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Petrol Ped YouTube Review of Diesel S4 Avant from long term petrol S4 Avant enthusiast

WarwickBoy Nov 15, 2019

  1. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    A review just posted from Petrol Ped who is a long term owner of various petrol S4 Avant. Just posted.



    Interesting to see what he thinks, and whether he makes any of the points I made in my review (yet to watch).

    I test drove the following vehicles back-to-back to see which I liked the best
    • Audi S4 Avant (2018) 6 cylinder 3.0L petrol (354 PS) petrol model - CO2 emissions combined (National V) of 175g/km with combined cycle 7.7l/100 km 0-60 in 4.9 secs
    • Audi S4 Avant (2019) turbocharged diesel V6 with 48V mild-hybrid, -CO2 emissions combined 166 g/km with combined cycle of 44.8 (NECD) 0-60 in 4.9 secs
    The diesel also has a system called AdBlue which is a liquid solution of urea (the stuff found in urine), and when it meets a hot exhaust system it releases ammonia which is a catalyst to a chemical reaction that converts dangerous Nitrogen Oxides into two harmless products – water vapour and Nitrogen

    I drove the petrol first, then the diesel

    Engine Sounds
    • The petrol was very smooth, with a classic petrol rev sounds.
    • The diesel was a more grunty/grainy sound. I understand it is acoustically enhanced. Not as nice as the petrol but perfectly fine.
    Handling and Performance
    • Both cars handled very similarly, were both 4 wheel drive and felt fast.
    • The petrol somehow felt faster at the same speeds as the diesel which seemed to reach higher speeds with less fuss and you had to keep a close eye on the speedometer to ensure you did not go over the limit.
    • The performance felt the same. I did not notice any turbo lag from the diesel (apparently addressed by the mild hybrid system).
    Technology
    • Both had Virtual Cockpits. The 2019 car had a newer system that looked a little more clear (with slightly larger central screen with touch) whereas the 2018 car had a MMI system.
    • In the news car the VC looked sharper and had driving tip pop ups with I liked
    Which car did I like best?

    • From a pure driving experience/sound experience I liked the 2018 petrol car better
    Which car would I buy?
    • Taking a real world view, and thinking about emissions, cost of motoring, and given the similarities of the cars performance I would go for the diesel, on the basis it handled the same, would ultimately have lower emissions and running costs, and be a year newer, taking into account when financed, due to lower APR on a new diesel car the costs were not that different for the buyer for a 1 year old petrol, despite the diesel being ~£10k more if bought outright.
    • If finances were less of an issue I would go for a Audi RS4 Avant when the new model comes out :)

    My conclusion
    • Audi have done a great job with new diesel S4. Purists (petrolheads) probably won't like it as much as the petrol version but it's almost as good, and as a practical car it is a better option.
     
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  3. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 840i GC

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    I've finally driven a new S4. It wasnt as bad as I had imagined but not a patch on a petrol one. You drive it like you do any other diesel just surfing the torque. On a really cheap lease I'd consider one but otherwise it's a firm no from me.
     
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  4. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Yes, as per my (and Paul's review) the joy of the new diesel is the 700Nm torqe and the brilliant mid-range performance. But while performance is very similar the engine noise/experience is lacking compared to the petrol (despite some artificial noise generation tech).. An outgoing petrol model is more expensive on lease finance than a new diesel which was a factor in my decision. Is there is a possibility well looked after 2018 petrol A4 Avants could become a future classic and go up in value?

    A lot of the comments on Petrol Ped's video say that the mpg of the diesel may go up with age (is that something that typically happens). As well as petrol being significantly cheaper that DERV what everyone overlooked is the diesel also needs Ad Blue being topped up every few thousand miles and at £10 per 10 litre this needs to be factored in.

