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Thread: Audi A4 Brake Failure Problem

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Brake Failure - what happened to me

    Car: A4 Avant TDi 1.9 130bhp. 51 plate 02.

    Approaching a roundabout on a duel carriageway at over 80mph - yes I drive too fast - I applied the brakes only to get a solid brake pedal and very little response, I re-applied pushing the pedal as hard as I could, used the gearbox to slow the car and managed to safely stop the car before the roundabout. Luckly the road was quiet, I had plenty of space, was on a good road and I was travelling in a straight line. The car was recover to a my local garage (not audi - i dont like the attitude of my nearest audi garage so use a SEAT garage instead) As soon as I described the problem they knew exactly what was wrong.

    The bulkhead housing the servo unit had filled with water, this had entered the servo, master cylinder and break lines. As a result I had to have all the parts replaced along with a new set of discs all round, damaged by the breaking incident, they ended up jammed on, new pads and all brake lines flushed. The bill for this is huge and all because a small drain hole was blocked. A plug in the offending area has now been removed providing better drainage.

    Now my point is that the garage were aware of the issue, infact it affects other Volkswagen models including Passat and also Skoda, so if its a know issue easily solved by removing a small rubber bung why havent I had a re-call letter to sort the problem and why was I in a situation which put my life and the life of other drivers at risk. Audi seriously need to address this issue asap before someone really gets hurt.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Agree with a previous poster - seems to be a VAG fault with some models not draining water properly which is then sucked into the servo unit. Check out the VWAudi forum...several places you could look but try this:

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Question Simular problem

    Hi All,

    Driving towards a traffic lighta and had to brake hard to stop. The brakes pedal totally depressed, car did stop not at the correct distance in my view but did stop.

    However once stopped the pedal stayed fully down and I had to pull back up with my foot. Pumped the brakes a bit after and they seemed ok. This is the second time it has happened.

    Is this the same issue.


  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    audiman1972, are you seriously saying that you have a known problem with your brakes, and have made no attempt at a resolution? You have now had the same problem twice, and you are asking on a Forum? Have you had a garage involved? Are you still driving the car?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    North of Watford Gap

    Default Brakes!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolebama View Post
    audiman1972, are you seriously saying that you have a known problem with your brakes, and have made no attempt at a resolution? You have now had the same problem twice, and you are asking on a Forum? Have you had a garage involved? Are you still driving the car?
    I'd second that, but I also want to know WHERE you are driving so I can go in the opposite direction!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Numerous problems. Is the Audi A4 worth it?

    Recently acquired one of these cars ( an A4) cheap but discovered lots of problems, mostly with the brakes, which comes as no surprise now I've seen ths board.

    I'm wondering if it's worth keeping the car and fixing it up or scrapping it. Am I likely to encounter many more problems with it in the future. How reliable is the Audi A4?

    Discovered these problems ... so far.

    1) The car knocks really loud when turning hard right or left, mostly happens when turning in a tight right.

    2) Something up with brakes at front, I think. ABS light and brake light comes up with a beep on comp display. And I can hear a grinding noise whilst driving.

    3) Exhaust roars like a monster when accelerating and then rattles like mad, but Exhaust is not loose. You can hear me coming a mile off.

    4) The engines stutters badly (as if it is going to cut out) at low revs, but usually stablilises after a while.

    5) The gear changes are really choppy, and there is a hefty kick in the back (right in the kidneys, lol) sometimes when the gear changes quickly.

    6) Car doesn't accelerate very well beyond 40/45 miles and hour. Tried pushing it and it seems to resist.

    7) The oil is thick with dirt and sludge and the dipstick is broken around the point of entry.

    I know what the problem is with the ABS light and grinding noise, and the knocking when turning - that's all I've found out so far. Had an estimate on the CV joint and brakes - about £300.

    Someone suggested exhaust noise might be muffler/silencer? Or the cat. Both expensive to fix, I'm told. Mechanic says it's not worth keeping the car. Dunno if he's right...????

    Oh and I forgot: the brake pedal vibrates under foot, but that's probably due to do with the brakes and CV joints being damaged.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Please help

    Quote Originally Posted by ishcraig View Post
    Im a tech at audi, give me faults and symptoms i might be able to help.
    Notice to all; never buy an Audi platform vehicle with a Multitronic gearbox they have far to many faults to list!
    My son bought brand new Audi A4 S Line TDI Auto at end of July 2008 and four weeks later and only 1500 miles driven the car suddenly came to abrupt stop (son described it as if car had jumped from drive to park) and resulted in the car following smashing the backend heavily. The other car was a write-off but fortunately those involved were ok excepting whiplash and shock. The other driver apologised and said that he hadn't realised that my son had come to a sudden stop as there were no brakelights shown. My son is an experienced driver (20,000pa) and never been involved in an accident since he started driving 13 years ago. We don't like to think what might have happened if it had been on a motorway. Please ishcraig, with your background and expertise can you help us in any way. Can you suggest what might have gone wrong and where to look. We are led to believe by others working in your industry that there do appear to be rumours that this is a problem with Audi. Can you shed any light for us.
    Thank you in advance of your help

