Audi Q7 (4L) 2005-2015

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With the first generation Audi Q7 you can tow things, transport things, travel long distances comfortably and even go to the forest – for some mushrooms perhaps? Well, you can! Since it has a very good standard 4 wheel drive system and a height adjustable adaptive air suspension – most cars have this feature, but it was optional.

This very first Audi SUV shares the same but slightly modified platform with the first generation Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. But since the Q7 is longer it was available as a 7 seater version too. However unlike the Cayenne or Touareg, the Q7 doesn’t have a low range gearbox neither locking differentials, so except the 4WD and air suspension it lacks any kind of equipment which is helpful off the road. So going to the forest is a good idea only if the roads are not too “off-road-ish”.

Interior

Equipment

The equipment of these cars may vary a lot (the same way as in other German cars).

For example, cars sold in Europe can be sometimes really poorly equipped with only the standard equipment which contains for example a horrible looking standard monochromatic MMI screen, standard manually adjustable fabric seats, power windows or the… well, and then nothing else basically. On the other side, the optional equipment list was long enough which means, that except some fancy stuff like soft-close doors, night vision, massage seats or the latest modern features the first owner could spec his car with things like:

  • navigation system (updated from 2009 after facelift)
  • leather seats
  • blind spot monitoring system
  • adaptive cruise control
  • wealthy looking full leather interior-with leather dash, door panels and center console
  • alcantara headliner
  • rear seat entertainment package (with screens in the front headrests for the rear passengers)
  • electrically adjustable steering column
  • heated steering wheel
  • panoramic sunroof
  • keyless entry & start
  • double glazed windows
  • a good Bose sound system
  • a more impressive 14 speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • heated rear seats
  • 4-zone automatic AC
  • and so on…

Build quality & materials

The build quality is overall good and I would say that it’s better than in the 1st gen Touareg. However there are some weak spots like the:

  • rear seats-which can often make a rattling noise on bad quality roads
  • the front center armrest often creaks
  • rattling & ticking noises from the panoramic sunroof are common too

All the plastic parts in the interior are fairly durable, but again there are weak spots like:

  • the keyless start stop buttons surface can be worn
  • the windows switches can be worn (mainly on the drivers side door panel)
  • the metallic trim around the shifter often starts “bubbling”

Other stuff

space

The interior with the trunk space is overall really spacious so the passengers can’t really complain. However I have to mention that the headroom is not that generous like in the 1st gen. Touareg or in a Range Rover L322. + the trunk space also lacks vertical space, so be ready that putting a bit higher stuff in it vertically is gonna be challanging.

visibility

The visibility from the interior is not the best. The side windows are pretty short(-compared to the 1st gen. Touareg or Range Rover L322), the visibility to the back is not good and the dash is mounted pretty high. So overall you will feel a bit more like sitting in a tank mainly compared to the second gen. Q7. + there are the very wide frontal A-pillar sections which will hide a lot of things on the road – so be ready for that.

(2nd gen.Q7 on the LEFT, 1st gen. Q7 on the RIGHT)

On the other side I have to mention the big exterior rear view mirrors which are practical !

Body, paintjob, rust protection

body

The body of this Q7 is rigid enough, so you won’t hear much noises of body flexing – UNLESS you drive a car with the panoramic sunroof or a very high mileage car. In these cases you can expect slight noises of body flexing on uneven pavements.

paintjob

The paintjob on these cars is really durable, so it will look good even after many years and mileage – if the previous owner has not neglected the car completely.

rust protection

The rust protection on these cars is on a very good level, so you most probably won’t find cars with a lot of rust or with holes in the body. But there are some weak spots, so:

  • rust around the door handles is common
  • slight rust on the rear door edges is common too
  • check the inside & outside parts of the rear fenders
  • check the tailgate for corrosion spots

Possible problems

1. Wiper arm

The first possible issue is related to the front windscreen wipers. Interestingly the passenger side wiper arm can simply break which can be an unpleasant surprise during driving in the rain.

