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The 170 story so far....

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

  1. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting bowfer, any chance you could fish me out a contact address for them as I may well get in touch with my findings and list of afflicted customers (won't forward any info on those who've contacted me without express permission - don't panic! :) )

    JED, can you PM me your full name and registration for the list I'm compiling? Up to about 11 people so far :(
  2. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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  3. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    I did wonder if they'd give me the time of day as a non-subscriber but I've fired off an email all the same.
  4. trims
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    trims Member

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    I've done 5200 and only had the DPF light on once. Plenty of tractor noises early on though (I'm on Vertigo's list). I switched to using BP Diesel Ultimate about six weeks ago, in the belief that a high quality low sulphur fuel might help.

    A pattern is emerging. After about two weeks of exclusively cautious city driving (and all city driving in Nottingham has to be cautious with the number of speed cams round here) I got a faint tractor noise - and the associated idle reset at 1000rpm. A quick burn up to Leeds today and all is back to normal. Indeed I gave a lift to the guy I sold my old A4 TDI to and he commented on how smooth and quiet the 170 is.

    I suspect the problem is down to the DPF system and that it is simply not calibrated for / capable of dealing with standard UK diesel fuel. BP Ultimate is low sulphur and allegedly cleans the injectors - which might explain why I've had less of a problem recently and even when the 1000rpm switch has occured its less noticeably tractor-like. The fuel consumption is not much better though - high 30s at best - but then I am carrying a 4WD system around with me.

    I doubt if there's a simple fix for this, short of removing the DPF entirely and re-mapping the injection system . . . .
  5. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Well if there were a simple fix I think they'd have found it by now. Frankly I can't believe Audi/VAG aren't aware of this issue and you'll probably find there are some boffins beavering away somewhere, desperately trying to find the problem and a fix.

    I might try a few tanks of BP Ultimate to see what difference it makes to me and if I can track down a pattern, although I've had it happen the day after doing a 300+ mile trip.

    The only pattern I've ever found is that, if it's going to happen, it'll happen within the first 5-10 minutes of a journey. If I get further than that without it happening, then I'm safe for the remainder of the trip - guaranteed.

    I'm about to buy a VAG-COM unit so will try to do some sensor data logging with a laptop in the hope that I can catch it happening and the logs might show something up.
  6. [PT] Quattro
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    [PT] Quattro New Member

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    My DPF light never came on. I have 8750miles done now.

    It happens once a week and im not doing city driving. I always put premium fuels (usually BP ultimate or equivalent) and I can't tell any difference.

    I dont mind the tractor noise if the DPF is doing its job for the sake of the environment, what really annoys me are the related (or not) symptoms.

    The stuttering, power decrease, less mpg, oil consumption...and specially the dealers and audi general apathy to resolve the problem!!!

    C'mon! my car has about 12 months and im complaining for half and year now! I had enough!

    Cheers
  7. JED
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    JED Member

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    To add to my last post - I used to own a Sportback 2.0TDi Sportback and my daily 32 mile commute from Nottingham to Leicester consistently produced readings of about 53 - 55mpg on the computer (so about 50 to 52 as I usually subtract 3mpg from the readings as a rule of thumb).

    In my new 170 A4 I usually get a display of about 48 to 49 mpg (although I am starting to occasionally see 50 mpg) - so about 45 to 46 mpg actual which I don't suppose is that bad considering the increase in size of car etc. However, to achieve this, I have to really try hard and drive gently and coast as much as I can whilst doing 70.

    What is intersting is how much harder it is to get good fuel figures out of the new car - I used to drive a little bit quicker and a little bit harder in the Sportback and its consumption was still excellent - its average figure used to increase much faster than the A4. In the A4 it rises really slowly but drops very quickly as soon as you accelerate.
  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    That could well be the case,but will it help you ?
    I've a feeling any 'fix' will only affect new buyers.
    I suppose it's possible they might 'sneak' fixes in when your car goes for a service though.
    Can you see a very public recall happening though ?
    I doubt it very much.
  9. Scottie
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    Scottie Member

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    well I am one of those that use BP Ultimate and as yet no problems. Ultimate is the only fuel I've used since the car was new.

