S4 2021MY sound actuator or not?

Dave Thornton

Registered User
My S4 is back at the dealer and they've been told by Audi UK/Germany that the reason my "Engine Sound" on the Drive Select isn't working is that they no longer fit the sound actuator! I find that very hard to believe, as the Drive Select would have that option deleted if that was the case.

My chassis number ends 58xxx and I got a video of a car from another Audi dealer with chassis number ending 62xxx that had the actuator.
So I'm thinking that they hadn't got the part on the day mine was built and fitted a 'standard' exhaust instead.

I'd be really grateful if anybody could confirm if their 2021 S4 has it and tell me part of their chassis number as above.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
i can’t help you with the chassis number I’m afraid. Cant believe they no longer fit the sound actuator unless they are short of parts due to the problems sourcing chips.

wonder if it’s worth checking to see if the fuse for it is missing too - there should be a dedicated fuse for it in the drivers footwell.

if it’s missing are you able to reject the car?
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
I think the fuse is fitted, though the fusebox and the picture of it in the handbook are different! I can't reject the car as it's a company car, but I can dig my heels in and insist they get to the bottom of it. Makes me wonder what else is missing and also how it got missed at the PDI.
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
How much is the company car tax on one of those?!
My company scheme is slightly unusual in that I'm effectively loaned the money to buy it myself and the monthly cost is a single deduction so I don't get to see the details. All I would say is that with a very good discount and good GFV, I'm getting a lot of car for the money.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
How much is the company car tax on one of those?!
For an S4 Benefit in Kind in 20/21 is 37% of the cars list value. So for example if the list price is say £50k the BIK would be £18,500. If you pay tax at 20% the tax would £3,700 or £308 per month. If pay tax at 40% double these.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
My company scheme is slightly unusual in that I'm effectively loaned the money to buy it myself and the monthly cost is a single deduction so I don't get to see the details. All I would say is that with a very good discount and good GFV, I'm getting a lot of car for the money.
Definitely worth checking. Have noticed Audi have made several subtle changes to the specs on the S4 / S5 since I got mine but it’s not always obvious.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
averaging just under 30mpg since I got the car but this was mostly short trips due to lock down. last weekend did just over 500 miles of motorway driving at “healthy“ average speed and got just under 40mpg. Should improve a bit as the engine continues to bed in.
 

Pork

Registered User
Nice, I test drove one last week and the long term average was on 35 - I figure that’s a realistic bottom average, I can’t imagine many people drive that car carefully. I didn’t.
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
averaging just under 30mpg since I got the car but this was mostly short trips due to lock down. last weekend did just over 500 miles of motorway driving at “healthy“ average speed and got just under 40mpg. Should improve a bit as the engine continues to bed in.
I'm finding that it's not only how you drive it, but also what 'mood' the car is in i.e. how often it coasts / uses start-stop, which will be dependent on many factors. Last week I drove 15 miles on B roads, it coasted wherever it could and I got 49mpg and the engine won't have fully loosened up yet.. On the way back (with the headlights on), it didn't coast at all and was around 40mpg. Around town on short journeys I've seen 23mpg. I'm going to do 1000 miles next week so that will be a good test.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the car ... except the lack of sound actuator!
 

Frizzley

Registered User
Me too - car delivers a great balance between performance when you want / need it and comfort -inside is a very nice place to sit. My criticism would be the touchscreen and the MMI functionality which seems to have been reduced compared to my previous A5.

interesting observation re the mood of the car, not really noticed this yet however it’s character completely transforms according to which drive select mode your in - much more so than my other Audis including the TTRS. I usually keep it in Dynamic which tightens everything up and whilst 0 - 60 is reasonable (not interested in its drag race capabilities) mid range acceleration for overtaking is phenomenaL

Also tried Comfort mode for a recent motorway trip and that worked really well too, still plenty of power on tap but with everything toned down just a bit.
 

jdp1962

Grumpy Old Man
I think sound actuators are ghastly. I have one on my B8.5 S4, and I have it turned down as far as it will go. The noises that cars fitted with this and other fake exhaust sound generating systems are just plain silly, plus you know that almost every one has theirs on "wake the neighbours" setting. The pops and bangs are absurdly over-done, and in any event, why have them in the first place? For some reason they're associated with "sportiness" when in reality they're actually the result of poor engine tuning.

