Audi A4 B6 1.8T Oil Change

March 19, 2010 |  by  |  Audi Maintenance, Featured

Change Your Oil Like a Pro!

An oil change is an important part of your car’s maintenance regimen. Because of the synthetic oil used on many modern Audis, the recommended interval is 5000 miles. Oil changes are very easy (albeit a bit messy if you’re not careful… like I was while doing this DIY), but may seem daunting to some because of how important they are. But fear not! Audiction.com took advantage of a beautiful, warm March day to prepare a detailed DIY to help guide you through your first oil change. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro!

Audi Models

  • Audi A4 B6 1.8T (2002 – 2004)

Parts Required

Tools Required

  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • 19mm Socket and Ratchet
  • Torque Wrench
  • Oil Drain Pan and Funnel
  • Paper Towels/Rags/Cardboard
  • Ramps/Jack-stands/Floor-jack

Instructions

Step 1

Drive the car to warm up the engine oil. About 15 minutes of driving is sufficient to get the oil warm.

Step 2

Drive the car onto ramps or put it on jack-stands. Make sure the car is secured properly before climbing underneath.

Step 3

Remove the belly pan using the flat head screwdriver (if applicable…my car is currently pan-less).

Step 4

Open the hood and remove the oil cap to let the pressure in the crankcase escape. This should go without saying, but make sure your car is off before removing the oil cap. Set the cap aside and carefully clean around the hole into the crankcase (if it’s dirty). Be careful not to let any dirty or debris fall in.

Step 5

Climb under the car. If you’ve never done an oil change before, it’s a good idea to lay a piece of cardboard down under the oil pan. Grab your ratchet and 19mm socket. The drain plug is on the passenger side of the car. Make sure the socket is seated properly and steadily apply pressure until the initial bond breaks. For the most part, you should be able to unscrew the bolt by hand (be careful, the oil pan is probably still very warm).

Step 6

Grab your drain pan and hold it up close to where the drain plug is. Continue to unscrew the plug. You’ll start to see oil drip out, and you’ll start to get a sense of where the end is. When the plug finally releases, let it drop into the drain pan. By holding it close to the plug, hopefully you’ve caught the initial jet of oil and it hasn’t sprayed all over your driveway. You can lower the pan to the ground; just gauge where the oil flow is going. As it slows, it will trickle out. Let the oil drain out for about 10 minutes or so.

Step 7

Locate the engine oil filter. It’s on the driver’s side of the car, right above the motor mount. The filter is filled with oil, so when you unscrew it, some will inevitably leak out. A trick is to take a Ziplock bag and hold it over the filter…in theory it should catch any excess oil. Grab the oil filter (careful, it may be hot), and twist counter-clockwise. It may take a bit of force to overcome the initial suction, but then it should spin right off (if you can’t get it off, you may need an oil filter wrench, available at any auto parts store). (Note: I had to unscrew and unclip my coolant expansion tank to get better access, but I also have big hands and big arms.) Remove the filter and drain the oil into the drain pan with the rest of the old oil.

Step 8

Take your new filter out of the box. Dab some old engine oil on the rubber seal around the top of the filter, and reinstall it. Screw it on hand tight, and then give a little extra twist to make sure its snug.

Step 9

Screw your new oil drain plug into the oil pan. Screw it in by hand so you don’t cross-thread it. When it’s tight, use a torque wrench and tighten to 30 nm (neuton meters). If you don’t have access to a torque wrench, tighten it with a ratchet just to the point that you feel resistance, and then give about a quarter turn.

Step 10

Add your engine oil. The 1.8T has a capacity of 4.3L of oil (which ends up being about 4.5 quarts for me). Add it slowly through the hole in the crankcase. If you’re unsure of exactly how much to add, err on the side of caution and add less (you can always add more, but it’s a pain to take oil out). Make sure the cap is on tight.

Step 11

Start the car and check for leaks. If there are none, reinstall the belly pan and put the car back on the ground. After the car has run for ~10 minutes, check the oil level and adjust as necessary. Dispose of the old engine oil properly (I put it in the oil containers that are now empty, a funnel helps greatly here). Local laws differ, but most gas stations or places that sell oil will take your old oil from you.

Step 12

Clean up and enjoy the money you saved by DIY’ing!

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35 Comments


  1. If anyone has any questions about audi a4 ask me … i have an Audi a4 quattro i know everything that goes wrong with it ….

