Potential RS3 Purchase - Advice Sought

ClubSandwich

Registered User
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

I recently test drove a Nardo Grey 2015 RS3 with 50k miles on the clock. Have been after one of these for a while but they never come up locally so was really excited to drive this when it appeared in the classifieds.

It’s a faux black edition with (what I believe) are replica black rotor alloys. A previous owner has applied black vinyl on the chrome parts and I must admit the car looks well. It’s a trade sale and the car has part audi service history with one indy service. Spark plugs changed at last service.

All was going swimmingly until about 3/4 of the way through the test drive (I drove it very hard just to be sure) the car seemed to ‘judder’ and the engine management light began flashing with subsequent power loss. I laid off the power and the engine light went off and the car seemed fine thereafter. No idling issues. Also - at the same time the exhaust began to pop like it was hitting the limiter but wasn’t..

I also note that just before that happened, on flooring the accelerator in sport mode the gear change from second to third sounded clunky, certainly not smooth - that’s the only way I can describe it. When I eased off and booted it again from stationary the gear change appeared smooth. Strange!

Would anyone know what’s caused this? I’ve read potential issues with the coilpack or plugs are common in the Rs3 but I would also be concerned this is a DSG issue - could anyone kindly shed any light please? I’m 50:50 on whether I want to take on a car that’s gonna have issues down the line.

Any advice/thoughts much appreciated.

Thanks
 

D0C

Registered User
I just wouldn’t take the risk. Plenty more cars out there.
I had something similar sounding on my old mk5 Golf GTI. A massive loss of power and serious hesitancy when trying to accelerate even moderately hard. I was convinced it was something serious as it was so bad. Took it to an indy and they said it just needed a service with new spark plugs. Sure enough, it was like good as new again.
I was gobsmacked. The car had only done 15k miles and had been serviced in that time.
 

T-1000

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Avoid.

A bad one will be a money pit, especially with DSG faults.

Shame you couldn’t get it scanned with VCDS to see what’s going on with these faults.


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garethdj

Active Member
You've answered your own question surely? The whole point of a test drive for me is to find out if the car drives well or not. You've already decided you want an RS3 so why not just wait for a one that drives OK?

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ClubSandwich

Registered User
You've answered your own question surely? The whole point of a test drive for me is to find out if the car drives well or not. You've already decided you want an RS3 so why not just wait for a one that drives OK?

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Thanks for your reply. As mentioned, the purpose of the thread is to gauge whether anyone else may have had this issue with their RS3, in order to inform my decision. If it’s something easily fixed then I may go ahead with it. Hence why I asked if anyone’s had this issue with their RS3. They really don’t come up too often over here (I’m in Northern Ireland), hence the deliberation. Usually I’d give it a wide berth, coming from an S3 which has given me no problems at all.

Anyway it’s getting plugged into VCDS tomorrow and if I’m not comfortable with what they tell me then I have a couple lined up to view in Mainland UK. It’s just a horlicks getting there and back at the moment whilst working from home. Bl**dy Covid!
 

K96

Registered User
I would avoid...plenty of RS3s for sale. You'll find a looked after one with no issues definitely

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CHRS3

Member
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

I recently test drove a Nardo Grey 2015 RS3 with 50k miles on the clock. Have been after one of these for a while but they never come up locally so was really excited to drive this when it appeared in the classifieds.

It’s a faux black edition with (what I believe) are replica black rotor alloys. A previous owner has applied black vinyl on the chrome parts and I must admit the car looks well. It’s a trade sale and the car has part audi service history with one indy service. Spark plugs changed at last service.

All was going swimmingly until about 3/4 of the way through the test drive (I drove it very hard just to be sure) the car seemed to ‘judder’ and the engine management light began flashing with subsequent power loss. I laid off the power and the engine light went off and the car seemed fine thereafter. No idling issues. Also - at the same time the exhaust began to pop like it was hitting the limiter but wasn’t..

I also note that just before that happened, on flooring the accelerator in sport mode the gear change from second to third sounded clunky, certainly not smooth - that’s the only way I can describe it. When I eased off and booted it again from stationary the gear change appeared smooth. Strange!

