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The 170 story so far....

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by thewallboy, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    On Sunday .......

    After 40 or so motorways miles travelling at 70mph'ish I parked up at my sisters house.
    Afer about 2 hours I jumped in the car and the engine sounded very rough and really clanked/growled when rev'd sounding like the works old transit vans.

    The idle was steady at about 750rpm and it drove the next 3 miles through the town ok but sounded really clanky/agricultural through all the gears and only seemd to smooth out to normal at 3000rpm.

    After about 3 miles it just stopped and went to its normal smooth and reasonably quiet self.

    Is this the noise people are talking about? It was'nt that loud or that noticeable especially with the radio on. I only heard it initially as I was sat with the engine running, window down and stereo switched off (normally it comes on withe the ignition) talking to my sister before I drove off.

    Definately would NOT be a cloggged filter as I'd just travelled a good distance on the motorway and had a couple of blasts from roundabouts.
  2. Phil's Barber
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    Phil's Barber Top Gear

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    And another one. I am wondering whether this could be affecting all 170 TDIs but some are not noticing it. :think:
  3. Phil's Barber
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    Phil's Barber Top Gear

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    BTW Vertigo, email finally sent to Deborah Woods at Audi CS.
  4. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    Cheers for that Phil, although my latest email to them has resulted in a "please contact your dealer and get them to escalate it through the normal channels" message from them! Charming!

    Have forwarded said message to the dealer.
  5. trims
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    trims Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    I don't wish to sound like an advert for BP Ultimate Diesel, but the car does seem to be running better already. Much smoother, more powerful, and no tractors (touch wood). Also about 2 mpg better economy (and less CO2, allegedly). The fuel is expensive, but I reckon over 10,000 miles per year it would cost me about an extra £120. A worthwhile upgrade IMHO.

    I accept Vertigo's scepticism, and realise its early days yet, but I'm going to persevere with this expensive fuel trial. Promise to feed back if the tractors return.
  6. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Spent yesterday with a transit Audi and today it is perfect again - same fuel, same weather, same driving style, same route!

    I'm off to email Audi...

    When it does occur - rebooting (I mean turning off and on again not flooring it) fixes the problem - idle returns to normal and everything is quiet again but often returns within 30 seconds. On days like today I can't re-create the probem at all.
    Car has now done 3500 miles and the pattern hasn't changed - still totally random.
  7. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Hi Deborah,

    I am sending this through the advice on the Audi-Sport forum.

    I have a 2007 A4 Avant S-line Special with the TDI 170 DPF.

    I have returned it to my dealer on a few occasions to try to rectify the "transit van noise" which you will now be familiar with. No fault codes were found.

    I have since found the forum where other owners are encountering the same fault. This is to bring to your attention another case.

    The car runs beautifully most of the time but randomly the following occurs:

    Idle speed rises to 1000rpm
    Throttle response becomes uneven - i.e. car coughs a little when taking up drive and when releasing the throttle there is a small delay before the revs drop, acceleration is stuttery
    Noise levels increase significantly particularly al low rpm - engine sounds like a very rough diesel - hence the transit van tag

    This can be rectified by turning off the ignition and turning on again - suggesting a software problem but often returns very quickly.

    Some days the fault never occurs.

    I cannot pin point any particular driving style that causes this state although I have noticed it more in town - that may be because of the low speed though.

    Please keep me updated if any fixes become available.

    I will also post this email on the audi-sport forum.

    Many thanks
  8. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Happened to me again last night and this morning - disappeared spontaneously as I was driving today.

    This is getting intolerable - Audi CS has rebutted my email and told me to go through the dealer and I've not heard from the dealer in a week now, despite forwarding Audi's email to them.

    I'm not adversarial by nature but I'm on the brink of ringing Audi CS and screaming down the phone at them. As far as I'm concerned, either they fix this problem within the next month or two or they replace the car.
  9. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    You lot should team up and get a car mag interested in the story.
    'What Car' love stories like this,where umpteen owners report the same thing.
    Nothing gets manufacturers acting quicker than bad press.
    Unfortunate,but true.
  10. OutLore
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    OutLore VOIP Dude

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    I agree with Bowfer here - get one of the mags involved. If you get nothing from the general ones (AutoExpress, What Car etc) try the next best thing - BMW Driver.....
  11. [PT] Quattro
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    [PT] Quattro New Member

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Hi mates!

