A3 eTron will not start in Drive?

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Joined
Mar 18, 2024
Messages
22
Location
Seattle
My (new to me) 2017 has an intermittent strange failure to start. All the dash indications say it is ready, but shift from Park to Drive and nothing happens. Battery is full or nearly so. Wil not reverse or drive forward, will not select EV mode. but does not engorged ICE. As if the Shifter is not working - or it is stuck in Neutral. Today I had it out on the driveway (slight sloop down to street) and went to drive back in the Garage and it rolled back wards as if in neutral. This happened before on level parking lot and after 3 restarts was OK. Today when place in Drive or Reverse - nothing. So I mover shifter in to Sport and it started the ICE and was able to pull into garage. Turned it off and then back on and EV mode was working. Any guesses? Shifter selection failure?
Love this 21,700 mile A3 - but concerned my wife will get stranded somewhere.
 
My (new to me) 2017 has an intermittent strange failure to start. All the dash indications say it is ready, but shift from Park to Drive and nothing happens. Battery is full or nearly so. Wil not reverse or drive forward, will not select EV mode. but does not engorged ICE. As if the Shifter is not working - or it is stuck in Neutral. Today I had it out on the driveway (slight sloop down to street) and went to drive back in the Garage and it rolled back wards as if in neutral. This happened before on level parking lot and after 3 restarts was OK. Today when place in Drive or Reverse - nothing. So I mover shifter in to Sport and it started the ICE and was able to pull into garage. Turned it off and then back on and EV mode was working. Any guesses? Shifter selection failure?
Love this 21,700 mile A3 - but concerned my wife will get stranded somewhere.
This is a silly question, but I have to ask, did you make sure you disengaged the electric parking brake?
 
My (new to me) 2017 has an intermittent strange failure to start. All the dash indications say it is ready, but shift from Park to Drive and nothing happens. Battery is full or nearly so. Wil not reverse or drive forward, will not select EV mode. but does not engorged ICE. As if the Shifter is not working - or it is stuck in Neutral. Today I had it out on the driveway (slight sloop down to street) and went to drive back in the Garage and it rolled back wards as if in neutral. This happened before on level parking lot and after 3 restarts was OK. Today when place in Drive or Reverse - nothing. So I mover shifter in to Sport and it started the ICE and was able to pull into garage. Turned it off and then back on and EV mode was working. Any guesses? Shifter selection failure?
Love this 21,700 mile A3 - but concerned my wife will get stranded somewhere.
We have had this problem with our 2017 A3 Sportback e-tron, too, but it is intermittent. There is a sensor on the brake system which will not allow the Audi to start, unless the brake has been depressed. Every 2-3 months, out A3 Sportback e-tron will not start either, but rolls without any power. We have depressed the brake pedal hard to the floor. The solution is to switch back to Park, turn it iff, then start again. This has worked every time, except once (it took 2 start sequences), but is annoying. We spent a few $hundred to have the problem solved, but it did not reoccur at the dealership during their investigation. It was mentioned that with the PHEVs, the vacuum for the brake system can decline enough that the car won’t start, but a restart will usually solve the problem. They discovered no problem with the brake vacuum, but we are concerned.
 
Thanks for the reply's... and Yes I did check the Parking Brake. And like dlinkA3, this is very intermittent but having only owner the car a month, it is frustrating. Maybe that is why the last two owners had the A3 for less than a year? And I sure do not wan to spend $250 for a hour of tech head scratching when it will likely work at the Dealer. I am aware (per the Owners Manual) that the Brake must be applied, so I wonder if there is a intermittent Brake peddle switch issue. Had an old Porsche with ABS failure indication that was caused by this common switch. Cheep DIY fix. So many sensors in these Digital cars.
 
Here is my take on this, I believe two things could be happening, potentially even both, but neither one seems to be an "issue" just requires a bit of a learning curve.

1- I get in the car, I put my foot on the brake and press the ignition button, I'm not looking at the screen to see the E-Tron Ready prompt and I just go straight to D. It's easy to do this, because there is no engine turning on for the driver to know the car is ready for being put into drive.

Solution: Enter car, foot on brake, press ignition while watching the screen and wait for the e-tron ready sign to clearly be on the display before moving from P to D.

2- Although I'm nearly sure the issue is the one above for me, another problem could be, when I first put my foot on the brake, it's super stiff at a very high point in the travel, as soon as I press the ignition button, the brake mechanism mushes quite a bit and if I don't have enough pressure on the pedal to ensure the car registers a safe "P to D" timing. Again, I think the main issue is #1 above and in the past two to three weeks, I followed my instructions above as the solution and the issue has not occurred again.

The fact that the car rolls, is likely somehow related to how things work between the transmission, electric motor and gas motor, but I'm not knowledgable enough, I am thinking this is a non-issue as well as long as you follow the steps above to prevent the premature move from P to D.

Yes, once this mistake happens, you must return to P, turn off ignition, put foot on pedal, turn on ignition and wait for etron ready, then move from P to D and up up and away you go!

