Audi Repair & Maintenance Tips: Q&A with Austin Audi Expert Len Gilmore

Protecting your Audi and keeping it on the road longer can often be a challenge. Between battling multiple weather conditions to finding the right technician, Audi owners must consider these factors to extend the life of their vehicle. Len Gilmore, owner and operator of German Auto Center in Austin TX, acknowledges these factors and realizes that many Audi drivers tend to have common questions. What that said, Len Gilmore addresses some of the most common questions new and existing Audi owners typically ask below.

 

Q: How often should I take my Audi for regular routine services?

 

A: Although this will vary depending on your specific Audi model, production date and engine option, most recent models have regularly scheduled maintenance on 10,000 mile intervals. As the Texas environment is typically hotter than most parts of the country and Germany, the experts at German Auto Center strongly recommend having an oil service done between each factory scheduled maintenance interval. German Auto Center recommends that Turbo and super charged models have their engine oil changed every 5,000 miles. This is due to the extreme engine heat developed by these engines.

 

Q: Are all Audi models serviced the same?

 

A: All later model Audi vehicles are on a standard factory recommended service schedule of every 10,000 miles. Late model Audi vehicles use onboard diagnostics to track service intervals for regular maintenance items such as filters, oil, brakes and even state inspections. These are conditional service indicators and are only estimates. If your Audi is indicating a conditional service, stop by and visit German Auto Center and we will tell you exactly what your Audi needs and reset and service indicators as necessary.

 

Q: What type of fuel should I be using in my Audi?

 

A: Most all Audi vehicles will have a fuel notification on the backside of the fuel door. Most all Audi vehicles require a minimum of 91 octane fuel. In the state of Texas, most stations do not carry 91 octane and as such, 93 octane should be used. Please see the technical tip on fuels on the German Auto Center website www.germanautocenter.com for more technical information.

 

Q: What if I lost my Audi repair manual?

 

A: Manuals can be ordered on line through Audi of North America.

 

Q: What does your Audi check engine light mean?

 

A: The check engine light is used to notify the operator of potential issues related to engine management and emissions. In today’s complex Audi models, the engine management system is tied to virtually all drive and power control modules. Most of today’s vehicles have 20 -30 computer control modules within this system. As a general rule of thumb, if the check engine light is on solid, it is an indicator of an emissions or fuel efficiency issue. If the check engine light is flashing, or you are experiencing drivability issues, stop driving and contact German Auto Center as this may be an indicator of more serious issues.

 

Q: What’s a good Audi engine oil?

 

A: German Auto Center recommends Mobil 1 0W/40 full synthetic motor oil. This is used by most all German manufacturers including Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Audi. Older models not requiring full synthetic oil can use a 10w/40 mineral based oil readily available. We would recommend Castrol or Mobil in these models. German Auto Center advises against blend oil as these have the cost of synthetics but do not perform to the level engines requiring a full synthetic need. Please note that all Audi Turbo and Supercharged engines require full synthetic oils. Please see www.germanautocenter.com for more technical oil information.

 

Q: When should I consider rebuilding my Audi engine?

 

A: Audi engines will provide many year and many miles of service is properly maintained. Please consult the experts at German Auto Center before considering an engine rebuild. The experts at German Auto Center build many German engines for Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche and Audi and we will be happy to assist you in diagnosing yours. Please be cautious as these engines use complex light alloys and are highly subject to failure due to overheating. Always pay attention to your warning indicators.

 

Q: My air bag lights are on in my Audi, what does this mean?

 

A: Other than the passenger seat airbag notification, if your Audi is displaying an airbag fault light, your airbag system is disabled due to a system fault. If your Audi has an airbag light, stop by at German Auto Center and we will be happy to diagnose this for you. Airbag lights faults may come from the airbag itself, seat belt buckles or within the vehicle control modules.

 

Q: When will I know if my Audi needs new brakes?

 

A: Most current Audi models have built in brake sensors that will notify you when your brakes need replacing. Depending on your Audi year and model, these sensors may be on the front and rear wheels or just on the front wheels. Please stop by and have German Auto Center inspect your brakes at no charge if you are experiencing any difficulties.

 

 

Q: My Audi is having problems shifting into gears, what does this mean?

 

A: Audi makes use of a wide variety of transmission designs. As a pioneer of the CVT transmission, any transmission service should be done by a qualified Audi service facility such as German Auto Center. Please contact German Auto Center if you are having any shifting issues.

 

Q: What are the benefits of taking my Audi to a specialty shop rather than the dealership?

 

A: German Auto Center has been servicing the Austin community since the mid 1970s. We work exclusively on German manufactured vehicles including Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen. If you have any questions about your German vehicle, please stop in and visit with us at your convenience. Visit www.germanautocenter.com for more technical information under or “tech tips” and “blog” sections.

 

Q: What else should I know about my Audi?

 

A: Audi are extremely well engineering vehicles and incorporate an extensive amount of vehicle electronics that can only be diagnosed with factory equipment. Visit us at German Auto Center or take a moment to read more at www.germanautocenter.com.

 

 

Have more questions about how to keep your Audi well maintained, ask us using the comments below or on our German Auto Center Facebook page.