Audi e-tron Won’t Charge – Top Reasons Why!


The high-voltage battery in your Audi is the heart of the vehicle. If your Audi e-tron won’t charge, it’s, without a doubt, a major problem. There’s always a solution. I’ve been a mechanic for 25+ years. Let’s get this problem sorted.

Top reasons your Audi e-tron won’t charge include:

  • Charger problems
  • A Timer is set
  • Charging set to the incorrect %

In this article, we’ll examine why your Audi e-tron won’t charge and how to fix it.

Audi-e-tron-on-charge

Audi e-tron Charger Problems

To charge your Audi e-tron two connections are required. The wall connection (power supply) and the carport connection.

Either of these could be giving trouble. Let’s look at each separately.

Charger Connection at the Wall

The Audi e-tron can be charged using a standard 120V or a more industrial 240V socket. The charging components that come with your Audi are as follows:

  • Control Unit
  • Vehicle Cable
  • 120V power cable
  • 240V power cable

Problems occur when the incorrect cable is attached to the control unit. If your socket is 120V, you can’t then charge your Audi using the 240V cable.

To switch them around, you need to follow this procedure:

On the control unit:

  • Lift the flap at one end
    • You may have to untighten a screw using the screwdriver supplied
  • Pull the connector cable until there’s resistance
  • Release the flap back down onto the connector
  • Remove connector

To attach the correct cable, do the above in reverse

  • Lift the flap a small amount
  • Insert the alternate cable until there’s resistance
  • Lift the flap fully
  • Insert cable fully
  • Retighten screw

The charging unit itself has to be attached to the wall. There is a caddy supplied that the control unit sits into. The control unit is a huge source of information with a whole range of indicator lights. Starting with these lights should guide you if there is an issue with the control unit.

Light colorLight MeaningSolution
Yellow beside the housePower cable overheating
Incorrect phase being used
Allow the cable to cool and seek electrician advice
Flashing Yellow beside HousePower has been restricted. Reduced power from the sourcePossible scheduled electrical outage or reduction
Red beside the HouseInsufficient power
Ground interrupted
Do not use
Seek electrical advice
Flashing Yellow beside the carMalfunction in-vehicle chargingSeek Audi advice
Red beside the CarInsufficient power
Ground interrupted
Do not use
Seek electrical advice
Yellow beside the Charge Unit iconUnit has overheatedContact Audi
Flashing Yellow Charge Unit iconCable has a faultContact Audi to have the cable replaced
Red Charge Unit iconControl unit faultDisconnect and reconnect after 60 seconds
Contact Audi
Flashing Red Charge Unit iconSelf-test of the unit has failedDisconnect and reconnect after 60 seconds
Contact Audi
Red lights beside all three iconsResidual current detectedTry resetting the unit
Contact Audi
Flashing Red lights beside all three iconsUnit wired incorrectlyContact electrician

The problem lights to watch for are Yellow and Red. Yellow lights usually indicate a temperature fault or a problem with the household power supply.

The Red lights are a more significant problem and normally require an electrician or Audi Service intervention.

Flashing Red lights indicate incorrect wiring and require you to disconnect safely immediately and contact a qualified electrician.

There’s so much information online these days that people feel confident installing sockets and power supplies. But the reality is that an EV uses high-voltage electricity and should only be installed and certified by a qualified electrician.

Charge Port Connection

Next, we need to look at the connection to your car. There are several reasons your e-tron won’t charge because of a problem with the carport connection.

  • No power
  • Incorrect connection
  • Faulty cable

No Power – Outage or Circuit Break

If there is no power going to the vehicle, it makes sense that the car won’t charge. This is an easy check.

We’re always looking for indicator lights.

Light ColorLight meaning
No lightVehicle not charging
The timer is possibly set
WhiteConnection is being established
Green – PulsingBattery is charging
Green – FlashingTimer is set
GreenCharging complete
YellowNo power supply to the cable
Yellow – FlashingThe car is not in a secure position. Park is not selected.
RedThe charging cable is not positioned correctly
Charging cable damaged
Both charging ports are currently open
The temperature outside is too low or high

If no lights are on, then no charging occurs.

Check if there are any lights on your wall connection. If none are on there, either you possibly have a power outage, or a circuit has tripped.

These are all easily checked. Power outages are caused by bad weather or a break in a line externally. A power outage is not something you can fix in a hurry unless you have a generator.

