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Old 9th October 2009, 13:53   #1
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Default Are Audis Prone to Electrical failures(lights etc.,)

I am having an Audacious week. Every day I see 2 or more Audis. Ranging from the A6 to the Q7
Now funny thing, all the vehicles I have seen have some issue
1. Q7 : Was behind this guy. Whenever he braked, only one brake lamp lit up. I am sure its not by design
2. Q7 : Following this one at night, one of the tail lamp was "half glowing", One of the multiple bulbs/LED cluster etc., had failed
3. Sedan : The front daytime LED lights, only right one was working
4. Sedan : Only left front LED lights were working.
5. Q7 : Front indicator was working, but rear tail one was not
So there you have. out of maybe 6 I saw, 5 had issues.

I find this funny. Is it coincidence, or are these LED lights etc., prone to failure?
All the cars looked pretty new and shiny, no very old vehicles.
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:01   #2
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They sure are !
I have mentioned this earlier, our A6 TD experience, four years back. Car was sent to our home, driver informed my dad that he had arrived. 10 mins later my father steps down and finds the driver tearing his hair with the bonnet open. He informed that the car malfunctioned and the entire electrical system has failed- no AC,no music system,nothing would work. Further he said that the car was new, my father smiled at him,gave him his keys and asked him to leave and not bother sending another car for a TD.

Thank god this glitch happened or I probably would be with an A6 rather than the 5. All's well that ends well

Last edited by Sahil : 9th October 2009 at 14:03.
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:14   #3
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I think some more data is needed before jumping to that conclusion. Even if its true, a more important question would be why it is so? What is it about Indian conditions that makes the lights, of all parts, fail on Audis?
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:25   #4
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Light bulb / contact failures are not major faults and so would not hold that too much agaist the Audi. but the the DSG box that they use is know to have some issues.
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
I think some more data is needed before jumping to that conclusion. Even if its true, a more important question would be why it is so? What is it about Indian conditions that makes the lights, of all parts, fail on Audis?
New cars have barely been exposed to our "Indian conditions"
There have been several complaints from customers who have bearly reached break-in periods about the electronics in ACI and other mags.
And if Mercedes,BMW,etc can handle our conditions why can't Audi? So far the most stable of this lot in terms of reliability of electronics is concerned has been BMW. We all know of the numerous electronic glitches that mercs have/had. Audi too has it's share of complaints which may seem less in comparison because it's sales are much lower than MB. BMW so far has not shown too many complaints on this front.
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Old 10th October 2009, 10:35   #6
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Audis (and high-end VWs) are notorious for their electronic gremlins. In fact, the electronics and DSG gearboxes (turbos in some) are the two most common Audi failures. You'd have expected them to get it right by now, they've been doing it for over 10 years now. Was just discussing in another thread of how the Lexus LS series, Toyota's flagship and most complicated car, has proven as reliable as a humble Corolla. Translated : Electronics can be just as reliable if you get it right.

Unfortunately, with each new generation, the German brands are adding more and more complex electronic systems into their cars. Why can't I buy a brand new Merc / BMW / Audi that excels in mechanical construction and has only the absolutely required (basic) electronics in them? Say, like the W124? Hey, I don't need any more electronics than an ECU, ABS, traction control, power windows / steering / seats in my super luxury car. Lets leave the fiber optics to aeroplanes. What I want is mechanical precision, an area where the Germans excel. Not electronic unreliability, where the Germans suck.
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:09   #7
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GTO: Are you inferring that you can live without ABS, power windows, etc in a "luxury" car today?
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Why can't I buy a brand new Merc / BMW / Audi that excels in mechanical construction and has only the absolutely required (basic) electronics in them?
So why buy a Merc/BMW?Audi then? Buy a Jap/Korean product at lower price and higher reliability. I am getting more convinced that German engineering shows lot less breakdowns simply because those cars are run lot less.
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
GTO: Are you inferring that you can live without ABS, power windows, etc in a "luxury" car today?

He said he doesn't need anything more than ABS, power windows, power seats, ECU etc in his luxury car.
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
GTO: Are you inferring that you can live without ABS, power windows, etc in a "luxury" car today?
=

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hey, I don't need any more electronics than an ECU, ABS, traction control, power windows / steering / seats in my super luxury car.
Just to make it clear : These are all the electronics I need. Throw in airbags too. Thats is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Buy a Jap/Korean product at lower price and higher reliability.
I don't think I'm buying a brand new German for a while.
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:58   #11
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My bad, I misunderstood your post.
However, I beg to differ. If I'm paying a premium price for a "luxury" car then I expect state-of-the-art gizmos, which are reliable too.
Heck, we critize the accord for not having features like the superb. The civic for not having features like the altis. But are willing to live without gizmos in a luxury car?
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Old 10th October 2009, 13:20   #12
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.
We have a SKODA. My relatives in India have a Mercedes' based on my experience I can say that these cars are very very sensitive to DUST.

