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Audi A4 Reliability



  • consume reports recommended the audi a4 in 2000. The problems with audi are age related. The seals, sensors, and electric parts start to break after 5 or 6 years. If you lease or keep cars for 4 or 5 years, you are fine with audi/vw.
  • I am seriousley interested in a used, 2004 audi a4 1.8T Quattro with the ultra sport package, and i was interested in peoples opinions about the reliability. this is really my only concern, because i heard from a friend that the 1.8T is a great engine IFF you PERFECTLY maintain it, and if you miss one oil change the engine can become very unreliable and expensive to replace. also, i think it is a little sluggish, having to tugg around a heavy car with a 4wd system so i was considering putting some type of a chip in from a reputable company used in one of car and driver's golf gti's. would this make the engine even more unreliable? thanks for any info and advice!
  • Audi A4 best ride ever.
  • I love my 2001 A4 1.8T wagon (Avant) AND I have regularly invested about $2000 a year in maintenance/repairs since about 60K around 3 years old. I put about 20K miles/year on it and enjoy my commutes. You just need to make sure the following have been taken care of or you will pay for it. The former owner should have done this if he/she was a good owner...

    full-synthetic oil changes every 6 months or 10K miles (Mobil 1 or BMW oil)
    brakes (both front and back) BOTH pads & rotors replaced or you will have to do it.
    Coolant flushed at least once
    Brake oil flushed/replaced at least once (for a few extra $ this can be done during a brake pad replacement job).
    New battery (make sure it is a more-expensive sealed type)

    and ask if the fuel pump has been replaced (it goes about 100 - 120K, mine went right at 100K) as it vibrates loudly under the passenger seating area (the pump is attached to the fuel tank!).

    Good luck - James
  • And I forgot to mention to check/replace ALL the critical rubber hoses as it gets very hot under the hood. Check on the coolant and ESPECIALLY the turbo-crankcase vacuum hoses. If these turbo-vacuum hoses leak, your turbo will not work and a engine check light goes off.
  • I had a 2001 GTI with the 1.8T, and a Neuspeed chip..Also tried the Revo flash for a short time. They both added lots of power, and made the car 100x more fun to drive. The only problem I had was with the clutch, it didn't seem to like the extra power and started to slip after about 30k miles. Also had a turbo-back exhaust system with high flow cat, N75 valve from a Audi TT, and Forge diverter valve. The 1.8Ts are very reliable, even with punishment!!
  • See my posting at #1727.
  • 604doc604doc Posts: 182
    There's only 42 posts. How can we look at #1727?
  • My advice for prospective buyers.
    Lease/Purchase the car but DON'T keep it for longer than 2 years.
    It's goes downhill from there. Better safe than sorry!
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    The factory warranty is 4 years 50k miles. You can buy Audi Care for $590 that takes car of all maintenace up to 50k. You can get a lot more than 2 years good use out of an A4.
  • utahjakeutahjake Posts: 20
    Why won't Audi stand behind its product? I have a one year old car with major engine problems and I drive around 24,000 miles a year. So in 2 years, I am out of warranty unless I want to pay several thousand dollars to extend the warranty. Sure, the warranty has paid for all of the repairs at this point but why Audi won't extend the warranty so I can get 100,000 miles out of the car like I have done with other brands in the past in light of these engine problems? Audi's response to me is why I will not keep this car and will not buy another Audi/VW again.
  • blegitblegit Posts: 1
    I am currently in the midst of purchasing a new car. After reading what many Audi owners have to say about the reliability of the A4, I am starting to think that I should look else where for a car. But, I have found a 2003 Audi A4 1.8T with only 18,000 miles. Does anyone have any bad experiences with this certain year and type? Any help would be great!
  • I was looking at an A4 1.8T before, but people had told me to hold out for a 3.0, and that the turbo engine was unreliable. Ive also heard that its an awesome engine and runs forever so i think it depends on the car. Make sure it has all service records and that they were performed at an audi dealer, but honestly if your buying a car that has 18,000 miles and has been maintained well i dont think you have to worry. Id only worry if it had 80 or 90 thousand, the time when most german cars begin to need replacement of parts, and german parts are exttremley $$ compared to infiniti, lexus, etc. But the A4 is a great car, id say go for that or a 325xi, both are going to have that solid german feel and great handling.
  • fkuciapafkuciapa Posts: 12
    1.8T engine is the worst no matter which brand it is on, Audi or Volkswagen.
    My 2000 1.8T required mothly visits to the dealer from the beginning and it went downhill from 45k.

    If I were you, I would not by this. It is tempting for a reason.....
  • fkuciapafkuciapa Posts: 12
    Unfortunately the statement "if your buying a car that has 18,000 miles and has been maintained well i dont think you have to worry" does not apply to Audi's, and with 1.8T engine in particular.

    This engine is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get.

