We have been getting a lot of phone calls and customers coming in asking about their 2009-2012 Audi 2.0T’s burning a lot of oil. That’s why we are going to provide you with this post today, to fill you in on what’s the issue, and what Audi is, or isn’t doing about it.
Many 2009-2012 Audi 2.0T (The A3’s are not affected) engines are experiencing moderate to severe oil consumption. The main issue with these engines seems to boil down to the piston rings, which allow small amounts of oil to pass the pistons and be burnt off.
When this begins to happen, lots of customers frequently get an oil level low warning. When this does appear on your dashboard, tend to it quickly, and only top up your vehicle with the correct spec of synthetic oil. Not cheap Walmart or Canadian Tire bargain oil.
In more severe cases, another sign of this issue is noticeable, excessive smoke coming from the exhaust upon acceleration. There can also at this stage be scoring on the cylinder walls, causing more oil to seep past the pistons.
Now, Audi actually states that your vehicle burning a litre / quart of oil per 1000km is perfectly normal. Totally within spec. In fact, it’s even written in your owners manual to expect this kind of consumption.
Do I have the issue?
One way to truly see if you have a consumption issue is by actually tracking the mileage you do between having to top up your oil. Simply do this by resetting your trip monitor when you top up your oil, or by noting the mileage when you top up.
When the message comes up again, calculate the mileage you have done before having to top up. If you’ve done less than 1000km you probably have an issue. Really, even if you are less than 2000km you probably have an issue. Unfortunately, Audi won’t admit an issue until it’s below 1000km.
What to do?
Unfortunately the only way to actually see if you have a problem, is taking it to the dealer. The process involves the dealership draining your oil, then carefully adding a measured volume of oil. They will get you to then drive the car for a set amount of mileage, or before if the add oil light comes on. Once that occurs, you bring the car back to the dealership and they will drain the oil, and measure it out to see how much you actually used.
If more than half a litre has been used, you have failed the test and Audi will discuss repair options with you. DO NOT TOP UP YOUR OIL DURING THIS TEST. It will throw off the test.
Now, we have heard conflicting stories about the actual cost of this test. From some, we’ve heard they only charge you the cost of an oil change, others have been charged around the $700 mark, as Audi will change the oil separator and some other updated parts, and some have reportedly had the test done under goodwill.
OK, I have an issue, how do I get it fixed?
There are a few resolutions to this issue, all of which are not cheap. To fix this oil consumption issue involves essentially a complete engine rebuild. Again the issue is the oil rings on the pistons are too shallow, causing oil to build up too quickly in the rings to the point it just seeps past the ring and gets into the compression chamber, burning it off. The updated design for these rings are much deeper, allowing more oil to be caught and scraped off the cylinder walls.
You have to tear the engine down, remove the pistons, and inspect the cylinder walls for damage. If there is no damage, new pistons and connecting rods are installed, as well as new rod bearings, head gasket, and other hardware.
This job will cost in the ball park of $6,000 once everything is all said and done.
Woah! I can’t afford that! Can’t I just keep driving it?
Technically yes you can continue to drive it in it’s current condition for a limited time. Keep in mind though you must stay on top of your oil, constantly topping it up and ensuring it’s at the correct level.
On the other hand, continually driving the vehicle in poor health can cause damage to it, and eventually cause complete engine failure.
And what does Audi have to say about this?
Initially, not much. However, Audi has released a settlement for this issue, but only if you are within 8 years, or 140,000km, Audi will completely cover the cost of the rebuild.
Now, again we have heard differing stories about this. There have been some customers slightly over the allotted mileage, and Audi has covered the repair. Others have been 500km over the allotted mileage and have gotten nothing.
This is something that is up to the dealer’s discretion at first. If they decline a repair, call Audi of Canada or Audi of America if you are in the states.
There are some stipulations of the warranty program, including having complete Audi service records, the vehicle has not been modified etc.
So what you’re saying is I should avoid buying these vehicles?
Not really, these can be excellent cars, in good, and well serviced condition. However, many people realized there is this big issue with these cars and are desperately trying to offload them to unsuspecting buyers.
If you are looking to purchase an ’09-’12 A4, A5 or Q5, do your due diligence and request service records. If the customer has complete service records from Audi and you can tell the vehicle has been very well maintained, still be upfront and ask. Does this car have consumption issues?
If you can find one that has already been repaired, great. If not, be prepared to potentially spend $6,000 on an engine rebuild. Which if the vehicle is purchased for a low enough price and the mileage is good, you could potentially still come out ahead of the game.
This has just been an informational blog post, and hopefully it helps people out. If you do end up having this consumption issue, let Euromotive help you out. We have done a few of these jobs already and have completely satisfied customers.
Thank you for reading.