Last post on May 16, 2013 at 8:34 AM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Convertible, Sedan, Wagon
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#1542 of 2367 Re: 2004 A4 1.8T Quattro 6sp manual clutch failure at 29k [ryannail]
Jul 02, 2007 (12:37 pm)
Ryannail & Athornton:
Thanks to those who responded to my original post regarding my premature clutch failure. Two and a half months after my car broke down, I finally have a resolution through the Better Business Bureau's Auto Line arbitration program. In a nutshell, I won my case but still managed to lose financially.
Prior to the case hearing on June 11th, a third party mechanic from the BBB went to Audi of Santa Barbara to inspect the vehicle at my request. The third party technical expert concluded that there were "no signs of abuse" and that I was "not responsible to any degree for the failure of the clutch" (what I have been saying all along!). This report from the third party mechanic, along with the testimony of two witnesses who were in the car with me at the time of the clutch failure, formed most of my argument at the hearing. The representative that Audi sent to the hearing seemed ill prepared and basically just reiterated their original assessment that the damage was not due to normal wear and tear and that therefore the warranties do not apply. To support this assertion, he provided a document that was barely legible which had been printed from some internet site showing various clutch failures and possible causes for each type of failure. The arbitrator himself picked the document apart, and was annoyed that Audi waited until the hearing itself to produce any documentation. In the end, the arbitrator awarded me repair of the clutch and towing to my local dealer to have the repairs performed near my home. The arbitrator's conclusion read:
"I find that the failure of the clutch is a substantial nonconformity because it is a safety problem that can result in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, as well as substantially impair the use and value of the vehicle."
Once I accepted the decision (binding Audi to its terms), I then had to fight Audi a second time over the towing part of the decision. They tried to assert that they didn't have to pay for the towing of the car. I had to request a clarification of the arbitrator's decision, but then a few days later Audi offered to pay for a rental car so that I could pick-up the vehicle (120 miles from my home). Beaten down, I agreed. My car should be ready any day now.
In the end, while I feel a definite sense of vindication--it was not (at all) worth the effort and trouble for a ~$1000 repair. Plenty of people warned me that this would be the case. In my defense, when I started this fight I thought Audi of America would come to their senses after just a few letters. Still, I learned a lot and I'm thankful for the good folks at the Better Business Bureau. Anybody interested in knowing more can e-mail me.
#1543 of 2367 Re: 2004 A4 1.8T Quattro 6sp manual clutch failure at 29k [christian78]
Jul 02, 2007 (6:56 pm)
Many thanks for the update, and congratulations on your persistence and overall success!
I am collecting posts such as yours in preparation for an approach to the State Attorney General's Office with a request to investigate the practices of Maplewood Audi, Minnesota, and the Audi Corporation of America.
#1544 of 2367 Audi A4 1.8 2001 Cam follower or Lifter startup clatter
Jul 02, 2007 (7:42 pm)
have a 2001 A4 1.8, 87K miles, that on start up has a cam follower clatter for about 6 seconds or so, just started this a few weeks ago. I know these lifters have a tendency to seep oil and thus need to be reoiled on start up but how do you pin down which lifter or lifters needs replacing and what would the time be to replace the faulty part. Are any special "audi" tools required. I recently did an oil change with 0/40 synthetic with an expensive K&N oil filter. Is there a special oil filter required to prevent lifter leak down??? Is the K&N over kill and should I have gone with a thicker oil. Any Audi techs out there that are familiar with this.
#1545 of 2367 Re: Audi A4 1.8 2001 Cam follower or Lifter startup clatter [pchi]
Jul 02, 2007 (8:08 pm)
"Is the K&N over kill..."
No, it's simply a complete waste of money, just keep using factory filters. Period, full stop, the end.
"...and should I have gone with a thicker oil?"
Nope, the Mobil 1 0W-40 is perfect for your car.
#1546 of 2367 Re: Audi A4 1.8 2001 Cam follower or Lifter startup clatter [pchi]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 03, 2007 (9:40 am)
Bingo! DONT USE aftermarket oil filters with an Audi engine!
I bet if you put the Audi filter in, your noise will go away or diminish.
#1547 of 2367 Re: 2004 A4 1.8T Quattro 6sp manual clutch failure at 29k [christian78]
Jul 04, 2007 (12:21 pm)
Christian78 and anyone else that had dealings with Audi
Thanks for the results of the story...it brings back memories. I have a few posts here related to my Audi experience which they called "unique", but reading all of the complaints, etc it seems many of us are enjoying these "unique" experiences.
