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Audi A4 B8 common problems (2008-2016)

Audi A4

The Audi A4 chases buyers with a combination of superb build quality and chic style. It’s something different from the driving appeal of a BMW or the comfort of a Mercedes. The first three generations of the Audi A4 provided classy, serene well-made transport, but for the fourth generation Audi tried to add driving enjoyment to the mix. And of course, it offers the extra traction afford by the quattro four-wheel-drive system, and the relaxation of an automatic gearbox.

This Audi A4 B8 sold well, so there are plenty out there if you’re in the hunt, and while it does suffer from a few common issues, it’s perfectly fixable by a home mechanic.

So, now’s the time to invest in a Haynes Audi A4 manual, and it will be by your side every time you sort out niggling issues on your A4 – and you’ll avoid costly garage labour charges. Winner winner.

Audi A4
Audi A4

What recalls has the Audi A4 been subject to?

Audi has had to recall the A4 Mk4 on a few occasions, but not an alarming number of times.

Some cars were recalled because the coolant pump could become blocked and overheat, then airbags that wouldn’t deploy properly in a crash forced another recall of almost 60,000 cars.

A number of cars were recalled because the fuel injector rails could spring a leak, with an attendant risk of fire.

Then more than 147,000 cars were recalled because an auxiliary heater element could overheat.

On some cars, engine oil could leak into the brake servo via the vacuum feed line, reducing braking efficiency. The faulty vacuum line had to be replaced.

Later in the car’s life, 5092 examples had to be recalled because aluminium trim around the door speakers could come loose. Then 398 cars were recalled because a hinged towing bracket was faulty, and 20 cars were recalled because of faulty front-seat backrests.

Audi A4

What common problems does the Audi A4 Mk4 have?

Obviously, Audi’s entire reputation is founded on the fact that it has always built high-quality cars that last for a great many years and over high mileages.

And it matters not whether your A4 B8 has a TDi or TFSI engine under the bonnet, reliability is good. But not perfect.

So, while the A4 may have an iron-clad reputation for reliability, squeaky brakes are going to put a bit of a dent in that impression.

The cabin is also going to be less comfortable than ideal if there’s no air being circulated, but that’s what happens when the blower motor fails, and if you’re driving along at 30-40mph and hear a whining noise from somewhere beneath you, then you’re not alone.

An engine warning light is going to cause a few palpitations, especially when accompanied by power loss, but both can happen to an Audi A4. And owners have reported that their A4 can start to whistle as you drive along – weird.

And finally, if you notice a creaking noise from the gearbox when the clutch pedal is pressed, then it’s the release bearing at fault.

Audi A4

Why do the Audi A4 B8 brakes squeak?

Squeaking brakes can be deeply annoying, because they can send an ear-splitting shriek up through the car every single time you brush the pedal.

That’s what some A4 Mk4 owners have been put through, because the A4’s front brakes are known for generating squeaks. The problem lies with the brake caliper guide pins, which need to be regreased on occasion.

However, it’s an easy job. All you need do is raise and support the car on axle stands, remove the front wheel, remove the caliper and clean up the guide pins. Then it’s just a case of lubricating the pins and reinstalling everything. It can be a good idea to check your brake pads at this point, and if they’re getting low, replace them. Makes sense to do it while everything is apart.

And the good news is that we’ve done the job and illustrated it fully in the Haynes A4 manual, so just read up on what to do and get cracking.

Audi A4

Is the Audi A4 blower motor easy to replace?

It’s not only slightly uncomfortable if part of the car’s ventilation system fails, but it can also be a safety issue. That’s because such a failure would mean you’d have no way of keeping the windscreen clear of condensation and misting. And this is not an unknown occurrence for Audi A4 Mk4 owners, because the blower motor has a tendency to fail on occasion.

Still, the removal and replacement of the motor is fully covered in your Haynes A4 manual, and simply entails the removal of the glovebox, which allows access to the retaining screws. Just follow the procedure and it’ll be done in no time.

Audi A4
Audi A4

Why is your Audi A4 Mk4 propshaft whining?

This is problem that afflicts cars fitted with the quattro four-wheel-drive system. If you notice a whining noise emanating from the underside of the vehicle as you drive along at between 30mph and 40mph on a cold day, then the cause is likely to be a failing centre propshaft bearing.

The procedure will entail raising the car and supporting it on axle stands, before you crawl underneath and unbolt the propshaft, before replacing the bearing and reinstalling the propshaft in the vehicle.

If putting back the original propshaft, ensure that you mark its position with the drive flange before you remove it from the vehicle. That way you can put it back exactly as it was.

Audi A4

Does the Audi A4 have EGR problems?

Yes, it can do. You’ll notice that there’s a problem when the engine warning light illuminates, and the engine suddenly struggles to pull properly. Indeed, the A4 Mk4 can feel truly lethargic.

The first thing to do is to connect a fault-code reader to the OBD port. If it displays either code P0403 or P0401, then you’ll know that the problem lies with the EGR cooler, which is likely suffering from a build-up of contaminants.

However, the procedures to remove both the EGR cooler and EGR valve are covered in detail in the Haynes A4 manual, and the chapter covers a range of engine types, so you’ll be fine no matter whether you have a petrol TFSI engine or a diesel TDI motor.

Audi A4

Is the Audi A4 B8 clutch fragile?

Any kind of noise when you depress the clutch pedal is going to be a bit disconcerting, especially if that noise is issued from the gearbox end of the system. It’s not just a creaky pedal. But a creaking noise is what you’ll hear when there’s a dodgy connection between the clutch release bearing and release lever.

You’ll need to remove the gearbox, then renew the release lever, ball pin, spring support and if necessary, the release bearing.

Sounds a lot, but in reality it shouldn’t take too long as long as you follow the thorough step-by-step guide in your Haynes A4 manual. You’ll be back on the road, creak free, in no time at all.

Audi A4

Why is my Audi A4 whistling?

A number of Audi A4 owners have reported a condition where the vehicle starts to generate a whistling noise as the speed builds.

The problem is due to a leaky seal on the bulkhead. However, Audi has seen fit to produce a repair kit (part number: AKL.450.005.05).

Once you’ve acquired that, it’s simply a case of removing the old, leaky bung from the bulkhead and replacing it with the upgraded item. Then cabin serenity will once again reign, no matter what your speed.