
  • mapinmapin Member Posts: 27
    Spoke to audi about this..here's the reason:

    OK, here's what happens.......when the vehicle is first delivered, the maintenence timer is set for 365 days because after the first (5000 mile) service, ...all the remaining services are all at 15000 miles intervals (aprox. one year or 365 days for the average driver).
    So when you have the first (5000 mile) service completed, the system will be reset, and about 365 days later you will get the warning that the service is due because 365 more days have passed.
    Disconnecting the battery does not interfere with the service reminder system.
  • barneypupbarneypup Member Posts: 2
    Hi all,
    Just purchasedand A3, although im having problems with oil emulsifying in the oil filler cap but not at the bottom of the dipstick. I have been informed by the Audi dealer that this is common on A3's?? has anyone had the same experience?? Usually the emusification relates to water/air etc getting into the oil.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes it's a common occurrence on many types of cars....if you have any concerns you can pop off a valve cover and see how it looks in there. On some cars you can actually peek through the oil cap hole into the camshaft area and take a look for sludge. If there were water in your oil, you'd know it by pulling the stick.
  • barneypupbarneypup Member Posts: 2
    thanks for the reply, the car is with the dealer at the moment with the oil problem and a knocking noise coming from the clutch pedal
  • tyrant0303tyrant0303 Member Posts: 2
    hey man, i got the same problem too, i left my car at the deler 3 days and they can't find any problem ?!! the dealership people act like they don't really care and not looking forward to look for the problem what so ever.... is your car still doing the same thing?? let me know, thanks


  • tyrant0303tyrant0303 Member Posts: 2
    still had problems with the A3, when i step on the brake and hold it till a full stop, at the end, the car will have a "click" feeling, you can feel it really strong "click" feeling when before it comes to fully stop. and when i start the car in the morning, cold or hot morning, the car will shake!! its like, shake for 2 second, stop and then shake again, then stop, before i put it in D gear. anyone who have the same problem please email me back, i think Audi need to recall A3 back man, there are whole lot of problem talking on the net. Anyway, appreciated.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Dennis: never post your e-mail on a message board, you'll get spammed to death.

    Mr Shiftright
  • misterjjmisterjj Member Posts: 32
    "Audi need to recall A3 back man, there are whole lot of problem talking on the net."

    Really??? Where??? (Don't bother answering, the forum [non-permissible content removed] here will just delete the message).

    But that's a load of **** anyway. I frequent all the major A3 message boards and there are very few problems being reported with this car. You shouldn't make stuff up like that.
  • pwdpwd Member Posts: 2
    I was ready to buy the A3 and really liked the car but on two test drives of different cars in normal city traffic, the instanteous fuel milage display showed 11-14 MPG. And I was not pushing hard. What kind of milage are the folks who have this car getting? Thanks for the help.
  • billherrmannbillherrmann Member Posts: 108
    24 mostly stop & go.
  • mapinmapin Member Posts: 27
    25-27 stop/go
    30-32 highway
  • wunderkidwunderkid Member Posts: 14
    I drove my A3 from VA to CT (~1100 miles) for Thanksgiving vacation. Average mpg for the whole trip: 29.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483
    The "instant" mileage display is just that. It can be a teaching tool if you'd like to learn how to drive with low mileage, but other than that, it is pretty useless. Don't pay too much attention to it - for everyday driving, the two available (trip & overall) avarages are much more useful. Yes, any car will use surprisingly little or surprisingly much in certain situation. Accelerate a cold car up an incline so mild you can hardly tell it's there. Your instantaneous mileage will be in the single digits. Coast down a slight decline, it will show something close to 100...

    This engine delivers great mileage for its performance (or vice versa). You'll be hard pressed to find better.
  • travelinmantravelinman Member Posts: 28
    I purchased my A3 in early September. Recently my keys (both of them) stopped being able to unlock and lock the car remotely. I had to push the "unlock" button 10 times before it would unlock the car (or I just had to stick the key in the actual key hole).

    I talked to the Audi dealer and they said it was an issue for all A3 keys with an "A" in the little serial number that you can see when the key is extended. They have ordered me new keys (which I will pick up in 2 weeks).

    Just an FYI out there for anyone who is having issues locking & unlocking their car remotely.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    It's hard to know for sure. Consumers Union surveys and various press comments finger the Audi electricals as a weak spot. They're not alone - VW, BMW, MERCEDES and GM are right "down there" with weak electrics.

    There's a lot to like about the A3. I sincerely hope Audi USA does not fall into the VW arrogance trap (even if VW is its parent), gets its reliability up and improves support for their small dealer network.
  • rafaudia3rafaudia3 Member Posts: 1
    I have the some problem with my A3 but dealer don't fix thst problem already, because the change diferent thinks like comfort modul but now I tell them about the kyes.
    I woul like to know if changing of the kyes was OK and if everything working good.
    Please repaly to me asap. Thanks in advance
  • travelinmantravelinman Member Posts: 28
    Audi said my keys would take 2 weeks to replace. It is now 3+ weeks, and they are having trouble figuring out the status of my keys.

    I wish I could tell you the "fix" worked or not, but since I don't have the new keys, I can't tell you. One thing I do know is that my current keys cannot remotely unlock or lock my car any more (except on very rare occasions).

    I'll keep you posted.
  • travelinmantravelinman Member Posts: 28
    So, an update on the key issue. I have now taken my car into the dealership 3 times in the past week to have the keys replaced. I have left my car at the dealership (and gotten a rental). Obviously this has taken time out of my schedule to do this.

    Each time I have received a call telling me that Audi has sent wrong keys, or bad keys, or whatever.

    They are now telling me they should have "good" keys in the next day or so.

    I'm am extremely frustrated with Audi at this point. I have never owned an Audi before. The A3 is a good car, but the service so far has been horrid.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    What part of the country are you located in? Am wondering if this is a regional problem?
  • joemalejoemale Member Posts: 28
    Whenever I start my A3, after about 30 seconds, I hear
    a very faint high pitch sound for just a few second?
    It must have to do with the electronics, and I guess
    I am quite sensitive, but it is a bit annoying.
    Anyone else notice this or know what it is?

    This is the only minor thing I have to complain about.
    This car is pure fun.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    Good point about sport suspension, Shipo.

    Does Quattro version come with only that suspension setup? I did not see any sport options for Quattro at the audiusa site.
  • andres3andres3 Member Posts: 13,729
    Looks like Quattro 3.2 is only offered with DSG and only in the S line, S standing for all the sports options it looks like to me (all standard and included automatically).
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    Thanks, Andres3. The DSG sounds great, but sport suspension won't cut it on our area's rough roads. So the A3 Quattro is out for me.

    Maybe in 2007 there will be other options.
This discussion has been closed.