Goes into hold mode with full battery and comfort driving

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New member
Feb 6, 2018
Hi, all. This is a problem which I have had intermittently, which cleared up, but which is now back today.

I start the car with a full battery, and it immediately flips into hold mode, even when I'm facing downhill without accelerting. Sometimes this happens, and I turn the car off and then on again and it clears up. Sometimes it persists for days.

The dealer is exceptionally unhelpful. I have brought it in for this a number of times, and they always tell me that there are no faults. Then they explain the car is not an electric car, it's a hybrid, and that therefore I should not expect it to drive in electric mode.

Last time this happened, they hooked it up to the computer to get the data from it, and the problem did not happen for months.

Has anybody else experienced this, or does anybody have any idea how to stop it.
What do you mean when you say comfort mode?
Is the transmission in D(five) or S(port). If you're in S mode it will automatically switch to Battery Hold.
In addition to Drive and Sport I have "comfort" and "dynamic."

The car has been behaving pretty well for about 6 months, but now it's acting up again. I'd hate to go to the dealer again for nothing... Anybody else seeing this issues?
esquared":go9zb3xn said:
I start the car with a full battery, and it immediately flips into hold mode, even when I'm facing downhill without accelerting.

When the battery is already fully charged it cannot accept any more power through regenerative braking.

My supposition (Have to check owner's manual to see if this is documented in there) is that when going downhill with a fully charged battery the car turns off the electric motor to protect the battery from excess charging and the E-Tron goes into hold mode to activate the petrol motor.
The car will switch to "Hold" mode if you go from "D" to "S" by pulling the shifter. Is this the case? I have a 2016 A3 e-tron and it never does that unless I purposely switch to "S" drive mode using the shifter.
Hi Esquared,

Yes I've had the a similar issue as yourself with the car just randomly switching to "Hybrid Hold" even when the battery still has a substantial charge remaining.

I never got to the bottom of the trigger for this action and the only way we spotted it had changed mode was by what appeared to be the battery lasting longer than we would expect, when driving in "Auto" mode.

It started doing this following a software update along with several other anomalies, false warnings of problems with the car.

We returned it to the dealership who said there wasn't a fault but it hasn't changed modes by itself since, other false warnings still exist though.
Wouldn’t stay in EV mode this morning for the first time in 2 years. Seems to have sorted itself out for the moment. Display posted this cryptic message: “hybrid system: engine needs to have been running for an extended length of time”. Has anyone seen this? Does the engine sometimes need to run if it hasn’t been used enough? I did use the gas engine quite a bit the previous day...
I experience the same issue. Drive, Comfort settings. Its usually soon after I start the car. It won't let me choose EV mode even on a full battery. Its not selectable in the menu. And even in hybrid mode the engine runs at stop lights or coasting. Its like the engine needs to refresh or warm up for a few minutes. After a few minutes EV mode comes back and the car acts normally with no engine at low RPM and coasting in hybrid mode.

It doesn't happen after the first 10-15 minutes. It's normal after that. I would guess I see this behavior 1 out of 5 starts?
The owner's manual mentions that the EV-only mode might not be available when the system decides that the engine must be run for mostly undisclosed technical reasons.

The one reason it gives is that the engine may need to start to get rid of condensation. The manual doesn't say where in/on/around the engine this troublesome condensation may be located.
I find that in Hybrid mode the ICE engine runs when stopped or coasting quite often too. So it's not just when the car is just started and EV mode is not selectable.
If battery is fully charged and you go downhill for some times, the ICE will turn on in hybrid hold mode to protect the batteries from overcharging.
I had that the battery got charged at more than 50-55 KM of range, than the ICE kicked in.

The Audi Drive select has no effect on the matter (at least on the 2015 model).