You can hardly mention high-end luxury German cars-be it sedans or SUVs- without including the Audi brand. Audi models have enjoyed good success in the automobile industry.
Table of Contents
However, it is pertinent to know that even the most successful vehicles suffer some setbacks. In this article, we shall be looking into some known problems plaguing the Audi A7.
Check also: The best and worst years for Audi A7.
1. Flawed Timing Chain and Tensioners
The timing chain of a vehicle is a very valuable component of the vehicle’s engine. It is the link between the crankshaft and the camshaft in the engine.
With the aid of the tensioners, the timing chain keeps the cylinder head valves in accord with the combustion chamber pistons for the engine to run smoothly.
Flawed timing chains and tensioners have been observed to be one of the main problems with the Audi A7.
Since the timing chain is so critical for the stable running of the engine, if it becomes faulty it could spell catastrophe.
There are 2 major ways the timing chain could become faulty. Firstly, if it is broken and secondly it could be a failure of the timing chain tensioners.
Tensioners on the other hand are responsible for ensuring that the timing chain is tightly attached to the pulleys and gears of the vehicle’s engine.
If the tensioners fail or become faulty, the chains may become loose, and a loose timing chain can halt a car’s engine just about anywhere.
If a timing chain is loose, one would be notified basically by a rattling noise in the engine. Also, a vehicle with a loose timing chain would find it difficult to start.
When it starts eventually, there is a high tendency for the engine to misfire, this is because the timing between the valves and pistons is not synchronized.
It is a heartfelt pity that some Audi A7 owners had to suffer from this engine defect for quite a while without any reasonable response from the manufacturer.
The issue was so serious that frustrated owners filed lawsuits against Audi and its parent company (Volkswagen) had to interfere before a settlement could be reached.
2. Faulty Start-Stop System
With automobile manufacturers in a highly competitive market trying to have an edge over rivals, a lot of technological features innovated and improved upon.
However, not all of these tech features are really making things easier for owners as many of them suffer from one defect to another and the A7 is not exempt from cars that have been plagued by deficient tech features.
The start-stop feature was introduced in vehicles with positive intent with its basic function being to put off the engine when power is not needed and, to restart the engine when the driver is ready to move.
This is to improve and maximize fuel efficiency but it has turned into a nightmare for some Audi A7 owners.
The problem is, a defective start-stop system could lead to different other issues that can prove to be very fatal.
One of the issues that spark concerns for the start-stop system is that the vehicle shuts down and starts many times over than the average number of times without this feature.
This causes some components of the car to wear out quicker than normal, especially the starter and transmission.
Audi A7 owners seem to suffer from this defect the most as they have complained series of complaints launched against the start-stop system.
They have complained about acceleration being delayed once the car manages to start, and that the acceleration is undependable even when the car is in motion.
Owners also complained that other important features shut down as well when the start-stop feature is in use.
Features like the power steering, transmission, and power brakes are deactivated too early before the engine is shut off. They also delay reactivating when the car comes on.
Not to be harsh but one would agree that a car with an unsound or untrusted transmission, power brake, and power steering is an accident waiting to happen.
3. Inadequately Assembled Airbags
People sometimes tend to overlook the importance of airbags, an occupant restraint feature of a vehicle. The significance of airbags cannot be overstretched as they (airbags) serve as a lifesaving component of a car.
The question, then is, what happens when this delicate feature fails to deploy or inflate properly? The potentially disturbing answers may vary depending on the level of crash impact experienced by the vehicle.
There are various reasons that make a car’s airbags not deploy properly, with one of the most common being a faulty inflator module.
The Audi A7 has had some airbags issues that also led to the recalls of some of its model years by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The reason for the airbag-related recalls for the A7 was that the score line on the passenger airbags may have been manufactured incorrectly during the course of production.
Consequently, an incorrectly assembled airbag would definitely have difficulty deploying properly and when it eventually deploys, it could eject plastic debris- possibly production materials residue.
