Just taken ownership of 2012 A5 Coupe Quattro 3.0TDI - Thoughts and Opinions Welcome


Registered User
I've just taken ownership of my new to me 2012 A5 SE Coupe Facelift, fitted with the 3.0TDI Quattro S Tronic.

I had an A4 S Line 2.0TDI B9 2018 Avant before this, but decided it was in my personal interest to get out of my PCP contract while I could, especially with trying to save for future years etc.

Really also wanted the SE over the S line, due to the alloy wheels tyre size and suspension, I had the bigger ones on my A4 and you could feel every crease and bump in the road. I'm hoping that this decision pays off.

Purchased the A5 from a used car dealer, but found it's previous history looking through the paperwork and V5C, rightly or wrongly, I took the details of the previous owner from the V5C and looked them up on BT Directory and made a cold call to see whether they would be willing to tell me anything about the car, much to my surprise the chap was very willing to talk about it and was somewhat pleased I had, without making too many judgements, I don't think the car has had a hard life albeit on 97k miles, as he PX'd it due to needing a more comfortable car for his and his wife's "Age and health needs". He said there was no major issues with it through the ownership and his only concern was that I should buy a new battrey at some point as it is still on it's original.
Car seems well looked after with the odd age related scratch and dent. Decent spec as well including Nappa Leather and B&O

I've got a few questions though, that I'm hoping a few people can chime in on.

  1. The S tronic Gearbox and servicing - It had a S tronic service at about 40K miles, I've read the horror stories of not having it done at all or being done late / never again, however having read such stories, It is booked into a local specialist on Monday Morning for a S Tronic Oil and Filter change + Engine Oil and filter. I don't want to take any risks with it, I assume that this is a wise thing to do on the basis that it is essentially overdue for the S tronic, will any damage have been caused by it being late?
  2. There is a fault with the Xenon lights, which I obviously didn't notice on the test drive, during the middle of the day! I noticed it last night, that the headlights are only throwing about 5-10ft of light in front of the car, and I struggled to drive it home without main beam. I believe that this is the Level sensor on the front as when turning full lock they point all the way up for a few seconds and drop right back down after setting the wheel dead centre. It is booked into an independent tomorrow to get this sorted, as I do a lot of night driving, but I assume me telling them the level sensor is probably the most likely cause?
  3. I'd like to get the software and firmware updated of the MMI, however I have seen some guides online with links to this, has anyone actually used them without issue? Are there any "gotcha's" to watch out for?
  4. I'd like to get the car stage 1 remapped once the warranty with the used car dealer expires and everything is OK after a few months, is this a good and reliable investment to make on the 3.0TDI, I've read the performance gains etc, but worry about long term reliability on stock parts etc.
If anyone has anything else, that I ought to be aware of or things that I should be doing, please let me know as It will be much appreciated :rock:

Couple of pics of car attached because why not :) - Rear windows are booked to be tinted by the way.



  • 1.jpg
    248.7 KB · Views: 32
  • 2.jpg
    142 KB · Views: 31


Registered User
Congratulations on your purchase mate. The 3.0 TDI engines are real nice and reliable.

As for servicing your gearbox, better sooner than later. For a gearbox vs an engine, more miles between services is normal, but it'll do the gearbox good to have fresh oil. You can ask the garage to let you know how the oil looked, how the filter looked, etc, just for future reference.

As for your Xenon's, it is likely the level sensor. They should be at least a car and half's distance in front of you. I upgraded my D3S bulbs and H11 fog lights with much brighter bulbs. They are night and day compared to the Osram D3S xenon bulbs, as well as the stock halogen bulbs. The bright white lights suit the car well, but they don't blind people either if your bulbs are levelled correctly. Double check what ones fit yours if you do upgrade (use Halfords or something) - should be D3S and H11. I can PM you the ones I bought if you want.

As for remapping, these engines can take a lot of power and torque. You can push just a bit over 300BHP / 700NM on the standard turbo and DPF. The gearbox should be fine with that also. If you are ever in doubt, speak with bobby here on the forums. He's gotten his 3.0TDI to north of 600BHP and 1000NM just the other day, and does all the tuning himself. If you live nearby or don't mind a long drive, it'll be one heck of an investment.

Stuff i've learned from: the intake manifold on top is worth cleaning, as well as the intakes that hold the swirl flaps. They get caked up pretty bad, being a diesel and all. The DPFs are pretty strong on these, but it's worth making sure it's regenerating it regularly and is not full of soot - use something like VCDS or an OBD adaptor + free phone app to read soot and ash volume. The lower, the better. There's also a valve in the airbox that you can take out to allow a bit more air in WOT, and the airbox itself becomes a tiny bit more boomy and deeper sounding as a result. Minor, but fun :)

All the best!


Registered User
Worth getting that oil change done, gives you piece of mind. 034 Motorsport transmission mount is a really easy, cheap mod and smooths things up a bit more.

Sounds like a ballast issue with the light, I,ll second that the Osram bulbs make such a difference. Not cheap but worth it. Good luck!

I‘ve run a stage I map on mine for about 6 years now and (touch wood) no issue other than an EGR delete @ 12 months ago. Such a difference to the mid range power.