Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,182 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.

2003 Audi A4 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Audi A4:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Audi A4 Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 012007


  • 40,000 miles


1. exterior lights and turn signal lights burning out at a rate of every 500 miles. Audi will not replace. 2. wiper transmission has corroded, seized, failed, and consequently burned out the wiper motor 2X now - once at 40,000 miles and again at 80,000. Audi would not cover this under the initial new car warranty, and they demand $750+ to fix this faulty assembly. 3. coolant and wiper fluid tanks are made out of cheap plastic. I've had 2-3 leaks in each tank due to holes in these tanks across the life of the car. The most recent coolant tank leak was pushing coolant through so fast that it burned up my engine and my timing belt snapped. I had to pay for this repair - $2,000+. these are just 3 problems among countless costly problems I've incurred since the 3-year warranty ran out on my Audi. I've easily matched the $35K+ cost of the car with parts and repairs, and the car only has 88,000 miles on it. The coil pack recall has been an issue at least every 2,000 miles. I cannot make a trip of more than 100 miles without a coil snapping, a trip to the dealership, and an argument with service reps about whether or not I have to pay for these coil repairs. 88,000 miles later, the A4 I purchased brand new is basically not safely drivable except to run short errands around the city. All of this is not even to mention the cheap materials that went into the car interior. Leather is wearing in places no one even sits, and all the rubberized buttons have peeled away. Please help. Audi will do nothing. I've spoken to others who have this same make and model sitting in a garage because it is no longer drivable. There are 2 known recalls on this car, but there is something more serious going on with the build than just the coil pack and fuel injector. My car has stalled and seized on relatively short highway trips despite routine maintenance and attention to recalled parts.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Apr 022012

A4 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
I just experienced a serious issue of the gas pedal getting stuck as I was driving out of a parking lot. I tapped on the pedal a couple of times thinking it might get it to unstick but had to press on the brake to bring it to a stop. I put it in neutral and could hear the engine roar up and the tachometer go past 5000 rpms. I reached down to the pedal with my hand and forced it back up to the resting position. This happened twice during the short trip and my colleague was in the passenger seat who witnessed what happened. There was no physical objects in the way of the pedal like the floor mat etc. I'm talking with Audi usa to see what steps I should take to investigate the problem and fix it.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 012009


  • 74,886 miles
Purchased vehicle April 2009 (carfax was clean) replaced ignition coil 2X by September 2009 replaced clutch, rack and pinion, and computer module in Oct 2009 currently catalytic converter is malfunctioning I have not been able to drive this vehicle in a consistent operating condition for more than 2 weeks at a time. I have spent almost $5,000 in car repairs to date.

- Olivehurst , CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 082008


  • miles


I have a 2003 Audi A4 1.8T, which I bought as a certified pre-owned vehicle. I've had a slew of problems with this low-quality vehicle from the get-go, but that's a whole other story. Upon taking my car to the dealership (Audi chandler in chandler, AZ) for a separate problem, they told me that they would conduct a free inspection on my timing belt since they were required to do so. And guess what? surprise, surprise, my car was supposedly one of those with the known faulty timing belt. Keep in mind this car is under the "certified" pre-owned warranty, but for some reason, this was chalked to wear and tear. My car only had 62K miles on it, and the oem recommends inspection at 80K miles and replacement at 108K miles. To avoid a possible future accident (I have small children), I had to cough up $1000 to replace the belt, tensioners, water pump, etc. I submitted a reimbursement form for my expenses to the firm handling the class action lawsuit against Audi/Volkswagen about faulty timing belts. The settlement was supposed to have been made on 11/4/08, but it's now in the middle of January 2009, and nothing. I agree with someone else who posted online before...why do these oem's have to wait until someone gets badly hurt or dies until they admit responsibility for their faulty, defective pieces of junk that are way overpriced"? plus, if my car was truly a certified pre-owned vehicle, wouldn't Audi have disclosed that the timing belt would be faulty to me? or, how about replacing the belt prior to selling it again??? nothing was disclosed to me, and the class action lawsuit was opened in 2002. I am still seeking reimbursement, but knowing Audi's stance on their defective parts, they'll just chalk it up to wear and tear and wish me a good day. What's worse, Audi sold a million cars in 2008, which set another sales record for them. How can we get the word out to not buy Audi and buy a quality car????"!!

