8 Common Audi Q5 Problems (Recalls & Years To Avoid)

The Audi Q5 is a luxury SUV model known for its sleek and elegant body, techy features, and flexible functionalities. It was known as the “popular kid” of SUVs in its early production years, and today, it is one of the most sorted luxury cars in the market.

Because there is no “perfect automobile,” we’ll be looking at some common problems associated with the Audi Q5 series.

The most common problems AUDI Q5 owners face are timing chain issues, airbag problems,start-stop system failure, fuel pump, and tailgate and sunroof issues. Overall, the Q5 experiences 22 different problems including issues with its electrical system, structure, and speed control. In the list of these problems, airbag malfunction comes out on top with an average report of 230 per annum from users.

If you own any year of the Audi Q5 model and have been experiencing some issues lately, it may be more common than you think. In this article, you’ll find some common issues with the Audi Q5, how to go about them and what you should know about recalls.

What Is Wrong With Your Audi Q5?

So you noticed a sudden rattling sound that was never there, or your car has started consuming more fuel than usual? The four-ring car brand may have made a name for itself with its stylish automobiles, but they are also known for its long list of problems. Let’s take a look at some of the common ones affecting your Q5.

Most Common Issues With The Audi Q5

1. Timing chain and Tensioner Issues

The timing chain is the part of a car engine responsible for synchronizing the movement of the crankshaft and camshaft. Conversely, the tensioner applies the right amount of pressure to the timing chain to produce a synchronized drive.

The timing chain and tensioner are vital parts of the car engine, and when they become faulty, they can incur a repair cost of up to $7000, depending on the severity of the damage.

This issue is most common in Audi Q5 2009-2013 models. It is usually identified by an unusual rattling sound in the car when the engine starts. Other signs of this malfunction may include misfiring of the car engine, metal particles in engine oil, and inability to start the engine.


If you already notice that the timing chain of your engine has slipped, it will cost you $1600-$1800 or more for mechanic repair. You can opt for a cheaper

DIY solution, which is between $600-$800. A faulty timing chain and tensioner issue is undoubtedly a menace to Audi Q5 owners. However, it is possible to reduce the chances of its occurrence by replacing the timing chain upon hitting the 80,000 mileage.

Timing Chain

2. Airbag Problems

On November 18, 2014, Audi, alongside 18 other car manufacturers, was part of the infamous Takata Airbag recall, which according to the NHTSA, is “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.”

A recall is issued when vehicle manufacturers or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) find a vehicle component does not meet specific safety standards.

This safety glitch was responsible for various accidents caused by the airbag exploding upon deployment due to internal pressure. The Audi Q5 2009-2012 models have also experienced some recent recalls due to the same air bag problems.


Check if your car has also been recalled for airbag issue on the NHTSA website. If it has, proceed to an authorized delearship to have it fixed at no cost.

audi airbag popped

3. Oil Consumption

Heavy oil consumption is a common problem with many Audi Q5 cars, especially the ones with 2L Turbo engine (usually 2010-2017 model years). These particular models not only tend to guzzle the oil but also develop complex faults when there is not enough oil in the engine.

Excessive oil consumption is usually the after effect of a worn out piston ring— a component of the engine that covers the gap between the piston and cylinder wall. This issue can lead to wear and tear of the engine and eventually incur repair costs worth thousands of dollars.

In 2014, a lawsuit was filed against Audi due to the excessive oil consumption of some of their car models. A settlement was eventually reached for  2009, 2010 and 2011 Q5 models. However, it was later found that 2017 model years also experience the same issue.

Here is what a Q5 user had to say about the car’s oil consumption problem:

“I bought a 2012 Audi Q5 in 2015…For the first 20,000 miles of owning this car, it was all I had hoped for. Then, the check engine and oil light game started. At first, adding oil meant that it would go another 1500-2000 miles without issue. Then, around 75k, it went 500 to 750 miles. Once it hit 95k, it dropped to every 400 to 600 miles that it needed oil. I am at 100k and desperately want to dump this lemon. Unfortunately, I have another 16 payments on this garbage car. I’ve spoken with a local mechanic about it and he says the fix is replacing the pistons etc, basically, a $9k job to fix it.”



You can curb the excessive oil usage of your Audi Q5 by replacing the worn out piston ring, piston or even connecting Rod, based on the suggestion of your mechanic. Additionally, endeavor to constantly check the oil level of your car and top up when necessary. The oil level should at least be in between the min and max mark of the dipstick.

4. Start-Stop System Issues

Start and stop systems are vehicle manufacturers’ way of protecting the environment. It is a  mechanism that allows the engine to stop entirely when the car slows down and start again when the after hitting the accelerator.