    Im from Portugal and I have the same problem so its not an UK issue.
    It's not the fuel also!

    My dealer have some complaints about this issue, they already switched some EGR valves but problem continues. They suspect its a software related problem and they are in contact with Audi. They told me to wait for an ECU update and they will call me when available.

    My car is from August 2006 and Im having this problems since december with about 5000km. Until then it was perfect, smooth and powerfull! I have now 12.000km done.

    Random "Transit Van" engine noise!
    Power issue! Looks like some horses have fled the hood! Its not so responsive anymore.
    Fuel Issue! Its consuming one or more litter per 100km than before, about 7,6L/100km motorway driving!!
    Oil...I added 1,8L till 300km ago.
    Stuttering...I could be driving with Cruise Control swiched on at about 140kmh and the throttle some times stutters a little. When this happens I know I have the "Transit Mode On", so when I slow down and lower the revs I realize its true.

    City Driving may worse this scenario, but in the past two months Im working 150km from home. Im only driving motorway and the problem continues. And believe me, its not about the speed or revs because I usually push it up to 210Kmh whenever its safe or the police is not around.

    Sorry the metic unit and eventually some english errors.

    Cheers
  12. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Cheers for that.

    Can everyone on here who's had this problem please drop me a PM with their name, model and registration. I'm going to compile a list with which to beat Audi over the head and/or possibly send to one of the magazines. Please let me know in the PM if you're happy for me to send your name and reg to Audi and/or mags.

    Cheers.
  13. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Good on you Vertigo.
    Well done sir,I salute you.
    How about going the whole hog and asking ANYONE with the problem to give you their details,including A4,Golf,Passat etc ??
    Keep us updated too.
    I don't buy many car mags,but I'll buy the one with 'your' story in it !
  14. Phil's Barber
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    Phil's Barber Top Gear

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Check PMs Vertigo.
  15. thewallboy
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    thewallboy New Member

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    I think you already have mine. I'm defo in for some biffo with Audi!!

    That said, I am now 9000 miles in and have not had the problem for the last 4000? I only had the problem 3 or 4 times early on in the cars life.
  16. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Just sent details to Vertigo
  17. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Could the mods on this site maybe split this thread and re-name it 'whatever' so that anyone with this specific problem can find info on it easily. Judging by the number of views this thread has acheived we either have a bigger problem than we first thought or else VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda are watching what's going on regularly
  18. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    So that's like 4 or 5 people on here willing to report it ?
    Given that the A3 forum isn't that big,it looks like it might be a fair ol percentage of 170 engines with problems.
    Crikey.
  19. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 6, 2007]
    Thanks to all those who've sent details and to those who do so in the future. Easier to say it here rather than replying to each PM.

    I'll let you know as and when I do anything with the details - for now I've just shot a rather agressive email back at Caroline Cox, who sent me the "we can't help - contact your dealer" response described above, saying this is not acceptable. Since this issue is affecting many customers, it's no longer a dealer issue but something which Audi CS needs to take very seriously.

    Will see what comes of it and will give Deborah Wood a call on Monday. Might call Tom Peterkin too as I have his direct number.

    Will keep you posted of any developments.

    PS. I've also posted this request for details on the Tyresmoke and uk-mkivs forums, albeit asking for emails to vertigo1@iconia.org.uk rather than PMs - feel free to repeat the request anywhere else you feel is appropriate with this email address - the more people we can get the better.
  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 7, 2007]
    I have just been reading an article in the July issue of the Audi Driver magazine entitled Diesel efficiency by Ben Williamson and part of the article may possibly be relevant to the problems so of you are having with your 2.0TDI-170 engines.




    Part of the article talks about the possibility, when some diesel with a low cetane rating, and of general poor quality, is used, deposits of carbon from the incomplete burning of the fuel, build upon the tip of the injector nozzle. The effect this has is to reduce the outlet pressure and adversely effect the spray pattern. When this happens the fuel does not completely atomise and so enters the combustion chamber in liquid form.

    Luckily the engines are very strong and any mechanical defect caused by this would take many thousands of miles to appear, but what does become apparent is an unpleasant knocking or rattling noise, especially at tick-over. This noise is the piston colliding with the liquid fuel. As it is at the top of the engine the noise can easily be misconstrued as camshaft or tappet wear. The noise is transmitted through the metal engine components and is really very noticeable. The other symptoms are likely to be a drop in engine performance, poor cold starting and excessive smoke, but the last two are not always present.

