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Facelifted A3 - Handbrake Failure

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by murkins, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    A colleague of mine just informed me that my 58 plate A3 had rolled on our parking lot and hit the wall :(

    I have the car since September 08 so am used to the handbrake. I applied the handbrake as normal this morning and there were no ominous creaks or anything when I was getting out of the car.

    It rolled about 2 feet, into a low wall. I now have several scrapes and a hole in the bumper.

    Questions:
    1. Has this happened anyone else? I know I applied the handbrake correctly!

    2. As the car is less than 12 months do I need to have this fixed by Audi?

    3. Any other advice?

    Thanks lads and ladies, I'm a tad annoyed right now :banghead:
    #1
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  3. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Sorry to hear that mate. I'd be p*ssed off. But think could of been worse instead it was just a bump. Does the handbreak need tighting? Or just wasnt put up properly?

    I think you will need to have it painted at Audi due to some sort of paint warranty and they can void it if they see its bene resprayed or can tell its been painted at a none Audi garage/Body Shop...I may be wrong but i'm sure some one will correct me?
    Once again sorry about he situation

    Thanks
    Ashley
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
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  4. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    I know this is a case of "locking the stable door after the horse has bolted" but you should leave the car in gear when parked to prevent this from happening.

    As Ashley says, you need to get it repaired at an Audi approved bodyshop in order to maintain the warranty.

    Hope it's not too expensive to fix.
    #3
  5. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Yeah, I'm kicking myself, I always, always did this in my last car as it was older and I didn't trust it that much. I thought that with a new Audi I'd be safer, particularly as I ALWAYS check the handbrake after applying, I don't crank it up, wearing away the teeth, I don't over-extend the handbrake, I apply it properly and then check that I've done so.

    However, yep, I'll be in first gear from now on :(
    #4
  6. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    I'd chat with your local dealer as its under warranty & if its slipped that much then they are responsible as its a part warranty which should easily be covered, go push the point mate as I think you have a case if done properly, minimum is they will tighten it & I reckon with some careful wording you could get rest done aswell.

    I've had fair few VAG cars & not one has slipped or needed tightening in 11-12 years, so obviously an issue.
    #5
  7. ByronM
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    ByronM Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Do you have a front centre armrest?? Its an obstruction 10% of the time, and this can restrict the 'pull' on the handbrake, thus not properly applying it.
    #6
  8. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Sorry to hear it, you will be gutted.

    I too always leave a car in gear, with discs on the rear it only takes them to contract on cooling a little & your rolling.
    #7
  9. Gti Jazz Blue
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    Gti Jazz Blue Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Yes one advantage of Park mode in DSG, if the handbrake fails it only moves a tiny fraction.

    I would speak to the dealer, the handbrake is self adjusting on the A3 you have to wind the caliper back using the correct tool if / when the rear pads are changed.

    Paul
    #8
  10. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Is this really the case? I'm sure they'll just argue that I didn't lift the handbrake properly...

    I do, but again, I'm so used to applying the handbrake with the armrest down (I always have it down) that I make sure to apply it properly each time.
    #9
  11. Igdos
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    Igdos Member

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Sorry to hear about that mate -

    I was very lucky when this happened to me when I had B6 A4, I was sure I had put handbrake on properly...it was on a very steep street in Glasgow.

    I went into my flat, all way to top floor and then heard the car alarm. Looked out and the car had rolled back 10-15 metres into a Landrover!

    I went down and miraculously the car had rolled back and the corner of the rear bumper had basically bouncecd off the massive tyre on the land rover, not a scratch!

    Whew!
    #10
  12. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 13, 2009]
    Ultimately if Audi test the handbrake and it passes then it'll be your fault. Don't forget the handbrake acts on the rear brakes and if they're warm when it's applied and they then cool it can cause the car to move.

    I have to say my handbrake isn't the best on hills. Seem to have to pull it harder than any car I've had before.
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  13. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 14, 2009]
    Roll on (scuse pun) new A3 with electronic brake, lol thats one thing I'd love in the 8P
    #12
  14. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Jul 14, 2009]
    Had a dodgy situation coming out of Glasgow. We were in my mates citroen BX following another in an MG midget that broke down on the A77 coming south out of glasgow on the steep hill. Upshot - BX rolling down hardshoulder, me hanging out of open window trying to pull handbrake on harder, then trying to knock it into a gear. By time rest caught up to halt car from behind car was in 1st lane with cars swerving to avoid it LOL

    This is why cars should always be left in gear :racer:
    #13
  15. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    So the day after I posted this new thread the local Audi certified bodyshop came to view the car and we talked about prices. The guy said that he could give me a price for Audi and a price for me, saying that the price for me would be about £160 and Audi price would be about £250. He said he'd send me the quote in the post...