Would anyone know what’s caused this? I’ve read potential issues with the coilpack or plugs are common in the Rs3 but I would also be concerned this is a DSG issue - could anyone kindly shed any light please? I’m 50:50 on whether I want to take on a car that’s gonna have issues down the line.

Any advice/thoughts much appreciated.

Thanks

Hi buddy,

This would personally flash alarm bells for me, but as you’ve said further down you’re getting it checked on vagcom. If the engine management light has flashed it will 100% have error codes stored even if they’re background codes so make sure they’re getting a professional diagnostic. I would urge them to book it at an Audi garage personally. If you do proceed to buy, make sure they supply a good warranty (high claim limit price with good labour price allowance) and make note of this issue (try and get them to give you some sort of email/paper proof) therefore you’re covered under trading standards to have the issue rectified if it comes back as technically they’ve sold you a faulty product.

Do you know who changed the spark plugs on last service, was it the Indy or was it Audi? The reason I say this is because if they haven’t used genuine Audi spark plugs that could be the issue. Audi spent a long time developing these engines over the years and the spark plugs tips are very specific, so some cheaper spark plugs may not match the specification/work as well and in some cases even cause misfires etc. Personally I would stick with genuine Audi spark plugs changing every 10k miles. (Oil service every 5k) and wouldn’t venture to NGK iridium or anything until a massive power build where extensive dyno time is required.

Also, If you’re really after an RS3 i would recommend you look up Dhylan from AutomotiveAddictionUK. He can source you a car and has many PFL/FL RS3s in stock. You will NEVER get a dud car from him, his prep is unmatched in the industry. I’ve not personally bought from him (although wish I did, and will for my next one) but have followed him for a long time and spoke to many who’ve bought from him and you will not get better service! AND.. he delivers! :)
 

ClubSandwich

Registered User
Hi buddy,

This would personally flash alarm bells for me, but as you’ve said further down you’re getting it checked on vagcom. If the engine management light has flashed it will 100% have error codes stored even if they’re background codes so make sure they’re getting a professional diagnostic. I would urge them to book it at an Audi garage personally. If you do proceed to buy, make sure they supply a good warranty (high claim limit price with good labour price allowance) and make note of this issue (try and get them to give you some sort of email/paper proof) therefore you’re covered under trading standards to have the issue rectified if it comes back as technically they’ve sold you a faulty product.

Do you know who changed the spark plugs on last service, was it the Indy or was it Audi? The reason I say this is because if they haven’t used genuine Audi spark plugs that could be the issue. Audi spent a long time developing these engines over the years and the spark plugs tips are very specific, so some cheaper spark plugs may not match the specification/work as well and in some cases even cause misfires etc. Personally I would stick with genuine Audi spark plugs changing every 10k miles. (Oil service every 5k) and wouldn’t venture to NGK iridium or anything until a massive power build where extensive dyno time is required.

Also, If you’re really after an RS3 i would recommend you look up Dhylan from AutomotiveAddictionUK. He can source you a car and has many PFL/FL RS3s in stock. You will NEVER get a dud car from him, his prep is unmatched in the industry. I’ve not personally bought from him (although wish I did, and will for my next one) but have followed him for a long time and spoke to many who’ve bought from him and you will not get better service! AND.. he delivers! :)

Hi mate

Many thanks for dropping in with some advice. Having considered your advice and all of the pointers within this thread, I think I'm best leaving this one well alone. Funny you mention the spark plugs - they were replaced at the last service which was by an Indy. However, it appeared to be a 'back of the fag packet' job with a list of work carried out scrawled on a the previous service records rather than a bundle of paperwork or proof that the work was actually done. Prior to that, Audi had serviced the vehicle but the previous owner only owned the car for two months. Doesn't fully sit right with me and when I take the rose tinted glasses off, it could be a world of pain I'm letting myself into by buying this. Not worth the risk for a car with as many moving parts as the RS3.