    Luckily the fix, in most cases, is very inexpensive and quick. Adding a quality fuel treatment to the diesel nearly always does the job of cleaning the injectors and the rest of the system enough to clear the fault. In my workshop we use Forte Diesel Treatment and, due to its cetane-boosting characteristic, this even boots performance, just as super-unleaded does for petrol engines. To ensure the treatment can do its job, wait until the tank is half-full of good quality diesel. Pour in the fuel additive and drive until the tank is nearly empty. You should notice an improvement straight away, but two or three applications may be needed if the build-up is especially bad. Even after the fault is cleared, the PD units are likely to suffer from a little extra wear, so using quality fuel and a treatment once every three months or so should keep your TDI going like a GTI.

    Here is a link to a copy of the full article Diesel efficiency
  21. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 7, 2007]
    Thanks for that Dave.

    Had another rebuttal email from Audi UK so just been down the dealer and had a long chat with one of the managers there.

    As Audi UK aren't talking to me any more there seems little point in forwarding the details people have sent me to them so I'm going to pass them to the guy at my dealer for investigation and forwarding to Audi UK.
  22. trims
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    trims Member

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    [Jul 7, 2007]
    Thanks Dave. This might explain the noticeable improvement in performance I've had since switching to BP Ultimate, having previously used the local Total garage or cheap Tesco (Esso) diesel offerings.

    Having said that, I've never had a problem with these fuels in either my previous A4 (115PS PD unit) or my wife's Sharan (130PS PD unit). Perhaps the finer tolerances and higher fuel flow of the 170PS piezo injectors require better fuel?

    On average (brim to brim) I'm getting around 36mpg for my type of driving with a 4WD 170PS A3 cf 44mpg for the 2WD 115PS A4. On long runs I get 42mpg for the A3 cf 50mpg+ for the old A4.

    But I'm not sure that fuel quality fully explains the problem. Why is it so random? And why does the idle speed rise to 1000rpm in 'tractor mode' (cf 800rpm normally)? I suspect, as others have suggested, that there's an ECU program fault, linked to DPF sensor readings. I'd like Audi UK to investigate this, given the number of complaints voiced on this list.

    I've PM'd Vertigo to add my name to his list.

    Good luck mate!
  23. [PT] Quattro
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    [PT] Quattro New Member

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    [Jul 7, 2007]
    Thanks Dave!

    What do you guys think about these Fuel Treatment additives like Forte or STP?


    If you look at your car manual, Audi clearly states that you shouldn't mix with Diesel any type of "fluidifying", petrol or other similar products.

    Can this type of products damage your engine or exhaust system like the catalyser or Diesel Particle Filter?


    Do they really get the job done or is just marketing Bull****?

    I must say I do not feel comfortable using this type of products, specially in a new car and during warranty...

    C'mon...we are talking about new cars! Mine has less than one year and about 8100miles done!

    Even using poor quality fuel (usually I put premium fuels like BP ultimate), is this supposed to happen in such short period of time? So, what is the Fuel filter doing there?

    and why is not happening with the 2.0Tdi 140HP?

    Cheers!
  24. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 8, 2007]
    Ok, went into my dealer on Saturday afternoon and had a long chat with one of the managers there. He's said he's going to pick up the baton on this and get in touch with Audi UK about it.

    I've told him I will forward the names and registrations of everyone I know of with the issue in the hope that some commonality can be found between them and also to emphasise the scale of the problem. I shall also forward the details of those who don't have Audis - not sure whether they'll be able to do anything about these but at least it will help demonstrate how widespread it is.

    So far I have 8 people (not including myself), breaking down as 5 Audis, 2 VWs and 1 Skoda.

    Please spread the word about this, including my email address, to as many people you can and on any forums you think might be appropriate.

    If, in due course, I still get no joy from Audi UK or my dealer, then I will look at getting the press involved to bring some pressure to bear on Audi UK. If and when it comes to this, rest assured I will ask for permission from everyone on my list before forwarding any details.
  25. leonfr
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    leonfr New Member

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    [Jul 10, 2007]
    following a heads up from detector i have passed this link on to seatcupra.net to see if there are any leon owners with similar experiences.

    i (touch wood) have not had this on my leon fr however do have an issue with the clutch which also seems to be a common problem.
  26. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 11, 2007]
    Ok thanks for that. Am now in contact with Tom Peterkin about this too.
  27. Jono
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    Jono New Member

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    [Jul 11, 2007]
    Hi there,

    I have a 2007 Seat Leon FR TDI, which has the same engine as you guys have in your posher-than-mine car :crying:

    I've had it for about 2 months and done coming up to 4000 miles. Most of which have been the 70 mile round trip to work and back, mostly A roads, bit of residential/30mph stuff and about 1000 of Motorway.

