Audi A3 Dashboard Warning Lights

Details in this section are the dashboard warning lights, engine management lights and fault symbols associated with the Audi A3 and Audi S3.

Each warning or information symbol is similar or identical to those found on the Audi A3 / S3 dashboard and included is the explanation meaning of the light symbol.

Dashboard lights may vary depending on the version of the Audi A3 S3 and the country in which it was manufactured.

Typically the colour of the light symbol illustrates how severe the situation is.

A red symbol often required immediate attention, a orange symbol is less immediate, a flashing symbol is urgent and other colours are used to illustrate a system that is in operation.

A3 Emissions Control

Audi A3 / S3 Emissions Control Warning light

The engine management warning light should illuminate when the engine is started and should extinguish shortly after. If the light remains on, it suggests there’s a problem with the engine emissions control system. This isn’t urgent though assistance should be sought from a qualified technician soon.

A3 Check Engine Oil

Check engine oil dashboard symbol

This symbol lights up on the Audi A3 permanently to inform you that engine oil levels are low and need to be replenished. Running significantly low on engine oil can cause catastrophic damage to an engine. See how to check engine oil for further information.

A3 Faulty Sensor

Faulty Engine Oil Sensor Light

This symbol, the same as above will this time flash to inform the driver that there’s a fault in the engine oil sensor. Non-urgent but assistance should be sought soon.

A3 Engine Oil Pressure

Engine oil Pressure Too Low Warning Light

This symbol lights up in red on the Audi A3 / S3 warning the driver that the engine oil pressure is too low. This may suggest a serious fault. If this symbol illuminates whilst driving, stop the car and switch off the engine immediately.

A3 Cooling System Fault

Cooling System Fault Light

This symbol illuminates red to indicate there’s a fault within the engine system cooling system. Engines that overheat can seize. If driving and this symbol illuminates, pull over and switch off the engine immediately. See what is engine coolant and how to check engine coolant for further details.

A3 Brake System Fault

Brake or handbrake applied warning light

This symbol will illuminate on the dashboard to indicate one of two things. 1. The handbrake is applied, please release the handbrake to continue. 2. If the light remains illuminated with the handbrake released, this indicated a fault in the car brakes system. If driving when the symbol illuminates and the handbrake is fully released, pull over and stop the car immediately and seek assistance. For further information, see why is the brake light on in my car?

A3 Anti-lock Brakes

Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) System Fault

This ABS symbol should illuminate for a brief period when the engine is started. If the light remains on or illuminates whilst driving, there is a problem with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). This is not immediately urgent as normal braking will still be effective, though ABS may not function. See the Anti-Lock Braking System guide for understanding what ABS is and how it works.

A3 Battery Charging

Battery Charging / Alternator Fault Light

This symbol should illuminate on the Audi dashboard when the engine starts and soon after extinguish. If the light remain on, it suggests there’s a fault with the alternator and the battery may not be receiving sufficient charge. Engine starting issues may arise. To maintain reliability, assistance from an authorised technician should be sought immediately. See Why is the battery warning light on for further help.

A3 Airbag System

Airbag Check / Fault DASHBOARD Light

This symbol should illuminate when the engine has started and shortly go out. If the light remains on or illuminates whilst driving, it suggests there’s a fault with the airbag system. This may result in the airbag not being deployed in the event of an accident. For further information about airbags and possible faults, see why is the airbag light on?

A3 Tyre Pressure Warning

Tyre Pressure Warning Light

This orange symbol illuminate when the engine is switched on and should shortly extinguish. If the light remains on or illuminates whilst driving, it suggests one or more tyres have insufficient air pressure. Stop the vehicle immediately to check tyres. See tyre legal limit for information on having too high and too low pressure in tyres. If you are experiencing problems, see tyre pressure warning light keeps coming on. After correcting pressures or changing tyres / wheels, you may need to reset the tyre pressure monitor system (TPMS).

A3 Adaptive light fault

Adaptive Light DASHBOARD Fault light

Audi A3 adaptive lights allow you to see further at night, in poor lighting conditions and around bends by following the direction of travel. Light illuminates to suggest a fault. Non-urgent as normal lights will continue to illuminate.

A3 headlight Range Control

Headlight Range Control Warning Light

Audi A3 headlight range control automatically adjusts the angle of the lights to provide the best possible range of lighting based on the car load. The headlight range control dashboard warning light suggests a fault within the system only and normal night driving lights will work as usual.

A3 light / rain sensor

Light / Rain Sensor Defective WARNING Light

Audi A3 is fitted with a system that detects light levels and rain and automatically activated the windscreen wipers or headlights depending on what has been detected. If this symbol remains illuminated it suggests a fault in the system. Manual activation of windscreen wipers and headlights is required until system is repaired.

A3 diesel particulate filter obstructed

Diesel Particulate Filter Obstructed Warning Light

The Audi A3 diesel particulate filter obstructed warning light may illuminate whilst driving to suggest that diesel emissions are not being filtered correctly. This is non-urgent though the vehicle may not be complying with legal emission standards. Seek assistance from a qualified technician soon.

A3 EPC Engine Management System

A3 / S3 EPC Engine Management System Warning Light

The Audi A3 onboard computer system, or EPC Engine Management System continuously monitors and maintains various components within the engine. The EPC light should extinguish after the engine has started. If the light illuminates or remains on, this suggests a fault in the engine. The type of fault varies and a fault code will need to be established from a qualified technician to establish a fix. Though non-urgent, it’s something that needs looking at soon.