2. Keyless door handles

Then it’s good to check the keyless entry feature if the car is equipped with it. The keyless sensors in the handles and the small black button on them(-which locks the car) can fail. In this case you have to buy a new handle, or you can try to find a used one. But remember that the faulty keyless entry handles can drain the battery!

3. ECU dead as a rock

The engine ECU is located right under the windshield → it’s not protected very well → so the water can drip on it → and eventually leak into it → thus destroying it completely. (facelifted cars should have an additional cover on the ECU fitted from the factory – but to be sure it’s better check it out if it’s really there or not)

4. Blower motor

The next thing on the list is the blower motor which can simply stop working, but it can also make squeaking/chirping noises. To prolong the lifetime of the motor and to get rid of the noises you can remove it and clean it. But if it’s completely dead then you will have to replace it. The motor is located behind the glove box so replacing it is not very hard + you can save money if you buy a cheaper aftermarket part.

5. Tail lights

The before facelift cars can have issues with the regular non-LED taillights. The bulbs in them will often keep burning out or they simply won’t work. To fix this: first try to pull up a bit and clean the bottom contact in the bulb socket → to make a firmer contact with the bottom of the bulb. If this won’t help then most probably you will have to replace the wiring harness.

6. Power tailgate

Check the electronically operated tailgate as well. If it’s not closing properly then most probably the latch on the tailgate or the electronic striker plate mounted on the body will be faulty. The main electric motors near the tailgate hinges are usually fine, but they are not gonna last forever – so over time they will get weaker. If they get weaker they won’t be able to close or open the tailgate correctly. To prolong the lifetime of the motors replace the gas struts in time which will obviously get weaker over time.

The next issue related to the tailgate is the tailgate closing/lamp switch which can fail. This switch is mounted under the middle part of the cargo area edge chrome trim. If it fails you get a tailgate open warning even if it’s closed + instead of the main tailgate lamps – only the small narrow secondary rear lights on bumper are gonna work. switch part number: 4L0959121 video how to replace this switch

7. Rear windscreen wiper motor

You should also check if the rear windscreen wiper and washer system is working properly. Over time the seals inside the rear wiper motor fail → thus letting the washer fluid to leak into the motor itself → which will obviously destroy the motor.

8. Steering lock

The electronic steering lock can fail and in this case you won’t be able to start the car. For more information about this check out this video about this specific issue

9. MMI

2 main causes why the MMI multimedia system stops working:

Because of the position of the front cup holders there are cases when owners simply spilled drinks onto the MMI control panel. Because of this the panel can fail and the MMI system stops working. In this case you have to change this control panel or just buy a new circuit board for the panel and replace only the circuit board – which is a much cheaper solution.

Another common cause why the MMI multimedia system stops working is because of a failed amplifier – which fails because of a well known water leak. So as in the other cars: the water will cause premature death of some of the electronic modules and I don’t think you would like any of that!

There are basically 3 well known sources of water leaks into the interior:

1. AC evaporator drain hose

The AC evaporator drain hose located under the glove box can sometimes get clogged. In this case the water will leak onto the passenger side carpet. Luckily it’s not hard to clean this drain hose: → just remove the plastic cover under the glove box, slide off the AC evap. rubber tube → clean it with compressed air or with some edge trimmer line → and that’s it.

2. Scuttle / Plenum drains

The next possible source of water leak are the clogged drains under the windshield, causing again – water in the front footwell. Basically, dried out leaves and other shit will accumulate in the scuttle area under the windshield over time. There are 2 rubber drain plugs behind each front wheel well cover on both sides of the car – which drain the water from this scuttle area. Now, these rubber inserts get clogged and this will cause the water to accumulate in the scuttle area which will eventually leak into the interior. But not only that, since if the water somehow reaches the engine ECU (which is located in this area) then there is a high chance that the water leaks into it and it will destroy it !! So occasionally just remove these rubber plugs and flush the area with water + clean the scuttle area from the upper side to avoid experiencing these issues.