    Without extended warranty this purchase is a russian rullette.
  • fkuciapafkuciapa Posts: 12
    After endless complaints and letters back and forth Audi USA finally said that they will refund the cost of my most recent repair (heat shield, secondary air pump 2nd time in 20k) if - get this - I take delivery of a brand new Audi in the next six month. What a nerve!

    I agree that for a luxury brand it is rediculous that neither the dealer nor the company will stand behind the car. Once they have your money you are on your own, or until you come to your senses and get rid of the car :P :lemon:
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Buying an Audi w/ really low miles isn't necessarily a great thing. Cars run better when their driven on a daily basis and parts are getting lubricated.

    Seals can dry up and crack. Buying a "cherry" with that low of a miles is hit and miss as well as one w/ 80k miles.

    Spend a couple hundred $$ and let your Audi dealer check it out. they'll let you know if it needs anything.
  • sossossossos Posts: 1
    I find these forums funny. I've got a 1.8t with 10k miles, 1 year and 0 problems.

    I've learned a lot from reading about other peoples experience, but it helps to remember that these listserves tend to draw either very happy people or very angry ones.

    For overall reliability, better to look at something at least half-way scientific like consumer reports.

    I suspect what you'll find is that audi requires more maintenance and is less reliable than something like...say, a honda civic. Buy a honda and it will run and run. A lot cheaper too. I submit that for many of us, style is just as important. And we're willing to pay for it.
  • fkuciapafkuciapa Posts: 12
    Your limited experience with Audi A4 1.8T (1 year) really is not enough to begin any conversation about the brand or the car in particular but it is too tempting ... :-)

    I could think of several models of Acura that are much better looking than Audi A4 and by far much more reliable.

    I'd invite you back to this forum in about 3-4 years when:
    - you will have spent half of that time driving a loaner from your neighborhood Audi dealer
    - you will spent another Audi A4 worth on repairing your own
    - you will be having vivid dreams about your stylish car's Check Engine Light coming on
    - you will have used all of your days off at work eating donuts and sipping coffee at your local Audi dealer reading the most recent copy of consumer reports trying to figure out why you are having all these issues if they recommend the card and if this car is really worth all that aggrevation :cry:

    I am sure by that time you will find this forum even funnier, but then again, as you say - if you go, why not go in style....

    Cheers and have fun! Take this with a grain of salt and humor :-)

  • shermdogshermdog Posts: 1
    I owned a 98 VW Passat 1.8T. Sold it with 185,000 miles. No problems. Did the normal maintenance. Ran premium gas always. Never had a problem with the engine or transmission on that car. Drove it 45,000 miles the first year I owned it. Based on that I purchased a 2006 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro. 25,000 miles so far, no problems. none. zero. zilch. If you are driving a ton of miles I suggest you keep an eye on the air filter, and change oil religiously. A Turbo tends to run hotter and will break down oil if it gets hot. also the premium gas is worth it for more miles. You don't mention what your major engine problems are or what the symptoms are. could be a multitude of things. Did you get the car really wet, damp? Notice any other electrical issues? check spark plugs and wires? Most issues today are not with the actual mechanical part of the engine but with the electronics. the 1.8T is a fine mechanical achievement and has received many awards. I personally feel it is one of the finest engines ever built. Did they sample your gas? Check the battery? Screw the gas cap on until it clicks? I do not believe in luck. VW Fox 225K miles. 98 Jeep Cherokee 140K miles and still going. 90 Celica GT 185K miles. the worst cars I ever owned all had over 100K and both of those were American made. Only one ever had a major mechanical failing. The VW fox had a 1.8L and the person I sold it to drove it for 100K miles and never tuned it up. They totalled it or it would still be going. Anyway, work backward...its either ignition or fuel.
  • lmthorpelmthorpe Posts: 1
    I was driving about 80mph when the side and curtain airbags deployed. Almost caused me to crash. Audi can not find the cause but they want me to take the car back. I don't want it, don't feel it's safe. I think they should at least diagnose the problem, they have not checked the other airbags, the computer is not telling them anything. I don't think it's right. Anyone hear of this before? lmt
  • dolsey01dolsey01 Boston, MAPosts: 90
    I can't believe how much I laughed when reading this post. If you get a bad one, this is exactly how it is. I had a 2002 A6 that in 12 months was in the shop 14 times. The day I traded it in, the ding of death sounded and the oil pressure light came on. :lemon:
  • me1522me1522 Posts: 3
    I have to disagree with you when you say Audi's are crap. I have An Audi 90CS, and it has over 300K miles, and it is still running strong. I have fixed a few things, but nothing big, and nothing out of the ordinary for a car that old. I also have a 2001 A6 2.7T, and I have had no problems with that since I bought it.
    So how can you say that all Audi's are crap, and fall apart after 40K if mine (both over 40K) are working just fine. I don't know maybe I'm lucky, I am just trying to say that you cant judge a company by a dealership, or a few people complaining.
  • utahjakeutahjake Posts: 20
    I agree with you to a point. Audi as a corporation would not still exist if the majority of its cars had the kind of problems as posted in this forum. As an Audi owner with a really bad 2007 Audi (5 major engine repairs within a 2 month period at 20,000 miles), I have used the forums to share my experience and learn from other's experiences. I would have remained loyal to Audi if the corporation had stood behind its product, which it did not in my case. I did not think the request to extend the warranty to 100,000 miles was outrageous. Audi's response to me, however, was outrageous. As I am now shopping for a different car, I find the forums helpful to see what kind of problems people have had with the car and how the car company responds.
  • rascal99rascal99 Posts: 54
    Every car maker delivers lemons once in a while. What's interesting is how one car can have every single seemingly unrelated problem while others are bulletproof. How does that happen?

