When a car buyer is out on a hunt, maintenance cost is one of the biggest deciding factors. For a luxury car buyer, Audi maintenance cost is important if they are planning to step into the world of this German giant. So, if you are planning to pick up one of these, will Audi maintenance cost hurt all your financial balance?
The three German giants have always dazzled the mind of a potential car user. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi are all aspirational brands for many, just like Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, and others. Hence you may be tempted to pick a used example up. Especially when you can find a lot of them available at dirt-cheap prices.
But stepping up from an economy car to these machines come with their own drawbacks. Insuring these cars can be more expensive but the biggest expense may come from an Audi maintenance cost or any other brand for that matter. So let us see if this is as bad as what we have heard.
- What Does This Cost Include?
- How Much For An Audi?
- Average Repair Cost
- Extended Warranty
- Audi vs Rivals
What Does Maintenance Cost Include?
When we say Audi maintenance cost, what does it actually include? The maintenance cost of any vehicle has the same components. Depending on the complexity of the vehicle, each component will vary. This will greatly affect the maintenance cost.
For vehicles with expensive and complex sensors, electronics, and mechanicals manufactured to tight tolerances, maintenance cost is naturally high. Why is it so? Let us try to understand the components included in the Audi maintenance cost to get a clear idea about this.
The very first step in the maintenance of any vehicle is the diagnosis of the issue. Apart from the routine maintenance, any maintenance procedure arising out of a problem needs this step. The diagnosis is a tricky bit, and this is where most inexperienced mechanics go wrong.
Hence this is an important bit that most people overlook. In modern cars with advanced sensors and electronics, diagnosis may look fairly easy. Just hook up an OBD II scanner and voila, the codes tell you all you need to know. This is true, to a certain extent. But for a mechanic, it is necessary to know the ins and outs of conventional diagnosis to pinpoint the issue.
Using tools like OBD scanners can point to the potential pain point but it is down to the mechanic’s skill to complete diagnosis.
As mechanics are heavily paid by the hour, the longer the diagnosis takes, the higher the Audi maintenance cost will be. If your vehicle is a purely mechanical vehicle with minimal electronics, the diagnosis will take more skill. But an adept mechanic can easily spot the issue quickly.
Proper diagnosis is also important as it can reduce the other components of the Audi maintenance cost. If a part is wrongly accused of creating an issue due to improper diagnosis, replacing it is an unnecessary cost. So, it adds to the labor and parts cost as well, which we will get to in a moment.
The first step of any maintenance procedure is especially important. If the mechanic gets it wrong here, the entire process goes for a toss. You will end up with a bunch of unwanted bills and an inflated Audi maintenance cost (fun fact, also check out our explainer on how to pronounce Audi).
2. Parts Cost
The second component of Audi maintenance cost is the parts associated with the repair. The parts cost of such cars is usually on the higher side so you should be cautious with what you replace. This is where the proper diagnosis can make or break the entire maintenance procedure.
The parts cost of a vehicle depends on a bunch of factors. The brand of the vehicle is a very important factor in this. Economy car makers and budget brands price their parts in proportion to the price of their vehicles. On the other end, premium carmakers price their parts higher. That is why you cannot expect Audi maintenance costs to be lower than that of a regular Honda Accord.
Manufacturers tend to tweak the pricing of these parts based on the volume of the pieces sold with that model. This is done to justify the financial costs associated with producing those parts for a small market. The parts price can also depend on how often you must replace the parts. Parts that get replaced in routine maintenance are usually cheaper. But accidental repairs do not happen that often, hence those replacements are costlier.
Audi maintenance cost is largely influenced by the higher parts cost associated with it. If you are picking up a used Audi thinking that you can just replace the faulty parts, think again. If there is a key component that needs replacement, or if there are many small niggles that need repair, your Audi maintenance cost may be higher than what the car is worth.
3. Labor Costs
Another main component that affects the Audi maintenance cost is the labor cost. In fact, every vehicle’s maintenance cost is largely affected by the ever-increasing labor costs.
