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Home » Audi A7 [C7](2010-2017) Problems, Review, Faults and Information

Audi A7 [C7](2010-2017) Problems, Review, Faults and Information

Audi A7 C7 came on the market in 2010 and it is the first generation of this model. In 2014 it underwent a restyling that brought changes to the design and some modernizations on a technical level and in the interior. It was produced until 2017 when it was replaced by the new generation Audi A7 C8. Let’s see the Audi A7 C7 review with the most important information, faults and common problems.

Table of Contents

Review of the Audi A7 C7 restyling with all the information, defects, issues, faults, weaknesses, problems and maintenance costs.
Audi A7 C7 restyling

Impressions, Interior and Comfort

The trend of producing sedans with a sporty coupé-like design was started by Mercedes with the introduction of the CLS model. Audi did not want to be left behind and presented the Audi A7 in 2010.

The Audi A7 C7 is a high-end car that is defined as a 4-door coupé. It is a premium model that tends to be more youthful and sporty than the Audi A6 C7 on which it is based.

On the used market you can find cars with quite affordable prices and the desire to buy it arises in the hearts of many car enthusiasts. Here, however, you have to be careful, rich equipment with many options and modern technologies do not guarantee reliability and long life.

In this article we will see if the maintenance costs will not be exaggerated to use a similar car.

Platform and Body

The Audi A7 C7 is based on the modular MLB platform (which it shares with its sister Audi A6). In reality, thanks to its wide modularity, the same platform is also used on the smaller Audi A4 B8, the larger Audi A8 D4, the Audi Q5 SUV and many other models. The platform is traditional for this German manufacturer: with a longitudinally installed engine and with front-wheel drive. It was optionally possible to mount the Quattro all-wheel drive.

The Quattro all-wheel drive system is one of the best on the market. This ensures optimum driving stability, maximum wheel grip as well as an additional dose of sporting emotion. In addition, on the Audi A7 C7 it has seen significant evolution and has begun to mount the Torque Vectoring system, which mounts a new sports rear differential capable of optimizing the distribution of drive torque between the two wheels of the rear axle: it is able to send almost all the driving torque to a single wheel.

The MLB platform involves the use of aluminum suspension. The front suspensions are with high quadrilateral with virtual steering axis. The rear suspension is a 4-link multilink with lower trapeze. In addition to the standard suspension, the S-Line sports suspension or air suspension could also be fitted as an option.

Many car lovers were impressed by the sporty and dynamic body design of the Audi A7 C7 with not very large windows. This manages to be very beautiful and elegant, but at the same time it is also brutal and aggressive. The rear spoiler further highlights the sportiness of the car. This raises automatically when the speed exceeds 130 km/h (80 mph) and then lowers when the speed drops below 80 km/h (50 mph).

In May 2014 the Audi A7 C7 underwent restyling. The facelift version differs with slimmer headlights, an enlarged radiator grille and updated bumpers. The design of the taillights was also changed and the tailpipes became rectangular.

Review of the Audi A7 C7 pre-facelift with all the information, defects, issues, faults, weaknesses, problems and maintenance costs.
Audi A7 C7 pre-facelift

Aesthetically, the car is attractive, both before and after the restyling, especially in the more equipped versions.

The body style is only one – 4 door coupe. The proportions give an impression of great solidity. The German car has a length of 4969 – 4980 mm, a width of 1911 mm and a height of 1408 – 1420 mm. The wheelbase is 2914 mm. The weight of the car varies from 1735 to 2020 kg depending on the version.

In addition to the classic versions, there are also the sporty Audi S7 and RS7 versions. Both are different aesthetically, they are wider and more aggressive.

Comfort and Practicality

Despite the large dimensions of the car, due to the particular shape (low roofline in the rear), the interior space is not exactly that much. In front anyone will be able to position themselves comfortably, even in the rear seats there is enough space, but tall people may feel a little lack of space in the head area.

The trunk/boot does not disappoint with its space – this one has 535 l of volume. It is quite a good result for this type of body. If you fold down the rear seats, a flat floor will form, and the volume rises to 1390 litres.

