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Audi A6 Maintenance and Repair



  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    ive got a '99 A6 that spends way more time in the shop than my '94 ford explorer...just one annoying little thing after another. my warranty is about to run out.....makes me think about biting the bullet, selling this admittedly nice vehicle and getting a lexus...its as nice and certainly trouble free by comparison.
        can you imagine how hard you have to work to rationalize away these "minor inconveniences" when you plop down $90K for a new RS6?
  • asiu28asiu28 Posts: 7
    I saw the posting of rlenguyen (5/31/03). I hope your problem will be solved after they replace your tranny. Please update your posting when you get your car back. I have trouble with my remote control. I also had to bring in for replacement 3 times, but the one my wife uses works fine. Strange! I got an e-mail from a person in Florida had the same problems that we are experiencing. He took his car for "lemon car" action against Audi. Lost the case, but went to arbitration at BBB in Florida, and won the case. Now Audi has to buy back his car at close to purchase price. I hope we can have our CVT problems fixed and don't have to go through all thses court cases. I still like my car.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Wow, what a bummer -- I have never reviewed this subject and I clicked over here to see what kind of things were being written.

    Now I realize there are not as many posts here on the neg board as there are on the general A6 board, but this has certainly been an eye opener.

    The questions still stands, does AoA review this, I wonder?
  • jodarjodar Posts: 51
    Has anyone tried to change their own oil on an A6? If so, please share some information. I want to put in the Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil and Fram Graphite filter on it but it seems that the car has this bottom shield, which is very hard to get off after unscrewing it. My dealer couldn't/wouldn't tell me how long the car was sitting on the lot before it was sold and that it passed its own 'inspection'. I just want to do it, myself, for piece of mind.
  • Jodar before you put a Fram oil filter on your A6, check out the Chevrolet Tahoe board. Some time ago someone posted a link to a guy who bought, cut open, measured and analyzed every oil filter on the market. Fram filters were absolutely last in his rankings. Even the garden variety Wix filters were superior! He thought that the Mobil 1 oil filter while way over priced was a good one as were , I recall, the GM Delco ones. The whole link makes good reading and it is printable.

    The subject of oil changes reminds me that only in the last 30 years has it been standard to automatically change the filter with the oil. Before that, when the change intervals were shorter (1000 miles ?)and the idea of knocking off Boston to Buffalo in a long day was unimaginable, it was common to change the filter only on every other change.
  • cbgb1975cbgb1975 Posts: 51
    And we cannot locate source. We have seen water coming into floor of back seat, seems to be coming from front seat floor cannot locate. Has anyone any ideas? It happens in rain, but not in car wash. Thanks for any advice.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Can anyone help me with data on A6/S6 electronic failures. From May to November of 2002 I had an A6 4.2 with Telematics (which had just come out at the time). That car went through 3 audio head units because of software shutdowns. The dealer (New Country Audi of Greenwich, CT) told me there was a software glitsch in the Telematics systems that Audi was trying to correct but had not been able to.

    I moved to Chicago at the end of the year and bought a 2002 S6, also with Telematics. That car was delivered with warped brake rotors. (The car shuddered violently the first time I braked from above 50 mph about 10 minutes after taking delivery.) In the ensuing 7 months, it has been to the shop 3 times for electronics failures. It's already on its second head unit, and last week the Telematics control module failed. The defect caused the OnStar system to remain on constantly, and the battery drained every time I parked the car overnight. So now the car is sitting in the dealer's repair shop waiting for parts to arrive.

    I love the engines, chassis, design and ergonomics of these cars. But I'm sick and tired of visiting repair shops. I'm demanding that Audi buy the car back before I begin legal proceedings. Audi USA is claiming they are not aware of any other Audis experiencing these problems. However, an Audi technician in Greenwich told me that Telematics systems are failing in droves and that Audi is on the umpteenth software release trying to correct the problem.

