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Engine Change after only 200 miles.

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by k.hemlin, May 18, 2013.

  1. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    I picked my brand new fully-specced A3 SB (1.8 TFSI S-tronic) on 26 April and I've been loving it...until recently. I started to get intermittent warning lights (Engine max speed: 4000rpm; ACC unavailable; Automatic start/stop: system fault; Audi pre sense: system fault). Following a visit to the Audi service department, an oil pressure switch was replaced and my car given a clean bill of health.

    The next day, the warning lights were back! My new car was still ill although it appeared fine to drive. Another trip to Audi resulted in a courtesy car (A4) and a promise to fix the faults. A week later, I was informed that 'Milton Keynes' (UK's main service centre?) had recommended an engine change due to swarf (iron filings) in the oil. Obviously, there wasn't an engine in the UK so one was to be ordered from Germany.

    So, I'm on day 23 of my new car and I've actually had it for precisely 13 days...thus:

    Possession Stats
    Me 57% - 43% Audi

    The prognosis for the engine replacement is at least another week, forcing my possession down to 43% before I potentially get my car back (best case).

    Light-heartedness aside, I'm getting extremely frustrated with the situation. Although Audi customer service has been good, I'm still without the car I paid for and my confidence in Audi and, more importantly, my car has been damaged irreparably. I can't stop thinking that its wrong for a brand new car to need a replacement engine after only 200 softly-driven miles. Considering the extensive technology that's present, I shudder to think of the myriad resultant faults down-line following the swap-out.

    My options (probably not exhaustive):
    1. Accept the engine change and move on.
    2. Accept engine change, but fight for some form of compensation.
    3. Refuse engine change and demand a new car to the same spec. Keep courtesy car for approx 4 months 'til replacement car arrives.

    I'd be interested to hear what fellow forum members think of my situation and my options. I wonder if I'm being too nice to Audi here?!

    Regards to all.
    Kenny
    #1
  2. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    IMHO if you choose to keep, then certainly ask for a much longer warranty, 5 years would be my request or more otherwise refuse & ask for new if that's an option.
    #2
  3. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    NMN, Im not sure what the options are to be honest, but I'm not worried of asking for what I'm entitled to.
    #3
  4. neilmcl
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    neilmcl New Member

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    Things sometimes go wrong, even with a brand new car. In fact I'd say it's probably better to have such an issue now than much later on in it's life. I don't see why there would be a "myriad of resultant faults", once the engine has been swapped out it should be as good as new. Definitely try and get some goodwill out of Audi but there's no need to reject the car at this stage.
    #4
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  5. Av4nt
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    Av4nt Active Member

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    fk that id ask for a replacement car completely. 200 miles is a joke! NEW CAR replaced to same spec, audi have enough money ffs.
    #5
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  6. Battlekrapz
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    Battlekrapz Member

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    It comes down to this question : do u want to let Audi bully you into not asking for a replacement?

    Personally i wouldn't consider keeping a dud as i'd never trust my car to run without any issues. I think it's basically a piss take to consider that you'd accept an engine change.

    As a matter fact you're not being too nice with audi you're just letting yourself be a pushover.

    Definition:


    1. One that is easily defeated or taken advantage of.

    Ask for a new car and compensation (extended guarantee) if they refuse then tell them you'll contact audi uk and file a complaint. If nothing happens then call audi uk and explain your situation. I can guarantee you'll get a new car.
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  7. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    Neilmcl...The thing is that, in my case here, "as good as new" was faulty. The more I think about it, the more I'm losing confidence in the car.
    #7
  8. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    You've got to decide what's right for you. There are a number of options open, but some may be more acceptable to you than others. You'll also have to fight/negotiate with Audi UK and the dealer. For example, if you went for a new car, assuming it's a factory order with options you'd be looking at another few months wait in most cases. Are you happy to wait?

    If the car had developed the fault coming off the production line, they'd have swapped out the engine before delivery and you'd be none the wiser. It also won't affect your resale value in any way. I've been in a similar situation twice and I can feel your frustration. When we take delivery we expect everything to be perfect - unfortunately things do go wrong though. Would you feel any better if the engine let go after 1 month or 6 months or 12 months? In both cases when it happened to me, I kept the car but had some form of compensation. However, my immediate response in both cases was to reject the car as both faults were within the first two weeks.

    If it were my car, I think I'd be asking for them to sort it ASAP, a decent courtesy car in the meantime and some compensation for the inconvenience (e.g. Extended warranty and servicing... maybe audi complete for next three years to cover all servicing, maintenance and tyres).

