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Unhappy Audi Owner

Posted on Wednesday 12th October 2011

It is a tricky one to start because I really don’t know where and how to start this. I have had my Audi for over 10 years now and I think it is time for me to label myself a proper ‘unhappy Audi owner’!

I bought my Audi from brand new back in April 2001. It is the second car I have owned but the first car I have ever bought. I was originally planning to get a BMW 318i, but after a test drive of the BWM, I just could not see the vehicle itself worth £22k. It even only came with a cassette tape stereo.

Anyway, cut the long story short, all I wanted was a good vehicle I could rely on. I drove a Nissan Micra before the Audi, so really I did not have a very high expectation when I decided to go for an Audi A4.

The Audi A4 itself is lovely to drive, but when it comes to problems, it is a hell!

My A4 already broke down on me in the first year, it was due to the coil pads failure. I was shocked when that happened but then I realised I was not the only one who had this problem. Audi was willing to replace the coil pads for me free of charge, especially when the vehicle was still within the 3 year warranty.

Then the following year, I had an engine management warning light came up on the dashboard. It was the first time I saw such warning light on the dashboard. I was absolutely confused with what happened. Again I took my A4 to a local Audi centre, then I was told there was a crack on an air pipe inside the engine. The centre replaced the pipe for me free of charge due to the 3 year warranty.

I cannot now remember if there was anything wrong happened to my A4 in the third year, but as far as I am concerned something would just automatically fail every year. The CD player stopped working all the sudden in 2005. When I asked an Audi centre to replace it for me, they said a new CD player only came with 12 months warranty. It means I might need to replace the CD player again after 12 months. I therefore decided to get a CD changer instead. And the changer has been working fine for the last 6 years (touch wood!).

The temperature gauge failed in 2006, I took my A4 to Beechwood Audi in Halesowen to get looked at. The centre could not spot the problem at first and told me the temperature gauge was working fine, it’s only when I got the centre manager out in the carpark to show him the temperature gauge was broken, then the centre accepted and agreed the gauge was not working. In another occasion the central unit died in 2007, so I had to pay £470 to Birmingham Audi in Shirley to replace it.

Then a boot catch failed in 2009, it caused the battery drained and died in the end. I had to replace the boot catch and the battery for £285 at the same time at Coventry Audi. Then the heating deck also failed in the same year, I took my A4 to Birmingham Audi first, they could not find any faults on it, so I took my A4 to Worcester Audi later. They could not find any faults either. So I had to make a complaint to Listers which owns and runs Birmingham Audi and Worcester Audi, then Listers agreed to look into the matter for me. In the end I had to replace the heating deck at Coventry Audi at a good-will rate (£260).

The coil pads have failed and been replaced 3-4 times. The exhaust has finally died too, it cost me £520 to put a new one in. Then the fuel pump failed few weeks later, that cost me another £600 to replace at Birmingham Audi. A month later, I discovered there was a burning smell coming inside of my A4 while I was driving. So I took my A4 to Coventry Audi to get looked at. I was told straight away that the engine was leaking oil, then I told Coventry Audi that my A4 has used a lot of oil over the years but I was always told it was normal. I was advised to book my car in for further investigation immediately. Later on, I was told a gasket in the engine needed to be replaced. And that cost me £323. But a couple of months later, I still found the engine used a lot of oil. So I booked my A4 in at Coventry Audi again, at first the centre did not think the engine was leaking oil so they asked me to wait at the reception while they were looking at my A4. But then less than 5 mins, I was told I needed to leave the A4 over night because the oil leak still occurred.

I was told another gasket needed to replace. I was not sure about that especially when another gasket was already replaced a couple of months before. Anyway, I was advised it was necessary to replace the second gasket, so I authorised the job and paid £140 for the second gasket.

Then I took my car in for a MOT at Coventry Audi in April 2011, I was told my A4 failed the MOT test due to the brake pipers failed. So I had to pay another £570 to replace all brake pipers, it was the most expensive MOT I have even paid!

Then going on, I still discovered the engine was using a lot of engine oil. My guessing was the oil leak was still there. So I paid a visit to Coventry Audi and spoke to the centre manager about my concern. The manager agreed to examine my A4 further to see what went wrong with the engine. I took my A4 in and out, forwards and back for 6-7 times. In the end, I was told there was a bolt which was now sealed to prevent any oil leak. I thought that would be the end of the nightmare, but I still noticed I required to top up the engine oil every 2 weeks or so. So I contacted Coventry Audi again, I was then told I have a catalyst engine which seems to burn oil faster than normal. I was shocked to know that is what has been happening to my A4 in the those years. I wrote to Audi UK to ask if that was true. Audi UK contacted Coventry Audi to suggest an oil consumption test, so they can identify whether or not my A4 really burns so much oil after all.

After the test, I was told, based on the Audi manufacture guideline/standard, it is normal to burn up to 1 litre of engine oil in every 700 miles drive. I could not believe that was right. And now Coventry Audi told me my A4 actually only burnt 0.5 litre oil in every 700 miles, so it is better than the standard. I was absolutely furious! I asked Coventry Audi for a copy of the consumption test results, I was told the centre was not allowed to give that away to me. I was advised to contact Audi UK for a copy instead.

So I wrote to Audi UK to ask for a DISS test result. I heard nothing from Audi UK for 4 weeks. While I was preparing to write a proper complaint letter to Audi UK, someone from Audi UK called me today. I spent 35 mins on the phone with this person, basically it was completely a waste of time. This person kept telling me no manufactures in the world can guarantee their parts never to fail. I told this person I totally understood his point, but my point being here is, is it normal for a vehicle to have so many different problems in the last 10 years? This person never answer my question. All he kept telling me is parts do fail and this is what the warranty is for. But then when I asked him about this oil burning guideline for an Audi engine. I said to him that it may be a standard within the Audi vehicles, but surely it cannot be a standard or even normal when talking about any vehicles in general. When I bought the A4, no sale person told me my A4 would burn up to 1 litre engine oil in every 700 miles. I feel I have been misleading here.

The engine oil that my A4 uses is the longlife 0W-30 which is around £12 per litre. So over a year, I would spend £144 on engine oil, that just sounds ridiculous to me. I explained one of my colleagues owns a Mini, he has never topped up the oil on his vehicle. One of my friends drives a VW Passat, again he hardly needs to top up the engine with oil. So how can Audi UK now tell me it is normal for my A4 to burn 0.5 litre engine oil in every 700 miles?

When I tried to make the point to the person from Audi UK, he just could not see my points at all. He kept arguing parts will never last so all these money I have spent to replace different faulty parts is normal. My A4 using so much oil is normal based on the manufacture guideline. It is really just like talking to a brick wall!

In the end I asked this person for a copy of the oil consumption result, he said he could send me a letter to confirm my A4 has passed the test, but I said to him I wanted the actual result so I can show it to a third party to get some comments. Audi UK refuses to release the result, all this person could suggest me is to contact Coventry Audi for the result. I am really running in a circle here around and around!

After all these years I have been an Audi owner, I would say I am extremely disappointed with the product I have been sold to here, the way I have been treated by Audi here, and of course the stress and the time that I have spent here in the last 10 years on my A4. I would never ever recommend anyone to buy an Audi, and furthermore I will definitely not buy another Audi too. It has been a very stressful 10 years experience. I am really an unhappy Audi owner, but after all shame on Audi!!!

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