    Something I was not aware of with respect to Avants in general (but that is mentioned on this review https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/car-reviews/audi/a4/a4-avant/ and only apply to sub 2 litre models) is that there are two no cost options for tanks
    - Higher capacity fuel tank - 54 L (rather than 40L tank )
    - Higher capacity AdBlue tank - 12L (rather than 24L)

    I *think* the S4 Avant has a 58L fuel tank and a 24L AdBlue tank as standard.
     
  5. ZZidane

    ZZidane Registered User

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    For someone like me who has had diesel in my last 5 cars, I think it would be a dream car for me if I was able to afford stepping up to that level in the range.

    But I can imagine petrol people are not that keen.
     
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  6. Andy101

    Andy101 Registered User

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    Adblue is more of an inconvenience that a cost matter. Its not nice stuff to handle, does not get on well with paintwork or your shoes, and unscrewing the cap using a socket becomes a bit of a pain (I am high milage so it is a regular chore).

    The larger 24l Adblue tank is a £60 option in combination with the non cost option of the larger fuel tank. If you are buying a diesel defo go for the option.

    Cost shouldn't really come in to the equation. If 68p a litre (from the pump serving HGV's) is an issue - i.e. about £15 a fill that will last 8,000 miles or so, may I politely suggest that running a S4 isn't for you.

    Diesel is a more relaxing drive, which suits my miles up and down motorways. A relaxing drive is not usually on the agenda of an S4 driver though so i fully accept the comments that petrol is better.

    Personally I'd take either give the opportunity.
     
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  7. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Both diesel and petrol are good. In my car history I’ve had both petrol, diesel and electric.
    Doors/fuel
    Ford Fiesta (2p)
    BMW 316i coupe E36 ( 2p)
    BMW 318i couple E36 (2p)
    Audi 2.4 SE sedan (4p)
    BMW 330d E46 (4d)
    BMW 335i (last generation) coupe (2p)
    BMW 520d touring 63 plate (4d)
    Nissan Leaf 1st generation (4e)*
    Mini John Cooper Works convertible (2p)*

    Got a S4 Avant TDI (4d) on the way. It’s my first 4x4 car.

    The 335i was the most fun, yet the least reliable. The 520d and Leaf tie for the best car. I’m hoping the S4 oil burner will be my best yet.

    Must have car features for me
    - Upgraded stereo
    - DAB radio for the cricket

    *denotes a British built car.
     
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  8. JohnNW

    JohnNW Registered User

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    I note in the video that he suggests diesel is more expensive than petrol, but if you use Tesco Momentum (or similar) then diesel is typically 5p/lt less expensive (£1.27 v £1.32).

    Given that a petrol S4 is likely to average 28 mpg and I would imagine the comparable figure for the diesel S4 is likely to be 38 mpg, then over 10K miles per year, the new S4 is going to cost roughly £55 / month less in fuel costs than the petrol one. Add in possibly lower PCP costs, then it could save you maybe £100 / mth. Not an amount to be sniffed at, but then not really a deal breaker either.

    Personally, I like the new S4 and like that Audi has done something different in this sector.

    With a possible change in circumstances in the not too distant future (meaning some long trips once or twice a month), the S4 will certainly be on my car replacement list.
     
  9. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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  10. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Diesel cheaper that petrol? I have not seen this near me since the late 1990s. Have other seen this? Where in the country is diesel cheaper that petrol? In my stomping grounds (London and West Midlands) at Tesco diesel is the more expensive?

    Please can you give an example of a Tesco where this is the case and I'll fill up there!

    Cheers,

    WarwickBoy


    upload_2019-11-22_17-27-51.png
     
  11. shadenville

    shadenville Registered User

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    Well, you’ve stated it yourself - diesel 125 and SUL 127 - diesel is cheaper than unleaded (if you use Momentum / SUL as was mentioned).



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. JohnNW

    JohnNW Registered User

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    So that brings the fuel cost savings of the diesel down to around £22 / mth, so with cheaper PCP payment a saving of maybe £75 / mth tops?

    As per your post showing diesel 2p/lt less than SUL.
     
