The 5 Most Common A4 Problems

We've pulled together a list of the problems A4 owners.

  1. Excessive Oil Consumption

    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 i…

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  2. Busted Timing Chains

    Audi's EA888 2.0-liter engine has a history of tensioner problems in its timing chain. The loose chain is to blame for multiple occurances of catastrophic engine failure. Audi was forced to offer settlement offers, including an extended war…

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  3. Start-Stop Defects

    There are multiple problems with Audi's start-stop technology that outweigh the modest fuel efficiency gains. Owners complain that the system will shut off the power steering and brake systems at dangerous times and cause the accelerat The …

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  4. Takata Recalls

    A large number of Audi vehicles have been recalled because they contain dangerous airbag inflators made by Takata. The shrapnel-hurling inflators have been recalled in over 37 million vehicles (and counting).

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  5. Turbocharged Oil Sludge

    From 1997-2005, Audi 1.8-liter turbocharged engines came with a tiny 3.7 quart oil capacity. That’s simply not a lot of oil to cool down this hot engine. In 2004, following numerous sludge complaints, Audi extended the warranty on some of…

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What A4 Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

What Breaks

Years to Avoid

A4 Generations

The A4 has 5 generations, each with their own issues. Using the same PainRank™ system we've determined that you're better off avoiding the 3rd generation (2005–2007).

  1. 5th Generation A4

    Years
    2016–2021
    Reliability
    20th of 39
    PainRank
    1.1
    Complaints
    12
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a A4
  2. 4th Generation A4

    Years
    2008–2015
    Reliability
    37th of 39
    PainRank
    5.65
    Complaints
    118
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a A4
  3. 3rd Generation A4

    Years
    2005–2007
    Reliability
    39th of 39
    PainRank
    9.12
    Complaints
    35
    Continue
  4. 2nd Generation A4

    Years
    2001–2004
    Reliability
    38th of 39
    PainRank
    7.69
    Complaints
    38
    Continue
  5. 1st Generation A4

    Years
    1996–2000
    Reliability
    30th of 39
    PainRank
    1.79
    Complaints
    16
    Continue

A4 Key Numbers

  1. 219 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 2,007 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 29 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

A4 Class-Action Lawsuits

The A4 has been named as a class vehicle in the following lawsuits.

  • Dismissed

    Pitts, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al.

    Case Filed
    1. Dismissed

      The case was dismissed when a judge ruled Audi's owner's manuals clearly say the Start-Stop system "may turn off the engine before the car comes to a complete stop."

    2. Case Filed

      The lawsuit wanted refunds for the purchase price of the vehicles for class members, plus compensation for overpaying and for loss of values.

    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2020 A3
    • 2017-2020 A4
    • 2017-2020 A5
    • 2017-2020 A6
    • 2017-2020 A7
    • 2017-2020 A8
    • 2017-2020 S3
    • 2017-2020 S4
    • 2017-2020 S6
    • 2017-2020 S8
    • 2017-2020 TT
    • 2017-2020 TTS
    • 2017-2020 Q5
    • 2017-2020 Q7
    • 2017-2020 Q8
    • 2017-2020 SQ5
    Location
    Virginia
  • Dusanjh v. Audi AG, et al.

    Case Filed
    1. Case Filed

      The Audi Start-Stop system allegedly requires expensive repairs, car rentals, towing charges, time off work and other costs, while customers allegedly lose money as the vehicles lose their values.

    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2020 A3
    • 2017-2020 A4
    • 2017-2020 A5
    • 2017-2020 A6
    • 2017-2020 A7
    • 2017-2020 A8
    • 2017-2020 S3
    • 2017-2020 S4
    • 2017-2020 S6
    • 2017-2020 S8
    • 2017-2020 Q5
    • 2017-2020 Q7
    • 2017-2020 Q8
    • 2017-2020 SQ5
    • 2017-2020 TT
    • 2017-2020 TTS
    Location
    British Columbia
  • Swinburne, et al., v. Audi of America, Inc., et al.

    Case Filed
    1. Case Filed

      Class action lawsuit alleges the systems cause the engines to hesitate, lag and fail to immediately activate when drivers try to accelerate from full or rolling stops.

    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2019-2020 A3
    • 2017-2020 A4
    • 2017-2020 A5
    • 2017-2020 A6
    • 2017-2020 A7
    • 2017-2020 Q3
    • 2017-2020 Q5
    • 2017-2020 Q7
    • 2017-2020 Q8
    Location
    Virginia
  • Settlement

    Coffeng, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America,  Inc.

    Case Number
    3:17-cv-01825-JD
    Case Filed
    1. Settlement

      A VW water pump class action settlement has been reached for these Volkswagen and Audi vehicles equipped with 2-liter EA888 TSI or TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder multi-valve engines with codes CCTA, CAEB, CAED and CBFA.

    2. Case Filed

      The VW water pump class action was filed over the primary engine water pump driven off one of the balance shafts, not the electric auxiliary water pump. According to the lawsuit, the pump consists of the thermoplastic water pump module that includes the water pump, thermostat and integrated sensors.

