No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Audi reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Does the Audi A3 have Apple CarPlay & Android Auto?
All Audi A3 variants in the current Audi Australia line-up feature both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Audi A3 Apple CarPlay works wirelessly, while the Android Auto Audi A3 fitment still requires a cable to connect.
Some owners like to upgrade their car’s stereo and, in that case, the advice would be to go for a head unit that allowed wireless Android Auto as a worthwhile improvement.
The Audi system is not a simple retrofit to older Audi models thanks to the high degree of integration within the car’s controls and the system itself. That’s not to say it couldn’t be done, but it would probably not be cost effective compared with an aftermarket unit for an older car that still offered the desired functions.
My recently purchased Audi A4's due for an oil change. Can you advise on the right formula and the key steps I should follow?
Audi A4 engine oil changes are a critical part of life for this car, as its high-tech engine is complex and precise and will not tolerate dirty or old oil. But even though the engine is sophisticated, as long as you know how to change the oil correctly, it’s a great DIY way to save money for the home mechanic (oil changes are a major income source for the average service centre) and will empower you to tackle more maintenance jobs including, perhaps, a full service. The best advice is to buy a workshop manual and follow exactly the steps as laid out, but essentially, you’ll need to drain the old oil, replace the oil filter, renew the oil and dispose of the old oil in an environmentally acceptable way (many councils operate oil recycling stations). While not a challenging job for a mechanic, the Audi is a complicated machine with lots of components competing for space, so it’s possibly not a job for the completely uninitiated.
There are several things you need to know before even reaching for a spanner. Those include the type of Audi A4 oil you need, the specifications of the Audi A4 oil filter that will be changed as part of the process, and how often to change oil (often referred to as the oil-change interval). You also need to know precisely what year your car is as Audi varied specifications as the years rolled by. A 2007 A4, for instance, may have different specifications compared with one from 2010, or 2013. Even a 2011 and a 2012 Audi A4 had differences under the bonnet, so be very specific when it comes time to buying the oil and replacement filter. Don’t forget, too, that the A4 has used extensively both 1.8 and 2.0 size engines and, of course, a diesel option which has its own set of specific requirements when it comes to servicing. Again, the workshop manual and the parts interpreter where you buy your oil and filter are your friends. Knowing your car’s VIN can also be a big help in identifying what specific parts you need.
The correct Audi A4 oil type is (for petrol and diesel engines) a fully synthetic 5W30. You’ll need five litres for a diesel oil change and 5.2 litres for the petrol engine-A4. The correct replacement oil filter is a Ryco (or equivalent) R2748K for the petrol engine and an R2740P for the turbo-diesel.
Are the engine internals the same in the 2.0-litre turbos from Audi, VW and Skoda?
You’re right, there’s a lot of commonality between the various engines from Skoda, VW and Audi. There are many examples of engines from these brands that all use the same basic bottom-end (crankshaft and pistons) architecture. And yes, in some cases, the main differentiator is the turbo-boost pressure.
But that doesn’t mean that’s the only difference; differing boost levels require different engine management, so the electronic control of the various engines can be very different. There can also be hardware differences such as the actual turbocharger unit and fuel injectors. That’s why it’s not quite as simple as raising boost pressure to arrive at a higher output. Revising engine management to do this requires somebody who really knows what they’re doing. Even then, a moderately powered version of an engine might not have the oil-cooling or strengthened internals of what appears to be the same engine with a higher output.
The VW-Audi group is not the only manufacturer to take this approach, of course, and many other car-makers use the same strategy of producing a variety of different engine tunes from the one basic unit. It’s a great way of differentiating models within a range and, of course, saving money in terms of research and development.
Audi Q1 - Will they build an SUV smaller than Q2?
Thank you for you question, as this is an interesting one.
The current Audi Q2 shares its advanced MQB-A0 platform with other Volkswagen Group notables like the Audi A1, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen T-Cross, Skoda Kamiq and Seat Arona, and so is the corporation's smallest SUV architecture to date.
If there was to be an Audi Q1, it might sit on the all-new MEB-Lite electrified architecture that is set to spawn a host of small vehicles including an all-EV replacement for the sadly-discontinued Volkswagen Up.
Nothing is confirmed, but that's what our money would be on if a baby Audi SUV or crossover ever eventuates.
Genesis G90 - Any chance for Australia?
Both the existing Genesis G90 (and its closely related Kia K9 sedan) are flagship models not available in Australia due to the tiny pool of buyers that swim in the upper-luxury segment dominated by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The main stumbling block is probably the prohibitive cost of engineering these left-hand-drive market models for right-hand-drive. At over 5.2 metres long (and counting if you include the limo version), these are way too large for British roads, and the expected sales volumes from the rest of the right-hand-drive countries combined including Australia just doesn't make a viable business case for them.