We have already mentioned that there are different types of suspensions. The standard ones offer a good compromise between comfort and stability on the road. The s-line suspension will be stiffer and less comfortable, but offer better control of the car. The air suspension, on the other hand, can be adjusted. They can become harder for active driving or they can become very soft for a quiet and comfortable ride.

All together it makes the Audi A7 C7 an extremely comfortable and enjoyable car both in and out of town.

Interior and Equipment

in this photo you can see the interior compartment of the Audi A7 C7 with the steering wheel, the stereo radio, mmi multimedia, the seats and the dashboard central panel cockpit

The interior materials are of high quality. The dashboard and central panel have very good ergonomics. Everything is easily usable and is pleasant to the touch.

On some elements, serious signs of wear may appear at high mileage. First of all, of course, the most used elements wear out: the steering wheel trim and its buttons, the gear knob, the climate control buttons, multimedia buttons and more. At high mileages, wear and tear on the seat upholstery is also unavoidable.

The good part is that all traces of wear and tear present in the cabin can be eliminated if desired. Some pieces can be replaced, others can be repainted or restored.

The soundproofing is very good and the passenger compartment remains silent in any situation.

The Audi A7 C7 can be characterized as a very technological car. You can obviously have the classic options present on the German premium cars: electric leather seats with heating, simple cruise control, adaptive xenon headlights, navigator, automatic climate control and much more. However, here you will also find equipment that is difficult to find on other models of the same class: massage in the seats, full LED matrix headlights, night vision, adaptive cruise control and much more.

On the Audi A7, the Head Up Display is very convenient, which is used to project important information onto the windshield.

Atop the center panel is an 8-inch monitor that is part of the MMI system. The screen can be opened and closed using a button, or it does so automatically when starting and stopping the engine. The suspension, gearbox and engine operation can be adjusted from the MMI multimedia system. Obviously you can also customize the other settings of the car and there are other multimedia functions.

The multimedia system in general is very sophisticated. The audio quality is good and gives many satisfactions already on the basic version, but for an additional cost you could add Bose music or even Bang & Olufsen which cost a lot as an option.

Safety

In the EuroNCAP safety test, the Audi A7 C7 got 5 out of 5 stars. Crash safety is quite good, but to decrease the risk you need good tyres. Tires are almost the most important thing for safety on the road.

Reliability and Issues

Gearbox and Transmission

Audi A7 could be equipped with both front-wheel drive and Quattro all-wheel drive. The manual gearbox is missing, but the automatic transmission is present in 3 versions.

Front-wheel drive Audi A7s before restyling were equipped with a Multitronic CVT. After the restyling they were equipped with the new S-Tronic DL382 dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

With all-wheel drive, you generally come across the “old” S-Tronic DL501 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. After the restyling it was joined by the new, weaker S-Tronic DL382 which was fitted to the 4-cylinder engine versions.

On the versions with powerful engines (more than 600 Nm of torque, therefore the top diesels and the sporty RS7) there is the classic ZF 8HP Tiptronic automatic transmission.

However, all this only applies to cars sold on the European market. Outside of this however, the ZF 8HP gearbox can also be fitted with other engines. In the USA for example, a ZF 8HP gearbox is also used with the 2.0 l TFSI engine.

S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox

The S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox is quite common on the Audi A7. Initially it was only the S-Tronic DL501 model, but after restyling the new S-Tronic DL382 version also appeared. The differences are quite large between the two models.

S-Tronic DL501

The automatic gearbox with wet double clutch initially mounted is the S-tronic DL501 (also known by the code 0B5). An already modernized version was mounted on the Audi A7 C7 which solved some of the weaknesses that existed in the past.

The modernized gearbox received a built-in additional filter for the hydraulic part, improved mechatronics and an improved sensor block. In the mechanical part, the bearings and other parts have been strengthened. The average life of the clutches has increased to 120,000 km (75 k miles), but if all goes well they can last up to 250,000 km (155 k miles).

The S-Tronic DL501 is a very robust and technically resistant gearbox. In fact, it was designed to handle up to 600 Nm of torque. It can also handle aggressive driving, but its main enemies are overheating and infrequent oil changes.