It is the amount of money paid for the skill, effort, and time of a mechanic who is working on your vehicle. This is, of course, a well-deserved remuneration for the mechanic’s time. This can be higher or lower depending on the hours she/he spends on your vehicle.
It does not depend on the cost of the parts at all. Replacing some cheap parts require dismantling a lot of components. This can end up consuming a lot of time, hence increasing the labor costs. Some expensive parts on the other hand may be extremely easy to replace. In these cases, lower labor costs. Yay!
The mechanic who is putting his/her effort and time into your vehicle should be fairly paid. This can increase your Audi maintenance cost. So, before you intend to fix an issue, your budgeting should include the labor costs as well.
4. Driving/Towing To The Nearest Service Center
If you have an Audi, especially recent examples, you have quite a complex vehicle. German luxury cars are mostly over-engineered with a labyrinth of sensors and other electronic components. To work on these cars, garages need to have specialized tools as well as technical know-how.
Sometimes, it may be slightly difficult for you to find a garage that works on such vehicles with optimum quality. Or if you only want an authorized service center to take care of your vehicle, the same situation applies. In these cases, you will have to take the vehicle over a distance to the nearest service center or garage that takes care of Audis.
If your vehicle has an issue that prevents you from driving it, towing costs to this location will also add up. So before you jump in and swoop that “sweet deal”, research and find out where you can service it. This can help you bring down the Audi maintenance cost.
As you now have a clear idea about what constitutes the Audi maintenance cost, let us dig in and find out how much it will add up to.
How Much Does Audi Maintenance Cost?
This question has an answer that depends a lot on how old your vehicle is, and what issues it harbors. Being a premium brand, you should expect Audi maintenance costs to be higher than the average.
The maintenance cost of a vehicle can be split into different parts. Routine maintenance is, of course, the most common expense you will face. Audis are not known to be extremely reliable but not very unreliable either. In this case, you will have to expect surprise repairs that will also hike the Audi maintenance cost.
To get a clear idea about this, let us look at the routine Audi maintenance cost of a popular Audi model.
1. Routine Audi Maintenance Cost
Like any brand, you cannot predict the maintenance cost of the entire Audi range in one shot. With small cars like the A3, large Luxo-barges like the A8, Q7 SUV, and Q8, and fire-breathing sports cars in their diverse lineup, it is impossible to find a specific number for the Audi maintenance cost.
Instead, let us look at a popular Audi’s maintenance cost. This should give you an idea about what to expect when you have to pay an Audi maintenance cost. Here, we have taken an Audi Q5 as an example.
All Audi vehicles are recommended to get a minor service every 10,000 miles and a regular service every 20,000 miles. The minor service will set you back by around $113, as per RepairPal. The standard service will cost you more than that. It will take away anything between $460 and $612 from your pocket.
A. Minor Maintenance
The minor maintenance service of Audi includes multiple inspections and checks that have to be done every 10,000 miles. As the frequency of this minor maintenance is high, there are no part replacements involved.
In the minor service, they check the brake pads, replace engine oil and oil filter, inspect the entire vehicle, inspect the tire repair kit and reset service reminders. Of course, the major cost here is contributed by the engine oil. Audi uses fully synthetic engine oil that costs $8 to $10 per liter. Audi engines usually require anywhere between 5 to 9 liters of oil.
B. Standard Maintenance
The standard maintenance service on the other hand requires a lot more money as it involves more detailed inspection and a few more replacements. To start with the chassis, the brake system, the fluid levels, the engine, the lighting, and other parts of the vehicle are thoroughly inspected. If any defect is found in these parts it is immediately replaced as Audi, just like other manufacturers do not bother with repairing the critical parts.
In this service, Audi replaces the oil and the oil filter, changes wiper blades if necessary (or you could learn how to put on windshield wipers), and lubricates the door hinges. As we discussed before, the total cost of standard maintenance will exceed $500 and can go up to $600. A yearly running of 20,000 miles can set you back by close to $600 to $750 in just the routine maintenance.
