Q5 and a pain in the ‘A’

Hannah is reminded why she prefers older vehicles, when one of today’s interconnected automotive wonders rolls into her workshop

Published:  05 September, 2019

I am a bit of an ‘old-skool’ mechanic, I enjoy working on vehicles that are mechanical and do not depend on computer wizardry to move. I regularly work on 1960s Porsches in all their air-cooled simplicity.
    
Just last week though, a friend asked if I could service their 2017 Audi Q5. We arranged a date and off I went to pick this car up. This is a hugely impressive vehicle with every piece of technology you could ever want. Confidently, I got it up on the lift and started checking it; brakes, suspension, exhaust. I also let the oil out. Everything was going accordingly to plan at this point.
    
I always make sure that when a car is still within its manufacturer warranty that I use genuine parts and oils, for me it protects the customer on any issues.
    
For a car that was only two years old everything was as it should be. Unfortunately, this is when the headache started. I screwed in the new sump plug and lowered the car ready to put the oil in, but wait, no dipstick! Manufacturers now don’t include a dipstick. Is it weight-saving gone mad or a great idea from someone who doesn’t work on cars? Following this unhappy discovery, I researched and found out the quantity it should have, put that in and then checked the on-board computer. What a palaver.
    
Next came the replacement fuel filter. The price of the thing was enough to put me off but I found the location, now at this point I had spoken to a friend who is more in tune with modern cars and stated that to replace the fuel filter you the needed to plug it in to a computer and prime it! The fuel filter replacement was then put on hold for another day when I could have the car back.
    
Next on my list was to reset the service light, this too needed specialist diagnostic equipment for Audi vehicles. It wasn’t going well, I could sense it was going to be one of those days.
    
Defeated by the technology of today, I decided to contact the owner and get the car back until I could call in a favour from a friend who had spent tens of thousands on diagnostic equipment.
    
The icing on the cake to my disastrous and unproductive day was the service record. I normally relish the challenge of getting my service stamp within the lines and making sure that it is readable. It is a skill that takes much practice to master. Imagine my horror while sifting through the car’s endless manuals only to discover that there is no service book. It turns out that it’s all online now. I’m not sure I’m ready to put my service stamp into retirement just yet.
    
Alas, the Audi will be returning to the workshop in the next couple of days. Sadly, I won’t need any tools to finish its service – just a computer.



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