New to an S3 - please help!

Blueshoes981

New Member
Hi everyone,

after owning many hot hatches and an m140i, I’ve decided to get an S3 which I’ve wanted for years. But since I’ve been working on Hondas and BMWs, I’m not too clued up on the vag hatches so please help me out!

It’s a 66 plate with 20k miles, which I think means it’s one of the very first facelift S3s?? I know power and torque was upped, and the 7 speed was introduced, but what else (mechanically) was changed in the facelift?

Other than the water pump, is there anything else to look out for on this age and mileage? I’d like to know how to look after it as I’ve owned a GTI with a dq200 dry clutch which exploded on me so I’m cautious about keeping this one running smoothly, but from what I can tell these are pretty solid?

Other than that, what’s the exhaust like? I’ve heard the facelift exhaust has a few more pops, but are the dsg “farts” louder? As tacky as people think they are, I like them as it adds a bit of entertainment to the boring drives. Thought about a res delete down the line but not sure if necessary or if this will cause too much drone.

any advice will be welcomed!
Thanks for reading
 

Harvey

VAG Convert
The S3 8V mk3 facelift came out around Sep 2016. If you have paperwork that referenced MY17 (Model Year 2017) then it's a facelift but easy to tell by looking at your headlights with the FL having a step and not flat under them.

At 20K I'd strongly advise you get the Haldex oil changed plus pump removed to have the gauze cleaned ASAP if you have no proof this has been done. Common issue is for the gauze to block and this can lead to all sorts of issues. If you have a FL it'll be running the 7-speed wet clutch DSG (S-Tronic for posher Audi folk) which will be the DQ381. This box requires the oil changing at 38K and supposedly have a filter for life but I'd recommend you get this changed at the same time at the oil.

The stock S3 FL exhaust is wonderful (my biased opinion) so please don't go ruining it fitting a res delete. All you need do is have the flaps correctly coded open using VCDS and it'll sound nice all the time and not just above 3K rpm. I have done this on mine and it sounds amazing for a stock exhaust system.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Welcome.

Mechanically the increase in power and 7 speed S-Tronic gearbox were the main changes. Suspension not revised. The other upgrades included tech eg upgraded MMI, Virtual cockpit and matrix LED headlights as options, as well as wired CarPlay depending on tech pack.

Thermostat still a weak point.
A number of people remove the silica bag from the coolant reservoir or replace the bottle for one without the silica, since the bags have a tendency to leak after 4-5 years and if the beads get into the cabin heater matrix and block it then it’s very expensive to replace.
 

Blueshoes981

New Member
The S3 8V mk3 facelift came out around Sep 2016. If you have paperwork that referenced MY17 (Model Year 2017) then it's a facelift but easy to tell by looking at your headlights with the FL having a step and not flat under them.

At 20K I'd strongly advise you get the Haldex oil changed plus pump removed to have the gauze cleaned ASAP if you have no proof this has been done. Common issue is for the gauze to block and this can lead to all sorts of issues. If you have a FL it'll be running the 7-speed wet clutch DSG (S-Tronic for posher Audi folk) which will be the DQ381. This box requires the oil changing at 38K and supposedly have a filter for life but I'd recommend you get this changed at the same time at the oil.

The stock S3 FL exhaust is wonderful (my biased opinion) so please don't go ruining it fitting a res delete. All you need do is have the flaps correctly coded open using VCDS and it'll sound nice all the time and not just above 3K rpm. I have done this on mine and it sounds amazing for a stock exhaust system.
That’s great thank you! I know it’s a FL as it’s got new lights, bumper and steering wheel.

I think the haldex oil has been changed but will check all the paperwork when I pick the car up. Surprised the water pump needs looking at so soon! Any idea how much it would cost to have the pump cleaned?

Im sure the stock exhaust sounds fine, I’ve yet to drive a FL S3, only the pre FL and one sounded great, the other sounded dreadful! I’d rather not faff with the res so if it sounds good then there’ll be no need!

appreciate the advice!
 

Blueshoes981

New Member
Welcome.

Mechanically the increase in power and 7 speed S-Tronic gearbox were the main changes. Suspension not revised. The other upgrades included tech eg upgraded MMI, Virtual cockpit and matrix LED headlights as options, as well as wired CarPlay depending on tech pack.