    1 week later, no quote.
    I phoned, guy has gone on holiday, no paperwork in the office...
    1 week later, I phone, guy back from holiday, quote in the post 'tonight'.
    1 week later, still no quote, I call again and ask for quote.
    3 days later, still no quote, I call Audi and complain about body shop! Arrive home to find quote has come in the post :keule:
    I told Audi that I wasn't happy to go to them and if he couldn't provide me with another Audi approved body shop I'd go to Vindis Audi in Cambridge. So Audi service manager was very helpful, apologised and arranged for another local approved body shop to come this morning and look at the car. The guy arrived this morning, very pleasant and courteous (as was the guy from the other company!!!) so let's see how long it takes to get this quote...hopefully cheaper than the one I got from the other body shop! :mad:
    #14
  16. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    Ouch, they obviously don't want your business.

    Out of interest, why are they mailing you the quote? I got a quote from my local Audi approved bodyshop for my door respray (see sig) and they gave it me there and then.

    Cheers,
    Scott
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  17. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    I just had an A4 loan car this week and that had a electronic switch for a hand brake ! Hows that for a pointless Gizmo ?
    Try doing a hill start with that.
    #16
  18. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    I got a quote the same day via phone call from an Audi approved.
    #17
  19. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    [Aug 7, 2009]

    I've got an A6 loaner at the moment, with the same feature. According to the service guy, the car recognises that you're about to perform a hill start and you just need to push the button to release the handbrake. Simples. Apparently.
    #18
  20. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    I've no idea. Just got a call from the second body shop today, they gave me the quote over the phone and told me they are mailing me the quote.

    That quote I just got is £344.66! WTF? :banghead::faint: I can't afford that right now :sadlike:

    So lads, if I get someone else to do the job for me who isn't Audi approved, does that invalidate my paint warranty? This link on pistonnheads suggests it wouldn't but I guess you guys would know be able to tell me for sure. :)

    If I claim this on the insurance any ideas how much this would effect my premium next year?

    :sos:
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
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  21. pns2007
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    pns2007 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    A friend of mine has just bought a new Audi A3 1.6 Sport and parked hers on the car park at the local retail park. Got back to the car to find it had gone and rolled down the car park to the other side. Luckily the kerb stopped it hitting a wall. She phoned Audi believing her hand brake had failed and they told her that the arm rest often gets in the way so she may not have applied the hand brake correctly!!

    I've not had any problems with mine but ensure I always pull it up firmly and leave it in gear
    #20
  22. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 7, 2009]
    Ouch again! Apparently not using an Audi approved bodyshop will invalidate your warranty, but surely only on the repaired panel/area. I wouldn't even bother claiming through your insurance mate as you'll pay for it (and more) in the long run. Maybe it's time to give the first garage the benefit of the doubt..........
    #21
  23. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Aug 10, 2009]
    Yup, just checked this with Audi, the paintwork warranty will be invalidated on that panel and any associated panels, so I reckon I'm going to get it done by a non-approved garage if I get a cheaper quote. I don't really want to but with the number of expenses I've got coming up I don't have much choice.

    Thanks for the advice people, Audi-sport rocks! My car is ALWAYS in first-gear when I'm parked on an incline now :) Expensive lesson.
    #22
  24. pcmanning
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    pcmanning Member

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    [Aug 11, 2009]
    Happened to me in our A4, after a spirited drive, parked up, about an hour later (brakes had cooled) looked out and it had rolled across the court and crashed into neighbours Lexus, about £600 of damage on ours, rather more on his :(

    Car went to Audi - no fault found.

    The issue apparently is (and it does say this in the handbook) is to do with the way the handbrake is applied. You should fully depress the footbrake FIRST, then pull up the handbrake. Use of the footbrake uses the servo assist to close the calipers firmly, then the handbrake sort of locks it place.

    If you drive one of the new fangled "switch" handbrakes you'll notice the brake peddle do this automatically! Tested a Q5 with this - not completely convinced about the switch idea yet.

    On oldee worldee cars the handbrake was independent of the main brake system, so pulling the handbrake lever as 'ard as possible was the best plan.

