What Are Common Audi Problems?

by | Jul 25, 2022 | Tips

The design flaws of secondary machines often go unnoticed for many years. But, if something breaks in the car of the market leader, then a loud and heated discussion of the problem begins on the Internet and in workshops. Therefore, there is no difficulty in identifying typical Audi problems.

Agitation run

Exemplary corrosion protection and wide access to relatively cheap Audi spare parts allow Audi to operate much longer and more intensively than competing brands. A mileage of around 300,000 miles is no longer a rarity today. The fact that it is almost impossible to find such numbers in ads indicates the popularity of the technology of “twisting” the odometer meter. It’s a pity, because it makes it difficult to accurately assess when a particular problem occurred.

For example, the first serious failures of automatic continuously variable transmissions occur (according to the owners) with a run of 100-110 thousand miles. But the vicious practice of “twisting” gives us reason to doubt: but in reality, do problems appear later, say at 60,000 miles?

The situation is similar with the wear of the camshafts of the 2.5 TDI engines. It seems that the defect appears even before 120,000 miles. And how many owners have operated a car from scratch in the same hands for so long and personally encountered this problem? Those who bought the car in the secondary market mostly complain.

But there are perfect cars in the history of Audi. And how to consider otherwise in relation to the Audi 80 B4? Its production ended about 20 years ago, but well-maintained specimens are still in great demand. Because they do not rust, do not break, and if something breaks down, then it is fixed for a penny.

Maintaining  An Audi Can Be Expensive

In the 80s and 90s, Volkswagen made cars that were strong and very easy to drive. And Audi was his more “expensive” relative. Currently, the brand’s priority is competition with BMW and Mercedes. And this is tantamount to chasing the latest technology to impress customers. But many innovations are unreliable and expensive to repair.

One of Audi’s first innovations was the multi-link front suspension made of light alloy (Audi A4 B5, 1994). In parallel, a turbocharged 20-valve four-cylinder engine was introduced. At that time, no one thought that Audi would reach such a level that it would share its technologies with Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche (all listed brands today belong to the Volkswagen Group).

Probably, now it is clear why the cost of servicing some models has increased markedly?

Suspension malfunctions

Multi-link front suspension made of light alloys

As mentioned above, the Audi A4 B5 was the first car of the German concern, which was used innovative multi-link suspension made of light alloys. It provides excellent driving performance, but is more difficult to repair. Ball tips of levers, according to the manufacturer, cannot be restored. Moreover, after the onset of wear symptoms, Audi recommends the replacement of all interacting suspension parts. A set of decent quality levers costs between £250 and £580. Cheaper substitutes are also available on the market – about £125, which are in use at car dealers.

Light alloy multi-link suspension is used in all Audi vehicles after 1994: A4, A6 (since 1997), A8, Q5, Q7.

Air suspension

The cheapest car with air suspension in the Audi lineup is the A6 Allroad. But the most popular is the Q7 SUV. Racks with air springs located on each wheel are durable, but subject to natural wear and tear. The same applies to the pneumatic compressor, which creates pressure in the system. Problems appear only when a used car with high mileage is purchased. Malfunctions can be of a different nature, ranging from problems with the control electronics, damage to the pneumatic channels, and ending with wear on the valves, the air struts themselves and the compressor. The last two causes are the most expensive to fix because they involve replacing defective parts. Air springs brought from the USA (Arnott company) are very popular. Air spring refurbishment is an interesting alternative as it is cheaper And there is no guarantee. The cost of a restored element is about £ 200. The cost of the compressor is about £520.

Air suspension problems affect the Audi A6 C6 / A6 Avant C6 / S6 equipped with air suspension, as well as the A6 Allroad and Q7.

Caution, Multitronic!

Audi has been using the Multitronic box in its cars for a long time. It is used only in front-wheel drive models. Older versions can work with engines whose maximum torque does not exceed 310 Nm. After the update, the limit was increased to 400 Nm. This should not be forgotten when planning to “chip” the engine.

Multitronic is a continuously variable transmission that maintains high engine speeds when accelerating. The ability to manually select gears (usually there are 6 of them) is a small electronic “illusion”, a kind of nod to conservative buyers. Boxes, as a rule, regularly serve up to 125,000 miles.

The disadvantage of the variator is the high cost of operation and very expensive repairs. A person who gets on an unsuccessful copy with a damaged Multitronic runs the risk of spending more than £590 for a service.

Wear symptoms:

1. Error messages:

  • The letters PRNDS are lit – all five symbols on the display are displayed simultaneously between the pointers. Indicates that a diagnosis is required. Movement is possible.
  • The warning pictogram lights up – movement is possible, but this time only to the workshop.
  • The letters PRNDS are flashing – a serious problem, the car can only move in emergency mode. After turning off the engine, further movement will be impossible.

2. Other symptoms: twitching, slow forward movement in N mode, engine stalling.

Diesel engine malfunctions

Rapid wear of the timing and camshafts of 2.5 TDI engines

1. Short service life of the timing.

The modern V6 2.5 TDI was supposed to be a worthy rival to the 6-cylinder diesel engines from BMW and Mercedes. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that everything did not go according to plan. The first disappointment was the rather short life of the timing belt. It is recommended to be changed every 35,000 miles, and the cost of a set of parts is about £ 220.

2. Camshafts.

Another problem with the V6 2.5 TDI is the short life of the camshafts. There are four of them – two on each head. After 95,000 miles, the cams wear out. Initially, the defect is masked by hydraulic valves. Later, the gap becomes so large that the “rockers” begin to fall out.

