Six Interesting Facts about the Audi A4 Quattro
- The term “quattro”, which means four in Italian, is Audi AG’s registered trademark. It is the sub-brand that’s used by Audi to signify all-wheel drive systems or technologies that are used on some Audi models. It was in 1980 when the name Quattro was officially introduced on the Audi Quattro model with permanent four wheel drive. The said model is usually called Ur-Quattro—“Ur” is a German prefix indicating first or original. Since then, the word quattro has been used for the succeeding Audi AWD vehicles.
- Unlike prior A4s, the latest model of Audi A4 Quattro is powered only by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 220 horsepower from 4,300 to 6,000 rpm. What’s more interesting is that even if it comes with just one engine, the 2015 A4 Quattro comes with three transmission choices—six speed manual transmission, Tiptronic eight-speed transmission, and Multitronic CVT.
- The quattro system makes Audi the world’s most successful manufacturer of cars with permanent four-wheel drive. In fact, from 1980 up to 2009, Audi has manufactured almost 3.3 million units fitted with quattro drive. In the company’s latest model range, there were more than 120 quattro versions.
- The Audi A4 Quattro was one of the two Audi models voted by the readers of “Auto Bild allrad” for 2010 “all-wheel drive car of the year”. The A4 shared this recognition with the Audi A8 quattro. This was the fifth time in succession that such award was bagged by Audi. Audi claims that each clearly proves that quattro technology today is stronger and more innovative than ever before.
- Owners and enthusiasts have a unique way of referring to their Audi Quattros, and that is by their engine codes. This is done to distinguish earlier from the later versions. This is the reason Quattro models are being referred to as MB Quattro, WR Quattro, RR or 20v Quattro.
- A red 1983 Quattro was used in the television drama entitled Ashes to Ashes. There were two Quattros used through the run of the series—the original unit and a stunt vehicle acquired for the second series. The original car was also used in the Children in Need Top Gear crossover mini-episode.
Audi A4 Quattro Common Problems
The Audi A4 Quattro astounds owners and enthusiasts with its timeless style, excellent German performance credentials, as well as unmatched craftsmanship. As Audi claims, this car is the ultimate overachiever. But much like other vehicles, being an overachiever doesn’t mean it comes with no flaws. As it succumbs to daily wear and tear, you will also experience some issues with its features, systems, and components. So you could be ready for such, here are some of the common problems experienced by some A4 Quattro owners:
Check engine light
A number of owners complain that the check engine light on their dash illuminates due to vacuum leaks, bad oxygen sensor, and/or catalytic converter failure. If you encounter such issues, you may need to have the problem diagnosed for you to find out what components needs replacement or repair. Some vehicle owners have replaced their catalytic converter or oxygen sensor that has gone bad to prevent the issue from affecting their fuel mileage and emissions.
Some owners also reported that their check engine light comes on due to a problem with the torque converter. Most of them had the torque converter replaced even if that means shelling out big bucks just so they won’t be bothered by the persistent illumination of the CEL.
There were some reports that the digital display portion of the A4 Quattro’s instrument cluster may fail. Some owners said that they had the unit replaced to solve the problem. Others have the problem fixed by removing the gauge cluster and the circuit ribbon to the circuit board. There are also owners who reported that the display goes out during summer when the temperature outside is so warm and just comes back when the temperature starts to drop.
After driving your Audi A4 Quattro for several thousand miles, you might notice fluid leak on the rear of your transmission, specifically from the propeller shaft seal. Vehicle owners that have encountered such problem had the seal replaced with a new one. There are some, however, who claim that the problem persisted after having the seal replaced. Other reported that the leak did stop after replacement but came back after just a few months.
I hear a clicking sound whenever I start my Audi A4 Quattro. Could the problem be the alternator or the car battery itself?
To pinpoint which of the two is defective, you need to perform the headlight test and the battery test. The headlight test requires you to start up the car, turn on the headlights, and after making sure your hand brakes are in place; press on the accelerator. Take note that you need the help of another person to be able to see if the headlights go dim, turn brighter, or flicker whenever you ram on the accelerator. A steady bright headlight is a telltale sign that your alternator is just fine. Meanwhile, the battery test requires the removal of the negative cable from the battery. If your car dies, then the problem is with the alternator. But if it does not, then the problem is with the battery.