    Settlement
    Filing deadline is April 29, 2020.
    Class Vehicles
    • 2008-2013 Audi A3
    • 2009-2014 Audi A4
    • 2009-2014 Audi A5
    • 2011-2014 Audi Q5
    • 2012-2014 Audi A6
    • 2009-2014 Audi TT
    Location
    California
  • Anzhelya Makaryan, et. al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc

    Case Number
    2:2017cv05086
    Case Filed
    1. Case Filed

      An Audi timing chain lawsuit alleges Audi and Volkswagen vehicles have defects that cause the timing chains to suddenly fail without warning, causing the engines to fail.

    2. Dismissed

      The case was voluntarily dismissed in November 2017 after a motion to dismiss by Audi was filed earlier that same month.

    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2013-2017 A3
    • 2013-2017 A4
    • 2013-2017 A5
    • 2013-2017 A6
    • 2013-2017 A7
    • 2013-2017 A8
    • 2013-2017 S3
    • 2013-2017 S4
    • 2013-2017 S5
    • 2013-2017 S6
    • 2013-2017 S7
    • 2013-2017 S8
    • 2013-2017 RS 5
    • 2013-2017 RS 7
    • 2013-2017 allroad
    • 2013-2017 Q3
    • 2013-2017 Q5
    • 2013-2017 Q7
    • 2013-2017 SQ5
    • 2013-2017 TT
    • 2013-2017 TTS
    • 2013-2017 TT RS
    • 2013-2017 R8
    Location
    California
  • Settlement

    Stockalper, et al., vs. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, et al.

    Case Filed
    1. Settlement

      A VW timing chain class-action lawsuit may be nearing the end as the automaker has agreed to settle the multidistrict litigation that comprises seven class-action lawsuits.

    2. Case Filed

      An Audi timing chain lawsuit alleges Audi and Volkswagen vehicles have defects that cause the timing chains to suddenly fail without warning, causing the engines to fail.

    Problem
    Busted Timing Chains
    Class Vehicles
    • 2008-2012 A3
    • 2008-2012 A4
    • 2008-2012 A5
    • 2010-2012 A6
    • 2012 A7
    • 2008-2012 TT
    • 2010-2012 Q3
    • 2009-2012 Q5
    • 2012 Q7
    Location
    New Jersey
  • Settlement

    David Zimand, et al v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Audi of America, Inc.

    Case Filed
    1. Settlement

      A VW timing chain class-action lawsuit may be nearing the end as the automaker has agreed to settle the multidistrict litigation that comprises seven class-action lawsuits.

    2. Case Filed

      A Volkswagen timing chain tensioner lawsuit alleges numerous VW and Audi vehicles have defects in the timing chain tensioning systems that cause complete engine failure.

    Problem
    Busted Timing Chains
    Class Vehicles
    • 2008-2012 A3
    • 2008-2012 A4
    • 2008-2012 A5
    • 2010-2012 A6
    • 2012 A7
    • 2008-2012 TT
    • 2010-2012 Q3
    • 2009-2012 Q5
    • 2012 Q7
    Location
    New Jersey

Recent A4 News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Another Audi start-stop lawsuit has been dismissed

    after the judge ruled that the owner's manual clearly states the Start-Stop system may turn off the engine before the car comes to a complete stop. Is that all it takes to win in court? Be prepared for your next owner's manual to say "cars might catch on fire due to thermodynamics" just to cover all the bases.…

    keep reading
  2. The A4's 4th generation runs from 2008 to 2015. Owners really love the blend of luxury, sport, and practicality, but there are a few issues that make the cars tough to recommend.

    76% of all the owner complaints about this generation are about the engine and they happen, on average, around 65,756 miles.[1] Three of these engine complaints really stand out, particularly in the 2009 to 2011 model years.…

    keep reading
  3. A Virginia based lawsuit says Audi's start-stop system suffers from defects that cause delayed acceleration or lurching that can put occupants in danger.

    The plaintiffs say that Audi HQ and dealerships will just tell owners to deactivate the start-stop system if they don't like it, but the system starts up automatically each time the ignition is pressed and must be manually deactivated by pressing a separate burden. Something the case refers to as a inconvenience and mandatory burden that is not disclosed to the Class Members ar the time of the sale.

    keep reading

See All A4 News

What Owners Say About Their A4

Excessive Oil Consumption

I called and called the dealership about the car using oil excessively... they kept telling me it was normal... I'm not a mechanic, but I know using 2 quarts plus in 5k miles is something wrong. I started reporting it before the car had 40k miles on it.

Busted Timing Chains

Our Audi A4 left us stranded 120 miles from home this past weekend. It ran fine all morning. We stopped, and when I tried to restart, it ran rough but evened out. The next time I started it, the engine continued to run rough, shuddered and stopped. It would not restart so I had it towed to the repair shop. The repairman told us the Tensioner had failed and the timing chain had jumped some teeth which had caused serious (as in you need a new engine) damage.

Busted Timing Chains

Bought the car, got it inspected at an Audi dealer that did not mention tensioner issues. I had the car almost a year when it failed, i had the car towed to my mechanic thinking it was something stupid, he called me the next day and said my engine blew.