AUDI Engine Compartment Droning Noise

Audi Tech Tip: Droning Noise From Engine Compartment


2015 – 2016 S3 and TTS


A customer may complain of an engine droning noise or rattle noise when the engine speed is approximately 3,500 to 4,000 rpm (vehicle speed does not affect the noise, and the vehicle can be stationary).

The source of the noise seems to be from somewhere near the windshield or inside the dash panel area. The noise is more noticeable when the Audi drive select is set to dynamic mode. No DTCs are stored.

Technical Background:

In S3 and TTS vehicles, there is an electronic sound amplification system (actuator for impact sound) that changes depending on the selected Audi drive mode. The harness for the sound actuator can make contact with the vehicle body structure and the noise can be amplified by the sound actuator. This noise is only noticeable at higher speeds due to the calibration of the sound actuator system.

A video of the condition is located at or scan the QR code in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The QR code for viewing the video with a QR code reader on phones and tablets. Alternatively, the video can be accessed through internet browsers at the link provided in this bulletin.


The harness for the sound actuator is covered with insulation tape.

Repair Procedure:

1. Verify the concern by checking for the sound with the engine speed between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm. Make sure the engine has reached operating temperature. This can be performed while the vehicle is stationary. 

2. Check for the sound with the Audi drive select in comfort mode (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Audi drive select mode selection.

3. Verify that the sound is more noticeable in dynamic mode. 

4. If the sound is more noticeable in dynamic mode, then the source is the harness contacting the body structure and proceed to step 5. If not, further diagnosis might be necessary.  

5. Loosen the connector R214 on the sound actuator (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Sound actuator R214 in the plenum chamber.

6. Wrap fleece tape from approximately 2cm away from the connector housing to the exit of the main wiring house (see Figure 4). The new tape can be placed over the existing insulation. The added bulk will dampen vibrations.

Figure 4: The direction in which to start wrapping the tape (arrow).

7. Check for the sound again to verify that the concern is resolved.

You May Also Like

Mercedes-Benz ABC Suspensions

The system provides great ride & handling, but it can be complicated to service if you do not have the right training.

Mercedes-Benz uses two different adjustable suspension systems in its vehicles – Airmatic and Active Body Control (ABC). Airmatic, as the name implies, is its air suspension system which we discussed back in April of this year. ABC uses hydraulic fluid at tremendous pressures to actively change the stiffness of the springs inside the shock assemblies, changing vehicle dynamics and ride height. This can be done automatically based on sensor inputs and module programming, or at the push of a button located near the shifter.

Audi TFSI/FSI: Oil Consumption And Carbon Buildup

Technical Service Bulletins can be valuable in helping solve vehicle problems. But sometimes, it takes multiple TSBs to find a pattern failure or the “root cause” of a problem. In the case of the Audi/VW 2.0L Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engine introduced in 2006, three problems related to engine carbon and fuel issues are connected

BMW Diagnostics: Low Airflow After Cabin Filter Replacement

Models:  F97 X3 M  F98 X4 M G01 X3 G02 X4 G20 3-Series SITUATION After replacing the microfilter during a previous service, the customer notices that the ventilation system airflow rate is noticeably less. This leads to perceived lower cooling power. The customer may also notice that external odors enter the vehicle. Related Articles –

Mercedes Ignition Coil Pack Diagnostics

Replacing a single coil might not be the best approach to curing an engine of a chronic misfire.

Volvo Modular Engine Service

The Volvo Modular Series engine outlasted Ford and was retired by Geely. The Volvo modular design that can have four, five or six cylinders made its debut in 1990 in the 960 sedan as a six-cylinder and never stopped improving. Related Articles – How To Service BMW Tire Monitor Systems – VW DSG Maintenance –

Other Posts

Don’t Miss The April Digital Edition of ShopOwner

The April issue includes technical and management content and is free to download.

Solving Intermittent Overheating

New cooling systems anticipate and influence changes in coolant temperature.

Now Available – March’s Digital Edition of ShopOwner

The March issue includes technical and management content and is free to download.

Now Available – February’s Digital Edition of ShopOwner

February’s issue includes technical and management content and is free to download.