Audi e-tron Won’t Unplug – Top tips to help you

You love your Audi e-tron, but it’s worse than useless when it doesn’t unplug. Don’t panic! I’m a mechanic, and this problem is common and usually easily fixed. Let’s sort this problem out right now.

Common reasons your Audi e-tron won’t unplug include:

  • User Error
  • Preconditioning
  • Problem with the charge port
  • Problem with the charger

This article will examine why the plug won’t release and how to fix the problem.


User Error: At Home and Fast Charging

Not being able to unplug your Audi e-tron is most certainly a problem. The problem is more exacerbated if you are at a fast charger. We’ll look at unplugging at home and a fast charger separately. Although both are a complete pain, each comes with different problems.

Unplugging At Home

Charging your e-tron at home is the most common way for EV owners to charge. But unplugging your cable has to follow a specific procedure for it to release without a problem.

  • Unlock the car
  • Press the center of the port button
  • Remove the charge connector
    • Within 30 seconds or the charging cable will relock
  • The charge port will then close automatically

All seems straightforward enough, but usually, it’s early morning, only halfway through your first cup of coffee, and things can go wrong. We forget that the car is locked.

And when locked, the car’s connector socket won’t release the cable. If you have tried to remove the connector out of sequence, you will first have to reset it to neutralize the error. You can do this easily by following these steps:

  • Turn the power on/off
  • Lock and then unlock the car
  • Deactivate the preconditioning (if set)
  • Press the port button
  • Remove connector

If this doesn’t work, we’ll look at some other issues. But first, we’ll discuss unplugging the cable at a fast charger.

Fast Charger

User error at a fast charger can also be why your e-tron won’t unplug. However, there can be other reasons.

As before, the sequence in which you end charging and remove the cable is important.

The difference with a fast charger is that you have probably been sitting in your car while it was charging.

  • Unlock the car
  • Press the charge port button
  • Remove the charger

But unfortunately, this doesn’t always work because you have been in the car. If this is the case, try the following:

  • Open and close the driver’s door
  • Unlock and lock the car
  • Press the port button and the unlock icon on your fob at the same time

This should release the cable. At a fast charger, your car must be secure while charging. So although you have followed procedure, the software needs to be fully sure that everything is as it should be.

Secrets of your Audi e-tron

Hidden features you need to know – Today!

Preconditioning Switched Off

This is more of a quirk that needs to be observed if you are unplugging your connector. You can’t unplug the charge port cable if you have the Climate Control activated.

Turning the vehicle on and off again will not cancel the preconditioning setting. You have to turn it off onscreen physically.

  • Go to the Home screen
  • Select Vehicle
  • Air conditioning
  • Temperature Icon

Hitting the icon turns the preconditioning on or off.

This is also the case if you have Preconditioning Scheduled. The same process must be followed.

Problem with The Charge Port

Like anything mechanical or electrical, things go wrong from time to time. The charge port on your Audi e-tron is no exception. Thankfully when problems occur, they can quickly be diagnosed with Light Indicators.

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

Any Red Lights are never good. Charging an EV can only occur when conditions are completely safe. The same goes for unplugging. If there is a chance that the cable is unsafe, it won’t be released. Try disconnecting the cable at the wall and then from the car.

Firstly check that only one charge port is open. If both are open, then the cable will not release. Try closing the other port door by hand. Once the second port is closed, the cable will release.

If this doesn’t work, a malfunction has occurred, and an emergency release is required or Audi assistance.

Problem with the Charger

As before, the charger is an electrical item, and problems can occur. The control unit also has a series of lights indicating what’s happening (or what’s not!).

There are icons on the wall charger – a house, a car, and the control panel. It’s these that we have to keep an eye on. The last icon is the reset button, which is always worth pressing first if there seems to be a problem.

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 icons Unit wired incorrectlyContact electrician

Green lights are good, but when we see Yellow or Red, it suggests a problem. The unit overheating temporarily causes most faults, and as the unit cools, the fault will clear.

A series of Red lights are a bigger problem. The unit detects an overvoltage or a malfunction and charging can’t continue.

Disconnecting the charger at the wall should allow you to safely unplug your cable from the port.

If the cable does not release, a manual release must be performed.

Emergency Manual Release

Performing an Emergency Manual Release is the last resort. But sometimes needs must. If you have tried everything to release the cable to no avail, then a manual release is the only available solution.

However, once you manually release your cable, you must book your Audi with an authorized dealer to set up the release.

To complete the manual release, follow these steps:

  • Ensure charging has ceased
  • The car must be in Park
  • Unlock the car
  • Open the hood
  • Select the relevant port side
  • Open the cover compartment
  • Here you will find two pull tabs
  • Gently pull the YELLOW tab
  • Do not use force
    • Excessive force can damage the mechanism
  • The connector will then release
  • Secure the loop and close the compartment
  • Go to an Audi Dealer

The last point is the most important. The charge port may encounter problems at the next charge if the release hasn’t been reset.

Hopefully, the cable has been released with one of the previous solutions, and you haven’t had to resort to the Emergency Manual Release.

Other posts you might find useful:

Audi e-tron won’t charge

John Cunningham

John Cunningham is a technical writer here at He's a Red Seal qualified Auto Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience working on Classic and Modern Cars. He's worked for GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi, and VW main dealers.

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