1997 Audi A3 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Crappy car and crappy service


In first 3 weeks I got steam coming out from my air conditioner; to fix that 500 Euros.

Clutch got broken; 300 Euros.

It does not pass NCT 3 times because of CO2 emissions, so that was about 800 Euro to replace the exhaust system, and it still does not pass it.

Air conditioner was working only on 2 and 4 positions.

My sunroof sometimes opened itself.

General Comments:

It is comfortable car and reasonably fast if you need that. But it gives you more problems than you expect, even when the engine is looking good.

I am really disappointed with Audi service at my local dealer. I have try to arrange a car check with them 3 times in row, and they never get back to me, but always promised to.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th October, 2008

1997 Audi A3 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


A great looking car let down by quality problems


Knocking from the steering, eventually traced to the collapsible column. Fixed by the fitting of a clamp which has come loose now and again.

Extremely annoying problem with the immobiliser stopping the car from starting - it fails to recognise the key. Almost everything has been replaced on this but the problem persists. Been back to dealer > 6 times.

Passenger seat rattles when no-one sitting in it.

Dashboard squeaks when the car warms up.

General Comments:

The car feels a very safe car, handling is excellent and the 1.6 engine can be quick when it is worked.

The dealers I have been to are helpful, it is their failure to fix problems which annoys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th February, 2001

15th May 2001, 15:54

I had exactly the same problem with the immobilizer on a 1995 A4. It started about 18 months after purchase and went back for (unsuccessful) repairs about 18 times. I finally traded it in February 2001 against an...A2! I am delighted with the A2, so far!!

17th Jul 2003, 05:58

I feel totally let down by AUDI, after saving for a second hand aUDI for a year I am now left with a heap of scrap because it will not start as the immobilizer has packed in.

Surely a recall should be put in place.

Audi uk were uninterested and expect me to pay a four figure sum to repair- never again.

16th Jan 2004, 06:54

Reading this page with disappointment and dread.

Same immobilizer problem.

Been going off and on for 3 years, now not working at all, been trying to start it for 2 days.

What do do???

Does anyone know a way to disarm it?

30th Jun 2004, 01:26

Surely any "good" auto-electrician should be able to dis-arm the immobilizer; failing that, try the crooks!

What years does this problem seem to effect?

24th Oct 2004, 03:14

Immobilizer problem also experienced with 1.9 diesel in April 2003. Car was just 3 years old and had to be collected on flat-back - twice. Eventually Audi main dealer corrected the fault. I wonder, now, if fault will recur.

15th Mar 2006, 14:35

Have an Audi A3 1.8T sport. Immobiliser light keeps coming on and won't start. Have spent £200 with audi as they said it was an ignition coil! Broke down again and now back at audi. Need to get rid of this as they don't known what is wrong with it!

13th Jun 2008, 03:57

The ABS failing would not cause the crash, when it fails you just have normal power assisted braking. The large number of problems with Audi immobilisers I read about here just goes to confirm to me that they are more trouble than they're worth!

1997 Audi A3 1.8T petrol from UK and Ireland


Nothing as yet.

General Comments:

Very elegant and sporty hatchback. Tried the 1.8 model before buying the "T" version. Sensible move. The A3 has an immensely capable chassis, which makes non-turbo petrol models slightly disappointing to drive. The 1.8T however is everything one could ask for. Overtaking couldn't be simpler.

Buy it with climate contol however. It makes driving so much more pleasant.

Only gripe is the decor of the seats. A little pubescent looking for such a mature car.

By way of conclusion, if you can afford it, get it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 1998

15th Oct 2001, 12:10

Very solid car. I have 1997 1.8.

Water pump went a few months back - about £200.

Right hand electric window stopped (down!) yesterday.

Sometimes the rear hatch handle doesn't want to unlatch the hatch; pressing the hatch down hard first cures it.

Indicator stalk faults: first didn't always cancel after right turns; replaced with a 2nd hand one; now that one goes to high beam when indicating right. And the steering column clunks around long sharp bends - a bit disconcerting, but the dealer says it's OK. However, despite all that, when going it's lovely to drive and the 1.8 is quite lively.

15th May 2005, 14:10

I am looking for A3 1.8t 1997 transmission parts. I live in Lima, Peru, and down here it's very difficult to find these parts. Any info, please send it to jvelascom@terra.com.pe.


28th Mar 2007, 13:45

Great brakes, great handling, brillant build quality.

The down sides though are difficult car to work on and 1.6 engine is gutless and headlights are poor would highly recommend 1.9tdi great engine.