It not only saves your gas but also reduces the rate of Carbon monoxide emissions. Overall, the start-stop system is a great concept except Audi Q5 users have a little different experience.

The first sets of complaints started to surface after Audi model engines go off at every red traffic light causing the engine to be restarted multiple times thoroughout the day.

There were also complaints of delayed acceleration response in Audi Q5s. The general concept of the start-stop system is to prepare the engine as the foot leaves the brake pedal and upon reaching accelerate, the car is fully ready to go. Many users have confirmed the unreliability of the system as the accelerator fails to get the vehicle moving at the required time. This could lead to series of accidents should it happen on a busy high way.


The best way to end start-stop system issues in Q5 is to deactivate the system. Use the start/stop button each time the engine starts, to temporarily disable the start-stop system of the vehicle.

start stop system in audi Q5

5. Sunroof Problems

Audi Q5 and even the Audi Q7 are distinct for its panoramic sunroof, a stylish yet problematic feature especially in 2011-2017 Q5 models. These vehicles has a badly designed water drainage system, that causes some parts of the car to trap water for a long time.

One of the most affected part of the car is the side air bag inflators canister. This component corrodes due to the trapped water and fractures when the airbag gets released.


Audi issued a recall on some of its models due to the sun roof water drainage issue. Check the NHTSA website to see if your vehicle is eligible. The repair may involve a canister replacement.


6. Leaking Fuel Pump Flanges

The Flanges is a part of the engine that seals off fuel pump connections and prevents leakage. This part of the vehicle is so vital that a slight crack may lead to a fire outbreak.

Leaking fuel pump flanges is a common issue for Audi Q5s especially 2013-2017 model years.

It is caused by a welding malfunction and can be identified by the strong or faint smell of gas in the car.

Audi issued a recall in 2016 to add a butyl band to about 240,000 Q5 vehicles experiencing leaking fuel pump flanges. Later in December 2018, about 6000 of those vehicles were re-recalled for another repair procedure since the butyl band cannot do much for a cracked flange that has been contaminated by external impurities. This time, the flanges will be replaced and a butyl band added once more.


For an issue as complex as a cracked flanges, it is best to see if your car has been recalled so as to have an authorized mechanic carry out the repair.

7. Daytime Running Lights

Daytime running lights (DRL) are one of the safety features of the Audi Q5 series, however they are also considered as one of the most problematic parts of the car.

The purpose of the DRL is to provide signal to other drivers especially when making a turn or make your car more noticeable.

The most common cause of Daytime Running Lights issue is koito LED control unit malfunction, which is responsible for the headlight performance. This issue was resolved in the latest Q5 models.


Since the Day Running Light issue is not engine-related, it is relatively easy to solve. You can carry out DIY fix of the malfunction parts with $50-$80. If it is a more complex issue, you’d want an expert to take a look and it could cost you anything between $800-$1200.

8. Tailgate Issues

A malfunctioning tailgate can be a frustrating ordeal for car users, especially for senior citizens or people with disabilities. It is a fault that causes the car trunk to open or jam shut without command from the users. It is a common issue with 2018 Audi Q5.


Unlike the other problems on this list, a malfunctioning tailgate is a software issue and requires an authorized Audi mechanic to resolve it.

In some rare cases the tailgate malfunction could be  from a faulty battery. Whatever the case may be, it is safer to get proper diagnosis from an authorized dealership. A repair could cost anything from $100-$700 or more depending on the complexity of the issue. This video is for Q7 but could be good for Q5 owners as well.

What years did the Audi Q5 Have Problems?

Audi Q5 series is an impressive car with an distinctively quiet and powerful engine, compact design and flexible driving features. However, reliability seems to be a lacking feature in all the Q5 vehicles with some with more bad records than others.

Each generation and model year of the Audi Q5 series has their unique set of issues but the ones that stood out the most are 2021, 2012 and 2011 model years.

Below is a PPMY (problems reported per thousand vehicles per year) Index table from highlighting different Audi Q5 model years, number of reported problems, number of sales, vehicle age and PPMY Index. Note that the smaller PPMY index, the more reliable the vehicle.

Q5 Model YearProblemsSalesVehicle AgePPMY Index
Source of data: Carproblemzoo.com

Best Years Used With Little Complaints

According to the PPMY index table above, the less problematic Audi Q5 model years are the ones with the lower PPMY index. They are the 2020 model with a PPMY of 0.14, 2016 model with 0.16 PPMY, 2019 with 0.17 PPMY and 2017 with 0.19 PPMY.

The  2017 Audi Q5 has been ranked by many review websites as one of the best Audi Q5 models. It is the first model year in the second generation of the Q5 series.

