Arguably the most common piece of general maintenance that you'll have to do on any car is getting your oil changed. Every driver should be aware of the length of time that they can travel in their car before they need to go into the shop to get this done. Typically, an oil change needs to take place between 3,000 miles and 5,000 miles or so, but it does change from model to model. If you are talking about an Audi A4, and you're using the synthetic oils in your system, then Audi recommends a routine oil change about every 10,000 miles. That said, getting the oil changed in your Audi is going to cost you probably between $125 and $180 depending on where you go to get it done.
The fact is Audi is a premium automobile brand. That means the cost of even routine maintenance and upkeep for an Audi can be more expensive than what you'll find for a more economy style vehicle like a Hyundai or a Toyota, for instance.
It's not just oil changes for Audis that will set you back a little more than average when it comes to repair cost. Everything on an Audi is going to cost a little bit more. For instance, if you need a front brake pad replacement on an Audi A4 you are probably going to be paying between $350 and $400.
Likewise, if you need to get your tires replaced at an Audi dealership then it could cost you over $300 each for all four tires. At an Audi dealership it might cost you in the neighbourhood of $1,500. Of course, he might be able to get it cheaper than that, but you shouldn't be surprised if it does get to be that expensive.
Other repair costs for an Audi 4 are still in the same ballpark. For instance, a new battery might cost you $300 while a new air filter to cost you between $100 and $150.
As an Audi owner you should hopefully be aware that a premium automobile comes with some premium maintenance and repair costs, so hopefully this won't be too much of a surprise to you. These kinds of fees can add up after a while since routine maintenance is just that, routine, and needs to be done regularly or you'll end up suffering even greater repair bills down the road.
What Kind of Oil Does an Audi A4 Take?
Audi recommends that you fill your A4 with oil made by Castrol. Their number one recommendation for motor oil that you should be using in your Audi A4 is SAE 5W – 40. They recommend this for all temperature ranges for normal driving conditions. However, if you're not able to get a hold of that kind of oil you can also just use a 5w – 30 motor oil in your Audi A4 as well. Audi is so committed to the exact right motor oil being used in their vehicles they recommend that you keep an extra quart of oil in your trunk at all times just in case you need some and you happen to be located replace that doesn't sell Audi approved oil at the time.
Obviously, the manufacturer's recommendations are likely to be a little more demanding than what the average driver is going to commit to, but they do make these recommendations with good reason. If you follow the manufacturer's recommendations exactly you should be able to extend the life and the quality of your vehicle for an extended period of time.
If you follow Audi's recommendations exactly then you should be checking your oil levels every single time you fill your gas tank. That may seem excessive, but it will also ensure that your oil never drops below the recommended limit or gets too contaminated or burnt without you knowing about it. You've likely never seen many drivers who check their oil this often, but there's really no downside to doing it other than the extra few minutes is going to take you every time you stopped to fill up the tank.
What Oil Filter Should You Use in an Audi A4?
The other part of keeping your Audi A4 in good working order is making sure you have the right oil filter to go along with the oil you're using. Although there are many different manufacturers of oil filters that will work on an Audi A4, some of the most highly recommended oil filter brands include K&N as well as Mann Hummel. You can buy filters by both of these manufacturers for under $20.
What Kind of Fuel Should You Use in an Audi A4?
Just like everything else Audi recommends using a certain kind of fuel if you want to optimize performance in your vehicle. Lower-quality fuel can cause an accumulation of debris and contamination in your Audi over time, so higher quality fuel can make a difference. Audi recommends using what are known as TOP TIER fuels. There is an extensive list of retailers who sell what is known as TOP TIER fuels that have a standard of detergent gasoline that keeps an Audi engine running the way it was designed to run. These include Mobil, Phillips 66, Texaco, Chevron, Shell, Exxon, BP and a host of others. You can look up TOP TIER gas for yourself to see if your local gas station meets Audi standards.
How to Tell if Your Audi A4 Needs an Oil Change
While Audi recommends that you get your oil changed at around 10,000 miles, and many technicians might recommend between 5,000 and 10,000 miles, that's just the standard rule of thumb. There will sometimes be some definite signs that you need to get your oil changed before you reach this limit. It's also possible if you've picked up a used Audi A4 you may not know when it was serviced last so you can't really gauge for sure how many miles you have left before you need to get the oil changed again. If that's the case, there are some clear signs you should be on the lookout for to let you know you may need to get your oil changed and meet sometime soon.
