Volkswagen and Audi Operating and Service FAQs

Brakes & Tires 

Audi Brakes

Q: Why do my brakes sometimes squeal when it’s cold?

A: A certain amount of high-pitched noise from your brakes is normal due to the semi-metallic pads that are used on most Audi and VW vehicles these days. It’s common to hear these sounds when you first drive in the morning or when your vehicle has been sitting for a while.

Q: Why does my brake pedal pulse or vibrate as I decrease speed?

A: The most common reason to feel a vibrating or pulsing sensation from your brake pedal when slowing down is rotors that are unevenly worn or warped. When you feel these sensations, it’s important that you bring your car in to have the brakes checked.

Q: Why are my brakes grinding?

A: Extreme wear to the brake pads is what causes your brakes to produce a grinding sound. This wear causes the rotor disc to make contact with part of the caliper. When you hear this sound frequently the situation is serious because the extreme low brake pads are causing damage to the rotors. If left uncorrected you could incur a more costly brake repair.

Q: Why is the brake pedal sinking all the way to the floor?

A: A sinking brake pedal, also known as a soft brake pedal, is usually caused by a faulty master cylinder, a brake fluid leak or ABS unit leak. All of these possible situations require repair as soon as possible.

Q: Do weather changes affect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)?

A: Ambient temperature can affect tire pressure, so a significant change could set off your Audi or VW TPMS system. Tire pressure changes with each 10°F of temperature, resulting in a reduction of about 1 psi.

Q: When will the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warn me?

A: The TPMS system will warn you when your tires are over inflated or under inflated. Sometimes outside air temperature, especially on cold mornings, will temporarily give you an inaccurate warning signal that will turn off once the tires warm up.

Q: Why is wheel alignment important, and can I tell if the wheels are out of alignment?

A: Proper wheel alignment is essential to safe driving. It also plays a part in the wear of your tires. Improper alignment results in uneven wear on tires. Your wheels may be out of alignment if your car commonly pulls to the left or the right when stopping.

Q: When should my tires be rotated?

A: Most manufacturers recommend that you rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, the typical interval for VW and Audi is 10,000 miles. Those recommendations vary, however, based on your vehicle. Also, consult your owner’s manual for recommendations.

Fluids & Fuel

Gas Nozzle

Q: How often does the oil need to be changed in my vehicle?

A: For the exact interval that is right for your vehicle, consult the owner’s manual. Some newer Audi and VW engines equipped with synthetic oil can go up to 10,000 miles. Older VW and Audi engines should be changed every 5000 miles if you are using synthetic oil, or 3000 miles for non-synthetic. Regardless, it is important to remember to check your oil regularly and top off as needed!

Q: May I use E85 fuel in my Volkswagen?

A: Most VW vehicles require fuel with a minimum octane rating of 87. Although you can put E85 fuel into your VW, it may not run as well.

Q: What factors affect my vehicle's Miles Per Gallon (MPG)?

A: Various factors affect your vehicle’s MPG, including how fast you drive. When you drive at higher speeds, aerodynamic drag increases, thereby reducing your gas mileage. Letting a vehicle idle for a long time also reduces gas mileage. Other factors that can affect gas consumption are cold weather and making frequent, short trips.

Q: How can I check the fluid levels and how often should they be checked?

A: One of the top auto service FAQs involves when to change your vehicle’s fluids. Oil and windshield wiper fluids can be easily checked monthly by opening the hood and checking the appropriate reservoirs. Transmission and brake fluid should be checked every few months by a certified technician. There really is not recommendation to check transmission fluid or brake fluid unless there is a leak or contamination. The transmission in particular is not accessible in many models

Q: How are conventional and synthetic engine oils different?

A: Conventional oil is distilled and refined from naturally occurring crude oil. Synthetic oil is artificially made to mimic conventional oil. It has fewer impurities and can last longer in your vehicle’s engine.

Q: What type of coolant is recommended by Volkswagen?

A: The manufacturer recommends that you only use Audi/VW G13 or G12 approved antifreeze in your vehicle. Store-bought coolant has chemicals in it that can wear down gaskets and other engine parts, thereby shortening the life of your vehicle.

Q: Why and how often does my vehicle need a coolant flush?

A: There is no recommendation for a regular coolant flush in VW and Audi vehicles unless there is a coolant leak or contamination.

Q: What should I do if my car overheats?