C. Other Routine Maintenance Procedures
Over and above the minor and standard routine services there are other services that you will have to know. Especially if you intend to keep your Audi for long, these are a few services that can take more money out of your pocket than the regular routine maintenance services.
Every two years or 20,000 miles it is necessary to replace the dust and pollen filter in your vehicle. During the same time, you will also have to change the brake fluid of your Audi. Doubling the mileage at 40,000 miles, the spark plugs of your vehicle have to be replaced if you are running a gas engine.
Let us move longer into the life of your vehicle. Every six years or 40,000 miles the transmission fluid of your Stronic transmission needs a change as well. The air filter will need a change every 60,000 miles.
This Audi maintenance cost gets hiked even further when we factor in the unexpected repairs that the Audi vehicles may have as they age.
2. Unplanned Maintenance Procedures
It is almost impossible to predict how much you will have to pay for unexpected repairs. It all depends on what the condition of your vehicle is, and how much it has been driven. But there is a way to make an estimate of the same.
Even though this is a random estimate, there is a method to the madness. RepairPal gives brands a reliability rating depending on the frequency of unexpected repairs and the probability of a serious failure. Audi does not fare well in this survey securing only a rank of 28 out of the 32 brands that were considered.
They also calculate an average annual repair cost for each brand and compares them against the market average. Audi maintenance cost is usually higher at around $987 per year as opposed to the industry average of $652.
Owing to the below-average reliability of Audi, the frequency of repairs per year is double that of the industry average. An average Audi owner can expect to take his/her car for repair 0.8 times per year. This is when the industry average is 0.4 times a year. That’s not all, we have even more bad news.
Of all the repairs that an average Audi gets in a year, 13 percent of it is probably severe. An average vehicle has the probability of getting a severe repair roughly around 12 percent.
Average Repair Cost Of An Audi
When we consider the Audi maintenance cost, focusing on just one model will not justify the varied range that they have. So let us look at a few typical Audi issues and the Audi maintenance cost associated with them.
A very common issue with Volkswagen Group vehicles is the failure of the anti-lock braking system sensors and modules. This is so common that it has morphed into a running meme on almost all social media networks. If this happens, the replacement cost will range from $1271 to $1343 for an Audi A6 Quattro.
If you have a lesser Audi like the Audi A4, a valve cover gasket replacement will set you back by around $187 to $272. A more expensive repair for the same vehicle, the replacement of the fuel pump will take away $867 to $1461 from your wallet.
These are just estimates and the Audi maintenance cost of each vehicle that is with its age, model, and mileage. But this should give you a fair idea about how much you need to keep aside if you are planning on picking up an Audi.
Can Extended Warranty Reduce Audi Maintenance Cost?
During your car ownership, two separate plans provide you with peace of mind. One of them is a prepaid maintenance plan that will help you cover the Audi maintenance cost incurred by the scheduled maintenance. But the drawback of this plan is that it does not cover unexpected breakdowns and the repairs associated with them. For this, you will have to purchase the extended warranty program.
Both these plans, and the insurance combined, can cover almost all the maintenance procedures during your car ownership. These do come at a cost but over a long period of time, they can pay for themselves.
All Audi vehicles are bundled with a 4 year/50,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty. If you wish to extend this even further you can opt for Audi’s extended warranty program. this will increase the coverage interval up to 10 years/120,000 miles.
If you do not wish to purchase the extended warranty program from the manufacturer but want to reduce the Audi maintenance cost, you can buy an extended warranty from an independent company. these tend to be cheaper than the manufacturer’s extended warranty programs. They may also bundle a lot of extra benefits. These may include roadside assistance, maintenance plans, and rental car reimbursement. Some of these plans may also cover vehicles with more than 120,000 miles on the odo.
You can choose companies like Endurance, Protect My Car, and CARCHEX for these extended warranty programs.
