Audi Thinks Excessive Oil Consumption is Fine

Audi engines are always burning the midnight oil. Oh, and the mid-day and morning oil too. The automaker has agreed to settle an oil consumption lawsuit before, but does it go far enough to cover all owners dealing with consumption problems?

It’s normal for cars with six-figure odometer readings to burn a little oil. But recently a few automakers have been building specific engines that require a topping off of the oil reservoir in between changes. Audi tries to tell you this is normal. It’s not.

About Audi Oil Changes

If you grew up around the same time as me, then you probably remember being told that you change your oil every 3,000 miles. Recent advances in engines and oil technology have automakers telling you to stretch that to 5,000, 7,500 or even 10,000 miles. But should you?

we found that for certain models, significant numbers of consumers have to add a quart of oil to their engines as frequently as every month.1

Audi Has Agreed to an Oil Consumption Lawsuit Before

Audi has agreed to settle an oil consumption lawsuit before. The suit targeted 126,000 vehicles with 2.0L turbocharged engines. In reality, there are plenty more vehicles that guzzle through oil, but for the sake of this lawsuit it focused on the following with a CAEB engine code:

  • 2009-2011 Audi A4
  • 2009-2011 Audi A5
  • 2011 Audi Q5

Ideally, Audi would have admitted there was a defect while settling but this is not an ideal world. Audi settled just to make the case “go away” while bringing up the following arguments:

  1. All cars use oil and any oil consumption issues are disclosed in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  2. If there isn’t enough oil, the engine warning light will come on.
  3. Oil consumption is a maintenance issue, therefore the plaintiffs can’t establish an actionable defect exists.

It’s important to note that the judge in this case said he generally agreed with Audi.

What Did Settlement Owners Get?

For current owners or lessees who have not already paid for engine repairs related to oil consumption, they were entitled to a replacement of “the crankcase pressure regulating valve, front crankshaft seal and front crankshaft bolt.”

For owners who had already If they had paid, they are eligible for reimbursement

  • The warranty was extended from 4 years / 50,000 miles to 8 years / 80,000 miles.

Quick Tips If You’re Concerned About This Problem

If you suspect your engine has an oil consumption problem, it’s time to push for an oil consumption test.

  1. Call your local Audi dealership and setup an oil consumption test. You’ll probably get some resistance.
  2. Have your dealership check for any Oil Consumption TSBs related to your vehicle. Certain TSBs allow the dealership to replace the crankshaft seal and breather valve, and/or complete software updated.
  3. After the test is complete, if the oil light comes back on take it back to dealership immediately. Ask for the 2nd part of the oil consumption test.
  4. Your dealership will then measure your oil and report it to Audi technical assistance. Any abnormality could result in additional repairs.

For more detail about this process, checkout this post on

  1. “ Excessive Oil Consumption Isn’t Normal” 

Vehicles That Might Have This Problem

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What Owners Are Saying

“I feel that the dealership got over on me and did not notify me of the current parts and labor lawsuit that should of covered the correct car repairs. I feel I paid for a service that probably wasn't the issue.”

2012 A5 owner in Laplata

“Ridiculous. the engine was already replaced once. Audi obviously knew about this problem. What was the most frustrating was that their Customer Relations Dept tried to low ball me to trade the car in on a newer model. Why would I buy another Audi?”

2010 A4 owner in Bloomington, MN

“I bought a 2010 Audi A4 and it drank more oil than a 1990 Hyundai. I have had consumption tests, numerous repairs and now I'm taking it to the dealer to have it fixed as part of the class action settlement. I regret the day I bought this car. DO NOT BUY AN AUDI!!!!”

2010 A4 owner in Greenville, SC

“Leased the car in June, 2015, by the end of November I had to top off twice because the oil light came on. By that time I had approximately 4500 miles. I called Audi customer care to lodge a complaint and I was told its normal. Oil consumption is not normal in a brand new car.”

2015 A5 owner in Whitestone, NY

“It's not an oil burning problem so much as a oil going away problem. Since buying this A4 at 1 year old, I was adding a quart every ~2250 miles. This has increased over the years to a quart every ~1000 miles. Never any smoke or leaks (garage kept). It just goes away.”

2008 A4 owner in Marlton, NJ

“Audi dealer knew this was an existing problem, kept the car for almost 2 weeks and told me "we" would monitor it together. I have returned twice in less than 5K to have oil added to the car. Since the original check/test each time they keep telling me it isn't an issue.”

2013 Q5 owner in Alexandria, VA

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint

  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify the CAS

  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA

  4. Contact Audi

    Audi Support

    2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive Herndon VA 20171 USA

    More info for international customers

    This site is not affiliated with Audi.