Audi A4 Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Audi A4 Years to Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a used Audi A4? While the Audi A4 is known for its refined style, performance, and cutting-edge technology, it’s essential to be aware of certain model years that may have experienced more issues than others.

In this informative guide, we will explore the Audi A4 years to avoid, shedding light on the worst model years that you should steer clear of.

Audi A4 Years to Avoid

By understanding the potential pitfalls associated with specific years, you can make an informed decision and ensure a satisfying ownership experience.

Let’s dive into the details and discover which Audi A4 model years you should avoid.

Audi A4 Years to Avoid

When it comes to buying a used Audi A4, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research to make an informed purchase. While the A4 has had a reputation for reliability, there have been some model years that experienced more problems than others.

Owning a luxury vehicle like the Audi A4 can be a rewarding experience, but without the proper knowledge, you might find yourself dealing with costly repairs and maintenance.

By being aware of these troubled years, you can avoid unnecessary headaches and unexpected expenses.

Audi A4 Years to Avoid

Let’s start with the Audi A4 years to avoid and uncover the worst model years to help you make an informed decision and avoid potential headaches down the road.

2011 Audi A4: The Worst Model Year

The 2011 Audi A4 stands out as the worst model year to avoid. This particular year saw a variety of mechanical difficulties and failures, with engine-related problems being the most prevalent.

Many owners reported that the 2011 A4 was not fuel-efficient and consumed gas at an alarming rate, leading to frequent refills and increasing expenses over time.

One of the major concerns with the 2011 A4 was its engine performance, which forced several owners to opt for a complete engine replacement.

This repair alone cost many of them well over $5,000.

While the 2011 model year is often regarded as the worst overall, the 2009 model year surpasses it in terms of total complaints recorded.

Read Also: How Long Do Audi A4 Last?

2008 Audi A4: Oil Issues and Recalls

The 2008 Audi A4 faced recurring problems with oil consumption, leading to leaking oil and inaccurate oil level readings between changes. Additionally, air conditioning issues were commonly reported after a few years of ownership.

Despite these challenges, the 2008 A4 runs smoothly when properly maintained and offers a comfortable driving experience.

Recall-wise, the 2008 model had five recalls related to airbags. These recalls covered issues such as corrosion, deployment failure, and delayed deployment on the driver’s side.

2009 Audi A4: Engine Failure and Recalls

Similar to its predecessor, the 2009 Audi A4 experienced issues with oil consumption, leading to lingering repair costs over time. Engine failure was also reported, making it another model year to avoid.

The 2009 A4 shared the same five airbag-related recalls as the 2008 model, emphasizing the importance of thorough inspection and maintenance when considering this model year.

General Issues in Audi A4 Model Years between 2008 and 2011

Overall, the Audi A4 model years between 2008 and 2011 routinely received several complaints, primarily related to oil consumption and poor engine performance.

Owners reported these issues occurring around the 60,000-mile mark, leading to expensive repairs. Fortunately, model years beyond this period saw improvements in addressing these concerns.

Read Also: Are Audi A4 Reliable Cars?

Recalls: Compared to the other two model years to avoid on this list, the 2011 Audi A4 didn’t face any major recalls related to significant safety issues.

However, regular maintenance and wear and tear issues are still crucial to address.

By making an informed decision, you can enjoy all the luxury and performance that the Audi A4 has to offer without the burden of frequent and costly repairs.

Audi A4 Best Years

The Audi A4 is a renowned luxury car that competes with top models from BMW and Mercedes.

When determining the best years for the Audi A4, we took into account various factors such as the FIXD Reliability Score, Owner Reliability Score, safety ratings, fuel economy, market value, and repair costs.

Audi A4 Best Years

We also considered recalls issued by the United States Department of Transportation.

After thorough analysis, we have identified the following Audi A4 best years.

