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Dealer issue - Haldex / rear differential

HertS3 Nov 15, 2019

  1. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    OK,
    So my car didn't sound right and I got the car towed to my local dealer.
    Two days later, I get a call from the dealer.
    First they ask if I had work done elsewhere. I said yes, I had the Haldex serviced elsewhere.
    Then she tells me that whoever worked on the car must've drained the rear differential as well as the Haldex and apparently it's been running without differential oil for over a year. Does anyone know if this is possible? The garage that serviced my Haldex said that the car wouldn't drive without differential oil for longer than a day, never mind 14 months or so!
    Anyone know something about this?
    Luckily the last time was in was with the same dealer when I said there was suspected Haldex fault and they said it was fine, so I'm going to call them back and argue this point.

    By the way they quoted north of £3,800 for new rear differential and Haldex system!
     
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  3. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Any ideas anyone about driving with no differential oil? I'm pretty sure grinding noise would very quickly manifest itself.
    Oh and surprisingly enough, no Audi cam video received...
    Fuming is an understatement.
    I'm throwing it back at them on Monday, car was in with them last Feb for suspected Haldex failure which they confirmed was OK - they should have picked up any differential issue (if there was one) back then.
     
  4. S32B

    S32B Well-Known Member Audi A5 S tronic Coupe

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    I'd imagine any moving parts that require oil and had non would sound crazy as soon as they moved, nevermind going without for over a year!

    Sounds like they are just looking for an excuse to get out of doing it under your warranty.
     
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  5. Daz4311

    Daz4311 Well-Known Member

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    Sound like audi trying to get out of it,so we all get our haldex service elsewere so the filter gets cleaned,then we have a problem,go back to audi,and then they blame someone else because we didnt get our haldex oil changed with them,****** typical
     
  6. S32B

    S32B Well-Known Member Audi A5 S tronic Coupe

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    You decided what to do/go with yours mate?
     
  7. Daz4311

    Daz4311 Well-Known Member

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    No mate,but this post deffo makes you think,im was thinking service at audi and then haldex and mot at your place but still not sure...im deffo gonna keep car till 4 years old,and i may keep it longer or if i can get a good deal on a a1 or tt may go that way
     
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  8. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    My thoughts exactly. Not going to take this lying down. Will keep you posted
     
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  9. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I would add to this.
    the rear differential is not really active all the time and for the most part it spins freely so diff isn’t actually doing anything. The rear diff only comes into play when power is sent to the rear through the Haldex system under low traction conditions. Even then the diff is only doing something if there was a speed differential between left and right wheel as that’s what a diff does it sends power to the easiest wheel to turn.
    If it was drained there will still be a little oil left in the system as there’s no way to completely get it all out without dismantling the whole thing even then the surfaces will still have a light coating of oil.
    Based on this it’s possible it could be ran for months/years without any issues/noises especially if you drive very gently.
    Essentially they are all drain plugs so it’s possible the wrong one was pulled and drained by the indie. I’m only guessing, we are all humans so mistakes happen.
    I would approach this with a 2 sided approach.
    1. wait and see what Audi has to say and hopefully they cough up.
    2. Be prepared to challenge the garage that did the oil change. Get Audi to have it in writing that the rear diff has been drained and not filled and use it as leverage.
    If it’s a car that’s never had a diff oil change then the sump plug wouldn’t have any marks from a spanner or socket on it.
    If this was the front diff or a full time awd/4wd I would have expected it start making noises/breaking pretty quickly but being a part time rear axle it’s plausible it could last months with little oil.
    Just my 2p.
     
    jassyo06, HertS3 and -Ju- like this.
  10. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Hmm interesting point and perhaps confirmed by the fact that the issue started the other night when I was accelerating a bit hard round a corner (so Haldex) would need to kick in, car had a bit of a wobble.
    Things is the indie is a personal friend so I know he's being truthful when he says the differential oil wasn't touched.
    Kind of scuppers my argument what you said, however I've still got the defence that the same Audi dealer had the car in back in February when I suspected there was a Haldex issue when my car was rolling back on ice and they said that it was completely fine, but found thermostat housing leak which I had no idea about.
    Will see how I get on tomorrow with the dealer.
     
