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[Audi A3/S3] Acceleration problem..


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I am experiencing a weird acceleration problem in my MY'00 S3 which as at about 27500km now.

The engine is actually doing great, thanks to the long highway trips I've made recently.

A few days ago however, I've noticed that when accelerating on 3rd gear, at a point around 4500rpm, there is a sudden stop in acceleration. The engine keeps on revving normally but the acceleration is almost completely gone.

More weirdly, this does not happen every time. In fact, when I try the same thing immediately afterwards everything goes on normally.

I talked to the service about it but they were confused as well. They said if there were a serious problem it would happen every time the car accelerates.

Anyone experienced something like this or have an idea what it might be?.

I remember the threads about inconsistent performance of the S3 but this just didn't feel normal to me.

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I had the same problem with my 2000 S3! With mine it almost felt like over-boost as it initially felt quicker!

Never got to the end of it. Had it down to the Audi dealer a couple of times, but no faults came up!

Not happened in a while, but can be a very difficult problem to prove as chances are - it won't happen when Audi test drive it!

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Could be collapsing intake hose (runs from MAF sensor towards the turbo).

2 things should tell you if this is what it is:

1. The acceleration should suddenly almost vanish at 4,900 rpm

2. Is it happening at full throttle? If so try and use part-throttle (1/3 - 1/2) and if you can accelerate through that "wall" in your rev range to the redline then it sounds like a collapsing hose.

Chances are it isn't but worth a try.

Good luck


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I had the same problem a year ago.

The car started to hesitate at 4,500 tpm when doing 80kph or more.

Problem: Faulty MAF and d/v.

Solutions: My car was still under warranty so they replaced both at no charge.

My car is absolutely great since then.

By the way, their VAG system did not show up any kind of errors of some sort, so I guess their system is not 100% reliable.


1999 S3

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Thanks for the posts. I hope they'll help me sort this out

Inigo, the collapsing hose sounds like quite a possible reason. My car is over 3 years old now, so things may be starting to wear out. And besides if I'm not wrong,I have the earlier version of that hose, the one without the external stabilizers. So it might be collapsing when I push hard.Also, having a BMC air filter I may be getting better airflow through that hose, to force it even harder to collapse.

I will try and test the car with quarter/half throttle as you said. Let me see if the problem is still there.

Andrew, your post is scary stuff for me. I have been using a Hyperboost Diverter valve and a BMC air filter for a couple of months. They both have been doing great but if the MAF sensor is broken I am in trouble.

I am out of the warranty and I am out of it with some aftermarket stuff crazy.gif

One thing that still confuses me is that this hesitation definitely does not happen on 1st or 2nd gear. I've noticed this on 3rd only.4th, 5th and 6th, well I don't know for sure,haven't noticed yet.I have to make it to the highway and do some high speed testing to make sure.

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I noticed the same with my hose. I could rev all the way through the rev range in 1st or 2nd most of the time but it was in the higher gears that I coulnd't get past 5,000. Do your tests to see if this is what it is because the solution is a piece of cake to install and costs peanuts smile.gif

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Your kind of hesitation sounds quite familiar to me, only happening in 3rd, 4th and 5th gears and lightly on sixth.

I had that problem going on for at least 6 months until I got fed up and told Audi to "do something" or else, and that is when they changed the MAF and the d/v and I got a "brand new car".

This is what happened to me, and I really hope it's a different story on your car since your're out of warranty, could be what Iñigo is mentioning.

Didn't mean to scare you. wink.gif


1999 S3

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I've been on the highway today.

I went to the new A8's test drive on a race circuit outside the city.A8 was great but greater was my little blonde imola when they closed the track for 2 laps and let me run the show.

The local sales coordinator of Audi was my guest and he just loved it, and so did I. ECLIPSe.gif

Anyway I tried the quarter/half/full throttle test several times on the highway. Never noticed the problem at quarter or half throttle accelerations. But it was definitely there on 3rd all the way to the 6th when I do the full.Never there in 1st or 2nd either whatever the throttle.

I have my fingers crossed hoping it's the hose, but I found out today that I have the new version of the hose, the harder one.A friend said it is very unlikely to collapse.

I'll definitely make a visit to the service this week but I have little hope that they'll find what's making the problem.

By the way, is it possible to tell whether the MAF sensor is broke just by examination?

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Synchro, is yours chipped? This is normally only something that affects chipped cars....

The more I hear, the more it sounds like the collapsing hose I had. The fact that it worked on part-throttle would seem to confirm this. Mine accelerated perfectly in 1st and 2nd too. For the record, I also have the new hose design - it has ribs all over the outside which in theory strengthen the hose - but mine still collapsed.

The solution - and this is not something that Audi would do (I don't think) is to reinforce the hose from the inside. It sounds crazy but you literally drop a metal ring (looks like a metal toilet roll carton but about half the length)into the intake hose. It actually sits up against the first sensor thats in the hose so there's no danger of it getting sucked through and it keeps the hose open. As soon as that ring went in I could rev to 7k again wink.gif

All you can really tell by looking at a MAF is whether its dirty, and there isn't really much to see. You can look at MAF readings on VAG-COM to see if they're low...but the easiest way is to try the car with a new MAF.

See if you can either change your hose or spend a few pence on a reinforcing metal ring - i would recommend the 2nd. I am very confident this is your problem.


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