    • Hi, we have an audi A4 avant 2003, we’ve just driven to the south of france from london. after an hour the red oil light came on. we stopped, checked the oil – which was totally fine. when we started again the light wasn’t on. after an hour it came on again, same thing we stopped checked the oil good level, no dripping or loss. we drove off not light again for an hour again, we kept the rev.s to under 3000 for ages, that kept the warning light at bay. we arrived all fine. since then I’ve been driving around with out the light coming on (short journeys under 20 mins). On the way down we went to an Audi garage and they had a quick look and plugged it in to a computer – they found nothing wrong. Should I drive home or take it in to a local garage ? could it just be a dodgy sensor ? the car says it needs a service in 3000 miles or 180 days…. thanks so much for your help, Jay

      • Hi Jay,

        I had this 2 years ago. The oil pick up clogs on the 1.8T from 2000-2003 (I have an 03 1.8t A4) at around 100k miles and starves the engine and turbo. Everything seems to be OK as there is enough oil in the engine. I thought mine was a dodgy sensor and drove on but my turbo blew.

        Suggest you take it to a garage to drop the oil pan and change the filter – it’s cheaper than a new turbo, trust me!

        Richie.

    • how much oil do i need to put for transmission

    • i am just curious! is it necessary that the oil drain plug be replaced at every oil change and why? how do quick oil change shop do it for audi’s-do they keep drain plug in stock or just reuse the old ones!
      thanks

    • Hi Labi. I have a 2002 Audi A4 1.8l Quattro. I have a yellow oil sensor / picture of an oil can that comes on on my dash. It doesn’t flash, just comes on every once in a while associated with a high pitch beep, not multiple beeping, just once when the oil can shows. I’ve tried replacing an oil pressure sensor, a one wire sensor above the oil filter housing. Is there more than one oil pressure sensor? I use Mobil 1 every 3 to 3500 miles or so. Any suggestions?

    • I have fixed most annoying things with my 2002 A4 Quattro but now the oil sensor light is on and I don’t know if it is the oil sensor switch, a clogged oil inlet screen or a bad oil pump? I was going to start with the cheapist fix, the oil sensor switch and go from there, but in your experience, what you do think?

    • when it idles it a shaking sensation comes and goes

    • I have a Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 turbo … How many quarts of motor oil does it need ? ..

      • My owner’s manual for the 2002 A$ 1.8T says 3.7 quarts on the Capacities page near the back. All service databases that mechanics use seem to say 4.3 quarts, even the article writer mentions that in Step 10 of the story. That is WRONG! If you fill with 4.3 quarts your dipstick reading will be way too high, above the Max limit. I have had shops overfill my crankcase several times over the years if I forget to warn them.

        I photocopied and laminated the Capacities page of my owner’s manual and show it to the service writer whenever I have a shop change my oil. They always say “but the database..” and I just respond that owner’s manual trumps database.

    • Labi,

      I own a 2004 audi a4 quattro 1.8L and my father and I did a oil change on it for the first time by ourselves and accidentally mistaked the transmission plug for the oil plug. We drained about 4.2 quarts out and when I drove it between 1st and 2nd gear it was not switching. We put it up on ramps and have tried to manually pump the transmisson fluid into the valve bolt that we took off near the transmission. I need some help pleae. Also the transmission is shifting and does not smell burnt.

    • So how every 5000 Miles you should change the oil? I’ve been doing every 3000 miles instead. How do I get my information system to come in much clear than it is?

    • Ayy I filled up my audi with 2 extra quarts of oil and it’s been jerking and driving bad. An engine light came up 2 weeks ahead of this and the code said its a valve. Now, I took it to a mechanic and they said its the transmission… can you make an estimate about how much it will be? thanks i’ll highly appreciate it.

    • Oil leaking front passendger side, I think. is running rough right now, engine is vibrating. How do I check oil level? Can not find any dip stick.

    • I am actually in process of buying one, can you answer a few questions for me?

    • I am actually in process of buying one, can you answer a few questions for me?
      MissAnaEnt@aol.com

    • hello i changed the engine oil before 2 weeks but yeastarday while im driving i got the oil min icon on the dash screen . my car audi a4 2002 what could the reasons for that ……..

    • what kind of synthetic oil does it use? for an 2004 audi A4 1.8t quattro.