  14. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Hi shadenville . I think you might not be comparing like with like? A valid comparison for equivalent models (i.e. standard or sporty) the petrol is cheaper. I think you might be comparing the cost of the super unleaded with a standard diesel grade.

    upload_2019-11-22_19-23-30.png

    Example with a garage supplying all 4 fuel types. In both standard and super grades the petrol is cheaper.
    upload_2019-11-22_19-25-46.png


    I'm getting an Audi S4 Avant TDI so will need Premium Diesel (143.p) which is I compare with the outgoing Audi S4 Petrol which would need Super Unleaded, which is 139.9p which is cheaper?

    Unless I have missed something (and I may well have :laughing: )
     
  15. shadenville

    shadenville Registered User

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    Yes, if we ignore the dubious (if any) performance benefit of premium diesel then you’re correct.

    Most S4 petrol owners will use SUL as a minimum - I’d anticipate most S4 diesel owners just using regular diesel as there’s no performance benefit from premium - so with the S4 a more realistic comparison is SUL vs regular diesel.

    Obviously if you choose the premium diesel pump then it’s hugely more expensive.

    Given the MPG of both the B9 petrol and diesel S4, and the difference in fuel price, using a premium diesel is going to completely negate any minimal MPG gain of the diesel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Keef

    Keef Registered User

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    I’m currently on an S4 PCP deal (2017) due to cease in March next year, dealer is desperate to sell me a new S4 TDi, even with 18% discount due to increased APR, deal is know where near as good as my current deal
    So regardless of fuel price, I don’t personally see a saving. That said I don’t want a diesel as only do about 12k per year

    ps I think petrol ped review is very weak! Doesn’t even mention fake exhaust or that fake Bonet air vent, yuk!
     
  17. Dippy

    Dippy Registered User

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    The world of S-cars has definitely changed. When I bought my first in 2001, forums were all about performance and tuning. Now they just seem to be about fuel economy.

    Not that anyone here cares, but I can't see how the S4 competes even on fuel economy. A Tesla 3 long range is about the same price, has better economy, better performance, and doesn't poison children when you drive past.
     
  18. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    I guess as adults we're safe then ;-)
     
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  19. Audidi

    Audidi Useful idiot

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    I thought children nowadays are more at risk of poisoning themselves with vape pens ;)
     
  20. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 840i GC

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    But it's also utterly devoid of fun and terribly built and please dont preach about exhaust fumes in here it's the wrong place. Go find a Tesla forum.
     
  21. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 840i GC

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    20191123_200226.jpg
     
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  22. Audidi

    Audidi Useful idiot

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    Add this face and an arrow pointing to the exhaust tips.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 840i GC

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    She's on my dartboard and has many 'freckles'
     
  24. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    I collected my diesel S4 Avant from the dealer and one of my questions was about the recommended fuel. The dealer pretty much said exactly what shadenville has said. There is no point in using premium diesel, there is no performance benefit. Whereas in the petrol S4 there would be a benefit.

    So, you were 100% correct shadenville, and I will be using the cheapest diesel I can find for my motoring.

    I'm loving the car. It's very smooth and the mild hybrid seems to be making up for any turbo lag. I'm even liking the noise. Just need to work out how all the tech works. Thanks guys for responding to my thread.
     
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  25. SiPie

    SiPie Registered User

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    Is your avatar really a picture of some fake exhaust tips … or is that from a previous car with real ones ? :blink:
     
  26. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Yes, from the S4 Avant I test drove (hence the nice tiled Audi showroom floor). I now have my car so can send some photos of both the fake exhaust tips and the real ones side by side if you are interested.

    So far really loving the car and the engine. I was worried about going for an oil burner I must admit, but it is smooth and fun.
     
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  27. Nham68

    Nham68 Registered User

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    the electricity to charge a Tesla just magically appears, pollution free then ?
     
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  28. terminator x

    terminator x Registered User

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    As said before the S4 should never have been diesel. Offer up a performance diesel no worries but the S4, no way!