    Anyway, from as long as I can remember first noticing it (after about 500) miles I've had a kind of vibratey agricultural noise coming from somewhere in the engine bay.

    It just sounds that from 1250-2000rpm there's *something* vibrating against something else, not sure if it's a pipe rubbing against something, or something in the engine.

    It does NOT occur when the engine is cold cold. It occurs from a few mins after it's been running and can be heard for the remainder of the journey. In any gear, at any speed, in the rev range I mentioned.

    As far as I can tell, it doesn't appear to affect performance - it just sounds....well, more annoying than anything else to be quite honest.

    I've had it back to the dealers and went out with a mechanic to see if he could hear the noise, but it was a few weeks ago when it was absolutely tipping it down and although he could hear *something*, he thought, he couldn't be sure.

    I know it's not the air intake box thing.

    But other than sounding like a tractor/transit/taxi - switching it off for a few mins mid journey doesn't seem to fix it - but i'll try again on the way to work. I don't get any engine stuttering, rough idling (always seems to idle around 900rpm, but I've not really been looking - will do so more in future), and never had any fault lights nor the DPF light coming on when it's been driven. Never had the limp home mode either.

    However! There's quite a few people I know of who HAVE has the same issues you've had, over at seatcupra.net forums.... Someone posted on there today with a link to this very thread, which is why I'm here. No doubt someone else from SC will follow me.

    But aware as I am with all the potential problems, I'm keeping a beady eye on others' problems in case mine should suffer the same.

    Has anyone else had the "noise" thing I've described - along with no other (noticable) side effects? I don't think the layout of the engine bay would be THAT different, would it?

    Cheers, and good luck to you all!
  28. s0ck
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    s0ck New Member

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Hi :)
    Was just flicking through this thread for info on the 170. Anyway, I had a similar problem to the 'transit' noise some of you have heard on another vehicle. As I recall, it was a faulty crank sensor randomly throwing out the pump timing. I presume this was messing with the 'pilot injection' mentioned earlier in this thread.
    New crank sensor = no more transit noises :)
    Might be worth passing that onto Audi to see if this changed between the models etc.
  29. charlie_brown
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    charlie_brown Say 'no' to tractor noises...

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Hi - glad I found this thread, currently on the verge of buying a new-ish A3 Sportback TDI170.

    I'm taking a 4-month old ex-demo model with 1k on the clock for a test drive on Saturday (thru an official Audi dealer) - I will certainly listen out for agricultural noises, anyone reckon it's worth asking the dealer up-front about these problems? Anything I should look for in the logbook?

    Good luck with Audi CS, I will be closely following this forum...

    Charlie
  30. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Hi CB, I doubt whether any dealer worth his salt will put his hand up to this even if they were aware, there will be nothing logged for the problem as they still appear to be unsure of what it is. I wouldn't let it put you off buying one though !

    Just noticed your little ditty under your name :)
  31. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Thanks for the info, would you mind PMing me with as much detail as possible about this, such as the car model & reg and which dealer dealt with the problem? Thanks.

    Latest from me is that I'm rapidly approaching a brick wall :(

    Had another lengthy chat with the service team leader at the local dealer and he's basically saying that there's not much they can do themselves. I sort of see his point as they've had the car for inspection a few times and not managed to reproduce the noise and have speculatively replaced a couple of parts to no avail. The problem is obviously more deep-rooted and he says that, without Audi UK's help, there's not much more they can do.

    Regards getting help from Audi UK though, he admitted he'd had much the same response from them that I had, i.e. "sorry can't help". This is astonishing tbh - Audi UK won't even talk to their dealers about it! It appears my routes into Audi UK with regard to this problem are being closed off one by one.

    I have dropped an email to Tom Peterkin about the problem and, although he responded straight away asking for more details, I've yet to hear back from him despite sending another email a couple of days ago.

