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Stephen Rothwell
Stephen Rothwell,
Category: Audi
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Experience:  Director at Steve Rothwell Limited
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I have an Audi A1 TDI 2013- 54000 miles. Whilst driving

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I have an Audi A1 TDI 2013- 54000 miles. Whilst driving along motorway car went bang - black smoke- car stopped. I had to get it recovered and had it diagnosed that there is hole in block. I bought the car just 23 months ago so I am still paying the finance on it. The car has full service history. I have just had it diagnosed by Audi (my bank paid for it, finance is through them) to just being told that I need a new engine, they said they had a reading of high level of oil, they are the only garage that has done my service. Replacement engine to supply and fit £6400. I don’t have the money, so I am going to be paying for something I don’t have the use of. Can you advise what would cause a hole in block, no warning lights came on? Thanks
JA: Do you have the trouble code? Do you have a code reader or scan tool?
Customer: Not sure what you mean?
JA: I'll pass this info along to the Audi Mechanic so that he can get you a quick fix. What is the model of your '13 Audi?
Customer: A1 TDI
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Nothing as the engine needs replaced.
JA: Anything else you want the Mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, I just need to roughly know what would cause a hole in block, as I’m taking it all the way to Audi head office.


Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I am a fully qualified vehicle technician with over thirty years in the trade, hopefully I can help answer your question.

Your Audi has a DPF regeneration system which injects diesel into the engine on the exhaust stroke to assist in regenerating the DPF (diesel particulate filter) this normally allows a small amount of diesel to enter the sump and this thins the oil slightly. In normal use this is not a problem and when the oil is changed during a service all is reset.

If this DPF regenerating system is at fault it can over fuel the engine and this excess fuel cold then raise the sump oil level by a dangerous amount. This could then cause the problem you have of the engine throwing a con-rod and putting a hole in the block.

I hope this at least helps in understanding what may have happened, but do please ask me any further questions.

If this does answer your question please click accept and rate me, this allows me to continue.

Even after clicking accept I can continue to answer your questions on the matter.

Many Thanks


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** a common fault (in your opinion)


Its not too common for the engine to get to the stage where it throws a rod and damages the engine, but the raising oil level is a problem on vehicles with a DPF, it is often recommended to check the level between services to ensure the oil level is not rising too much. I advise owners to consider have the oil changed done at a more regular interval than Audi recommend to prevent the degration of the oil due to the ingress of diesel.

As you have had regular servicing done by Audi they may consider a good will gesture if pushed.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The garage did ask if anyone else had topped up the oil as the diagnosis had said there was too much oil. All the oil was lost on motorway when engine seized.?

Yes it would have blown out the hole when the incident occurred.

They would be aware that the oil level can rise due to the addition of diesel from the DPF regeneration system.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
last question Steve, there was an emission issue with Audi cars a few years ago and was wondering if this issue with my car was in any way related or could have caused the problem with the DPF. I appreciate all your help, i just want to be educated and be able to answer any questions. Thanks


The emission issue involved a remap of the ECU to lower the readings at test parameters, the actual reprogramming software was never fully revealed, and many owners were reluctant to have the update carried out due to a fear it would lower performance. I don't believe the re-programming should have effected the DPF regeneration system, but the details were kept tightly under wrap and so i can not say either way.

If the update was carried out on your Audi I would consider that it may have had a detrimental effect.


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