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
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  29. SiPie

    SiPie Registered User

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    Very kind offer but I’ll just have a look in my garage at my real ones

    Glad you enjoying the car though :thumbs up:
     
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  30. Zippytoo

    Zippytoo Registered User

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    I've had my lease S4 TDI saloon for two and a half months now and, after 2500 miles or so, it's time for a first review. It took the place of a leased Golf R Estate which I had for three years, so I feel I can make a pretty well informed comparison.

    Exterior
    Looks - I know they've divided opinion but I quite like the looks of the new A4/S4, though I think a darker colour suits it better (mine's Navarra Blue). I even quite like the narrow design 'vent' (I know it's not a real vent) at the base of the bonnet. The now standard '5-spoke-V' 19's are, I think, much nicer than the standard wheels of the previous S4. I won't dwell on the fake exhausts on the offside - they don't bother me greatly but they are a c*ap idea. The headlights are really good and have a fairly fast acting auto dip mode (faster than my MX-5, anyway). I'd have taken the matrix option if a) it wasn't a lease car and b) they were even an option at the time!

    Interior
    This is a really nice place to be with much better material, fit and finish than the Golf. No squeaks or rattles at all, now that I've worked out how to stop the front passenger seat belt buckle from banging against the side of the seat / B pillar by adjusting the buckle height. The seats are comfortable and there's decent room for five adults, marginally better than the Golf. Coming from an estate I was a little worried about boot space but it's more than enough. The only obvious issue is carrying large objects e.g. on the tidy tip run (which was never an issue in the Golf Estate). No spare wheel is a bit of a concern.

    The infotainment screen is really good and is very easy to use when the car is stationary. However, it is awkward on the move as you have little option but to glance away from the road ahead. Sometimes this means I hit the wrong icon. I would have preferred the MMI wheel in addition. The VCP is very good indeed, with crisp, responsive graphics. The infotainment has been a bit glitchy - occasionally it doesn't let me log on as a user (or it takes a few attempts) and inexplicably it's switched itself off altogether a few times. The sound through the standard speakers is decent and an improvement on the Golf.

    Fault
    A few weeks ago whilst driving in slow traffic, the VCP suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree - very seasonal! There were no fewer than 7 faults listed: stabilisation control (ESC/ABS); TPMS tyre pressure; parking brake; drive system; Audi adaptive light; Audi pre-sense; and safety system! I tried the stop, switch off and re-start option but that had no effect. Fortunately, the car drove fine still so, long story short, I managed to get it to my dealership (whilst the fault should not have happened, they looked after me superbly). The fault was identified and fixed the next day, after a faulty speed sensor was diagnosed on the rear offside wheel (it was showing a permanent speed recording of just under 2500mph - the S4 is quick, but not that quick!). Anyway, all fixed now and fingers crossed no more issues.

    Drive
    The suspension is a little firmer than the Golf but only marginally. You can definitely feel the extra weight though: a) the S4 feels more 'planted', as well as being / feeling wider; and b) it's not as fleet a foot as the Golf: the Golf was a little more 'fun' to drive fast on the 'twisties'. However, the Audi is much the better car for driving in 'normal' / 'commuting' mode (but then my MX-5 is quite a bit slower than both and it's more 'fun' than either!). That said, the S4 definitely feels quite a bit faster: it has got truly immense mid-range poke. In gear and on the move, I'm pretty sure the Golf would be left firmly behind. TBH, I don't much miss the 'revving out' of the petrol Golf because by the time that the torque has been surfed, in any meaningful way, the speed limit has already been very well met. As such, the S4 is a much more relaxing car to drive but even quicker when the mood takes you. For a diesel it's got a surprisingly great grumble / roar on semi or full chat, much more pleasant than the four pot Golf even if it's not quite as good as a petrol V6. It does have a little diesel chatter on idle but several colleagues and strangers have commented on how nice the exhaust note sounds from the outside and had assumed it was a petrol V6 or V8...