The rockers may remain under the valve covers or fall into the oil pan. And then the problem becomes serious. In the best case, the engine will simply start to work louder – the pushers will knock. This defect affected 2.5 TDI, designated AFB, AKN, AKE, AYM, BFC. The cheapest repair option is to install a good quality replacement kit costing £250-350.

The manufacturer upgraded the shaft design (hardened the cams), but there was no significant improvement in quality. Completely new shafts (hollow inside) were used in BCZ, BDG, BAU and BDH engines (163 and 180 hp). They are much more durable, but more expensive and not suitable for older types of engines.

Piston burnout in 3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI diesels

In 3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI engines, there are cases of stuck injectors. Sometimes this is accompanied by an engine malfunction indicator light on the dashboard. Sometimes the driver notices a drop in turbodiesel power and increased smoke from the exhaust pipe. If the problem is underestimated, then the nozzle burns a hole in the bottom of the piston. Repair involves disassembling the engine, dismantling and replacing damaged components. The cost of repairs ranges from £ 1,000. The alternative is to replace it with a contract engine (with mileage).

Chain stretch in 3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI diesels

The times when the timing chain served as long as the entire engine is long gone. The 2.7 TDI, 3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI diesels use several interconnected chains, which begin to stretch after 80-100 thousand miles. Ignoring the problem can eventually cause the chain to slip a few links and the motor will need major repairs. Replacing chains is a difficult procedure because they are on the side of the gearbox. But, if the upper ones can still be reached without disassembling the motor, then to replace the lower one, it is necessary to dismantle the engine.

The problem concerns the Audi A4, A5, A6, Q5, Q7.

Head and injector malfunctions in 2.0 TDI

  1. Faulty injectors. The problem is similar to the one in the 1.9 TDI PD. But the difference is in the issue price. Injectors for the 2.0 TDI PD (around £200 each) are twice as expensive as those for the 1.9 TDI PD.
  2. Cracking of the block head. The dilemma concerns versions with unit injectors produced until 2008. The main symptoms: engine overheating, the appearance of oil impurities in the coolant. Repair cost about £430.

Air flow meter failure

A flow meter malfunction in a 1.9 TDI engine is, as such, harmless to both the owner’s pocket and the engine itself. As a result of contamination or natural aging, the flow meter will underestimate the amount of air, resulting in too little fuel dosage. As a result, dynamic characteristics deteriorate, fuel consumption decreases slightly. Since the phenomenon develops very slowly, many drivers simply do not notice it. The problem mainly affects cars with 1.9 TDI.

Malfunctions of gasoline engines

While driving, air is constantly sucked out of the fuel tank. After a few minutes of driving, the car loses power and it becomes very difficult to unscrew the fuel tank cap. But, if you move without a cover, the engine will work flawlessly.

The culprit is a small valve in the fuel vapor system (about £40).

In a serviceable car, immediately after starting, the engine sucks accumulated fuel vapors from the tank into the intake manifold. After a few seconds, the serviceable valve closes. If the valve is defective, it remains open and the engine sucks air from the tank without interruption. The vacuum disrupts the fuel pump.

Damaged intake manifold flaps

The problem affects older Audi models equipped with petrol engines with mechanical fuel injection and a blender for compressed gas operation. This is a very reliable design, verified to the millimeter. However, “gas explosions” in the intake manifold damage delicate moving parts, especially the flaps.

As a result, the engine begins to run unevenly at idle. There are also problems with acceleration. At present, it is almost impossible to find such a car in good condition. Therefore, before buying, you must carefully check the tightness of the intake manifold.

2.0 TFSI oil consumption and intake sludge

  1. Oil consumption. It is impossible to say unequivocally what it is: a disease of all engines, or just a certain batch? However, some owners had to change the piston rings. Repair cost about £600.
  2. The fact that the fuel is fed directly into the combustion chamber, and not through the intake manifold, allows sediment to accumulate in the intake duct, which itself is not cleaned. As a result, engine performance deteriorates. The scale of the phenomenon is not great. But, if someone is worried about this, then in order to get rid of the sediment, you will have to remove and clean the head of the block. The cost of work is about £550.

Other Audi problems

Does not start

On-board systems equipped with Audi versions consume current even when the car is parked. It should be emphasized that this is typical for all modern premium models. There are no problems when the car is operated every other day, well, or at least once every three days. It is worse if it gathers dust in the garage for a long time, for example, for a whole month.

Then she refuses to obey. It is worth noting that these cars are equipped with voltage sensors. If it falls below a certain level, the starter will not work at all, and the lights on the dashboard may not light up. The battery will have to be charged using a modern charger, in accordance with the instruction manual.

The problem concerns the Audi A6, A8, Q7 (all models equipped with top comfort equipment).

Cracking of the aluminum crankcase

In most new models, the oil pan is made from light alloys. Vehicles with low profile tires and lowered suspension can easily damage the aluminum crankcase – for example, on broken or dented pavement, and when driving off a curb. Those who sell a car often try to hastily repair a crack without removing the pallet, which gives only a temporary effect. When buying a car, inspect this item. The crankcase itself is not cheap (from £ 110), and the replacement is troublesome – often the engine needs to be raised.

Final Thoughts

Audi problems can be costly and time consuming to fix, but with a little research you can often find the parts you need online. At Audi Breaker Yards, we offer used audi spares for delivery all over UK. We have a wide selection of parts available, so take a look at our website today to find what you need. We know how important it is to get your car back on the road as quickly as possible, and we are committed to providing excellent customer service every step of the way.


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.