    Can anyone give me any information that would help? Thanks much.
  • finolafinola Posts: 1
    I've got a 98 A6. I don't think I need to go into all of the detail with problems I've had. It is the same scoop with anyone who owns an A6. Love the ride, and fortunately for me, none of the failures have been more than nuisance stuff--I guess outside of the time in 99 I ran out of gas due to the bad gas gauge. Anyway, I received the LQ service bulletin that, finally, admits Audi has a design flaw with the front bumpers and offers a add on fix and compensation for out of pocket expenses incurred fixing the bumper over the past several years. I wrote Audi America in March with records of my expenses and have heard nothing back-surprise. It also says for 99-00 models the dealer will install new front door window guides. I've already had my driver's side window motor replaced, about 2 yrs ago when it failed under warranty. Now it is malfunctioning again. My question is did anything change design wise on the window guides from the 98 to the 99 which would warrant not covering the faulty 98 window design?
  • rt4rt4 Posts: 13
    I previously posted on the "general Audi site" about how good a product that Audi produces. Previously had a 2000 A-6 2.8 and now a 2003 A-6 3.0. Did not detect the "surging, searching" prob. on the test drive , or would have refused the car. Thought things might "fix" themselves if I put a few miles on the auto----no luck, so dropped it off at the dealer this morn. and got a loaner car. They gave me a choice of an A6, or TT, so chose the TT just to try it out. Will see what they have to say tomorrow. The rest of the car is perfect just like my old one.
  • I just bought a 2000 Audi A6 2.7T with 84,000 miles on it off E-Bay 6 weeks ago. I drove it 1,200 miles to get it home. The car is great. Took it up to 140 mph on the way home with no problem and then the limiter kicked in.

    The brakes are fine, no water leaks in the cabin, the radio is wonderful. The only problem I have is the drivers window goes down fine but has to be brought up in 3 steps. Close it half way until the motor slows down, then lower it an inch or so and then go up again and the window closes fine.

    Finola said in message 133 that there is a LQ service bulletin that states Audi will replace the front door window guides. How can I get a copy of that bulletin so I can show it to my local Audi dealer?

    Thanks, Paul

    PS: This is my second Audi. My '84 5000S lasted 235,000 miles. I never took it to the dealer except for warranty work. As a mechanical engineer, I find the dealer tended to screw up more than they fixed. It takes time to fix an Audi correctly. At $87 an hour, owners aren't willing to pay for the time it takes to get it right. I bet most Audi owners don't do their own repairs. If they did, they would understand their cars and be able to handle the little things that do go wrong with a car as sophisticated as an Audi.
  • My husband and I bought a 2002 Audi A6 3.0 Quattro last year, and since that time it feels like the car is always in the shop for little things. This is my first time on the site, and after reading a lot of the complaints, I realize that I am not alone. The car has been in the shop at least 7 times in the last year for a variety of issues:
    1) Rear window would not close - Audi played with the window and could not find anything wrong with it
    2) Radio system went out and I had to wait 3 weeks for the radio to be replaced due to dealer issues
    3) Audi installed the LATCH system incorrectly (We had to bring the car in 3 times to get it installed correctly)
    4) Check engine light keeps coming on - We brought the car in twice for this. Audi first indicated that it was probably due to a loose gas cap, but finally discovered (on the second attempt) that there was a faulty check engine light
    5) Cricket sounds in the auto vent system, which were really annoying - Once again, we brought the car in twice for this. This time Audi found leaves
    6) Coils fixed (Audi recall)
    7) And lastly, we now have to replace our 2 front tires at 25,000 miles due to "aggressive" driving or "driving up and down a hill."

    We live in the hills, but I find it ridiculous that the tires are so worn that we cannot drive the car until they are replaced. The dealership explained to me that this is common since it is a high-performance vehicle and people drive their A6s aggressively. I laughed because we bought this car while I was pregnant, and use it as the family car. In addition, I have been driving my Acura Integra up and down this hill for 6 years and have not had to replace my tires. Has anyone ever experienced this issue with the tires?

    A frustrated Audi owner
  • I have a 2003 A6 in the 2.7, manual 6-speed form. It has about 4300 miles and has been an absolute joy to drive. However, in the past week I have begun to hear a rattle in the engine when I accelerate past 1500 RPM. It stops as I accelerate beyond 1500 RPM but it is bothersome. The odd thing about this is that I don't hear it when i rev the engine and it is in neutral - I only hear it when I am in gear.

