11 Most Common Audi A5 Problems (Explained)

The Audi A5 is a stylish luxury coupe that was first introduced for the 2008 model year.

In addition to the regular A5, there’s also the sportier S5 and RS 5 models which have more powerful engines.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the A5’s common issues and their solutions.

1. Excessive Oil Consumption

Early versions of the A5’s turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI engine from 2010 to 2012 had lots of oil consumption problems.

The excessive oil consumption in these B8 model pre-facelift cars was usually caused by defects in the piston ring design which allowed oil to reach the combustion chamber where it gets burned up.

Bluish white smoke from the exhaust is a telltale sign that oil is getting burned up. 

Older models with the 3.2-liter V6, as well as newer cars with updated 2.0-liter inline-4s, can also have oil consumption issues, but it usually only starts once the car has racked up a lot of miles.

Here’s how two owners described their experience on AudiWorld.com:

“I have a 2011 A5 2.0T which is consuming oil greater than expected. The “oil min” light came on notifying me to add a quart of oil. I added a quart and not even a 100 miles later the same light came back on.”

“Bought a 2010 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T with 65,0000 miles about a month ago. I work from home and typically drive the car less than 100 miles a week if that. A few days into driving it the oil minimum indicator came on saying that I needed to add a quart. With no dip stick, I had to trust that the computer was correct and I added a quart. About a week later the light came on again. At that point I decided that I should just go and get an oil change to be safe. Completed the oil change and not even three days after the light came on again!! I have no visible oil leaks, smoke nor is the car running hot.” 

Aside from updating the engine design in the B8.5 models from 2013 onwards, Audi also offered an extended warranty to address the oil consumption problems which lasted up to 8 years or 80,000 miles.

If dealers found that the car lost a quart of oil every 500 or so miles, they would rebuild the engine and install the updated piston rings.

Getting this done out of warranty can easily cost several thousand dollars and the parts alone can cost you roughly $2,000.

Some owners just keep an eye on the oil level and top it up as necessary. The excessive oil consumption doesn’t normally cause other drivability issues, so they just live with the issue as long as it’s not constantly blowing smoke out of the exhaust.

The A5 also didn’t come with a dipstick from the factory, so owners just install their own dipstick to accurately measure how much oil the car needs when topping it off.

2. Timing Chain Problems

The 2010 to 2015 model years of the B8 Audi A5 and S5 have timing chain tensioners that have a tendency to wear out prematurely, which eventually causes the timing chain to stretch.

If the timing chain stretches too much or breaks, lots of engine internals like the valves, camshafts and pistons can get damaged, requiring thousands of dollars in repairs.

It’s more common on the 2.0-liter TFSI engines, but the 3.0-liter V6 of the S5 models can also have similar failures.

Typical symptoms of a stretched timing chain include:

  • Engine rattle
  • Misfires
  • Rough idle
  • Hard starting
  • Engine stall
  • Reduced engine power
  • Check engine light 
  • Timing related trouble codes

Here’s what a few owners on AudiWorld.com had to say about their timing chain problems:

“Audi A5 2014 timing chain failure at 82K miles. It cost 5.5 thousand to fix this.”

“I had a 2011 A5 that was covered and the total cost at an independent shop, with parts, was $1,400.”

“I have a 2015 S5 with only 43k miles. Yesterday the car idled rough and I heard a rattling noise for several seconds under the hood, driver side. Noise stopped after a minute or less Got it to the shop and they say it’s the driver bank timing chain tensioner. Recommended I change both sides. I think this is going to cost about $2,500 at my indy shop.”

“I had this rattle develop on my 2015 S5 at about 40k miles. Was verified by my dealer and upper timing chain tensioners were replaced under warranty. Was not an engine out procedure. Heads were not removed either, however, down pipes and converters were.”

Due to a class action lawsuit, Audi extended the warranty for the timing chain components of the 2010 to 2013 model years of the A5 to 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Audi also updated the 2.0-liter engine’s timing chain tensioner to reduce the number of premature failures. The timing chain itself was also updated after 2015.

There’s also a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) for the S5’s timing chain tensioner, which recommends swapping the old one out for an updated part if it starts making a rattling or grinding noise. However, unlike with the 2.0-liter engine, Audi did not offer an extended warranty for the 3.0-liter V6.

To avoid major engine damage, many owners proactively change the timing chain tensioner with the updated part.

A Volkswagen or Audi specialist will usually charge around $800 for this repair. If you also need to replace the chain, the total repair price gets bumped up to around $2,000.

Replacing the timing chain tensioner and chains for the 3.0-liter V6 in the S5 will be more expensive due to the engine’s more complicated design.

To check whether your timing chain is stretched, you can use specialized scanners like OBDeleven or VCDS from Ross-Tech which will allow you to see the camshaft adjustment adaptation numbers. 

