Audi A4, S4 and RS4 Convertible Roof Problems | Cayman Autos
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Guide to Audi A4/S4/RS4 Convertible Roof Problems

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The Audi A4 cabriolet was launched to the convertible market in 2001 until 2009; a stylish soft top that has understated elegance together with little wind, road or engine noise with the roof up – making it a great choice of cabriolet.

As with any convertible it has its common faults and this blog will help owners identify what to look out for and maintenance tips to keep your cabriolet working well throughout the summer and winter months.

When you sit inside the Audi A4, there is the reassuring feel of solid build quality, with soft touch finishes and excellent ergonomics. The mark of a great car is its depth of engineering and how its designers have thought long and hard about how it’ is going to be used. The Audi A4 does not disappoint its owners.

Common Audi A4/S4/RS4 Convertible Roof Problems

The common Audi faults we see in the Cayman Autos workshop are;

  • Hydraulic pump motor failure
  • Broken Load Divider
  • Frame Position Sensor faults
  • Rear screen unbonded from fabric
  • Water leaks
  • Fabric has deteriorated with mould spots
  • Hydraulic leaks

We carry most parts in stock for the repairs to the Audi A4 cabriolet to enable a same day repair. It is important to carry out a diagnosis of the fault and repair required and this usually takes around an hour and can be carried out whilst you wait.

This blog will talk you through the common faults and how owners can address the common questions asked for their Audi A4 Convertible.

It is important to maintain and service your cabriolet’s roof system on an annual basis to ensure the roof system is free flowing and well lubricated to avoid additional stress on the mechanical components.

Check the vehicle for any signs of water ingress to the cabin or boot area as prolonged period of damp wet carpets or upholstery can affect the cabriolet’s roof mechanism.

How to open the convertible top on an Audi A4/S4/RS4 Roof System

The Audi A4 cabriolet models have fully retractable automatic soft top roofs.

The Audi A4’s roof system opens and closes at a touch of a button and when opened, the fabric roof is stored in the storage bay under the tonneau cover.

  • Ensure the ignition is switched on – we would recommend the convertible roof is operated with the engine running to reduce battery drain
  • Pull & hold the roof button switch in the centre console until the roof is completely retracted
  • The warning lamp indicator turns off when the fabric folding roof is completely and safely retracted
  • If you release the switch through operation, this will stop the cabriolet roof opening procedure
  • The electric windows will lower half way
  • The convertible roof frame disengages from the windscreen
  • The tonneau cover unlocks and opens to allow the folding roof to be stored into its compartment
  • The fabric folding roof retracts
  • The tonneau cover lid folds down onto the compartment and closes
  • Electric windows then rise

To close the roof system, we advise that the engine is running and the roof button switch to be pressed and held in position until the soft top locks firmly in place and the warning lamp indicator turns off.

audi s4 convertible roof problems

How to perform a reset on the Audi A4/S4/RS4 Cabriolet

On the Audi A4 Cabriolet there is no reset procedure – the fabric folding roof can be manually closed in the event of failure, which is a reassuring benefit should the convertible roof get stuck in the open position.

The fault that has caused this roof failure needs to be diagnosed and the correct repair identified to restore your hood operation.

There are many components that operate together – a convertible roof system is a complex series of sensors, wiring, motors, pump and locks that communicate with each other to allow the driver to operate the roof system at a touch of a button.

Roof components can fail due to wear and tear and in some instances can be damaged due to water ingress, which can lead to failure of mechanical parts. It is important that if water or condensation is an unwanted feature to your cabriolet it is addressed to avoid complications to the electrics of the vehicle and its roof system.

Recommended: How to stop convertible water leaks

How to close the Audi A4 Cabriolet Roof System in the event of failure

  • Switch the ignition on and open all 4 windows manually
  • To release hydraulic pressure, remove key from ignition and hold roof button down for 10 seconds
  • Remove manual tool from driver’s side on dashboard behind compartment where fuses are situated
  • The manual tool is a T shaped tool – to open key, turn the red part of the key anti-clockwise and the pin will come out
  • Get into the back of the vehicle behind the driver and passenger seat
  • Remove the centre arm rest and the ski hatch cover to expose opening
  • Insert manual key into the hole situated in the centre of the hatch. Turn clockwise until it engages and wind the red part of the key in and you will hear a click, turn anticlockwise until the tonneau lid opens
  • Lift the tonneau lid carefully
  • The fabric roof should then be lifted slowly and parallel with 2 people until half way
  • Lift the back half of the roof up into the vertical position
  • Lower the tonneau lid down
  • Let go of the front and rear of the roof and it will take its natural position
  • The tonneau lid now needs to be locked into place – get back inside the vehicle and turn the manual key handle clockwise until it clicks and it will go no further and unwind and remove the manual tool
  • Replace the ski hatch
  • The front roof now needs to be locked into the windscreen panel
  • Remove the small square plastic cover that sits above the rear view mirror when the roof is closed
  • Insert the manual tool into the hole until it engages and wind the red handle anticlockwise. This opens the forks to allow the roof to come down and then turn anticlockwise to lock and engage the roof securely – do not overturn
  • Replace the plastic cover
  • Replace manual tool by fuse box

See our Audi A4 Convertible Roof Repair Services

How to perform a reset on the Audi A4/S4/RS4 Cabriolet

On the Audi A4 Cabriolet there is no reset procedure – the fabric folding roof can be manually closed in the event of failure, which is a reassuring benefit should the convertible roof get stuck in the open position.

