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continued from page 1:http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/8p/2010-2011-audi-a3-TDI-checklist.htm
continued from page 2:http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/8p/2010-2011-audi-a3-tdi-forum.htm
continued from page 3:http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/8p/audi-a3-TDI-buying-guide-2.htm

More Audi A3 information, A3 TDI reviews, features, options, and pictures

Audi A3 are assembled in either Ingolstadt, Germany or Brussels, Belgium from parts sourced from all over the world. The first year of the Audi A3 in the US was 2006 with gas engine only. You may see 8L, this refers to the specific body name for the 1996-2003 Audi A3. 8P is the specific body name for the 2004-present Audi A3. The Audi TT, mk5 Jetta, and mk5-6 VW Golf, these cars are built off the basic PQ35 VW platform. You may also see A5 (small car 5th generation) because prior to the PQ35 platform, VW/Audi platforms were named A1 (small car 1st generation), A2 (small car 2nd gen), B1 (midsize car 1st gen), B2, etc.. Mk5 or mkv is a term for 5th VW gen, mk6 or mkvi mean 6th VW gen.

One small difference between Audi and VW is that if you order a car, Audi can build it with special order colors or options, etc. Only about 1.5 special build cars out of an average 310,250 cars built yearly in Ingolstadt are identically optioned! A small fraction of the higher cost of an Audi is the option of having a special build car. You can also take European delivery of the car and have it shipped to the US as a used car.

EPA mileage for the Audi A3 TDI is 30 city, 42 highway.

This is the same as a Jetta or Golf with the DSG transmission. Estimated mileage mixed real world driving for the Audi A3 TDI is 40 mpg. Over 50 mpg highway is possible in real world driving but don't expect this unless you do mostly highway driving and drive slowly and smoothly. Major factors effecting mileage include individual driving style, car build quality variations, and fuel quality. Expect mileage to increase after engine break in by as much as 10-15%.

Modern diesel passenger cars are very clean vehicles that meet emissions standards. The tailpipe will be as clean or cleaner than a similar gasoline car. Part of the low emissions are the ultra low sulfur diesel sold in North America. In fact, the 2009-2010 Jetta/Golf/Audi A3 equipped with the 2.0L TDI engine produce significantly less CO2 emissions than their base gasoline engines. Audi A3 TDI (and all 4 cylinder light diesel passenger car engines) do not use urea injection like Mercedes Benz adblue additive to meet emissions. No pee jokes, please! Heavier 6 cylinder powered Audi Q7 do use urea injection.
When it's colder than 48oF, wait 1-2 seconds after turning the key to "on" before turning the key to "start" and starting the engine. This lets the glow plugs turn on and warm up. The "wait to start" glow plug indicator light normally goes out in less than 1 second and could be on as long as 4-5 seconds when it's below freezing.

Make sure to tell all drivers of your car to only put diesel in the fuel tank! If you accidentally put gasoline in it, immediately stop and tow it to a mechanic!

Factory tour of the Audi A3 factory (German audio)
A look at the A3 factory and small car development interview (English audio)
The optimal open sky 2 piece sunroof is basically 2 sunroofs. The front sunroof slides about 80% back and out-over the rear sunroof (see the video below). The rear sunroof does not open. I don't like sunroofs in general because they slightly increase cabin noise, reduce handling compared to a car with no sunroof, and slightly reduce headroom. Because the sunshades are not opaque (they are perforated), they still let some light through. If you want a sunroof without heat you could apply window tint on it.


You must use 507.00 VW spec engine oil. DO NOT trust the dealer to comply with this requirement! Dealer techs are busy and often make mistakes! The number of TDI coming through the dealer garage is small compared to the number of gassers and many dealers have made this mistake in the past! Always check with the exact tech working on your car which oil he is using. If your engine experiences wear problems due to engine oil, it probably won't show up until after the warranty period has expired!
This is a new spec oil so the best place to find it is from the dealer or an online wholesaler. 507 engine oil is very low ash which maximizes the life of the DPF filter. Read more about the DPF system in 1000q: DPF and Adblue system FAQ. Until there is strong evidence and testing for oils other than 507.00 VW/Audi spec, I suggest sticking to the factory specification oil at least for warranty purposes. Don't let them tell you that another oil is OK to use because it's you who has to prove any problem down the road, not them! Some common oils that are VW/Audi 507.00 spec are Castrol SLX Professional LL03 (VW# gvw 052 195 m2), Motul specific VW 507.00, Total Quartz Ineo 5w30 507.00, and Mobil 1 ESP Formula 5W-30.

