View Full Version : Thinking of Getting an A6-Problems to Be Aware of

10-17-2010, 11:56 PM
I currently have a B6 S4, and I have had to replace the A/C compressor, flywheel, slave cylinder, starter, and various other electrical things. I would like to buy a more reliable car, but I don't really want to buy a Lexus, etc. I'm wondering if the A6 3.2 or 4.2 has had a lot of problems? I've seen a few things on carbon buildup, wondering if there is anything else to look out for. I've tried to search, but nothing came up or I'm not putting in the correct search info. Thanks for the help.

10-18-2010, 04:23 AM
I have pasted in two of my earlier posts, which I have slightly revised and updated.

I have an 05 4.2 that I purchased new about 5 and a ˝ years ago. She currently has 75k on the odometer. As far as reliability, she is ok, but she is no Lexus. But she is alot of fun to drive. Most of the problems have been nuisances.

1. The airbag light came on two weeks after I purchased the car. It took them 10 days to figure out the problem. Audi then came out with a TSB on updating the computer software for the airbags.

2. The MMI "crashed" a year after I bought the car. After having the car for 8 days, Audi wiped the hardware clean and reinstalled the MMI computer software.

3. The MMI had a few bugs with not updating the satellite radio stations, losing surround settings and sometimes not automatically linking with my bluetooth phone. Audi had the car for a day and updated the MMI computer software. Audi has a TSB on this issue as well.

I have written those three problems off to having a very early computer software version. To give you an idea of the number of changes in the software, my car came with MMI version 10 and now has version 33. Since being updated to MMI version 33, about a year ago, I have not had any computer issues. I understand that there is now a version 41 that is available. Since my MMI has been stable with version 33 I have not upgraded to 41. From fellow Audi owners I understand that the differences between 33 and 41 are negligible.

As far as non-computer issues. I have had quite a few.

1. All 8 coil packs had to be replaced.

2. The lid for the gas cap would not open from inside the car. In order to open it I had to wedge my credit card inside the lid and open it from the outside.

3. The frame for the front passenger seat came loose and the entire seat had to be removed and the bolts tightened.

4. A rattle in the glove box area of the dashboard that required installation of additional insulation.

5. A bad tire pressure sensor had to be replaced.

6. A mildew smell from the air conditioner vents, which required the replacement of a ventilation duct.

7. A rattle from the rear fold down seats, which required a new clamp.

8. A rattle from the driver’s side of the dashboard, which required additional damping material.

9. The fuel-filter recall, which required a new fuel filter.

10. The fuel gauge started reading empty even though there is fuel in the tank, which required a computer software upgrade.

11. The transmission developed a chirping and the transmission software had to be upgraded.

12. The low coolant light would come on for no reason, which required an upgraded electrical circuit.

13. The power steering reservoir leaked and completely emptied itself, which required a revised clamp.

14. The front brakes developed a vibration at slow speeds and the brake caliper seals had to be replaced due to a re-design.

15. The motor for the power tilt/telescoping steering wheel had to be replaced because of a groaning noise.

16. The MMI knob fell off.

17. The motor for the rear power sunshade had to be replaced because that motor was groaning and clicking.

18. The coolant temperature gauge stopped working and the sensor had to be replaced.

19. The trunk latch ceased working and had to be replaced due to a redesign of the latch.

20. The adaptive headlight malfunction light came on and the dealer had to upgrade the software for the adaptive lights.

21. The air bag light came on and the rear air bag sensor had to be replaced for a second time.

22. The Parktronic broke and the speaker had to be replaced.

23. The coolant gauge broke again and the sensor had to be replaced.

24. The coolant gauge broke yet again and the thermostat had to be replaced.

25. The gas struts for the trunk were replaced.

26. The air bag light came on and rear air bag sensor had to be replaced for a third time.

27. The LED unit had to be replaced in the rear right because the brake and turn signal light would fail to fire.

28. The coil packs were replaced under recall.

29. The air bag light came on and a rear air bag sensor had to be replaced for a fourth time.

30. The brackets holding the electric switch panel to the front passenger seat broke and had to be replaced.

Similar to the computer issues discussed above, Audi has TSBs on nearly all of these issues, seeming to indicate that the problems are not isolated to just my car. Audi has also issued dozens of other TSBs on issues that I have not experienced since I have the 4.2 engine instead of the 3.2 engine. In total, the 3.2 has over 200 TSBs. If you complain about these items while the car is under warranty, Audi will fix the problem for free, which sounds like a recall to me.

Despite the car being at the dealer for over 45 days for repairs during the last 67 months, not maintenance, I would certainly buy the car again because the 4.2 is alot of fun to drive, especially on the highway, and the dealer gives me a loaner. However, I would check which MMI software version is currently in the car. If it is below 33, I would take it to Audi and have it updated as soon as possible. In addition, I would check the car's VIN and compare it to the Audi TSBs and see what issues you need to keep an eye on. You can get copies of the Audi TSBs at eBahn's website. The dealer will probably give you the car's maintenance records. While the car is still under warranty, I would make sure you complain about any issues contained on the TSBs issued for your VIN. If you are buying an aftermarket warranty I would get an exclusionary warranty that your local Audi dealer accepts.

Despite the issues with the car, I think that it is a great driving car. However, keep in mind that I am an original owner who paid close to $60,000 for my daily driver and who according to my wife is the President of the "More Money than Brains" club. For example, changing the transmission fluid costs over a $1,000 just for the fluid (the fluid is $57 per liter), not including labor. Also keep in mind that the 55,000 mile service is the "major" service for the car. If money is an issue, you may want to look for a car that is cheaper to "maintain". Regardless of your decision, you will enjoy driving an Audi, but you may not enjoy the maintenance. Good luck.


Here is my post in response to a related topic:

I am afraid that Audi has TSBs on every one of the problems that I experienced indicating that I am not alone with these issues. As far as not hearing about these issues on the forum, I point out that I am one of the few original C6 owners on the forum with the corresponding 5 and a ˝ years of experience in owning one of these cars. I doubt that when these cars are purchased used that the original owners are so honest with the buyers. In contrast to my 5 and a ˝ years of experience, many of the C6 owners on this forum have less than a year’s experience with the "maintenance" on these cars. With that said, I think that the C6 is a great driving car and is alot of fun on the highway. I would also buy it all over again. You just need to make sure that you are carrying some type of warranty coverage.


10-18-2010, 10:02 AM
Sounds like I'm going to stay away from this car. I really love the car too! Now what am I going to look at? I just can't handle having my car in the shop every other week like it is now.

10-19-2010, 04:22 AM
Despite the issues that I have experienced, I would buy the car all over again. The 4.2 is alot of fun.

10-19-2010, 06:24 AM
Same. I have 3.2 and had problems with the Advanced Key and Airbag Warning Light twice

10-19-2010, 05:17 PM
I have a 06 4.2 and have only have had issue with the fuel gauge.... It was covered by the warranty, other than that it is a amazing car to own. I also get the same gas mileage as i did in my 05 3.2, (when I am easy on the peddle)