    Spend some time thinking it through to decide on the right course of action for you.
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  9. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    Hittchy, I can't disagree with any of your points! I'm speaking with the Head of Business on Monday 20th May to see the lay of the land. It will be interesting to see whether Audi themselves suggest a sensible compensation package (extended warranty etc.) without prompt. Although not ideal, I can wait for a new build replacement car, assuming I have a courtesy car in the meantime.
    #9
  10. Zig
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    Zig Member

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    k.hemlin, Have you got the registration document through yet from the DVLA (we got ours within a week)? From what I remember the engine number is on the document (I am out of the UK at the moment) so am unable to check. However, if it does the DVLA will need to be advised. The question then is how visible does the change become to others and does it cast doubt on the history of the vehicle which would then effect the second hand value. So the question is, is the engine number on the registration document and if it is what are the consequences of a change?
    #10
  11. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    I had an engine changed on a Volvo a few years ago under warranty. They had to notify the dvla and I had to send off the registration document to be updated with the new engine number. I had to include a letter from Volvo stating the engine had been changed 'like for like' in order to satisfy the tax / emissions rules. If you get the car back with a new engine ensure you check Audi have done the paperwork correctly, Volvo hadn't.

    It shouldn't affect the value, but may possibly show up on an HPI check.
    #11
  12. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    It's not in the same league as your problem but mine was only a week old and have only just got it back after 3 weeks of waiting having taken it in following a series of cold start problems. They have swapped out a whole list of "stuff" and dare I say it, it's fine now. Audi dealership in Bedford were fantastic, they genuinely seemed to care and gave me an A6 as a courtesy car for the duration.
    #12
  13. Artimus
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    Artimus Short Back

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    If the car is otherwise perfect (i.e: right down to the seat stitching), a new engine at 200 miles is probably less of a liability than a new car, which could itself have minor defects you don't spot on the drive home! Then what - start again???

    I'd ask for ...nay, DEMAND compensation in the form of an extended warranty before agreeing to keep it.
    #13
  14. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    Zig/mjcourtney...I've got the V5 registration document and both the chassis number and engine number are listed. The way I see it, whether I change the car or the engine, there's going to be paperwork regardless! Good point though about the HPI check...I'll ask the question tomorrow.

    Manmoth...my courtesy car is an A4 S-Line diesel in white. Not bad I suppose, but it's not 'teched' up like my poorly A3, so I'm missing the S-tronic gearbox, SatNav, DAB radio, sunroof, B&O sound system, leather seats, reversing camera etc etc.!!
    #14
  15. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    Artimus, yes, the car is otherwise perfect...but I'm surprised that any new car would be shipped with such a major fault like a dodgy engine, never mind an Audi. I think the extended warranty is a valid potential compensation package should I decide to keep the car, but I was hoping for a free R8 to be honest...!
    #15
  16. lee_fr200
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    lee_fr200 Active Member

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    When my previous new car blew iits engine after a few weeks they swapped it with another engine and stamped the identical engine numbers into the new engine so didn't have to mess with the V5

    also as said another car may have other issues so I'd let them change it and ask for extra warranty and service package as compensation
    #16
  17. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    I think this all boils down to guarantees. What can audi guarantee they will do and what assurances they can offer.

    I would be looking for a full breakdown of how they will ensure that the replacement engine is fully tested to perfection, push for a better courtesy car while they do it, and check out what good after sales options they should be "throwing in" while they test it.... They will be able to write off a few hundred quid of freebies to save any embarrassment of a problem so severe they are changing the engine.

    I made reference to my consumer rights to reject the car and suddenly my courtesy car was probably the best they had to offer and my A3 suddenly had a full set of car mats, an audi fleece in the boot and a dedicated service manager who rang me daily to make sure I was not calling Audi UK........ I only needed a full pressure valve changed (among a few other ancillary parts), you have a whole engine......
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
    #17
  18. Auditron
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    Auditron New Member

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    I would want a new car personally.

    Cannot see that you can swap an engine and it being the same as if it were originally fitted at point of manufacture.

    I would certainly not buy the car used if it had had such drastic work done to it and surely it will have to be shown on its paperwork/service history, yet alone other sources?

    Audi should give you a new car with upgrades for all the hassle.
    Sure things go wrong, but they should sort them out properly. Its their fault, not yours.

    If the salesman had asked, would you have signed to agree to a possible engine swap (should the car need it) when you ordered the car? If not then why accept it now

    The car was never 'fit for purpose' so unless they are saying that you have done it then I would have thought you should demand a new/upgraded one or full refund and buy a different brand.
    #18
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  19. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    Audition, I think I'm erring on your side of the argument. A friend of mine had an engine swap on his new car (admittedly a different brand - Peugeot) several years ago and had so many resultant problems over the following couple of years. He was in dispute with Peugeot for so long he nearly had a breakdown and was forced to sell the car at a huge loss.