Plus, big luxury SUVs are where the customers are heading, so a luxury crossover flagship from fledgling Genesis would make much more sense anyway. Sorry, but please don't hold your breath for a G90 in Australia any time soon.
However, the all-electric G80 – Genesis' big 5 Series-priced rival – is said to be heading Downunder inside the next 12 months. The EV limo is the brand’s first fully electric model and will have “more than 500km range” to take on the coming Mercedes-Benz EQS electric luxury flagship sedan.
Audi RS8 - Will we ever see an ultimate performance version of the A8?
(They did do this)
While a one-off RS8 prototype of the previous-generation (D4 series) A8 was created in 2013, it never went into production, as we understand there just wasn't enough demand for that sort of high-performance internal-combustion engined limousine.
Tesla's successful Model S, on the other hand, has demonstrated the viability of an electrically powered large-sedan flagship, and so with Audi going down that path with the help of Porsche with its e-tron GT series, it is unlikely that we will see anything racier than an S8.
We hope this helps.
How do I find out the service history of my 2004 Audi A3?
If the vehicle was serviced though the Audi dealer network, there would be a paper trail you could follow by providing the vehicle’s VIN or perhaps even its registration details. If not, you’d need to know the workshop or service network that carried out the scheduled maintenance to try for a service history, but without a handbook, that could be difficult to ascertain. Contacting the previous owner (if that’s possible) is the best way forward.
But don’t ignore the obvious: Many workshops place a small sticker on the upper-inside corner of the windscreen to alert the owner of the next scheduled service, and this is a great clue in identifying who has worked on the car in the past. Check the glove-box for receipts and take a look under the bonnet for other clues, including dealer-network branding including oil-recommendation decals.
Should I buy an electric car now or later?
It’s definitely true that the march of new-car technology is making big changes to the cars we’re being offered almost on a monthly basis. So, if your current car is just three years old, it might be worth holding on to it and waiting for the next big thing to arrive in showrooms. Certainly, by trading-in at just three years, you’ll pretty much max out the depreciation you’ll suffer in financial terms.
But by waiting, you might find that you can buy an electric vehicle and be able to tap into newer and better infrastructure that will be in place in another few years, rather than put up with the relatively sparse charging-station network currently in this country.
At the moment, a hybrid or plug-in hybrid is a pretty good way to go, provided you use the vehicle mostly in an urban setting, rather than long-distance freeway journeys where the hybrid tech is less advantageous. A hybrid is not exactly future-proof, but it’s a good next step for a lot of Australian car-owners.
As for what brand is best, the tech is getting better and better as time goes by, so it’s likely to be build date rather than brand that will determine the efficiency of the vehicle in question. That said, car owners can’t hold off forever when it comes to upgrading, so for the moment, a hybrid or plug-in hybrid is a logical next car. We’re particularly impressed by the current-model Toyota Camry which is good value to buy, a classy driving experience and offers hybrid fuel efficiency in the right environment. Such cars will be a lot of Australian families’ first hybrid, and rightly so.
Read More: 10 best hybrid vehicles in Australia
When should the timing belt be replaced on a 2011 Audi A5?
What you haven’t told me, Luke, is whether your car has a petrol four-cylinder engine or a V6 turbo-diesel. In any case, the petrol engine fitted to this series of A5 Audis used a timing chain, so it should never need replacing as it’s designed to last the life of the engine itself. That, however, has not been the experience of every owner of these cars, and timing-chain failures have been a hot topic of discussion on these four-cylinder turbocharged engines.
The V6 turbo-diesel, however, does use a toothed rubber timing belt, and that, along with its tensioners, does need to be changed at regular intervals. The trade reckons that interval should be every 120,000km or every five years, whichever comes first. That’s because rubber deteriorates with time as well as kilometres. The other piece of advice is to change your water pump while you have that part of the engine pulled apart. It’s a lot cheaper to do both jobs in one go than to open the engine a second time to replace the water pump.
Should I buy extended warranty?
There’s good and bad news here, John. The transmission in the car you’re looking at is code-named DL501 and it’s a wet-clutch design. That’s distinct from some of the dry-clutch designs also used by the VW Group which were much more troublesome with a high rate of failures. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that even with its more durable wet-clutch design, the DL501 has also been known to suffer what appear to be inherent problems. Mainly, those relate to the mechatronic unit (more or less the transmission’s central nervous system) and premature wear in the clutch plates themselves.
The car you’re looking at has covered a very low distance, so it should be okay for now, but there’s no telling what dramas might crop up with years and kilometres. The problems will likely be worse if the car has not been serviced by the book, so check the service handbook for evidence of this. Even then, it’s a bit of a gamble.
But the only thing I’d stay further clear of than a DSG transmission would be an extended warranty from a car-yard. These are specifically written to exclude the things you’re most likely to need them for. Have a close look at the fine print and you might find that the sort of transmission problems you’d expect in this car will be specifically excluded.