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Audi brak servo failure

    Quote Originally Posted by pomracer View Post
    I Google searched and came up with this forum which I have now joined to relay my experience .
    My car is an A4 Avant quattro 2.5tdi, 2002. It has just clocked up 89,000 miles. It has full dealer service history. Just before its most recent service last week I expeienced the same terrifying brake loss as described in this forum - it happened to me twice, once at low speed when parking at home, and again when approaching a T junction...which grabbed my attention as you can imagine. What happened was that on first application of te brake pedal everything felt fine, then came off the brakes, then when i went back on for final brake to bring vehicle to a halt there was no servo at all. It was like having a block of wood under the pedal. Luckily there was no car in front and by giving it all I had got I brought the car to a halt as the front wheels went over the give way white line .
    I do have some mechanical knowledge, and have a classic car which has no servo, so knew exactly what the pedal felt like. It was very clearly NOT a "soft pedal" or "increased pedal travel" ...the symptoms were as described elsewhere here. After the incident, the brakes worked as normal.
    Bear with me please!
    The car had already been booked into the dealer so I called them and described this fault, and mentioned the RAC Forum postings on this subject.
    On checking the car in I went through the whole thing again with the Service desk asking them to check the servo.
    They handed me the usual service paperwork and asked me to sign, which i did, then gave me another sheet to sign which they said was for some "recall work" which I would not have to pay for. I asked waht this was and was told "don't worry, it is not a safety issue, it is simply to clean out the plenum chamber" .....everyone reading this still with me???...I then asked what did they mean by "plenum chamber " as I was thinking they meant air intake or similar, and they told me that it was the area under the battery on the bulkhead that sometimes fills with water if drain holes blocked and it needed cleaning....
    Fast forward to collecting the car:-
    They went through the invoice covering all the items which included new rear discs and pads which I knew were badly worn. Having gone through everything , I was staggered that they had not mentioned the brake fault, so I asked what they had done about it. I was told that everything had been checked and no fault found. At this point I admit that I did start to get rather irritated and asked them if they were absolutely sure that the car was 100% safe to drive, and they assured me that it was. They then proceeded to lecture me about the rear barkes and how that the fact that the pads were very worn could have caused these symptoms - so I asked to speak with the mechanic (sorry, I mean technician) , as I knew that pad wear, however severe, could not have produced these symptoms - more pedal travel yes, or soft pedal, or even longer stopping distance, but not NO SERVO!- he confirmed that he had checked everything , and he was happy with the car, he had checked the vacuum pipes and so on. He did however listen to what I had to say and was going to look on the Audi computer to see if similar faults had been recorded.Have not heard back
    Since the service, and the plenum chamber cleaning, I have done about 250 miles troublefree.
    So the question is, am adding 2+2 and making 25, or is this plenum chamber cleaning recall linked to the servo failure scenario and they are keeping quiet about it??
    The problem is that as always it is a case of your word against theirs. I am in my late 40's, drive about 20,000 miles a year, and into cars, own a classic car, have raced classic cars, and do much of my own maintenance on my classic. I do not hold out to be an expert but I do know the difference when it comes to describing brake 'failure' or problems.
    Its just happened to me!-twice! Having read a few people problems re the servo brake failure..has it been establishe wethere it a gromit , or a servo pipr problems??
    Thanks Stan

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Hi -did you get the problem sorted??-Its just happened on my Audi 1.9tdi-pretty scary...are audi dealerships Aware of the problem?
    Thanks Stan

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Hi first post to this forum, unfortunately due to the problem that is discussed within this post.

    I have a 2001 a4 tdi that some weeks ago exhibited a rock hard brake pedal...whilst going down a steep hill! i managed to stop and the problem disappeared seconds later. i went to a garage and they checked the car (how thoroughly i cannot know) and said what i described sounded like a servo issue but they could not see anything of note.

    i have had no problems in the intervening weeks until today when the brake pedal is slow to return to the top of its travel and seems to be question is this linked to the previous problem? what is the definitive answer, bulkhead grommet, servo pipelines, the servo itself???

    i dont know whether there is a link here but another commonality between these two incidents is that the weather is extremely cold...-2 today and was similarly cold when the brake pedal went rock hard.

    any advice would be most appreciated and also any light shed on the weather issue?

    many thanks!

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