I’ve got a 2007 Audi A4 3.2 with just over 50K miles. I had to add 3 quarts of oil over the last year and have seen the check oil light up several times. I’ve made a note of this at my last several trips to the dealer for service. It was only at my last trip for service that they discovered the leak, which by the way was just after my warranty expired (go figure). The Audi dealer replaced the head gasket. They covered half the cost because it was just over the warranty. When I pointed out that I’ve been complaining about the car being repeatedly low on oil the service manager said that was normal for the car. When I pointed out that there was no problem with losing oil before the 35K checkup he said that was unusual. What’s going on here? Thanks.
Most mfg’rs say something like using 1qt of oil per 1000 is within “normal” usage specs. I wouldn’t like it if my car used that much oil. Personally I’m ok with adding a quart every 2,500 miles but more than that could be a sign of trouble.
Your service writer at the dealer is giving you “stock” ready made answers to get you out the door.
I know he was saying whatever it took to get me out the door. I’m just trying to get a feel for how hard they were laughing after I left.
I’m a bit concerned at having read that you’ve see the check oil light light up several times. Do you monitor your oil level, check it every few weeks or so? If not, you may have already shortened the life of your engine. By the time the light lights, you’ve already waited too long…the damage has begun.
You should learn to monitor fluid levels. Waiting until a light lights is neglegent.
How often are you changing your engine oil? All engines consume oil over mileage. People used to get oil changed every 3000-5000 miles and a drop was not as noticable. But new cars especially European with oil life monitors make the interval much longer. The downside is people never open their hood to check/top the oil.
The key to long vehicle life/inexpensive ownership is checking oil and not overheating a vehicle beyond changing the oil within proper intervals.
A quart every 1,000 miles is the accepted max. There are lots of cars out there using about that much and as far as I can tell, their life is no shorter than cars using less oil.
I read this as a low oil level light, not a low oil pressure lamp. There could be several reasons for the oil consumption.
One could be valve seals. Unfortunately, there is no test for this as it’s simply a replace and hope repair.
Another could be a piston ring problem due to any past overheating episodes or irregular oil changes. Extending the oil change interval may cause the oil control (wiper) ring on each piston to stick in their lands. (grooves)
This only needs to occur on 1 piston to cause an oil consumption problem, much less all of the pistons. Unfortunately again, there is no test for checking the wiper rings.
It’s possible that the addition of an additive could clear a wiper ring problem up to some degree, assuming that is the problem. You might consider the addition of something like SeaFoam, Berryman B-12, etc. and see what happens. Just add it to the engine oil and see what happens over time. Mumbling a silent prayer might help too.
Could have been the head gaskets, but also could be the cam tensioner seals. I know the older 30 valve V6 engines were notorious for leaking oil from them, not sure about the 3.2. Also check the oil pressure switch, it tends to leak also. Now with new head gaskets, did the oil usage stop? Keep a close eye on, and record all your findings for the dealer. You say 3 quarts over the past year? My old Porsche states in the owners manual, a quart of oil consumption per 1000km (about 600 miles)is normal. Granted there are about 13 qts in the entire system, but consider yourself lucky! haha Good luck, check the things I mentioned.
Let me elaborate on the question. The dealer diagnosed a problem at 51k and replaced the head gasket. My question is since I had reported a problem previous to the warranty running out, should the dealer have been responsible for the entire bill? The car has been maintained by this dealer according to Audi’s specifications.
When I pointed out that I’ve been complaining about the car being repeatedly low on oil the service manager said that was normal for the car. When I pointed out that there was no problem with losing oil before the 35K checkup he said that was unusual. What’s going on here?
What he’s saying is that it is not unusual for there to be some oil consumption during use. However, it is unusual for the pattern to change dramatically in a short time as you indicated to him regarding the change in consumption after 35k miles.
My question is since I had reported a problem previous to the warranty running out, should the dealer have been responsible for the entire bill?
If the gasket change completely eliminated the oil consumption problem then I think you could argue that it should be covered. Proving to them it is no longer consuming oil would be tough though. If you have a 36k mile warranty for such things, at 51k it could be argued that the leak sprung up after the warranty period expired. Does it consume ANY oil now?
Yes. The warranty should have covered it…but there is a catch. You have an obligation to monitor your oil level, and if you’ve been neglecting it and they have evidence, such as comments on the shop orders that the oil has been low when you bring it in for servicing, they could deny the warranty claim.
The oil was never low when the car was brought in for service. I would mention the fact that I had added oil.
It’s only been a week now so I can’t tell yet. I’m keeping an eye on it to be sure. By the way the car had a 50K warranty.
Just got call back from Heather at Audi Customer Relations. She’s looking into my report and will get back to me by Wednesday.
Then IMHO the warranty should have covered it, assuming that the headgasket breech involved an oil passage. And you should start checking your oil level routinely.