A3 Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP)

Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) Warning Light

The Audi A3 and Audi S3 has a Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) which initiates traction control and braking distribution for safer driving. The ESP light will become illuminated if the system is manually turned off. If the symbol illuminates but the system hasn’t been manually switched off, it suggests a problem with the Electronic Stabilisation Program. Generally no difference to the cars control will be noticed under normal driving conditions, though to allow for overall safe control under variable road and driving conditions, system need to be rectified.

A3 Electro-mechanical power steering failure
A3 Electro-mechanical power steering power loss

Power Steering DASHBOARD warning lights

Power steering problems may occur in the Audi A3 as indicated by the symbol. Red symbol indicated a total loss of power due to failure in the system, orange symbol indicated a partial loss of power. This is non-urgent and not dangerous as normal steering is still possible though turning the wheel may feel more difficult whilst stationary or moving slowly as there will be no mechanical assistance.

Common Audi A3 Dashboard Lights

Car bonnet open warning light
Car boot / tailgate open warning light
Car doors not closed warning light
Seat belt not secured warning
Indicators / hazard warning lights
Audi A3 trailer turn signals / indicators
Main / full beam warning light
Windscreen washer fluid level low
Low petrol / diesel fuel level
Cruise control activated
A3 Diesel glow plug system
A3 brake pads need replacing

16 thoughts on “Audi A3 Dashboard Warning Lights”

  1. Aaron

    Enginmangement light on when I go over 50 it loses power and goes into safe mode with the diesel glow plug system flashing any idea wat this could be thanks

  2. Mpho

    Caution sing appears when driving past 20km/h not sure what could it be please help.

  3. Jon Clarke

    Same problem here mate , audi garage had it twice for a week both time , every time say they fixed changed a small part and it re occurs , never had any trouble with her 2010 plate had it over 3 years , all audi servicing , frustrating to say the least , wonder if it to do with the emissions work they had to perform, so mad at them , feel like getting fixed and sell her go another car . spent a small fortune over they years with audi , its diesel only got 80,000 mile son clock . did you find the issue with yours ?

  4. Jamal

    Audi issues are non stop and Audi Australia are as bad as their car
    never gonna buy Audi again
    I have an SQ5
    bought it in Oct 2014
    got delivered End of Nov 2014
    so the car should be under warranty, right!!!
    WRONG! No warranty, out of warranty 2 weeks and the car breaks down, AUdi not responsible for it
    what a shame

  5. Thabo

    i am owning Audi A3 1.8L 2000 model non – Turbo . Problem with my car is that it was running smoothly with no problem. it only started last week, its show a flashing key on the dashboard when i on it and it just start and stop engine immediately. what needed to be done so that a car can start normal again

  6. Sounds like it could be a key not in vehicle warning light. Do you have another key fob to try or have you replaced the batteries in the fob? The key may require reprogramming if you do. It may also be an immobiliser problem. A common problem with the A3’s is the reader coil on the ignition in the ignition barrel. After trying different keys (if you have any), replacing the batteries, the best thing would be to get the vehicle scanned to see what fault codes come up.

  7. Lekhotla

    I have just bought A3 2006 resently and immediately I took it to the service realising that each time when I start the engine, there is a phrase displaced in red on the dash board ‘ Service!’. But even after service the phrase still appears each time I start the engine. Anyone who can help.

  8. Hello Lekhotla,
    It sounds like the engineer forgot to reset the service interval reminder. This happens quite a lot. If you just pop your Audi in to them it should only take a few minutes for them to do it.

  9. David

    I have a problem with my Audi a3 2001 model it switched off while I was driving and I recovered that the timing belt was warn out. I replaced it but still it won’t start.

  10. Lrd

    audi a3 2006 automatic it produces hitting sound when changing gears…especial gear 2 and 3… warning lights

  11. In reply to Aaron
    Clogged dpf filter.You could get some dpf cleaner(£15-20)and take it for a 20-30 mile motorway run to ‘regenerate’ the filter.But if like me you only do short runs,it will clog up again in a week or 2.I had mine cut out and remapped(£250)

  12. Pete

    In reply to AA.

    Drive it at in a lower gear at around 65 mph at around 2800 revs for 12 minutes… Crc maf cleaner is the best in UK. Don’t scream the engine, still driving comfortably in a lower gear than regenerates it fine.

  13. Micky

    Hi guys, I have an Audi A3 8P, 56 plate and recently the alarm standby LED, in the middle of the dashboard, doesn’t go off, even after driving it for an hour. Any ideas what it might be?

  14. Chris

    In reply to Aaron.

    Egr valve

  15. Destiny

    My Epc comes on sporadically, Onne in October again in December. Since so far between, I didn’t bother I did call Audi the first time, but since it hasn’t come back on I didn’t go in. Now my check oil light is on, but I got an oil change probably late summer, September. Any advice, if this is still active?

  16. Hi Destiny,
    You should check your oil levels. If your engine is using a lot of oil, you’ll need to get that looked at. Running the engine with low oil levels can risk damage as the engine components may not get properly lubricated. The EPC light might be related to the oil issue, or it might not be. There’s usually fault codes generated and stored when the EPC light comes on and this is the best way to find out what’s going on. You can purchase diagnostic fault code readers online, else they do this at a workshop for a fee.

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