Everything is connected: during normal use, various residues accumulate in the oil which clog the heat exchanger and ruin other hydraulic and mechanical parts. Overheating in turn accelerates the degradation of the oil, damages the mechatronics and accelerates the wear of the clutches and other elements. A malfunctioning mechatronics again can ruin clutches and other gearbox parts.

Older gearboxes, fitted to pre-facelift Audi A7 C7s, are more at risk. These can have problems with the mechatronics even before 100 – 150,000 km or 60 – 95 k miles (if treated badly). In some cases the mechatronics itself does not break, but only its connector. After the restyling, the mechatronics were further modernized and became more robust. So problems at small mileage have become very rare.

With the updated S-Tronic gearbox, you generally get at least 150 – 200,000 km (95 – 125 k miles) before having to do interventions on the mechatronics and clutches. If the oil is changed regularly and the cooling system is kept in good working order, the life can be much longer.

There are cases of breakage of the oil filter body or its gasket.

As already mentioned, the periodic replacement of the oil and filters (internal and external) helps to increase the life of the automated gearbox. In the hydraulic part, replacement is recommended every 30 – 40 thousand km (20 – 25 k miles). In the mechanical part, it can also be done every 60,000 km (35 k miles). Two types of oil are needed: 6 liters for the mechatronics (hydraulic part) and another 5 liters for the other mechanical parts.

S-Tronic DL382

After the restyling, the S-Tronic DL382-7F dual-clutch automatic gearbox also appeared. This was intended to replace the CVT on front-wheel drive cars and was also fitted to those with all-wheel drive and 4-cylinder engines.

The two S-Tronic gearboxes differ considerably in structure: the new DL382 has a much lighter mechanical part and completely different mechatronics. Use an electric oil pump instead of a mechanical one. Of course, here too there can be several problems.

Sometimes there are problems with oil pressure due to failures of the new pump, various sensors or the hydraulic accumulator.

The new mechanical part did not prove to be too resistant. Due to infrequent oil changes or due to vibrations caused by a worn dual-mass flywheel, the weak bearing of the input shaft can “die”. On cars with front-wheel drive, the differential bearings are also weak.

Even the gearbox management electronics are not perfect. Breakdowns occur regularly, but the price of repairs is generally not too big.

You don’t need to be scared though. Here, too, it all depends on maintenance. Again, the gearbox’s worst enemies are infrequent oil changes and overheating.

Most of the problems with mechatronics are caused precisely by overheating: the gearbox needs an improvement in the cooling system. The standard cooling system with petrol engines heats the oil up to 120 degrees (celsius) and with diesel engines the temperature is up to about 90 degrees (celsius). This difference leads to the fact that there are much fewer problems on diesel cars. We need to improve the system in order to have the same temperatures even with petrol engines.

Another problem is the maintenance schedule which does not include oil changes. However, these are necessary and it is dirty oil that leads to failures of the oil pump and mechatronics already at 120 thousand km (75 k miles).

Although the general resistance has decreased compared to the DL501, with correct use you will not have any particular problems up to high mileage.

ZF 8HP automatic gearbox (Tiptronic)

The classic automatic gearbox fitted here is the ZF 8HP in its 8HP55 and 8HP90 versions.

The Tiptronic 8-speed automatic transmission proved to be quite reliable. Knocking or malfunctioning may happen, but actual cases needing a complex repair are very rare.

The real enemies of this gearbox are rare oil changes and overheating. Only these factors can “kill” him sooner. It is advisable to change the oil at least every 50 – 60,000 km (30 – 35 k miles). This is to avoid the accumulation of large quantities of dirt in the oil (which are created due to normal wear) which will then ruin the hydraulic block and mechatronics.

Maintaining the correct gearbox temperature serves to maintain the oil characteristics and to avoid damaging the mechatronics and other gearbox parts.

If you also drive calmly and carry out regular maintenance, you can reach 250 – 300,000 km (155 – 185 k miles) without problems.

Poorly treated gearboxes can have various problems with the torque converter, with the control mechatronics and also with the mechanical part.