Here is the TSB which lists engine oils approved by VW/Audi - right click, save as or click to view (scroll down to the bottom for 507 oils that should be used on your Audi A3 TDI)

Biodiesel in an Audi A3 TDI

The engine will run fine on biodiesel in all years of TDI. However, Audi only allows up to B5, or 5% biodiesel. They cannot void your car's warranty because of biodiesel use! Laws vary but if they refuse a warranty claim on the engine or exhaust system claiming the fault was caused by biodiesel, generally speaking, you might have to fight the manufacturer and prove that they are responsible for the problem and/or that the fuel is not responsible for the problem.

The 2010 and 2011 TDI common rail engine and emissions system has not had long term real world tests with high percentages of biodiesel and the main concern is compatibility with the emissions treatments like the DPF and engine oil dilution. Regular diesel evaporates easily out of the engine oil whereas biodiesel tends to accumulate. After combustion, a little extra fuel is injected during the "self clean" cycle of post injection regeneration which is burned up in the exhaust filters and catalytic converters. Burning this fuel in the exhaust filters raises their temperatures and burns up the captured emissions. This is one of the reasons why the new TDI has very little diesel odor and low emissions. It's possible that biodiesel use could cause excess regeneration cycles due to clogging (see the DPF article linked above).

Because the self clean cycle injects this extra fuel after combustion, there is also some concern that the biodiesel will get into the engine oil and dilute it. A little biodiesel can be easily tolerated but the long term effects of this are not yet known on the new common rail TDI engine only. If you are going to use high percentages of biodiesel, the 1999-2006 TDI has a long track record of safely using biodiesel and has no particulate emissions filters or post combustion fuel injection. For more basic information about biodiesel and Audi/VW, see 1000q: intro to biodiesel.

Expected longevity of the exhaust particulate filtering system is not yet known but all emissions equipment is covered under warranty under federal emissions laws. Removal will certainly set off a check engine light but there will probably be aftermarket solutions to this.

Delivery inspection of Audi A3 TDI things you may notice as a new owner

After leaving the dealer, tell all drivers to only put diesel in the fuel tank! Some dealers will fill up your fuel tank as a favor, make sure they put diesel in it! The car keys will get passed to a few people like the car washer or tech when it's in for service so it's not necessarily the salesperson's or mechanic's fault. I suggest a note taped to the "gas cap" while it's at the dealer. If someone accidentally puts gasoline in it, stop as soon as safety allows and tow it to a mechanic!

The owner's manual should say to only use Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). Check the fuel pumps for the sticker before using. Even if it doesn't have the sticker, about 99.5% of all retail pump diesel sold in the US meets the ULSD standard but you may find a rare pump that isn't. Even if the sticker on the fuel pump doesn't say it's ULSD , all major refineries in the US/Canada have been making pretty much only ULSD and are required to make only ULSD for road use by 6/1/2010, so if the pump doesn't say ULSD it's almost certainly ULSD or diluted enough so that it shouldn't cause any serious problems. After 12/01/10, by law, you can only find non ULSD for cars in Mexico/off road fuel. California has been only ULSD for years.

The owner's manual has an error about the fuel filter interval - it's not 55,000 miles, it's 15,000 miles first change, then 20,000 miles after that. Here is the reference: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f7/addendum-2010-a3-tdi-owners-manual-3093/

After you shut off the engine or are stopped at a light: if you hear the engine fan running and you smell something overheating at the tailpipe, this is the diesel particulate filter (DPF) burning off accumulated soot. If the DPF doesn't get hot enough during a highway run or normal driving, it injects some fuel to burn off trapped particulates. If you shut off the engine in the middle of a filter regeneration cycle you may notice some odor while it burns off. It appears that the engine does a hot regen 300-500 miles depending on use. More information can be found in this post in the VW TDI discussion forum and the DPF FAQ.

It's believed that the EGR tuning results in a small engine shudder when cresting hills or at light throttle under certain conditions.

Some 2.0L 2009 and 2010 VW TDI (same exact engine as your Audi A3 TDI) have had self destructing high pressure fuel pumps. If you open the fuel filter (see 1000q: fuel filter replace for tips on opening it) and see metal flakes, immediately bring it to the dealer while under warranty. The high pressure fuel pump is downstream of the filter so the fuel lines, injectors, and pumps must be replaced to get out all the flakes. The fuel filter should be changed every 20,000 miles. Also keep your fuel receipts in case they accuse you of putting gasoline in the car. Diesel fuel is an oil and lubricates the fuel system.

