Audi RS3 Problems: Common Issues and Solutions Explained

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

If you’re considering an Audi RS3, you may be wondering about potential problems that could arise with this performance-oriented vehicle.

Despite the RS3’s impressive performance and features, it’s essential to be aware of some issues and concerns before taking the plunge.

One thing to look out for is signs of misuse, such as black smoke from the exhaust or kerbed alloy wheels.

Also, don’t forget to inspect the bodywork carefully, as the RS3’s sporty nature may make it prone to wear and tear. Knowing these issues ahead of time can help you make an informed decision as you explore the world of Audi RS3 ownership.

Audi RS3 Engine Problems

Low Fuel Pressure Issues

In your Audi RS3, you may encounter low fuel pressure issues, especially in the 2016 model. These problems could be caused by a faulty fuel pump or a failing fuel pressure sensor.

To ensure your RS3 remains reliable, it’s essential to have regular oil changes and monitor fuel pressure levels.

If you notice any symptoms like a loss of power or hesitation when accelerating, it may be time to have your vehicle inspected by a professional.

Spark Plug and Injectors

Another common problem to watch for in your Audi RS3 engine are issues related to spark plugs and injectors.

Worn or fouled spark plugs and clogged injectors can cause misfires, poor fuel efficiency, and rough idling. It’s important to maintain your spark plugs and injectors according to Audi’s recommended service intervals.

If you experience issues with engine performance, consider inspecting these components and replacing them as necessary to maintain your RS3’s performance.

Check Engine Light Problems

As an RS3 owner, you may also encounter check engine light problems. This can be the result of various engine issues, such as:

  • Faulty oxygen sensors
  • A malfunctioning mass air flow sensor
  • A problematic ignition coil

If your check engine light comes on, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly, as ignoring it may lead to more severe problems down the line.

It’s advisable to have your vehicle scanned for diagnostic trouble codes to pinpoint the issue and resolve it accordingly.

Remember, maintaining your Audi RS3 with regular oil changes, keeping an eye on fuel pressure levels, and servicing the spark plugs and injectors can help mitigate any potential engine problems.

Audi RS3 Transmission and Handling Issues

DSG Concerns

In your Audi RS3, you might face some transmission issues, particularly with the DSG (Direct-Shift Gearbox) system. One common problem with the RS3’s DSG is getting stuck in first gear and struggling to shift to higher gears.

This issue may be more apparent when you’re driving in city traffic and need to shift gears constantly. Additionally, it’s important to check your DSG fluid level regularly, as some RS3 models are known to spill transmission fluid, leading to low fluid levels.

Braking and Wheelbase

While the RS3 boasts a powerful engine, braking and wheelbase issues can sometimes hinder the overall driving experience of your 2018 Audi RS3.

The traction control system seems to suffer from erratic behavior, which can affect the car’s stability and control during high-speed driving. Making sure to check your car’s traction control system regularly can help in avoiding these problems.

Handling and Rear Top Mounts

As an RS3 owner, you might experience challenges with the car’s handling on uneven roads. Your Audi RS3’s standard suspension setup may cause the car to veer off course when the power is applied on bumpy surfaces, leading to issues with directional stability.

A solution to improve the handling issue might involve upgrading your RS3’s rear top mounts to stiffer, aftermarket options to provide better control on various road surfaces.

Maintenance and Recall Information

Dealer and Warranty Support

When purchasing your Audi RS3, it’s essential to maintain a good relationship with your local dealer.

They provide valuable services, such as warranty support for your German car. In case of any issues, your dealer has a team of trained technicians ready to assist.

Recall Details and Resolution

There have been several recalls for the Audi RS3, including one related to the passenger occupant detection system (PODS).

Another recall involved the rearview camera on certain models, which could display a blank or unresponsive image. It’s crucial to stay informed on any recalls and contact your dealer for prompt resolution.

