2001 Audi A4 1.8T started ticking

Asked by Aug 23, 2013 at 07:22 PM about the 2001 Audi A4 1.8T

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi everyone,

I need your help

I recently got a 2001 audi a4 after my 03 jeep cherokee died on me (RIP). The audi has
been driving so well, until this morning on my way to work. I started the car, and heard
a loud consistent clicking sound. I was confused, but once i drove off it disappeared
and when i stopped, it came right back. I drove to work anyway. After work (8 hours
later) I started the car and the clicking wasnt there at all so I thought thank god, but
then i get on the high way then get stuck in traffic then the clicking came back as soon
as i stopped. But once again, when i drive it goes away. Im HOPING I just need an oil
change being that the last oil change was with the prior owner and according to the
sticker I have about 700 miles before I get a change. But after researching online, I see
people talking about a tension belt and such which I AM HOPING isnt the case
because I cant afford that at the moment. What do you guys think it could be? And
would I have to park it, or can I drive it until next Friday when I get my check. Thanks
for the help.

Im hoping it needs just an oil change.

20 Answers


I would start by checking the oil level, make shure it its low. If that is good then I would change the oil and filter. I f your still having issues it could have the dreaded oil pump failure.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

You have a sticky lifter try some slick 50 in your next oil change and it will fix the sound But it is good to check the oil levels and make sure your topped up. i would not try any of those engine cleaners or oil treatments to de sludge the engine audis love petro canada's 94 oct gas and run the best on it as the better the octane the better the engine performance, It also helps clear our deposits in the fuel system on the side note* . Slick 50 high miles is best for any audi making noises mine was making loud ticking due to sticky valves as well but slick 50 took that noise away in my 98 a4 2.8L

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

it could be the egr valve or AKA Kombi valve or combination valve, what was your problem ? did you fixed it ?


wouldnt be the egr most commonly its the lifters not getting enough oil during idle stage that causes them to tick at slow rpms and cold start ups. If it was a chain tensioner it would alays be there making hte clicking noise and only get louder if its was that. and these sliders only ware out if there is no oil in the compartment since they are only guides and don't physicly hold the chain.

Bro I swear the only that brought me here is the same damn reason, I have an audi a4 1.8t and it's doing the same ticking you just mentioned !! When It's in motion the ticking goes away and then comes back when I stop . . I really need help cause I'm only learning about cars !!! Please let me know what to do, my oil level is perfectly right, it's clean and my dark and my filter is new . . Some guy just said it was the engine :( I pray it's not !!! I'm too broke for that


well read over the other replies and do a quick look. Open your oil cap when the cars running at idle. If you see oil moving about your car is fine. if you don't see any oil and its dry you most likely have an oil pressure issue that relates to the oil pump.

Hi Guys, just had same problemo with mine, climbed into the engine with my great mechanic friend as it was annoying me!!...turns out it needs a timing belt, hence the reason you only hear the clicking when stopped at light etc;, its one of the pulley wheels, he thinks its the cam tensioner one...the ticking caused by lack of tension from a worn belt...so the pulley is not spinning thru...its wobbling a little...tick tick tick....so lift your hoods and have a listen! if its coming from the front of engine....you have your answer!....i think!.....will know next week!....having new belt, tensioner, water pump and cam seals installed...also gonna do rocker and valve seals and put in new plugs while its all stripped down....then hopefully, no more tick tick tick!!..hope that helps...it could be a 100 other reasons i know....but thats my mechanics verdict....and he is a clever Audi man.