    Paul
    #23
  25. grahamu
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    grahamu New Member

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    [Feb 26, 2010]
    This is very similar to what happened to me earlier this week as far as the response from Audi about how to use the handbrake.
    I had stopped in my drive which is on a steep slope, applied the handbrake and got out to close the gates behind me. As I was closing the gate a loud bang from my A3 which then began to roll - i.e. the sound coincided with the handbrake being 'released'. I'd left the driver door open so I could get in and continue up the drive, the car rolled backwards the open door hitting the gatepost. - Result over £1000 worth of damage to a 2 month old A3.
    I think if there is some 'special' way the handbrake needs to be used it should be made MUCH more obvious than just normal text in the user manual. In any case my manual does NOT make it clear that the foot brake needs to be depressed whilst the handbrake is applied (not on P78 where the handbrake is described anyway).
    #24
  26. One Spoke
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    One Spoke Member

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    [Mar 28, 2010]
    My missus has the electronic handbrake on her A6 and it's brilliant! Hill starts are simple because it won't release until you try to accelerate and release the clutch. The only time it is a pain is in the snow etc. when you can't gradually release the handbrake - it's either on or off with no in between.

    On the plus side, it constantly monitors itself and will tighten if the rear discs cool etc., so the rolling away issue shouldn't be a problem.
    #25
  27. hollow
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    hollow Active Member

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    [Mar 28, 2010]
    i live on a hill come home from shopping one day ,half hour later police at door ,do i own an audi a3 , yes sir , wheres the keys and wheres your car , keys in pocket car not infront of house

    no worries weve found your car . the hill curves to the right as you go down it , im then thinking i left handbrake off ,oh my god car has hit wall down hill and across a junction .

    nope ! car rolled down hill backwards went around bend ,crossed a junction onto next street and stopped as though you were ready to pull out of junction perfectly .

    had to walk down to car with mr bobby man , handbrake still on car as solid as a rock wont budge . police man then proceeded to breathalize me , thinking ide dumped the car and run as they were in persuit of a stolen car at the time and assumed ide heard the siren .

    obviously not a drop of alchohol .
    not a scratch on car

    1st gear for me always now
    #26
  28. crichards1976
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    crichards1976 New Member

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    [Mar 10, 2011]
    Just replying to be added to the list of 'A3 handbrake victims'.

    I have just returned home from collecting my A3 and parked it on my drive. The drive is on an incline but nothing that has caused any problems for any other car that has been parked on it (including two previous A3s). I applied the handbrake and even 'rocked' the car from the drivers seat to make sure it was on properly before leaving it. I didn't leave it in gear having never had to do so with previous vehicles. 10 mins later a builder knocks on the door to tell me that my car has rolled back down the drive into a wall opposite.

    Fortunately the car didn't hit anyone or anything more expensive on its journey into the wall. I have damage to the rear bumper which is probably going to require a bumper replacement to sort out. I have had the car in my possession for no more than 2 hours and less than 10miles. So much for vorsprung durch technik.
    #27
  29. Farhan
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    Farhan Active Member

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    [Mar 10, 2011]
    just ran out and put mine in first LOL
    #28
  30. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Mar 10, 2011]
    Guy in Cyprus had the same thing last week here. Looks like a design problem
    #29
  31. TFSI
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    TFSI Born to Fish

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    [Mar 10, 2011]
    My March 08 SE allowed me to park in the sloping drive, get out, open the garage, open the back and remove bags and as i got level with the N/S front wing it tried to put itself in the garage, luckily i got to the front and it was lined up with the garage entrance and damage was prevented. I swear i applied the brake properly, it was partially on afterwards. Never trusted them since i always leave em in 1st gear now.

    Centre armrests down all the time do not help with the ease of application
    #30
  32. mozza1202
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    mozza1202 Member

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    [Mar 10, 2011]
    the amount of piss taking i have had over this handbrake and car rolling away it not just me who has had this problem now i always leave in gear and check and double check it is on and in gear one replaced rear bumper later check and double check
    #31
  33. murkins
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    murkins Member

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    [Mar 11, 2011]
    Well glad to see I'm not alone, misery loves company :laugh:

    I should have stated in my original post so long ago that the car was parked on a fairly steep incline in our car park at work. So had I not applied the handbrake properly the car should have at least faltered a little as I was getting out.

    So weird. Hope not to see too many more names here with similar issues in the future :)
    #32
  34. mozza1202
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    mozza1202 Member

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    [Mar 11, 2011]
    been out today i think posted above foot on brake and put handbrake on you get an extra click on handbrake had are car for nearly a year and found this out last night tried today made me smile so pass it on so you can save face and a bit of money.
    #33
  35. marc_mcquilling
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    marc_mcquilling Member

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    [Mar 11, 2011]
    This happened to me yesterday although it wasn't mechanical failiure... haha.

    I had literally owned my car for 3 hours and parked it outside the girlfriends front room window and went upstairs. Later I returned downstairs to find my car no longer outside the window.

    I was convinced someone had stolen it, so I ran out the front and noticed that it was about 20m down the road, bumper to bumper with next doors car.

    Oops, lesson learnt.
    #34

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