3. Sunroof drains

And the lastly, the most expensive water leak is caused by the infamous sunroof drains:

There are 4 drain tubes in each corner of the big 3 part panoramic sunroof, and they can leak:

  • Either because the drain tubes are clogged with dirt which is not a big surprise
  • But also because of the upper plastic endings of the drain tubes → which simply get a little loose over time creating a gap around the connection → which allows the water to leak not just into, but also onto the drain hose

The front drain tubes allow the water to collect in the front footwell area and the rear drain tubes allow the water to drip in the trunk spare tire area and most importantly → right onto the amplifier which is located on the right side of the trunk. The failed amp will cause issues with the MMI multimedia system like: no sound, random rebooting, it can drain the battery or the whole system will not work at all.

MMI modules

Keep in mind that all the MMI modules are connected with fiber optics so if one module is completely faulty, then the whole system will not work at all. If you don’t know which module is faulty then you can purchase a fiber optic loop bypass connector which will help you to find the faulty module. But remember, sometimes even two modules can be faulty at the same time so in that case you have to buy more bypass loops.

If you don’t know which module is faulty, then you have to check all the modules by disconnecting each module and connecting the specific module wire to the bypass connector. So for example if your MMI is not working and you connect the amplifier wire to the bypass loop and the MMI starts working but without sound, then the amp is faulty.

And another funny thing – if you want to replace the amplifier for example with a new or used one, then you will have to bring it to the dealer or to someone who is able to code it specifically to your car. But it’s also possible to repair it and in this case there is no need to code it since it’s the same amp.

Also keep in mind that various electronic gremlins can pop up at low battery voltage! + when putting in a new battery – you should do a recalibration/new coding of it via the diagnostic computer, since the battery management system acts differently to a new battery!

But let’s go back to the loose drain connections and how to fix them. First you have to access them by removing some of the parts of the headliner. Then you can fix the connections freestyle basically, so you can put some glue into the gaps or cut off the faulty connection, heat up the drain tube and put the connection inside the drain tube. At the end any fix is better than no fix.

Suspension

This Q7 was available with the:

  • standard coilover suspension
  • adaptive air suspension

The standard suspension is fine enough if you don’t want to deal with funny and annoying issues in the future. In this case you can’t adjust the ride height and the stiffness of the shocks-so putting 19 or 20 inch wheels on a car is gonna reduce the ride comfort a lot, unless you are gonna use the car on good quality roads. But all you have to replace at some point are the worn shocks and struts in the future.

The air suspension is indeed a lot more complex, but considering it’s complexity it is still fairly reliable. With this suspension type you can adjust the ride height and the stiffness of the damping. In this case putting 19 or 20 inch wheels on a car is not gonna cause a disaster. However I have to add that even in comfort mode the suspension is not that soft as I would expect. Anyway. If you buy a Q7 with air suspension, then you have to be ready to replace the various parts of it which will fail at some point:

  • the air compressor will fail
  • the height sensor link rods are gonna seize up and eventually break
  • sticking residual pressure valves can occur too causing that one side of the car will be higher or lower (this valve is on top of each air strut and there is special socket for removing this valve – VAG T10158 /1)
  • the air struts will leak at some point

In cars equipped with the air suspension you can adjust the ride height and the stiffness of the damping.

Compared to other similar cars there are not that many cases of leaking air struts-because these specific air struts are the most durable air strut type which you can have in a passenger car. However even the highest quality part will fail at some point, so they will obviously start to leak sooner or later mainly because of the age, not because of high mileage. In other words: on cars which are older than 10-15 years I would be definitely ready to replace them because of the leaks.

Other suspension parts

Most of the other suspension parts (control arms, bushings, ball joints, wheel bearings) are durable, but coming to 200 000 km some of them can be worn out. Specifically the front drop links are a weak point of the suspension-worn drop links will cause rattling noises from the front, but they are easy and cheap to replace.

Also be ready that because of the big weight the tires and brakes are gonna wear out faster than on smaller cars!

