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Audi a8 D3 Review, Problems ,User and Repair Manuals

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Audi A8 D3 is the third stage of crusade of the German company on representative segment. For the first time they have tried to win this segment in 1988 when have put on the market the Audi V8 model. After that there was the first generation of A8 D2. This car became the pioneer in respect of use of completely aluminum body. And here in 2002 there is the second generation of Audi A8 D3 which was issued till 2010. Today we will consider this car in more detail, we will talk about history, restyling’s, characteristics and weak points of the Audi A8 D3.

History and general information

If cars of the first generation of the Audi A8 D2 about 100 thousand copies have been exhausted, then the Audi A8 D3 was sold out in circulation in 150 thousand. So that the German company managed to consolidate achievements in representative segment. The big role in it was played by stylish design of A8 D3. The popularity of the car was also increased by participation of this model in the second part of the popular movie “Carrier” (2005). Audi A8 D3 was succeeded to move in the market the Mercedes models relevant at that time S classes and BMW 7 Series.

It is possible to tell that the second generation of Audi A8 D3 became peculiar correction of mistakes of the first generation. For example, such minus of Audi A8 D2 as the shortage of the place on rear passenger seats has been corrected. For executive class cars it is the crucial moment. The car of the Audi A8 D3 has received set of the last novelties in automotive industry, became more prestigious and much more interesting. In this generation A8 model was finally created as representative, became recognizable and has found individual character.

The model of the Audi A8 D3 has endured two large restyling’s about the history: in 2005 and 2007. Besides, there was number of small completions. For example, at the beginning of 2004 the producer has changed radiator lattice. In 2008 the style of tail lights has considerably exchanged enough. Practically all the time productions happened various technical completions of the Audi A8 D3 and implementation of new technologies. By the time of the end of release of model in 2010 the car had set of various systems on which there was even no hint at the time of entry into the market.

The Audi A8 D3 car was issued in 2 options of body: standard and extended. The latest version has in identification mark the letter “L” from the word Long (long). Length of the version of A8L reaches 5.2 meters. In this version of A8 D3 additional options for passengers on rear seats have been provided.

Among the numerous equipment of the Audi A8 D3 for passengers it is possible to call separate rear seats with electric drive gear, lamp for reading, folding tables, the refrigerator. Since 2006, the bonus sound “Bang&Olufsen” system having excellent sounding is offered. Because the car has powerful engines, the all wheel drive and large number of the additional equipment, prize in weight from use of aluminum body is leveled. But, despite big dimensions and weight, the car of the Audi A8 D3 moves very quickly.

Operation and weak points of the Audi A8 D3


The engines installed on A8 D3 were well familiar on other Audi models. In particular, it is V6 motors of 3 liters from the BBJ-ASN series. They have well proved to be at operation and have high reliability. After car entry into the market only three versions of power plants were offered. Consequences their list constantly extended. Widespread power plants on the Audi A8 D3 are given below.


6-cylinder V6 220 horsepowers. After the carried-out restyling this model has been replaced with the liter V6 3,2 motor with kickback of 260 “horses”;

8-cylinder V8 3,7 280 hp liters;

8-cylinder V8 4,2 335 hp liters;

12-cylinder W12 450 horsepowers. Was established on top versions;

10-cylinder with kickback of 450 hp. It was used on the “loaded” S8.


6-cylinder V6 “horses” of 3 liters with a power of 233;

8-cylinder V8, 4 liters, 275 hp;

8-cylinder V8, 4.2 liters, 326 hp.

In spite of the fact that V6 engines have quite modest power for such car, in practice prove to be not bad. Judging by responses of owners of the Audi A8 D3, with forward control and the V6 engine (220 hp) shows dynamic style of driving. The main advantage of these power plants is that even at serious run they do not cause problems the owner. There were cases of failure of rack gear of GRM. But the problem was not in design or not reliable materials here, and that owners did not make replacement in time.

The FSI engine 3.2 liters which has succeeded the previous V6 in 2005 was not such successful and has caused the owners many problems. It is quite often possible to meet in withdrawals of the complaint to GRM chain tension that led to offset of phases of gas distribution. Symptoms were shown in strong roar of the power plant right after start. At the same time the indicator “burned check of the engine is required”. On engines of many Volkswagen cars this problem is quite widespread. Low-quality oil, frequent trips to short distances and some other factors can become the reason. Repair managed in lump sum (begins from 3 thousand euros).

8-cylinder engines of the Audi A8 D3 (BFL and AUX/BFM series) of 3.7 and 4.2 liters have proved to be not bad and they had no pronounced minuses. Their problem was that at the large dimensions and big power they were established on the car. V8 engines had no problems with drive gear of GRM and the system of injection. After restyling 2005 these motors have been replaced with the FSI models.

Really representative sedan of the Audi A8 D3 revealed with the 8-cylinder engine under cowl. From those “eights” that were established before restyling, one motor had the volume of 3.7 liters (280 horsepowers), and the second engine had the volume of 4.2 liters (310 and 335 horsepowers). After restyling they were replaced by FSI V8 models.

