Audi Suspension Issues Explained(+5 Tips to prevent these issues)

In this brief article, we are going to discuss the different Audi Suspension issues, what the causes are, and how these issues can be effectively dealt with.

An Audi is known for exceptional performance and handling in almost every type of driving. On the accumulation of time and high mileage, suspension components which under constant punishment from roads and different terrain, tend to gradually and steadily wear and deteriorate in their performance.

What are the common suspension issues in an Audi?

The most common Audi suspension issues that occur are failures in the following parts:

  • Upper and Lower Control arm bushings
  • Steering rods
  • Upper and Lower Control arm Ball joints
  • Anti Roll/Sway bar linkages and 
  • Wheel bearings
  • Shock-absorbers

These issues are common in the models A4, A5, S4, S5, Q5 and SQ5, which are all part of the B8, B8.5 Platform, because the suspension architecture is similar in that they are all Multi-link independent suspension systems in all the wheels. 

It is interesting to note that though the front and rear suspensions are similar in these models, issues tend to occur, a majority of the time, in the front wheels alone. This is due to the fact that the front suspension takes punishment from road surfaces first and these effects are relatively dampled by the time the rear wheels go across the same patch of road.

How do I identify a suspension issue in my Audi?

Symptoms

In order to identify that your Audi does have a suspension issue, the best way to start is to look for symptoms. Most of the suspension issues can be identified by symptoms such as –

SYMPTOMPOTENTIAL ISSUE
Front-end vibrations or shimmying, hear a distinct “clunk” or “creek” noise particularly while going over speed breakers or hitting pot-holes. Upper and Lower Control arm bushing or ball-joint failure
Scrubbing or thumping Noise while steering the vehicle.Issues with the steering rods and steering ball-joints.
Looseness in the steering, swaying of the vehicle when turning the steering wheel. Issues with the steering rods and steering ball-joints.
Bumpy travel even when the road is smooth. Issues with Dampers/ Shock-absorbers
Whirring noise when driving in a straight lineWorn out Wheel Bearings
Uneven tire Inside edge/ Outside edge wearIssues with either  Upper and Lower control arm bushings, Spindle Ball-jointsSteering rods and steering ball-joints
“Nose diving” when stoppingIssues with Dampers
Cracking noise during a hard turnPossible CV joint or Axle failureFailure at the Damper Strut top mount

Look and Feel inspection

  • Park your Audi on a nice flat surface/road and visually inspect from the front of the car, if there is any Sagging of the vehicle to one side. If it does, then this could mean a broken spring on the sagging side. This is a serious issue and it would be best to attend to this problem with the help of a trained mechanic.
  • Upper and Lower control arm Bushings: Closely inspect with proper lighting to observe whether the rubber in between and if it has started to tear or fall to pieces. If so, then it is time to replace them.
  • Wheel Bearings: Lift the vehicle on a maintenance bay and rotate each wheel by hand. While doing this, keep the other hand touching the spring. Observe to see whether the spring on any side of the vehicle vibrates excessively relative to the others whilst rotating. If there happens to be excessive vibration then it might indicate a failed wheel bearing
  • Tie-rod Ball-joints: Closely inspect with proper lighting to observe whether the “Rubber Boot” that protects the ball-joint has torn or cracked. If it is so, then it might indicate that the ball-joint is no longer protected against dust, dirt, water, etc. and that the joint inside would soon fail. At this point, it would be wise to replace the tie-rods.
  • Shock-Absorbers: A “Bounce-Test” would be a good way to see if there are any potential issues with the shock-absorbers. To perform this test you need to apply your body weight on each corner of the car vertically downwards, enough to make the car bounce a bit. 

Once you take your weight off the corner, for a good condition shock-absorber, the car corner should stop bouncing in a single up-down cycle. If it does happen to bounce beyond one cycle, it could mean that the shock-absorber has failed and that it might be time for replacement.

What are the main causes for suspension issues in an Audi?

The main causes for suspension issues in an Audi are:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Multiple instances of Heavy braking or acceleration
  • Higher percentage of Constant Off-roading or Potholes and Bad roads in your daily driving pattern
  • Not replacing suspension components at the intervals recommended in Audi’s service Manual
  • Aggressive driving Style/Pattern

How do I prevent common Audi Suspension issues?

