Help me to not be fleeced by Audi garage (impending argument over warranty work)

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  • Help me to not be fleeced by Audi garage (impending argument over warranty work)
  • Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    Tyres are a consumable and not covered under the warranty will be the most likely answer.

    Is yours a quattro vehicle? it’s not unknown for 4WD cars to wear a particular edge of a tyre more than others, my BMW X used to wear the outside.

    That is very excessive wear to one edge of the tyre so something is definitely not right with your alignment but I dont think you will get much out of Audi. At best they might give you a free alignment check before fitting some very expensive new tyres for you.

    PJM1974
    Member

    There’s wheel alignment and wheel alignment…the camber is obviously out of kilter, but there are several reasons why this might be the case. Given the cost of premium tyres, it might be an idea to swallow a hundred quid or so hit and go to an independent garage with four wheel laser alignment kit and get a written report of how far out the suspension geometry actually is before challenging Audi.

    johndoh
    Member

    For clarification, I am not bothered about getting refunded for the tyres (as they were due a change anyway), I just don’t expect to be paying for Audi to set the car up correctly this time around.

    And yes it is a Quattro version.

    milky1980
    Member

    Are they the original Bridgestone ER300 tyres fitted at the factory? They look like the correct tread pattern.

    There’s a know issue with them being a really hard and cheap compound that wears oddly. The ones on my Fabia wore the inside edge like yours on the driver’s side and wore the passenger’s side at an angle, like the camber was too much. The geometry was checked as soon as I noticed and it was all inside tolerances. My bosses A4 came with them on and did the same thing as yours, replaced by the fleet people (ATS) and they said it’s common on VAG cars with those fitted originally.

    Both cars have worn the replacements evenly without any adjustments to the suspension so it’s the tyres being crap in our cases. VAG cars do seem to have issues with using certain tyres due to the setup they use. IIRC the Fabia Vrs had a problem with a certain Dunlop tyre and the Golf would chew through a certain Goodyear tyre too.

    johndoh
    Member

    Yes they were the original tyres (and I have replaced with the same due to it being a lease vehicle). I will need to keep my eye on them for the last year of ownership I have of the car.

    craigxxl
    Member

    That looks like a lot of negative camber along with excessive toe out but that would really only be on the fronts. I’ve seen the same wear patterns on all four tyres caused by speed humps when you straddle them rather than having one side of the car roll over them. Have a google for images of tyre wear caused by speed humps.

    johndoh
    Member

    I’ve seen the same wear patterns on all four tyres caused by speed humps when you straddle them rather than having one side of the car roll over them.

    I wondered this and I do have to regularly use some speed bumps, but I didn’t think I go over them that regularly as to do so much damage.

    Premier Icon michaelbowden
    Subscriber

    I suggest you get the geo checked by the Audi dealer. If it’s OK then you should have warranty claim for faulty tyres. If it’s out then you have an argument over whether is was correct at point of sale or has gone out of spec due to usage/potholes/speed humps etc.

    How many miles has the car done? this will greatly effect how reasonable it is for the geo to need re adjusting.

    johndoh
    Member

    It’s done around 25k miles and is coming up three years old (end of September 2016)

    I can’t see the photo due to our rubbish firewalls at work but a couple of things, camber is a wheel alignment issue as it is a measurement that is taken at the wheel, in degrees, with positive or negative outcome, so I can see their argument there.

    However if all four wheels have worn the same then I would suggest that there is something incorrect (unless they tyre issue Milky1980 says above has happened, not something I have heard of although I’m a little out of touch with car tyres to be fair).

    If you had kerbed or caused some damage in any way (not saying you have) then you would probably only see issues on one or two of the wheels.

    My suggestion would be to have the wheel alignment checked and then see what the results of that are. Depending upon results you can argue the outcome, if all 4 wheels are out by the same amount then you have an argument. If everything is within tolerance then you have the tyre issue that Milky has mentioned.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I too had an A6 Avant Quattro, auto box and relatively heavy on tyres (still got over 20k). We made sure we rotated them and had all work done by a tyre specialist. Audi main dealer was always trying to get us to pay for expensive and imho even “invented or created” problems to fix (have independent garage’s told me they susoected that too). As soon as warranty expired we found an excellent independent. We owned the car trouble free for 7 years and 110.000 miles. Cars are great, some dealers are far from that.

