1999 Audi A4 Electrical Issues


I am in the US Air Force and am currently stationed in England. I bought a British spec 1999 Audi A4 (automatic trans, about 87K miles, 2.4L V6-not a turbo, uses unleaded fuel) a year ago and I am having some issues with it. First, when the engine is warm, it has a very difficult time starting. The engine will turnover and turnover and it seems like it will start one cylinder at a time until it fires up. It runs smoothly once it starts up. It usually starts just fine when the engine is cold. I’ve replaced the coolant temperature sensor, spark plugs, and timing belt.

Next are two smaller issues, seemingly unrelated to the starting issue, but they are also dependent on the temperature of the car. First, there is a small LCD screen (red lettering, black background) in the instrument cluster which shows warnings, what gear you’re in, outdoor temp, etc. When it’s cooler outside, or when the engine is cold, you can see most of the display. However, as the car warms up, more and more crystals disappear until you can very little or none of the display. The other issue is the radio (original factory radio). When it’s cold out (below 45 degrees), the first time you adjust the volume (up or down), the volume blasts to max volume until you turn it down. If it’s below freezing, it may do that a couple times until the car really warms up. When it’s warm out, though, the radio works just fine.

I don’t know much about cars, but these three issues seem like they could be related in some way to a more serious electrical issue… all three are dependent on the temperature of the car. Sorry for such a long post, but any help would greatly appreciated. The Audi dealership charges a pretty penny to fix this sort of stuff!

Best Regards,



I regards to your driveability issue it sounds like the fuel systom is not retaining pressure for some reason (possible fuel injector or other fuel system component). The display concern sounds like a electronic component failure, unless some Audi clubs have found what component to replace or you will need a new display. The radio also sounds like a electronic component failure you can check on repair possibility/prices but now may be the time to get the radio you really want.The only temperature dependant concern I see is the display issue,possibly the radio


To see if the starting problem is due to a lack of fuel you could try spraying some starter fluid into the intake when the engine is warm and isn’t starting right up. You may need to replace the fuel pump. If haven’t replaced the fuel filter already I would do that first.

To fix the LCD display you may need to replace it. I would first verify that the proper power is getting to it and if so, you will need to replace it. I’m sure it won’t be cheap for a new one. You may be able to get one from a salvage yard.

The radio issue is due to a bad connection in the radio. You could remove it and send it in for repair or just get another unit to replace it. Crutchfield is a good place to deal with and they can answer any interfacing issues that may come up by installing a unit different than a factory model.