My 2008 A5 3.2L project

Hey I was referred to post here about my 2008 Audi A5 3.2 FSI V6 by JimmyBones. I purchased this car from a local seller and instantly fell in love with the sporty lines of the A5 coupe. Plus it drove incredibly smoothly and got decent fuel economy. This is one of my favorite pictures of the car that I have.

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Welcome! We don’t see a lot of anything that isn’t RS5 in here!

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Of course there were some repairs that needed to be done. Good thing that my mechanic has over a decade of experience with these cars. We did all the normal tune up maintenance items like spark plugs, filters, and fluid changes. Later on I had him drop the engine and transmission out just for maximum room to service the rear upper timing chain tensioners and guides, fix some oil leaks, replace the PCV valve, do a carbon cleaning on the intake valves and ports, and replace the fuel injectors. He told me that he could have done the repairs with the engine still in the car but I wanted a deep clean of everything after over 130K miles. Here are some pictures from that time.

Those repairs did wonders for getting the A5 back into tip top shape. After driving it for a few months though I found that I was consistently wanting more. That led to a lot of scouring the internet to find that the only modifications that were available were cosmetic modifications like different wheels, lowering the suspension, and a catback exhaust that offered seven horsepower according to the company’s website.

The other forums and Facebook were less than helpful in my searches to find more power out of this engine. Whenever I asked if anyone had any advice or had done anything before they responded with there is nothing and sell the car for a better engine but I love my A5 so I moved on.

Eventually I found a company that offered an ECU tune for this engine. They have been tuning Audis and the rest of the VAG cars for around 20 years making it an easy decision to go with their software. Even downloaded the tune in my driveway at home.


So I decided to do some Dragy testing so that I could compare how the car ran stock with high mileage (176K miles) to how it ran after the starting ECU tune. Let’s just say I was more than surprised.

Before the tunes I ran a 7.00 to 6.98 seconds 0-60 mph time. In the 1/4 mile it ran a 15.00 seconds ET @ 95.34 mph and a 15.13 seconds ET @ 94.18 mph.

Then after the ECU tune the car ran a 5.45 to 5.67 seconds 0-60 mph time. In the 1/4 mile it ran a 13.90 seconds ET @ 98.25 mph and a 13.99 seconds ET @ 98.92 mph.

That is a difference of 1.5 seconds for the 0-60 mph time and 1.1 seconds along with 4 more mph in the 1/4 mile. Keep in mind that this is a starting ECU file that they had already made and they are working with me for more revisions on a completely stock high mileage car.

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Damn! Love to see it!

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I will say your before Dragy runs were shown being accomplished at 75’F and your after were shown at 44~49’F so not directly Apples to Apples but no doubt still an improvement. Jimmy and I have went back and forth a little on discussions on the 3.2 engine. You can modify the engine you have which could be costly if it will be needing a rebuild in 50~100k miles? You could try dropping in a 3.0T, a S5 4.2, a RS5 4.2, even go big and do a 4.0tt conversion (lots of money). The RS5 and 4.0tt are probably cost prohibitive so the first two are probably your best choices. I’ll say it and I’m guilty about it on multiple vehicles, how much do you want to drop into your A5 compared to how much could you sell it for and get something with more power? Just a thought and yes I’m guilty of dropping too much into something I really shouldn’t have…more than once…I don’t learn very well obviously. Lots of 3.0t’s on stock internals running 500bhp. Jimmy has some ideas on getting more power from your 3.2 too. Tune and Headers/Cat delete are probably the quickest to net you something. I’m not a believer in a Cat back in most instance without putting more air through the engine. A tune will probably get you at least 10~15bhp and the same increase in Tq with most likely a driveability improvement. What Octane is standard in your area? Seems like in the U.S. depending on your state there is 90, 91, 92, and 93. I’m up here in WA and we have 92. For a better sound and a slight exhaust restriction, and a little weight savings, try removing the Resonators or the rear mufflers? Rear mufflers are most likely a little more restriction than Resonators in theory but the Resonators are easy to remove. An X-pipe should net a slight improvement on a Normally aspriated V engine as yours. Engine Masters had a great episode on testing X-pipes and H-pipes. X-pipes got the nod by just a little. lightweight pulleys up front also have shown an improvement. Lots do them on a 3.0t but I was a little nervous about removing a Harmonic balance so I went with a Fludiampr. Lots have run lightweight pulleys on the 3.0t for years without issues but from a physics and engineering standpoint I didn’t need the slight improvement. I’m sure there will be a lot of us will follow your project, keep us posted. Take what I’ve said with a grain of salt, I’m not expert, just a shadetree mechanic that like cars…too many…I’ve got 8 of them.

So the car ran the same 15.0 seconds in the colder 50 degree F weather but i have the screenshots
all ready to go.

Thank you! im really excited to learn and work on my A5. Once i get more pic and videos i will be posting them.

With the high mileage that is probably all the performance that the stock engine had. The car picked up a conservative 4 mph so that is probably a 40-50 horsepower increase on a beginning stage 1 ECU flash. Your RS5 picks up similar power with the JHM stage 2 ECU tune so this A5 is doing pretty well on 93 octane.

A performance exhaust with an X-pipe and some catless test pipes or high flow cats will definitely increase the performance. That is more in line with a stage 2 ECU tune though.

Then let’s stay on planet earth before suggesting an engine swap.

Welcome, glad to have you here. I have a local car with the 3.2 that could likely benefit from your work. Looking to see the improvements as you make changes.

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Thank you ! Im really excited for this year. Once i have more pic and video i will definitely post a lot more.

SRG703 was over at the shop helping with the Q5 that I am working on since it was nicer weather outside. So I suggested taking the A5 out for a quick rip and it did pretty good in almost 60°f weather.

Have to figure out how to upload a video to the site.

That’s awesome, what tune did you use?

He used the Custom Code tune Via OaksPerformance solutions.

The 3.2 stock is a turd but this tune on a coworkers of mine really did make a noticeable difference on his 3.2 Q5. It has turned the car into something you’d actually want to drive. If you have a 3.2 in any configuration it’s not a bad way to go IMO. Made the Q5 WAY funner to drive.