Audi allroad axle


#1

I own a 2002 allroad which has required very major repairs 3 times over the past 2 years (major = $3-4000.)



This time, I heard a loud clunk as a started a turn and heard something rubbing. Turns out one of the bolts holding the rear axle to the body of the car was missing and the other one “sheared off” because of the stress. No work has been done in that area and I have had only scraped paint body work done. Service dept says they have never seen this before. They are discounting the repair for me.



Could it have been manufactured this way? Or is there something else going on? I need advice and would LOVE to hear peoples’ opinions on this lemon.


#2

I would suggest that you get in touch with Audi of America. If no work has ever been done on your rear axle, then it would certainly appear that the vehicle left the factory in this condition, and as a result, this is a repair that they should cover under a “Good Will” policy.

Even for an Audi, your repair expenses have been very high. I am curious–Would you buy another vehicle of this make?


#3

I thought I had done my research before buying this car. I always look at safety data, customer satisfaction, resale, etc. My last car was a 1987 Toyota Tercel Wagon that ran like a tank for 15 years. At this point I wouldn’t care what reviews or ratings or anything said - I would not buy any Audi (or VW) or recommend them to anyone else after dealing with car.


#4

Before venturing any opinions it would be interesting to know exactly what problems you’ve encountered that led to the high repair bills and if you bought the car brand new - as in 5 or 10 miles on it.


#5

When I bought the car it had maybe 100 miles on it (most of them mine since they let me take it to show to friends.) Some repair bills I expect (although I didn’t realize Audi parts/labor where soooo high.) I know things like brakes, exhaust and such need replaced. There’s a whole list of maintenance (I’ve been faithful - even after my warrenty expired Aug 2006.) I ended up buying new tires because I didn’t know you had to align an AWD more often - but that’s my mistake.

My details may be sketchy. I don’t have the car at the present (at dealer) and my records are in the glove box. First repairs were for something leaking oil. I don’t remember what parts but at first we thought it was the turbos because whatever was leaking dripped on them. Anyway, it was more than 1 expense part (plus labor for getting to it.) The second set of repairs was for bad sensors. I know one of them was the self leveling sensor but I don’t remember what other sensors and such. It mostly had to do with the suspension. I know my dashboard lit up with all kinds of warning lights. And now, besides one axle bolt missing and one sheared off from stress, it also has a ripped CV boot (they said the axle did that), and the 2 front air bladders are leaking so the car “kneels” in front when it sits overnight.


#6

Well, a high end car with all of the bells and whistles is expensive to maintain. Brakes, tires, maintenance, etc. should not be considered though because that is all wear and tear issues.

The reason I asked about buying it new is because I did not know if this vehicle was possibly a lease return or dealer demo. A brand new vehicle usually only has about 5 miles on it. If it had 50-100 then it could have been a dealer demo.
The problem with demos is that some salesmen have lead feet and telling them not to abuse a car like this is like turning a Viper over to a 17 year old on the weekend with a promise not to speed.

The axle bolt missing and one sheared would be very, very unusual and I do not know the reason behind that. While not an Audi guy (too much anyway), I worked for dealers on their European kinfolk VW and SAAB and all of these cars go through a thorough PDI before the sale. The PDI (pre-delivery inspection) encompasses a total checkover from stem to stern and part of the regimen was inspection and tightening if need be all chassis bolts and nuts. I never found any loose but anything is possible.

A potential problem area could be in the way the dealer does the PDI. The ones I worked for paid the mechanics to do this chore but some dealers may simply have their “detail and make ready guys” do it. This could lead to problems since many detail guys are not really mechanically oriented. They may check the fluids, tires, and whatnot but may not have the car on a lift to inspect the undercarriage or may not even know what to look for really.

The factory pays the dealer to perform the PDI so the dealer has a vested interest in having a detail guy do the PDI since it could be done much cheaper.
Back when I worked for SAAB they allowed 5 hours for a PDI so it was pretty thorough and even included checking the alignment, turbo boost pressures, etc. I would find it hard to believe that Audi would skimp although the dealer might.

Wished I could provide more insight about that missing and sheared bolt. That is very strange and the only thing I can think of would be if you just happened to get one in a million that happened to not be tight and a skimpy PDI did not catch it.
The leaking air bladders can be common on any car with a ride like this. Some Buicks, Lincolns, etc. were prone to air leakage over time. It’s not necessarily a design flaw but simply aging rubber and seals starting to dry rot and leak. The same thing occurs with aged tires, belts, etc. and since the vehicle is going on 7 years old it may have been due.

Probably not much assistance here but hope it helps in some way.


#7

Actually, this was very helpful. The air bladders kind of threw me but it was because I was already so shocked by the axle and repair. (You know, it never rains but it pours!)

It is helpful to confirm that the axle bolts don’t just routinely work themselves out, and to hear one possibility of how. I’'m really thankful that I was accelerating to make a turn rather than accelerating to pass on the interstate!

Thanks for the info!


#8

I’ve actually come back to this thread several times and continued to ponder this bolt business and short of someone repairing something previously, for some unknown reason also, the only thing I can come up with is that one bolt in a million was not properly tightened and someone missed it on the PDI.

If the PDI was performed by a make ready guy then it’s possible they either did not check them or maybe even did not know they were supposed to. With experienced techs and the car on a lift checking suspension hardware is very simple. A tech gets into a routine and with only about 4 wrenches in hand can usually go completely over a new car chassis in less than 10 minutes.

This link shows a Lincoln Mark air ride system and the general leak areas. The Audi should be similar. Many leaks are around the solenoid O-rings but after a number of years the rubber folds in the bladders will start cracking. This can lead to a perpetual leak or one of those on again/off again things.
http://www.americanairsuspension.com/why%20does%20it%20leak%20one%20day.htm

The dry rot cracks is what started my Lincoln Mark sagging a while back but I can’t complain over that one. What surprised me is that they actually lasted 12 years in the first place. Most rubber usually goes long before then.