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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,387 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Audi A4 brakes problems

brakes problem

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1998 Audi A4 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Apr 102000

(reported on)

A4 4WD

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When driving in wet conditions, the brakes respond very differently than when dry, especially when the brakes haven't been applied for a while. The brake pedal requires much greater force to decelerate at the desired rate compared to what the operator expects based on the experience of driving the car previously. The problem seems to be most obvious when driving on the highway in the rain. I'm guessing a layer of water builds up on the discs or pads (or both), and when exiting the highway and applying the brakes for the first time in a while it almost feels like there is no braking at all! the few times my wife has driven the car in the rain on the highway she has complained loudly to me. The problem is not limited to highway driving, however. Even normal driving around town can result in the feeling of significantly reduced braking. If I drag the brakes a little using my left foot to keep the discs heated up and clear of water then when I need the brakes they seem to be fine. The problem never shows up when it's dry outside. This is very disconcerting and makes me afraid of getting into an emergency situation where I need to deccelerate quickly and simply can't do it. As it is now I have to plan way ahead knowing that I may not have the braking power I think I should have. I have never felt this kind of reduced braking power in the rain in any other car I have ever owned or driven.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #18

Jan 222000

A4 4WD

  • miles
Traveling at highway speed, weather was raining/snowing, when I attempted to apply the brakes to exit the highway, the brakes did not slow the car as they should. I pumped the brakes several times and was able to slow the car for the exit ramp. This has occurred on several occasions prior and since, all during wet conditions. On the 1/22/00 incident, I was on my way to the dealer to have a scheduled service completed and mentioned the problem to the service writer. He acknowledged that there is a problem with wet braking in my model however Audi has not authorized any repairs. He did have the pads removed and cleaned along with the rotors. This has not solved the problem.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #17

Jan 222000

A4 4WD

  • miles
Traveling at highway speed, weather was raining/snowing, when I attempted to apply the brakes to exit the highway, the brakes did not slow the car as they should. I pumped the brakes several times and was able to slow the car for the exit ramp. This has occurred on several occasions prior and since, all during wet conditions. On the 1/22/00 incident, I was on my way to the dealer to have a scheduled service completed and mentioned the problem to the service writer. He acknowledged that there is a problem with wet braking in my model however Audi has not authorized any repairs. He did have the pads removed and cleaned along with the rotors. This has not solved the problem.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #16

Apr 022000

A4 4WD

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When traveling at speed of 50 mph or greater in very heavy rain, there is an initial delay while braking (0.5 sec-1 sec) when brakes don't have an effect. Pushed the pedal and nothing happened for the initial delay. Then, abruptly the car brakes. Also, there is a lack of splash shields on the front rotors on the model year 98 (model year 2000 has it). The rotors have water on them and it takes a while for that to be evacuated.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #15

Feb 092000

(reported on)

A4 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
ABS system failed on two occasions.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #14

Feb 271999

A4

  • miles
Wet braking performance greatly diminished due to wet rotors, requires higher brake effort and stopping time/distance.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #13

Jan 252000

A4 4WD

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The wet braking is horrible on this car. If you are driving in the rain, it takes 2 seconds for the rotors to dry out. I have always had cars with 4 wheel discs and have never seen a car that loses its brakes so easily. The car brakes *great* in the dry and when the roads are wet, but when it is raining enough to wet the rotors, all drivers with the stock pads need to be extrememly careful. I don't know if this is part of the problem, but there is no spash shield behind the rotor. I don't want to be involved in an accident because of this and felt like I should report it. I do know that this is not just happening to me, but that is not what the dealer wants us to think. I have heard that changing the pads to an aftermarket helps, but I feel Audi should do something about this before someone gets hurt.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 041998

A4

  • miles
After driving in rain, foot will sink on brake pedal as if hydraulic fluid is gone and stopping force is gone until re-applying foot to brake pedal 2nd-3rd time.

