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Years ago, the Audi was quite an unreliable vehicle. But these little luxury cars have come a long way. Today, they’re ranked third by Consumer Reports for reliability, behind Lexus and Toyota. 

Audis aren’t without their problems, however.

There are common Audi problems that most owners will face over the lifetime of the vehicle. Let’s take a look at the problems you may encounter if you own or regularly drive an Audi. 

Timing Belt Issues

If you’ve begun to notice your Audi running more sluggishly than usual, you may have an issue with your timing belt. Oil may begin to leak, as nuts and bolts under the hood may loosen. As a result, you may also hear a ticking sound, usually due to your engine not being well lubricated. 

Your check engine light will likely come on if your timing belt has begun to slip, though this is not always the case. Finally, if your timing belt has snapped off slipped off entirely, your car won’t start. The repair for this is a major undertaking, so it’s best to catch the problem and repair it early. 

Oil Leaks

Not all oil leaks are caused by timing belt malfunctions. One of the more common Audi problems is an oil leak caused by degraded gaskets in your vehicle. If you notice a small oil spot on your driveway after parking for the day, it’s best to get your car checked. 

Oil leaks are no small matter. First, they can cause a fire. That, of course, is extremely dangerous. Low oil levels can lead to expensive problems with your engine, HVAC, and your radiator. And you already knew this, but oil leaks are extremely harmful to the environment. 

Spark Plug Failure

If you own an Audi, you’re almost guaranteed to experience a spark plug failure. In fact, it’s the most common problem Audi owners face. Failed spark plugs can manifest themselves in a number of ways. You may have trouble turning the engine. You may have difficulty accelerating. Or your engine may begin to misfire. 

Spark plug failure is inconvenient, but fixing the issue is generally fairly inexpensive. It’s important to check with a mechanic about this common Audi problem before your repair bill increases exponentially. 

Axle Issues

If you’ve begun to hear a “clunking” noise when you turn a sharp corner or into a parking space, there’s a good chance it’s your axle CV boot causing the problem. Your CV (constant velocity) boot’s function is simple: it keeps the good grease in and the bad stuff (dirt, water, and road sludge) out of your drive axle joint. 

Changing a CV boot will cost you several hundred dollars, but as with most repairs, it’s best to take care of it early. If you wait, you may find yourself replacing the entire axle assembly. This repair will cost you thousands of dollars. 

Electrical Component Issues

Is your window permanently stuck in the “down” position? Is your LCD screen beginning to burn out? Maybe your brake lights are stuck, and they won’t turn off. These are signs of common Audi problems with the electrical system. 

Fixing electrical component issues is usually relatively inexpensive, but once again bring your car to a technician as soon as you notice the problem. Electrical component failure can cause bigger issues down the road. In some events, they can lead to a traffic ticket, as well!

Ignition Coil Failure

We mentioned that failing spark plugs could cause your Audi to misfire, but a failure of the ignition coil can do the same. If your car starts misfiring, a technician can diagnose which parts will need to be replaced. 

Ignition coil replacement isn’t a terribly expensive repair. It will likely cost you several hundred dollars, including parts and labor. If your ignition coil is faulty, you can still drive your car to the mechanic. However, it’s not advisable to drive the vehicle for much longer than that, as you may experience damage to other parts of the engine. 

Summary: Common Problems with Audi Cars

Audis aren’t the unreliable cars they once were. To be ranked third in reliability—just behind vehicles with Toyota parts, no less—is no small feat. Of course, reliability in a vehicle doesn’t mean nothing will ever go wrong. 

Happily, the most common Audi problems are usually simple and relatively inexpensive to repair. The issues on this list are the most frequently encountered, and a quick trip to the garage or dealership will have them taken care of promptly.