2005.5 Audi A4 Hell – not quite a lemon, but causing grief

red 2005.5 audi a4 (b7 platform)
This is my 2005.5 (b7 platform) audi a4.

It is a 2.0t (great engine), and has quattro, XM sat radio, an automatic transmission (boo…), and the performance package.

I love it. I will say this again and again, this is the ultimate car for driving in snow. Its 200 HP from a 4 cyl engine is ample, and more than many 6 cyl cars manage. The interior is a study in quality materials. The car feels slow – that is to say… it is so stable, quiet, and confident at speed that I can be doing 85mph and feel like I am only going 65. I have never experienced that in another car, even my previous b5 A4.

It is also, unfortunately, an early model in the b7 product line, and all the kinks were not worked out when it was assembled in December 2004.

My audi has been in the shop more times than I care to remember. The first major issue arose when the break lights started sticking on. If the lights stuck on while I was driving, I had to pull the break pedal up with my foot in order for the auto transmission to shift into a higher gear. If it stuck on while the car was off (or worse, they switched on in the middle of the night) I would have a dead battery – in the middle of winter – in michigan, and miss work or class. I resorted to placing a t-shirt, rolled up, under the brake pedal of the car while I was away from it.

This seems like something that should not be THAT hard to fix… but it was. The car was, and still is for a mere 150 miles, under its 4 year 50,000 mile warranty, and I get it serviced at the local Audi dealer, where we bought it, Delta Imports.

The car went in to service four times for this problem, meanwhile I had a dead battery several times. They replaced the master cylinder for the break system one of the first times it was in. After that it was something else, and finally they replaced a small electronic switch that was out of alignment to fix the problem. They did not agree to replace my battery, which had lost some spunk after being drained several times.

Fast forward 10-20k miles and we arrive at 1 month ago. The car is nearing that 50,000 mile warranty cut off, at around 48,000 miles. The engine light starts flickering on and off. As in one day it is on, the next day it will be off.

I, being a concerned owner as anyone would, decided that it needed to go see the service center before the warranty was up. So back to Delta Imports we go.

The firs time around the car is in for ~3 days, they call and say it is done, and it was just some sensor acting up that they replaced. Great. I head in and pick it up, then a day later the light comes back on. booo.

I bring it back in, of course. I wait 3 days and they call to say “it will be done tomorrow, we will call you to let you know.”

I hear nothing the next day, wait three more days, still nothing. I then decide that it is probably done, so I go in to pick it up (on friday). The service manager guy there says the following:

  • The car is not done – the parts have been replaced, but we need to test to make sure it worked
  • Its not like we are waiting on parts
  • We will do our tests and it will be done on monday (currently friday)
  • We will give you this $400 liquid steel wax treatment for compensation for being without your car for 2 weeks (fine…)

I did not hear anything from them for over another week. Part of that week was spent in Florida with Sarah, so I wasn’t exactly waiting by the phone for them to call, but still annoying.

So next my father, who is far less patient than I, decided that he will talk to the service department and find out what is wrong (while I am still in Florida). He gets the same answer, “It will be done tomorrow” but he does not accept it the way I probably would – he demands they give us a loaner car until mine is done. They also repeat the line about the $400 wax job.

Funny thing is… it was actually done the next day, as they said. It seems they need to be inconvenienced in order to stop inconveniencing me…

So I got my car back. I drove it home stopping to fuel up on the way, as it was down to 1/8th of a tank. Later in the evening my parents and I (at home, my house is still under construction) smell something awful in our house. We think it is natural gas leaking in our basement – but it doesn’t smell quite right for that. We call out the gas company, and while they agree that it smells awful, it is not a natural gas leak, nor is it carbon monoxide. We then notice that it is concentrated in the garage.

About an hour later we finally figure out that it is my 2005.5 audi A4 leaking its full tank of premium gas onto our garage floor that is causing our whole house to stink.

The car is now sitting back at the dealer with a plastic sled under it to collect the dripping gas.



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