I belvie i already mentioned that the problem is most commanly the lifters sticking. My audi a4 2.8L engine was ticking alot on start ups and i thought it was the cam chain followers. Well i was wrong, In most cases even with my 367,000km engine the plastic followers were in great shape. The The lifts when they get older start to stick and cause noise on startup because there is no oil in the heads when its first started. Now i can't say that this is not for sure the problem with your car but out of all the parts to go the tensors can go early same as the water pump if you use cheap aftermarket parts. Have your belt done do all the bolts pulleys and pumps and tensions I would advise changing the serpentine follower pulley and the serpentine tensor at the same time as well if they have not been done recently. To get rid of lifter noise i used a syntheic brand of slick 50 which removed the clicking noise There is a full syntheic brand of it if you can find it not all stores will have it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I just finished replacing the cam shaft tensioner on my 2001 A-4. I can guarantee you that the clicking you hear is due to worn out tensioner guides, top and bottom. I ordered parts online and did it myself. After getting parts it took about 2.5 hours to put it all back together. Another problem I am having is sludge which I know is causing my check oil light to come on due to oil pan pic up tube to partially clogged. I am working on a way to back flush oil system to clean screen and dislodge sludge into oil pan and then change the oil and filter. will let you know how this worked.

One thing that I forgot to tell you is that if you do not repair the cam chain tensioner; it will eventually where a hole in the cam cover like it did mine. I patched the hole with some steel stick.


the only times that these parts ware out is from bad oil pressure. I have a 1998 audi a4 with a 2.8L engine and all my guides for the chain are original because it had proper maintenance changes. my lifters are only sticky because it has over 367,000 km on the engine. Use some engine desludger to filter hte system out and then put in some 15w 40 full synthetic if you can find it. The thicker oil should help reslick the engine back up correctly.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Ima get some slick 50 my belt is brand new but still ticking N taddah its the damn egr.... I'll go with the lifter problem... Thanks...

If you have not checked the oil pressure yet i would. More then likely if your ticking noise decreases at idle and goes away with more RPM your oil pump could be failing. If it starts to tick more with RPM then the Oil pickup tube could be clogged from the sludging issue. Im currently going through this same thing and in the middle of rebuilding my 1.8T. And I would not use a 15w-40 oil! You will more then likely have starvation of oil to the Turbo and have oter issues develop.


yep well my audi when i first got it had 15w 40 in it but went to 5w40 after that since till now. any ways i had ticking issues as well but i put synthetic slick 50 in the car and it fixed the issue since it helps maintain a good barrier in the heads even after the engine is shut down for long periods of time. But be sure to find the full synthetic brand

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

By the sound of it a couple of you are right. But as a family of mechanics and carpenters, you always start with the easiest problem do a routine oils and filter change use synthetic oil. If the ticking persist, run the higher octane even though the manual recommends unleaded with the 1.8 and 3.0 turbos they are able to run high octane because of the turbos. The higher the octane the hotter it will burn and the more sludge and deposits left by the fuel will burn off. If the issue continues then it very well will be the cam chain tersionor it's not a cheap fix but it won't break your bank and would only take 30-45 minutes to repair

I'm wondering if it's the Quattro system not having enough fluid? My A6 C6 makes the same woodpecker noise, but from the rear right wheel well. Like the system is doing its calculations or something. The thing is, that the owners manual doesn't talk about the fluid level of the Quattro system itself. Can anyone answer this one?

I should have added that it goes away once the car has the drivetrain all warmed up. Thus, my thinking that it is the Quattro system itself. Anyone else have this experience? Again, the sound is fairly faint, but does sound like a woodpecker, or mini jack- hammer in the passenger side rear wheel well. Any thoughts?


can you see signs of fluid leak? if there is no signs of a leak the system is fine. I had a 98 audi quattra with 387,000km with out a single rear axle fluid change. if your hearing clicking sounds likes likely the main cv joint or a wheel bearing going bad. get in there and wiggle the shaft should be pretty much zero play.

I'm not so sure that is it, since it goes away once all warmed up. Is there a way to check the fluid level of the Quattro system, to make sure it's okay?


pull the plug if fluid comes out its fine lol and its likely a cv joint because they can settle in place once you move around a bit.jack the car up and roll the wheel back and forth you will likely hear th clicking from the outer joint of the cv

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