It seems it is not the car but the company. Audi seems unable or refuses to take ownership for the failures and fault(s) of their vehicles as well as dealers. It appears to be a common behavioral trait with them.
I also contacted the BBB after my car was in the shop 45 consecutive days. Audi responded by offering some lease reimbursement though it never happened. I of course followed up and the smoke screen began to grow. I then emailed and called Audi's PR and Marketing team (info can be found on the web). Amazing how quickly Audi management called me, apparently I got people above the normal customer service group and they promised to help me - they told me they were the part of the team that steps in when issues are not being resolved via normal customer service channels. I admit I was relieved, but unfortunately, as most of you experienced, nothing materialized but more stall tactics and fluff. I wanted so much to believe in them and the brand but after two more months of excuses and the car failing it was over.
I did not hesitate any longer, I got an attorney (ignored Audi's disappointment in that act - yes disappointment - who is the customer?) Went to court, before arbitration Audi quickly presented a settlement (they made an offer and met my counter). The whole thing seemed pointless since all they had to do over a year ago was fix the darn car.
My point is do not hesitate with Audi, their tactic is to stall you, like their cars. Going after Audi is a horrible thing to go through and takes a lot of hours and work on your part, but we are talking principal here. We are the customer, we are paying for an expensive car, we deserve a little respect. Audi brags about increased market share, a report came out the other year that showed a % of repeat customers among makes, Audi was near the bottom, very telling.
Some advice: always go through the proper channels first with the dealer and Audi Customer Care and document everything - it will help you later. I discovered Audi customer service reps keep horrible records. When you negotiate with Audi and you have a copy of an Audi document and they do not it helps you a great deal.
Good luck to all in similar situations.....as a wrap up, I had further dealings with Audi, the car was still under warranty and I was pushing for a fix, Audi said they would only repair what was covered by warranty. What I did was call Customer Service each and every time I had a failure (got to know everyone pretty well) plus I took the car to the dealer at least twice a week and Audi paid for the loaner and warranty repair - I followed their procedures. Audi's team that dealt with me before the court experience called me and arranged an expert from Germany (no kidding) to look at the car. Apparently the expense of warranty claims and my failure claims via the Customer Care line was getting to them . The experts had it for two weeks and the car came back with 30 plus pages of repairs. After I still experienced about 50% of my issues until returning the car at lease end last year.
#1548 of 2367 Re: 1995 audi A4 1800cc immobiliser [joseph12]
Jul 04, 2007 (2:15 pm)
hi iv exactly the same problem did you manage to sort it out if so could you tell me how please any help would be much appreciated
#1549 of 2367 Re: Audi A4 1.8 2001 Cam follower or Lifter startup clatter [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 05, 2007 (6:22 pm)
Thanks for the advice, I'll buy an Audi filter tomorrow and put it on and cross my fingers. Appreciate it. On another point is it very difficult replacing the window washer bottle. It looks like it does not just slip right out.
#1550 of 2367 Re: Audi A4 1.8 2001 Cam follower or Lifter startup clatter [pchi]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 05, 2007 (6:24 pm)
Hmmm...might be bolted down below there. I don't recall. Yes let us know if the new oil filter helped.
#1551 of 2367 Re: Audi A4 1.8 2001 Cam follower or Lifter startup clatter [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 10, 2007 (6:51 pm)
Put the new factory filter on, (same price as the over priced K&N filter $13.00) and topped off the oil with the 0/40 mobil 1, did not help.
Went to a shop today and asked a question about the clatter situation, they said Audis have a tendancy to creat sludge and the oil screens need to be cleaned to maintain oiling and oil pressure. If you go to a picture of the cam chain tensioner you will see a small oval hole that is critical to oiling, this hole has a screen in it and the clatter is due to chain noise untill the oil starts flowing and quite often it starts to sludge up. They seemed to be pretty knowledgeable on this and said it was due to sludge. If you can clean the cam tensioner screen its supposed to help the problem. Then I guess you go after the pickup screen if the first screen does not help. They said even if you are excellent at changing your oil it will still sludge. Good reason to NEVER put in regular oil.
Another friend of mine suggested I put a quart of Marvelous Mystery oil in it and drive it for 30 or 40 miles then change the oil. He has built many exotic car engines. I will give that a try in the next few days.
Thanks for your help.