  11. -Ju-

    -Ju- Well-Known Member Team Floret Silver SQ5 owners group VCDS Map User

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    I'd have to say this is a well thought out and very reasonable reply to the problem....not the usual it must be the Audi dealer that done it reply.
    We know the glossy showrooms are just smoke and mirrors for a lot of inept workmanship but it's not always them.

    So back to the problem.

    IF the diff is dry then its either leaked out or it's been drained out. Leaking would be very evident on the casing so you'd have to suspect it's been drained.
    How many times has worked been carried out on that area?
    I'd also have to say the standard response to have you drained the diff by mistake would be "No" and not "err yeah we may have done"
    Good luck with getting it sorted though but keep an open mind. Its certainly not your fault!
     
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  13. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    My defence is going to be that even if the indie accidentally drained the oil, the car was woth this same dealership back in Feb for the precise problem that we have now, except now the system is completely knackered.
    Had they picked up on the lack of differential oil back then, I'm guessing it would've been a simple case of filling up the oil.
    Now I'm left with a knackered unit which requires complete replacement.
    My indie friend did mention that worst case he can find a used unit and a refurbish it for a lot less than £3,800 quoted by the dealer
     
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  14. steverobertsbbc

    steverobertsbbc Active Member

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    Would the level of oil in the diff even be something that Audi would be expected to pick up on during a service inspection though? I would imagine that as it's essentially a sealed unit, the only time you would check the level would be when refilling after draining.
     
  15. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    I suppose not, but the whole reason I took the car was because it was slipping (I specifically mentioned the Haldex), so you'd think they would check Haldex and differential as they're linked!
     
  16. BrummieLad

    BrummieLad Active Member

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    I see where you’re coming from but back to the point, they wouldn’t or he expected to check the oil level, for something that’s “sealed for life”

    It’s no different to them not checking and cleaning your clogged Haldex pump, for the very same reason.

    Unfortunately it seeems your Indi might have screwed up here. If so he has most likely drained the diff, realised his mistake , and put the drain plug back on without refilling the lost fluid.

    I do hope you get it sorted though as it’s not your fault, but I can see you having a fight with Audi on this. If anything fight for sone goodwill or get a 2nd hand unit off a low mileage salvage car.
     
  17. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    I'll definitely be going down the salvage route if no joy from the dealer / Audi
     
  18. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    OK, lady at Audi sounded very unsympathetic and stated that someone definitely drained the rear diff (so I'm guessing ruling out the possibility of a leak...), couldn't care less when I stated that they were the last people to look at the car for the exact same problem (car slipping) back in February.

    Complaint lodged with Audi UK against the dealership, manager should call me back on Wednesday.
     
    KenL likes this.
  19. mike170

    mike170 Active Member

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    Feel for you Audi CS are shocking poor and like me will not even answer your questions nor have returned all my damaged parts, that I’ve paid to have replaced!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

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    The problem is that you took the car for work elsewhere, and as soon as you do that Audi blame everyone else but themselves. I had exactly the same rubbish with them basically accusing the garage who changed my clutch for being incompetent and allowing a bolt to get in through the oil filler cap resulting in a 6 grand engine repair bill. A clutch change does not require the oil filler cap to come off, plus the problems caused by the resulting damage were present before I had the clutch work done which I had some proof of. Audi were not having any of it. Based on their logic anyone who has ever had access to the car keys could have done it ... my wife? the guys who changed the tyres? maybe one of my daughters. Absolutely blooming stupid!!!

    Best of luck with this but you are in for a fight because they don't care and that's what they do. Fwiw they halved the repair bill in the end, and then payed outright for a new catalyic converter which failed 1 week after getting the car back. In effect they covered more than half the total bill which is probably a better deal than if I took them to court (likely a 50 / 50 case).