Multitronic CVT (continuously variable transmission)

Before restyling, front-wheel drive cars were equipped with Audi’s second generation Multitronic CVT of series 0AW/VL381.

The Multitronic continuously variable transmission has a reputation for being an unreliable unit. This reputation still appeared in the early 2000s when the gearbox was really problematic. Over time, however, the situation has improved a lot.

A modern and robust CVT Multitronic was fitted to the Audi A7 C7. It has been designed to hold engines with a torque of up to 380 – 400 Nm and its structure is well developed. The main problems with the gearbox arise due to poor maintenance or incorrect use.

Since this is a particular gearbox, owners can make typical mistakes that spoil it. The CVT does not like skidding, aggressive starts, shock loads, towing heavy trailers and driving at maximum speed. What’s more, this transmission does not tolerate infrequent oil changes and cars equipped with the Multitronic CVT cannot be towed for long distances (it can only handle movements of a few metres).

Infrequent oil changes lead to rapid failure of the solenoids, bearings and clutch pack. If the car is towed with the engine off, the clutches and cones can be damaged.

Among the weak points that can appear regardless of the conditions of use, is the weak rotor speed sensor G195. The bad part is that to fix the sensor you have to disassemble the control block and solder the new sensor. The block also contains two oil pressure sensors and an input shaft speed sensor, but these rarely fail. Failure of the control board and speed sensors is more likely if operating temperatures are very high.

The standard heat exchanger usually clogs after about 150 – 200 thousand km (95 – 125 k miles) and the oil temperature in the gearbox begins to rise. If nothing is done, the gearbox will suffer regular overheating which will ruin the oil pump, clutches and the control block.

The Multitronic is very pleasant when it works well, but it is a particular type of gearbox that needs attention and docile use. Even with normal use, the Multitronic can last more than 200,000 km (125 k miles) without fatal failure. With very gentle use, with regular oil changes (every 50 – 60 thousand km or 30 – 35 k miles) and without overheating it can even reach 350 thousand km (220 k miles).

Drivetrain and Transmission System

With front-wheel drive there are no special problems up to large mileage.

The Quattro all-wheel drive also works very well and is quite reliable. We have already mentioned that there is a new central differential which has greater potential and manages to distribute the torque between the front and rear axles in larger proportions. The torque can be shifted up to 85% to the rear axle and up to 70% to the front axle. Normally 60% of the torque is transmitted to the rear axle. An active rear differential could be mounted as an option. The latter serves to pass more torque to the outermost wheel when cornering. This way you have better control of the car.

Despite the great resistance of the Quattro system, it cannot be called immortal. With the very powerful versions (generally S7 or RS7) failures of differentials and cardan shafts (drive shafts) occur.

The protection of the constant velocity joint of the cardan shaft can be damaged after only five years of operation. It is best to keep an eye on this element to lengthen the life of the joint. If the need to repair the all-wheel drive system appears, the prices will not be small.

Suspensions, Steering and Brakes

Both front and rear are multilink suspension. Reliability and liveliness are good, but here a lot depends on the quality of the roads traveled and the driving style. However, when the time comes to repair them, it turns out that the prices of original spare parts are very high.

It is usually the front suspension that requires the most attention. After 50 – 100,000 km (30 – 60 k miles) the hub bearings begin to rumble. There are no difficulties with replacement, but spare parts are expensive – the bearing is built into the hub. At the same mileage some arms may also need to be changed.

Noises may also appear due to wear of stabilizers and some silent blocks. Cars with large rims and thin tires are particularly at risk.

Otherwise there shouldn’t be any major problems up to at least 150 – 200 thousand km (95 – 125 k miles). After this mileage, sooner or later some arms, springs, shock absorbers and other elements will need to be replaced.

The air suspension is also reliable. On older A7s, air leaks may begin to appear which in turn will lead to accelerated wear of the compressor. In addition to air leaks in various points, there may be failure of the position sensors and breakage of the valve block. After about 200,000 km (125 k miles) there will almost certainly be large investments to be made to replace various expensive elements. To save money, you can opt for the repair of worn elements instead of buying new ones.

Steering system

An electromechanical power steering is used in the steering system. The power steering is integrated into the steering rack. The system can be simple or adaptive.

