Buying advice Audi A7 (C7) 2010-2017 Common Issues, Engines, Inspection

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Hello everyone, today we will inspect the first generation Audi A7, this car had the internal code C7 and was built between 2010 and 2017. This was Audi’s attempt to rival the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the BMW 6-series. It was positioned between the A6 and A8 but was in fact built on the same platform as the A6.

The facelift was launched in 2014 and built until its retirement in 2017. Engine wise the A7 had the best the Volkswagen Audi group had to offer in the early 2010’s. So large displacement engines with 1 or 2 turbo chargers. Best of the lineup was the Audi RS7, this car was powered by a 4 liter v8 with turbochargers, the TFSI. The power output was 560 HP and a whopping 700NW of torque. When you drive lots of miles there are also a few sensible diesels, like the 3 liter TDI with 3 different power outputs ranging from 204 until 313 HP.

Many A7’s where equipped with Audi’s Quattro 4 wheel drive system, so even in wet and icy conditions, this system allows you to put most of the power on the road. Biggest complaint from motor journalists was that this A7 did not engage you to drive it hard, it is very capable of doing so, but the car overall feels a bit too clean and vague. It is definitely capable of driving from North to South Europe in a day but it does not engage you as much as for instance the BMW does.

Lets talk reliability.

First of all there are many horror stories online about the oil consumption of the TFSI, some people claim 1 liter every 1000KM others claim 1 liter every 5000KM. I am familiar with these problems and Audi claim it is just a characteristic of the car, off-cource performance engines will use a bit of oil from time to time but 1 liter every 1000KM is really a bit too much. This will cause problems when you drive long enough.

Issues with the timing chain on the TFSI was a big deal in the early years after introduction of this new type of engine. After the facelift things became much more reliable. See if you Audi had a recall or what type of chain is fitted. These are weaker parts of the engine.

Electrical issues are not very common but they happen, make sure you have one of the latest software updates done to the car when buying it. This can prevent you having any bugs in the media system for instance. But this car is loaded with gadgets so it is only a matter of time before you will get some error messages on your display, parking sensor, steering sensor, LED light issues, passenger airbag module etc.

For the TFSI engines, these are direct injection petrol engines, carbon build-up can happen over time. Just use premium gas and blast it down the highway from time to time, especially when you only do small trips mostly. For the diesel engines, injectors can fail on you and they are quite pricy. This will not happen often and the lifecycle for a diesel injector is usually 100.000 KM or more. But replacement is quite expensive.

Audi claims the gearboxes are sealed for life but it does not hurt to flush out the gearbox every 100.000 or so, this will extend the life of the gearbox and can prevent potential problems to get out of hand.

Most of the problems found on this A7 can also be found on the A6 generation C7.

Parts are still widely available but prices are quite steep, Audi’s are not cheap to drive and to maintain so keep that in mind, overall the car is quite reliable and the engines have proved themselves, they just need timely servicing.

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