      • I live in Florida and the dealer recommended Castrol Edge with SPT SAE 5W-40 Full Synthetic. Make sure the bottle says its specially formulated to meet the needs of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. You can buy it at Autozone.

  2. I need a diagram on how to replace the ignition coil overlay harness on my A4 1.8T 2003. Help!

  3. There isn’t a need for a new drain plug unless its damaged. However a crush washer that goes with the drain plug is recommended.

  4. Thanks for the DIY with photos. It helps a lot!

  5. Excellent write up on easy DIY’s.

    I see that you go with Mobil 1 oil.
    Heard a lot of crap about Audi’s Long Life being non the better than pancake syrup.
    Would you, and anyone else, agree with this?

  6. Thank you so very much! I have had small block 383’s & big block 502’s to work on during my driving life previously. You were an awesome resource to have. I was confident during the the repair and I am blown away by the results! Heck, I even fixed my belly pan while I was inder the car! ~Carey

  7. Hey I just read down the Audi manual specifications for oil tank and found out that it has 3.5L but 3.7 quarts but I poured whole 5q and not sure what to do now? Shld I drain it n refill again with 3.7? Or?

    Thanks

  8. I have just bought 2000 audi 1.8 with 174,745 kms
    it is still looking good but it has no service book and
    i don’t know which oil to use

  9. Easy, just unscrew the drain bolt,
    hold it over the hole,
    inch it out to let some oil flow,
    let about a quart out, and screw it back up I did this myself last night. No problems.

  10. Well I have a question I installed an AFE aftermarket cold air intake on my 1.8t and now my car sounds like it is supercharged. There is a high pitched squealing noise and only makes only when my turbo is underweight ( I am driving in excess o 3k rpms) it dosnt do it when I am sitting still. It sounds as though it might be a vacuum leak but I have removed the intake 3 times and replaced it with the stepped by stepped instructions, and is still there. Since the install I have driven it 7000 miles and no problem.

    • Chances are you removed the factory turbo silencing baffles and air intake boxes. I did this on a VW turbo application. The whine u hear i believe is the turbo spooling. Hopefully this is some help.

  11. I have stripped the threads my oil pan plug (the bolt is fine) on my 2002 A4, do you happen to know where to find an oversized self-tapping bolt to fix this problem? Or if you know I can get it at an Advance Auto parts or something like that, I would just need to know the proper size and be on my way. Thanks!

    • take your bolt to a hardware store (home depot,lowes, etc), go to the bolt section, use one of their bolt size finding devices and find whatever size the bolt is, then look for a bolt with the same specifications except you will want one about twice as long as the original bolt. Use the new bolt instead of the old one. Since the new bolt is longer, it will be able to thread in further, catching the fresh unstripped threads. However, only use your hands to spin the bolt in until it’s finger tight. Using anything else to get it seated will make the chances of you stripping the threads out again grow exponentially. After, and only after, you have tightened the bolt down finger tight using only your hands and no tools should you use a wrench to give it about a quarter turn or less just to make sure it’s in good. If this doesn’t work, do not bother getting a self tapping bolt or any other type of fix it method as it will still leak oil and just waste your time, effort, and money. At this point you will simply need a new oil pan. A little know how and caution will save you a lot of time and anger.

  12. do you have how to instructions on how to replace the upper oil pan on a 03 audi a4 3.0 quattro 6speed?

  13. I have a 2001 a4 b5 2.8 I II put it in the garage it ran perfectly the oil in it was about three to four thousand overdue I drain the old oil filter put the new one on started the car and all the sudden out of nowhere it taps violently taps and shuts offmy question is how does a car that ran perfectly all the sudden need to be towed from Just an will change.I heard that sludge clogs up the oil lines when you put new oil in it breaks the old stuff of the motor parts my car is it seems like the motor is blown that’s how loud it’s tapping I take extreme care of this vehicle.I have replaced just about everything with stronger aftermarket parts I didn’t realize Audi’s blew through tie-rods in control arms so quick.also went through about 4 sets of wheel bearings I hope all of my efforts into keeping this car nice are not screwed I’m going to try to cycle the oil for a couple times see if I can clear the clog please help!

    Matt. From pa

    • Matt,

      Did you solve your engine problem? What was the problem? How did you solve it. If the engine is tapping loud it could be a bad cylinder. That happen to me, thought it was oil or plug come to find out it was a bad cylinder.

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