Unfortunately the rack sometimes gives way. Sometimes it can be put back into operation by reprogramming the control unit. If reprogramming doesn’t help, the official Audi centers recommend completely changing the rack. To do this you need a lot of money, better try to repair the old one.

To avoid these problems as much as possible, you have to keep an eye out for poor dust seals that break over time and water begins to seep inside the rack. There is very little lubricant inside, so corrosion quickly kills the shaft and electric motor. In these conditions, the management electronics also suffer a lot: the connectors of the control unit are particularly affected and sometimes even the unit itself fails. Repairing a damaged rack is expensive.

Brakes system

The braking system of the Audi A7 C7 shouldn’t bring any particular surprises. The systems can be different: simpler on cars with weak engines and slightly more complex on powerful cars. In any case, the reliability is very good, only the prices of the spare parts change (obviously they are more expensive for the sports system).

The parking brake mechanism is made by electric drive with a gear motor on the caliper itself. The price of the original mechanism is high, but fortunately there is a low chance of failure due to the great reliability. In addition, there are inexpensive non-original parts.

Both the pads and the brake discs have a not too long life. Already at 40,000 km (25 k miles) it may be necessary to change both the pads and the rear brake discs. This obviously depends a lot on the driving style.

Electronics and Electrical System

The electronics in the Audi A7 C7 are very complex. There are so many systems that improve comfort, multimedia capabilities and safety. Normally everything works quite well. Serious problems usually arise from external factors. Among these we can mention: penetration of water which comes into contact with cables and control units, accidents that damage the system and interventions by unqualified people on the electronic system.

This last factor should not be underestimated. Audi A7 C7 is a very customizable car. The large number of trim levels can make two cars of the same model totally different both inside and out. This leads to the fact that owners of poorly equipped cars want to add the missing options.

For example, you can have a color dashboard instead of a monochromatic one, you can improve the multimedia system, you can mount the door panels and the central tunnel with lighting, more comfortable seats, a better steering wheel and so on. In a nutshell you can customize almost everything. Here appeared the risk of finding a technician who will cause serious damage in an attempt to improve the car.

Obviously the complex electronic system can have various malfunctions even for no reason. Generally, however, they are not too serious and can be resolved by restarting the engine or with a software update.

Among the real failures there are: breakage of the front parking sensors, breakage of the wiring that goes to the trunk, loss of waterproofing of some external control units, of the antenna and of the door handles. It seems that the Audi A7 C7 is not so suitable for use in rainy regions.

Other

The car body has good corrosion resistance. Only small traces of rust are acceptable, especially if the car has been used in places with a severe climate. If you find severe signs of rust, most likely the car was in an accident and then badly repaired.

The paint is also quite good quality, but its layer is not too thick. If well maintained, even after many years the Audi A7 C7 does not lose its shine. Chrome elements, on the other hand, can lose their shine after only a few years of life.

Some body elements of Audi A7 are made of aluminium. Thanks to the widespread use of this metal, the car has become lighter, the weight distribution is very good. However, this can play a bad joke in the event of an accident. The aluminum will be an obstacle to repairing the car and it will be almost impossible to restore everything to a perfect state. For this reason it is better to avoid cars that have suffered accidents.

Sometimes the tank lid lock fails. This happens due to moisture entering the lock and killing the electric motor. The defect is more visible when the temperature goes below zero (celsius). The cost of a new motor is not large.

Again, the sensors in the handles of the Keyless access system could also break due to moisture. This happens due to insufficient waterproofing. If one sensor fails, the others won’t work as well. The price of a new sensor can be large.

On Audi A7s from the first years of production there were cases where the opening mechanism of the multimedia display started rattling. Usually the problem was solved already under warranty.

In the cold period of the year, the electric folding mechanism of the mirrors could be damaged. During the opening they could open too much. To avoid this type of problem, the automatic closing/opening mechanism can be deactivated.

There are also cases of problems with the air conditioning. This is usually the fault of the A/C coolant pressure sensor. A new sensor doesn’t cost that much. Approximately at 100 thousand km (60 k miles) there may be problems with the bearings of the climate control fan. They are ball bearings, sealed, but they are not resistant to road dust (especially in areas with particularly dirty roads). Luckily, replacing them isn’t terribly difficult.