I hope this is helpful, I'm pretty certain about my findings as I was running into the issue you report several times a week as a brand new owner (never had a PHEV before) and now, it hasn't happened in two weeks, except for this morning where I again, by accident because i was in conversation, moved from P to D before etron was ready. To me, this is a learning curve issue because we no longer have the starting noise of the engine to know when the shifter is ready for P to D.
 
Here is my take on this, I believe two things could be happening, potentially even both, but neither one seems to be an "issue" just requires a bit of a learning curve.

1- I get in the car, I put my foot on the brake and press the ignition button, I'm not looking at the screen to see the E-Tron Ready prompt and I just go straight to D. It's easy to do this, because there is no engine turning on for the driver to know the car is ready for being put into drive.

Solution: Enter car, foot on brake, press ignition while watching the screen and wait for the e-tron ready sign to clearly be on the display before moving from P to D.

2- Although I'm nearly sure the issue is the one above for me, another problem could be, when I first put my foot on the brake, it's super stiff at a very high point in the travel, as soon as I press the ignition button, the brake mechanism mushes quite a bit and if I don't have enough pressure on the pedal to ensure the car registers a safe "P to D" timing. Again, I think the main issue is #1 above and in the past two to three weeks, I followed my instructions above as the solution and the issue has not occurred again.

The fact that the car rolls, is likely somehow related to how things work between the transmission, electric motor and gas motor, but I'm not knowledgable enough, I am thinking this is a non-issue as well as long as you follow the steps above to prevent the premature move from P to D.

Yes, once this mistake happens, you must return to P, turn off ignition, put foot on pedal, turn on ignition and wait for etron ready, then move from P to D and up up and away you go!

I hope this is helpful, I'm pretty certain about my findings as I was running into the issue you report several times a week as a brand new owner (never had a PHEV before) and now, it hasn't happened in two weeks, except for this morning where I again, by accident because i was in conversation, moved from P to D before etron was ready. To me, this is a learning curve issue because we no longer have the starting noise of the engine to know when the shifter is ready for P to D.
This is not #1 or #2 in our cases of failure to start properly. I have pushed with all my strength, yet the Ready indication fails to appear. I must turn it off and again push hard on the brake before the Ready finally appears.
Our dealership found no issues, but this has been intermittent, so they were not able to duplicate. They believe it might be related to the brake vacuum system, that does not operate as well in our PHEV, as opposed to ICE brake vacuum systems with Audi. That is disconcerting, in the least, wondering how safe the brakes are long term. I also believe that the sensor, which determines whether the brake pedal is depressed, is intermittently failing, which does not inspire confidence either. This is on our 2017 A3 Sportback e-tron with only 22K miles on it.
Questionable Audi/VW hardware & software reliability!
 
This is not #1 or #2 in our cases of failure to start properly. I have pushed with all my strength, yet the Ready indication fails to appear. I must turn it off and again push hard on the brake before the Ready finally appears.
Our dealership found no issues, but this has been intermittent, so they were not able to duplicate. They believe it might be related to the brake vacuum system, that does not operate as well in our PHEV, as opposed to ICE brake vacuum systems with Audi. That is disconcerting, in the least, wondering how safe the brakes are long term. I also believe that the sensor, which determines whether the brake pedal is depressed, is intermittently failing, which does not inspire confidence either. This is on our 2017 A3 Sportback e-tron with only 22K miles on it.
Questionable Audi/VW hardware & software reliability!
Fair enough, all I can do is guess and try to provide what info I have, but only you know all the details of what you are dealing with.

I'm very sorry that you are running into these problems, although it sounds like you've already made up your mind about this car and Audi in general, so I'm not sure there's anything we can do to help you.

If I were you and I liked the car and felt there was a potentially failing brake pedal sensor that the dealership cannot repro, I would just pay a competent third party shop to swap it out for me, or to disgnose it for me so I can take that info back to the dealership.

Unless you still have warranty for things other than the battery pack, then yeah you should stick it to the dealership and do your best to get the to cover anything that's wrong with the car. Let us know how we can be of assistance and if there's any info we can try to provide that'll be helpful.

Best of luck with this. I hope you can either get it resolved or somehow find some peace about the situation.

Read his post. The car rolled, rather than moving under power. If the electric brake were still engaged, that would not occur.
(y)
 
Fair enough, all I can do is guess and try to provide what info I have, but only you know all the details of what you are dealing with.

I'm very sorry that you are running into these problems, although it sounds like you've already made up your mind about this car and Audi in general, so I'm not sure there's anything we can do to help you.

If I were you and I liked the car and felt there was a potentially failing brake pedal sensor that the dealership cannot repro, I would just pay a competent third party shop to swap it out for me, or to disgnose it for me so I can take that info back to the dealership.

Unless you still have warranty for things other than the battery pack, then yeah you should stick it to the dealership and do your best to get the to cover anything that's wrong with the car. Let us know how we can be of assistance and if there's any info we can try to provide that'll be helpful.

Best of luck with this. I hope you can either get it resolved or somehow find some peace about the situation.


(y)
We are out of our regular AND extended warranty. The only warranty we supposedly still have is the California 10 year 150K mile PHEV battery pack warranty, which Audi refuses to support.
 
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