    I clearly need to make an appointment with the dealer but I thought I'd post a message to see if other readers have experienced the same thing.


  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Beware Audi electronics. I had a 2002 A6 4.2 with the Telematics system, which failed three times between May and November 2002 (and took out the audio system in the process). As I was moving and needed a car with more hauling capacity, I traded it in on a 2002 S6 Avant, again with Telematics. This car's system failed twice within four months, with the second failure also causing the battery to drain when I parked the car. Audi sent the dealer a rebuilt control module for the On*Star system (I guess you get rebuilt parts under warranty), and it was dead on arrival. Finally, not knowing what else to do, the dealer just disconnected the On*Star system.

    Because I had two Audis in a row that had chronic electronic failures, I asked Audi to repurchase the S6 so I could switch brands. They refused. In frustration, I ditched the S6 at a huge depreciation loss (it was only 7 months old) and switched to a Mercedes SL500 . . . which has been flawless.

    Despite all my experiences with Audi, I recommended a new A4 to a friend, based on the superb styling, chassis, engines, and ergonomics. I just warned her to stay away from Telematics. The day after she picked up the car she called me in a lather. It was delivered to her with the taillights burned out.

    Audis could be great cars. Unfortunately, they seem to be sourcing their electronics from junked Jaguars.
  • Just purchased and received new a6 quattro.Night pearl blue with beige interior,the car is beautiful.There is no comparison to the lexus ride or handling-audi is much better. I give a slight edge to the leather used in the lexus.I bought it because of the all-wheel drive and the audi advantage warranty far so good-I will keep prospective buyers informed of my experiences.
  • When my A6 hit 51K miles its transmission failed and began to hunt for gears. Frequently the car would pause or violently surge forward when missing or slamming into gear. For a mere $10.5K the transmission was replaced along with an additional $1.6K rebuild of the front suspension. Surprisingly the A6 has a transmission that costs 2-3 times that of any other vehicle, including competing 4WD and AWD models. This concentration of consumer $'s is something a buyer should seriously consider when purchasing an Audi. My ownership experience suggests, that Audi and its engineers fail to recognize that performance without reliability is a fairly hollow achievement. I also found Audi of America and my Audi dealer summarily unimpressive in supporting what is supposed to be a premium/luxury brand. As a 1st and last time Audi buyer, I would strongly recommend purchasing another brand.
  • or .. as mentioned many many times, own them, love em, enjoy em, and replace before 50K or when warranty runs out!!
  • I see that I am not alone when it comes to Audi and the lack of anything that closely resembles reliability....My 1999 A6 Quattro is known around our house as the $41,000 LEMON. I have often thought there needs to be a special website ( to share all the info on how poor reliability and service can be.

    We bought our A6 in March of 2000 with 4000 miles on had been the dealer owners demo....loaded A6 Quattro MSRP $41,995. In our testing and driving this car blew away the competition and was head and shoulders above anything from BMW, Lexus, Acura or Volvo.....we loved it....We had read all the bragging from Consumer Reports onm it also ....drove like a dream and there is nothing more sure footed in the rain or snow. Then our 2000 Consumer Reports arrived the next month and read "we can no longer recomend the A6 due to extremely poor reliability" We have been able to live those statements.....the car now has 34,000 miles and still drives like a dream when it runs.....we have had the following items replaced....
    1. Windshield washer motor
    2. Windshiled washer pump
    3. Digital dash cluster (3 times)
    4. Dash board...bubbled up and seperated at center
    5. Power window motors/regulators front doors
    (driver side x2, passenger side x3) every wife loves to come home in the rain soaked because the window on her $41,000 car won't go up
    6. Fuel sending unit recal x3
    7. Tie rod recall...mine required a whole new steering rack
    8. Rear pillar trim...seperated required replacement
    9. Front bumper support recall and multiple o wrings replaced even the ash tray
    10. Vacuum leak -line recall that I was never notified about found out ablut when we took the car in with the failure light on
    11. Battery-2yrs old 22,000 miles battery goes out shuts down everything car goes off to the dealer on a flat bed....
    12. Power seat motor passenger

    An even bigger problem is my nearest dealership is 63 miles away and their service is terrible....the next nearest dealer is 250 miles away......

