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Aside from its sleek and stylish exterior, the Audi A3 is also popular for its high-tech features and impressive engine power. This luxury sedan is a reliable car that guarantees a refined driving experience. It holds value well and depreciates only 49% after five years, according to CarEdge.com.

Is the Audi A3 Reliable?

The Audi A3 got good scores in terms of reliability. RepairPal gives it a 3.5 out of 5.0 reliability rating, ranking 4th out of 17 cars in the same category. However, the A3 may become expensive to maintain. It still remains a great choice because it has all the desirable traits you look for in an Audi, including active driver assistance features. Similar to other Audi models, the A3 may last up to over 250,000 miles if you take care of it well by following its maintenance and service schedule.

blue audi a3
The Audi A3 is a reliable luxury sedan popular for its high-tech features and impressive engine power.

Top Audi A3 Problems

The Audi A3 is a competent luxury sedan, but it has some potential issues depending on its model year. Here are the most common problems you may encounter with various A3 models:

Start-Stop System Malfunction

The 2017-2020 Audi A3 may exhibit start-stop system malfunction. This system is designed to help reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel economy, but it can be linked to various Audi A3 accelerator or brake pedal problems. This issue has affected other Audi models, including the S3, TT, Q5, and some others. According to reports, the start-stop system may cause power steering function loss and delayed braking response, which may increase the risk of collisions or accidents. It can basically make your A3 difficult to maneuver and dangerous to drive. If your A3 is showing similar symptoms, get it checked by your mechanic as soon as possible to avoid accidentally crashing your car while driving on the road.

audi a3 odometer
Some 2017-2020 Audi A3 units may exhibit start-stop system malfunction.

Misfiring Engine

Engine misfire is commonly reported with the 2006-2010 and 2016 Audi A3. It may be accompanied by poor acceleration and a triggered check engine light. These symptoms may be linked to a wide array of complications, but the most reported cause is ignition coil failure. It usually happens at around 65,000 miles. An ignition coil replacement can easily resolve this issue. However, if it happens to high-mileage vehicles, it’s recommended to replace all ignition coils in one go to prevent further misfiring later on.

Defective Fuel Tank Suction Pump

One of the most troublesome of the 2015-2016 Audi A3’s common problems is the defective suction pump located inside its fuel tank. It may cause fuel to flow into the A3’s evaporative emission control system (EVAP). This may develop into a fuel leak, which may ignite and cause a vehicle fire. Audi is aware of this defect and it issued a recall in 2016 for affected A3 vehicles and multiple Volkswagen models. Audi has advised that a fuel tank suction pump replacement would be provided for free. Owners of affected vehicles may contact Audi for more information.

Faulty Airbags

One of the most alarming 2015 Audi A3 problems is its defective airbags, which may malfunction due to electrical issues. According to reports, the passenger occupant detection system (PODS) may experience an electrical charge and deactivate the vehicle’s airbags. This defect prompted a recall in 2019, including other Audi models and multiple A3 model years. Some owners of affected vehicles have shared that they were disappointed because their relatively new sedans became dangerous to drive. Audi has guaranteed to do part replacements and other defect-related repairs for free. If you think your A3 is affected by this recall, you may contact Audi for further details.

Illuminated Check Engine Light Due to a Throttle System Issue

One of the most commonly reported problems with the 2006-2010 and 2016 Audi A3 is its check engine light, which may turn on because of a throttle system issue. According to reports, this is not necessarily caused by component failure. Instead, it’s caused by electrical problems at the A3’s throttle body. Some owners have encountered power loss and abnormal noises with their A3s, along with illuminated check engine lights. They have shared that it usually starts acting up at around 88,000 miles. Audi is aware of this common problem and it has a harness repair kit that can help fix the throttle body’s electrical issues.

Failing High Pressure Fuel Pump

Some 2006-2008 and 2012 Audi A3 models with the 2.0L turbocharged engines may have high pressure fuel pumps that may easily wear and fail, causing the car to hesitate when accelerating. This may also be accompanied by an illuminated check engine light. Some owners have shared that their sedans also developed starting issues because of their worn out high pressure fuel pumps. Technicians have advised that replacing the high pressure fuel pump would resolve the issue. However, they have recommended that the camshaft and its follower must also be inspected for damage. Further repairs may be needed on a case-by-case basis. If you are experiencing this issue with your A3, consult a mechanic to make sure you get an accurate diagnosis to avoid more issues later on.

Faulty Automatic Transmission

The 2006 Audi A3’s transmission problems are well-known among car owners. Many have reported that their transmissions would slip and cause excessive jerking. They have also encountered sudden stalling and erratic shifting accompanied by abnormal clunking noises, which usually start setting in at around 57,000 miles. Some have shared that these transmission-related issues may be linked to the A3’s direct-shift gearbox issues. However, that may not always be the case. Some have gone to their dealerships to get their cars inspected, but mechanics could not pinpoint the exact cause. These problems may increase the risk of losing vehicle control, so make sure to get your A3 checked as soon as you notice any signs of transmission trouble.

If you’re planning to buy a new or used Audi A3, you must also be aware of the potential problems that you may encounter with the model year you plan to buy. Car-shopping always comes with some risk, but doing some research can help you efficiently manage issues as they happen. Just make sure that you clarify all details with your seller before making up your mind.

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