Those popping noises are the legacy of badly-tuned engines in the days when fuel supply and metering were mechanical (i. .e carburettors). Multiple carburettors in particular were notorously difficult to set up and balance correctly, plus combustion was far less accurately controlled than it is now with the result that unburnt petrol would escape into the exhaust manifold and catch fire briefly. That doesn't happen now that we have accurate management of everything. So why have a fake reminder of the days when we didn't?
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
I think sound actuators are ghastly. I have one on my B8.5 S4, and I have it turned down as far as it will go. The noises that cars fitted with this and other fake exhaust sound generating systems are just plain silly, plus you know that almost every one has theirs on "wake the neighbours" setting. The pops and bangs are absurdly over-done, and in any event, why have them in the first place? For some reason they're associated with "sportiness" when in reality they're actually the result of poor engine tuning.

Those popping noises are the legacy of badly-tuned engines in the days when fuel supply and metering were mechanical (i. .e carburettors). Multiple carburettors in particular were notorously difficult to set up and balance correctly, plus combustion was far less accurately controlled than it is now with the result that unburnt petrol would escape into the exhaust manifold and catch fire briefly. That doesn't happen now that we have accurate management of everything. So why have a fake reminder of the days when we didn't?
There are different types and I too generally hate anything fake. With the latest regulations, even the pops and bangs have all but gone.

The latest S4 sound actuator (if fitted!) is partially a physically moving part within the exhaust, presumably with the quiet setting to pass regulations and the louder setting to go someway towards disguising the fact that the S4 is now diesel.
 

SiPie

Registered User
I quite liked the fake sound of the diesel S4.

Sadly the rest of the car couldn’t temp me away from my petrol B9 S4. A step backwards quality wise with cheaper overall feel and a poor decision to replace MMi wheel with touchscreen IMHO.

If I had being doing a bigger mileage with motorway miles the mainstay then perhaps it might have been a different story. Certainly punchy enough for the overtake.
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
Update: tracked down an identical car at another Audi dealer today - sound actuator fitted - video evidence captured and chassis number forwarded to my supplying dealer to take it up with Audi UK. Therefore I'm 100% sure that mine is missing. Apparently, this is known as a 'misbuild'. Will post the final outcome in due course.

On another note, just done nearly 300 miles on a single journey at an average of 50mph and got 47mpg without trying.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
Update: tracked down an identical car at another Audi dealer today - sound actuator fitted - video evidence captured and chassis number forwarded to my supplying dealer to take it up with Audi UK. Therefore I'm 100% sure that mine is missing. Apparently, this is known as a 'misbuild'. Will post the final outcome in due course.

On another note, just done nearly 300 miles on a single journey at an average of 50mph and got 47mpg without trying.

”Misbuild” That’s a new one:hopelessness:. Might understand if was an option that say had been missed but not for a standard component on the car. Doesn’t say much for the QC process! Good to see you’ve confirmed it’s missing rather than a spec change. Hope it’s sorted soon


 

Richn83

Registered User
That's frustrating Dave, I'm picking mine up today so will check and confirm back to you as well if mine has the sound actuator and it's working.
 

leedodds1

Registered User
Update: tracked down an identical car at another Audi dealer today - sound actuator fitted - video evidence captured and chassis number forwarded to my supplying dealer to take it up with Audi UK. Therefore I'm 100% sure that mine is missing. Apparently, this is known as a 'misbuild'. Will post the final outcome in due course.

On another note, just done nearly 300 miles on a single journey at an average of 50mph and got 47mpg without trying.
I have a MY2020 S4 and the control unit in the the left hand boot compartment (so I've been told). Worth checking.
 

Richn83

Registered User
Hi Dave, picked up today and there's a definite change in sound with the Drive Select, clearly audible at idle going from Auto to Pronounced. Only done 30 miles but lovely car and managed 35 MPG on the trip back, driving very gently at the moment as im a run it in sort of person
 

Richn83

Registered User
Not sure if this will help but my left hand boot compartment has this lot in it
 

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CalA3

B9.5 S4 Avant - Tango Red
Collected mine on Tuesday - Sound actuator fitted. No idea of chassis number however. Loving the car though - also managed 49.8mpg on the way to work which is only 14 miles on A roads. The problem is that it is SO tempting to put your right foot down and then suddenly im seeing mid/late 20s. However, 40mpg + with the kind of performance it delivers is amazing.
 

Richn83

Registered User
49.8 is great got 43 on a long trip plus round town section today 230 round trip cross country, car is a beautiful cruiser on the motorway soaked up the miles, quiet and comfortable
 

Frizzley

Registered User
49.8 is great got 43 on a long trip plus round town section today 230 round trip cross country, car is a beautiful cruiser on the motorway soaked up the miles, quiet and comfortable


Fantastic when you take into account the power and performance of the car - which drive select mode where you using to get this.
 