You can also check whether or not you have the updated tensioner by using the inspection hole on the timing cover.

3. Carbon Buildup

The first generation A5 can suffer from excessive carbon buildup issues around the intake valves which causes plenty of drivability issues.

Carbon buildup affects both the older 3.2-liter V6, as well as the 2.0-liter TFSI engine.

It’s also a common problem on the 4.2-liter V8 and supercharged 3.0-liter V6 used in the S5 and RS 5.

Carbon buildup affects a lot of engines with direct injection since gas is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber, so there’s no fuel flowing past the back of the intake valves to clean out soot and unburnt fuel.

Audi eventually added port injectors in the facelifted B8.5 models of the A5 from 2013 onwards, which allowed gas to reach the back of the intake valves, but this updated design didn’t reach the North American market.

When the intake valves get caked up with too much carbon deposits, you’ll notice symptoms such as:

  • Misfires
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Shaking or vibration at higher RPM
  • Limp mode
  • Check engine light

A few owners described their experience on AudiWorld.com:

“Took my 2010 S5 in for the 45K service also my check engine light came on late this summer and went off right away on start up. The car has been running rough on start up. I have always used 91 or higher octane gas and run fuel injector cleaner about every 5K. I have Audicare so I am sure they have used the right oil. The service lady called today and guess what? Excessive carbon build up.”

Another user on Audizine.com had this to say:

“B8’s have some of the worst carbon buildup I have ever seen, especially if they go 100k miles with no intake cleaning.”

The best way to clean out the carbon deposits is to have the intake valves professionally  walnut blasted.

This can cost around $500 at an independent Audi or VW specialist, and most enthusiasts recommend getting it done every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

If you want to go the DIY route, you can also remove the intake manifold and carefully scrape off and clean out the carbon buildup manually. 

Using premium gas can help reduce the carbon buildup, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the issue.

4. Rear Main Seal Oil Leak

The first generation Audi A5’s 2.0-liter can leak oil out of the rear main seal even at relatively low miles. 

Although the seal isn’t very expensive, it is very difficult to replace since the transmission has to be separated from the engine to access it.

The seal gets blown out when the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve breaks and causes excess pressure to build up in the crankcase.

A leaky rear main seal and a bad PCV valve usually go hand in hand, so you might experience issues like:

  • Oil leak at the back of the engine 
  • Low oil warning
  • Check engine light
  • Oil consumption issues
  • Whistling sound from engine
  • P0171 trouble code or system too lean
  • Misfires with P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, and/or P0304 trouble code

A faulty PCV system will also create more carbon buildup.

One A5 owner shared their experience on Audizine.com:

“Took my 2012 Audi A5 2.0t with 31,000 miles in to have a few minor things looked at/fixed under warranty; they said that the rear main seal (RMS) is leaking and that they will replace it. The underside of my car is almost spotless so I’m a little surprised that I would have missed seeing that.” 

It’s a good idea to replace the PCV valve every 50,000 miles to avoid more expensive problems down the road.

Replacing the rear main seal can easily cost $1,000 to $2,000 because it’s a very labor-intensive job that requires separating the transmission from the engine. 

If your rear main seal is already leaking badly, you can replace it with a stronger aftermarket part made out of billet aluminum which has a much longer lifespan and won’t easily wear out even after the PCV system starts failing.

Related: 16 Best & Worst Audi A5 Years (With Pictures)

5. Fuel Pump Issues 

Early model years of the first generation Audi A5’s 2.0-liter engine have a fuel pump control module that often fails due to overheating.

The module’s electronics will eventually break due to the excess heat and cause it to run continuously. After some time, the faulty electronics will also damage the fuel pump. 

Common symptoms of a faulty fuel pump and fuel pump module include:

  • EPC (Electronic Power Control) light comes on
  • Module gets very hot
  • P3045, P3044 or P0087 trouble code
  • Battery gets drained
  • Engine stall
  • Hesitation to accelerate
  • Car won’t start

One owner shared their experience on A5OC.com:

“2010 Audi A5 won’t start, a few sputters, but basically the engine won’t fire. Cranks just fine. I ran a diag code reader and got: P025C- Fuel Pump Module COntrol Circuit Low, I also had a U0140, but the car had a dead battery, I reset and this one does not come back.”

The fuel pump control module is basically the fuel pump’s power supply. Even if you replace the fuel pump, the car will still have issues if the module is broken.

A new fuel pump control module costs around $250 while fuel pumps go for around $400.

In a lot of cases, the old fuel pump will start working again after replacing the control module. 

It’s a fairly simple fix since the fuel pump is located just underneath the rear seats.

6. Water Pump Failure

Audi water pumps are notorious for developing leaks even at lower mileages.

