The Audi A4 is a very well made car. There’s no getting round the fact that if you are looking for a compact business car that has some serious heritage in the famous A80, then you’re not going to be disappointed. Pop open the bonnet and there’s a host of streamlined German efficiency under the lid, which means that this is one car that suffers from very few faults.
However, we are constantly being asked parts for this stalwart of the Audi range, so it’s not entirely without problems. If you are thinking of purchasing a second hand model, then be on the lookout for the following issues:
Window Motor and Regulator
Check the electric windows. If you hear some strange noises whilst engaging the up and down switch then you could be looking at a problem with the window regulator or the motor. Both issues require a complete stripping down of the door to complete the replacement work on the Audi A4, which may be quite expensive if you have to get it completed by a mechanic.
Water Leaks in the Cabin
Drainage can be a little bit of a problem with the Audi A4. Keep one eye out for pools of water in the cabin, which may be originating from the outflow pipe that’s situated under the battery. This has a tendency to get blocked with leaves and other debris, which causes water to spill out into other areas of the car. Tell-tale water marks on the carpets are another good indicator that this issue has occurred in the past.
Windscreen Wiper Motors
Returning to the electrics, the windscreen wiper motor is known to be a little on the problematic side and can seize up during operation and stop working. Check all the wipers on the A4 and ensure they extend to their full potential. However, even if you do discover this fault then you may be able to restore the mechanism to its former glory by re-greasing it fully.
If you are looking at purchasing an early A4 then you need to be aware of a commonly occurring fault with the brake switch, which leaves the dashboard brake light permanently turned on. There is very little chance of this fault escaping your attention, but you will be pleased to know it can be resolved with a low cost part and around 20 minutes work.
Whilst you are sitting in the Audi A4 check the glovebox. Is the mechanism smooth and simple or do you find yourself waiting for the flap to come all the way down? There is a known issue with the movement becoming inhibited due to wear of the joints. Simply apply a little lubricant and this should be solved immediately.
When you are driving around, is the automatic gearbox particularly stiff, problematic, clunky or difficult? All of these are signs that it could be suffering from a software problem. This will require you to have the system reprogrammed by Audi, which will be free if the car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty.
As you can probably tell from our faults list, the Audi A4 is one of those cars that simply won’t give you too many problems during its long lifespan. Audi has clearly poured a whole load of its engineering brilliance into the vehicle alongside a ton of quality design points. If you have the money then it’s quite smartly spent on an Audi A4 as your second hand car of choice.
For affordable replacement engines, gearboxes and more, check out our new and used Audi A4 parts page.