    My resale value would presumably plummet too...I know I wouldn't touch any road car that had a replaced engine.
    #19
  20. JohnnyM100
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    JohnnyM100 Active Member

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    Maybe my views are different from others but here goes:

    Emotionally; would be pretty pi**ed off, but once the emotions calm down:

    Cars are extremely complex with a lot of moving parts. Nothing is perfect. Audi do seem to be taking this seriously and glad to hear they are.

    Engine replacement - its on the cards anyway but is a no-brainer. If there was swarf in the oil then engine swap should include all parts that use the engine oil e.g. Turbo. Am sure the Audi work order would include the swap and that it was done by Audi so any 2nd purchaser could see it was legit.

    Courtesy car - no brainer.

    I'd also push for the warranty to be extended to 5 years on the car free of charge. It's an option that can be purchased so is easy for them to administer. This would provide confidence to you and offset any drop in resale value within 5 years.

    ....and double check no damage / dings / scratches whilst they were doing the work.

    Good luck!

    John.
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  21. deci
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    deci Active Member

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    Personally I'd want a new car. The service history of your A3 will include an engine swap which could affect resale value - people might use it as a point to haggle!

    The least I would accept is 5 year extended warranty and the first service thrown in for free.
    #21
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  22. Auditron
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    Auditron New Member

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    Why on earth would you go through all that when (if) the car was faulty from leaving the factory?
    If it was the wrong colour would you let them respray it?

    Is it a new engine design or one from a previous model?
    I am not an unreasonable person who wants the earth from retailers/companies, but an engine swap sounds rediculous to me and I would be onto the press and a solicitor if they did not confirm they would be sorting out a new car or full refund within 24 hours of asking!
    #22
  23. Auditron
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    Auditron New Member

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    Why would you want an extra 2 years on the warranty? So you could tell the new owner it has a new engine, but hey they gave me a longer warranty in case there are any problems :-o

    Do you think an audi dealer will be any happier giving you a good part ex when its time to trade in? No one will want it unless it is cheap, so why are you happy to pay full price for it?
    #23
  24. AJB
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    AJB Member

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    I don't think a replacement engine will make any difference come trade-in time. A few private buyers might notice that it had been done from the paperwork, and might be put off, but 95% won't know and probably 80% wouldn't care if they did know.

    The dealer will know this, and won't be bothered. They'll assume the work has been done correctly.

    And as someone said earlier, what if there was a problem with the engine (or gearbox, or dashboard) detected as the car was driven off the production line, that would have been fixed at the factory and nobody would have known.

    There is absolutely the chance that they get things wrong when fitting the new engine, and it causes a few more issues until they're sorted - you might well need another visit or 2 to the dealer at some point. A longer warranty (which is an option anyway, so not something suspicious) could give peace of mind if you're plannning to keep the car for more than 3 years.

    If there is a way that they would be prepared to order you a new car then great - I'd personally be much happier with that if it was mine. But I don't think it's the disaster you're thinking it is if they don't.

    Unfortunately a small percentage of things made don't work out of the box, and this is one of them. I'd rather have a whole new engine, than have a major engine component replaced under warranty (eg new camshaft or something).
    #24
  25. Auditron
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    Auditron New Member

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    A lot of that seems to be based on people not knowing the truth rather than their actions when they do know the truth.

    Things are never the same when repaired and its just one big headache IMO. I would be batteling to get out of the situation if it were me, but hey, if others think its fine and acceptable then I am very happy for them.
    #25
  26. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    I did 30k miles on my replacement Volvo engine with no trouble at all. The dealer took it in part-ex when i bought my previous Audi and didn't care one bit about the engine change, offered me full book value for it. Whilst an engine change is a substantial job, in most cases the block arrives pre-assembled and it was only a 1.5 day job to fit it in my case, never had any problems at all.If you do decide to stick with the car and change the engine just make sure you find out exactly what has been changed, as in some cases they re-use the ancilliary items that bolt on to the outside of the engine.
    #26
  27. JohnnyM100
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    JohnnyM100 Active Member

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    Agree with AJB here.

    The engine change is being stated as PRECAUTIONARY but this seems to be being escalated into total rejection of car.

