Audi A4 Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Audi A4 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
My recently purchased Audi A4's due for an oil change. Can you advise on the right formula and the key steps I should follow?
Audi A4 engine oil changes are a critical part of life for this car, as its high-tech engine is complex and precise and will not tolerate dirty or old oil. But even though the engine is sophisticated, as long as you know how to change the oil correctly, it’s a great DIY way to save money for the home mechanic (oil changes are a major income source for the average service centre) and will empower you to tackle more maintenance jobs including, perhaps, a full service. The best advice is to buy a workshop manual and follow exactly the steps as laid out, but essentially, you’ll need to drain the old oil, replace the oil filter, renew the oil and dispose of the old oil in an environmentally acceptable way (many councils operate oil recycling stations). While not a challenging job for a mechanic, the Audi is a complicated machine with lots of components competing for space, so it’s possibly not a job for the completely uninitiated.
There are several things you need to know before even reaching for a spanner. Those include the type of Audi A4 oil you need, the specifications of the Audi A4 oil filter that will be changed as part of the process, and how often to change oil (often referred to as the oil-change interval). You also need to know precisely what year your car is as Audi varied specifications as the years rolled by. A 2007 A4, for instance, may have different specifications compared with one from 2010, or 2013. Even a 2011 and a 2012 Audi A4 had differences under the bonnet, so be very specific when it comes time to buying the oil and replacement filter. Don’t forget, too, that the A4 has used extensively both 1.8 and 2.0 size engines and, of course, a diesel option which has its own set of specific requirements when it comes to servicing. Again, the workshop manual and the parts interpreter where you buy your oil and filter are your friends. Knowing your car’s VIN can also be a big help in identifying what specific parts you need.
The correct Audi A4 oil type is (for petrol and diesel engines) a fully synthetic 5W30. You’ll need five litres for a diesel oil change and 5.2 litres for the petrol engine-A4. The correct replacement oil filter is a Ryco (or equivalent) R2748K for the petrol engine and an R2740P for the turbo-diesel.
What oil does a 2004 Audi A4 use in the engine?
I’d go for a fully synthetic engine oil with a viscosity rating of 5W-40. The turbocharged 1.8-litre engine in that model is a pretty hard-working unit and quite a complex engine, so frequent oil changes are critical to its longevity. The brand of oil is not so important, provided you use a quality brand and not the Brand-X stuff sold at supermarkets and some online clearing houses. Don’t forget to change the oil filter at the same time; putting clean, fresh oil through an old, dirty filter makes no sense at all.
Audi A3 and A4 2010: Are they reliable?
Volkswagen is very quick to point out that the earlier transmission woes with its DSG gearbox have been fixed. Certainly, the later versions seem to be better, but the jury is still out on whether the fix has been a complete one.
In any case, that’s no use to you as the cars made around 2010 are, indeed, the ones that were most affected by these troublesome transmissions. The smaller Audi models were the main offenders as some of those used the dry-clutch version of the DSG. The larger (and heavier) A4 tended to have the wet-clutch version of the same gearbox which wasn’t nearly as problematic. So that should be your golden rule here if you decide to take the plunge: Only buy a second-hand Audi with a wet-clutch DSG. Even then, we can’t guarantee that it will be all sweetness and light, but at least you’re a chance to side-step major problems. Audi actually recalled many of its models to deal with these gearbox issues at the time.
The other thing to be sure of is that any used Audi you buy has a complete service history with no gaps or late services. These cars use high-tech engines that absolutely require clean oil and filters at regular intervals. A neglected Audi is a very good chance to be a pain in the wallet down the track. Like many second-hand prestige cars, these Audis are often cheap for a reason.
Should I buy an Audi A3 or A4?
It would pay to bear in mind, Tony that there’s an all-new A3 due in Europe next year (Check out Carsguide’s overage of the Geneva Motor Show when it happens) as well as a major upgrade of the A4 that will include new or comprehensively revised engines and mostly new body panels and interior.
Is the heavily discounted A4 a dealership demonstrator? As that might explain why the A4, even though it’s the bigger car, has had its price slashed, despite having all that desirable kit thrown in. That said, the A4 lives in a market segment (mid-sized sedans) that is not doing terribly well right now (in Australia and elsewhere) so maybe Audi has too much stock of a car that has plenty of competition (Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3-Series) in a struggling market.
The bottom line, however, is to buy as much car as you need and don’t make the mistake of buying a smaller, cheaper car when it won’t easily do the jobs you have in mind for it. Again, though, the A3 is a pretty practical hatchback (or sedan) and owners don’t seem to complain that it’s underdone in any major way.
So, drive them both, and see which one you like to pilot. And then start throwing offers at the salesman and see how much he or she is able to bend on either car. By the way, the virtual cockpit is brilliant technology.
Audi A4: replacement key cost
It generally depends on the variant and year. You can get more information on quick and cheap key replacments from dealers or automotive locksmiths here.
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