Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Audi A3 hatchback?
If you’re looking at an automatic Audi A3, check it changes gear smoothly and doesn’t feel jerky when you pull away. The car's automatic gearboxes are known to have problems, and a jerky drive signify that an expensive repair bill could be just around the corner.
If you’re driving a car with a six-speed manual gearbox, check the change between first and second gears isn’t too stiff; if it is, it could be down to a gearbox synchromesh fault that isn’t cheap to repair.
Also keep in mind that there is ongoing remedial work to resolve problems caused by the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, which could affect some 2.0-litre diesel-powered A3s, so it’s worth making sure you’re satisfied with the situation as it stands before commiting to a purchase.
What are the most common problems with a used Audi A3 hatchback?
2.0-litre diesel engines can suffer from catastrophic engine failures caused by wear to a sprocket on the oil pump. This tends to happen without warning so, as a precaution, some specialists advise replacing the oil pump with a new item or machining the oil pump sprocket to reduce the effect of the wear.
Diesel-powered A3s are also prone to failure of the dual-mass flywheel, another expensive fix which requires a replacement clutch at the same time.