Why Is the 2016 Audi A3 a Reliable Car? (3+ Researched Issues)

In this brief article we are going to discuss the reliability of the 2016 Audi A3 Reliability, and the common issues that occur in an Audi A3 2016 along with remedies.

Is the 2016 model Audi A3 a reliable car?

Yes, it does seem that Audi A3 owners think that the 2016 model is a reliable model.

According to Edmunds.com, the 2016 Audi A3 scored an impressive 4.6 stars out of 5, based on consumer reviews. Expert reviewers are of the opinion that the A3 excels in the following aspects:

  • Interior design gives high-quality feel
  • The Engine demonstrates good fuel-efficiency along with a decent amount of power
  • The Suspension and chassis are well tuned to balance good quality ride and precise handling
  • The base model provides a good level of equipment
  • Euro NCAP crash test scores have been impressive and help boost consumer confidence

Most Common issues with the 2016 Audi A3

The most common reliability issues with the 2016 Audi A3 suspension issues that occur are in following systems:

  • Airbag Control System
  • Fuel Suction Pump Malfunction
  • Side Marker Lights Malfunction
  • Steering and Suspension Noise issues

The issues mentioned above were those taken from customer feedback. These issues were, in some way, also acknowledged by the Volkswagen group in the form of some official  communications from the group. We will therefore look at the 2016 Audi A3 issues in two main categories:

  • Recalls
  • Technical Service Bulletins


There were 3 major recalls that affected the 2016 model year Audi A3, among other Volkswagen models. These were recalls coming under the ‘Safety’ category, meaning that the issue, if left unsolved could lead to potential accidents or injury. 

In order of most complaints received, the recalls that solved the customer complaints were:

  • Airbag deactivation Problem 

NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 21V198000

Description: The Safety recall notification was sent out in Mid-2021. Volkswagen acknowledged a potential issue with the Airbag controls wherein the Airbags could possibly get deactivated due an issue with the sensors. 

Affected models: 2015-2020 Audi S3 Sedan, A3 Sedan,  2016-2018 A3 Etron, 2017-2020 RS3 Sedan, and  2015-2019 A3 Cabriolet. 

Remedy: As part of the warranty, dealers were instructed to replace the PODS (Passenger Occupant Detecting System) sensor and do a software update in the PODS control module.

  • Suction Pump may Allow Fuel into the EVAP System

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V647000

Description: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. acknowledged that there was a potential problem in the Fuel system. As fuel accumulated in the EVAP system, there was a possibility that it could leak out through the charcoal canister filter element. The suction pump is potentially defective causing fuel to flow into the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system.

This is a Safety risk because a fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source increases the risk of a fire.

Affected Models: (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen, GTI, Audi A3 sedan and A3 Cabriolet vehicles. 

Remedy: Dealers would be instructed to replace the suction pump

  • Side Marker Lights may not Illuminate

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V642000

Description: Side marker lights fail to illuminate. This is potentially a safety risk, since the vehicle could be less visible at night. The cause is a new software that makes the side marker lights deactivated along with either the parking lights or the headlights. Due to the presence of this issue, the affected vehicles would fail to comply with the requirements of FMVSS number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

Affected Models: 2016 TT roadster, A3 cabriolet, A3 sedan and A3 e-tron, 2016-2017 TT coupe, 2017 A4 sedan and Q7 and 2015-2017 Q3 vehicles. 

Remedy: Dealers were instructed to upload the necessary revised software 

Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)

  • NHTSA TSB ID Number: 10204724

Issue: Suspension Noise

Customers reported Cracking noises/spring jumps when steering or when maneuvering

Diagnosis: The issue was sourced to the Front Shock Absorber Cap that touched the Front Bump Stopper, causing the noise.

Remedy: Lubrication of the contact area between the front shock absorber and the Front bump Stopper.

  • NHTSA TSB ID Number: 10205905

Issue: Squeaking Noise

Customers Reported Squeaking noises when the steering wheel is turned or maneuvered. The noises increased in wet weather.

Diagnosis: The wrinkles/folds of the outer rubber boots that cover the front axle shaft CV Joint would come in contact with each other when the steering wheel was turned, leading to squeaking noises. More number of issues were reported in vehicles that were new and had low mileage. 

Remedy: The issue was considered non-critical since it did not affect functionality. Experienced was that the noise will dissipate following the break-in period and no corrective action is necessary. However, for persistent noise, greasing the rubber boot in between the folds is suggested but not compulsory.

  • NHTSA ID Number: 10201522

Issue: Squeaking noises going over uneven roads

Customers reported Creaking/squeaking noises from the left front or right front area when driving over uneven roads.

Diagnosis: The rearward bonded rubber bushings of the front lower control arms have arc-shaped slits by design. While the suspension articulated on rough roads, these slits got squeezed, causing rubber-to-rubber contact, which led to the squeaking/creaking noise.

Other articles about  Audi you may be interested in

Is Audi better than Mercedes Benz?

Which is the best SUV: Audi Q7 or Mercedes Benz GL?

How to manually move a power seat in an Audi ?


In this brief article we have discussed the reliability of the 2016 Audi A3 Reliability, and the common issues that occur in an Audi A3 2016 along with remedies.

For any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch with us.


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Frequently Asked questions:

How long does a 2016 Audi A3 last?

Provided all scheduled maintenance is performed correctly, the A3 could go trouble-free for 250,000+ miles. The Reliability of the Audi A3 is not too different from Audi’s Higher end models.

What platform is the Audi A3 based on?

The Audi A3’s first two generations were based on the Volkswagen Group A platform. Other cars sharing this platform are: Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Caddy, Volkswagen 

Touran, SEAT León, SEAT Toledo, and Škoda Octavia.

The Audi A3’ third-generation was based on the Volkswagen Group’ Restructured MQB platform.

Is the Audi A3 expensive to maintain?

An average automobile costs around $650 per year in maintenance. Given that the Audi A3 costs $745 to maintain annually, it can be considered a reasonably less expensive car to maintain.