The fault that has caused this symptom needs to be diagnosed and the correct repair identified to restore your hood operation.

There are many components that operate together – a convertible roof system is a complex series of sensors, wiring, motors, pump and locks that communicate with each other to allow the driver to operate the roof system at a touch of a button.

Roof components can fail due to wear and tear and in some instances can be damaged due to water ingress, which can lead to failure of mechanical parts. It is important that if water or condensation is an unwanted feature to your cabriolet it is addressed to avoid complications to the electrics of the vehicle and its roof system.

My Audi A4/S4/RS4 Convertible Hydraulic Pump has failed

This is a common fault we see on this make and model of cabriolet and carry these parts in stock for the same day confirmation of diagnosis and repair.

The hydraulic pump is located in the boot area of the Audi A4 convertible and there is a hydraulic fluid level indicator situated on the pump itself.

A common symptom of a failed pump motor is that cabriolet roof unlocks from the top and goes no further or the rear lid cover unlocks and goes no further– the hydraulic pump motor on the Audi A4 usually fails due to wear and tear.

Audi A4 Lever for Convertible Top Trunk Storage Compartment (load divider) has stopped working

Most Audi A4 cabriolets that come into the workshop have a problem with the storage levers on the load divider. This feature is for ultimate storage space when the fabric folding roof is in the upright closed position and can often break if the storage compartment is operated when the roof is in the open position.

Whilst these load dividers can be very expensive to replace with a new part from the Audi Dealership, complete replacement is not always necessary and we can in some cases repair.

My Audi A4/S4/RS4 Screen has become detached from the soft top fabric

The Audi A4 rear screen is a common victim of becoming unglued from the fabric.

It is important to act quickly if you want to avoid the cost of a new replacement fabric – in some cases where the unbonding is severe, the only option is for a full convertible hood replacement.

After a spell of warm weather, we often have a flurry of A4 Cabriolet owners with the problem of their convertible rear screen becoming unbonded from the fabric.

We would always recommend that a price comparison for a new fabric is obtained as this is always the best option for an increased life span, however sometimes owners have a limited budget and rebonding the rear screen is a good alternative.

When a screen becomes detached, this can allow rain water to access the boot and cabin area that can in turn lead to more serious operational and electric faults.

How do you clean an Audi A4/S4/RS4 Cabriolet Roof?

Sometimes the fabric on your Audi A4 cabriolet can deteriorate with age and fungus and mould spots can appear.

The best way to clean and protect your soft-top fabric is to start with a good clean of the fabric. It is important to clean dirt, mould, mildew and tree sap from the roof system, along with previously applied water proofing agents.

Removing these deteriorants to the fabric is of utmost importance to get to the base fabric as they hinder the appearance and damage the water repellency.

After this first step, your fabric on your cabriolet roof is starting to take shape, however remember the fabric is stripped bare and will not resist water permeating through the fabric into your cabin area.

Using a reproofer is the final stage of your process. It is neutral in colour so suitable for all shades of soft-top.

Most reproofers now have the added benefits of UV Protection and mould and mildew inhibitor to ensure convertible fabrics are protected and look better for longer.

The amount of reproofing depends upon the fabric. Let each coat of reproof dry – you will know when you have applied sufficient to your soft-top fabric when the fabric refuses to absorb anymore solution. This simply means that the water repellency is good. You will see liquid sitting on the top, running down the windows, or only being absorbed into the areas that need it.

Recommended: Convertible Roof Cleaning Service

About Cayman Autos in Redhill

Cayman Auto Services is the UK’s Leading Folding Roof Specialist – we find the best solution for cabriolet owners with a non-functioning roof system.

We are an optimistic bunch in the UK! Despite our weather often being wet and dreary, we love to drive convertibles. It makes sense in a way – we want to make the most of the few sunny days we have! What better way to do so than a long drive around the countryside or to the beach with the roof down.

Per capita, consumers in the UK buy more convertibles than almost any other country in the world – we are ranked #2 behind Germany. That is an incredible statistic given the number of rainy days we have each year and highlights our passion for driving and love for convertible roofs.

The Audi A4 Cabriolet roof system is complex and there are many components that can fail within the vehicle’s roof system. There are a series of Frame Position sensors and Switches in the front and rear locks that can also fail and provide incorrect readings along with the faults mentioned above.

Accurate diagnosis is key to any convertible roof problem. If you have had a local garage carry out a diagnosis, please give Cayman Autos a call for a comparative quote for the repair of the identified component/s.

We carry most parts in stock for your vehicle and aim where possible to diagnose and repair the same day.

Let’s enjoy the limited sunshine the UK provides and get ready for Summer!

Thanks for reading Audi A4 Convertible/Cabriolet Roof Problems. If you require some assistance from the team at Cayman Autos, Contact us today on 01737 761599 or visit us at 51 ORMSIDE WAY, REDHILL, SURREY, RH1 2LG. We have customers from across the UK, including HampshireKentthe Midlands and North West.

You can also keep up to date with the latest Cayman Autos news via our website, Facebook pageTwitter account, and LinkedIn page. Don’t forget to check out reviews from our customers on FacebookGoogle or our website.

Cayman Auto Services
We specialise in Convertible Roof Repairs and have customers from across the UK and Internationally. If you need advice about your folding roof please contact us.
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