Audi A4 Owners Manual

Care of exterior
General maintenance / Care of vehicle and cleaning / Care of exterior

Washing the vehicle

The longer substances like insects, bird droppings, resinous tree sap, road dirt, industrial deposits, tar, soot or road salt and other aggressive materials remain on the vehicle, the more damage they do to the paintwork. High temperatures (for instance in strong sunlight) further intensify the corrosive effect.

After the period when salt is put on the roads it is important to have the underside of the vehicle washed thoroughly.

Automatic car washes

Before going through a car wash, be sure to take the usual precautions such as closing the windows and sunroof. If the vehicle has special accessories such as spoilers or a roof carrier or two-way radio aerial, etc., it is advisable to consult the car wash operator.

It is best to use a car wash without revolving bristles if possible.

Washing your car with a high-pressure cleaner

When cleaning the vehicle with a high-pressure cleaner, always follow the operating instructions for the equipment. This applies particularly to the operating pressure and the spraying distance. Do not hold the spray nozzle too close to soft materials, such as rubber hoses or seals.

Do not use a nozzle that sprays the water out in a direct stream or one that has a rotating jet for forcing off dirt.

Washing the car by hand

When washing the car by hand, use plenty of water to soften the dirt first, and rinse off as well as possible.

Then clean the vehicle with a soft sponge, glove or brush, using only slight pressure. You should start on the roof and work down. Special car shampoo should only be used for very persistent dirt.

Rinse the sponge or glove thoroughly and often.

Wheels, sills and similar should be cleaned last. Use a second sponge for this.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. WARNING

  • • Do not wash the vehicle with the ignition switched on – risk of accident.
  • • Do not clean the underside of the car or inside the wheel arches without protecting your hands and arms. You may cut yourself on sharp metal parts.
  • • Take care when washing the car during the winter: moisture and ice on the brakes may affect braking efficiency – this could cause an accident.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. Caution

  • • Do not wash the vehicle in direct sunlight – otherwise the paint can be damaged.
  • • Do not use insect sponges or abrasive household sponges, etc. – they can damage the surfaces.
  • • The headlights should only be washed with water – do not wipe them with a dry cloth or sponge. It is best to use soapy water.
  • • Never wash tyres with a jet that sprays the water out in a direct stream. This could damage the tyres – even if the spray is kept at a distance and only used for a very short time.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. The car should only be washed in special wash bays. This prevents oily water For the sake of the environment

The car should only be washed in special wash bays. This prevents oily water from getting into the public drains. In some districts, washing vehicles anywhere else may be prohibited.

Waxing and polishing


Waxing protects the paintwork. It is time to apply a good coat of wax when water no longer forms droplets and rolls off the clean paintwork.

Even if a wax solution is used regularly in the car wash, it is advisable to protect the paint with a coat of wax at least twice a year.

In the summer, you will find it is much easier to remove dead insects (which accumulate on the bumper and the front of the bonnet) if the car has been waxed recently.


Polishing is only necessary if the paint has lost its shine, and the gloss cannot be brought back by putting on wax.

The car must be waxed after polishing if the polish used does not contain wax compounds to seal the paint.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. Matt painted and plastic parts must not be treated with wax or polish. Caution

Matt painted and plastic parts must not be treated with wax or polish.

Ornamental trim and mouldings

The metal brightwork on the body is made of aluminium rather than chrome (for environmental reasons).

Dirt or marks on the trim mouldings should be removed with an acid-free cleaning agent (do not use a chrome cleaner). Body polish is also unsuitable for use on trim mouldings. The intensive cleaning fluids often used before the car goes into a car wash may contain alkaline substances, which can cause dull or milky patches when they dry out.

Audi dealers carry stocks of cleaning products which have been tested for use on your vehicle and are not harmful to the environment.

Plastic parts

Plastic parts will come clean with regular washing. If this is not sufficient, plastic parts should only be treated with a special solvent-free plastic cleaning agent. Do not use paint cleaners, polishes or wax on plastic parts.

Paint damage

Minor damage to the paint, such as scratches or stone chips, should be touched up without delay before the metal starts to corrode. Suitable touch-up brushes or sprays for your car can be obtained from an Audi dealer.

The number of the original paint finish on the vehicle is given on the data sticker ⇒ page 321.

If corrosion is already visible it must be thoroughly removed by a qualified workshop.


Clear vision is an essential safety factor.

The windscreen must not be cleaned with insect remover or wax, otherwise the windscreen wipers will not function properly (juddering).

Traces of rubber, oil, grease or silicone can be removed with a window cleaning solution or a silicone remover. Wax residue can only be removed with a special cleaner. Your Audi dealer will be able to provide you with more detailed information.

The windows should also be cleaned on the inside at regular intervals.

Use a separate cloth or chamois to dry the windows. Cloths used for waxing and polishing contain residues that will cause smears on the glass.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. Do not use water-repellent coatings on the windscreen. In bad visibility WARNING

Do not use water-repellent coatings on the windscreen. In bad visibility conditions such as light rain, low sun or when driving at night these coatings can cause increased dazzle, which is a serious safety hazard. Such coatings can also cause the wiper blades to judder.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. Caution

  • • Remove snow and ice from windows and mirrors with a plastic scraper only. To avoid scratches caused by dirt on the glass, the scraper should only be pushed in one direction and not moved to and fro.
  • • The heating element for the rear window is located on the inner side of the window. To avoid damaging the heating element, do not put stickers on the inner side of the window.
  • • Never use warm or hot water to remove snow and ice from windows and mirrors. This could cause the glass to crack!

Rubber seals (weatherstrips)

The weatherstrips will remain pliable and last longer if they are occasionally treated with a suitable care product (for example silicone spray). This will also prevent premature ageing and leaks. The doors will be easier to open as well. If they are kept pliable, the door seals will be less likely to freeze up in the winter.


The wheels require regular attention to preserve their appearance. It is important to remove road salt and brake dust by washing the wheels at regular intervals, otherwise the finish will be impaired.

After washing, the wheels should only be cleaned with an "acidfree" cleaning agent for alloy wheels. This is available from Audi dealers and specialist retailers. Never leave the cleaning agent on the rims for any longer than specified in the instructions before rinsing it off. If the wheel cleaner fluid contains acid it can attack the surfaces of the wheel bolts.

Car polish or other abrasive agents should not be used. If the protective paint coating is damaged by stone chips etc., the damaged area should be touched up immediately.

Audi A4: Care of exterior. Please note when cleaning the wheels that water, ice and road salt can WARNING

Please note when cleaning the wheels that water, ice and road salt can impair the effectiveness of the brakes – this can cause an accident.

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