7 Causes Of Audi Drive System Malfunction

Below are the five main issues that could cause an Audi drive system to malfunction. These issues are timing chain issues, drive system updates, the faulty control module, engine misfires, and a malfunctioning steering angular sensor.

What are the causes of an Audi drive system malfunction?

If you have an Audi vehicle, you are the proud owner of a stylish and high-quality vehicle. For the price tag that Audis usually has, it will be as technologically advanced as possible.

One of Audi’s important technologies is the drive system. But like any other piece of technology, the drive system will not always work perfectly.

When there is an issue with the drive system, the driver will see the words Drive System: Malfunction! Please contact service. This warning will appear on your console or your dashboard.

System glitch 

System glitch 

Technology has improved our lives greatly, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes, a malfunction warning will appear when there is nothing wrong.

When the system Drive malfunction first appears on your dashboard, turn your vehicle off and then on. In some cases, restarting your vehicle will wipe away the malfunction warning.

In some cases, the malfunction warning will simply disappear after driving around for a few minutes. But if it continues to pop up over and over again, then there may be an actual issue.

Timing chain issues 

Timing chain issues 

Not many people have heard of a timing chain. The purpose of a timing chain is to oversee the engine valves and coordinate their opening and closing with the pistons.

If there are issues with a timing change, you will notice rattling sounds when starting the engine and dirty engines. Also, the engine may not even start and that means that the timing chain breaks.

Take your vehicle in to a mechanic and ask them to check on the timing chain. Repairing or replacing a timing change can cost up to $1,000. Timing chain issues are also connected to misfiring engine cylinders.

The control module for the drive system is faulty

The control module for the drive system is faulty

The control module regulates the components of the suspension system. When the control module is not working, the actuator will not work as well.

You can troubleshoot a control module yourself. The control module can be reset by cycling the ignition.

The system drive needs an update

The system drive needs an update

Driving around outdated technology can cause the computer systems in an Audi to glitch. They will not be able to work correctly until the driver downloads the new software update.

There are many Audi drivers who have complained their vehicle starts generating false error reports. This usually happens when they forget to update their vehicles’ software systems for a while.

A vehicle will let the driver know if there’s an update that needs downloading. But you can always go to an Audi Certified mechanic or dealership to have your vehicle checked. You can also use your console’s systems to see if there is a pending software update.

Slamming your foot onto the accelerator

On the website Forum audiworld.com, there are more than a few dozen reports of Audi vehicles suddenly generating the drive system malfunction warning.

Drivers noticed that this happens when they slam on the accelerator too hard. In most cases, turning their vehicle off and on again will erase the warning.

Pressing too hard on the accelerator sends the wrong signals to the power drive system. So be careful when you want to accelerate quickly.

Occasional engine misfires 

An engine misfire occurs when a cylinder does not generate power to power the vehicle.

Continuous engine misfires are an indicator of a major issue. But an occasional engine misfire is nothing to worry about. All vehicles will experience an occasional engine misfire.

So, the drive system malfunction warning will appear when there is an occasional misfire.

However, an occasional misfire might mean there is a developing issue. Have your mechanic check your vehicle to see if there are any brand-new problems beginning to form.

The steering angular sensor is not working

The steering angle sensor senses the direction of the steering wheel and moves the tires to match the position. Without the steering angle sensor, the driver would not be able to use the steering wheel to change directions.

The vehicle wouldn’t be able to go in a straight line either, as the tires will naturally diverge from a straight line.

When the sensor is not working, there will be a delay between the movement of the steering wheel and the movement of the tires. Also, if the steering angle sensor stops working, the steering wheel cannot direct to the tires anymore.

For most issues with the steering angle sensor, calibrate the sensor to fix the problem. The mechanic can recalibrate the steering angle sensor or you can use the calibration and reset the program in an Audi vehicle.

It is rare that you will have to replace the steering angle sensor.

What is the drive system in an Audi?

There are many systems in a vehicle. Each system is critical to the function of the vehicle. Every single car has a drive system, but what does it do? 

The drive system, also known as the transmission system, is how the vehicle regulates power from the engine and battery. It will then use that power to propel the vehicle. 

The components of a drive system are the transmission, the final drive, the differential, the clutch, and a half shaft. Also, the CV joints, the axle shafts, and the U-joints are a part of the drive system. 

When there’s an issue with the drive system, it can have wide-reaching effects on the many components.


An Audi drive system malfunction can affect more than 10 components inside the engine and the drivetrain. If your vehicle experiences occasional engine misfires, then there shouldn’t be a problem. 

When the angular sensor is not working oh, you will see a delay between the movement of the steering wheel and the movement of the tires. Many Audi drivers say that their drive system malfunction warning appears randomly. 

But it often appears when their vehicle’s Software System needs an update. Also, a system glitch could generate a false drive system malfunction report.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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