    It is a shame that such a beautiful driving car with awesome looks and high quality interior trim and materials can be such a piece of junk from the reliability standpoint.....evenmore disappointing was when I tried to review issues and concerns with Audi and requested an extended warranty period and was told "we see no pattern of problems or concerns outside of expected vehicle maintenance" What a crock.....I have had more trouble with this one car than all the other vehicles (9) I have owned combined. No more Audi and Porsche or Volkswagen for me...Ever....Thank You. Despite this car being in outstanding condition I will likely get killed on depreciation when I go to sell it.....
  • Actually, mine has been fabulous!! Just put in gas, crank up the tunes, hit the road and enjoy. Sorry you have had such a poor experience. I think you will find that most people here (and other owners) have had much more enjoyable experiences. But ... when they get old, time to get a new one!

  • rollbarrollbar Posts: 297
    Very interesting thread and it seems to validate my decision not to go with an Audi A6.

    I have wanted an A6 for some time. I tried to work a deal with two local dealers and failed. They seemed to stone wall me on price. I had picked a color, (deep red color, almost brown) that I liked and apparently no one else does. It was a 2004 2.7 T and sat on the lot for 3 months! Yet when I said I'll take it and wanted a deal they balked.

    But to the story......

    I drove two 2.7s; both new. Both with similar problems. Step on the gas to pull out, lift for a moment to check traffic and then step on the gas again and it hesitates. Startling to say the least. I thought it was going to stall. Then backing up, stopping and dropping it into drive, it hesitates a moment and then seems to clunk into gear. These were brand new cars.

    I spoke to the service consultant. He was frank. His performance is measured in part by the responses by customers. He does not like the A6 and says he can't fix either problem. They are charactoristics of the car and can't be changed. I asked if anyone complained about these things and he said "all the time." All the Audis have the hesitation he claims, but the A6 is the worst. Both problems are related to the tranny, so he says. The hesitation is not fuel or electic but because the car can't decide if you want 1st or 2nd, it hesitates. The slop in moving from reverse to first it just inherent with this tranny.

    Of all the models, he says the A4 is the best but he didn't like any of them. This is the service manager for a significant dealer in the Midwest and he services Audi products. His reason for not liking the cars.....everyone complains about these problems, he can't fix it and so he does not get the high scores on customer evaluations he needs and wants. Reasonable, I think.

    As much as I wanted an Audi, I scratched it off my list.

    Not trying to be a negative poster but this is an accurate reflection of what I learned.

    On the positive side, these are usual events in driving an Audi and so if you can live with them, at least you know it's not just your car. far Audi has one of the most comfortable and good looking interiors for the mid range I've seen.

  • My A6 vibrates randomly as stated in posting '139' (Mark). I have yet to locate the problem, but the dealer, the mechanic and wishful thinking suggests that the heat deflectors placed in and around the engine bay; vibrate at certain revs. Bloody annoying with 100% cringe factor! I don't know what the answer is, but if I find it I will let you know.

    Point 2, my electric windows have a life of their own. Up-down-up-down. Frustrating!

    When she (all cars are female) starts the bendix sticks in the flywheel prompting comments 'Is it diesel?'

    Are they made in China or what?
  • My first 15K miles were a wonderful experience but the last 15K have been another story.

    Has anyone experienced the following?

    1. The malfunction indicator lamp(MIP)has illuminated several times. The dealer checked the diagnostic code and it revealed a problem with the torque converter. The dealer consulted with Audi Tech and they recommended disassembling the transmission to determine what the problem is. Disassembling a transmission has always concerned me. Should I be? I am taking it in today for this two day procedure.

    2. My front brakes (pads and rotors) have been replaced three times in 20K miles.

    3. My back up warning alarm no longer works.

    I am going to give the dealer some time to fix these things but I am becoming increasingly frustrated about this $46K "luxury" automobile. I suppose I should look into the extended warranty or unload the thing near 50K miles.