2017-2018 Audi A4

The 2017 and 2018 Audi A4 models stand out as the best A4s on our list for several reasons. These years marked the beginning of the 5th generation of the Audi A4, with the 2018 model fixing many issues and becoming one of the most popular compact luxury sedans on the market.

Both the 2017 and 2018 Audi A4 have impressive FIXD Reliability Scores of 6 and 9, respectively. These scores indicate that these model years have fewer Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) compared to older versions of the same car, making them highly reliable choices. Owners of these years also confirm their reliability, with the 2017 model receiving a reliability score of 6/10 and the 2018 model earning a perfect 10/10.

In terms of safety, the 2017 and 2018 Audi A4 achieves one of the highest scores among luxury vehicles, with a safety rating of 4.6/5 stars. They excel in rollover and side crash tests, receiving a perfect 5/5, although their frontal crash test score is 4/5.

Repair and maintenance costs for these years are quite manageable, ranging from $417 to $750 annually, which is below the average across all Audi A4s. However, it’s worth noting that all surveyed owners reported a repair bill of over $500.

The most common expensive repair reported is related to the brakes, as brake repairs in 5 to 6-year-old cars are not uncommon. Additionally, it’s important to consider that parts for German manufacturers can be more expensive than those for other brands.

The occurrence of check engine lights in the 2017 and 2018 Audi A4 models is relatively low, further contributing to their reputation as the best years for this vehicle.

The most common Diagnostic Trouble Codes for these years include P2237, which could indicate a faulty oxygen sensor, and P0456, related to an evaporative emission control system leak. Repairing the DTC P0456 may involve fixing the leak detection pump, with costs ranging from $200 to $560.

As for recalls, the 2017 Audi A4 has reported 6 recalls but no investigations, with only 71 complaints. Most of these recalls are related to airbags, which can be repaired at no cost to the vehicle owner.

On the other hand, the 2018 Audi A4 impressively has zero recalls, investigations, and complaints.

Read Also: Why Are Audi A4 So Cheap?

2015-2016 Audi A4

The 2015 and 2016 Audi A4 models represent the final years of the 4th generation, which had a rough first half (except for the 2010 model year). Nevertheless, these years boast great reliability scores, low maintenance costs, and excellent safety ratings.

The 2015 A4 achieves a FIXD Reliability Score of 8/10, making it the second-best score overall. The 2016 model drops to a score of 4/10, potentially due to a smaller sample size. However, the 2016 model still offers impressive reliability coupled with excellent safety ratings and reasonable market values.

Both the 2015 and 2016 Audi A4 models achieve a safety rating of 4.8/5 stars, which is exceptional for any car, not just luxury sedans. Higher safety ratings often result in lower insurance premiums, making these years even more attractive as used car options. It’s important to note that when purchasing a used car, thorough research is crucial.

When it comes to maintenance and repair costs, the 2015 A4 averages around $500 annually, while the 2016 A4 comes in below average at $250. However, 100% of owners reported a repair bill of over $500 for both years, and the 2015 model spent an average of 2.8 days in the shop.

The most common Diagnostic Trouble Code for the 2015 Audi A4 is P0299, which may indicate a turbo-related issue.

Other notable codes include P2293 and P12A4. For the 2016 A4, the most common codes are P2188 and P2178, both related to the system running too lean, as well as P0172, indicating that Bank 1 has too much fuel or not enough air.

Recalls for the 2015 and 2016 Audi A4 are relatively low, with the 2015 model having four recalls and 38 complaints, while the 2016 model has three recalls. All recalls can be repaired free of charge through appointments with an Audi dealer.

2010 Audi A4

The 2010 Audi A4 stands out as one of the best Audi A4s due to its low maintenance costs and high safety scores. It represents the second year of the 4th generation and successfully addressed any initial mistakes made in the first year of that generation.