A: If your vehicle begins to overheat, pull off to the side of the road in a safe place and turn it off immediately. Don’t turn the engine on again until it has completely cooled again. It’s also a good idea to bring your vehicle in for servicing to see why it overheated.

Q: Why would a gasoline nozzle fit but not release any fuel and what should I do?

A: Most likely you have lifted a diesel-gasoline pump and not a regular one. Diesel nozzles don’t fit into new gas tanks to prevent you from putting the wrong type of gas in. Replace the nozzle and try a different one that dispenses the right type of gas.

Electrical & Warning Lights

VW Engine

Q: Can I jump-start my Volkswagen vehicle?

A: Yes, you can jump-start your Volkswagen if you know how to properly attach the jumper cables to its battery.

Q: How can I make sure my car's battery has a good electrical connection?

A: To make sure that your vehicle has a good electrical connection, it should be serviced regularly, which includes cleaning and inspection by qualified service technicians who understand your Audi or VW.

Q: Am I able to turn off my Daytime Running Lights?

A: Daytime Running Lights engage automatically when you turn your Volkswagen on. Most VW cars do not allow you to turn them off if your vehicle is running. If you have the DRL parking feature, you may be able to turn them off by engaging the parking brake.

Q: Why is the 'Passenger Side Airbag Off' light on?

A: It’s normal for the passenger side airbag to be off when no one is sitting in the front passenger seat. If the light comes on when a passenger is sitting here, bring your VW or Audi in as soon as possible for diagnosis and repair.

Q: What does it mean when the particulate filter indicator light comes on (with a TDI clean diesel engine)?

A: Your particulate filter indicator will illuminate when the filter is starting to clog. To clean your filter while driving, put the selector in the S position and make sure you drive at least 37 mph. This will increase the temperature in the filter and ultimately burn off soot. The indicator will switch off once this process cleans the filter.

Q: What is the small indicator light that appears when I start my vehicle while is it cold outside?

A: The system that VW and Audi uses to start your diesel vehicle uses a glow plug and is temperature controlled.  When it’s colder outside, your vehicle may take a little longer to start and that’s why this light comes on. It’s nothing to worry about but be aware that your vehicle will start a little easier when the light goes off.


Q: Why does my engine idle rough?

A: Several things can cause your engine to idle roughly. Most have an easy maintenance solution. The fuel injectors may need cleaning or there could be other exhaust problems. Sometimes the spark plugs need to be changed or there is a hole in the air intake valve. At other times, especially in the colder weather of winter, your vehicle may tend to shake when it turns over. If your vehicle experiences this problem frequently, you should have our technicians run a complete diagnostic check to determine a possible underlying cause. Finding a problem before it becomes too serious can help prevent excessive repair costs.

Q: How can I be sure when my vehicle needs service?

A: The owner’s manual in your vehicle details preventive maintenance services that you should schedule at regular intervals such as 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 miles and so on.  In some instances, your Volkswagen or Audi may need more frequent servicing, depending on the climate where you live, your driving style and other factors. Service technicians can also advise you on the best possible interval for your vehicle.

Even with regular preventive maintenance, unexpected repairs are bound to happen at some point. Pay attention to your vehicle and trust your eyes and ears when you feel that something is wrong. The engine sound that isn’t quite right or the grinding sound made by your brakes, along with odd smells, are usually indicators that your vehicle needs servicing. Various lights on your dashboard that become illuminated also indicate that your vehicle needs attention. Whenever you feel that something is not quite right, bring your vehicle in for service.

Q: How can I get a replacement key for my vehicle?

A: All Volkswagens have a security system that requires your key to be programmed in a certain manner. Independent repair facilities with the required coding tools, will have the necessary equipment to properly program a replacement key.

Q: How do I unlock my vehicle door when the key fob battery is dead or disabled?

A: Most Volkswagens or Audis with keyless entry can be easily unlocked through a simple method that involves inserting the key bit into the driver’s door cover cap and removing the cap. Once this is gone, place the key bit into the cylinder to unlock your door and then carefully replace the cover cap until it clicks into place.

Q: Why is the air conditioning not blowing cold air in my vehicle?

Several problems can make your vehicle’s air conditioning not blow cold. One could be a clogged air filter. You could also have radiator trouble or a problem with the cooling fan. The easiest fix would be to recharge your AC system and make sure there are no leaks.