What Is A Recall Number?

If your vehicle has been recalled, you’ll get the details of the issue via your email. It usually include a date and a unique 10 digit number (recall number) that allows manufacturers identify the details of the recall.

However, to know if your Audi Q5 has been recalled, you’d need your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).  You can find this 17 digit number on the registration card of your automobile or the bottom-left corner of the windshield.

Over the years Audi Q5 has experienced both major and minor recalls. Some of the most recent ones are:

Recent Audi Q5 Recalls

22V753000 Engine and engine cooling: Engine: Hard parts internal/mechanical

On October 6, 2022 Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) issued a recall on the 2021-2023 Audi Q5 Sportback because the engine connecting rod bearing is susceptible to damage.

22 742000 back over prevention: Display function

On October 4, 2022, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) issued a recall on Audi Q5 and some other vehicles due to the possibility of a blank screen image displaying by the rearview camera image.

22 368000 Engine and engine cooling: Engine: Engine control module (ecu/ecm)

On May 22, 2022 A recall was issued on Q5, and Q5 Sportback vehicles alongside other Audi models due to car engine stalling caused by short circuit of the engine control unit semiconductor.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall

You can check if there is a recall on any part of your vehicle by using the VIN tool on the NHTSA website. Input the 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number on the VIN search bar, to find recall information concerning that model.

How Reliable is the audi q5?

If you are hoping to get a high-end SUV with sophisticated features, Audi Q5 is one of the popular models that offer just that. However, its reliability is always a topic of conflict in the car community.

According to Copilot,  Audi Q5 reliability rating is 3.0 out of 5.0 which is quite an average score. Consumer Reports went further to also give the vehicle a 65/100 score.

Therefore, Audi Q5s does not offer so much in terms of reliability.

How is it compared to others?

There are several vehicle models with similar build and functionalities as the Audi Q5. Below is a comparison table highlighting some top vehicle models and their consumer reliability score over 100.

ModelConsumer Report Reliability Score
Buick Envision90
Cadillac XT589
Lexus NX78
Audi Q564
Mercedes Benz GLC63
Porsche Macan61
Volvo XC6061
Infiniti QX5049
BMW X347
Acura RDX43
Mercedes-Benz GLB34
Genesis GV7030
Jaguar F-Pace25
Land Rover Discovery Sport25
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque25
Land Rover Range Rover Velar25
Volkswagen ID4         21
Lincoln Corsair20
Alfa Romeo Stelvio18
Tesla Model Y18
Source of data : Consumer Report

What is the Life Expectancy?

You can enjoy up to 13 years of great service from your Audi Q5 before it requires uneconomical repair (using the annual mileage of 150,000 miles per year). With proper maintenance, the Q5 series provides a mileage between 150,000-200,000 miles.

What is Good and Bad about the Car?

If you are looking to buy the luxury car brand, Audi Q5, below are list of pros and cons of this automobile.


  • Powerful engine (TSFI and Quattro).
  • Multiple high-end features.
  • Sleek and luxurious design.
  • Lots of safety features.


  • Doesn’t have a spacious cabin.
  • The software components are susceptible to malfunction.
  • It is hard to keep up with its numerous features.

What Do Owners Say About the Car?

“The Q5 is a competent luxury SUV but lacks any standout traits that would make it a must-buy. Although Audi’s best-seller is roomy, refined and surprisingly nimble, the small luxury SUV class is full of rivals that offer the same qualities but with superior performance and all-around excitement.”

U.S. News and World Report

“Fabulous engine and transmission. Drive modes actually work . Dynamic with sportshifting make the car fly . Watch the speedometer. Fit and finish is exceptional. Wireless carplay . Dont need navi . Base stereo very good . The only bummer is we find seats uncomfortable however had it since a week only and hoping get used to them .”

“Not as much storage as my AcuraMDX, but more peppy and fun to drive! Back cargo space a little smaller, but still can get most things in from groceries and Home Depot. Firm seats and heavy doors taking time to get used to. Same with gear shift – somehow German engineering thinks that pushing the shift Forward is how you should put the car in Reverse, and vice versa?


Acura had more pockets for storage all over, Audi put tools for the spare under the floor in the hatch, but then filled everything up with foam. MDX has nice storage under the back floor and larger arm rest storage for gloves, change, gum, tools. But overall, the Audi is a LOT of fun to drive and the MDX was more cushy… Both really nice vehicles!”



Despite most of its shortcomings, the Audi Q5 still takes its place amongst some of the highly sorted luxury cars in the world. It is great for those who doesn’t require so much in terms of vigorous performance.