More than twenty-five years ago Audi car sales took a nose dive after Audi was wrongfully accused of making cars that accelerated on their own. US sales dropped from 75,000 to 15,000. (See note 1.)
Now Audi is riding high and is on pace to sell over 117,500 cars in the U.S. this year and over a million cars a year worldwide.
Audi has gone back to its roots in car racing and has done extremely well. They are giving BMW, who sells twice as many cars as Audi, a run for the money!
Servicing and repairing an Audi is much like any other European vehicle. They require a little more maintenance, and like any sports sedan, they require replacing the tires and brakes more often.
In fact, the brakes and tires installed on an Audi are designed to give maximum performance rather than longevity.
The coupling of outstanding performance along with safety are what makes Audi such a great vehicle.
You can understand why Audis rate highly on the safety scale just by taking a look at some of the safety features included on the 2013 Audi A4:
- Electronic stability control.
- Traction control, anti lock brakes and brake assist.
- Front and rear side impact air bags and curtain air bags.
- Rear parking sensors.
- Blind spot monitoring.
Another safety feature they added for the 2013 interior makeover is knee level air bags for the driver and the front passenger.
All this is available for around $35,000 --not bad for a high end sports sedan. This is real competition for the BMW 328.
Audi is a fun vehicle to drive, and with regular preventive maintenance it will last many years.
I am glad to see that Audi is doing well in the US after the unfair accusations of the late 1980's.
If you are looking for a place to service your Audi, like most makes and models, we service and repair Audis right here in Columbia, MD at British American Auto Care.
Note 1: Independent investigators concluded that the acceleration was most likely due to driver incompetence, where the driver let their foot slip off the brake and onto the accelerator. Tests by Audi and independent journalists showed that even with the throttle wide open, the car would simply stall if the brakes were actually being used.
Photo courtesy of HighTechDad
Our cars can provide us with a lot of information about the condition of the brakes. There are systems in place to warn us about:
- The parking brake being left on.
- The brake pads wearing out.
- A hydraulics failure or brake fluid leak.
- A computer controlled anti-lock brake system failure.
Here's a summary of these four warning systems along with the action you should take if the any of these warnings happen with your vehicle. But, let me caution you, if you have any doubt as to whether the brakes are working or whether you can safely stop the car, don't drive; have the car towed.
- Emergency or Parking Brake Left On - When you park your vehicle, you should always apply the parking brake. When the car is on and the parking brake is in use, a warning light on you dashboard will be illuminated. In many cars, this light says "BRAKE".
Ideally, you will notice this warning light letting you know you need to release the parking brake, before you take off driving! Driving with the parking brake on can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the braking system, and accelerate the need for repairs. If you are driving and your car feels very sluggish, check to ensure that the brake light isn't on.
Action: The corrective action for this one is simple -- Release the parking brake, and the light should go out. If it doesn't read on to discover what the problem may be.
- Brake Pads Wearing Out - Some vehicles have a light that comes on to tell us the brake pads are getting low. (Be aware, on many vehicles, this is same light as the parking brake light. If you've already checked to ensure the parking brake is off then the brake pads may be the problem.) Other cars have a sound warning device; when the pads are low a high pitched noise is heard. This noise normally goes away when the brakes are lightly applied.
Action: Call a repair shop and ask for a complete brake inspection.
- Hydraulics Failure or Brake Fluid Leak - If your brake warning light stays on or comes on while you are driving this can signal a possible hydraulic system issue. It could also mean the brake fluid is low, and/or you have a brake fluid leak. (Again, this warning light may be the same as the parking brake light.)
Action: If your brakes are performing normally drive to a repair shop, and ask for a complete brake inspection. If the brake pedal feels soft or is low, stop driving! Have your vehicle towed to an auto repair shop for brake service.
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Light On - This light warns that there is an issue with the computer system that stops the brakes from locking when braking hard. Often this warning light shows up on the dashboard as "ABS".
Action: It's ok to drive, but be aware that the antilock brake system allows you to steer to avoid an accident while braking hard by preventing the wheels from locking. You should be extra cautious until the problem is fixed. Be sure to make an appointment to have your antilock braking system checked as soon as possible.
And remember, brakes are an essential safety system on your car. Don't put off having your brakes inspected when you become aware that there is a problem. Better yet, have preventative maintenance preformed on your car at regular intervals, and your brakes will be inspected and maintained as part of that service.
If you are unsure about what your brake warning lights look like or where they are on your vehicle's dashboard, just check your owner's manual.
Do you think you might have a problem with your brakes? You can make an appointment online to have your car serviced by clicking the link below.