With a FIXD Reliability Score of 6/10, the 2010 A4 demonstrates above-average reliability and lower-than-average occurrences of Check Engine Lights (CELs) based on the available sample mileage. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough owner surveys to provide an accurate Owner Reliability Score for this year.

Safety-wise, the 2010 Audi A4 achieves a perfect 5/5 stars rating, making it an exceptional choice in terms of comfort and luxury. Its excellent safety features contribute to its status as one of the best-used cars to consider.

In terms of annual repair and maintenance costs, the 2010 A4 incurs only $250, which is considerably low. Additionally, 75% of owners reported a repair bill over $500, slightly below the average of 79%.

However, it’s important to note that the 2010 model year reported the highest mileage in our data for the A4, with 225,000 miles. This high reported mileage may contribute to its Kelley Blue Book value of less than $5,000.

While the 2010 Audi A4 is a great car overall, there are some concerning Diagnostic Trouble Codes to be aware of.

The most common code is P0299, indicating a turbo or supercharger-related issue. Another common code is P0420, which relates to the catalytic converter and can result in repairs costing between $1,538 and $2,041.

The third most common code for the 2010 model year is P0302, indicating a cylinder 2 misfire. This issue often necessitates replacing ignition coils, which can range in cost from $51 to $173 and may also require spark plug replacement.

The 2010 Audi A4 has no recalls and only 62 complaints. However, over half of these complaints are related to the engine, which should be taken into consideration when evaluating this model year.

2013-2014 Audi A4

The 2013 and 2014 Audi A4 models received a mid-generation facelift, enhancing the style and comfort of the already popular luxury vehicle. In 2013, the electric-assist power steering was introduced, while the 2014 model saw an increase in horsepower.

In terms of FIXD Reliability Scores, the 2013 and 2014 A4 models scored 3 and 4 out of 10, respectively, which is not particularly impressive.

However, the Owner Reliability Score for these years is a remarkable 9/10, placing them second only to the best Audi A4 year, 2018. Owners of the 2013-2014 A4 models appreciate the comfortable seats and user-friendly entertainment center.

When it comes to safety, both the 2013 and 2014 A4 models achieve an impressive safety rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they did not receive a perfect 5/5 rating due to their side barrier front seat and driver collision ratings.

Annual maintenance costs for the 2013 A4 average $1,125, which is relatively high, while the 2014 A4 comes in below average at $750. Additionally, there is an 80% chance of incurring a repair bill over $500 for the 2013 model year and a 100% chance for the 2014 model year.

The most common Diagnostic Trouble Code for the 2013 Audi A4 is P0420, related to the catalytic converter. Replacing a catalytic converter can cost between $1,538 and $2,041.

Other common codes for the 2013 A4 include P0300, indicating misfires, and P0301, indicating a misfire in cylinder 1. These issues often require replacing ignition coils ($51-$173), spark plugs ($66-$250), or a crankcase pressure regulating valve ($54-$170).

For the 2014 A4, a common code is P0299, which points to a turbo issue. Additionally, the P0420 code is present, along with P0172, indicating that Bank 1 has too much fuel or not enough air. The P0172 code can be caused by a dirty mass air flow sensor.

Both the 2013 and 2014 A4 models share four recalls. If these recalls have not been addressed, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with an Audi dealer, as three out of the four recalls increase the risk of a fire. The fire hazard is caused by either an overheating coolant pump or a melted auxiliary heat shield.

Audi A4 Problems

The Audi A4 is a popular luxury sedan known for its performance, style, and advanced features.

However, like any other vehicle, the Audi A4 has had its fair share of problems over the years.

In this section, we will explore some of the most common issues found in certain Audi A4 model years to avoid.

Audi A4 Problems

Understanding these problems can help potential buyers make informed decisions and avoid costly repairs down the line.

1. Oil Leaks/Consumption

One of the major concerns plaguing several Audi A4 model years is oil leaks and excessive oil consumption. This issue was particularly prevalent in models built before 2010.

