CAR CLINIC | Automatic Audi A4 is a handful on hills

25 May 2021 - 11:03 By Gerrit Burger
An Audi A4 similar to the one owned by our reader.
An Audi A4 similar to the one owned by our reader.
Image: Supplied


I drive a 2010 Audi A4 B8 with an automatic gearbox (not a torque-converter automatic, a Multitronic continuously-variable transmission). When I stop on an uphill gradient (at an intersection, for instance) the car always tries to roll backward when I move off again. You have to apply the brakes to avoid bumping into the car behind you.

It forces you to execute an awkward balancing act between brake and accelerator. The car has an electro-mechanical parking brake, and it doesn’t have the “hold assist” button on the centre console. What could be the problem and how can it be avoided? – Lesiba


Internet forums are replete with complaints from irate owners who experience similar. Depending on which gearbox your car has, this forum might provide an explanation for its disconcerting habits. Apparently the parking brake should release automatically when you drive off, provided your seat belt is fastened (clicked into the latch) and the doors are closed.

It is worth pointing out that this problem does not occur with a traditional, torque-converter automatic gearbox which provides an easily-controlled amount of “creep” at idling, sufficient to hold the car stationary on most inclines. Also, the more I read about electronic emergency brakes, the more I appreciate my good old handbrake, which you pull up and release by hand and which never leaves you in doubt about its effectiveness.  

Send your Car Clinic queries to mechanic Gerrit Burger: