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The 170 story so far....

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

  1. ShiftyMac
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    ShiftyMac New Member

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    [Aug 24, 2007]
    Just to let you guys know I have my car re-mapped a couple of weeks ago but it only made the problems alot worse !!!

    It re-generated about every 5 mins and didn't really notice much power differences.

    I went back and they tried a second map but was still the same.

    I have had it put back to standard now and its now only re-generating and making tractor noise about 2 times a week.

    I hope they bring out updated software soon or that BM Coupe coming soon !!
  2. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Aug 25, 2007]
    Hi All

    Further to my previous pst concerning the new sensors and DPF fitted, I can now report that the car has now shown the 1000rpm tractor noise regeneration symptoms at 84 miles, 154, 347 and 352 miles!

    How can we tell what software we have - I like the sound of the software updates and a 750rpm idle - mine is between 850 and 900?
  3. thewallboy
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    thewallboy New Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    Interestingly, I have not had the "tractor" for 4-5000 miles now. Not missing it!

    Is this the longest thread ever now?

    Absolutely loving the 170. Parking it on Londons streets is giving me nightmares though!
  4. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    How many miles has yours covered now? I am coming up to 4000 now and things definitely feel like they are starting to losen up; economy seems to be improving too.

    I have noticed a quiter engine (I think) since filling up with Shell Extra.
  5. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    I've done 5950 now and noticed fuel economy getting better especially after 5000 miles.Averaging 44mpg now as against 38 over 1st 1500 miles.Never suffered from tractor noises or DPF problem and still loving it.
  6. thewallboy
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    thewallboy New Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    Getting Mid 40's (3k ave. 45.3) on most runs. I live in central London so am in traffic for at least 30 mins each journey. Not too bad really. Have covered 9k so far.

    Should have had lumbar though!
  7. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    Yeah I would say IMO lumbar and central arm rest are the most useful extras.I once had a golf without lumbar and it gave me a bad back and I inquired about retro fitting they quoted me around a grand.Needless to say I never bothered but always spec cars with lumbar now.
  8. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    That's rubbish that you don't get lumbar as standard? I have an A4 SLine and that has lumbar on both front seats?
  9. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    I had a pretty basic A4 ( tdi 130 sport ) before the A3,and it had electric lumbar.
    I therefore assumed a higher spec A3 would have it,but I was wrong.
    I have to use a MacKenzie lumbar roll in my car.
  10. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    Interesting - what changed, if anything?
  11. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 28, 2007]
    Wallboy, just found this post of yours from way back - is there any chance you could call your dealer and ask them to let you know exactly what they replaced - there's a chance they could have found the problem!
  12. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Temp fix....

    Until the ECU upgrade is released - try this:

    I noticed on a previous post some guy going on about owners not revving past 2500rpm. Also Vertigo1 said that if it doesn't happen in the first 5 minutes it won't happen during a journey... This appears to be correct and I noticed that (as I have to drive through traffic in the morining) - if you dawdle through the first few sets of lights it will become a tractor after only a minute or two!, however if you rev it hard(ish-3500rpm) during the first couple of take-ups (ie straight away) it never happens. Been trying this for two weeks and so far so good.
  13. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    It sounds as though your advise is to rev the engine hard before its warmed up and well before the oil has come up to temperature.
    Doesn't sound like a good idea for any engine!!:bye:
  14. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Yes - that's what I thought but it seems to kill the tractor...
  15. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    IF ....... the tractor noise is occuring on startup and low revs it suggests its regenerating due to a perceived build up of soot.
    How about pushing the car hard through the revs for the last five minutes of every journey so the DPF filter is cleaned out nicely for when you start up on the next journey and you maybe can use low revs without the filter thinking its clogged?

    Just a thought ........ the whole issue doesn't seem to follow any logic!! I always use low revs on the 1st few miles of any journey and never have had the problem as a result.
    The only time in 16.5k miles it happened to me was after a high speed motorway journey. The car was stopped for 1/2 hour and did the tractor noise as soon as I started the car again.
  16. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Interesting observation Ibis. I'm with coupe-se on this one, revving or loading the engine when it's stone cold doesn't sound like a good option although, as mine is leased, if the engine self-destructs as a result wtf do I care!? :)

    I think we've managed to determine beyond any reasonable doubt that the noise coincides with the regeneration cycle, the two questions are therefore why does it happen so damned often (every 100 miles or less in some instances) and why does it make the noise when it does as some say they've never had it.

    My dealer has gone quiet again, failing to reply to either of my previous two emails. I've just sent them another, stern email trying to get the ball rolling again but I'm now starting to seriously consider getting the press involved as something needs to be done to make Audi actually take this problem seriously.
  17. Twizzler
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    Twizzler Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Yep, it's undoubtedly regenerating due to a perceived build up of soot. That's what the sensors are there to detect. Out of interest, does your car use oil? I posted earlier in the thread that putting what is effectively a 2-stroke mix through the filter will clog it. Some seem to use loads of oil others none - any correlation would be interesting.
    It seems to me that regular use of the s-tronic sports mode is what's needed. That will produce engine revs that will provide a good exhaust blowout.
    I can't speak from experience - my 170 S-tronic is due for delivery in 3 weeks, its in a German port awaiting shipping. However, I have had 2 Citroen diesels from new - a BX TZD Turbo Hurricane and my present car. a Xantia 2.0 HDI Exclusive which I am about to advertise. Both were manuals. I used to drive them tenderly - ie low revs and gently. Both would fail the MOT emmision test each year until a can of diesel cleaner was added to the tank. For the last 2 years I've given the HDI a weekly blast at 5000rpm in second gear for 400 yards or so and the car has passed its emmision test first time.
    Finally, I bet many here are squirming at the thought of owning a Citroen. All I can say is that these 2 cars are the best I've ever owned. Both came fully loaded with every extra you can think of and have been 100% fault free and totally reliable. I await my new Audi with trepidation! LOL
  18. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    FWIW, mine uses virtually no oil, although my last one drank it for Britain!
  19. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Mine doesn't seem to be using much oil, even though I've had the tractor noise quite a lot.

    Interestingly though, even though I have had the tractor noise on three noticeable occasions since the DPF and sensors were replaced, the warning light has not come on yet in 900 miles, so we'll see....

    I emailed my Service Manager about getting the software updated to the latest version, but no reply yet....
  20. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Well just spoken to the dealer and apparently there's now a software update available although someone there is ringing me back on Monday to explain the exact details (bit busy there right now as 57 reg due tomorrow so they're stacked out). Car is booked in for Wednesday to have the update done, I'm wondering if this is the same update (albeit for Audi) that efc mentioned in post #314.

    Will keep you all posted with progress.
  21. Twizzler
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    Twizzler Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Vertigo and Jed,
    Do you drive your cars gently, or with gusto?
  22. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    I drive mine quite gently as I want economy on long journeys, which is why I bought it (even though I can't match the economy of the 140TDi, even though the official figures are better!).

    Vertigo: fantastic news about the software update - I will chase my dealer too.
  23. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    I drive it like a vicar until it's fully warmed up (water guage central, oil up to at least 75C+) and then I tend to drive it like I stole it :)

    Not sure on the specifics of this update just yet so don't count your chickens. I for one am trying to remain realistic about the chances of it fixing the problem although there's certainly room for optimism.
  24. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Please keep us informed :)
  25. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Sounds good with the update - looking forward to the feedback...

    With the cold revving - I only do it twice, take first gear to 3000ish then 2nd gear to 3000ish - then drive normally... So it may not be doing much damage... But mine is leased too!
  26. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 31, 2007]
    Wish I had the luxury of warming my car up.
    Within 1/2 a mile of my house,I have to join a 60mph road that is like death race 2000.
    No option but to plant the foot and have it bouncing off the limiter/traction control.
    ;-)
  27. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 3, 2007]
    Spoken to the main contact at the dealer just now - apparently the software update isn't specifically intended to fix this problem but is focused on this general area of operation (apparently). Case of wait and see what difference it makes, if any. Will keep you posted.
  28. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2007]
    Good luck Vertigo.
    Seriously,you deserve it mate.
    Patience beyond the call of duty.
  29. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2007]
    Yes good luck, let's hope this cures the problem.

    If not, perhaps someone with VAG-COM could takes some readings from my 170, which shows no signs of the problem, and compare them with yours.
  30. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 3, 2007]
    My patience is starting to wear thin tbh. The dealer guy kept reiterating that the official stance from Audi is that this is normal behaviour and the DPF is regenerating as it should. I basically told him this was rubbish.

    By their own admission, the noise has now been linked with the regeneration cycle, so the DPF must be regenerating every 100-200 miles which they can't reasonably class as "normal" in any way, shape or form.

    The other question is why some vehicles are unaffected. Either the DPFs on these cars have never had to regenerate (not likely!) or else they have regenerated but not created the noise during the process. Note that we're talking about the "forced" regeneration cycle here, which is instigated by the ECU via artificially raising the exhaust temp when the driving patterns haven't been enough to clear it out "normally", as per this article:

    http://www.audi.co.uk/audi/uk/en2/tools/glossary/engine_driveline/diesel_particulate_filter.html

    I'm giving them every chance to fix it but, at some point they're going to run out of ideas and at that time I'll have to consider my options. I've already mentioned to the dealer that I may well seek replacement of the vehicle but this would be fraught with problems due to the leased nature. The other obvious avenue is the press to see if they can bring some pressure to bear.
  31. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Sep 4, 2007]
    Good luck and keep us informed!

    Interestingly, I haven't noticed my tractor noise for a while now? I have covered about 1000 miles since the replaced DPF etc., and only observed it doing it for about the first 200 miles?

    I will keep listening out though!

    Did the guy mention anything about the update improving fuel consumption as I am still not that happy.
  32. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 4, 2007]
    Keep us updated about the tractor noise, maybe it's sorted itself out! (please god! :) )

    Regards the fuel consumption, I'm not that happy with mine either but, until now, it hadn't occurred to me that this might be related. Wonder if those with the noise issue are also getting poorer economy - that would be even more damned annoying! Didn't mention any specifics about what the update involved unfortunately.
  33. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 4, 2007]

    I think I threw this into the ring some time ago but...
    As I understand it,the ECU makes the DPF work by injecting more fuel into the engine,thereby raising temperatures ?
    The increased idle speed goes along with this.
    So,it stands to reason that those with constant recycling problems are using more fuel than those without ?
    170bhp shouldn't mean high fuel consumption.
    The Alpina D3 puts out 200bhp and seems to manage low to mid 40's no problem.
  34. Detector
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    Detector Just waiting for the green light

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    [Sep 4, 2007]
    Hi JED, sorry to be as damp squib but my car also suffers from Tractor Syndrome and just occasionaly I think I'm out of the woods, sometimes 1000+ miles but it always comes back, this leads me to believe that the regeneration occurs maybe when I'm at higher speeds and I simply don't notice it. I think we all agree that we only notice it at lower speeds when wind/road/engine noises are at their lowest, I also suspect many more people are affected but simply don't register it.
  35. trims
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    trims Member

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    [Sep 4, 2007]
    Just returned to view this thread. Since switching to BP Ultimate the tractor noises have gone away, but the engine idle does still settle at 1000rpm from time to time (which used to signal that tractor noises were imminent). Quite independently I've noticed that if the throttle is blipped as described above the idle rate settles back to 800rpm. I wonder if revving the engine resets the ECU to halt the recycling behaviour?

    I discovered this by serendipity: I'm tending to drive this engine more like a petrol as it seems to thrive on higher revs, and doesn't reward a gentle right foot with better economy - unfortunately it tends to drink like a petrol engine too. :ermm:

    Hopefully I'll clear all the soot out of the DPF with a high speed blast down to Spa for the Grand Prix, but I suspect - like others on this thread - that 'tractor' behaviour has more to do with ECU programming than the amount of soot in my DPF.
  36. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 4, 2007]
    FWIW, blipping the throttle doesn't clear the problem for me. That said, on a few occasions I've come to a complete halt and blipped the throttle a few times and sometimes it's eventually cleared but this could be merely coincidence.

    I tried a tank of Shell V-Power last time I filled up but to no avail, I've had the noise once since filling it. Could make it less frequent but I've not been using it long enough to tell for sure and at 102p/litre I'm not about to start filling it up with that stuff every time!

    Incidentally, one symptom which I have but which I've not noticed anyone else reporting is the stutter when blipping the throttle. When the noise is in effect, come to a complete halt and, in neutral or with the clutch in, blip the throttle from idle. On mine, there's a very brief stutter or "burp" when the revs start to rise. Rather than a smooth "vroooooom" up the rev range from idle, it kind of goes "vr...vroooom", with a very brief pause a split second after you hit the throttle. Kind of hard to describe really. Anyone else have the same?
  37. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2007]
    Update...

    Car is in today. Had a call from the dealer to say they've done the software update but have also decided to replace the exhaust gas temperature sensor. Not quite sure on the reasoning for this, whether this is speculative or whether they have some information that this might be a possible culprit - will quiz them more when I pick it up.

    Part is coming in tomorrow so they're hanging on to the car until then, will report back with any more info.
  38. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 5, 2007]
    Is the exhaust temp sensor before or after the DPF ?
    I'd guess after.
    Maybe the exhaust temperature goes down or up as the filter gets clogged ?
    If that's faulty,it may tell the ECU to recycle needlessly.
    Can of worms though.
    My mate had helluva running problems with his Alfa 156.
    No idle,flatspots,stuttering.
    He replaced loads of stuff,including the MAF.
    Turns out it was a tiny split in an £18 hose...
  39. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2007]
    Cars are so damned complicated these days, every problem has 100 potential causes unfortunately.
  40. JED
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    JED Member

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    [Sep 5, 2007]
    I think I had the sensors replaced (I think they told me that there was one before and one after the DPF) and the DPF replaced, but I still had three lots of tractor noises / increased idling during the first few hundred miles. However, haven't noticed it since.

    Can't wait to hear if the software update achieves anything as I will definitely be getting mine booked in....

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