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Used Audi A3 Fault Guides

Used Car Expert Fault Guides tell you the common Audi A3 faults and wear items that can become problems and big bills for their owner.

Independent research indicated that using our fault guides to check a car before you buy it can save you an average of £300 in surprise bills and hidden problems.

That's because our Audi A3 fault guides are written so that anyone can understand them – even if you know nothing about cars and have no tools. For every common fault, we tell you what to look for, what it means and what it costs.

Select your Audi A3 fault guide:

Audi A3 (1996 - 2003) Fault Guide
Audi A3 (2003 - Present) Fault Guide


Audi A3 (1996 - 2003) Fault Guide

View Audi A3 (1996 - 2003) Fault Guide

We know of 16 AUDI A3 (1996 - 2003) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 4 engine faults
  • 1 suspension wear items or faults
  • 1 interior problems
  • 1 bodywork issues
  • 9 recalls

Here's an example fault on the AUDI A3 (1996 - 2003)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most petrol engines the cam belt must be changed within 80,000 miles and 60,000 miles on most diesel engines.

What it means:

If the cam belt and associated parts (such as water pump and tensioner) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon and will cause expensive damage to the engine. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built.

What to do

Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £200. It will cost £700 - £1,000 to have the engine repaired if the belt fails.


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Audi A3 (2003 - Present) Fault Guide

View Audi A3 (2003 - Present) Fault Guide

We know of 12 AUDI A3 (2003 - Present) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 7 engine faults
  • 2 suspension wear items or faults
  • 1 interior problems
  • 1 bodywork issues
  • 1 recalls

Here's an example fault on the AUDI A3 (2003 - Present)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most engines the cam belt must be changed within 5 years or 80,000 miles. Please note the 3.2 litre engine is chain driven so does not have a cam belt. The 1.6 litre engine does not have a change interval, but we recommend the standard interval. The 2.0 litre engine has an interval of 115,000 miles or 5 years.

What it means:

If the cam belt and associated parts has not been changed, and the mileage is over its interval, the cam belt is likely to fail soon. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built after a cam belt failure.

What to do

Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £450.


Register to have full access to the AUDI A3 (2003 - Present) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


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