    However I still think the problem is linked to the DPF VW now states that the DPF it is not recommended if your doing any town driving in their brochure for the Touareg different engine but it's got to linked in some way I would have thought.
  10. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Really ?!?
    Wow,that's a weird recommendation.
    That could be used in anyone's argument for a refund from Audi.
    Misrepresentation of goods/not fit for purpose.
  11. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    I've tried various higher spec diesel fuels and still get the noises, oh well another theory gone up in smoke, talking of which, I had a cloud of white smoke overtake me when slowing down for lights one morning & yes I had the tractor sound, burning off excess deposits in the exhaust I wonder ?
  12. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    My '02 1.9tdi A4 and my '05 2.0tdi A3 have both done that on occasion.
    So that's obviously endemic to Audi diesels in general,not just ones fitted with the DPF.
    It is very disconcerting though.
    I used to assume it was someone else to begin with.
    Nope,it was me !
  13. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    But I've got a particulate filter :w00t:
  14. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Oh,I get you now.
    You mean that should stop white smoke ?
    Maybe white smoke particles are smaller than black smoke particles ?
    Maybe it's particular which particles it particulates.
  15. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    Oh, that's OK then !
  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Vertigo1 - a question for you...

    From the details that members have sent you about their 170s showing signs of the problem, do you know when they were built. My own 170 was first registered in March 2007 but was built during week 4 (week beginning 22 January 2007) and has now done nearly 9,000 miles and shows none of the symptons that are described. I nearly always use just normal Shell Diesel. Could it be that a modification or software change was introduced before mine was built.

    I also subscribe to the Audi Driver magazine and have just sent a letter to the editor, Paul Harris, to see if he is aware or has heard anything about the problem. He is in quite frequent contact with the engineers at Audi UK and also at the Audi plants in Germany.
  17. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Nice thought but already discounted that theory. We have a cross-section of 56 and 07 registered cars, the latest being new at the end of May.
  18. Jo Sharp
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    Jo Sharp Member

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    Hopefully he remembers publishing an article on this problem in his magazine a few weeks ago......:)
  19. JED
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    JED Member

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    My A4 170 was registered 13th June and built 5th May - well that's what the date on some of the components say....
  20. JED
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    JED Member

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    By the way - emailed Audi CS (the lady mentioned in some of these threads) and received a reply stating that Audi UK are NOT aware of any issues with the DPF and to take the car into my local dealer for some diagnostics tests.
  21. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Yes hopefully. I posted details of that article on this forum some 2 weeks ago including a link to the full article. As far as I know no-one has tried the suggestion in the article of adding a quality diesel fuel treatment yet. It might be worth some brave person with the problem trying it. It may make a difference it may not, but it must be worth a try.
  22. Jo Sharp
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    Jo Sharp Member

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    Doing a trawl on German Audi/VW internet forums shows some cases of this problem in germany as well.
  23. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    I've been keeping an eye on the symptoms and have noticed a few others which may help the techies figure it out. I have had an Audi Transit all day today - even when I turn off the ignition and re-start it only goes away for a few seconds then - cough- it's back again.

    Have you noticed that when in fault mode and reversing slowly (as in parking) - the exhaust makes a strange low "Thrummm" noise? It's definitely only when the idle is at 1000rpm - because if you re-boot it stops.
    I also noticed a strong burning smell from the rear of the car - presumably from the exhaust - after a short journey.

    What does the DPF sensor actually do? Is it anything to do with exhaust temperature - or does it affect it?????
  24. [PT] Quattro
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    [PT] Quattro New Member

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    Can you describe that noise better?

    Does it happens only when Transit mode is on? :)

    Because I also notice some strange sounds from the exhaust system (I guess).

    for example, I hear cracking sounds when parking even without that strange noise.

    I will definitively take the car for inspection and BHP Test in a specialized garage :keule:
  25. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Latest from me is that the guy at my dealer has been in contact with a couple of technical guys from Audi UK, which I suspect is due to the intervention of Tom Peterkin on my behalf.

    The car is booked in for two days next week and Audi UK are sending someone over to look at the car in detail. Too much to hope that the problem will occur whilst they have it but lets hope they can find something.

    Oddly, the original technical bulleting which Deborah Wood (who no longer works for Audi) provided me with details a lot of the symptoms, such as the odd idle, stuttering and so forth, it has nothing about the noise - which is the one symptom I think everyone with the problem has.

    I also mentioned the excerpt from the Touareg brochure to him, saying this sounded very suspicious. I'm more certain than ever that there's an inherent design flaw with the DPF system, I just can't explain why it only affects some people.

    Will keep you posted.
  26. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    As with the massive differences in oil consumption on the 140,it can only be down to wildly varying build/quality control,IMO.
    Any chance you can post the exact wording of the Touareg brochure ?
    I find it quite astounding that a manufacturer should recommend you avoid town driving !
    The last time I heard of this was back in the 70's,when Kawasaki's disc brakes were so bad that they recommended you didn't ride in the rain !
  27. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    You can download the brochure from the VW website but here it is in all its glory:

    Not so much a recommendation to avoid town driving, more like saying that, if you do a lot of such driving, don't order the DPF.
  28. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    LOL !
    Why the Channel Islands ?
    Why not include the Isle of Skye,Mull,Iona ?
    Audi are anti-scot now !
  29. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    VW are not recommending that you avoid town driving. What they are saying is that if you do mostly town driving and want to buy a Touareg, order one without the PDF system.

    Quite why anyone who does most town driving should want to buy a Touareg in the first place is beyond me anyway.
  30. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    Last time I looked the Channel Isles were south of Scotland !

    The reason the Channel isles wouldn't be suitable is due to their strange speed limit, 30mph I think, now what I find stranger is that most inhabitants of Channel Isles probably have a high performance car or five tucked up in one of their garages !
  31. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Where I live the only Touaregs I see are doing the usual short-hop school runs,unfortunately.
    Same with X5's,XC70's,Q4's etc.etc.
    You could tax these cars to the hilt,these people wouldn't care.
    Tell them a Touareg isn't suited to this sort of stuff and they'll just pop off the to the Volvo/BMW garage instead.
  32. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    You think I don't know that ?!?
    My point was I didn't understand why they single out that particular island,when there are plenty of other islands.
    Never mind.
  33. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Well the maximum speed limit in Jersey is 40mph so you'd never be doing anything other than "urban" driving there (theoretically at least :) ). Presume the other channel islands are much the same.
  34. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Here's an interesting article for you,Mazda had problems with DPF's some time ago.
    They recalled some 2000+ vehicles;

    "The vehicles are powered by a 2.0 liter common-rail diesel engine
    utilizing catalyzed wall-flow particulate filter and exhaust gas
    recirculation for NOx control. The filter is regenerated through the
    combined effect of the catalyst and increased combustion
    temperature, controlled by common-rail injection system. The
    problem was caused by computer software which did not properly
    control filter regeneration. All affected engines will be fitted with
    new Engine Control Units featuring updated software"
  35. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    New ECU.....ouch the'yre not cheap and aren't a 2 mintute swap, let's hope it's software related and takes only a few minutes.
  36. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    Yes - exactly right - the exhaust makes a cracking sound as if it has been red hot! - If you roll the car forward (in fault mode) and then take up drive in reverse you should hear a kind of low vibrating sound. As I say if it is not in Transit mode this doesn't happen.
  37. marklad2020
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    marklad2020 1st Gear

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    I frequently read the "Honest John" column in the Telegraph. I notice that quite frequently people write in with dealer-unsolvable problems to which a cure is miraculously found once HJ gives them a call and tells them thier product is about to get a drubbing in his column. It might be worth emailing him a summary of the problems that have been reported here?
  38. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Involving the press may eventually happen but I'm not going down that route just yet.

    The dealer are still trying to help me and I don't want to risk destroying my relationship with them by going to the press until all other avenues have been exhausted. At the end of the day, these problems are Audi's fault, not the dealer's and, as I didn't even buy the car from my current dealer, I don't really want to drag them through the mud when they're doing their best to help.
  39. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Car in today and possibly tomorrow, tech coming from Audi to look at it. Will update with progress, if any.

    Managed to get to the dealer with the problem happening last week, called them from the car as I was coming into the dealer and, as I pulled up outside, it literally stopped as they were coming out the door to listen to it!

    Anyone else had any developments?
  40. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Your car hates you Vertigo.

    ;-)

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