    Moral of the story: Don't take your car elsewhere whilst it is under warranty if you want it to mean something when something serious goes wrong.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  21. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Thanks Damo, it's a very sad situation when you can't even take the car somewhere else for fluids to be changed in order to avoid RIP off prices.
    Got a further call to let me know that the technician that worked on my car is off sick today so they'll get me the report and quote in writing (as I requested this morning) tomorrow.
    Couldn't resist myself and told the woman that I've lodged a complaint with Audi UK and they'll be contacting them. Different lady from this morning but same apathy, absolutely disgusting.
    Even halving the bill would leave me a touch under £2 grand, not an option.
    If they don't accept it under warranty I'll be getting a used unit refurbished and put in by my indie mechanic, obviously without warranty on that part.
    It just seems amazing how telepathic they are, straight away they were so sure that my indie drained the differential oil and it wasn't some other cause, such as a leak. Then again I don't know if they can actually prove that the oil was empty, for all I know they emptied it when the car came in.
    That's the second dealer in my area crossed off my list, it's getting further and further! All in the same group too I think (north London / Herts)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  22. -Ju-

    -Ju- Well-Known Member Team Floret Silver SQ5 owners group VCDS Map User

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    I'll be honest , I'm struggling to see how the dealer can be held responsible for what's happened unless it was them that drained it or there was a compelling reason to suspect the diff was empty when it went in for a slipping haldex.
    Maybe I've got the finer details wrong in my head but if there was no sign of leaking then why would they check a sealed unit and even if they did, wouldn't it still have resulted in the same diagnosis of a knackered diff?
    Maybe your just annoyed with them that they had a chance to find it but missed it, doesn't mean they are guilty of the original mistake though unfortunately.




    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
     
  23. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    You’ve got a point but maybe back the diff could’ve been saved? Of course we’ll never know now. It’s their attitude more than anything that gets to me, I don’t feel like they’re treating me fairly or trying to be at all sympathetic / helpful.
     
    KenL and -Ju- like this.
  24. Maco

    Maco Active Member Team Sepang Audi A4 Black Edition S tronic

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    You say your Indy is a personal friend, but how close actually are you? Close enough for him to say “No mate we definitely didn’t drain the diff” & you to be able to confidently believe him? I have a few people I would call friends in the Motor trade but when it came down to a £3800 mistake I could pretty guarantee they would swear blind they didn’t make the mistake.

    It’s a pretty rubbish situation your in if he is a genuine close friend, if Audi won’t do anything how do you argue with your friend that it was there fault.
     
  25. -Ju-

    -Ju- Well-Known Member Team Floret Silver SQ5 owners group VCDS Map User

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    I think we can all relate to that at some point.
    When they want to charge over £300 for an oil change and think that's fair, you quickly realise where their priorities lie!
    Is refilling the diff and see what happens an option?
     
  26. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    He is a close enough friend for me to believe him, plus he's been an automotive engineer his whole life so at least 20 years experience.
    Going to by what Audi are saying, the unit is knackered and needs replacing. Depending on the outcome of Audi's investigation, the car may well end up back at my friend's garage so he can have a proper look at it and see whether it's possible to reinstate it, but I don't think that's realistically going to be the case.
     
  27. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    I forgot to mention that every other mechanic my friend has spoken to has agreed that the car would not travel far without any differential oil, which strengthens my case that the cause of failure must have been a sudden depletion/leak of the diff oil
     
  28. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

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    Is it still under an approved warranty, and if so when did that start? (did you report this problem before or after 6 months into the warranty?)
     
  29. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Yes, there was a small gap (under original car owner's name) of a few months after manufacturer warranty expired before approved used warranty started, but I started a new policy in my own name as soon as the previous one ended, so there has been continuous cover throughout the whole period that this problem has been there (if indeed the car has been without diff oil for just over a year as the dealer states, which I highly doubt).

    My own policy started in June this year (Audi had my car in Feb but it had a policy in previous owner's name back then anyway, and in fact thermostat housing leak was found and repaired under the warranty)

    In short - yes, there has been extended warranty continuously for over 18 months now
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  30. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

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    Sorry I should read a bit more, within 6 months of purchase but given you had the haldex service done 14 months ago that is not the case (sales of goods act more favourable to you if within 6 months of purchase).

    I too think its highly unlikely it would survive 14 months with no oil in it. Unless they have a change of heart you will probably have to take them to court in which case you will need an independent motor engineers report to back up your claim, or rather, to show that Audis conclusion is utter garbage. The engineer will probably want to see the broken diff.
    You will also need a written statement from your mate at the garage detailing exactly what they did during the haldex service (which will coincide with what they put on your invoice anyway). You also need to get Audis conclusion in writing (if you dont have it already), and also evidence / good reasons for not going to audi for the haldex service in the first place, i.e. because they dont service the filter which causes haldex failure. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of that on here which should hopefully be enough.

