3rd Generation Audi A3 Maintenance and Cost
The basic mechanics are durable, but meticulous maintenance is a must. The EA888 engine and S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission last well, but the former needs its oil topped up frequently - even between scheduled services - to remain reliable, and the latter runs wet clutches, so the fluid must be replaced every 40,000 miles according to Audi. Any transmission work is expensive and both the clutches and mechatronics unit will last longer if the transmission gets clean oil frequently, so never postpone transmission oil changes. The S tronic transmission has dual wet clutch packs that will probably not cost much less than $2,000 to replace when they're worn out. Always keep the vehicle stationary on inclines using the footbrake and never by applying the throttle, because this causes the clutches to slip, wearing them out faster. Check the water pump/thermostat housing periodically, because it can crack and coolant loss can lead to overheating and engine damage.
The normal lubrication service is performed every 10,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first, but you can be almost sure that the EA888 engine will require top-ups in between. Check oil weekly and keep it topped up to prevent running low on oil and accelerating wear. It is recommended that you reduce oil-change intervals to 5,000 miles if you are operating your vehicle under severe conditions, such as in freezing temperatures and/or on dusty roads. On the A3 quattro models, the oil in the AWD system's clutch pack should be replaced every three years, regardless of mileage, the engine's air filter must be replaced every 60,000 miles, and the cabin filter every 20,000 miles or two years. The brake fluid must be renewed every two years.