Thermostat still a weak point.
A number of people remove the silica bag from the coolant reservoir or replace the bottle for one without the silica, since the bags have a tendency to leak after 4-5 years and if the beads get into the cabin heater matrix and block it then it’s very expensive to replace.
Thanks mate, I’ll look at getting that sorted once I’ve got the keys!
 

nothingness

Registered User
Do the flap delete. It completely changes the car. I didn't code it because warranty, so I just unplugged it completely (start car up, put in dynamic, turn car off but keep ignition on, shift gearbox to sport mode, unplug both flaps, plug in dummy connectors to keep dirt out (or just tape them). The noise you get accelerating up a hill is now the noise you get pretty much all the time, but you can still drive it without any of that noise by keeping it off boost. I'M pretty sure my car has had a res delete done too, the other day I was driving up a very slight hill so slightly on boost, exhaust drone very slightly, and a group of people about 50 meters ahead on the pavement turned to look... but it's not anti social loud in comfort, where it turns the popping / banging off. I need to get it on a ramp to check. Window down (and these cars do that wind buffeting noise with one window down above 40mph) it sounds great for a 4pot, and tunnels are a joy.
 

Blueshoes981

New Member
Do the flap delete. It completely changes the car. I didn't code it because warranty, so I just unplugged it completely (start car up, put in dynamic, turn car off but keep ignition on, shift gearbox to sport mode, unplug both flaps, plug in dummy connectors to keep dirt out (or just tape them). The noise you get accelerating up a hill is now the noise you get pretty much all the time, but you can still drive it without any of that noise by keeping it off boost. I'M pretty sure my car has had a res delete done too, the other day I was driving up a very slight hill so slightly on boost, exhaust drone very slightly, and a group of people about 50 meters ahead on the pavement turned to look... but it's not anti social loud in comfort, where it turns the popping / banging off. I need to get it on a ramp to check. Window down (and these cars do that wind buffeting noise with one window down above 40mph) it sounds great for a 4pot, and tunnels are a joy.
Cheers mate, I’ll look at doing that before I get the res chopped off if I think the exhaust needs to be louder. Having owned a 140i before, I’m bored of pops and bangs, I just like the dsg farts hahah. Can’t wait to pick it up now!!!
 

Jcbmally

Started with nothing & still have most of it left.
How do you compare the S3 to the Formentor ? My wife went to test drive a Vz Edition last week we were pretty impressed with it .
I’ll try not to be biased but the Formentor is really good. Plenty of kit and the quality is very good as well. Now some of the Formentor owners have experienced issues but mine is 99% spot on, the ACC played up once at Aberdeen but apart from that no issues.
Spec includes;
Heated nappa electric buckets with lumbar (very comfy), rear camera, park assist, lane assist, front assist, blind spot assist, rear assist, traffic sign recognition, nav, wireless phone charging, wireless android/apple play, tinted glass, multicoloured ambient lighting, keyless entry/start, electric tailgate, sunroof, brembos and it goes like a stabbed rat.
Good car and it really looks good too.
 

Mr Freeze

Registered User
I’ll try not to be biased but the Formentor is really good. Plenty of kit and the quality is very good as well. Now some of the Formentor owners have experienced issues but mine is 99% spot on, the ACC played up once at Aberdeen but apart from that no issues.
Spec includes;
Heated nappa electric buckets with lumbar (very comfy), rear camera, park assist, lane assist, front assist, blind spot assist, rear assist, traffic sign recognition, nav, wireless phone charging, wireless android/apple play, tinted glass, multicoloured ambient lighting, keyless entry/start, electric tailgate, sunroof, brembos and it goes like a stabbed rat.
Good car and it really looks good too.
Yes it came across as a great all rounder drove really well with the DCC suspension and came very well equipped
This would be my wife's car for the kids and dog etc so extra space was needed which it had .After looking at the variation in models from Vz2/Vz3
there isn't much in it apart from Brembo's and copper wheels so after a bit of research I think the Vz2 is the best option at the price point plus you get a spare wheel which is a rare thing these days . We wouldn't buy one without the full pano roof as we really liked it but they seem hard to come by so maybe it would have to be a new order . Pretty fast too has the sales guy demonstrated think he enjoyed test driving it more than my wife :laughing:

Its definitely under consideration
 

Blueshoes981

New Member
Picked the car up today and drove it home on a 250 mile trip. It’s brilliant!

averaged 35mpg sitting at 70, with 20 mins of stand still city traffic, which is lower than I hoped for based on the 40mpg’ers on this forum, assuming they’re sat at 60 instead?

Exhaust sounds great, could be louder in dynamic but still good enough to not faff with it for a while!

Only thing I didn’t like was the kick down was very slow, took a couple of seconds to realise what I was asking it to do which was surprising. And that’s in dynamic mode not efficiency. I know people have said the gearbox can be “sluggish”, is this what they mean? I wouldn’t get it mapped just to make the kickdown faster but that was my only disappointment (and the sad mpg figure…)

really happy with it!
 

nothingness

Registered User
I never use kickdown. I never use dynamic mode either honestly. I've set it up in Individual so everything is Comfort except for Dynamic exhaust mode. If I want to drive sporty, I turn ESP into sport mode and put the gearbox into manual and use the paddles (the only disappointment on the car, same paddles as you get on a 1.0 a3, I atleast expected the nice metal ones on say a TT-S). There's litte difference between that and Dynamic for me, but I don't have magride so that might be different if you do? I plan to fit KW v3's anyway so...