Even after 5 years of life, the silica gel located in the lower part of the expansion tank could end up in the cooling system and clog the air conditioning radiator. Because of this there will be problems with heating the cabin.

To eliminate the defect, you need to clean the system or change the radiator. To do this you need to remove the front panel. Luckily it’s a problem you don’t encounter too often.

Engines and their Problems

Diesel engines list :

Version Engine Power Top Speed Acceleration Fuel Consumption
3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 190 hp 230 km/h or 142 mph 7.7 s 5,1 l/100 km

US: 46,1 mpg

UK: 55,3 mpg

3.0 TDI ultra 3.0 l EA897 EVO 190 hp 230 km/h or 142 mph 8.2 s 4,5 l/100 km

US: 52,2 mpg

UK: 62,7 mpg

3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 204 hp 235 km/h or 146 mph 7.5 s 5,5 l/100 km

US: 42,7 mpg

UK: 51,3 mpg

3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 218 hp 239 km/h or 148 mph 6.8 s 5,2 l/100 km

US: 45,2 mpg

UK: 54,3 mpg

3.0 TDI ultra 3.0 l EA897 EVO 218 hp 239 km/h or 148 mph 7.3 s 4,7 l/100 km

US: 50 mpg

UK: 60,1 mpg

3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 245 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.3 s 6 l/100 km

US: 39,2 mpg

UK: 47,1 mpg

3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 EVO 272 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.7 s 5,2 l/100 km

US: 45,2 mpg

UK: 54,3 mpg

3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 313 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.3 s 6,4 l/100 km

US: 36,7 mpg

UK: 44,1 mpg

3.0 TDI 3.0 l EA897 EVO 320 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.2 s 6,1 l/100 km

US: 38,5 mpg

UK: 46,3 mpg

3.0 TDI Competition 3.0 l EA897 EVO 326 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.1 s 6,1 l/100 km

US: 38,5 mpg

UK: 46,3 mpg

Petrol/Gasoline engines list :

Version Engine Power Top Speed Acceleration Fuel Consumption
2.0 TFSI 2.0 l EA888 Gen3 252 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.9 s 5,9 l/100 km

US: 39,8 mpg

UK: 47,8 mpg

2.8 FSI 2.8 l EA837 204 hp 235 km/h or 146 mph 8.0 s 8 l/100 km

US: 29,4 mpg

UK: 35,3 mpg

3.0 TFSI 3.0 l EA837 300 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.6 s 8,2 l/100 km

US: 28,6 mpg

UK: 34,4 mpg

3.0 TFSI 3.0 l EA837 310 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.6 s 8,2 l/100 km

US: 28,6 mpg

UK: 34,4 mpg

3.0 TFSI 3.0 l EA837 Evo 333 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.3 s 7,6 l/100 km

US: 30,9 mpg

UK: 37,1 mpg

S7  4.0 l EA824 420 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 4.7 s 9,7 l/100 km

US: 24,2 mpg

UK: 29,1 mpg

S7  4.0 l EA824 450 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 4.6 s 9,3 l/100 km

US: 25,3 mpg

UK: 30,3 mpg

RS7  4.0 l EA824 560 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 3.9 s 9,8 l/100 km

US: 24 mpg

UK: 28,8 mpg

RS7 Performance  4.0 l EA824 605 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 3.7 s 9,5 l/100 km

US: 24,7 mpg

UK: 29,7 mpg

problems and issues with petrol, gasoline, LPG, CNG, methane and diesel engines mounted on Audi A7 C7

The engines fitted to the Audi A7 are about the same as in its sister Audi A6 C7. Only the small 1.8 l TFSI and 2.0 l TDI are missing. Also, there is no hybrid version.

Diesel Engines

3.0 l TDI V6 diesel Engines

The 3.0 l TDI V6 engines mounted on the Audi A7 C7 can be from the EA897 or EA897 Evo family.