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #8

May 122008


  • 77,000 miles
On 8/1/07 I purchased a 2003 Audi A4 with a 1.8T engine from a local used car dealership. In may, 2008, the oil light came on, we had a qualified mechanic check the vehicle thoroughly and no problems were found. 2 days later, the engine completely shut down and the vehicle has been inoperable since that time. I have contacted Audi in regard to this since it is due to a manufacturing defect that causes sludge in the oil pan to recirculate through the engine, which is what led to the engine failure. The oil return ports were not made large enough to recirculate the oil properly. I have been told that since I purchased it as a used vehicle, "as is", there is nothing that they will do to assist me in this situation. I was never made aware of this problem whatsoever prior to the engine failure and replacing the engine will cost in excess of $5000. They have never issued a recall on these vehicles, even though they are aware of the problem. They off an "extended warranty", but to qualify the vehicle owner must prove that all scheduled maintenance on the vehicle was performed by Audi certified mechanics. As a 2nd owner, I have no prior records from 8/1/07 and previous. The "extended warranty" covers 200-2004 A4 models with the 1.8T engines, so obviously they are aware of the defect, but they have never recalled them. Do I have any other recourse other than to file suit against them?

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #7

Apr 182008

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,600 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Audi A4. While driving 38 mph, the check engine soon light illuminated and the entire vehicle began shaking. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealer, but has not yet been diagnosed. The contact also noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment. He checked the vehicle and discovered an engine leak. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they informed him that the vehicle had been repaired; however, the contact does not believe that anything was done to the vehicle. An independent mechanic stated that the shaking was due to the motor mount. The current and failure mileages were 35,600.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 082005

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2003 Audi A4 with defective fuel pump. Consumer states that manufacturer told her that her vehicle was not affected because her VIN was not included in the recall. She stated her vehicle was manufactured within the designated time. The consumer had other mechanical problems with the vehicle such as: Faulty ignition coils, transmission and a radiator replacement. The battery was replaced due to the vehicle not starting, the valve and cam seals were leaking oil. The vehicle also had an oil sludge problem. The consumer was unable to lock and unlock the doors at times. The dealer replaced a loose connection.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Jul 162007

A4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Cooling started to leak into a sparkplug, no overheating occurred and car was taking to dealer, to find out the engine was cracked.

- West Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Mar 202007

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,125 miles
I purchased a brand new 03 Audi A4T quattro in June of 03. The dealer is great and thank god they value their customers because my car has given them alot practice on everything. I think germany sent us a dud! since buying the car I have needed various items replaced: A new computer, (replaced by the dealer), a new fuel system was needed because my car stalled in the left lane of a highway while driving in the middle of nowhere (later recalled by Audi but after I needed to be towed and have the cpmponent fixed along with other items supposedly attached to the sytem), and most recently 2 separate problems that have not yet been fixed but have occurred within 1100 miles of each other. First diagnosis of the noise and shimmy while driving was tire balance and later rack and pin steering and after all that they are trying to figure out what the shimmy at 65mph + is along with the whinning in the car the first 10 miles fo each day (after it is warmed up or even if it is a warm day). And what supposedly was first thought to be a coil is now a mystery. They have had my car for over 2 days and are still unsure as to what is going on. Thank god I bought the extended warranty!

- Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #3

Oct 012005

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact states while driving at 10-15 mph the engine began to stall, followed by the check engine light. There had been no prior incidents. The vehicle would not accelerate beyond 20 mph. There was the distinct odor of something burning coming from the engine compartment but no smoke. He pulled over to inspect the vehicle. He could not determine the problem and the vehicle towed to a dealer. The dealer said there was a faulty ignition coil in cylinder three. This was replaced under warranty. The same symptoms later returned at a speed of 55 mph. There was a significant loss of power and he immediately pulled over. The vehicle was towed back to the dealership. The dealer replaced the ignition coil in cylinder one. He offered no explanation of this ongoing problem. Updated 01/19/06.

- Fairlawn, OH, USA

problem #2

Jan 072004

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
The engine oil light illuminated while driving. The engine was inspected, and it was discovered that there was heavy oil sludge. The oil pump had to be replaced. The car had only 26,000 miles at the time of the repair. Audi recommends oil changes every 10,000 miles with synthetic oil. I had the car serviced before the 10000 and 20000 mile scheduled maintenance, at Audi dealerships. Audi has not reimbursed the cost of repairing the engine, despite their warranty extension to cover the cost of oil sludge damage.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #1

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,568 miles
Air conditioning unit burst spraying freon all over engine compartment. Repairs were attempted four times and after the fourth time, I now have water from the airconditioning system draining into the car on the front passenger side, just below the glove compartment.

- Woburn, MA, USA

Not what you are looking for?