When people say sluggish they mean when you set off from roundabouts etc. I don't have any of that but then its only done 11k miles.
 

JimboBlue

New Member
Other than that, what’s the exhaust like? I’ve heard the facelift exhaust has a few more pops, but are the dsg “farts” louder? As tacky as people think they are, I like them as it adds a bit of entertainment to the boring drives. Thought about a res delete down the line but not sure if necessary or if this will cause too much drone.
I picked up my 2018 S3 on Friday having also had a 140i for the last 3 years. I was surprised how noisy it was on the way home and after a good look underneath I found it had already had a res delete, there’s definitely too much drone and it’s too intrusive for me even in comfort mode so it‘s going back to the dealer to have the exhaust put back to standard. Great car though and nice not having to be quite so gentle with the right foot at this time of year!
 

Blueshoes981

New Member
I never use kickdown. I never use dynamic mode either honestly. I've set it up in Individual so everything is Comfort except for Dynamic exhaust mode. If I want to drive sporty, I turn ESP into sport mode and put the gearbox into manual and use the paddles (the only disappointment on the car, same paddles as you get on a 1.0 a3, I atleast expected the nice metal ones on say a TT-S). There's litte difference between that and Dynamic for me, but I don't have magride so that might be different if you do? I plan to fit KW v3's anyway so...

When people say sluggish they mean when you set off from roundabouts etc. I don't have any of that but then its only done 11k miles.
I use the paddles whenever I want to have a bit of fun, but kickdown is just handy on the motorway and for overtaking. Not sure if it’s because it’s building boost before it sets off or if the dsg/s tronic is a bit slower than the m140s zf when using kickdown… not a problem, just the only “flaw” I’ve found so I’m still happy!

ive set my individual mode up exactly the same, haven’t quite worked out how the Quattro system changes when you set that to dynamic, but the car is lovely to drive in any mode I put it in.

steering is a lot heavier than my old FL A3 and the turning circle is terrible, don’t know if that’s because of the 19in alloys or the haldex or if it’s something completely unrelated?

oh one other thing, the * button the wheel is set to change driving mode, but like my A3, it only works sporadically. Sometimes it just does nothing - why is that and how do you stop it/fix it??
 

Blueshoes981

New Member
I picked up my 2018 S3 on Friday having also had a 140i for the last 3 years. I was surprised how noisy it was on the way home and after a good look underneath I found it had already had a res delete, there’s definitely too much drone and it’s too intrusive for me even in comfort mode so it‘s going back to the dealer to have the exhaust put back to standard. Great car though and nice not having to be quite so gentle with the right foot at this time of year!
It’s crazy how fast it is in these conditions and how little wheel spin there is! Wouldn’t even dream of going over 50% throttle in the 140 when I saw any moisture on the road, let alone snow/ice! Had a play to see where it started to lose traction and it just didn’t so I’m looking forward to when we get a bit warmer weather so I can open it up safely.

The exhaust sounds great standard, I’d like it MARGINALLY louder under acceleration but it’s perfectly fine as is. Can imagine the res delete gets drony as you can hear the base when you out the engine sound into dynamic at low rpm so without the res it would be too boomy for what is a really nice comfortable car.

If want a bit more sound just lower the back seats.

honestly think this car is perfect for uk roads. Don’t need any more power, and only understeers when pushing v hard and if you notice that on a public road you’re probably on worn tyres or being a bit daft. Looks smart aswell.

comfortably the best car I’ve ever owned even after just 2 days!
 

nothingness

Registered User
Yeah when I first got the car I set the * button to change driving modes...half the time it doesn't work.

If I were to do res delete, I would use a BCS one. They are expensive at £300+ fitting but they come with a j pipe which cancels out the resonant frequency that causes the boom noise. My car with the exhaust valves unplugged does get a bit boomy sometimes like in traffic just creeping forward. You can get boxes that enable you to turn the flaps on/off as you are driving but again £300 or so for this pleasure.

Hardly any faults really, I never turn it tight turning circle wise as I believe it's bad for the car... I haven't and never will use launch control either for the same reason.

The other great thing about this car is if you want to change things the catalogue is huge, just have a look at cpl tuning or aks tuning.
 
If I were to do res delete, I would use a BCS one. They are expensive at £300+ fitting but they come with a j pipe which cancels out the resonant frequency that causes the boom noise.

Anyone tried one of these from LSG? £126
 
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