Richn83

Registered User
Have everything in balanced I am taking it easy until I get to 500 miles, the MHEV is great just does it thing and lets you get on with driving
 

Richn83

Registered User
I know this was about sound actuator to begin with but my car had a funny mood on a trip today, wouldn't recuperate, didn't coast and mpg took a nose dive despite the 60mph average motorway speed, had to flip drove select modes and then it started to recuperate again and mpg got better so definitely something there of the MHEV isn't doing its thing.

Trip back all worked normally and got 47mpg so clearly some situations where the MHEV is reduced and impacts the mpg.

Just at 400 so will start upping the rpm.

Any update on the sound actuator Dave?
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
No response as yet from my dealer, despite sending the "video evidence" last Wednesday night and sending a reminder email yesterday (without the attachment just to make sure a 9MB file hadn't got stuck in a firewall). I won't chase again - if no response by end of this week I'll go straight to Audi UK.

Thanks for the pictures, my left hand boot compartment doesn't have the have the top metal box with pink clip or the silver box at the bottom with the 4 wires or as many fuses - I guess this all relates to Vorsprung spec. I do however have the fuse for the Sound Generator in the passenger footwell fusebox.

Apart from this (and ignoring that my front wing was damaged while parked in a car park last week), I really like the car. I did 1200 miles last week and did 49mpg / average 59mph / 162 miles on one trip. Not bad for an estate car that now officially does 0-100kmh in 4.7 secs. After 1500 miles it really started to loosen up. I've also worked out that the car will only coast etc if the aircon is off.

A note about the boot floor, which is supposedly reversible according to the Audi website. It does come out if you lift it when the 'tools flap' is up, but there is a piece of foam attached which means it can't be reversed. Also note that there is a fan in the hybrid system which can run on after the car is stopped.

Finally, I'm gradually working out how to overcome the kickdown hesitation / old skool big turbo lag - the car seems to spend most of its time below 2000rpm i.e. off boost. Either build up the power slightly more slowly so it holds the current gear rather than kicking down; or manually downchange 1 gear which instantly puts the revs above 2000 and it doesn't need to consider kicking down.
 

Richn83

Registered User
The 4 connectors look like fakra plugs so will be aerial related either phone box or maybe keyless entry.

Based on that website picture it's a little black box looks like the type that is above the silver box with the 4 aerials but it could be anywhere, anyone local to you that could run you a scan, then you'll know of the control modules in place.

I think it's in the exhaust in the S4 can try looking under and see if I can see anything on the exhaust too.

Your mpg sounds great I'm just under 500 miles seen upto 47mpg on a run and 40's round town or commute in traffic so happy with that.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
I know this was about sound actuator to begin with but my car had a funny mood on a trip today, wouldn't recuperate, didn't coast and mpg took a nose dive despite the 60mph average motorway speed, had to flip drove select modes and then it started to recuperate again and mpg got better so definitely something there of the MHEV isn't doing its thing.

Trip back all worked normally and got 47mpg so clearly some situations where the MHEV is reduced and impacts the mpg.

Just at 400 so will start upping the rpm.

Any update on the sound actuator Dave?
Which Drive Select Mode were you using? I keep mine in Dynamic/ Sport and hadn’t noticed the car coasting. After seeing your post I had another read of the manual and tbh there isn’t much info in it on how the coasting system works, display messages etc.

I did find out though it only operates in the Drive and Eco modes so went out for a quick drive using these to see if it made any difference. Couple of times the had the engine stop start light come on (I wasn’t stationary :grinning: ) ,the rev counter dropped to 0 and the gear no indicator did not show a gear so assume that’s the only indication your in coasting mode on theVC- is that correct?

Also it seems you engage the system by holding the upshift paddle in for a few seconds but can’t find anything in the manual about that.

am I missing anything ?
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
The manual doesn't seem to explain the coasting very well. Here are my conclusions so far:
1. Doesn't work in Sport mode
2. Stage 1 is "freewheeling" i.e. just says D - requires no throttle and probably a minimum mph. When you get too close to the car in front (info from front sensor), or go down a steep hill as per map data, or touch the brake, gear lever/paddles or accelerator - the gears re-engage
3. Stage 2 is "engine off" i.e. green A symbol - same as all of the above, though you could be braking if below a certain speed. and it becomes the start/stop when stationary. Also requires a minimum energy level / usage. Not sure about the minimum, but running the aircon in either mode will prevent it engaging.

Holding the upshift paddle for a few seconds (if certain criteria are met) - that rings a bell from my Q7 where you trigger the freewheeling.