    If the dealer won’t pay for the setup/alignment work under warranty or goodwill take the car elsewhere – including a different Audi dealership if you wish. Its not a warranty issue to have alignment work done elsewhere than a dealership. Do not buy tyres from main dealer. Do not agree to any work without a price estimate.

    Good luck.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    It’s done around 25k miles and is coming up three years old (end of September 2016)

    Are those the original tyres?

    If so I’d say you’d done well to get that many miles from them on that sort of car.

    johndoh
    Member

    Are those the original tyres?

    If so I’d say you’d done well to get that many miles from them on that sort of car.

    I know – I was very surprised to get that much out of them (it’s a 3.0l V6 turbo diesel with 240bhp or something like that) – I am not a silly driver but I am not exactly slow off the mark either! My wife’s Mazda 3 (150bhp) is lucky to get 12k out of a set of fronts!

    johndoh
    Member

    On a recent inspection I found that the inside edge on all four tyres on my A6 Avant had worn badly on the inside edge (despite the rest of the face of the tyre wearing evenly).

    My understanding of why this happens is that the camber is set up incorrectly (usually suspension issues if not manually adjusted for performance or aesthetic reasons).

    However the Audi main dealer is saying it isn’t warranty work as it is ‘wheel alignment’ and not covered by warranty then went on to ask if I check tyre pressures twice a month (despite it having auto pressure monitoring!), whether it was the original tyres, whether I regularly carry heavy loads, whether I had kerbed it etc etc.

    I argued that it isn’t a wheel alignment issue and that alignment is something very different to camber (which is clearly what is causing this (as confirmed by the garage that changed the tyres last week) – especially believing this as all four tyres have worn in the same way.

    I have owned the car from new, it has been serviced by the garage I took it to this morning and I have never had any work done by anyone else.

    Thoughts please….

    My boss used to get this on his RS6 and he drives like miss daisy. Tyres would last around 5000 miles before going through to the canvas on the inside. He was told it was normal because the car is set up for track with a lot of camber. We had a google and sure enough a lot of owners complained of the same problem. At over 2k for a new set it annoyed him enough to get rid of the car.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Johndoh. I had a 3.0 TDi Quattro S-Line until recently. Never had that issue in 48k miles with tyres using original fitted Michelins or the Goodyear F1 Assymetrics I replaced them with. I was running the optional 19’s with the lowered s-line suspension.

    If yours is a similar spec – I don’t think they are meant to wear like that.

    Edit. I drive pretty conservatively.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    OP we had similar wear issues (2007 2.7tdi so prior model to yours) thats why we rotated tyres and had alignment checked every 12-18 months. I do think there is an element of “normal” about what you are experiencing. Again not an expert just a punter.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Mine was the then new 2012 Avant model – so probably similar to yours Johndoh.

    johndoh
    Member

    Yeah I think so – mine is the ‘Black Edition’ so it has the even bigger 20” wheels on and slightly lowered suspension over the S-Line too (or so I believe).

    I have to say that the auto gearbox on the 2.0 TDi A5 I have as a courtesy car is significantly more responsive than the LagBox in my car too.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    It’s done around 25k miles and is coming up three years old (end of September 2016)

    Really is not a warranty issue. 25k miles on a set of tyres is perfectly reasonable.

    In fact why haven’t you been checking the tread more carefully over the years? I cant believe people drive around with cars in that state 🙄

    You could take the car to an independent proper 4 wheel alignment specialist and see where the alignment is compared to Audi tolerances, however I am sure Audi have every reason to tell you to jog on because you didn’t bring the car to them when the tyres started wearing, or get the alignment checked regularly?

    Then of course, there is the fact that Audi don’t really do suspension very well, so they go through tyres quicker than most 😀

    johndoh
    Member

    I cant believe people drive around with cars in that state

    I wondered how long this would take to come up. In reality I check the tyres very regularly but as they wore on the inside edge and there is very little clearance on the wheel arches it was very difficult to see without getting under the car.