The 3.0 TDI is an engine mounted here in different power versions. As already mentioned, it can be from the EA897 family (which is in fact the second generation of this engine) or from the EA897 EVO family (considered the third generation of these engines, but it is in fact a profound modernization of the second generation).

The weaker versions (190 – 204 HP) do not give great performance, but will have low fuel consumption. There are also more powerful versions with good performance that offer good thrust at any rpm.

At high mileage (usually after 200 – 250 thousand km or 125 – 155 k miles) the 3.0 l TDI engine may have problems with the timing system, injection system and manifolds. In some cases, oil or coolant leaks occur.

The modernized engines of the EVO series at the beginning of production could have some “childhood” problems. For example, due to noise under the hood, the camshafts were replaced under warranty. There have been some cases of oil pump failure even before 50,000 km (30 k miles). These problems were usually fixed under warranty.

For the rest, there may be the typical problems of modern diesels: the EGR valve that gets dirty and stops working and the DPF filter that clogs and causes malfunctions (especially on cars used mainly in the city).

Petrol/Gasoline Engines

With petrol/gasoline engines everything is simple. They can be 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder. The 4-cylinder ones are from the EA888 Gen3 series. The 6-cylinder ones are from the EA837 series. The 8-cylinder ones are from the EA824 series.

2.0 l TFSI EA888 Gen3 Engine

Audi A7s with a 2.0 l TFSI engine are very rare. This engine appeared on Audi A7 C7 after restyling. This is the 2.0 l TFSI EA888 Gen3.

In general, the third generation of 2.0 l TFSI EA888 engines is quite good. They no longer have problems with excessive oil consumption and also the accumulations of dirt on the intake valves are gone. Accumulations of dirt are avoided thanks to a combined injection system with multipoint injection and direct injection.

Unfortunately there are periodic problems with the balancer shafts, timing chain and oil pressure. Scratches on the crankshaft are even more common than in the past. This happens due to the new oil pump which works with adjustable intensity and in some cases it can be insufficient.

Before buying an Audi A7 C7 with 2.0 l TFSI Gen3 engine, it will be better to check the condition of the timing chain well. The latter is reliable and has a fairly good life, but with aggressive use the risk of chain stretching remains.

2.8 l FSI EA837 Engine

The 2.8 l FSI engine is from the EA837 family. The modernized version (second generation) of this engine was already mounted on the Audi A7 C7 which in theory should have solved the old defects. In practice, however, the situation has not improved.

Buyers were confident that the naturally aspirated V6 was more reliable than the supercharged engines. Unfortunately expectations were not met. The aluminum block turned out to be quite sensitive, and the appearance of scratches on the cylinder walls is very frequent. This can happen for several reasons.

It usually happens due to a malfunction of the direct injection system which has not proven to be very reliable. Worn injectors can begin to leak and cause damage to pistons and cylinder walls. In very cold areas, starting a cold engine can be a problem: petrol washes away the oil film in the cylinders when temperatures are below -20 degrees. Obviously the lubrication is not done properly in these conditions. The catalytic converter is also not ideal: over time it can begin to break down and its crumbs can end up in the engine, as a result the walls of the cylinders are ruined. A poorly maintained cooling system can lead to overheating and detonation, which in turn will damage the cylinder walls. Due to the direct injection, soot deposits form in the intake, if this ends up in the combustion chamber, there will be great damage.

Scratches on the cylinder walls lead to high oil consumption, loss of power and smoke from the exhaust. But these are only half of the possible problems.

The second biggest problem is the very complex timing kit with 4 chains and AVS system. Around 200,000 km (125 k miles) it will almost certainly need to be replaced, its awkward position (on the gearbox side) requires complex and expensive work.

In conclusion we can say that the 2.8 l FSI engine can live a long time without problems only if it is treated with great care. Before buying a car with this unit it is advisable to do an endoscopy to check the cylinder walls.

3.0 l TFSI Engines

Among the petrol engines the most popular is the 3.0 l TFSI of the EA837 family. It is available in 2 versions (300 – 310 HP and 333 HP) which differ not only in terms of power, but also from a technical point of view. In fact, the 300 – 310 HP version is part of the EA837 family (first generation of 3.0 TFSI engines), but the 333 HP version is part of the EA837 EVO family (second generation of 3.0 TFSI engines). As we will see later, the EVO series has introduced some important modernizations.