    Would you prefer they strip the engine to find out what was causing this and the swarf? Hell No. Ditto if they said they needed to replace the crank shaft or something else major. A new engine as a whole unit is (at least in my view) a better option (with something to cover inconvenience and loss of confidence)

    If however this does not fix the issue with the engine and warning lights, then rejection would be a very real option as you had given them chances to fix it and these had not worked.
    #27
  28. Auditron
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    Auditron New Member

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    Would not acceptance of a new engine make it harder to get out of the deal at a later date?
    #28
  29. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    Well it's hardly going to get passed through quality in the wrong colour. However, if the bonnet was a slightly different shade then yes, I'd let them respray it.

    To counter your analogy, if your newly built house had a faulty boiler would you demand a new house?

    Go right ahead and demand a refund - I can guarantee there'd be no issue at all. They can sell new A3s twice over. With 200 miles on the clock, they'll sell it for a barely a grand less than list. Plus they'll save having a courtesy car out for weeks on end.

    As for getting right on to the press and a solicitor, this is Audi you're talking about. Do you really think they care? They've had hundreds of customers threatening court action and getting press coverage over the years. Audi RS4 alloy wheel issues, TT dash pod failures, 1.8T coil packs....

    Far better to work with Audi UK and the dealer to get a resolution. They generally want to please customers.... as long as they can come to a reasonable agreement.
    #29
  30. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    New owner would know nothing about it. The 5 year warranty is an option on new A3s so no one would suspect anything.

    We're not talking about a Cat D write-off here. It's an engine exchange done by an Audi Authorised Workshop. If this issue occurred one month out of warranty, most people on the forum would be biting Audi's hand off for this kind of treatment. I've been in this situation twice with Audi and once with another brand. In each case, it never affected resale value - they really didn't care.
    #30
  31. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    What I'm finding the most interesting about this thread is the huge variation in opinion, it goes to show that there is no right or wrong answer only personal choice, ask yourself the question, what suits you and your circumstances? E.g, Are you a part exchanger or a private sale kinda guy?
    #31
  32. k.hemlin
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    k.hemlin New Member

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    21 May 2013...an interesting development...

    The Head of Business at Audi Lincoln stated that he would not accept a rejection of the car, nor would he support compensatory measures. He further stated that he was fulfilling his obligations under law by replacing the engine under warranty and that he'd already done as much as he could by 'keeping me mobile' (by way of the courtesy car and paying for its insurance). He also mentioned that if I wanted to speak to a lawyer, that was my business. (I didn't raise the legal aspect by the way).

    Not the best phone call I could have hoped for...
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
    #32
  33. Trev241
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    Trev241 Member

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    And this is what they call customer service! I had an issue with my S4 in the early days and following discussion with Head of Business at my dealership, got extended warranty without having to fight for it.
    Get Lesley Wright involved at Audi HQ on 01908 601722, I think she is still on the Exec Team.
    #33
  34. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    It's not for him to accept a rejection or not, surely? If you follow the process and there is still a problem, it's your right to do so.
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
    #34
  35. neilmcl
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    neilmcl New Member

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    I wonder if he's been reading this thread. As far as the legalities are concerned you are entitled to reject the vehicle for a full refund so long as it's done within a reasonable period from purchase. You'd have to argue that the fault occurred within this period.
    #35
  36. AJB
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    AJB Member

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    How does this work legally? Why are you entitled to a refund? There's a problem, and they're fixing it (and providing a courtesy car). If they repeatedly fail to fix it then yes, I'm sure there are rights to refund, but I'd be surprised if there was a right otherwise as I don't see how the law would specify where to draw the line.

    What if the gearbox had failed - would that be the same? Or the alternator? Or a wheel bearing? Or an electric window? Or a brake light bulb?

    If they will accept a rejection then great - and I'd certainly have asked the question if it was me. But I wouldn't expect them to have to offer it.
    #36
  37. Zig
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    Zig Member

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    Last edited: May 21, 2013
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  38. Gazzz
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    Gazzz Member

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    The key seems to be whether you've told the dealer you accept the car. I'm not sure whether they hide this kind of thing in the paperwork (I'd assume it would be an unfair term if the did), but this might be something we need to all keep an eye on and no 'accept' vehicles and rather just wait until the 'reasonable time' limit hits (at which point we'll lose the right to reject anywa)
    #38
  39. neilmcl
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    neilmcl New Member

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    Because it's the law! The Sale of Goods Act entitles you to be able to reject an item, that does not conform to contract, for a full refund if done so within a reasonable time.
    #39
  40. AJB
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    AJB Member

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    So if a brake light bulb failed a week after I picked up a brand new car, I would be legally entitled to a full refund? Genuine question. Seems a bit odd if so - but then the law is a bit odd.
    #40

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