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jan 072000

A4 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brakes hesitate when consumer applies brakes & the pedal goes all the way to the floor. Brakes will not work in the cold weather.

- Queen, NY, USA

problem #10

May 021999

A4 4WD

  • miles
Audi of America has launched a recall campaign, labelled ku, for its defective brakes. I received a formal notification on October 10, 1999. Hoever, since then I have been unable to have this recall performed at any Audi dealer. Since the recall represents a serious defect and potential hazard, I seek the NHTSA's involvement to have the recall performed on my vehicle as soon as possible.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #9

Aug 011998

A4 4WD

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Problem is major braking delay in rain (worse with heavy rain). When push on pedal, get no braking action for 1-3 seconds, then brakes act normal. Pedal feels firm/normal. Seems like there is water sheeting on the rotors; brakes have to wipe water off before get any braking. This is the absolute worst case of this phenomena I have felt in 30 years, 750,000 miles of driving. Dealer informed at routine service, could find nothing wrong.

- N. Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 171999

A4 4WD

  • miles
On June 17, 1999 I simultaneously lost control of both the steering wheel and the brakes. The weheel was locked and the brakes would not pump. The trip instrument panel showed the battery sign and the warning "check". the car came to a stop uphill, and resumed normal (?) operation after I turned on the engine again.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Apr 201999

A4 4WD

  • miles
My Audi has wonderful brakes in dry road conditions. However initial braking in wet conditions results in a few seconds of diminished braking capacity which almost resulted in an accident. This seems to have been reported by many A4 owners as internet forums like www.A4.org have many complaints similar to this. Please do not confuse my observation with reduced braking performance in wet weather, for this is obvious. This condition is rather unique to the Audi, as my wife's '98 Honda Accord V-6 ex does not exhibit this characteristic given similar road conditions. My Audi dealer did not indicate that my A4 was part of any braking recall campaign.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #6

Apr 101999

A4 4WD

  • miles
Brakes do not respond properly for 10-15 feet when it is raining, the water that gets on the brakes effects their gripping efficiency. It's very bad.

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #5

Apr 131999

(reported on)

A4 4WD

  • miles
Brakes do not appear to work at all for 1-2 seconds after application. Then they work with reduced efficiency and finally (after heating up) work normally. If one side dries more quickly on applying brakes, car pulls side-to-side lightly but noticably. I must apply my brakes regularly to dry them when it rains and have irritated drivers behind me who believe I am "playing games" with them.

- Morrow, OH, USA

problem #4

Feb 061999

A4 4WD

  • miles
The brake pedal would go to the floor with very little braking. You could pump-up the pedal, but if you applied steady pressure it would go to the floor. At a light, if you kept the automatic transmission in drive, the pdeal would go to towards the floor until the car started to move forward at idle. The dealer could not duplicate the problem. The problem has not reoccurred.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #3

Mar 151999

(reported on)

A4 4WD

  • miles
The brakes on my car are very suspect in rain or snow conditions. I dread a panic stop. I must pre-apply brake pressure in plenty of time to be able to stop when I need to when it is wet outside. I don't mean after driving through a puddle. I'm talking just general wet road conditions.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #2

Feb 241999

A4 4WD

  • miles
ABS system was unable to stop the car for 30 feet, while I kept pressing the brakes, as required, and felt the vibration. Seven feet before I was about to hit the car in front of me, I re-applied the brakes ( removed my foot and braked again) and then the car stopped within inches from the rear of the car ahead of me. Road conditions were slippery. This is the second time that this Audi A-4 model does not stop at all when brakes are applied consistently, as requires under the ABS system

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #1

Dec 021998

A4

  • miles
While drivingthe ABS braking systm which is activated malfunctioned, having no braking ability, and causing a frontal impact. The driver's and passenger's airbags did deploy but not all the way. Also, seatbelt tensioner malfunctioned, which did not hold properly the occupant, and occupant sustained a broken bone.

- Morganhill, CA, USA

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