Audi A4 Troubles


As mentioned in the title, I have an '02 Audi A4 Quattro; my car is a manual 5 speed. For two weeks, when I throw the car in neutral, the battery light comes on and I lose the ability to steer. I’ve since stopped putting my car in neutral, but I’m worried this could be a larger, expensive, problem.

Does this happen every time the transmission is in neutral? Does it help if you rev the engine while in neutral? You say you’ve stopped putting the car into neutral. How do you manage to drive that way? Do you leave it in gear at stop lights and just keep the clutch pedal pressed down? And by driving that way, the battery light doesn’t come on and the steering isn’t affected?

Just Curious, Are You The One Who Holds The Light Bulb Or The Other One ?

Part of a bigger problem ? Bigger than losing the ability to steer ? Give an example, please.

Proper diagnosis is required.


Loss of power steering and battery light sounds like the accessory belt and or some accessory on that belt. I expect the fix to be quick and not too expensive.

Note: the loss of power steering is a big safety issue!

Note2: I am assuming that you mean you have lost your POWER steering and it is difficult to turn the wheel.

The battery light coming on and loss of power steering would occur if the motor stalled. Do you have to use the key to restart the motor, or do you “bump” it by letting out the clutch with it in gear to restart the motor?

Are you all up to date on things like recent spark plug change, new air filter and other normal maintenance items?

The battery light and loss of power steering only occurs when I have it in neutral for more than 30 seconds; i.e. coasting down an exit ramp. If i’m stopped at a light and have it in neutral, the battery light does not come on and I can steer with no problem. My car isn’t stalling, I lose the ability to steer easily, and have to use both hands to force the wheel to turn; If put the car into gear when the battery light comes on, she picks up and accelerates just fine. My fear is that this could be something wrong with the transmission, which is not an easy or cheap fix, especially with Audi’s. I’m a stuggling college student holding down two jobs to pay for school, and I don’t want to see my money go to the snobs at my local Audi dealership, I’d much rather try to fix this with your help.

Not Only The Smartest, But The Hardest Working, Too ! I Applaud You For Struggling And Working To Pay For College, A Rare Sitiuation In Today’s Rampant Entitlement Mindset.

By the way, not all Audi Employees are snobs. I worked at a Porsche - Audi dealer and the only snobs there were the ones who drove Posches and Audis. Some of us working stiffs drove Volkswagens.

Does this car do this all the time ? I’ll bet some nice guy mechanic at an independent (VW, Audi ?) repair shop would hop in and go for a ride and might have an idea for you without charging you to evaluate. That might put your mind at ease.


I drive a stick and I don’t see any real need to put the car in neutral and coast down hill to a stop. Either leave it in gear, or downshift to a lower gear and let the clutch out until just before you come to a complete stop. If the car doesn’t stall, operates normally, and there is no check engine light you are fine.

An off the wall theory is that coasting in neutral is pushing some air into the intake and the car isn’t sure what to do and perhaps the engine is stumbling a bit trying to compute the proper air/fuel mix. Since coasting in neutral isn’t really a good driving technique anyway, cease the practice and if all is well just drive on.

Two questions:

Have you checked to see if the power steering fluid is at the proper level yet?

What was the last thing that was worked on before this started happening?


My apologies for the generalized statment of Audi dealers; but my past experiences have been less than great unfortunately. And thank you for the kudos! I greatly appreciate it.

My car only does this when I have it in neutral for more than 35 seconds (I went on an old country road that probably sees a car once a month and tested her). Since this has started happening I’ve completely stopped using neutral to coast, and I am manually downshifting. The only work that has been done was when I installed new brake pads and rotors to the rear; nothing has been touched other than that since I purchased the car in August.I contacted the dealer I purchased it from and they said it passed their inspection with ease and no major problems were detected. Also,power steering fluid is a-ok. I live in Ohio, and this only started happening when winter finally set in about a week ago; could the lower temperatures be affecting this?

Thank you so much for your time and input :slight_smile: