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The Audi S6 Years to Avoid

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We've rounded up four Audi S6 years to avoid based on commonly-reported problems and vehicle recalls. Read on to learn which ones so you can make a smart used car shopping decision.

black audi s6
Source: Audi

The Audi S6 is a high-performance luxury sedan that has won the hearts of automotive enthusiasts and discerning buyers with its sleek design, powerful engine, and premium features. It is a step up from the standard A6 model, offering enhanced performance and a more engaging driving experience. However, despite its relative popularity, not every S6 model year has been a shining example of Audi’s renowned craftsmanship and reliability.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Audi S6 years to avoid, providing valuable insights for those considering purchasing a used S6. By examining common issues, reliability ratings, and consumer feedback, we aim to help potential buyers like you make an informed decision when searching for the ideal Audi S6.

Which Audi S6 Years to Avoid?

Before we talk about the reliability of the S6, let’s first pivot to the brand’s overall reliability. RepairPal says that Audi’s reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0 places it in the lower half of all car brands, ranking 28th out of 32. This rating, based on data from 345 unique models, suggests that Audi owners may experience more frequent and costly repairs compared to other brands. With an average annual repair cost of $987 and a 13% chance of a severe repair, buyers should carefully consider the long-term ownership costs associated with Audi vehicles – more so than other brands.

With that said, below are the Audi S6 years to avoid due to reliability issues and consumer complaints:


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2002 Audi S6

The reliability of the Audi S6 is a bit of a mixed bag, and that’s certainly the case with the 2002 model year. The main concern lies with the automatic transmission, which has been known to fail prematurely. Many owners have resorted to replacing the automatic with a manual transmission to improve reliability. Additionally, parts for the S6 can be more expensive and difficult to find than other vehicles.

However, if the transmission issue is addressed and the car is well-maintained, the 2002 S6 can be a reliable and enjoyable vehicle. Prospective buyers should thoroughly inspect any 2002 S6 and consider the potential costs of transmission replacement and vehicle age before purchasing.


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2013 Audi S6

The 2013 S6 is a fairly popular model year, but it has received numerous complaints, particularly with its engine. This makes the 2013 model a shoo-in for this list of Audi S6 years to avoid.

Having said that, numerous reports have surfaced of S6 turbos failing at alarmingly low mileages, some as early as 50,000 miles. When the turbos fail, the car loses power and can shut down unexpectedly, leaving drivers in potentially dangerous situations.

The root cause appears to be a clogged oil strainer that starves the turbos of lubrication. While Audi has issued a technical service bulletin, they haven’t taken more substantial action, leaving owners on the hook for repairs that can exceed $10,000. For anyone considering a used 2013 S6, this prevalent issue should be enough to get you to pause.

In addition, this model year also struggled with transmission woes, although to a lesser degree than the problematic engine. Common problems include transmission failure to shift, gear skipping, and clutch slipping, which can result in high repair costs. One report describes a transmission overheating, leading to a loss of power on the freeway and the need for an expensive replacement.

2014 Audi S6

Unfortunately, the 2014 S6 inherited many of the worst issues of the previous model year, including the dreaded turbo failure. says the 2014 Audi S6 is the worst model year of the luxury performance sedan.

As with the 2013 version, this vehicle’s turbochargers have been known to fail prematurely, often due to a flawed oil screen design that can restrict lubrication to these critical components. When the turbos fail, the engine can suddenly lose power, which may catch drivers off guard and lead to safety concerns.

Audi has acknowledged the issue through technical service bulletins but has not taken the step of issuing a full recall. Instead, they have offered an extended warranty on the oil separator, but this does not cover the costly turbocharger replacements that may result from the oil starvation issue.

Moreover, the 2014 S6 has a few recalls. In 2022, a recall was issued for the turbocharger oil supply strainer, which can become blocked and cause premature wear to the bearings, potentially resulting in engine stalls and increasing the risk of a crash. In 2018, a recall addressed a malfunctioning Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) that could lead to improper airbag deployment. Lastly, a 2013 recall targeted a potential fuel line leak, which could result in a fire if exposed to an ignition source.


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2016 Audi S6

Again, the same dark cloud of engine issues have loomed over the 2016 S6. Once again, this issue was caused by a poorly designed oil screen that restricts oil flow to the turbos, leading to premature wear and eventual failure.

One owner reported a dangerous situation when their car stalled in the middle of an intersection due to turbo failure, forcing them to limp the vehicle to safety. Another customer experienced turbo failure on Christmas Day, resulting in a complete engine stall while driving. Since then, they have dealt with coolant loss and engine surging issues.

Another owner experienced a sudden engine failure due to clogged oil screens, resulting in turbo failure. They believe this is a significant safety issue. In Columbus, OH, another owner lost power and experienced rapid deceleration while merging onto a busy interstate. They ultimately coasted to the shoulder without power steering.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Audi S6 has been subject to two recalls. One addresses the infamous turbocharger oil strainer that can become blocked, starving the bearings of lubrication and causing the engine to stall or crash. The other recall involves a malfunctioning PODS airbag system, which may lead to improper airbag deployment.

Overall, the 2016 variant is far from being the most problematic Audi S6 years to avoid, but the engine issues can be a hard pill to swallow for many used car buyers.

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