There are a number of known Audi A4 B7 engine problems common to both the 2.0T and 3.2 models, but there was no 2006-2009 Audi A4 engine recall for any of them. Most of these issues relate to their direct fuel-injection system. The most common 2006-2009 Audi A4 fuel-pump problems relate to the high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP) that is driven by a dedicated cam lobe on the intake camshaft, which actuates a cam follower to drive the pump.
This cam follower is prone to premature wear, which, if left unchecked, could end up damaging the camshaft and eventually cause complete engine failure. The fuel pump's output will diminish, and the diagnostic codes P0089 and P0090 should appear in the on-board diagnostic scan. On any 2006-2009 Audi A4, error codes P0170, P0171, P0172, P0173, P0174, P0175, P0193, P1111, indicate incorrect air-fuel mixtures, when it measures so far outside of parameters that the control unit cannot compensate adequately. These error codes could also serve as indication that the HPFP or its cam follower is not performing as needed.
The importance of frequent oil changes for both the 2.0T and 3.2 engines cannot be overstated because oil sludge forming in the sump is a major cause of engine failure in these cars. This sludge will reduce the oil pump's ability to supply adequate oil pressure to various engine components, leading to bearing and camshaft damage on both engines, premature turbo failure on the 2.0T, and inadequate oil pressure in the all-important cam chain tensioners of the 3.2.
Other 2006-2009 Audi A4 engine problems with direct ties to the fuel-injection system include carbon build-up in the intake system. Because the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber, it cannot clean the intake ports and valves in the same way as a port-injection system would. Over time, this will lead to carbon deposits in the intake system, which will cause reduced engine performance and increased fuel consumption.
Carbon build-up also causes a secondary problem in these engines, because they're both equipped with tumble-generating valves in their intake manifolds. As the carbon gunk collects in the intake system, the movement of these valves is compromised, again leading to a drop in performance and an increase in fuel consumption.
Despite common 2006-2009 Audi A4 oil consumption problems, an oil-consumption recall was not issued. This problem is usually caused by defective crankcase-ventilation valves, which will allow undiluted oil vapors to enter the engine's intake system, from where it will be burned with fuel and air as part of the combustion process. Left unchecked, this will lead to irreparable damage to the catalyst. Combined with the direct-injection system, this oil contamination of the intake air will lead to even more carbon or soot buildup in the intake system as well. 2.0T engines will also experience a significant loss in performance if the crankcase-ventilation valve malfunctions, as this will leak turbo boost.
Oil-filter housings on these engines are made of plastic, which means that they will only survive for a finite number of engine heat cycles. Expect to change it around 60,000 miles, as its gaskets will start leaking around that time, and removing the housing to change its gasket will likely cause cracks in the oil-filter housing as well. Fortunately, there are few owner's reports of 2006-2009 Audi A4 oil-level sensor problems, so owners should receive prior warning if the oil level drops below acceptable levels.
Coil packs are also known to fail, sometimes at very low mileage. Audi has released updated coil packs over the years but never issued a 2006-2009 Audi A4 coil pack recall, so it will be best to replace all coils with the latest versions when you encounter this problem - if one coil fails, the others won't be far behind.
Audi A4 B7 thermostat problems have also been reported, and can also combine with cracked plastic thermostat housings. This is, fortunately, an easy and comparatively inexpensive repair, but be sure to catch this problem before any serious engine damage can occur.
Mileage: HPFP cam followers may be worn out from as low as 35,000 miles, carbon buildup becomes a problem around 50,000 miles, crankcase-ventilation valves can malfunction from 30,000 miles, and oil-filter housings can crack from 60,000 miles. Ignition coils can fail from 30,000 miles but should generally last around 60,000 miles in unmodified cars operated in temperate conditions. Expect thermostat replacement to become due any time from 60,000 miles.
Cost: About $30 for an HPFP cam follower plus around two hours of labor to replace. Removing carbon build-up costs upwards of $300 including labor. A crankcase-ventilation valve costs about $72 for the 2.0T (OEM) and around $50 for the 3.2 (aftermarket). About $130 for a 2.0T oil-filter housing and gasket, $295 for a 3.2, and about an hour's labor for fitment. OEM ignition coils cost about $50 a piece, and can easily be replaced at home, but note that 2.0T and 3.2 coil packs differ, so ensure you have the correct replacement parts. OEM 2.0T thermostat assemblies should cost around $74, and an OEM 3.2 thermostat assembly costs $139 excluding fitment.
How to spot: HPFP cam-lobe failure will lead to reduced performance, an illuminated Check Engine Light (CEL), and ticking noises from the rear of the engine. Carbon buildup will cause CEL illumination and reduced performance. A faulty crankcase-ventilation valve will lead to excessive oil consumption and reduced performance. Cracked oil filter housings or gaskets will present as oil leaks under the engine. Coil-pack failure will lead to misfires, irregular performance, uneven idling, and CEL illumination. Thermostat failure will be indicated by fluctuating engine temperatures and thermostat housing cracks will manifest as coolant leaks at the front of the engine.