Some new cars are damaged at the dealer or during transit. It happens. Carefully inspect your new car for dents, scratches, misaligned panels, haloing or spiderwebbing of the paint (see 1000q: polishing your paint for more details and pictures), or other damage. This is not acceptable on a brand new car. Don't let the happy ether from new car delivery interfere with overlooking possible defects or damage. A professional detailing will remove any rail dust, sea salt/sand, or road detritus accumulated during transport. Waxing the car will only coat over these paint impurities and seal them in. Look through the detailing index linked above or see below in non-priority items for more detailing tips.

Very minor and consistent orange peel (a slight/wavy texturing of the paint surface) is considered normal. Inconsistency across panels indicates bad paint and possibly damage cover ups. Pictured right are thumbnails (click to enlarge) of orange peel from glossycar. com. The first one shows severe orange peel and what a perfect paint job would look like after the repair. The second shows a brand new car with heavier than normal orange peel. This would probably be considered normal by some dealers but can be corrected with a very light wetsanding and polish that can be done by any detailer. The paint finish on a new car should be clear of swirl marks and other defects.

Some dealerships, even luxury car dealerships, do a bad job detailing new cars due to sloppy and fast work. Bad detailers can even damage your new car's finish. I recommend washing, claybar, and then waxing your new car yourself. This removes the corrosive railroad dust if they came by rail, sal****er spray/sand while sitting at the port, and road junk gathered during transport to the dealer. See detailing tips at 1000q: washing and wax your car , 1000q: claybar your car.

While you shouldn't apply wax to a freshly painted or repaired panel, new cars from the factory are baked in an oven after painting and they had plenty of time to cure during transport. Body repair or body shop paint needs to cure for at least a month because it's can't be baked in an oven or else the interior would melt. High quality body shops can do a better paint job than the factory so don't worry that they don't bake the paint. Unfortunately, some cars have also reported spots or defects in the clearcoat. If there are, use a hairdryer on low heat to test if it goes away. If it comes back, it's a defect and should be fixed.

Make sure the dealer removes the front suspension blockers. These are black or orange bumpers that lock the springs for shipment. It's on the delivery checklist but the box often gets checked off even though they didn't do it. If the front rides hard and high or you hear a noise from the front, check for the bumpers. This is what they look like before removal (on right, black ones shown) and after being mangled from driving around (orange ones, on left) because the dealer didn't remove them. It can dislodge the shock boot.

There are many car settings that must be set up during new delivery. CAN BUS technology cars come from the factory in sleep mode to prevent battery drain. Sometimes these settings are never configured (dealer error) or reset later. Some examples are the power windows/sunroof remote functions. The window pinch protection can even be turned off. These options can be adjusted with a VCDS diagnostic tool or the dealer can do it.

Apply the parking brake when parking! It's good practice with any car but it's very important on Audi and VW because the parking brake sets the rear caliper self adjusters. The DSG transmission can also creep when starting the engine or shifting from a cold start. For these reasons, always use the parking brake when parked!

Securely jack up the rear of the car and spin the rear wheels by hand. There should be no resistance. Light scraping on the brake rotors is normal but any more and have the dealer readjust the parking brake. This has been the cause of low fuel economy in a few cases.

To break in the new engine, follow the recommendations in your owner's handbook. Don't listen to the salesperson! Some general tips about engine break in and busting myths can be seen here: 1000q: engine break in and busting break in myths.

It's normal for the speedometer to read slightly higher than actual speed. German cars tend to have fast speedometers to account for build variations and so that they don't read lower than actual speed. The odometer reading should be correct and is a separate display from the speedometer for warranty and maintenance purposes. Also note that the fuel economy meter may be off. This is normal for any car. The best way to calculate fuel economy is to fill the tank all the way, drive, and then fill the tank all the way at the same exact pump. Different pumps may click off at slightly different points which can affect calculated fuel economy.

Double check your insurance coverage. Some insurance setups may incorrectly see your car as a gasser. Remember that your car has 3 sets of airbags, an immobilizer anti theft, alarm, shoulder harness seat belts, and stability control, see if insurance discounts apply.

Non priority items and other misc things to know about the 2010 Audi A3 TDI

Make sure to tell all drivers of your car to only put diesel in the fuel tank! If someone accidentally puts gasoline in it, stop as soon as safety allows and tow it to a mechanic! The owner's manual should say to only use Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (USLD). All retail pump diesel sold in the US is USLD, you will find non USLD in Mexico or at biodiesel stations/blends. A maximum of 5% biodiesel is allowed under the warranty. The law says that all retail pumps must have USLD by Dec 2010, all major refineries in the US have stopped producing any non USLD for a while now so the only non USLD would be from leftovers in the system which has since been diluted. Even stations which still don't have the USLD sticker on the pump will have USLD.

