The A4 is a compact executive car produced by German automaker Volkswagen and is sold through its Audi division. Between 2001 and 2009, the A4 was offered as a convertible based on the B6 and B7 body styles. Despite Audi’s reputation for quality and generally good reliability and safety ratings for the A4 convertible, there are several common problems that owners and potential buyers should be aware of.
Most of the problems that plague the Audi A4 convertible involve the drivetrain. The A4 convertible was offered with two different engine options, including a turbo, and in either a front- or all-wheel drive configuration. Each of these configurations has been the cause of some frustration for owners, but none more so than the turbocharged engine option. Many drivers have experienced turbo lag with the added power from the turbocharger being unavailable when needed, such as during hard acceleration. The turbocharger A4 convertible has also earned long-term reliability ratings that are average or below average within its class.
Another problem area for the A4 convertible is the interior mechanisms. Owners have reported issues with non-functional remote door locks, power automatic windows, and interior lights. Dashboard instruments can also be affected, with engine warning lights and the “door ajar” warning being lit when there is no real problem. In many instances these problems result from a water leak in the wiring harness which allows the wiring to become corroded over time. Faulty motors on the power windows and door locks can also be to blame.
Costs and Repairs
While most drivetrain problems are covered under an A4 convertible’s standard new vehicle warranty, repairs of older vehicles can be costly. In particular, turbocharger maintenance is an added requirement on the A4 when equipped with the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and may make the cost of ownership greater than that of a car with a conventional engine. The same holds true for the Quattro all-wheel drive system on some A4 convertibles. Other services such as transmission work and suspension repair may also be expensive, though they occur less frequently on the A4.
The Audi A4 convertible has been involved in several recalls for dealers to attend to known issues. In 2006 74,000 vehicles were recalled because of a faulty fuel pump that could cause the engine to stall. Another recall in 2007 dealt with a separate fuel pump issue that affected more than 34,000 vehicles. The A4 was also involved in a 2006 recall of some 27,000 cars because of headlight components that failed to conform to federal safety standards.
Another group of problems with the Audi A4 convertible concern general shortcomings that have been noted by owners and automotive critics. Several of these issues center around the fact that the A4 convertible is heavier than the sedan version and, as a result, performance suffers. The A4 convertible’s folding soft top also comes under fire, both for the space it takes away from the rear seats and cargo area, and because it is the only top option with the A4 offering no convertible hardtop variant as some of its competitors do.