The Audi A4 is the compact-sized luxury family sedan made by Audi and one of the best-selling Audi cars in general. The first A4 was introduced back in 1994 and was a smash hit from day one. The A4 competes with the likes of the BMW 3-Series, and the Mercedes Benz C-Class.
When it comes to reliability, the Audi A4 manages to keep its head above water most of the time but some generations are better than others. The A4 is a car that needs proper maintenance, otherwise, it is going to cause all sorts of issues. The most common issues with the A4 are related to the ignition coils, spark plugs, and ignition wires.
The A4 also suffers from engine oil leaks, plenum try drains that tend to clog up, vacuum leaks, oxygen sensor issues, or issues with the catalytic converter. The older A4’s gasoline engine also suffers from carbon build-up on the intake manifold which needs to be cleaned or the engine could cause issues.
All in all, the A4 is a decently reliable car if you maintain it well enough. If you fail to maintain it, you are likely to face a myriad of issues with the A4, some of which will be more difficult to fix than others.
You might want to know about the best Audi A4 year.
Audi A4 – Spark plug, ignition coils, ignition wire issues
If you come across the dreaded check engine light on the dashboard of your Audi A4, there is a great deal of chance that that CEL was caused by a spark plug misfire which caused the engine to misfire. Post-2012 A4 models are better because they rarely experience misfiring issues before reaching at least 100,000 miles, but older models are known to misfire a lot sooner than that.
The ignition coils and wires are also known to be a gripe with many Audi gasoline engines and the only way to fix them is to replace them if they cause any issues. When it comes to ignition coils, these should be replaced all at once as that is always the best course of action.
Audi A4 – Oil leaks
The issues we mentioned above mostly plague gas engines while oil leaks and increased levels of oil consumption plague both diesel and gas engines. Oil leaks are typically caused by a failed or worn-out valve cover gasket seal or if some of the hoses have been damaged. If you notice oil spots underneath your A4, be sure to run a pressure test to see if there is a leak.
You also need to be aware that European luxury cars tend to consume lots of oil after they reach some decent miles on the clock. The A4 is no different. As such, you should always keep a can of oil in your trunk and be sure to always check your oil levels as you do not want your engine to go toast due to lack of oil.
Audi A4 – Plenum dry trains clogging issues
The A4 is known to suffer from water entering into the car’s electrical system due to clogged drains, such as the ones found around the sunroof. If you don’t regularly clean these drains, they are likely going to let water in which can cause really serious issues which are both expensive and difficult to repair and will most likely need a bunch of spare parts.
Issues such as these are common on many cars these days that come with sunroofs/moonroofs, but some estimates have shown that the A4 suffers from water ingress issues more than most cars do.
Audi A4 – Vacuum leaks, Issues with the catalytic converter, O2 sensor, DPF filter issues
The catalytic converter and the DPF filter are designed to keep emissions under control and make the A4 a much cleaner car and thus safer for the environment. The 02 sensor is vital for your car to always run efficiently because it distributes and manages the amount of air that enters the combustion chamber.
All of these systems need to work in perfect unison in order for the A4 to reach the lowest levels of emissions, but are sadly all prone to issues. The DPF filter is one of the most stressful issues diesel A4 engines experience.
Audi A4 – Carbon deposits on the intake manifold
Older Audi A4 models with larger 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines are known to suffer from carbon deposits that build on top of the intake manifold. These deposits can affect the car in many ways and typically manifest themselves in the engine not being able to provide maximum power.
In order to resolve this issue, you will have to clean these deposits by hand whenever they start causing issues.
Quick overview over problems reported by users about Audi A4
- Oil Consumption problems: Some Audi A4 models, particularly those with the 2.0TFSI engine, have been reported to consume oil at a higher rate than expected. This could lead to the need for more frequent oil top-ups between regular oil changes.
- Timing Chain Tensioner problems: Certain model years of the Audi A4 equipped with the 2.0TFSI engine had issues with the timing chain tensioner. This could lead to a noisy engine, reduced performance, and potential engine damage if not addressed promptly.
- Electrical Issues: Some Audi A4 models have experienced various electrical issues, including problems with the power windows, sunroof, central locking system, and infotainment system.
- Transmission Problems: Transmission issues, including rough shifting, delayed engagement, and even transmission failure, have been reported in some Audi A4 vehicles. These issues could be caused by a faulty transmission control module, sensors, or other related components.
- Turbocharger Failures: Turbochargers in some Audi A4 models, especially those equipped with turbocharged engines, have been known to fail prematurely, leading to loss of power and potential engine damage.
- Cooling System Problems: Cooling system problems such as coolant leaks, overheating, and issues with the radiator and water pump have been reported in some Audi A4 models.
- Suspension Components: Some Audi A4 models may experience premature wear and failure of suspension components, leading to issues like uneven tire wear, noise, and reduced handling performance.
- Carbon Buildup: Direct injection engines, including those in some Audi A4 models, can be prone to carbon buildup on intake valves over time, leading to performance issues and potentially expensive cleaning procedures.
- Brake System Issues: Some owners have reported problems with the brake system, including issues with brake calipers, brake pads, and brake rotors.
- Interior Trim and Electronics: Interior trim pieces and electronics like buttons and switches may wear out or break over time, affecting the overall quality and aesthetics of the interior.
Is the Audi A4 worth it?
The Audi A4 is one of the best-selling Audi A4 models for a reason. It is a compact family sedan that strikes a perfect balance between outright size and interior space which means that it is a business-level car as much as it is a regular consumer car. Some say the A4 is the perfect size for the modern era and I tend to agree.
The A4 also comes with amazing engines and all sorts of features that make it a true 21st-century luxury car. As such, it’s easy to conclude that the Audi A4 is indeed worth it.
What is the difference between the Audi A4 and the Audi A5?
The differences between the A4 and the A5 are mostly reserved for exterior styling and practicality as they share engines, transmission, interior, and many other drivetrain and powertrain components. The A5 is a more stylish, youthful, sleeker version of the A4 which means that it looks better to most people.
The A4 offers a tad bit more seating space in the 2nd row of seats while the A5 offers a larger trunk space thanks to a hatchback trunk lid. The A5 also costs a bit more than the A4. All in all, the A5 is the more stylish option while the A4 is the more sensible option.
How long can an Audi A4 last?
An Audi A4 can last a really long time if you take proper care of it. There are countless instances in which owners have bragged about their A4s managing to cross more than 200,000, 300,000, or even 500,000 miles.
Therefore, if you want your A4 to last as long as humanly possible, just take proper care of it, and it will.