A4 1.8T Q (B6)- SLUDGE problem confirmed

Arthur Marks aamarks at cox.net
Tue Aug 2 13:28:37 EDT 2005

...and they won't pay if one oil change is 10% overdue...

To continue the saga. Last Monday, the oil pressure light came on 50 miles into a short trip. It would come on while driving whenever the pressure got below 20 psi (1.4 bar). It was Idling some where around 10 to 15 psi. I stopped and changed the filter thinking that might help. The oil was still very clean. There was no change in the pressure so I called Audi roadside assistance and had it towed under warranty.

Tuesday I had to call them. They told me they can't get to it until Friday and they couldn't give me a loaner car until Wed. So I've got a car that can't go much more than 1000 miles before it needs to go to the shop for an emergency visit and then it gets to stay there for a week. I took all this news in stride and Dennis, the Asst. Service Mgr., was kind of short with me, not giving any explanations of what could be wrong and what could be done to fix it. When I hung up the phone I was mad. 

I had only been in for service once before since I bought the car. When I brought up the sludge issue to Dennis he pushed the blame on the previous owner's service record. When I asked for a printout of the service record he sort of balked and said he might be able to call someone to get approval. I got them from someone else later.

relating to oil record (specs in manual were for 10k mi intervals and mineral oils were allowed and used by Audi):

  11610 - 10K(oil change)

  18769 - at the dealer for service, but THEY DIDN'T CHANGE THE OIL

  24081 - (12471 since last) 20K(oil change, oil pump replaced)(oil light on) 

      Aug 2004 - Audi oil sludge letter

  34535 - (10454 since last) 30K(oil change)(oil light on)

      then I got it at 36500

  38081 - oil changed by me (pressure light had come on)

  39940 - Audi oil change (pressure light had come on)

  now It's at 41400 (oil pressure light on)

When I picked the car up Dennis gave me the paperwork and sent me to the cashier (no charge). The paperwork indicated they had replaced the oil level light sensor (even then it was apparent to me that it had nothing to do with the problems) and it made no mention of the sludge issue or any cleaning that might have been done. I removed the oil filler cap and saw the gunk. I asked to talk to Dennis but he had "disappeared". A mechanic talked to me and I pointed out the gunk. He said unless something goes wrong with the engine they can't do anything. He recommended cleaning through frequent oil changes.

I recommend giving 5s for the service report card when you get called by AoA. I gave high marks for all questions, but when they asked me to rate the explanation for the work performed, I gave a 2. There was another question about the work performed that I wouldn't grade. I said my issues there weren't necessarily with dealer, but with Audi. 

Saturday Dennis called me about his grades. I assume this is where they are supposed to address some of the customers concerns. He just wanted to know why he got that 2. He said, all right, and ended the conversation abruptly.

So when I got off the phone with Dennis I called him back and left a message on his machine saying I was pissed off that I have a car that can't go 2000 miles before it's back in the shop for a week. He called me back and said that if I didn't like the service I was getting I could take it the next Audi dealer (>100 miles from here). My tone was very nice from that point, but he still ended the conversation saying he was going to have another employee talk to me.

Today they tell me they took the valve cover off and diagnosed it as having a sludge problem. Dealer says Audi won't give them approval to replace the engine because of oil changes >10% miles overdue. I will even have to pay to get the valve cover put back on to drive it out of there if I don't want to pay them to change the engine.

At a loss.


More information about the quattro mailing list