The Audi smart key uses an anti-theft device called an immobilizer. You can only have new keys programmed at the dealer, the few rare independent locksmiths who have the equipment, or with a few aftermarket solutions. See 1000q: immobilizer FAQ for more details. The issue is that although the key can unlock the door, an unprogrammed key won't let the engine stay running. For this reason, avoid ebay keys until you shop around for the dealer price. Also avoid used keys because the new immobilizer chips can only be programmed once. In other words, you may be able to reuse old parts from a used key but the chip inside the key will only work for 1 specific car. If you want to attempt key programming, see 1000q: a5 Jetta key FAQ. It's for a VW but your Audi is similar - they just call it a smart key.

You can't use truck stop high flow fueling nozzles. The high flow fueling nozzles are larger and flow much faster to fill a semi's large fuel tank. Because the larger high flow nozzle won't fit in the TDI fuel tank opening, some fuel can splash out. Try to find and use the small diesel nozzles. You may hear of venting or a ventectomy, it does not apply to this car.

It's normal for the windshield wipers to move a little when you start or shut off the car. By occasionally moving the wipers, they last longer by not getting bent in one position.

There is no power steering fluid. The steering rack is electric. Older cars had adjustable steering assist but I don't know if the newer Audi A3 can adjust the amount of power steering. For the basic procedure, see 1000q: power steering adjustment.

There's a grocery bag hook under the rear trunk lid. This is shown to the right.

I recommend applying a UV-resistant laminate or headlight protector on the headlight lenses. This will prevent pitting and yellowing of the plastic on your new headlights. This is not a VW specific issue because all modern headlights on US cars use DOT approved plastic lenses instead of glass. A paint protecting clear vinyl film over the front of the car is also a good idea but is more expensive than a headlight protector. Professional installation is required and it will prevent chipping of the front. While it does slightly reduce the look of the paint, it's not noticeable at all unless you are closely inspecting it and prevents damage to the paint which is noticeable from a distance. It does not damage the paint at all but cannot be applied to a repainted area or else it could pull off the repainted area.

You may also want to tint the windows. Auto glass blocks UV light but even clear or light tint will block a lot more UV light. Tinting the side windows helps prevent aging of the interior, aging of your skin, adds privacy, and in the event of the window shattering, controls glass particles by holding them to the stick-on film. Tint darkness can come in clear, all the way to dark limo tints, check your local laws for any restrictions. Use only simple soap and water on window tint, never use ammonia based cleaner on the interior of the window where stick-on tint film is applied. For cars with a radio antenna in the glass, do not use metallic tint (tint with tiny metal particles to reflect heat) because you will lose almost all AM reception . The GPS and satellite radio antenna is on the roof. While all quality tint blocks most UV light, ceramic tint has tiny particles that reflect heat (not necessarily visible light) much better than dyed tint and won't block the radio or satellite signal.

The new common rail engine uses a timing belt and will need a deluxe/full timing belt change every 120,000 miles. This includes changing all idler pulleys/rollers, water pump, timing belt tensioner, and timing belt. If you do it yourself, parts should cost about $400. Since Audi dealers are not experienced with diesels and the new TDI engine, ask around for a TDI expert before going to the dealer. Dealers not experienced with TDI engines have damaged engines in the past due to lack of experience with TDI and bad techs. Expect to pay about $900-1,300 at the dealer for this service.

A3 TDI have an auxiliary electric cabin heater. This is an electric heater that gives lukewarm air on cold starts in cold weather. This is because a diesel engine has less waste heat and it would otherwise take a long time in the winter to get the engine coolant warm and get warm air from the climate control. These heaters are not on gas versions of the same car.

There's a plastic dust cover on the ignition key slot. It's a rare problem, but if turning the wheel to unlock the steering wheel won't let you insert the key, try tilting the key towards the front of the car as you push it in or use a pick to move the cover to insert the key. Never use wet oil to lubricate a key cylinder, only use dry graphite.

Do not add aftermarket rustproofing since it will void the factory rust warranty. Cars are dipped in anti-rust zinc and have a few layers of paint to prevent rust. While it could still happen and the rust warranty only covers certain kinds of rust, the best thing to do is to wash your car regularly, including the undercarriage. See 1000q: car detailing index for tips on how to avoid scratches and swirl marks from car washing. The best thing to do is to avoid automatic car washes unless they are "touchless".

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Discussion Starter #2
Added some more details to the list of 2010-2011 differences including pics of the side view mirror.

Many thanks to Jhope for posting pictures of his 2011 mirror. The Audi A3 uses A5 mirrors for its last year. This was discovered when he went to add a side view mirror and found it was a different shape. The post can be found here: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f7/replacement-mirrors-2011-a3-tdi-4061/
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