  • Both Cat Converters in our A6 Wagon have had to be replaced in the first year! has anyone else had this experience? I'm troubled that I may be in for a long haul once the warranty runs out.
  • 74,000 miles of driving pleasure! Til now! A few weeks ago, I started hearing a faint, rapid ticking or tapping sound which seemed to come from the bottom center of the car and apparently related to acceleration. When I accelerate gently, the sound is barely audible. Going up a steep hill, the noise increased to a clanking sound. Again, very slow speed quieted it.
    My dealer says it is a problem with the driveshaft and that the driveshaft needs to be replaced.
    Has anyone ever heard of needing a new driveshaft?
    Could the sounds indicate any other problem - hopefully of simpler nature?
  • rein3rein3 Posts: 1
    Starts at 47 mph. Usually a circular quiver in the steering wheel. Sometimes feel in through seat. Now have 23,000 miles on car. Perfect in every other respect. Dealer(s) have tried to solve problem with balancing, tire rotation, front end alignment, and road force tests with changing tire on wheel. One tire has been replaced. Audi says problem is with tires and they don't warrant tires. They are original and came with the car. No problem with wear pattern. Still very good tread. Tires are Michelin Pilot HX 215/55 R16 MXM4. If you want to answer me direct, E-mail is
  • jodarjodar Posts: 51
    Have you taken your car for a second opinion? I have the same engine in an '01 A6. Also, what kind of maintenence has been performed? By driveshaft, I'm assuming its the transmission. Assuming, you've had it properly maintained and serviced, I'm curious to see the outcome of your situation. Keep us posted.

    I have 38K on mine and have had it flushed once since I've owned it. The funny thing is the Audi dealership would not have done it unless I insisted on them doing it. Don't these people know when these things should be done without being told to do it?
  • sandeep5sandeep5 Posts: 15
    I've just had ny A6 flatbedded to the dealer for the 4th time in 4 months for the same problem. The dealer thought they had the electrical problem fixed the last time. I've also had problems with the front power window motors, which had to be replaced. The car was wonderfull for the first 10-15 K miles but after that it's been a nightmare. The only good thing about this vehicle is that it is leased, with only about 7 months left. Can't wait top get rid of it. I just wish I had seen this board prior leasing my current 2001. I just feel sorry for the person who buys this car when I return it later this year.
  • bdabda Posts: 1
    ... Cam Tensioner Gasket." The dealer just told me that I had an oil leak, and this was the problem, with an estimate for $1,500. This is for my 2000 A6 2.7T. I checked with a couple independents, and one of them said that I should replace the timing belt, thermosat and water pump at the same time because this needs to be done at 75K miles, and the car will be opened up anyway. Anybody know anything about this, and whether this additional work should be done.

    After looking at all these postings, I have been lucky. The work I have had to do is normal brake work at around 55K, one window wouldn't go down, and I also ripped my bumper off the front. As others have said, do NOT pay for this. I argued it was a design flaw, and it was replaced for free. I have never had to add any oil until the last 5K miles, and it is less than 1 quart for that 5K miles.

    Any recommendations for a good independent Audi mechanic in the East Bay (Walnut Creek, CA) area?
  • mhmfmhmf Posts: 1
    I looked at all cars in this class and chose this one for all the reasons listed throughout this town hall. The brakes have squeaked since the first month of ownership. I have gotten use to it. Once I hit the 50K mark, it was down hill. At 54K I needed tie rods for $630. Last week at 57K, I needed a water pump for $1250 and the upper oil pan needed to be reseated for $550. I severely complained to the dealer about the tie rods and they concessioned half the labor charge. I have had 2 Honda's and an Acura and have not spent this much for repairs on both of them. I am seriously considering trading for a Lexus or Acura eventhough they are not as fun to drive or as good looking. Is this what I am in for over the next 50K? Has anyone has any satisfaction with Audi USA?
  • you never ever keep an audi out of warranty! period. They might be fine, but if it breaks and it is on your nickle, oh well, it is sad as you have described.
  • kseshadrkseshadr Posts: 24
    Reply to post #154

    Our A6 Avant got diagnosed with the same problem - $1800!

    How did you get this done for free? Please advise.


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