If you have an Audi A4, you may have noticed that you’re burning through oil faster than you ever have before. Your car may also overheat often, which can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your engine. Why do Audi A4s burn through oil so quickly and how can you fix the issue before you’re left on the side of the road with an overheated car?
Why Your Audi A4 is Burning Oil and Overheating
If you have an Audi A4 earlier than model year 2012, your TFSI gasoline engine has a design fault that leads it to burn through oil rapidly. (Note that the Audi specification for the 2.0 engines allows for a quart of oil to be used every 1,000 miles.) The base problem with these engines is that the piston rings allow small amounts of oil to leak out into the cylinders. Once in the cylinders, it burns, leading to high oil consumption.
If your Audi A4 is model year 2013 or newer, it may be overheating because of a coolant leak (water pump, radiator, etc), a bad radiator fan, or a failed thermostat.
No matter the cause, you might only realize you’re burning through oil at a fast rate when you get the “Add 1 qt. Oil” notice on your dash. When you get this notice, it’s safe to keep driving, but you should add a quart of the correct grade of oil as soon as you can.
As time goes on, the problem will get worse and the length you can drive before needing to add oil will drop and you’ll need to top off your oil more often. Many people are ok with doing this because it’s cheaper than the price of the repair, but the damage it does to your engine isn’t worth the money you’ll save in the short run.
How do I Know if My Audi is Burning Too Much Oil?
Audi considers an engine to be burning too much oil when it goes through one quart of oil in 1200 miles or less. In reality, anything under 2000 miles indicates that you likely have a problem, but Audi will not acknowledge it until you hit the 1200 mile threshold.
To test this, top off your oil and reset your odometer. When the “Add 1 qt. Oil” message comes on, check to see how many miles you’ve gone. If it has been 1200 or less, you need to address the issue as soon as possible.
How to Fix Your Audi Burning Oil & Overheating
Even if your car isn’t overheating, burning through oil that quickly causes wear and tear on your engine and will eventually cause your engine to fail altogether.
This is not a simple fix and we don’t recommend trying to DIY the repair. Since you’ll need the fix the root of the problem as well as any damage caused by the issue, it’s best to leave it to an Audi mechanic or an Audi dealership.
There are three ways we fix this issue:
- Replacing the crank case and updating the engine management software to the latest release. While it appears to reduce the problem in some cases, it does not seem to be a permanent solution. Because of the unreliability of the fix, we don’t recommend it.
- Removing the engine, stripping it down to the cylinders and replacing the pistons, piston rings, and con rods. If there is no other damage to the engine, this will completely fix the problem.
- If the engine has been damaged, the only fix will be Installing a completely new or good quality used engine. This is a surefire way to fix the issue permanently.
Is Your Audi A4 Burning Oil and Overheating?
Triangle Imports is your one-stop shop for Audi maintenance and repairs in Raleigh. If you’re burning through oil too quickly and overheating, our expert mechanics will perform a diagnostic evaluation to determine the best fix so you can get back on the road. To schedule your appointment, call us at 919-948-3444 or fill out the contact form below!