Audi suspension issues can be avoided by inspection of the following suspension parts at least once every 60,000 miles and take measures as explained here:

  • All Suspension Bushes:
  • For all suspension bushings, it would be wise to inspect for wear out/failure (see above section) and make replacements before complete failure
  • Upper and Lower Control Arm Bushing Failure:
  • Cars produced before Nov 3rd 2009 had a smaller Lower control arm bushing, which was 65mm inside diameter along with a M12 stud. Cars produced beyond this date had a changed larger bushing of 75mm inside diameter along with a M14 stud. If your Audi was manufactured prior to that date, it might be wise to simply upgrade to the new part.
  • If you see failed bushes at only one location, meaning only one of the two bushings in a control arm, it would be best to replace both upper and lower control arms. 

It would be only a matter of time before the other remaining bushings fail. Also each time you replace a control arm, you would need to do a steering alignment. So you might save money on one replacement job but lose more money due to multiple alignments.

  • Wheel Bearing Failure:

Wheel bearings need to be inspected as explained in the above section. If a replacement is warranted, then the following measures are important to ensure that the repair is done correctly:

  • Wheel-bearing is pressed into the Wheel Spindle, which in turn, is attached to the suspension by 4 bolts. The spindle has a housing into which the wheel-bearing has to be pressed using a special press machine. For this reason the spindle needs to be removed every time you replace the wheel-bearings
  • After replacing the wheel-bearings, when bolting the spindle back into the suspension, keep in mind to not re-use the 4 bolts. Always replace these bolts in order to avoid a bolt-loosening issue in future and avoid unnecessary maintenance stops for your Audi
  • CV Joint Boot Failure:
  • Visually inspect the CV Rubber boot for any cracks or tears. If the rubber boot has failed, the CV-joint lubrication would not happen properly and this could lead to premature joint failure due to loss of lubrication and overheating.
  • Preventive replacement of the CV Rubber boot might help extend the CV joint life and postpone the joint replacement.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Audi Suspension issues, what the causes are, and how these issues could be effectively dealt with.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

Does Audi have good suspension?

Yes, in general Audi’s engineering is strong in the area of suspension. Currently, with damper control assisted by sensors that measure the motion of the car, the required damping characteristics are predicted and then adjusted according to the road conditions and the instantaneous driving situation. This resulting driving dynamics is enhanced with increased comfort for the occupants. Due to this advanced system, the driver can switch between multiple suspension setting choices provided in the Audi “Drive-select” system.

The damper or shock-absorber pistons contain solenoid valves that offer very energy-efficient control. They allow hydraulic fluid to flow faster or slower as required and as a result provide continuous damping control. The electronic chassis platform (ECP), instantaneously processes all sensor signals and signals each shock-absorber to change damping. Because of an available wide control range within the damper valves, this control system provides a broad spectrum of responses. The responses can be adapted to enable a range between a softer ride to accurate handling.

What problems do Audi’s have?

The most common Audi suspension Problems that occur are:

  • Electrical Component issues like tail-lights
  • Oil leak Issues
  • Failed Spark Plugs
  • Timing Belt Wear-out
  • Sounds due to suspension and steering component wear-out

Do all Audi A8 have air suspension?

Yes, Audi A8’s are equipped with Air Suspension. Audi A8’s come with built-in “Predictive Active Suspension” combining both Air Suspension and Electronically controlled damping. The entire suspension is controlled using Audi’s ECP (Electronic Chassis Platform) that obtains information from sensors every 5 milliseconds.

How do I reset my Audi q7 suspension?

In the center console navigate to 

  • “Vehicle” Page
  • Go to “Air Suspension Wheel change” and Check-mark the Option
  • Switch OFF and then Switch ON the Ignition
  • Navigate back to “Air Suspension Wheel change” and UNCheck the Option

Can the Audi suspension on the A6 TDI which is sporty and hard be changed?

First of all, you need to check whether the tire pressure in all wheels is correct as per the Audi Owner’s manual. Once this is done, drive and see if the problem has improved. If it has, then the Softer Audi A6 standard suspension option is a good option to consider. However, another lower cost option would be to fit tires that have a taller profile and also a smaller diameter wheel.

References 

Audi MediaCenter Model Updates Official Page

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