Most generators are gas-powered, although some Portable Power Packs are pre-charged in the case of an emergency such as this. They can also be charged at a fast charger to get you out of trouble in a hurry.

kW SizeTime to Charge
Up to 3.5kWEquivalent to standard charger – (8 -10hrs for full charge)
7kW +Equivalent to a fast charger – (4 hours to charge)

Gas-powered generators kind of kick against the ethos of EVs, but Portable Power Packs don’t come cheap. If you’re considering buying a generator, purchase the biggest kW geni in your budget, a 3.5kW and upwards.

kW SizeCostTime to Charge
Up to 3kW$750 approxNot powerful enough to charge EV
3.5kW – 6kW$2000 approx8 – 10 hours
7kW +$4000 approxUp to 4 hours

For most, however, a generator won’t be available. On the upside, if you have any range available to get to a fast charger, these are nearly all Solar powered and won’t have been affected by the outage. If you don’t have the range, I’m afraid you’re working from home today or using Uber.

Circuit Break

A circuit break happens because the zone in which you’re charging becomes overloaded or a problem is detected (power surge or overheating).

Overloading is caused by another heavy-duty item plugging in along with your Audi. This could be a power washer or a tumble dryer. It’s a good idea to have your Audi e-tron connection on a separate circuit, but this isn’t always possible.

It’s usually the case that someone else has plugged in the extra item and hasn’t realized it has caused the zone to trip. Have a quick look around for anything unusual that might be plugged in. Try to reset your circuit board, and hopefully, this has done the trick.

If it trips again, then something else is amiss. Yes, a complete pain. But on the upside, circuits trip for a reason, to prevent a fire. We know then that the problem is more localized to your car, i.e., your cable.

Incorrect Connection – User Error

When the plug is connected to the car, a safety check occurs to give the go-ahead for charging to begin. Your light indicators will give you the heads-up.

If the light is flashing Yellow, then the car is not correctly in ‘P’ or Park.

If the light is Red, then the cable is not fully inserted correctly. Try removing and reconnecting the cable to the port. Press the connector slightly upwards for 5 seconds. If this doesn’t clear the warning light, then there is a fault in the cable.

Check also that the second charge port door is not open. Charging can only occur when one door is open.

If the weather is very cold and there is any ice build-up at the port, the connector can’t make a proper connection. Precondition the vehicle and try connecting again.

When the outside temperature is very low or indeed very high, charging can’t occur. Try moving your car out of direct sunlight.

Faulty Cable

Charging cables are made of strong heavy-duty rubber or plastic and are designed to withstand being hauled around your garage. But unfortunately, they can fall foul to damage, and the biggest culprit is your Audi wheels (or other cars that park in your garage).

Repeatedly driving over your cable can cause irreparable damage. Charging cables can’t be repaired. If you notice any kind of damage or crack, you must purchase a new cable.

Damage could also be internal and not visible.

When you plug your cable into the carport initially, the onboard computers run a check that a complete seal has been created between the wall and the car. Only if the seal is complete can charging occur.

If the port light is red, a cable fault is detected. Contact Audi Service to replace the faulty cable.

Timer Set

So everything we’ve mentioned so far is connection related. But sometimes, certain settings can prevent your car from charging. One of these settings is the Scheduled Timer.

You can decide when the charging will begin and end by setting up a timer. The car won’t charge if a timer is set for a later time.

You might share a car with someone else in your household, and they might have activated the timer without your knowledge.

To check:

  • Select Vehicle on the MMI screen
  • Select Charging and Efficiency
  • Charging
  • Select Timer
    • Here you can see which days are set on the timer and when you hope to depart.

The timer will activate if a timer is set, the timer charging is on, and there is enough time before departure. The last point is important. If there isn’t enough time before departure, then charging will only reach a certain target.

Charging Set to 50%

The last thing we’ll look at is the charging percentage. With your Audi e-tron you can decide on the percentage that you wish the power to supply. This is different from the target percentage charge.

On the wall Control Unit, you can select either 50% or 100%. If using a 120V socket, only 100% can be selected.

When beginning your charge, you must first ensure that the selection is correct. (This won’t change between charges unless someone else is also using your wall unit). If 50% is selected and you have a 120V socket, then charging will not begin.

The icon on the wall control unit is not altogether very intuitive. There is no button as such, and it doesn’t depress in any way when you select the power icon. It is all touch-activated.

To select the correct %:

  • Press the power button on the wall unit for 3+ seconds
  • Each icon below will flash green
  • Either the 50% (to the left) or the 100% (to the right) will display

Long-Term Without Charging

If you have not charged your Audi e-tron in 4 months or more, then you must begin charging at 50%. The high-voltage battery can become damaged if left for long periods without charge. If you attempt to charge to capacity after a long layup, battery cells will die. And that’s a costly repair.

Best to keep your battery on charge even when idle for prolonged periods.

Some other posts you might find useful:

Audi e-tron won’t unplug

E John Cunningham

Hey, I’m John and I'm a technical writer here at EVjuicedup.com. I’m a Red Seal qualified Auto Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience working on Classic and Modern Cars. I've worked for GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi, and VW main dealers. Yep, I’ve skint my knuckles on them all!

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