Audi Servicing Tips – If you are new to continental cars, then the initial ownership experience can be daunting. The fact that luxury European cars are commonly associated with miserable ownership experience doesn’t help. Some would argue that Audi is one of the worst to own, but it’s largely dependent on who you ask. People are likelier to complain about issues rather than praise carmakers for what’s done right. If you are an Audi owner, whether new or used, then there are a few Audi servicing tips you should know. It should also provide some insight into Audi ownership.
1. Regular Services
As per usual, regular services are paramount in maintaining any engine. It’s doubly important for your expensive European luxury car, where periodic maintenance work is essential. It goes the distance in saving you money. If you’re surveying a used Audi, ensure that it touts a lengthy and detailed service history. As long as it’s taken care of, they can be laudably reliable. They share powertrain technology with their parent, Volkswagen, after all, who’s plenty knowledgable on the topic of building enduring engines and transmissions.
Audi US’s own recommended service interval is every 10,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. That’s relevant for their new or lightly used models, but it doesn’t hurt to reduce the intervals. If you have a high mileage used on your vehicle, you should definitely get yours serviced earlier rather than later. Service intervals also differ from country to country, as operating condition varies.
A good tip if you have a nice pre-owned Audi or a new Audi, you can also apply for Audi Care. It’s a prepaid scheduled maintenance service that Audi themselves provides, pertinent for 4 services or 4 years. Right now they’re accepting models that were initially in-service from 2010. Over time, Audi Care can save you a fair amount from a normal unscheduled dealership visit. Visit your local Audi dealer to know the specifics.
Otherwise, for a normal oil and filter change, it should cost somewhere around $100-$200 to service your Audi. A major Audi servicing that occurs once every 40,000 miles includes transmission fluid change will cost around $300 to $400. If you own an older model Audi, it’s worth it to look for a solid, reputable independent European or Audi workshop to take care of your car. It’ll cost a bit more, but you’d want people that know what they’re working on. Get on good terms with a reliable tech and you’ll thank yourself for it.
Even if you have Audi Care, it’s good practice to get your oil changed in between scheduled services. Stick to fully synthetic oil from recommended manufacturers only.
2. Know What to Expect
This is an important part of any car owner. There are plenty of community forums and discussion boards for Audi owners to congregate and share their experiences. In fact, there will almost certainly be a model-specific section for your particular Audi, with the ardent following Audi has gathered over the years. They’ll also be more helpful than general car forums, as only Audi owners know what to expect from Audi servicing costs and problems.
Over the years, there have been multiple well-documented VAG design flaws that have also impacted Audi models. Therefore, it’s prudent to read up about your own model and know what known faults you should look out for. This gives you an idea as to what you can expect, and what other repairs you can carry out simultaneously to streamline your ownership experience.
For example, two very well known issues with the earlier iteration EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engines are premature timing chain tensioner failure and excessive oil consumption. The former of which had a class-action lawsuit filed against VAG that was settled a year ago and an updated tensioner to address it. The latter hasn’t had an official disclosure from VAG, but it’s known to be caused by faulty piston ring design that starves oil flow.
These issues have reflected on the prices of pre-2012 2.0/1.8 TFSI models. In fact, excessive oil consumption issues still plague many TFSI owners. If you’re one of them, get an official oil consumption test done by your Audi dealer. If your engine uses up more than half a quart per 500 miles, then your dealer should acknowledge that there’s an issue, where repairs can then be arranged. Do not ignore this oil consumption issue, as it will cause bore scoring and ruin your engine, where you will then need a replacement engine.
Of course, those are just some of the most well-known issues with Audi models. If you’re experiencing a recurring problem or overt premature wear of a major component, look up a forum with your problem and there should be discussion around it. Otherwise, starting your own thread can garner attention from like-minded individuals.
Because many components are tricky to access standalone, it’s advisable to replace relevant wear and tear items and seals whenever you’re getting a difficult job carried out. If nothing else, it’s peace-of-mind and helps to save on labor costs in the long run.
3. Know Your Community
Other than going on forums and relevant discussion boards, you should get to know your local Audi or Volkswagen enthusiast clubs. They can provide you with a personal insight as to how it’s like to own an Audi and valuable information. It also helps to know which local workshop is trustworthy and who to go to for your Audi specialist needs.
Tire choice is important, and even more so when you have a Quattro. Don’t mismatch tires on an axle, and ensure that they don’t differ too much in size. This means that you have to keep tabs on the inflation pressure as well, which should be simple enough with the tire pressure monitoring system. Otherwise, this can wear out your complicated differential quickly.
If there comes a time when you need to tow your Audi, ensure that you call in a flatbed if you have a Quattro. Towing the car on its wheels at any decent speed will quickly destroy your AWD differential.
Regardless of the oil consumption issues that affect certain Audi models, you should always keep track of your oil level. Even if you keep up on your Audi servicing, carry a bottle of quality 5w40 oil in your trunk to top up your Audi on the road. Keeping the engine well-fed with lubrication contributes towards long service life.
If it sounds like hard work maintaining an Audi, the truth is that it’s not all too different from owning any new modern car. It’ll be more expensive, definitely, but fair for someone that can afford an Audi. The experience and driving quality of an Audi are why people continue to buy and keep them, and once you’ve experienced driving one, it is worthwhile.