Audi A4 Owners & Service Manuals

Audi A4: Special driving situations

Driving uphill and downhill

When driving uphill, downhill, or at high altitudes, note the following information:

  • Drive slowly and carefully.
  • Do not try to turn around if you cannot safely drive on an incline or hill. Instead, drive in reverse.
  • When driving down hills, you can activate the hill descent control if you press the brake pedal while driving in "D" gear. The automatic transmission will select a gear suitable for driving down the hill and will attempt to maintain the speed at which the vehicle was traveling at the time the brake pedal was pressed. Press the brake pedal if necessary. The hill descent control will switch off once the hill levels out or you press the accelerator pedal.
  • Utilize the engine braking effect when driving downhill by selecting the "S" driving program. This especially applies when towing a trailer. This reduces the load on the brakes.
  • Apply the brakes in intervals and do not press the brake pedal continuously.


  • Only drive on inclines that your vehicle is designed to handle. Do not exceed the hill climbing ability of your vehicle. Your vehicle could tip or slide.
  • Do not drive at an angle on steep inclines and hills. If your vehicle is about to tip, you must immediately start steering in the direction of the downward slope to reduce the risk of an accident.
  • Always be ready to brake when using the hill descent control function.

Offroad  mode

Applies to: allroad

Your vehicle is not an offroad vehicle. Note the following points when driving offroad:

  • Drive slowly and carefully.
  • To reduce the risk of underbody damage, pay attention to the vehicle's ground clearance and drive across raised areas of the ground with the wheels on one side of the vehicle, instead of allowing the center of the vehicle to pass over the raised areas.
  • To reduce the risk of becoming stuck, drive through sandy or swampy areas at a steady speed and without stopping, if possible.

If necessary, use the following functions:

  • Audi drive select* offroad mode
  • Hill hold assist*
  • Limit ESC


Only drive in terrain that is suitable for the vehicle and your driving ability.

For the sake of the environment

Avoid actions that are damaging to the environment.

Show respect for the natural environment and remain on marked routes.


Clean your vehicle after driving offroad. Dirt and stones falling off your vehicle can affect other road users.

Driving though water

If you must drive through water, follow these instructions:

  • Check the stability of the ground, the current, and the water depth. If the ground is unstable, there is a strong current, or there are waves, the water must only reach up to the lower edge of the body at the most.
  • Deactivate the Start/Stop system*.
  • Drive carefully and no faster than at walking speeds to prevent the front of the vehicle from creating waves, because they could splash above the lower edge of the body. Oncoming vehicles could also create waves.
  • Do not stop the vehicle while in the water.
  • Drive in reverse.
  • Do not turn the engine off.


After driving through water, press the brake pedal carefully to dry the brakes so that the full braking effect will be restored.


Vehicle components such as the motor, drive system, suspension, or electrical system can be severely damaged by driving through water.


If possible, avoid driving through salt water because it increases the risk of corrosion. Use fresh water to clean any vehicle components that come into contact with salt water.

Hill descent assist

Applies to: vehicles with hill hold assist

The button is located above the selector lever in the center console. It lights up when the system is turned on.

Hill descent assist can assist you when driving down hills by maintaining a constant vehicle speed by automatically braking all four wheels.

You can adjust the speed using the accelerator and brake pedals. The regulation depends on the hill and the vehicle speed.

  • Switching on: press .
  • Switching off: press again.

Active regulation

Regulation begins shortly after you start driving and is possible at speeds up to approximately 19 mph (30 km/h) and on hills that have an approximately 6-60% grade. If these conditions are met, regulation will be activated and the indicator light will turn on.

Ready mode

If one of the requirements for active regulation is not met, the system will be in ready mode. The indicator light will turn on. Once the requirements are met again, the system will be able to provide active regulation again.


  • Be ready to apply the brakes at all times when using the hill hold assist.
  • Always adjust the speed to the visibility, weather, road, and traffic conditions. The system cannot replace the driver's attention.
  • The system cannot maintain a constant vehicle speed in all situations, for example when on smooth or slippery ground. This can in-crease the risk of an accident.


If you select the Audi drive select* offroad mode, hill descent assist will switch on.


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