Many owners reported oil leaks through the valve cover, leading to the illumination of the Check Engine Light.

This problem not only caused frustration but also resulted in potential engine damage if left unaddressed.

Moreover, these engines exhibited excessive oil consumption, with some owners losing up to one quart every thousand miles.

This level of oil consumption was significantly higher than the recommended intervals for oil replacement.

As a result, owners faced repair bills of up to $6,000 to rectify this issue. To avoid such problems, it is crucial to have a professional inspection before purchasing an Audi A4 from these model years.

2. Ignition Wire Failure

Another commonly reported problem in the Audi A4 is ignition wire failure, leading to misfires and the illumination of the check engine light. When the ignition coils or spark plugs fail, it can result in misfiring, affecting the overall performance of the vehicle.

Although replacing these components may not be excessively expensive, the frequency of replacements and the recurring nature of this issue have caused widespread complaints among Audi A4 owners.

Regular maintenance and timely replacement of ignition components are essential to prevent ignition wire failure.

3. Piston Faults

Piston faults have been a significant concern in certain Audi A4 model years. Cracked or fractured pistons can lead to complete engine failure if left unaddressed.

Symptoms of piston faults include misfiring, loss of power, oil burning, and engine knocking.

The cost of repairing piston faults can be substantial, with some owners reportedly paying up to $8,500 for repairs.

It is highly recommended to have a professional mechanic thoroughly inspect any Audi A4 from these model years before making a purchase to avoid potentially costly repairs associated with piston faults.

4. Engine Failure

Total engine failure is the most severe consequence that can occur if the aforementioned symptoms of oil leaks, excessive oil consumption, and piston faults are ignored.

Neglecting these issues can lead to dangerous faults that eventually result in complete engine failure.

Engine replacements are exorbitantly expensive, and the cost of such repairs can exceed the value of the vehicle itself.

Regular maintenance, prompt addressing of warning signs, and professional inspections are crucial to avoid engine failure in any Audi A4.

What year is good for Audi A4?

According to Audi diehards and enthusiasts, the best year for a used Audi A4 is the 2001 model. This is because this model was the final year of the original B5 production line, which gives it all of the unique features of the first-generation model but with a bit of an attractive facelift.

What year Audi is most reliable?

When it comes to reliability, Audi cars have had a strong reputation in the past. From the early 1980s to the late 1990s, Audi was among the most reliable German car brands. During this period, Audi models were beautifully engineered, known for their quality, and offered an excellent maintenance cost-to-reliability ratio.

Are Audi A4 expensive to repair?

Unfortunately, Audis, including the Audi A4, is generally known to be expensive to maintain and repair. According to RepairPal, the average annual Audi repair cost is $987, which is higher than the average across all car brands, standing at $652.

It’s important to note that these costs can vary depending on the specific model year and the severity of the issues encountered.


While the Audi A4 is a popular and stylish luxury sedan, there are some years that have been reported to have recurring problems, leading to costly repairs and potential frustration for owners.

It is crucial to have a thorough inspection of any Audi A4 you are considering purchasing, especially if it falls within the years that have been identified as problematic.

However, it’s worth noting that not all Audi A4 vehicles from the mentioned years will experience these issues, and there are many well-maintained and reliable models available.

Conducting proper research, reading owner reviews, and seeking the guidance of knowledgeable professionals can help mitigate the risk of purchasing a problematic Audi A4.

Additionally, investing in regular maintenance, using high-quality engine oil, and addressing any issues promptly can help prolong the lifespan of your Audi A4 and reduce the likelihood of encountering these common problems.

Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to purchasing a used car, especially when it involves a luxury vehicle like the Audi A4.

By being aware of the potential issues and conducting thorough research, you can make an informed decision and avoid the Audi A4 years that have been associated with problems.

So, if you’re considering an Audi A4 purchase, be sure to do your due diligence and stay informed about the Audi A4 years to avoid.



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