Top 8 Problems With First-Generation Used Audi Q3s

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Tips

Debuted in 2011, the Audi Q3 is in some ways a premium version of the popular Volkswagen Tiguan crossover. Q3 is built on the same platform, equipped with the same engines and gearboxes, and the chassis differs only in settings. Therefore, Audi problems with the Audi crossover are largely similar. Here are the most characteristic.

1. Fuel system

Both Q3 gasoline engines, 1.4 and 2 liters, are equipped with direct injection (for a 2-liter after restyling, the injection is generally combined). In addition to the tendency to carbon deposits common to such engines, the power supply system – more precisely, the high pressure fuel pump and nozzles – can become a problem for the owner.

What to do

Symptoms of a malfunction are interruptions in the operation of the engine and loss of power. You have to change the injection pump, and the 1.4 TFSI engine has a run of about 50 thousand miles, a two-liter engine after 60 thousand miles. The cost of a new one is £250 – £300, depending on the model.

For stable operation, it is better to flush nozzles about once every 30–40 miles. If this does not help, new ones will cost £90 – £120 apiece.

See: Audi engines for sale

2. Thermostat

Another common problem for gasoline engines. The thermostat can fail on a run of up to 60 thousand miles. And it’s good if it sticks in the open position, and the engine simply stops warming up to operating temperature – and vice versa can happen.

What to do

The thermostat is a non-repairable unit, so the only recipe for troubleshooting is replacement. There are two thermostats in the 1.4 TFSI engine, and it is better to change both at once. Sometimes this has to be done complete with a plastic cover – a complex part warps and starts to leak. In the 2.0 TFSI engine, it is better to update the thermostat along with the pump – they serve about the same, and the water pump is not offered separately in the spare parts catalogs. This “pleasure” will cost £235 – £260, and it is not recommended to use the non-original.

3. Radiators

Cooling problems can be created not only by the pump and thermostat – there are frequent cases of failure of the cooling fans or their control unit (the Q3 has two impellers of different sizes).

What to do

The root of the problem is clogged cooling and air conditioning radiators. Because of them, the fans are forced to work with increased load. Radiators should be cleaned and washed periodically, so in the end it will be cheaper. Because the controller alone costs almost £220.

4. Boost control valve

The weak point of the turbocharging system is a valve that allows excess exhaust gases to bypass the turbine, the so-called “wastegate”. Its failures are unsystematic, but more often occur in cars that stand for a long time or drive little.

What to do

The culprit of the malfunction is usually the thrust with which the valve drives the damper: it “sours” over time and loses mobility. In mild cases, it can be “rocked” using a penetrating lubricant, and on a restyled 2.0 TFSI engine, by adjustment. Otherwise, you have to change the valve, which will cost £220 – £300.

5. Drive seals

A frequent malfunction of the Audi Q3 gearbox is the oil seals of the shafts that drive the wheels.

What to do

The problem, at first glance, seems to be nonsense – if you notice it in time. Then you can do some time with oil gravy. But if you do not keep track, the consequences can be serious – after all, complex gearbox units really do not like lack of lubrication.

See: Used Audi Gearboxes for sale

6. All-wheel drive clutch

The moment on the rear axle in all-wheel drive versions of the crossover is transmitted through the Haldex clutch. On the models of the first years of production, it is the fourth generation and quite reliable. But during restyling, it was replaced with a fifth-generation node, the resource of which is lower.

What to do

Most often, enthusiasts of active driving encounter a malfunction, discovering that their Q3 has become front-wheel drive. The problem is related to the “optimization” of the design of the clutch, from which the oil filter was removed. As a result, clutch wear products disable the oil pump. Its replacement costs £300. So it’s better to drive more carefully and pour fresh oil into the clutch every 30–40 thousand miles .

7. Cardan shaft support

The problem is more characteristic of crossovers with a diesel engine. If tangible vibrations of the body appeared on the go, then, most likely, the bearing of the intermediate support of the cardan shaft failed. Usually this happens even before 60 thousand miles.

What to do

This happens because on the diesel version, Audi saved on the heat shield of the support, which in our conditions protects it not only from temperature, but also from road dirt. It is worth installing it yourself, the price of the part is about £45. Specialists change the bearing for a suitable one, but sometimes you have to buy a whole new cardan.

8. Front suspension

The components of the Audi Q3 chassis are generally quite reliable – for example, shock absorbers last 60 – 80 thousand miles. Silent blocks of the front suspension are enough for 40–50 thousand miles, and the most frequently failing parts are stabilizer struts with a resource of 20–30 thousand miles.

What to do

Rubber bands need to be changed, since silent blocks are sold separately from aluminum levers, and there are substitutes from reputable “non-original” manufacturers. And the stabilizer struts from them cost less than £15 / piece.

Audi Problems Video

Need Used Audi Q3 Spares?

When your Audi car needs replacement parts, it can be a hassle to find the right ones. You want to make sure they’re high quality so your vehicle will run like new again, but you also don’t want to spend a fortune. That’s where Audi Breaker Yard comes in. We specialize in used Audi parts and can help you find exactly what you need at a price that fits your budget. Plus, we offer delivery throughout the UK so you don’t have to worry about picking up your order. Whether you need an engine part, interior trim piece, or something else entirely, we can help you get your Audi back on the road.



Potential issues, causes, and solutions have been identified in the above article based on the experiences of car owners and repairers, as well as web materials such as forum blogs and technical support bulletins. This data is supplied exclusively for the purpose of reference. Only appropriately qualified persons should perform repairs and/or changes on your vehicles.

While it’s important to keep in mind, it’s also important to note that the amount of times anything is mentioned here should not be seen as a sign of its reliability or frequency. Various owners, driving in different ways, and caring for their vehicles in distinct ways will cause two identical vehicles to perform differently.

As previously said, this material is supplied primarily for reference reasons; nonetheless, we hope that by doing so, we will be able to supply you with essential knowledge that will allow you to make informed decisions whenever you encounter any of the aforementioned setbacks.