Brakes

This car was available with:

  • standard steel brakes
  • optional carbon-ceramic brakes

The ceramic brakes are awesome, powerful and they really can withstand a lot-even more than 200 000 km. BUT they are not gonna last forever and a complete set of brand new genuine ceramic brakes costs more than $20 000. The good thing is that it is possible to convert these ceramic brakes to conventional steel brakes + if you buy a car with less than 150 000 km then you should still have a good amount of life left on the brakes.

Petrol engines

carbon build up & faulty injectors

All the petrol engines are equipped with direct injection, so the well known problems with carbon build up or faulty injectors will occur. Ignition coils can fail as well-causing misfires, but this is nothing new.

-Every 200 000 km it’s good to check the intake valves for carbon build up / eventually clean them. At this mileage there can be already a noticeable amount of carbon on the intake valves – but this of course depends on how the previous owner used the car and how often he changed the oil.

Excessive carbon build up symptoms: cold start misfires, misfires in general.

-Every 200 000 km it’s good to check the injectors too. The injectors should be fine up to approx. 200 000 km, but at this mileage point it’s good to check them / test them / or replace them preventively.

Faulty/clogged injector symptoms: misfires in general, jerking during acceleration, in worst case the injector can get stuck in closed or open position-overfueling the cylinder or causing damage to the catalytic converter for example.

cam adjustment solenoids

Mainly the 3.6 l and the 4.2 l engines can have faulty camshaft adjustment solenoids. Usually they get stuck because of long oil change intervals → in this case you get fault codes for the camshaft position, misfires or fluctuating/bouncing idle.

The 6 cylinder engines have two of them and the 4.2 l V8 has 4 of these solenoids, but interestingly replacing them is much easier on the V8 engine than on the 3.6 l motor. Sometimes you can get slight oil leak from them as well, but in this case there is no need to replace them completely, you just need to change a small o ring on them.


3.6 FSI

Oil pump bolt

The 3.6 l, 6 cylinder engine is not bad, but in cars made to 2007 it can have issues with the oil pump bolt. Basically, the oil pump sprocket bolt can break or it just becomes loose over time causing loose sprocket → loose timing chain and in the worst case → a destroyed engine! This is not extremely common, but it can sometimes happen on low mileage as well as on high mileage cars. They say that the bolt they used is not strong enough + it was not torqued properly from the factory on some cars. Interestingly, cars made from 2008 do have updated stronger oil pump bolt so they won’t have this issue.

All in all, if you want to preventively change this bolt on cars made to 2007 then you can – but you have to remove the engine to access it, so keep extra money for this.

HPFP fuel leak

This engine has one high pressure fuel pump. The pump itself is usually fine, but as it gets older at some point it will slowly start to leak fuel from the solenoid valve on the side. The same pump is mounted on the 4.2 FSI engine so more info about this you can find below.


4.2 FSI

Then there is the 4.2 l V8 FSI which can have some more issues:

HPFP fuel leak

This engine has two high pressure fuel pumps which are located on the top of the engine, so replacing them is pretty easy and they usually don’t fail completely. These are the good things. Now the bad things: at some point they will slowly start to leak fuel from the solenoid valve on the side. You can’t buy just the solenoid unit itself as a spare part, so you have to buy the complete pump which costs around $300. And if one of the pumps starts to leak then don’t worry, because the other will sooner or later leak as well. Long story short you should definitely occasionally check them, since in some cases they started to leak even after 140 000 km. high pressure fuel pump fuel leak location video

Oil & coolant leaks

Then you can expect oil and coolant leaks. However, in this case-because of the lack of space, you have to remove the whole engine if you want to fix certain leaks (engine out job: rear timing chain cover leak or the spark plug tube seals leak)

Coolant leak which can kill the 4.2 FSI engine

The rear timing chain covers of this engine do have a hole in them thru which the coolant flows. This would be fine, but it’s not. It’s not fine, since the coolant seal on these covers can fail and let the coolant leak directly into the engine-into the oil. Long story short: If you don’t catch this early then you will end up with a destroyed engine.