    Yes I *could* have got under the car (or put full lock on the front wheels) to check the inside edges but as every other aspect of the tyre condition and wear seemed to be as expected (as I say in the OP, the wear on the face of the tyres was even across 100% of each of the four tyres) then I didn’t expect to have such heavy wear in such an unexpected place – in over 30 years of car ownership I have never experienced such odd tyre wear and that is why it slipped through the net.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Fair enough, I must be odd that I quite regularly do put the car on full lock to check the tyres.

    johndoh
    Member

    Yes, I know to do it but my (clearly wrong) assumption was that the tyres seemed fine in every other way and I really wouldn’t have expected it to happen on a car I have owned from new and therefore know its history completely (ie, I know it has never been involved in an accident).

    I wondered how long this would take to come up. In reality I check the tyres very regularly but as they wore on the inside edge and there is very little clearance on the wheel arches it was very difficult to see without getting under the car.

    More to the point, how has the Audi dealer, who presumably services the car, not advised you , in 3 years, that your tyres are wearing abnormally, unless it’s a recent issue. Uneven wear would have been apparent long before they were worn to the cords.

    My money’s on the speed bumbps being the cause.

    johndoh
    Member

    More to the point, how has the Audi dealer, who presumably services the car,

    Due to its mileage and the fact it is on the ‘Eco’ servicing system (it tells me when it needs a service via the car computer) it has only had one service so far and that was some time ago.

    Marge
    Member

    surprisingly common issue on many cars. (it is not the tyres…)
    also, I would never consider TPMS to be a replacement for checking inflation pressure in relation to recommendations (particularly in case of loading variations). TPMS is primarily a safety device to warn in case of puncture.

    Camber isn’t the only influencing geometry on shoulder wear & potentially there may also be some toe effect. Is the camber actually adjustable on a A6? Did the garage already measure & adjust the alignment?

    25k is not bad life on a set of tyres on such a large powerful car & wheel alignment does wander with age & dynamic input hence the dealer is quite within their rights to not cover under warranty but I would have hoped they would be slightly more human (I’m assuming it’s a fairly new car & has always been dealer serviced – 2nd service visit?)

    johndoh
    Member

    I would have hoped they would be slightly more human (I’m assuming it’s a fairly new car & has always been dealer serviced – 2nd service visit?)

    Yes – serviced by them, as were my last two Audis.

    Saying that, after they could not fix either of the issues I asked them to investigate at the last service (mysteriously blowing fuses when using the rear 12v output and squealing coming from front nearside wheel under braking) they gave me the service (as well as wash & vac) for free so they aren’t always all bad.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    Best money you can spend is a good indy specialist to check alignment etc, check pistonheads. Had this on my RS4, Audi tried to sell me it with bad internal camber wear, not as bad as that but close. Before I bought I had it independently inspected at my cost – main issue being the front offside wheel assembly wasn’t attached to the car really any more – this was 18 month old silver circle Audi vehicle….the list of warranty work was > $13,000 which was completed and re-checked before I took delivery. As well as a letter to Audi. Basically, assume the dealer would do a dump in your shoes and you are halfway there.
    I feel better for writing that down, still a great car though.

    Have you actually read your warranty? It should list what is included and excluded. Camber is wheel alignment (camber, castor, toe) so if the warranty specifically excluded wheel alignment – which I thought it probably will do as wheel alignment can change with use, so it was probably correct at the time of manufacture and you purchasing the car.

    pdw
    Member

    Whilst camber is wheel alignment in the sense that it’s the angle of the wheels, it not an angle that’s commonly adjusted. In fact, it’s often not adjustable. On my 3 series, you have to permanently remove a pin in order to adjust camber, and the service instructions say that you should basically never need to do it.

    I have to say that the auto gearbox on the 2.0 TDi A5 I have as a courtesy car is significantly more responsive than the LagBox in my car too.

    Out of interest, which gearbox is in your A6?

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    Out of interest, which gearbox is in your A6?

    I would guess CVT based on the age and being an Audi.

    The newer A5 wil be one of the newer DSG style boxes I would think.

    johndoh
    Member

    I would guess CVT based on the age and being an Audi.