Between us we should be able to suss it all out!
 

leedodds1

Registered User
I’ll have to look out for this. I can’t say i’ve ever noticed the engine revs down or the A symbol when coasting, but i have noticed the car maintain a constant speed when coming off throttle in ECO mode.
 

Richn83

Registered User
My experience is similar to the above in terms of the behaviour, with it using the road situation to determine the function either recuperate if close to the car in front or approaching a speed reduction or a roundabout that in part is the predictive efficiency as I get the green symbols to lift on the VC and HUD, with either MPH or picture of a roundabout.

I've seen the car change from coasting engine on to coasting engine off and then move to recuperation all on its own based on the situations above without touching a single thing foot off throttle, this is typically as you head form a 60 to a 30 and it will decide to recuperate to slow you down which is good when your not on it. The other thing I've seen with this car compared to my last is that even when on radar cruise the car still does the auto management so coast engine on or off depending on you going down a hill but will manage speed with recuperation which is cool. My A3 had radar cruise and coasting engine on and it wouldn't engage while in cruise mode.

I have only used Balanced mode so far I tried efficiency briefly on a trip around the M25 but that is when the 48V system stopped recuperating and MPG took a dive so haven't gone back there yet!
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
Well it's day 55 of ownership now and the problem is still not resolved. No response from dealer so I escalated to Audi UK Customer Service (they knew nothing of any contact from the dealer). Customer Services 72 hour SLA and after 68 hours I got an update saying it's been passed to "Brand", with a suggestion that Audi Germany might not permit the parts to be retro fitted. Might get an update today.

Meanwhile, I've confirmed from another Audi dealer parts department that the 2 main parts are associated with my chassis number which proves they should have been fitted (and this could have been proved 7 weeks ago). About £450 and available in 7-10 days. Makes me wonder if any other parts of my car are still in a box at the factory.
 

Frizzley

Registered User
Well it's day 55 of ownership now and the problem is still not resolved. No response from dealer so I escalated to Audi UK Customer Service (they knew nothing of any contact from the dealer). Customer Services 72 hour SLA and after 68 hours I got an update saying it's been passed to "Brand", with a suggestion that Audi Germany might not permit the parts to be retro fitted. Might get an update today.

Meanwhile, I've confirmed from another Audi dealer parts department that the 2 main parts are associated with my chassis number which proves they should have been fitted (and this could have been proved 7 weeks ago). About £450 and available in 7-10 days. Makes me wonder if any other parts of my car are still in a box at the factory.
Not a great advert for the dealer - had a similar experience from my local one when I wanted a space saver for my wifes Q3 and was told they could not supply it as the car wasn’t originally sold with one! Needless to say the car now has a spacesaver, jack and the correct inserts the holds everything in place after I went to anther dealer who was more than happy to get everything for me.

Apart from that how are you enjoying the car. I‘ve still not done 2000 miles in the S5 but Am really impressed with both its power and economy. Got this after a decent run with the car in dynamic for the whole journey View attachment 239003
598217B1-E207-49D8-8DAE-C26CAA44B1D2.jpeg
 

Richn83

Registered User
Well it's day 55 of ownership now and the problem is still not resolved. No response from dealer so I escalated to Audi UK Customer Service (they knew nothing of any contact from the dealer). Customer Services 72 hour SLA and after 68 hours I got an update saying it's been passed to "Brand", with a suggestion that Audi Germany might not permit the parts to be retro fitted. Might get an update today.

Meanwhile, I've confirmed from another Audi dealer parts department that the 2 main parts are associated with my chassis number which proves they should have been fitted (and this could have been proved 7 weeks ago). About £450 and available in 7-10 days. Makes me wonder if any other parts of my car are still in a box at the factory.
Frustrating Dave, you would hope if those parts are all they should have then it will be resolved, did they tell you the part numbers to know what they are and where they might fit on the car to figure out how difficult it might be?
 

Dave Thornton

Registered User
Frustrating Dave, you would hope if those parts are all they should have then it will be resolved, did they tell you the part numbers to know what they are and where they might fit on the car to figure out how difficult it might be?
I got the 2 part numbers I asked for, though I suspect there's also wiring / clips / brackets etc. It was more to prove the point that it's part of the spec and that the parts are available. Also gives me more ammunition up my sleeve - I'm ready for the "told you so" moment!
 

Richn83

Registered User
Hi Dave, I saw another thread on here about position of the sound generator so took a look and I have one in the same place in the door on the passenger side of the scuttle panel there's a fluid reservoir due to packaging but just about managed to get the part number. Should be easy to see if you have the box or wiring loom.
 

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