The first generation 3.0 TFSI engines have the aluminum block with special coating on the cylinder walls, direct fuel injection and a Eaton compressor used for supercharging.

The main weak point is precisely the lining of the cylinder walls which fails to hold up over time and very often scratches are encountered on the cylinder walls. This leads to large oil consumption. The main culprits for the destruction of the coating are low-quality gasoline and the stress of an unheated engine. There are cases where at high mileage the catalytic converters are destroyed, so some particles can end up in the engine and ruin the cylinder walls.

Another serious problem is the lengthening of the timing chains. For some reason, on this generation of engines the engineers decided not to install check valves in the cylinder head and all the oil flows into the sump, so the camshafts run “dry” on start up and the chain stretches very quickly. It can happen even at 80 – 120 thousand km (50 – 75 k miles). Their duration also depends on the driving style.

The problems mentioned so far are very expensive to fix.

Due to direct injection, the valves become covered with dirt over time, which can lead to unstable engine operation and even burning of the valves. The solution is simple – every 30-45 thousand km (20 – 30 k miles) it is necessary to clean the valves.

The coolant pump and the high pressure pump in the injection system do not have a very long service life.

After restyling, modernized 3.0 l TFSI engines of the EVO series appeared. The 333 HP version is in fact the evolution of the 300 – 310 HP engine in which many problems have been solved. Now the cylinders have cast iron liners that do not scratch easily. So here the risk of excessive oil consumption has been minimized. At high mileages, however, the risk of destruction of the catalytic converters remains, the particles of which enter the engine and scratch the coating of the cylinders. If you pay attention to this aspect, there will be no problems.

Check valves were fitted, so now the chain lives at least 150 – 200 thousand km (95 – 125 k miles). The injection system here is combined (direct + multipoint), so the problem of the valves has also been solved.

A modernized engine of the EVO series (second generation) can live many miles if treated properly. A first generation one will be a risky purchase.

4.0 l TFSI EA824 Engines

The 4.0 l TFSI engines are from the EA824 family. These are bi-turbo V8 engines with direct injection. Already here it is clear that they are modern and complex engines, but it must be said that if treated correctly they look very good.

It is not uncommon for these engines to live even 200,000 km (125 k miles) without having fatal defects. This is quite a good result if we take into consideration the power they offer. The Audi A7 C7 with these engines can have excellent performance and in fact it is no coincidence that this units (in the top versions) are mounted on the sporty Audi RS7 versions.

However, we repeat that to ensure a long life, you need to have a lot of attention and care. The 4.0 TFSI engine can’t handle poor quality fuel, infrequent oil changes and overheating. It is advisable to change the oil at least every 10,000 km or 6000 miles (with aggressive driving, even every 5 – 7,000 km or 3 – 4000 miles) and to clean the cooling system regularly.

If these rules are not followed, scratches may appear on the cylinder walls, which will lead to large oil consumption. Infrequent oil changes or the use of low quality fluid also shorten the life of the turbines which in the worst case can last even less than 100,000 km (60 k miles).

You can encounter leaks from the high pressure injection pump. Fuel can end up in the oil and that’s not a good thing. We need to keep an eye on this aspect.

Conclusions and Advice & Tips for buying used

Audi A7 feels like a coupe, but is actually much more practical and more comfortable. It is large, sporty, attracts attention and makes a good impression. Of course, being a premium car, relatively much money is needed for maintenance.

From the point of view of reliability the situation is quite good. Of course, there are problematic versions, but there are also very reliable versions. By following our advice, anyone will find a good car that suits their needs.

The main competitors of the Audi A7 C7 are: BMW 6 Series F12/F13/F06, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Porsche Panamera and other similar cars.

Other cars of similar size can also be evaluated as competitors such as: the sister Audi A6, BMW 5 Series F10, Mercedes-Benz E Class W212, Volvo S80, Peugeot 607, Lexus GS and other similar cars.

The most important thing is to find a car in good general condition.

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