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 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 color||Light Meaning||Solution|
|Yellow beside the house||Power cable overheating|
Incorrect phase being used
|Allow the cable to cool, and seek electrician’s advice|
|Flashing Yellow beside House||Power has been restricted. Reduced power from the source||Possible scheduled electrical outage or reduction|
|Red beside the House||Insufficient power|
|Do not use|
Seek electrical advice
|Flashing Yellow beside the car||Malfunction in-vehicle charging||Seek Audi advice|
|Red beside the Car||Insufficient power|
|Do not use|
Seek electrical advice
|Yellow beside the Charge Unit icon||Unit has overheated||Contact Audi|
|Flashing Yellow Charge Unit icon||Cable has a fault||Contact Audi to have the cable replaced|
|Red Charge Unit icon||Control unit fault||Disconnect and reconnect after 60 seconds|
|Flashing Red Charge Unit icon||Self-test of the unit has failed||Disconnect and reconnect after 60 seconds|
|Red lights beside all three icons||Residual current detected||Try resetting the unit|
|Flashing Red lights beside all three icons||Unit wired incorrectly||Contact 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 Color||Light meaning|
|No light||Vehicle not charging|
The timer is possibly set
|White||Connection is being established|
|Green – Pulsing||Battery is charging|
|Green – Flashing||Timer is set|
|Yellow||No power supply to the cable|
|Yellow – Flashing||The car is not in a secure position. Park is not selected.|
|Red||The 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, you may 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. You cannot fix a power outage 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 quickly get you out of trouble.
|kW Size||Time to Charge|
|Up to 3.5kW||Equivalent 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 Size||Cost||Time to Charge|
|Up to 3kW||$750 approx||Not powerful enough to charge EV|
|3.5kW – 6kW||$2000 approx||8 – 10 hours|
|7kW +||$4000 approx||Up 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.
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. Having your Audi e-tron connection on a separate circuit is a good idea, 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 resetting your circuit board; 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, the cable has a fault.
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.
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 initially plug your cable into the carport, the onboard computers 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.
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 begins and ends 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.
- Select Vehicle on the MMI screen
- Select Charging and Efficiency
- 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.
You can select either 50% or 100% on the wall Control Unit. If using a 120V socket, only 100% can be selected.
When beginning your charge, you must ensure the selection is correct. (This won’t change between charges unless someone else also uses 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. Battery cells will die if you attempt to charge to capacity after a long layup. And that’s a costly repair.
Best to keep your battery on charge even when idle for prolonged periods.
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