Owning an Audi is something most car owners yearn for. So much so that many of them are ready to buy even pre-owned cars. However, when buying used cars, there is a high chance that you might get a lot of problems with the car, especially with the engine. That is why we wrote this article to point out the engine problems that you might face with the Audi 3.2-liter V6 engine. This power unit was used in cars like the A3, A4, A5, A6, and the Audi TT. So, if you plan to buy any of these cars, you should read on.
The V6 engine from Audi was discontinued in 2010 for various reasons. One of the main engine problems the Audi 3.2 liter V6 engine faces is the timing chain wearing off too quickly. Along with this, there were concerns about numerous oil and fuel leaks that might cause you to worry a bit. Some customers also witnessed excessive carbon buildup and oil consumption. For the most part, none of these problems are very serious. However, they can cost a lot to fix as the concerned parts need to be replaced often.
Below, we have compiled a list of the most common problems that you might face with this type of engine and what you can do to solve them.
Timing chain problems
Firstly, the most annoying problem faced by this engine is the abnormal wear of the timing chain. The timing chain is responsible for moving the camshafts in tandem with the crankshaft. Thus, it helps decides when the gasses enter and exit the engine. A worn timing chain can not only lead to a lot of abnormal noise while driving but also lead to a significant loss of power.
Unfortunately, due to poor design, the chain does not last as long as Audi predicted and gets worn quickly. Moreover, because of the same reason, it is hard to reach the timing chain to fix it. Since this is a rather skilled job, it is best to take the car to a professional and let them replace the chain.
It is important to keep an eye out for signs that indicate that the timing chain has worn. Otherwise, other parts of the engine might be damaged as a result and cause the repair price to shoot up even further.
Timing chain tensioner
As the name suggests, the chain tensioner helps keep the timing chain tensed. If the chain is not tensed, it might lead to the same problems mentioned above. Again, with how the chain tensioner is made in this Audi engine, the tensioner stops working properly after 40-50k miles. So, you might need to adjust it or entirely replace the tensioner.
Again, this is a tricky fix and that is why it is best left to a professional mechanic.
Oil leaks are some of the most common engine problems faced in the Audi 3.2L V6 engine. The most common point of leak is near the timing chain cover, and it can leak from there after every 30-40k miles.
While this is not a particularly huge problem, it will lead to high lube oil consumption which can reduce your engine performance over time. Moreover, you will end up spending a lot to refill the oil in your car every few months. Finally, you might even be leaving a mess near your parking spots.
This problem occurs because these engines mostly didn’t use rubber/silicone gaskets in many of their parts. Instead, silicone sealant was used. This sealant doesn’t hold very well in colder climates and hence can lead to leaks during such weather.
Unfortunately, there is no proper fix to this, you can just ask a mechanic to fix it for you properly if you notice this problem.
Excessive oil loss
Keeping on the topic of oil loss, there is another way that you can start to lose engine oil. This is when the oil gets burnt during combustion. One of the reasons this happens is because the oil leaks through the piston rings and the piston walls into the combustion chamber. As you may have guessed, the poor design of the piston rings and the pistons are responsible for the loss of engine oil.
Again, this is nothing too serious. You might just end up filling up the engine oil more often than you’d like. It is important to refill it, because otherwise, it may lead to more severe consequences.
This problem too is very difficult to fix. To fix this problem, you will have to essentially change the pistons and the piston rings used in the engine. This would be in a sense upgrading the car and you would have to ask third-party mechanics to do it for you unless you have the confidence to do it yourself.
The 3.2L V6 engine has direct fuel injection. Hence, the way the fuel injector works is quite important to the performance of the car. Unfortunately, the design problems in this car cause the fuel injectors to leak sometimes. Due to this, there are many problems created such as loss of power, incomplete combustion, and carbon buildup.
None of these problems is anything major as such. If anything, you might notice a slight loss of power or lower mileage than usual. Another side-effect of this problem is higher emissions than normal. If you want to fix this problem, you will have to replace the fuel injectors. This is quite easy to do yourself compared to some of the other problems in this list.
Carbon buildup on intake valves and ports
Carbon buildup is when hard carbon particles form around orifices or ports blocking the function of the part near it. For example, carbon build-up is one of the reasons why injectors may stop working properly. However, in the case of Audi 3.2 liter V6 engine problems, the most relevant build-up is near the valve ports.
As mentioned above, this can be caused due to leaky fuel injectors too in some cases. Because of this, the intake valves do not open and close properly. Hence, it may lead to a loss of power. Moreover, the carbon buildup can be sometimes expelled in the exhaust emissions leading to some black exhaust fumes.
One way to fix this temporarily is to clean the intake ports and you should be good for some time. However, to permanently fix it, you will have to fix the root cause. In the case described above, this would be fixing the leaky fuel injectors. Depending on the root cause, you may or may not be able to do this at home by yourself.
As you can see, there aren’t too many problems that you would face with the Audi 3.2 liter V6 engine. Most of the problems are caused by poor design which has since been improved in further generations. Sadly though, this is also what makes the problems a bit hard to fix for the common man. On the other hand, luckily, these problems aren’t too serious and can be fixed in their own time.
Otherwise, this is a brilliant engine and can be quite fun to drive no matter which car it powers. Hopefully, this article helped shed some light on the engine problems faced by this V6 engine. We trust that it will help you make an informed decision about whether to buy this car or not.