    Anyway, it is how the manufacturer stands behind their product that matters. I have a 2007 A4 that thankfully falls into the bulletproof category, thus far; however, I fear the day I would have to pursue Audi for any warranty related problems. My theory is the weak dollar is hurting them so much they are pretty tight about their warranty claims and just overall cost containment. Interestingly, I have owned two BMW's in my life and I find BMW does a much better job at satisfying "damaged" owners and keeping them in the co. fold.
  • me1522me1522 Posts: 3
    Oh yeah I see where you are coming from. I guess it all depends on what your experience is as to how you like the company in the end. I had a good one so i am satisfied, you obviously had a bad one so I feel you are right in searching for a company that better suits you. I guess in a way we are both right, but I really don't have to much experience with dealing with Audi because I have never had to so I cant say anything about how they are.
  • me1522me1522 Posts: 3
    I'm going to tell you the same thing I told the other guy. "you cant judge a company from some crapy dealership, or some guys bad experience." I have owned and own a few Audi's, and they have been incredible cars. I haven't had to do any major repairs on any of them. Now I have heard that Audi is a hard company to deal with but so far all my experiences have been good, at least with my dealerships. And the company itself has treated me well, the few times I have talked with them, so what are you warning me of? My Audi's are the best cars I have owned.
  • cneffcneff Posts: 65
    I occasionally come back to these forums to see if Audi has improved, being a previous owner and having a terrible experience I find myself still curious as to if I was just unlucky. I may get slammed for this but I do not think I was. What I have noticed is that if your Audi works it will work very well, however, if it is giving you issues, and those Audi issues are severe, you are all by yourself.

    Dealers seem incapable to fix the problem or just flat out tell you to take it somewhere else. Sure Audi of America folks are friendly, but only until they actually have to do something. Too many apologies, too little action and too many smoke screens - those of you who have experienced it know what I mean. Of course I know German cars can be problematic, I will not go into detail on what my issues were, but the Hubble telescope, on a bad day, was far more reliable. Here is just one example - each time I used my headlamp washers fuses blew, winter or summer. 4 dealers and a real Audi tech produced shrugged shoulders - Audi's final answer; I'm having a unique experience - ever fixed; no

    I've had reliability issues with another brand of German car but that company supported me and my issues were not nearly as severe and I did not even have to ask.

    How did it end up, well we ended up in court and Audi's lawyer convinced them to pay me, yes their own lawyer. What does that tell you?

    Anyway - I'll continue to read the Audi forums to see if Audi ever 'gets' it. Bitter, maybe...disappointed, most definitly
  • richukrichuk Posts: 2
    :sick: HELP!!!!!!!... ok im wondering if any audi owners can help me with some problems with mine!!.... First all 4 Front speakers are crackling but when you turn the sound up it stops!!.... second, the traction control light comes on - then the glow plug warning light flashes, then the car goes into a "safe mode" (1500 rpm limited).. but this seems to slear itself after about 30 mins stopped its happened 5 times now in two months............ THEN!! theres an unusual "squeak" whenever i go over a speedbump, NO garage can fix it!!............ THEN!! theres my front o/s headlight im assumin its a loose connection but i just wanna moan!!.... LAST!!! theres my door, The bloody rattling window!........ i know im moaning but the traction control light issue is my main concern, i know its going to cost me a FORTUNE in audi to have it diagnosed, if anyone has had simular problems PLEASE PLEASE get intouch, ([email protected]).... my summary is, LOVELY looking / driving / powerful car but dear god dont buy one unless its got one hell of a warrenty!! my car is 4 years old (52) with 52k on the clock and look at the problems, i had before this a vauxhall cavalier 15 years old 1.6 petrol 89k on when she got stolen... i NEVER opened the bonnet other than regular servicing... take advise, audis are lovely, but any problems NOT minor... thanks ya'll!! Richard Clayton (sheffield-England) :cry:
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