Audi A4 Owners & Service Manuals

Audi A4: Gears and driving programs

When driving
Fig. 95 Center console: selector lever

The automatic transmission shifts automatically depending on the selected gear and the current driving style. When driving with a moderate driving style, upshifting early and downshifting late will help to improve fuel economy. When driving with a sporty driving style, the transmission permits higher RPMs.

The gears are displayed next to the selector lever.

  • P (Park): parking lock
  • R (Reverse): driving in reverse
  • N (Neutral): idle
  • D (Drive): driving forward

Selecting a gear

Requirement: the ignition must be switched on.

  • Bring the vehicle to a full stop and press the brake pedal.
  • Press the release button (1) on the selector lever.
  • To select the nearest position, move the selector lever forward or back until you feel the first pressure point.
  • To skip a position (for example, to move from "D" directly to "R"), move the selector lever past the pressure point in the desired direction.
  • The label next to the selector lever for the selected gear will light up.

"N" (Neutral) position

In the "N" selector lever position, power is not transmitted to the driving wheels. Use the "N" selector lever in a car wash (with conveyor belts), for example.

If you unintentionally select "N" while driving (faster than 1 mph (2 km/h) ), you can also select "D" again without pressing the brake pedal.

For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot be locked when the "N" position is engaged.

"P" (Park) selector lever position

Requirement: the ignition must be switched on.

The parking lock secures the vehicle from rolling when the "P" selector lever position is selected.

The parking lock is a mechanical locking mechanism in the transmission.

  • Bring the vehicle to a full stop and press the brake pedal.
  • Press the "P" button 2 on the selector lever.
  • The "P" next to the selector lever will light up.

"P" engages automatically if you switch the engine off while the "D" or "R" gear is selected. If you switch the engine off in "N", "P" will engage automatically after approximately 30 minutes.

If you want to switch from "P" to "D" or "R", the engine must be running.

If you cannot shift out of "P", for example because the vehicle has no power, you may need to use the emergency release for the parking lock.

Selecting a driving program

Various driving programs can be selected when in the "D" gear. The programs influence when the transmission shifts and how the accelerator pedal responds.

The selected driving program is displayed in the instrument cluster.

  • D (Drive): normal driving mode
  • S (Sport): sporty driving mode

If you select the dynamic mode in Audi drive select*, the "S" driving program will be activated.

When the ignition is switched off, the driving program may be reset to "D".

To switch between the current driving program and "S", push the selector lever toward the rear.

The S driving program might not be available in the Audi drive select* offroad mode.


  • Before you start driving, check if the label for the desired selector lever position next to the selector lever is lit up.
  • Secure the vehicle against rolling before exiting the vehicle.
  • Power is still transmitted to the wheels when the engine is running at idle. To prevent the vehicle from "creeping", you must keep your foot on the brake in all selector lever positions (except "P" and "N") when the engine is running.
  • To reduce the risk of an accident, do not press the accelerator pedal when changing gears if the vehicle is stationary and the engine is running.
  • Never select the "R" position while driving.

    Doing so could cause an accident.

  • The vehicle can roll even if the ignition is switched off.


If you shift back and forth between "D" and "R" within one second, you do not need to press the brake pedal. This makes it possible to "rock" if it is stuck, for example.


     Manual shifting

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