This poses serious danger to the occupants of the vehicle as their safety-as related to airbags is in question.
4. Unreliable Back Over Prevention Display Function
The Audi brand is among the top contenders regarding technological advancement in the automobile world.
Admittedly, there’s still a lot of work in the automobile industry to ensure smooth operations of impressive technology. Some tech features may even be detrimental in the event of a crash.
One defective tech feature that the Audi A7 suffers from is the unreliable backover prevention display function.
The A7’s faulty rearview display function is a result of a glitch in the software responsible for the running of the rearview display system.
Due to this fault in the software, the rearview camera may either display a black or blank screen.
This occurs when the vehicle is put in reverse gear, instead of displaying images caught within the range of the rear camera, the camera remains blank.
A blank back-over prevention display function means impaired rear visibility for the driver. Consequently, a reduced driver rear visibility could prove to be quite harmful to all occupants of the vehicle.
Some of the Audi A7 model years were recalled for this reason by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
5. Inaccurate Fuel Gauge
Car owners always rely on gauges to be abreast with the quantity of oil or gas they have left in their vehicles.
As insignificant as fuel gauges may seem, they are laden with the meticulous responsibility of notifying and reminding the driver about the level of fuel in the car. Hence, the driver knows when to refill the fuel tank of the car.
The A7 has been plagued by misinformation provided by the luxury sedan’s inaccurate fuel gauge.
The issue is that the fuel gauge may be stuck in one place for a long time without decreasing, therefore, giving the driver false information about the quantity of fuel and the estimated miles the car can go.
The consequence of an inaccurate fuel gauge could be devastating as the driver is left with the assumption that he/she still has some fuel in the vehicle.
If it is unknown to owners that they are running low on gas, there is a high probability that the engine of the vehicle may stall and we know a stalled engine sometimes requires a huge amount of money to be fixed back to shape.
General Pros and Cons of Audi A7
Although we are looking into some known problems plaguing the Audi A7, in this section, we will list some merits and demerits of the luxury car.
- Myriads of standard tech features.
- Spacious cabin and cargo space.
- High-end cabin materials.
- Powerful engine lineup.
- Smooth ride and quality handling.
- Distracting infotainment interface.
- Limited rear headroom due to sloping roofline.
What Do the Reviews Say?
Despite the numerous problems the Audi A7 suffers from, the sleek luxury car has been relatively successful in garnering some positive reviews. These reviews are from respected and trusted review platforms in the industry.
U.S. News has recommended the Audi A7 to those in the market in search of a large sedan.
Further adding that “the base contains nearly all of what makes the car great, at a very palatable price for an executive car.”
Not surprisingly, the 2023 Audi A7 has ranked #2 for best luxury large cars on the same platform.
Not so far-fetched, Edmunds has described the Audi A7 as a sleek and stylish luxury sedan that offers more practicality than the average luxury car.
The platform further stated that the A7 is one of its favorite luxury cars on sale today as it is comfortable, well-appointed, and more practical than most 4-doors.
From the above reviews, it is safe to say that the Audi A7’s qualities precede its reputation, and all they (Audi) have to do is improve on the known problems bedeviling the A7.
What’s the Resale Value of the Audi A7?
Since we have looked at the major problems the Audi A7 is faced with, we will now look at the resale value of the A7 in the table below. The resale value is calculated for models from 5 years back to the present.
Model Year Approx. Mileage (Miles) Price ($)
2022 14,263 67,990
2021 28,526 47,342
2020 42,789 38,201
2019 57,052 27,099
2018 71,315 19,415
Meanwhile, you can also explore Audi’s depreciation.
The A7 overall seems to be an excellent luxury vehicle as it has received critical acclaim from both reviewers and critics alike.
Apparently, car enthusiasts love the A7 for its practicality, top-notch cabin material, and loads of technological features.
Check problems for all Audi models.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.