In addition, the dealer is offering a 3 month warranty only on the car which raises alarm bells. He said warranty issues are just an arguing match, which hardly reeks of professionalism.

Cheers for the nod on AutomotiveAddictionUK, I'll drop him a note to see if he's able to help out. The stock on his website looks superb!

In the meantime I've spotted a decent example from an Audi approved dealership - watch this space!

Thanks all.
 

CHRS3

Member
Hi mate

Many thanks for dropping in with some advice. Having considered your advice and all of the pointers within this thread, I think I'm best leaving this one well alone. Funny you mention the spark plugs - they were replaced at the last service which was by an Indy. However, it appeared to be a 'back of the fag packet' job with a list of work carried out scrawled on a the previous service records rather than a bundle of paperwork or proof that the work was actually done. Prior to that, Audi had serviced the vehicle but the previous owner only owned the car for two months. Doesn't fully sit right with me and when I take the rose tinted glasses off, it could be a world of pain I'm letting myself into by buying this. Not worth the risk for a car with as many moving parts as the RS3.

In addition, the dealer is offering a 3 month warranty only on the car which raises alarm bells. He said warranty issues are just an arguing match, which hardly reeks of professionalism.

Cheers for the nod on AutomotiveAddictionUK, I'll drop him a note to see if he's able to help out. The stock on his website looks superb!

In the meantime I've spotted a decent example from an Audi approved dealership - watch this space!

Thanks all.

Let us know how you get on buddy! :) Looking forward to seeing the example you end up buying, I’m sure you’ll be an RS3 owner in no time and be loving every second of it. Amazing cars and you’re doing right to hold out for the perfect one.
 

garethdj

Active Member
Thanks for your reply. As mentioned, the purpose of the thread is to gauge whether anyone else may have had this issue with their RS3, in order to inform my decision. If it’s something easily fixed then I may go ahead with it. Hence why I asked if anyone’s had this issue with their RS3. They really don’t come up too often over here (I’m in Northern Ireland), hence the deliberation. Usually I’d give it a wide berth, coming from an S3 which has given me no problems at all.

Anyway it’s getting plugged into VCDS tomorrow and if I’m not comfortable with what they tell me then I have a couple lined up to view in Mainland UK. It’s just a horlicks getting there and back at the moment whilst working from home. Bl**dy Covid!
Wait for the right one is my advice, even if theyre rare. The only thing mine was missing for it to be the perfect spec (aside from colour - boring nardo), was the black pack. I got it wrapped and wish I had just got a proper black pack car, getting the wrap repainted now. Not to mention the weird stuff you experienced. Even if it gets plugged in and they clear the codes without issue or provide an explanation I'd still question it with part history, I.e. Could it be a poor map, if its already got signs of being tinkered with?

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Tortoise99

Registered User
Hi Clubsandwich,

I am glad for you you’ve decided to wait. A good RS3 will be a step up in costs over your S3, so make sure you buy wisely.

look forward to seeing the pictures when you do find the right one.
 

ClubSandwich

Registered User
Hi folks

So after taking all of your sound advices, and much soul searching, I have just picked up my Nardo Grey 2016 PFL RS3 from Slough Audi. As I’m from NI it was a bit of a trek to pick her up and get her home but I am delighted to have done so. Slough Audi were great and even gave me a full tank of fuel to get her up to the Ferry @ Liverpool which I was delighted with. Nice touch I thought.

Fuel efficiency was surprisingly decent on the way up albeit I couldn’t resist putting the foot down on occasion. The sports exhaust is out of this world coming from a manual S3! In a perfect world I would’ve wanted the pano roof but the combination of me being an impatient bu**er and the supply issues in NI I just went ahead and got the one without. The sports seats are v cool also!

Not a huge amount of plans for the car, maybe get the wheels done in the black with the polished silver edges and then red callipers if I can find someone to do them professionally. Albeit I think the black calliper looks great. Will probably get some UK plates and a one stage polish & ceramic coating as expectedly the car has more swirls than Mr Whippy. Aside from that I’ll leave her as standard.

Thanks for all your advice lads and looking forward to driving this weapon!

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