Abbreviated recall list:

  • Passenger occupant detection system
  • Rearview camera display

Maintenance Schedule and Requirements

Following a proper maintenance schedule ensures your Audi RS3 remains in top condition.

Regularly change engine oil, inspect brakes, rotate tires, and adhere to manufacturer-recommended intervals for maintenance tasks.

Consult your owner’s manual for specific requirements and consult your dealer for additional support.

Remember to:

  • Change engine oil
  • Inspect brakes
  • Rotate tires

Common Audi RS3 Complaints and Issues

Interior and Exterior Dings

While exploring a used Audi RS3, you may come across some interior and exterior dings. As a performance car, make sure to check for signs of misuse, such as black smoke from the exhaust and issues with the steering wheel.

Be careful to inspect the car thoroughly and keep an eye out for any damages that can affect its performance.

S4 and 8V Model Comparisons

When comparing the RS3 to the S4 and 8V models, you’ll notice some differences in their performance, features, and reliability.

While there are some user-reported complaints, such as gearbox malfunction in the 2018 RS3 model, it’s essential to remember that the RS3 still delivers exceptional performance and style.

In summary, it’s crucial to carefully examine your RS3 for dings and damages before purchasing, while also comparing it to the S4 and 8V models to ensure you get the perfect Audi for your needs.

Audi RS3 Competitors

When considering the Audi RS3, it’s important to take a look at its closest competitors in the market. In this section, you’ll find brief comparisons with the BMW M240i, BMW M3, and Mercedes-AMG A45S.

BMW M240i

The BMW M240i is a compelling alternative to the RS3. It offers a powerful inline-six engine that produces 382 horsepower, providing you with quick acceleration and impressive driving dynamics.

Its rear-wheel-drive layout and balanced chassis also make for rewarding handling. However, the M240i doesn’t come with an all-wheel-drive option like the RS-delete3, making it less practical for some drivers.


Stepping up to the BMW M3, you’ll find a more aggressive-looking sedan with 473 horsepower at its disposal.

The M3 boasts exceptional driving dynamics and a comfortable ride. It also has a larger interior and greater practicality compared to the RS3.

The downside, however, is that it comes with a higher price tag and not everyone may appreciate its polarizing grille design.

We listed and explain every BMW M3 years to avoid, problems and common issues exposed. In the same vein, we love you to glean some solid facts outta this guide: BMW M3 vs M4 Differences and Which is Better?

Mercedes-AMG A45S

Finally, there’s the Mercedes-AMG A45S which rivals the RS3 in terms of power, sporting a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a whopping 416 horsepower.

This hot hatch boasts a top-notch interior filled with luxury features. While its handling is sharp, some drivers may find its ride to be stiffer than that of the RS3. Additionally, the A45S can be quite expensive, especially with added options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best year to buy?

When looking for an Audi RS3, the 2015-present generation is generally regarded as a good choice due to its updated features and performance.

However, as with any used car purchase, make sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and review its maintenance history before making a decision.

Hidden features?

The Audi RS3 comes packed with various features that may not be immediately apparent.

Some of these include a customizable Audi Drive Select system, allowing you to configure various settings such as steering feedback and throttle response, and a built-in lap timer for track enthusiasts.

Make sure to consult your owner’s manual to explore all the hidden gems of your RS3.

Service costs?

Service costs for the Audi RS3 can be higher than those for a standard family hatchback due to its performance nature and advanced engineering.

It’s essential to follow the recommended service schedule and use genuine Audi parts to ensure the longevity of your vehicle. Remember that the costs can vary depending on your location and chosen mechanic.

Good daily car?

The Audi RS3, with its impressive performance combined with practicality, makes it a suitable daily car. It offers a comfortable ride and can handle day-to-day commuting and longer trips with ease.

Keep in mind that the RS3’s stiffer suspension and sportier driving experience might not be for everyone, so it’s best to test drive one to see if it suits your preferences.


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