Most of the failures we've had in these cars are due to dust. The parts which fail in German cars are unheard of in Japanese cars.

The power windows on the Merc failed completely due to some sensor in one of the of the doors.

My skoda's rear lights malfunction all the time and the cure / repair is quite simple, just remove the bulb and wipe it with a cloth / tissue, place it back in its position and voila it works. Luckily removing the bulbs does not require opening up of the tail lamp assembly.

The same thing happens for the the interior dome light which is supposed to come on when any of the doors is ajar, This problem is common to both the Merc and Skoda.

I don't know why but whenever the humidity is high none of this nonsense happens, also these problems are more common during the summer months.



My advice to these Companies would be to do more of local adaptation instead of just raising the height, degrading performance and beefing up the aircon.



Edit: Forgot to mention earlier. Due to all this crap, opening the windows on the Skoda is a strict no no!!

Last edited by maglev : 10th October 2009 at 13:24.
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Old 10th October 2009, 13:51   #13
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Oh so we buy the high end car for experiencing what they want and not what we want!! I root for a car that I can walk in to, day or night, and go across India if I want to. Not first worry about problems.
Heck even Nano is built like that now - Sam's Nano drive from Mumbai to Delhi (see elsewhere in forums).
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Old 10th October 2009, 14:25   #14
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well personally i feel if the Germans cannot handle our road conditions they should rethink their strategy.
Imagine some big shot's car goes kaput while he is driving out of a high status party.
Yes these cars represent luxury and all finer things that belong in a car But again a little bit of reliability wouldn't kill anyone
maybe our German friends need to take a lesson or two on making cars from our Jap friends perhaps even Korean friends
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Old 10th October 2009, 18:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
If I'm paying a premium price for a "luxury" car then I expect state-of-the-art gizmos
Exactly why the Germans are making their cars complicated from gen to gen. That is, to *justify* the premium.

Quote:
which are reliable too.
Lexus? With the Germans today, evidently we cannot have our cake and eat it too. I am more interested in German mechanical prowess and not their electronic (or lack of it). Why can't a purist like me have the equivalent of a W126 today, without the snazzy electronics of a W220!

I love the dynamics & driving feel of German cars. Unfortunately, their lack of reliability is keeping me away from upgrading. I want a car that works. The same way that a W124 did for years at end!

Quote:
Heck, we critize the accord for not having features like the superb. The civic for not having features like the altis. But are willing to live without gizmos in a luxury car?
I'd buy the Accord over the Superb today, and teh Civic because its a heck of a drivers car. The additional features I'd want in an Accord, and which have proven reliable are:

- Bi-xenon headlamps
- Traction control
- Sunroof
- Proper MID (current one has Casio fonts!)

Throw in memory seats + mirrors + steering also if you want. iPod integration is a MUST-HAVE for me. No more. The point is, all the features I've listed are old school, perfected and very easy to get 10 year reliability out of. I really don't need 1000 sensors in my car (one of which tells me that my windscreen wash fluid is low, I can check myself thank you), four zone climate control (never even used dual zone in my C220), rain sensing wipers (I always override with manual controls), auto headlamps (ditto), parking sensors (never needed them in any car I've parked, including many S Class'), the equivalent of 30 computers in my car (S Class) or fiber optic cables!

A relevant post I'd made in Ajmats awesome thread (Impact of electronics on reliability)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Of what is essential:

1. Power windows
2. Central Locking (But I get autocop in all my cars anyways)
3. Power Steering
4. ABS (Especially with the kind of power cars are putting out now)
5. Traction Control
6. Airbags
7. Power mirrors
8. ECM (Whose only responsibility is maintaining efficient combustion and of course, the check engine light)

A really loaded audio system and a sun-roof would be great.

Everything else is hog-wash. Its just a luxury car maker's way of justifying the high price ( "But Dahling my friend has it in her Accord...how come your Mercedes doesnt offer too much more!!" ).

GTO
Made that post 5 years back. Stand is nearly the same today.

Next, thing about restoration and long life. You see 30 year old Mercs on our roads today, and we swoon after them. Who is going to restore the W221 after 15 years? No one. These things have far less durability when new, who is going to bother with complex electronics after 10 years! German cars of yesteryear were timeless classics, the ones of today are disposables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
I root for a car that I can walk in to, day or night, and go across India if I want to. Not first worry about problems.
You have taken the words right out of my mouth, Sudev. If I spend 50 lakhs on a car, I want durability + reliability superior to a 15 lakh Altis. I want to appreciate the finesse of German mechanical engineering, not the electronic rubbish they throw at us now.

Last edited by GTO : 27th October 2009 at 15:13. Reason: Adding iPod integration to my list
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