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  1. #1
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    Engine Management Problems - have I bought a dud?

    I've wanted an A4 Avant for some time now, and finally got one around 2 months ago - but I fear my 'dream' car is going to turn into a nightmare....

    The car in question is a 2.0FSI on an 03 plate with 37k miles, bought from a main dealer - the deal was good and I got free servicing, so I was a pretty happy bunny. After a few days, I noticed it idled really badly, and was dropping revs below 400rpm (and occassionally stalling) at roundabouts/junctions etc. so it went in for some remedial work. To be honest, I had a list of things to be dealt with, which were all sorted including a knock sensor to cure the idle problem.

    Since then the car drives great most days, but on others it has no power - feels like the engines being 'strangled' and every now and again when holding a cruising speed (either 'manually' or with cruise control) theres a little misfire/hiccup thing going on. Sometimes it won't start either - or if it does, it starts, literally at zero revs - chugging up to 800 or so rpm.

    Today, I had a flurry of amber lights show up - first ECP, followed by Traction Control and later the Engine Management System light... The car's booked in on Monday to look at the issues in the previous paragraph, but the warning lights concerned me, so I dropped in to the dealer on my way home from the office.

    They hooked up the diagnostics and confirmed a fault with the throttle position sensor (or something like that), but also some "spurious engine management codes that required further investigation". I was told that in their opinion, it was dangerous to drive my car.

    I can't fault the dealer at all (I just hope the service continues). I turned up very close to closing time, but they still took the time to check things out and sent me away in a courtesy car, promising to contact me tomorrow once they had done some investigating.

    I'm just getting concerned I've been sold/bought a lemon. Sure, I've got a warranty, and the dealer ought to have the chance to sort things out (right?) - it's just that I've only had the car 2 months, in which time it's been at the dealer and bodyshop for 2 weeks dealing with various warranty repairs and bits'n'pieces....

    Will things get better? Should I look out for other "known problems" at this age/mileage? I worry that this car is just going to end up costing me money....I don't think I'm in a position to get a replacement car, although I guess it might come to that if the problems persist and the dealer can't fix them....

    Hopefully it's just a dodgy start Anybody experienced similar problems, but had a happy ending?
    The camera never lies - for that you need Photoshop

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  3. #2
    S6 avant

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    well i think your doing the right thing giving the dealer a chance to sort it all out and at the moment they seem to be fairly willing to put it right, youv'e just gotta play it by ear at the moment and let them sort it. just stand your ground with them if they start fobbing you off, my brother in law recently bought a porsche 996 and has had a fair bit of trouble but they always have it back and sort it. he has also after some moaning managed to get some extra warranty out of them in lue of the weeks its spent in their workshop! good luck!
    2000 s6 avant, special order met, green, satnav, Bose, tv, solar roof, privacy glass, recaro silver nappa.

  4. #3
    golf's Avatar
    ***** rent boy

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of Audi ownership!

  5. #4
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    Wonderful world indeed...the down side of all this, is that the dealer always supplies a nicer model as a courtesy car every time. This time, it's a 2.0TDI 170. That's a nice car. Maybe that's to convince me to stay loyal........

    Seriously though, the dealer has been great - so far.

    I was hoping that some folks on these boards might recognise a familiar pattern in my problems - surely it's not just that Audi's are generally un-reliable - and advise on any other issues that might pop up. I'd like to know what components it might be worth having thoroughly checked at this point.

    Steve: That's a great spec on your car - very nice indeed! I wondered about your iPod link, and whether you use an iPod video with it? I was thinking about getting the iPod hooked up to my head unit. When not listening to music, I want to take video out of the 3.5mm headphone jack to a portable screen for my wee one in the back, whilst still having the iPod powered via the dock connector. This works fine when the iPod is powered via a 12v adapter, and also when at home, but can you confirm whether or not the iPod link "locks out" the iPod? If it just provides power (and control) via the dock connector, it should work fine for my dual-purpose needs, and be a whole lot neater than having multiple 12v adaptors and cables everywhere!!
    Last edited by mrmacmusic; 28th June 2007 at 09:04. Reason: forgot something....
    The camera never lies - for that you need Photoshop

  6. #5
    S6 avant

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    to be honest, it came with the car and i dont own an ipod, in fact i havent a clue how to work one ive actually taken it out now and sold it. it was connected into the cd changer socket on the rns e which turned out to be the cause of my glovebox changer not working as it had been unplugged to fit the ipod link! so im afraid im not much help to you

    PS, good luck getting the car sorted!
    2000 s6 avant, special order met, green, satnav, Bose, tv, solar roof, privacy glass, recaro silver nappa.

  7. #6
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    Cheers Steve...I've since sussed out the whole iPod thing!

    Expect to get my car back before the weekend - waiting on the body-shop inspecting damage done during warranty repair whilst it's at the local dealer (they scratched it while it was in!)...I just don't have any luck!!

    It transpired I needed a 'throttle position sensor' (which makes sense, considering the problems) but also a new fuel pump (!?). Apparently, there is a 'TSB' on this one - all news to me - whereby some cars have a problem with oil getting into the fuel, eventually gunging things up to the point where there can be the starting/running issues I've experienced. A new 'on-demand' modified pump has been fitted.

    I'm guessing this makes some kind of sense (although how oil gets into the fuel is still a bit of a mystery). At the end of the day, if it solves the problem, great! Sounded a bit fishy at first - dealer taking readings and contacting Audio Technical etc. etc... Anyone else had a new pump on this TSB??
    The camera never lies - for that you need Photoshop

  8. #7
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    I'd be a bit concerned about the state of your catalyst if oil is getting into the fuel. Might be worth getting it emmisions tested so you don't get a nasty surprise come the next MOT

  9. #8
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    Good thinking MacDuff! I hadn't thought about that... I'll be sure to ask that it's checked out.
    The camera never lies - for that you need Photoshop

  10. #9
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    Well, sadly it seems my car is still unwell. It appears that having fitted a new throttle position sensor, and modified pump, this has thrown up a problem with the second fuel pump.

    FWIW, I didn't realise I had two pumps. Now I do, and the second one needs replaced (something to do with the fact that the first one was faulty).... Seems like there's a lot of technical stuff going on in that FSI lump under the bonnet.

    Maybe when they fit the second pump, that'll throw up a fault with the MAF or the ECU or the ESP or.... Having already had a NOx sensor replaced during it's first visit to the dealer, I'm starting to wonder where this is all going to end. How many other replacement parts am I going to need....??

    I'm really losing heart now, although having struggled with a 3-door A3 for the past week (not enough space for our family) the dealer has kindly put me into a courtesy A4 Avant until they solve the problem, which they said might be another week!!!

    Have I just been unlucky...........? I'm guessing I ought to have patience and see how things turn out, but right now, I want my money back.......!!
    The camera never lies - for that you need Photoshop

  11. #10
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    well you better unsell them, sharpish!

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    Sounds exactly what my car is having problems with, been stalling randomly and wont start for about 5 minutes ... had it serviced today and it's thrown up a Nitrogen Oxide Error .. needs replacing @ 352+Vat+fitting!!!

    2003 2.0 FSI SE A4 Avant

  12. #11
    JamesS4cab's Avatar
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    Not sure if you want to go dwon this route but this is deffinately worth reading:

    http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/faq.htm?id=43

 

 

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