Ignition coils fail right after 80K service - can this be a coincidence?

Hi there,
I am pretty fed up with my Audi experience - just the other day we picked up our A4 1.8 (2002) after a 80K service (by an Audi authorized
service center) and it took exactly one day until the check engine light came on (blinking) and the car was runnning rough.
We had it towed back to the service center and they claim that the ignition coils failed and that it was unrelated to the service they performed.
I lost my trust in Audi and my trust in the service center is eroding rapdily - can this really be a coincidence or are they hiding a mistake from me!?
Thanks for any input, Harry.
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Well, coil packs of which there is one for each spark plug on the Audi 1.8, are not "serviceable" items so it is difficult to know what you can expect a service technician to have done. If they are working when the car is serviced then there is nothing that can be done to check whether or not one is about to fail.
There is a reported history of these coil packs failing on Audi engines (Google will help you here), presumably because the embedded electronics break down after time in the very hostile vibration and temperature environment. They are not highly expensive or difficult to replace; just plug in a new one. Usually just one out of the 4 fails causing an engine misfire, but if it has just happened you might think it prudent to replace all 4 at the same time (much like replacing all 4 spark plugs). If the service station does it for you they will charge you for their labour time, of course, which probably won't be cheap.
My only suggestion for something you might check for yourself is that *if* your spark plugs were replaced at the service, you could look to see if the coil packs were re-seated properly and still make a good electrical connection. I don't think, however, that a poor connection is a likely cause; much more likely is a coil pack failure.
--
Dave N

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Hmmmm I wonder how these coils withstand a small drop to the ground. 8^)
Yes they are easy to change and I recommend that the owner can change them theirselves! Much easier and safer and cleaner than changing a tire. ;-) I have heard of them failing before a service/recall and right after a service/recall just like in your case.
I have not personally seen one coil fail yet. I have seen the ignition module fail on the AEB engines though and it seems to be #2 cylinder that dies too usually! weird!
Did the dealership recommend that the timing belt be changed yet?
--
later,
(One out of many daves)
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I think that year was subject to a recall for defective ignition coils. Also, watch out for the oil sludge problem in the 1.8T. Timing belt should also be changed around your mileage.
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