    Of course, the S4 TDI has a DPF and a couple of times I've been caught out switching off mid recycle (which isn't great for the car). Unlike my previous diesel car, it's hard to tell that the S4 is doing a recycle unless a) you remember to look out for the stop / start not kicking in; b) you monitor the engine temperature (it goes up to around 110C); or c) you open the door before turning off the ignition (and detect the telltale burning smell). Usually you can tell a diesel car is cleaning its DPF from a a short-term, noticeable drop in fuel economy but the drop in the S4 is pretty marginal (probably because it's much less in percentage terms, at least compared with a Skoda Octavia Scout!).

    The brakes are very effective and progressive. The auto box is mostly very good. Every so often you can catch it out with a sharper throttle input but it's easy to get around using a paddle change or sports mode.

    Running Costs
    Despite a massive 17 month WLTP linked delay, I hung on to my lease order having originally ordered a petrol S4 (it was a good deal then and got even better with the price hike and all the additional standard equipment). I was expecting the insurance premium to be higher than the Golf (group 41 versus 34) but nevertheless was surprised when my existing insurer advised that they could not cover the S4 - fortunately I managed to get cover elsewhere for not too much more than the Golf. It's worth checking this point ahead of delivery (or order!). I'd quite expect many people to scoff at my next comment bearing in mind I'm talking about an 'S' but I've found the mild hybrid quite intriguing in that it encourages me to get the engine to switch off whilst still moving, saving fuel. The battery doesn't provide any drive but it does keep all the other systems going when you're foot is off the gas (like a long coast down hill). I've managed well over half a mile without the engine on at all! Foot off the gas and approaching a junction / roundabout (the car tells you this automatically, using SatNav information, via the by displaying a green 'foot off the gas' icon in the VCP), you can also feel a stronger degree of engine braking as the battery regenerates.

    So, finally the MPG (for most buying a diesel S4 this would likely be a pretty major consideration). Much of my driving is a reasonably tame 25 mile commute, mainly on A / B roads with a little town driving too. The Golf R averaged 31mpg. The S4 has less than 2500 miles on the clock so I'm expecting / hoping it's current 38mpg to improve. Still, despite Shell V Power diesel being 3ppg more than V Power petrol, it's saving me a reasonable if not earth shattering £31 per month.

    Summary
    I agree with most of the online video reviews. The S4 TDI is not a hugely exciting car. But it is a very fine, and very, very fast, car: a really good all rounder and absolutely perfect for what I use it for - commuting and family duties, with an occasional blast. I got a great deal on it and running costs are a little less than the Golf, even taking the increased insurance premium into account (I've also got a free service to look forward to, courtesy of my Audi CS following my order delay complaint).

    Indeed, apart from the one inexplicable fault, I'm really pleased with it. Here's to another 22 months. HNY!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  31. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 840i GC

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    Made up for you mate. I had a golf R before my S5. My first S5 was Nav blue and I really liked the colour. Amusingly my Golf R never had so much as a creak or squeak when I parted ways with it at 18k miles. Both my S5s have had rattles.
    Having driven the new S4 in Avant form its clear i wont be moving from my S5 petrol to one. That doesn't mean it's a bad car it just isnt as good as the petrol in my view and feels lacks that certain something.
    That doesn't matter though. What matters is you are made up with it!
     
  32. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Thank you Zippytoo for this detailed review. I've had a 2020 S4 Avant for 5 weeks now and done ~1400 miles.

    I agree with all your review points, and specifically the key points
    • Touchscreen MMI - I do also find this very difficult to use when driving and am sure this new input method is not as good as the old MMI wheel. I had a BMW previously with iDrive and it was easy to navigate to all settings without looking away from the road. I try to use the steering wheel buttons as much as I can in the S4, but unfortunately not all functions are available (e.g. Podcast select). It will be interesting to see whether Audi revert back to a wheel in future as this touchscreen is a downside of the car for me.
    • Drive - It is both relaxing to drive, and also very fast. I test drove it back-to-back with the outgoing petrol S4 and they both felt the same in terms of speed, but as the reviews state, in real world terms, it'll be quicker from point to point than the previous petrol model.
    How do you tell when the car is in battery only mode? Is there an indication or are you noticing the engine has stopped (I generally have music on when in the car)?