Audi Maintenance Cost Vs Rivals
We have learned that the Audi maintenance cost is high compared to the industry average. But this being a luxury brand, that comparison may not be the fairest of them all. The industry average is calculated by considering all the brands out there, including economy brands.
The economy cars are naturally cheaper to run and maintain, hence a comparison of their cost against Audi maintenance cost is not really the best bet. This can give us an approximate picture of what Audi maintenance cost can be. Yet, for the complete picture, we will need to pit Audi’s maintenance cost against its key rivals.
For a reference, we are looking at Clark.com, which calculates the average Audi maintenance cost over 10 years as $12,400.
1. Mercedes-Benz Vs Audi Maintenance Cost
If you consider pitting the Benz against Audi in terms of the maintenance cost, Audi comes on top. According to Clark.com, the average maintenance cost of a Mercedes-Benz over 10 years is $12,900. This is $500 more than the Audi maintenance cost. Though it may not sound much, it is an increment, nevertheless.
2. BMW Vs Audi Maintenance Cost
If Mercedes-Benz was only $500 more expensive than an Audi to maintain, BMW steps the game up even further. Compared to Audi maintenance cost, BMW demands a huge premium for maintenance over 10 years.
According to Clark.com, it costs an average of $17,800 to maintain a BMW vehicle for 10 years. This is a solid $5400 more than an Audi maintenance cost for the same time period.
3. Lexus Vs Audi Maintenance Cost
Probably the cheapest of all the luxury brands to maintain, Lexus is a true Toyota when it comes to maintenance. the vehicles from the Japanese luxury brand costs only an average of $7000 in maintenance for 10 years.
This is $5400 less than the Audi maintenance cost making it the cheapest luxury brand to maintain.
4. Economy Brands Vs Audi Maintenance Cost
Even though this is not the right comparison it is good to know how expensive Audi maintenance cost is compared to the economy brands. An Audi vehicle can cost you $12,400 in maintenance over a 10 year period. Some economy brands cost a lot less, less than half actually.
Toyota vehicles cost an average of $5,500 to maintain over the same time span. Ford and Honda, on the other hand, are slightly more expensive, at $9,100 and $7,200 respectively.
Audi Maintenance Cost and Extended Warranty Facts:
- Audi recommends minor maintenance service every 10,000 miles and standard maintenance service every 20,000 miles.
- The average annual maintenance and repair cost for Audi vehicles is $987.
- RepairPal provides estimated maintenance costs for different Audi services.
- Audi offers Audi Care, a prepaid maintenance plan that guarantees the use of trained technicians and genuine Audi parts for necessary replacements.
- An Audi extended warranty can be purchased from the dealership or an independent auto warranty company.
- Third-party extended warranties offer benefits over a manufacturer’s extended warranty.
- Endurance and CARCHEX are two of the most reputable extended car warranty companies in the industry.
- Endurance offers six plans with competitive prices for extended warranty contracts and maintenance coverage.
- CARCHEX is known for its exceptional customer service and coverage offerings for high-mileage vehicles.
Audi Maintenance Cost: Is It Financially A Good Decision?
Audis are luxury vehicles that naturally costs a lot to maintain. staying true to this fact, Audi maintenance cost is high compared to the economy brands. But when pitted against the other European luxury brands, the Audi maintenance cost is at par or lower than theirs.
Buying a luxury car comes with its own perks as well as drawbacks. Audi’s are well-engineered products that give you luxury, comfort, and safety. But to enjoy this, Audi maintenance cost is a hurdle that you will have to jump over.
So, if you are planning to pick a new or used Audi up, prepare for it financially. Do not let the lucrative finance offers or dirt-cheap prices in the used car market fool you. Luxury does not come without a cost. The used Audis may be cheap to buy but they can be very expensive to run. Prepare to spend a lot through your ownership of the vehicle. But once you are ready to pay for it, you are rewarded with a solid car that will put a smile on your face.