Question about 1998 Audi A4

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A4 warm start up problem

I have a 98 a4 2.4 v6 engine which starts fine when cold but if you try to start the engine when hot it takes longer to start and then fires up really slowly ( almost like its flooded ) and cuts out a lot unless you use high revs when changing gear for the first few minutes.

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It is very likely that you are having an air leak. Any uncontrolled air getting into the intake side can cause this problem. Audi is well known for vacuum problems. I was the southern technical specialist for Audi for 6 years. If you have a vacuum test pump you can do some testing yourself but to be honest there are so many little hoses on that engine that you most likely not get to them all. I would suggest you go to your mechanic and see if they can perform a smoke test on the system. Many shops have a tool that can inject smoke (like a smoke machine at the club) into the system and locate the leak rather fast then.

Posted on Nov 01, 2008

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READ THIS (happy ending so far...):
audi a4 2L turbo quattro, manual transmission with 98,000 KM. Perfect conditions, no oil leaks whatsoever.

Left the car off for two weeks in very cold weather (-10C down to -25C). When I restarted, it started immediately but with heavy rattling noise due to camshaft adjuster not getting enough oil pressure. After 3 minutes of warming up (outside temp.: -12C) at very low rpm (below 2,000rpm), I start moving the car. Still hearing heavy rattle noise. As soon as I pass 2,000 rpm, I get a scary red warning, low oil pressure. Turn off the engine immediately. In 1 minute, I re-start the car and the engine lights check ok, so I drive in first gear super slow (1,200rpm) hearing the same rattling noise. After another minute, finally the noise all the sudden disappears and the car starts running just fine.

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Take away: luckily, I didn't screw up the engine since I was using it at extremely low rpm (easy to do with clutch and manual transmission) until the oil reached full pressure. I am pretty sure now that the problem was leaving the car off for such a long time in freezing weather. All the oil flows back to the bottom, and when I restarted it, the cold oil with high viscosity took a long time to reach all the parts of the engine, specially the camshaft adjusters that are actuated by using oil pressure. Next day, the car started at -9C perfectly without making any noise (as usual). Basically, the longer you leave your audi in cold weather, the longer you might hear the rattling noise until the oil reach full pressure inside the engine. My car took 6 minutes to fix it after couple of weeks in cold weather. This makes sense to me; in fact, in the past I only heard the rattling noise after leaving the car off for a couple of days in the winter.
So far, this has had an happy ending....

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