    It’s a 63 plate with the DSG-style box (STronic) box. I believe the CVT (MultiTronic) was never used on the higher-powered cars and mine is a 3.0l.

    Basically it is the same box with the same features in the A5 I am using today which just seems snappier, like they have tweaked the set-up a bit. I shall take it back to the garage the back way via some A roads to see what it’s like in an extended drive on open roads rather than the commuter traffic I was in this morning.

    johndoh
    Member

    FFS, despite having the car since 8am this morning, I just got a call asking if they can keep it until tomorrow as they didn’t get a chance to look at it until late afternoon and now that they have they then wanted to check with the manager if they could do the tracking/camber check without charge to me (which he has, apparently, just approved) but it’s now too late to do it today :-/

    Bl00dy main dealers – what a shower.

    For what it’s worth, you could always have the castor/camber/toe angles changed a fraction to something more suitable than “standard spec”, if it continues to rub.
    I had to do that in the past with an RS Clio I had which wore tyres badly, a common approach was to slightly alter the setup to be more ‘neutral’. Practically zero effect on day-to-day driving but better more even tyre wear.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    The S-Tronic box is a 7 speed DSG, dual-clutch box in the 3.0 TDi A6. The bi-turbo 3.0 model uses a more traditional torque converter auto and is 8 speed.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Bl00dy AUDI main dealers – what a shower.

    FIFY – its an Audi thing. I’d happily buy another but keep main dealer work to a minimum. For the different car manufacturers I have had they are worst.

    Good news its being sorted.

    johndoh
    Member

    Good news its being sorted.

    Yep – there is that. 🙂

    johndoh
    Member

    So despite saying they would do the work first thing this morning, they didn’t start it until 1pm (ohh and I got a nice video sent to me of the car inspection – whoop-de-do).

    Now they have just called to ask me if I want a complimentary wash and vac. Hell yes because I can see from the ‘inspection video’ that you have parked it up somewhere very muddy as the tyres are caked in it and there were big mud splashes up the side (I would be interested in knowing how *that* happened)…

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    ohh and I got a nice video sent to me of the car inspection

    Even Ford do that these days… agree pointless. To me they may have well just send a video with £££ signs on it trying to justify replacing stuff that didn’t need it.

    What have they said anyhow?

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    there were big mud splashes up the side (I would be interested in knowing how *that* happened)…

    They’ve got to take it for a joy ride test drive to see how fast it will go make sure everything’s working properly.

    johndoh
    Member

    They haven’t said anything yet – just told me it is ready so I am going down to speak directly with them after work.

    wzzzz
    Member

    OP you are a little confused.

    Wheel alignment or geometry comprises three things:

    Toe (I think you referred to this as alignment)
    Caster
    Camber

    So saying the alignment is out means some or all the above are out.

    Alignment can change due to wear on suspension components and hitting potholes etc. Even things moving a tiny fraction can cause tyre wear like your picture – most people only get it setup when they notice wear on tyres but its worth doing every time you get new tyres all round.

    It is a “wear and tear” thing, so rightly they refuse warranty. It could have been out when you bought the car, but how is anyone to know you haven’t hit a pothole or bounced up and down kerbs?

    When you get new tyres fitted, have them set the alignment. It shouldn’t cost much more than £70, many kwik fit stores have the very good idiot-proof hunter laser system to do this, and you’ll get a print out of before and after to show the setting in spec.

    Wherever you take it make sure they check and set caster, camber and toe on the front and rear axles, not just the toe.

    johndoh
    Member

    how is anyone to know you haven’t hit a pothole or bounced up and down kerbs?

    But all four tyres have worn in the same way – I don’t accept I could have done anything to cause that. If I had hit a pothole it could thrown one corner out, but not the whole set.

    And the tyres that wore out were the original set from new and the level of wear on the inside edge suggests the camber has been way out for a long time (I would suggest from new).

    I do accept that ‘camber’ is part of the wheel alignment though.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    As I suggested take it to a tyre specialist (or Audi if price is sensible) in 12 months and ask them to rotate tyres and recheck alignment stuff. Enjoy the car, I miss mine.

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    Don’t let them wash it! Probably use some gritty sponge or brush and swirl up your paint..

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