Variable intake manifold

There is a variable intake manifold mounted on top of this engine which helps to increase the power, but it is a complicated piece of shit. And why? Well, mainly because of the plastic insides, but long story short:

  • the inside of the intake manifold gets dirty over time
  • the plastic bits in it are gonna get brittle – break – and fall apart (eventually the bits can be sucked into the cylinders IN THE WORST CASE-so rarely)
  • the 2 electric actuators mounted on front of the manifold can fail too

However cars made from 2009 (very late 2008) have an updated more simpler plastic intake manifold which should not cause issues. /the old problematic intake manifold is made from aluminum & magnesium alloy, the newer reliable is made from plastic/

Overall I would recommend to keep at least $6 000 if you want to choose this engine.

The only good thing is, that most of these issues are gonna occur usually just after 200 000 – 250 000 km.

In this engine you should be prepared to change the timing chain and the plastic guides too – after 200 000 km, but I will come back to this topic a little later.


3.0 TFSI

This engine doesn’t have any extraordinary issues, except:

  • direct injection related problems
  • leaking water pump
  • + it can have issues with oil consumption

Lastly, it’s important to:

  • check all the fluid levels before buying
  • check the coolant: it has to be topped up, clean and pink without any oil smell or oil traces (check the coolant only while the engine is cold !!!)
  • start the car when it’s cold and check for an uneven idle or shaking which indicates misfires, the engine has to run smoothly all the time

“All petrol engines: expect vacuum leaks and faulty PCV.”

“All petrol engines: the exhaust flexible pipe will break at some point so check it before buying.”

Diesel engines

3.0 TDI

This Q7 was available with 3 types of the 3.0 TDI V6 diesel engine:

  • 3.0 TDI (BUG, BUN engine code)
  • 3.0 TDI (CA…, CC… engine code)
  • 3.0 TDI (CJ…, CR…, CL…, CN… engine code)

Older 3.0 TDI (BUG, BUN, CA…, CC…)

This is the oldest-first version of the 3.0 TDI engine. The BUG, BUN engine code version is the oldest type which you can recognize by the plastic intake manifold. However there is also a newer version with the engine code which starts with CA or CC. This newer type has a metallic intake manifold and a newer fuel injection system. Other than this it’s essentially the same engine with only some very minor differences. Thats why these engines have almost the same issues:

variable intake manifolds

-The variable intake manifold flaps are gonna fail at some point. The flaps can be stuck, loose or the actuator motors can be faulty. In this case you get only a check engine light, so the car will drive fine. The whole intake manifold part is obviously expensive but you can find repair kits for a much reasonable price + you can buy the actuator motors separately as well.

crank pulley

-It’s also good to check and eventually replace the crankshaft pulley vibration damper mainly in cars which were used on winter salty roads. Since over time the inner part of the pulley will rust out and separate from the outer part. This will leave you stranded because the accessory belt will jump off so it’s better to check this pulley before you will wonder what the hell happened.

oil leaks

The common oil leaks of these engines are related to the:

  • valve cover gaskets
  • upper injector seals
  • rear main seal
  • oil filter housing seals (between the cylinder heads)
  • oil cooler seals (between the cylinder heads on high mileage cars)

coolant leaks

The common coolant leaks of these engines are related to the:

  • specific o-rings near the EGR cooler (between the cylinder heads)
  • tiny plastic pipe on top of the engine
  • the thermostat and water pump are gonna leak at some point (but this is nothing special)

check the coolant before buying

Lastly there are occasionally cases of cracked cylinder heads or leaking head gaskets on these V6 units. In my opinion it’s because the owners don’t wait until the engine is warmed up properly and since this is not the most powerful engine and the Q7 is heavy, they rev the engine a lot when it’s still cold → and this can result in the already mentioned issues. Because of this I would highly recommend to at least check the coolant while the engine is still cold. It has to be clean, topped up and you shouldn’t see any oil in it.