The water pump and thermostat housings are made out of plastic and can easily crack. Even if they survive the first few years, the plastic housing becomes brittle and will leak as the car gets older.

This is a common issue on all model years of the A5, S5 and RS 5.

Here’s how owners described their experience on A5OC.com:

“I have a 2013 A5 2.0 TFSI CPMA with 76K miles. The water pump is leaking from the bearing.” 

‘I think my water pump just failed. I was driving my car when the check engine, coolant light came on. I started to see smoke come from the hood of the car. It is used 2009 A5 with 25000 miles,”

Other owners on Audizine.com had this to say:

“2012 S5 suddenly overheated for first time ever – stop engine light and check coolant level message. Pulled over, coolant leaking etc. Towed to the local Audi service shop (who I like actually, pricey of course but they have always done good work). They pressure tested the coolant system for 24 hours w 0 leaking so diagnosed as a bad thermostat and possibly water pump.”

“I have just started having a similar issue with my B8.5 RS5. Just bought the car 9 months ago with 43K miles and now has 48K on it and I have noticed lately that the radiator fan was running more than usual. I got a message on the console showing Do not exceed 6000 rpms. I got the car home and checked the coolant level once the engine had cooled a bit and it was below the min level. As far as I can tell there are no leaks so not sure why the coolant level is low.”

Due to the number of water pump failures and a class action lawsuit, Audi reimbursed owners of 2015 to 2019 models who had to have their water pumps replaced.

If you need to get the water pump fixed out of warranty, a new pump costs around $350 and any experienced mechanic should be able to replace the old one quite easily.

When replacing the water pump, it’s also a good idea to replace the thermostat housing which is another common source of coolant leaks. 

7. Worn Suspension Bushings

A common issue in a lot of Audis, and not just the A5, is premature wear of the control arm bushings.

When the suspension bushings wear out, you’ll experience symptoms such as:

  • Noises when turning the steering wheel
  • Clunking when going over bumps
  • Vibrations in the steering
  • Uneven tire wear

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on AudiWorld.com: 

“I have a 2018 A5 Sportback Premium with just under 92K miles. Today I went in for my 90K AudiCare service and was told the upper control arm bushings needs to be replaced on both (front) sides. It’s a $1400 repair.”

“I recently had a front brake job on my 2014 S5 with 40k miles at a non Audi repair shop. The mechanic told me all 4 upper control bushings were worn and needed replacement.”

“The upper control arm bushings are a known issue and they can tear prematurely. If you have mechanical ability, they’re fairly easy to replace yourself. The actual bushings are cheap. Like $11 a piece.” 

A new control from Audi costs around $300, but aftermarket replacements from reputable brands range from $100 to $150.

You’ll likely have to replace more than one control arm and you’ll definitely need an alignment after taking apart the suspension, which will bump up the total repair cost.

In most cases, owners just replace the entire control arm because replacing the bushing takes a lot more work and will end up costing about the same.

8. Turbo Issues

The 2.0-liter inline-4’s turbocharger has a few known issues that can affect the drivability of the car, especially on the pre-facelift models from 2010 to 2012.

One of the most common turbo problems is the actuator rod for the internal wastegate becomes loose.

When there’s too much play in the rod, the wastegate doesn’t fully close which creates a boost leak.

The N75 valve, which is a type of boost controller, as well as the diverter valve diaphragm can also become faulty.

Common symptoms of turbo problems include:

  • Turbo lag
  • Check engine light
  • Boost leak sounds
  • P0299 trouble code for underboost condition
  • Limp mode
  • Rattling wastegate actuator rod  

Here’s how an owner on AudiWorld.com described their issue:

“Last year I bought a 2010 A5 and have recently been getting the P0299 CEL and am 99% sure it’s the wastegate that is causing it.”

Another user on Audizine.com had this to say:

“My 2010 A5 Audi just exceeded the warranty by 5k and my turbo wastegate has some play in it. I notice the speed stutter at 120-140 kmh.”

To fix the rattle from the wastegate actuator rod, Audi added a metal clip on one of the linkages to reduce the play.

However, this doesn’t completely seal the internal wastegate when it’s closed, so the boost leak remains.

The only sure fire way to fix the wastegate problem is to replace the entire turbo which costs around $1,300.

If you only need to replace the N75 or diverter valve, these only cost around $100 to $150 and are much easier to replace.

Loose or cracked hoses can also cause boost leaks. To test for issues, a mechanic can perform a smoke test to pinpoint where the leak is coming from.

9. Noise from Sunroof

A number of second generation Audi A5 owners have had issues with squeaks and rattles coming from the sunroof.

These noises tend to appear when driving on uneven roads and up driveway ramps which cause the chassis to flex and allow parts to rub against each other.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on AudiWorld.com:

“There is an intermittent rattle (sounds like metal on metal) from the front of the sunroof. Happens with it open or closed. It is there on some rides, gone on the next.”