On more powerful 8-cylinder engines of the Audi A8 D3 in use there were oil leakage cases on chain drive gear of GRM. For repair of the engine it was necessary to remove it from the car that poured out in the astronomical sum. In the secondary market it is better to choose the Audi A8 D3 models with the engine 4.2 liters of the earliest years of manufacture. On it there were problems only at the very beginning of release. They consisted in noise of adjuster of phases of gas distribution and have been eliminated as a result of recall of cars

Audi A8 D3 after restyling

Newer V8 FSI engines consumed less fuel and had smaller weight. However with them there were more problems, than with predecessors. In particular, at operation on inlet valves the deposit accumulated, and the drive gear of GRM did not differ in durability. The gasoline consumption on these cars made from 12 to 14 liters on 100 kilometers of run in the commixed mode. In general, one may say, that V8 engines on the Audi A8 D3 strongly complicated configuration of the engine compartment and the thermal mode at operation. It involved number of problems with the cooling system, service became complicated, the resource of sensors and nearby conductings decreased and also frequent failures were observed.

And also on the car of the Audi A8 D3 turbocharged diesels of 4 (275 horse powers) and 4.2 liters (326 hp) were installed. They were equipped with the Common Rail fuel supply system and long time remained some of the most powerful diesels in the market. By default models of the Audi A8 D3 with diesel engines were equipped with automatic transmission and the system of all wheel drive Quattro. At rather small fuel appetite these versions had excellent dynamics. However number of problems in use was found in them.

Approximately at boundary of 150 thousand kilometers of run the pump of high pressure begins to knock. Besides, on the 3.2 liters motors problems with GRM drive gear appear. Collapse of candles of incandescence also belongs to major failures of these diesel engines. Thus after collapse of candle splinters can get cylinders, and then the engine completely will fail. Spare parts and repair of diesel V8 motors on the Audi A8 D3 cost very much.

Biturbo diesel V8 had problem with jamming of the levers steering turbine geometry. Owners of Audi A8 D3 wrote in the reviews that this problem is solved by processing of levers heat-resistant lubricant. Less powerful V6 TDI 3.0 diesel engines with kickback delivered 233 horsepowers much less problems and had big durability. Owners of the Audi A8 D3 with this motor wrote in reviews that the engine practically did not cause them problems to mark of 300 thousand km


Depending on version of the car of the Audi A8 D3 three types of transmissions were used. All of them were automatic. On all-wheel drive versions automatic transmissions of ZF (6HP19, 6HP26) were established. On cars of the first years of manufacture problem was Multitronic. Gradually engineers of the German company have eliminated “children’s diseases” and at the end of life cycle of Audi A8 D3 the variator became quite reliable. It worked at versions with forward control.

The condition of variator of Multitronic on the used cars Audi A8 D3 strongly depends on the previous owner. If the variator did not overheat, there were no breakthroughs at the movement from the place and slipping in snow (dirt), service was carried out in time, then problems with it will not arise.

Automatic transmissions of ZF did not differ in special reliability, but 150─180 thousand kilometers they went without serious problems. If the car of the Audi A8 D3 was operated normally, consumables changed in time and service, that is chance to avoid serious repair was carried out. At accurate operation this box can pass up to 200 thousand km.

Audi A8 D3  after second restyling

Many problems arose because representatives of Audi positioned ZF gear box as “unattended”. As a result owners at operation did not change in it oil and received problems at boundary of 120 thousand km. If the box has been strongly started by the previous owner, then it is worth preparing for big investments of capital. As a rule, in these cases it is necessary to change the block mechatronics and barrels of shaft.

Running gear

Multilevel suspenders on the Audi cars, including A8 D3, have quite difficult design. At the same time they have quite good resource of operation, but at normal handling of machine. Besides, repairs of suspender need to be made in complex to use for this purpose high-quality spare parts. On used cars of it often does not become because of the high cost of accessories on the Audi A8 D3.

Resource of suspension arms quite big, and their price it is possible to call moderate for executive class cars. The lath of steering pull-rods and other key elements of suspender “go” about 180─200 thousand km. According to the Russian owners of Audi A8 D3, repair of suspender should be done much more often. At many the lath began to knock quickly enough, but did not flow. On the car it is established the steering booster with servetronic at whom often fails the steering valves

On the second generation of the Audi A8 D3 the pneumosuspender has been presented. With its help the car it was possible to turn the comfortable ship or the dynamic sports car. Owners do not note any serious problems with pneumosuspender. However, the compressor relay knocked. If not to replace it in time, then as a result of full-time employment without switching off the compressor failed.

But, if pneumatics knocks, then it will cost very much. Cylinders and racks have six-digit price tags. The resource of new pneumosuspender makes about 3─5 years depending on road condition.

Body and interior

Even the car of the Audi A8 D3 which has fairly seen on the way has the body which is almost not touched by corrosion from aluminum. Locks, hinge strains and other elements perfectly function after many years of operation. The first manifestations of corrosion are usually shown on joint of the side panel and roof. Also manifestations of corrosion are shown under the chrome plated moldings and other decorative elements.

Thanks to sound inner trim and high quality of the used materials the interior remains practically in initial state even after the serious run. Traces of use are visible only on wheel and sitting of the driver.

The sliding screen of system of navigation has received fair criticism. In its driving gear plastic gears quickly enough fail, and repair costs much, as well as many other things in the Audi A8 D3. At forums it is possible to meet recommendations about installation of metal gears. Widespread problem in interior is breakage of the reader of drive gear of DVD at navigation. On copies of Audi A8 D3 after 2005 the problem has been solved thanks to installation of MMI and navigation systems completed with the HDD

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