Check Engine or Oil Minimum Light
The most obvious sign that there's an issue with the motor oil in your Audi A4 is when the oil minimum light pops up on the dashboard. But there's really no other reason that this would come on unless there's a problem with the oil in your vehicle, so your best bet is to pop the hood and check the oil levels, and condition as well. If you're running low, or it is looking dark and contaminated then you know it's time to do an oil change.
An Audi also has a service due light that will pop up to indicate it's time to get your oil checked. General service is scheduled every 10,000 miles or 1 year from the last maintenance check. This light isn't the same as the check engine light because it doesn't come up when there's a specific issue, it just comes up as a reminder of what needs to be done. The service due light is represented with a wrench symbol and it's just a helpful reminder of what needs to be done. Once a qualified technician has done whatever service work needs to be done the service light will be reset to go off again in another 10,000 miles or 1 year, whichever is required.
The oil minimum light on an Audi dashboard looks like an oil can with one drop of oil coming out of it. The letters MIN will also be on the can. This is a pre-emptive warning that you're going to need oil soon. It's a handy reminder because it doesn't mean you need an oil change immediately; it means one is coming up because your oil is getting low. You might still be able to get a few hundred miles, or even over a thousand miles on what you have left. But it also means you don't want to push it and leave it for too long because it's about time to get things checked.
Smoke in the Exhaust
This may sound a little silly, since exhaust often looks a bit smoky, but there's more to it than that. Your exhaust should not be visibly smoky when things are going the way they're supposed to. If you are able to see visible smoke coming out of the exhaust, in particular dark grey or blue smoke, in any case you likely have an oil leak somewhere and we'll need an oil change sometime soon. If it's an oil leak you are also at risk for a fire if this goes on for too long so if this is a problem you're experiencing make sure you get it fixed as soon as you can.
If you are checking your oil on a routine basis by inspecting the dipstick, you should be able to notice if there's something wrong with the oil. You should always be aware of the color of clean oil when it goes into your car so that when you inspect it later you'll be able to get an idea for how clean it still is, and how close to needing a change it might be. If the oil is especially dark, then you know that something needs to be done about it. Although different manufacturers of oil typically have slightly different colours, when it's brand new and clean it's usually a light brown or a golden amber sort of colour. If it's become opaque and dark brown or black, then you definitely need to get it changed.
If everything's running the way, it's supposed to in your vehicle you should not notice any unusual odors. The upside of any smells that you can detect in the cabin of your vehicle is that they are a good indication something is wrong so you'll be able to get it fixed as soon as you can.
When you smell oil in your car it means you either have a significant leak or potentially that your car is about to overheat. Unlike some other problems, the smell of oil is one that demands immediate attention. You can suffer severe damage if you don't get this addressed right away.
Much like unusual smells, unusual sounds are a very good indication that something has gone wrong in your vehicle. If your Audi A4 engine is making unusually loud sounds or noises that don't sound familiar to you at all then you may need an oil change. When you are out of oil, metal parts in your engine are going to grate against each other with no lubrication and that can make grinding, squealing, clanking and other sounds. The damage that this can lead to could be significant and expensive.
The Bottom Line
Routine oil changes are necessary for every single vehicle on the road, not just an Audi A4. Audi has made extra efforts to ensure that you know when to get your oil changed before it becomes a problem. Thanks to things like the service engine light, and the oil low indicator you should be never taken by surprise in terms of roofing oil changes. Of course unexpected problems will crop up, and if you experience any of the symptoms we mentioned then those are definite indications that you should proceed to your dealer or a mechanic to get your Audi's oil changed as soon as you can to keep it running properly.
The cost of getting an oil changed in your Audi is going to be more expensive than your run-of-the-mill vehicle and, but that's par for the course. You paid more to get it out of there because he wanted a high-quality, reliable, good looking vehicle. Unfortunately that means the cost is going to be a little bit on the high side, but you also are likely to get a lot more enjoyment out of your vehicle thanks to ensuring the routine maintenance that will keep it running smoothly for a long time to come.