“I have a similar noise coming from the back of the sunroof just above the passenger head rest. For me it’s more like a squeak like two plastic pieces rubbing on each other, goes mostly away if I put pressure on the headline just behind the sunroof.”

“I had the same issue in my 2018 S5 coupe. Creaking noise like hard plastic rubbing on hard plastic from the rear of the moonroof spanning the entire width of the car. It took THREE trips to the dealership to get it mostly fixed. First two times they added padded felt material inside and the third time they bought a new trim piece for inside it and lined it with more felt. It’s now much quieter than before. Used to make noise all the time when driving and any road camber or surface change would make it noisy.” 

“My sunroof popped all the time when the chassis was twisted, whether going up a driveway at an angle or just going around a turn sometimes. My dealership took off the headliner and re-torqued the sunroof frame fasteners. It does it still sometimes, but it’s better.”

Over time the additional stress caused by the flexing of the chassis causes parts like the sunroof frame to crack.

A new sunroof frame costs around $1,000 if you need to get it replaced out of warranty. 

You might also have to get creative and apply lubricant or stick some foam in between the offending parts to dampen the noise that they’re making. 

10. Window Issues

The Audi A5’s window motors tend to have shorter lifespans because they constantly have to roll the windows up and down whenever the doors are opened.

The windows open slightly when you pull the door handle to make closing the doors easier without having to worry about the air pressure inside the cabin. 

The glass then rolls back up when the doors are closed which allows it to rest nicely on the rubber seals.

This constant operation will eventually burn out the window motors/regulators.

Here’s how owners on A5OC.com described their experience:

“My drivers side window regulator went on Thursday on way home. Horrible crunching/cracking noise and window stuck in open position. Good job it wasn’t raining!”

“Recently while lowering the driver side window on my car I heard a clatter from inside the door and the glass immediately closed back up. The window refuses to move up or down now even though I can hear the motor turning inside the door.”

A new window motor is quite expensive at around $400. Aftermarket replacements are much cheaper and can range from just over $50 to $200 a piece.

The window issue could also be caused by a faulty door control module, a busted fuse, or some other electrical wiring issue.

11. Door Handle Issues

The exterior door handles on older first generation Audi A5’s can suddenly stop working.

When they do fail, it feels like the handle has been disconnected from the door’s internal mechanisms. 

Here’s how owners on A5OC.com described the problem:

“I’ve got a 2007 Audi S5 – had the car nearly 2 years without any issues.. then I went to open the drivers door the other day and it’s decided not to work (feels as if there’s no tension). The handle is still intact, but doesn’t feel like it’s connected to anything.”

“I’ve just got back to my car and the drivers door handle is broken! It pulls out but there’s no resistance and it doesn’t “catch” to release the lock! I’ve tried it numerous times unlocking it with the key, remote etc and nothing! The only way the door opens is if I get in the passengers side and open it from the inside.”

In most cases, the loose or disconnected feeling is caused by a sticking Bowden cable.

Lubricating the cable with some grease usually gets the handle to work normally again, but you can also just replace the cable which isn’t very expensive.

Related: 11 Most Common Audi S5 Problems (Explained)

Audi A5 Pros & Cons


  • Sleek design
  • Powerful engine
  • Nimble handling 
  • Advanced driver aids and tech
  • Good fuel economy
  • All-wheel drive


  • Expensive parts
  • Limited space
  • Early reliability issues

What Do The Reviews Say?

“Two-door luxury cars are a rarity in today’s automotive landscape, and the 2023 Audi A5 lineup is among the last holdouts. The A5 is offered in three body styles: coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback. All three share traits with the closely related A4, including engine options, tech features and more.”

“For propulsion, the A5 comes equipped with one of two turbocharged four-cylinder engines: a base 2.0-liter that makes 201 horsepower and an upgraded 2.0-liter that puts out 261 horsepower. If you need more performance you can step up to the S5 or RS 5.”

“The A5 is comfortable, handles confidently, and has no shortage of well-executed tech features. But it could use a bit more storage space and a more exciting driving experience to keep up with the competition, particularly the BMW 4 Series, which is offered in coupe, convertible and four-door hatch form just like the A5.”

“The base A5 comes well equipped, but stepping up to the midtier Premium Plus trim gets you the best bang for your buck. Choosing it unlocks extra goodies that include Audi’s upgraded Virtual Cockpit Plus fully digital instrument display, a premium audio system from Bang & Olufsen, a 360-degree camera and all the contents of the Convenience package, including adaptive cruise control.”

2023 Audi A5 | Edmunds

What’s the Resale Value of a Audi A5?

Here’s a quick look at used car pricing for the A5 on Edmunds at the time of writing.


Related: Audi A5 Alarm Going Off? (11 Common Causes)


  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...