Since alternators would definitely take over in case of dead battery, is it okay if I let it be?
The battery is a very essential part of an automobile, as it ensures the alternator is performing its role well while the vehicle is in motion. Likewise, it allows you to operate your fancy electronic gadgets while the engine is at rest. In case of dead battery, the alternator is now forced to work doubly hard. Starting up your car means the alternator will charge up your battery. However, stalling at the stoplight will eventually discharge your battery once more. Given this scenario, the alternator should not be solely given the task of charging a dead battery. Another option for you is to use an external charger that works low voltages perfect to power up a dead battery.
Can car batteries really explode? If yes, how can I avoid it?
Car batteries are known as "lead acid" basically because they use lead plates initially immersed in sulfuric acid in storing and releasing electrical energy. This allows them to keep up with the demand for high levels of current whenever the car is turned on. The lead content itself is hazardous enough, especially when mishandled. Hydrogen gas in small amounts is created whenever batteries are discharged and charged and you ought to know that it is flammable. Chances are certain amounts of hydrogen gas are still leaking inside the battery and when ignited, could cause explosion whenever the battery is charged. That is why safety precautions and essential care are required when connecting and disconnecting the charging cable. Instead of directly connecting the cables on the battery itself, it is best to connect on the bare metal or the frame. Also, make sure that all cables are connected prior to turning on the charger.
I recently got new head gasket and intake gasket for my A4 Quattro and I wonder it that had something to do with my car overheating for two times in a row?
Getting some work done on your cooling system often results to overheating problems. When the cooling system is opened up, air pockets are trapped somewhere which blocks the proper flow of the coolant. Steam pockets arise which then results to overheating. Things cool down and get back to normal once the air pockets move. However, the process goes on and on and you would have to constantly do emergency stops. Hence, the importance of eliminating the air pockets out of the system.
How the Audi A4 Quattro Revived a Struggling Brand
Audi experienced one of its worst sales-record during the early 90s. Various reasons like ageing models, outdated engineering, accident-prone cars, and recalled models, dismayed people towards the Audi brand. By 1994, this was all challenged with the release of a new model named the Audi A4, and its all-wheel drive model, the Audi A4 quattro. This new luxury vehicle reignited the missing spark the company badly needed. Today, the benefits of the A4 quattro are still being reaped. Here are a few highlights of how it happened.
First generation (1996-2001): The Audi 80 becomes the Audi A4
A rebranded Audi jumped head-on to the intense car market with the release of the luxurious entry-level Audi A4. Early models came only as a sedan, while the wagon (Avant) followed soon. It was a well-dressed car in and out. A smooth and silky finish covered the exterior while the inside had all the lavish trims one would expect from a high-end car. Other than a few quirks, like having—at best—a 190 horsepower V6 engine that was inferior to its competition, a lot of people were impressed with Audi and its A4 quattro.
Second generation (2001-2005): Big improvements for the new generation
This magnificent car had a huge makeover in the 2001 model-year. Reception for the A4’s new looks, which was based on the new Volkswagen Group B6 platform, was as warm as the first’s. New mechanical upgrades on the A4 quattro included a 50:50 torque distribution ratio, an electronic stability program (ESP) system, anti-lock braking system (ABS), brake assist, and electronic brakeforce distribution. The car was also equipped with an Audi-original multitronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) system. This type of CVT was recognized as one of the best designs of its kind.
Third generation (2006-2008): Continuing the hot start
A4 quattro’s of this generation are better described as retouched rather than redesigned. Other than the expected engine and style upgrades, third-generation A4s shared a lot with the second generation. The same Volkswagen B6 platform was reused. The A4 quattro was still commended for its good looks and great performance. Even past upgrades and innovations, like ESP, ABS, and the multitronic CVT were still there. However, these weren’t regarded due to laxness from the people at Audi. Rather, these were simply improvements on an already working system.
Current generation (2009): Keeping up with the giants
By this time, Audi is seen in the same level as the other major European cars of Mercedes Benz and BMW. This respect was put to good use by Audi with the release of an all-new A4 quattro. Critics weren’t disappointed with the huge improvements. Bigger cabin size, higher engine output (with a 265 horsepower V6 available), and better transmission system for better fuel economy makes the new A4 one of the best cars in its class. This, along with other models, continues to keep Audi in a competitive form against other giants.