    They are playing the same game with you though as they did with me, i.e. blaming the failure on another garage and claiming the fault was caused by a bad job they never did. Difficult to prove either way although no garage ever does significant work and not put it on the invoice. It is reasonable to expect that if they did actually drain and attempt to refill the rear diff they would have charged for it.

    If they receive a court summons through the post they will most likely just pay up and not bother going to court.

    The key will be the findings of that engineers report which you will have to pay for but you should be able to claim that back in court.
     
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  31. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Is that the route you took?
     
  32. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

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    I started to but after getting some legal advice it wasn't looking 100% favorable, so didnt pursue it further. As said above they ended up paying for more than half the total repair cost. If I went to court and they ruled it 50/50 then I'd end up owing them money which made me decide it was too risky. Live and learn.
     
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  34. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    I'll see how I get on with Audi UK; not holding my breath but the guy taking the details down at least seems more sympathetic than the dealers
     
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  35. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

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    Best of luck mate :)
     
  36. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Ta - should hear from Audi UK today.

    Emailed the dealer last night (Audi webchat guy didn't even have an email address for my advisor, had to guess by her name! Didn't bounce back so I think it worked) to chase up the written report and quotation that I was promised on Monday afternoon.
     
  37. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    You couldn't make this up - I've finally received written quotation, it has two(!) diff/Haldex units on there, total comes to just under £8,500.

    Spoke to Audi UK earlier, guy seemed OK however it took them two days to do nothing, he took my side of the story and will contact dealers to see how we can move forward.

    Looks like the part alone is £3,500ish so not much labour involved (4.5 hours). Quotation says (verbatim) "unit requires new diff/haldex unit 4.5 due to no oil in the diff unit (possible previous repair haldex oil change)"

    Now it's possible and not as definite as they made out on the phone...
     
  38. KenL

    KenL Well-Known Member

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    £8.5k - what a joke.

    Try and get the part from a scrappy and get your mate to fit it.
     
  39. Maco

    Maco Active Member Team Sepang Audi A4 Black Edition S tronic

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    It seems like they are trying to punish you, mistakes happen be it on your behalf or there’s. Surely they could charge you cost or slightly over cost for the part & you then cover the labour or they could even contribute towards the labour cost?

    If they are now saying it’s a possibility & not concrete then surely a middle ground could be found
     
  40. quattrorally

    quattrorally Active Member

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    isn't the burden of proof on them? if you have a quote from Audi that's says it's "possible" then that means they haven't proved it, and it surely wouldn't stand in court.


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  41. HertS3

    HertS3 Active Member It's my birthday

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    Girl from dealer called me again this morning, I was just at Eurostar so not good time to speak. Basically she said there's no evidence of a leak so they concluded that whoever changed the Haldex oil must have accidentally drained the differential, they didn't check back in February as they couldn't replicate the car slipping so as far as they're concerned the car was fine, they wouldn't start taking the car apart at the customer's cost if they couldn't replicate the fault.
    Does anyone know how I can contact Audi in Germany, as I want to know from someone who knows what they're talking about whether it's possible to drive the car with no differential oil for over a year as this doesn't seem likely to any mechanic I have spoken to (besides my local dealer, whom unfortunately are the only ones that can activate my extended warranty).
     
  42. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

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    So they are saying they don't know how its lost the oil, therefore, making guess at how it might have gone missing and making up cr@p to pass blame elsewhere. If the diff can run for 14 months with no oil then maybe it didn't have any in it when the car was built. Is 5 years any less plausible than 14 months? I still think you need to get an independent specialist report.
     
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  43. S32B

    S32B Well-Known Member Audi A5 S tronic Coupe

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    Sent you a PM mate.

    Oh and if you want to speak to the top man:
    Managing Director of Audi UK is Andrew Doyle
    andrew.doyle@audi.co.uk
    also copy your email to - executive.office@audi.co.uk
     

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