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Is my Quattro working?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by J17_KNO, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. J17_KNO
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    J17_KNO Member

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    [Mar 7, 2013]
    Good morning everyone,

    It feels like I am never off the forum with researching queries and posting questions, maybe it is just new car paranoia ha ha So I have yet another question for you all.

    First of all the car is an A3 tdi quattro 57 plate. It's been reasonably dry since I got it a couple weeks ago, and in the dry the handling is superb. However this morning on my drive to work it was raining and quite wet.

    On entering a roundabout in 2nd gear I decided to give it some power and see how the quattro did. There was a little flash of the TC/ESP light but apart from that everything seemed to work as it should with the quattro getting the power down well. I went through the next roundabout in 3rd gear and with a little bit of power (not as much as first roundabout) I noticed the front end drifting out wide. The next roundabout I was taking the left exit I planted it in second again and the TC/ESP light came on and the front did slide out a wee bit. Sorry for the essay and it's not quite as 'Fast and Furious' as it sounds ha ha

    I have thought of two possible reasons, the first being the tires and the second being the haldex isn't working. I did check the tires when I picked the car up but maybe they aren't as good as I thought. WIth regards to the Haldex i'm assuming I will need to get it scanned on VCDS to find any faults, I know a guy who can do this but he is offshore for a few weeks. It is going into AUDI for a haldex service next week so I could ask them to scan it, will they charge any extra to do it?

    And lastly is there anything I haven't thought of?

    Thanks

    Justin
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  3. veeeight
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    veeeight I am a very pretty girl

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  4. DJ-S3
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    DJ-S3 Member

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    [Mar 7, 2013]
    Quattro doesn't stop the front end under steering. Unless you keep the right foot planted long enough. But it will initially under steer horribly until some power is distributed to the rear wheels, then you might get some over steer.

    I recommend going to a place where you know your old car spun its wheels in the wet, turn your esp off and see it grip all day long.
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  5. J17_KNO
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    J17_KNO Member

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    [Mar 7, 2013]
    THanks for the replies. You have helped me understand a bit better how it works. Just to make sure I've got it, would I be right saying that one of the main purposes of quattro is to improve forward propulsion, therefore in theory, in a situation of understeer (with ESP off) if enough power was applied it would cause the car to 'drift' rather than straighten the car out? Obviously it would depend on how much power is applied, and in most situations it would infact straighten the car out.

    I think I need it to snow again and a big open space to learn how it works and how to drive it ha ha
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  6. veeeight
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    [Mar 7, 2013]
    More accurately - quattro (or pseudo-quattro in the case of the A3/S3) will improve traction, but not necessarily overall grip :p

    The first thing to establish is whether your Haldex controller and clutch is working - a greasy wet grass covered field should soon establish this.


    Because we are talking about an A3 here (and a diesel A3, heavier) - the thing to remember foremost in your mind is that the car is set up to, and will want to understeer. So, if you are already understeering, and apply more power with ESP off, and hope that the rear will cause the car to drift - it's an A3, it will just simply understeer more. Eventually, if you're lucky, and if you lift off, and re-apply, you may be lucky, the fronts may grip, and get the rears working to your advantage, and you may start to drift. But in 90% of the cases, on a wet slimy roundabout, if you're understeering under power, and you apply more power, you'll just continue to understeer.

    The only ways out of the situation above is to "drive around the limitations" (eg: hold back on the power, set the car up, then boot it very near the exit of the apex), and/or set the car up to de-stabilise it into oversteer (eg: scandinavian flick). Appropriate amounts of right foot and steering will then result in a satisfying drift.

    From a Haldex Gen 4 perspective (I think yours will be Gen 2, so not everything will apply) - If under normal driving conditions, you apply the brakes - the Haldex controller will take it out of 4 wheel drive. If you apply the handbrake - 4 wheel drive is disengaged. At slow speeds in a car park - 4 wheel drive will disengage. If the ESP light flashes - 4 wheel drive will disengage. Where the Gen 4 is a winner over Gen 2 - is that it monitors the rate throttle pedal depression - so it knows that you are wanting power and will engage the Haldex clutch immediately to give you maximum traction.

    If you elect to turn off ESP - this will switch off certain elements of the ESProgram (it will turn off traction control, letting you wheelspin and keep Haldex in 4 wheel drive) - but it will retain certain elements of the ESProgram (it will retain the yaw-stability and individual wheel braking when things get extreme). In other words, you can never switch off all the features of ESP completely (this is on Gen 4, not too sure what happens on Gen 2).

    But yes, wait till it snows, find an empty car park without hidden kerbs, and play!
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  7. J17_KNO
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    J17_KNO Member

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    [Mar 7, 2013]
    Ok I should be able to find some wet grass, I live out in the sticks ha ha but would I not need to someone to stand outside of the car to watch or would I feel all 4 wheels working?

    Apologies if I made it sound like I want to get some oversteer (which would be cool ha h) but just meant it more in a theoretical example, but either way you did answer my question! It is clear now that the performance of the haldex is more down to the way it is used than I previously thought.

    Thanks for your help, much more clued up on quattro now, and I hope it snows! ha ha
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  8. veeeight
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    veeeight I am a very pretty girl

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  9. J17_KNO
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    J17_KNO Member

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    [Mar 7, 2013]
    I will have to give it a try tonight! Thanks for your help buddy
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  10. markm3006
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    markm3006 Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    Plenty snow here today, get out & have a play :arco: :arco: :wtf:
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  11. Ben S3 8P3
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    Ben S3 8P3 Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    Quattro does not stop understeer......... :no:
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  12. Ben S3 8P3
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    Ben S3 8P3 Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    P.s, drop the clutch a bit aggressively with the traction control off and you will soon know if its working!
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  13. J17_KNO
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    J17_KNO Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    Ye was out last night having some fun......quattro is definitely working.....and it is awesome!!! ha ha
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