AUDI A3 Loss of Power
As Audi experts, we fully appreciate every little aspect of the function of these marvellous motors. For most road users, the level of interest doesn’t go that far, but most people buy an Audi A3 for the performance and kerb appeal. But the intricate parts of the engine can ruin both these criteria in an instant. Without them all working correctly, the car doesn’t run as it should.
Like any other car company, Audis can sometimes develop faults and problems over time that need to be fixed immediately. One day you are driving peacefully, and the next, your Audi A3 develops a fault.
If you are asking yourself what you should do in this situation, keep reading, and we’ll answer your question!
Audi EMS, DPF, Error codes, warning lights, poor car performance…
This happened recently to a customer of ours. They brought an Audi A3 (2016) to us after the dashboard started to flash that there was a fault. The error code P2458 – Diesel Particulate Filter – Regeneration Duration.
The DPF is a filter that traps particulate matter such as soot and ash from the exhaust, which, if not maintained/replaced regularly, can cause massive and expensive problems within your engine. The filter has been standard since 2009, and luckily we work with these daily at Links Automotive.
When the dashboard flashed a warning light, the customer made the wise decision to bring their Audi A3 to us. We noticed more warning lights displayed on the dashboard, and the car’s performance was “limp” at best. Being a trade client, they were aware of the need to regenerate the DPF, but every time they tried, it was unsuccessful.
The main Audi dealer had completed a software update. But still, error codes and warning lights were present.
Let’s get technical!
The testing confirmed the DPF error code and the data feedback confirmed the diagnosis of DPF regeneration. All filters have a process of self-cleaning and emptying, this being called regeneration on a diesel engine.
At this stage, we knew we had to check the DPF and check its levels; this is where Links Automotive’s expertise really comes into its own. The next step was to pinpoint the exact problem.
The DPF has passive and active regeneration. Passive being when the Audi A3 is driven at high speed, the exhaust temperature burns off the soot particles built up in the filter. But this relies on the car being driven at high speed for extended periods. But, like most people, driving at this speed for a long time will be 5% of your driving experience.
So cleverly, active regeneration is built into the Audi engine and means that when soot builds up in the filter to around 45%, this will cause the exhaust to heat up to burn those particles and clear the filter.
This process relies on the correct information recorded at various sensors, from the exhaust to the engine.
What did we do differently?
When the Audi A3 was in the garage, we first checked the Audi Service & Repair history, and everything appeared to have been completed in line with the manufacturer’s servicing schedule. With nothing obvious showing up, our experts looked at the live data on the car.
We started by checking the soot levels – they were not above the DPF threshold, and the filter was not blocked. So then we checked all the car filters and realised that the car oil level was way too high and diluted.
After draining the excess oil, we attempted the regeneration process again.
We discovered that the heat-up process was still not happening. We had found the problem, and now we needed to establish the root cause.
When we tested the exhaust temperature sensor, it showed that it was not working in the turbo phase. As mentioned earlier, several sensors on the Audi A3 run from the exhaust to the engine, and we need to test them all.
We also had to test all the wiring to establish which part wasn’t working and why.
Using our expertise of Audi cars and our mechanical and electrical knowledge, we could locate the problem quickly. The Exhaust Temperature Sensor wasn’t working, stopping the regen process.
Now that we had diagnosed the problem, we replaced the temperature sensor, changed the oil and the filter, which allowed us to re-run the regeneration process of the DPF.
We work fast, but we never take shortcuts in our proven 15-step diagnostic process. We made a complete diagnosis and fixed the car, allowing the customer to drive away within one day.
Being able to hand back the car fully functioning and running better than ever is something we work at every day.
Quality service guaranteed
If you are an Audi owner and have been experiencing performance problems with your Audi vehicle, please contact us immediately on 01625 402262. Our team of Audi experts are always happy to offer advice or book you in.