    In terms of the DPF I have noticed that sometimes after a drive there is a plastic/burning smell. Having never had a brand new (ICE) car before I wondered this was just "new car" but based on what you have said about "telltale burning smell" I think I might have encountered the DPF clean/recycle you mention?

    You imply that if you detect the car is cleaning the Diesel Particulate Filer (DPF) you should not switch the engine off? Is that correct?

    I've not read anything about this or been told anything about the DPF by the dealer other than the usual "make sure you do a good long drive now and again to ensure the DPF gets properly clean" (which I do regularly anyway). Are you saying you should avoid switching off the car when it is doing a DPF recycle, and if so how do you tell (although my car is also a lease car I do intend to look after it!) :blush:

    My indicated long-term mpg according to the computer is 35.4mpg by the way (I'm starting now to calculate this manually). I keep the car in "Dynamic" about 80% of the time when I drive alone with ~20% of the time in "Comfort" when with the family.

    Thanks again, HNY and continue to enjoy the new S4!
     
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  34. Zippytoo

    Zippytoo Registered User

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    WarwickBoy, thanks for your comments! There's no battery only indicator - it's just that the revs drop to zero, obviously meaning that the engine is off.

    It very much sounds (smells!) like the car was doing a regen. Manufacturers deliberately don't install a DPF active indicator light as it would remind users that diesel can be inconvenient (i.e. ideally you should let the regen finish every time, which effectively means continuing to drive until it's done). Repeated incomplete regens are not good for the car as unused fuel (diesel, which is what is used to burn the particulates) gets dumped into the sump, contaminating the oil. If this happens too often, the oil is degraded, obviously not great for the engine but in any case triggering an earlier service warning. In extremis, the oil / diesel mix 'overfills' leading to the dreaded chain reaction whereby the engine continues to feed off the mix at extreme revs until it dies. On the way home one day I came across a stationary Vauxhall Zafira diesel that was smoking heavily from the closed engine compartment, with its engine screaming at maximum revs and a frantic owner not knowing what to do. I managed to pop the bonnet (the noise was deafening and the diesel smoke pretty horrible!), unclip the air filter box and stuff a rag into the air intake - which is the only practical way to kill the engine and possibly save it from final self-destruction. A few missed regens are unlikely to be too much of an issue but you wouldn't want it happening all of the time. I keep a close eye on the engine temperature now: if reaches 110/111C or so it's likely doing a regen (or else you've been travelling pretty fast!).

    I tend to use Dynamic all the time. Just got home and got a reasonable 42mpg over 13 miles!
     
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  35. WarwickBoy

    WarwickBoy Registered User

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation Zippytoo. I'll pay attention to the engine temperature as I drive around and see if I can spot the tell tale signs of regen and look to avoid interrupting them if at all possible. :relieved:
     
  36. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    There are two types of regeneration, passive and active. Passive regens occur usually without the driver knowing it is taking place as there is no injection of extra fuel required to obtain the exhaust temperatures required to burn off the soot. A active regeneration will take place if the vehicle has not been driven in a manner suitable to instigate a filter clean, this is the one that requires more fuel to be injected and lead to issues if the regeneration cycle is interrupted or the service regime is not adhered to.
    The exact reasons why a diesel is off my list of engines as, because I only do short journey's of around five miles urban, I would be forced to take the car out on a additional run at least once a month to instigate a passive regen, thus negating any fuel consumption positives from having a diesel. I had a diesel back in 2008, as they were then promoted as being 'cleaner', at first the engine warning light was illuminating constantly because I didn't realise I needed to take the thing out for a long run every so often, we weren't warned about this back then. With today's current obsession with emissions I can only see dpf issues getting worse with start stop, freewheeling and electric assistance all contributing towards making it more of a challenge to complete a active regen....
     

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