Audi A4 Owners & Service Manuals

Audi A4: Trailer

Driving with a trailer

General information

Your vehicle is primarily intended for transporting people and luggage. However, if you drive with a trailer, follow the technical requirements, the operation and driving tips, and the legal regulations.

Driving with a trailer affects the vehicle's energy usage, performance, and wear. It also requires greater concentration from the driver.

A retrofitted trailer hitch must be installed according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.


Do not transport any people in a trailer due to the risk of fatal injury.

Operating instructions

Towing capacity

Your vehicle can only be operated with class 1 or class 2 trailers.

Load distribution

Poor cargo load and distribution can negatively impact vehicle handling. Load the vehicle and trailer based on the following criteria as much as possible:

  • Store objects in the vehicle luggage compartment, if possible. The vehicle should always carry the heaviest possible load and the trailer should have the lightest possible load.
  • Distribute the load in the trailer so that the heavy objects are as close to the axle as possible.
  • Secure objects so that they do not slide.
  • Utilize the maximum permitted tongue weight if possible.


Adhere to the legal speed limits. Follow the legal regulations that are applicable in the country where you are operating the vehicle.

As the speed increases, the driving stability of the vehicle and trailer decreases. Therefore you should not exceed the maximum legal speed limit when there are unfavorable road, weather, and/or wind conditions. This especially applies when driving downhill.


When you start driving uphill or downhill, the vehicle and trailer may tilt or sway sooner than when driving on a level surface. If small swaying movements have already occurred, you can stabilize the trailer by firmly braking immediately.

Never attempt to "straighten out" the vehicle and trailer by accelerating.

Downshift before driving on hills to utilize the engine braking effect.

Exterior lighting

Follow the legal regulations for lighting on your trailer that are applicable in the country where you are operating the vehicle. If necessary, contact an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility for more information.

Before you start driving, check all lighting equipment on the trailer while it is hitched to the vehicle.

The headlight range control automatically adjusts the light range of the headlights.

Outside mirrors

Make sure that you can also observe the traffic area behind the vehicle using the exterior mirrors, and use additional exterior mirrors if necessary.

Adjust the additional exterior mirrors so that you have a sufficient visibility behind the vehicle.

Follow the local legal regulations for installing additional exterior mirrors.

Engine cooling system

Driving with a trailer means a higher load on the engine and the cooling system. Make sure the cooling system contains enough coolant.

Engine coolant temperature

Pay attention specifically to the coolant temperature display when there are high outside temperatures, and when driving on Long inclines. Shift to a higher gear in a timely manner.


Set the tire pressure on your vehicle for a "full load"; see the tire pressure sticker. If necessary, also adjust the tire pressure on the trailer according to the manufacturer's specifications.

The trailer and the vehicle should be equipped with winter tires when driving in winter temperatures.

Overrun brakes

If your trailer is equipped with an overrun brake, it must be correctly adjusted and function correctly.

When using a trailer with overrun brakes, first brake gently then quickly. This reduces the risk of jerking while braking if the trailer wheels lock up.


Constant braking causes the brakes to overheat and can substantially reduce braking performance, increase braking distance, or cause complete failure of the brake system.


Attachments retrofitted on the vehicle may cause damage, especially on the trailer hitch ball head. In cases of damage, have the function checked by an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.


  • Block the wheels with chocks when parking on inclines if the trailer is loaded.
  • Audi recommends having the vehicle inspected between the inspection intervals if you tow a trailer frequently.
  • Avoid driving with a trailer during the vehicle break-in period.

Trailer hitch


Only use a trailer hitch with a removable ball hitch mount and ball hitch. The trailer hitch must be permitted for the vehicle, the trailer and the permitted total weight of the trailer being pulled. Above all, it must be securely and safely attached to the vehicle trailer.

Never mount a trailer hitch on the bumper. The trailer hitch must be mounted in a way that does not impair the function of the bumper. Do not make any changes to the exhaust system and the brake system.

Check regularly if the trailer hitch is securely mounted. Always follow the instructions given by the trailer hitch manufacturer.

Driving with a trailer

Trailer brakes

If the trailer has its own brake system, then follow the manufacturer specifications. However, the brake system on the trailer must never be connected to the vehicle brake system.

Safety chains

Make sure the safety chains are correctly applied when pulling a trailer. The chains should hang enough so that the trailer can drive around curves. However, they must not touch the ground.


If the trailer is equipped with electronic brakes, these brakes cannot be activated by a factory-installed control system, which increases the risk of an accident.

Retrofit installation

You can find out if your vehicle is equipped with a retrofitted trailer hitch at an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.

An authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility knows the specifications for retrofitting a trailer hitch and any necessary technical requirements.


  • Only have the additional trailer hitch installed by an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.
  • There is a risk of an accident if the trailer hitch is installed incorrectly.
  • For your own safety, read the assembly instructions provided by the trailer hitch manufacturer.


  • Connecting the socket incorrectly could cause damage to the vehicle electrical system.
  • Longer inclines cannot be driven without a suitable cooling system, especially if the outside temperatures are high. Otherwise, this increases the risk of engine damage.


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