With a cold engine look into the coolant tank with a lamp and also smell the coolant for oil. If the coolant is not pink and clean, and if there are traces of oil → then just walk away.

Newer 3.0 TDI (CJ…, CR…, CL…, CN…)

This is the newest version of the 3.0 TDI engine. This newest type has:

  • a different looking plastic intake manifold
  • more plastic parts
  • different layout on top of the engine
  • newer timing chain design
  • an updated fuel injection system

The engine code of this version starts with CJ, CR, CL or CN. On these engines you can expect similar but slightly different issues than on the older 3.0 TDI versions:

popped out fuel injectors

There are cases of popped out fuel injectors because of the snapped bolt on the injector in cars which have more than 100 000 km. So, it’s good to occasionally check these bolts or preventively replace them if you want.

crank pulley

Check and eventually replace the crankshaft pulley vibration damper, since over time the inner part of the pulley will rust out and separate from the outer part-the same way as on older 3.0 TDI engines.

oil & coolant leaks

These engines are prone to various leaks as well, so be ready for oil and coolant leaks because of failed seals/o-rings located between the cylinder heads. + there is also a plastic coolant valve located between the cylinder heads which will leak coolant sooner or later. Fixing these leaks is not the easiest since you will have to remove almost everything from the top of the engine which is pretty time consuming.

4.2 TDI

The 4.1 l V8 TDI is a pretty damn good engine actually, and it’s also reasonably reliable. So if you want enough power to overtake most of the cars on the road, but you also want an acceptable fuel consumption then choose this engine. If it’s maintained properly and used mainly on longer journeys then it can easily whitstand 400 000 km without major repairs. BUT it is a big and complex engine so fixing the various leaks is not gonna be the cheapest + it has 2 turbochargers which are usually ok, however in cars which have more than 300 000 km or in the more abused cars they will fail.

6.0 V12

If you want something special, impressive and insane at the same time then choose the rare 6.0 l V12 TDI. The reliability of this V12 is basically the same as the reliability of the V8 – so it doesn’t have unexpected major problems and it can reach 400 000 km without major repairs. Just keep in mind that:

-it has 12 injectors and 2 high pressure fuel pumps (this stuff is gonna fail at some point: one new injector – 700 € x12)

-there is a bigger chance that the previous owner abused it, which can result in various surprise issues like: leaking head gasket, cracked cylinder head or worn turbochargers

-if it will leak oil or coolant then most probably the engine will have to come out to fix those leaks, because there is not much space around the engine

-cars equipped with this engine have carbon-ceramic brakes as standard which can withstand 250 000 km or even 300 000 km, but they are very expensive to replace (19 000 € to replace all the discs and pads) However you can convert these brakes to regular steel brakes.

-because of the additional few hundred kg of engine weight and because of the huge wheels which are fitted on these models standardly, the suspension components (bushings, control arms or wheel bearings) are gonna be worn earlier than on the models with the regular engines

+most of the mechanics have never seen this engine (not even on a picture), so they will refuse to work on it

All in all, most of these V12 cars currently for sale have around 200 000 km. If you want to buy one with a mileage like this then:

  • check properly the engine for leaks
  • make sure there is no smoke from the exhaust at idle or at acceleration after warming up – which will indicate faulty injectors
  • at this mileage keep extra money to replace the injectors and turbochargers
  • check the remaining life of the brakes, check them for damage and keep extra money for at least the brake pads / or be ready to convert them to regular steel brakes
  • check the coolant – it has to be clean without oil traces or oil smell
  • the engine has to work perfectly smooth all the time

If the car is in good condition, then with the proper maintenance and use it can most probably withstand another 50 000 km – 100 000 km without big issues (and you can tow space shuttles with that much power).

Faulty Injectors + HPFP

All diesel engines can have/are gonna have faulty injectors at some point – usually after 200 000 km be ready for this failure. In this case you can most of the time notice a couple of signs like the: occasional light grey smoke from the exhaust while acceleration or at idle, and also a slightly bouncing idle/fluctuating RPM when the engine is warmed up, eventually issues when starting the engine-long cranking and shit.

If you want to minimize issues with the injectors and high pressure fuel pumps, then it’s really important to use only high quality premium diesel fuel/eventually some good quality additives.

CP4 high pressure fuel pump failure

All the newer diesel engines (except the oldest 3.0 TDI – BUG, BUN engine codes) are equipped with the infamous CP4 high pressure fuel pump which can sometimes fail even after 150 000 km (MOSTLY JUST in Eastern EU or US). However it can also last more than 400 000 km, so it’s more or less a lottery and nobody knows when will it fail (it can last 150 000 km, 250 000 km but also even 450 000 km). If it fails it will throw small metal particles in the fuel system-thus destroying itself + the injectors and sometimes these particles will contaminate the fuel tank as well. More information about this failure in this BMW X5 article. However you can:

  • remove and disassemble the HPFP to check the condition of the internal parts-if they do show signs of wear or not
  • use good quality fuel/eventually good fuel additives to prolong the lifetime of the pump and minimize the complete failure
  • replace it preventively
  • pray or hope that it won’t fail soon

Timing chain

All of the engines are equipped with timing chains. The tensioners and the plastic guides can be worn + the chain can be stretched a bit, but mostly just after 200 000 km. Now, in this case you get the well known short rattle at cold start so check for this rattle before buying!

But the funny thing is that there aren’t many catastrophic engine failures because of the timing chains. I’m not saying that there aren’t any at all because they are, but they really are not that common – at least amongst the diesel engines. (the petrol engines can more often end up with failed chain mechanism, at least in my personal humble experience)

In real life a good amount of owners with rattling chains can’t be bothered to replace them, so they are testing the chains lifetime this way. Although, again, I have to add that a rattling chain on a petrol engine is gonna most probably fail sooner than later!

All in all, the chain can rattle a month and then it can jump a teeth – making the engine run like garbage, or you suddenly end up with a destroyed engine. But it can also rattle for a couple of years without other problems-on the diesel engines. At the end of the day it’s up to you, if you want to push your luck with a rattling engine or not, but at 300 000 km I would definitely recommend replacing it if the car still has the original chain from the factory!

The timing chains are located on the back side of the engine so you have to remove the engine+gearbox to change them.

Transmissions

This Q7 can be equipped with the:

  • older 6 speed automatic gearbox
  • newer 8 speed automatic gearbox
  • the 3.6 l petrol engine was available with a very, very, VERY RARE 6 speed manual as well

The automatic transmissions can usually withstand a long time – but check them properly before buying. They should change gears smoothly without slipping, hesitation or fluctuating RPM. + after 200 000 – 250 000 km the torque converter can show signs of wear-mainly if the previous owner never changed the oil in the gearbox, or if the car was used a lot for towing (bad torque converter symptoms: fluctuating RPM, slipping, hesitation, shuddering/vibration at slight acceleration).

+check the electric connectors on the gearbox for oil leaks – if they leak oil, then you will have to replace the wiring harness inside the gearbox since you can’t replace just the leaky connectors.

It’s also important to check the fluid level in the differentials and change it regularly! The old or low differential fluid will kill the differentials over time.

+change the oil in the transfer case too since there are cases of transfer case failures which a regular oil change can minimize !

To summarize things up:

  • from the petrol engines the 3.6 FSI is the most reasonable choice, the 3.0 TFSI is not bad either but its more complex
  • from the diesel engines the most reasonable is the 3.0 TDI but if you have more money to spend then the 4.2 TDI is great
  • check the car properly for traces of water/moisture in the interior
  • buy only a car with a proper maintenance history
  • find a good independent mechanic
  • change all the fluids in time
  • keep at least 3 000 € for the possible repairs, and if you are buying a car with more than 200 000 km then you should keep twice as much money

And if you have personal experience with this car or more information about it, then you can write it into comments!

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