    There is of course the option of going to the press but my first problem is who do I contact? I've got a feeling the mainstream press aren't likely to be interested in a "slight noise" from a diesel engine (hardly up there with the Renault bonnets flying open after all!) and, if I went to one of the VAG/Audi specific publications, I'm not sure how "in bed" they are with the brand or the group and thus how tenacious or objective they'd be in pressing the issue. The other problem with going this route is I'd be straining what relationship I have left with Audi and the dealer. Whilst I have no problem straining my relationship with Audi, as I have none, the dealer has been very helpful and have tried their best to help so far and I don't really want to drop them in the ****.

    The final avenue I have is the lease company although how interested they'll be I don't know. I have also mentioned in passing to the dealer about formally rejecting the vehicle and demanding a replacement but quite how this would work given that I don't own it, I don't know. Perhaps I could get them to pay the early return penalty the lease company levies and just hand it back?

    Really don't know which way to turn right now, getting rather exasperated with the whole affair :(
  32. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Right off the top of my head,'Which','What Car' and 'Autoexpress' all often feature consumer related problems.
    Sone of them are dead trivial compared with this too.
    If they're willing to assist consumers with sticky seat runners,I'd bet a fair sum they'd be interested in this !
    Of the three I've mentioned,I reckon 'What Car' is your best bet.
  33. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Well I'll bear it in mind but it really the last resort, when all other avenues have failed as, should the press not be able to help out, the fact that I've involved them could well work against me with Audi UK.
  34. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    I really don't think that's anything to be scared of.
    One of the most common solutions they end up with is the dealer/manufacturer 'buying back' the car for an agreed price.
    I realy don't think your name will 'light up' the computers at Audi Cs in future.
    I can't see you being a marked man !
    You're just a number to them.
    A faceless entry on a PC.
    Has it plus points as well as its minus points.
  35. d3fy
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    d3fy Active Member

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    [Jul 19, 2007]
    Those that cry the loudest get the most attention. Trust me I have managed customer service teams for years. If you’re regulated, complain to the regulator. If you have Directors, get their home address and send them all a letter. Email every contact email you can find, like exec office, CEO office etc. The more pain you cause the quicker they will be to react. Park the car outside the dealers entrance with some posters in the windows explaining the problem, stand and hand out flyer to prospective customers, all depends on how big a problem it is to you.

    All wrong of course, they should just address the problem of the unhappy customer in the first place, but the car industry is let’s face it, pretty damn poor at best.
  36. ShiftyMac
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    ShiftyMac New Member

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    [Jul 20, 2007]
    Hi Guys,

    Mine has started to make the noise yet again after a good few months of it ok after the DPF sensor was replaced when filter clogged and it went into limp home mode.

    I will be contacting my dealer on Monday morning to get it in to them to have a look at again.

    Will let you know how i get on
  37. [PT] Quattro
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    [PT] Quattro New Member

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    [Jul 21, 2007]
    I'm sorry to hear about that ShiftyMac :notme:

    Please let us know about your progress


    Does anybody feel the car different apart from that lousy noise?

    like, less power, less responsive to gas pedal, bad milage?

    Cheers
  38. ShiftyMac
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    ShiftyMac New Member

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    [Jul 21, 2007]
    The car definately feels different - More laggy and less resonsive and if you hold the throttle about 3000rpm when stationary you can feel the engine is very lumpy.

    I personally think that it is a software issue that makes the DPF re-generate all the time and that is when the car makes the noise due to having to add extra fuel to increase the exhaust temp.

    I think I will be getting rid of mine just shortly for a 320D coupe !!!
  39. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Jul 23, 2007]
    Hi All

    I took delivery of a 170 TDi A4 S Line about a month ago and to date have covered about 1900 miles. My DPF light has come on about 6 times in that time - is this normal? I have it booked into the dealer this Friday for them to clear it - they say they need to hold it at 2000rpm for about 1 hour to fully empty the canister! How much diesel is this going to cost me I wonder? The light came on after about 20 miles from new - surely it couldn't be full this early on??

    Also, I too have experience the tractor noise - only this morning the revs were at about 1000 for about the first 5 miles of my journey and also it sounded van like in 1st and 2nd gears under acceleration.

    I will ask the dealer on Friday to investigate, but I'm sure I'll get nowhere.

    Cheers.
  40. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jul 23, 2007]
    'Which' seem to have got wind of this problem.
    Whilst flicking through a reliability index supplement that my mate gave me,they made mention of "latest Audi diesels giving reliability concerns".
    They can only mean the 170,as the 140 cannot be classed as the 'latest' diesels.

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