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My Audi Says ‘Please Drain Oil’ – Why? What To Do?

It can be alarming when your Audi suddenly displays 'Please Drain Oil.' Now, you're wondering what could be the cause of this concern. Also, what can you do to get rid of it? We researched these concerns for your convenience, and here's what we found.

An Audio displaying the 'Please Drain Oil' message often indicates it has excess engine oil. Check your Audi's oil levels by looking at the dipstick in the vehicle's hood. Draining any extra oil you find should get rid of that error message.

Aside from draining excess engine oil, that message may still appear in your Audi. If so, your vehicle may have an underlying issue. So continue reading as we discuss other possible suspects that may trigger the 'Please Drain Oil' message.

Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!

2 Reasons An Audi Displays' Please Drain Oil' [And Their Possible Fixes]

Catalytic Converter Failure

A catalytic converter is generally responsible for filtering harmful byproducts from a vehicle's exhaust. Your Audi should have this assembly as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened its stance against cars producing harmful emissions to the environment.

Overfilling your Audi may also harm the catalytic converter. If so, the 'Please Drain Oil' message may not disappear, even if you drain your vehicle's excess engine oil.

White Audi Quatro moving fast down the highway

How To Fix

Replacing an Audi's catalytic converter may restore your vehicle's normal functions. Completing this task might also remove the 'Please Drain Oil' message.

But bear in mind that the process for replacing an Audi's catalytic converter typically depends on the vehicle's specific model. In particular, an Audi A4 catalytic converter replacement operation may require different steps when compared to the same swapping task for an Audi Q5.

Interior of an Audi car

Nonetheless, here are the steps to replace the catalytic converter in an Audi Q5 to help you know how to complete this procedure using DIY techniques. Also, the steps highlighted below should apply to Audi Q5 models made from 2017 to 2021:

What You'll Need
  • Wheel chocks
  • Panel remover
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Torx screwdriver
  • Replacement catalytic converter
Step-By-Step Guide
Step #1: Secure The Vehicle

Park your Audi in a safe spot with proper ventilation and flat, level ground. Allow its engine to cool down before opening the hood. You can also chock the wheels to ensure the vehicle doesn't move or roll away while you're working on it.

Step #2: Remove Different Components

At this point, you should be looking at your Audi's engine block. Disconnect the negative battery cable from its terminal. That way, you can avoid current coursing through the vehicle, which might otherwise risk a short circuit.

Next, use a panel remover to remove the engine cover. Then, use an appropriately sized ratchet and socket to loosen and remove the bolts securing the fresh air duct. Pull out that hose and the connected airbox afterward.

Use another appropriately sized ratchet and socket to unthread and remove the bolts securing the bracket holding the intake arm.

Tip: Keep the removed bolts in a secure yet still obvious location. That way, you won't lose those fasteners, which may otherwise delay the completion of this replacement process.

Step #3: Expose The Catalytic Converter

Use your panel remover again to take out the covers underneath the engine block. Then, remove the bolts securing the heat shield and pull out that assembly afterward. Next, use a Torx screwdriver to unthread and remove the Torx bolts on the exhaust pipe assembly.

Remove the exhaust clamp nut with a ratchet and socket of the correct size. You should now be able to pull out the exhaust pipe assembly and set it aside temporarily. Now, you should have a clear view of the bad catalytic converter.

Tip: Raise the vehicle with a floor jack if you need additional clearance as you remove the parts. Don't forget to install jack stands for additional support.

Step #4: Replace The Catalytic Converter

While underneath your Audi, remove the nut securing the catalytic converter. Then, move to the engine block and remove three additional nuts securing the catalytic converter.

Pull out and transfer the oxygen sensor, which should allow you to remove the worn catalytic converter.

Install the new catalytic converter in the same location as the old unit. Then, go through the previous steps in reverse order to return the parts you removed from underneath the vehicle and its engine block.

Step #5: Test The New Catalytic Converter

After returning and securing all the previously removed parts, lower your Audi to the ground if you raised it. Turn on its engine, and check if the new catalytic converter is working as intended. Also, don't forget to check the dashboard or center display if the 'Please Drain Oil' message persists.

Check out this replacement Audi catalytic converter on Amazon.

You can also watch this video if you need a visual guide for this replacement process:

If you're curious about learning how to replace a catalytic converter in an Audi B6, watch the video below:

Take note that it's possible to bypass a catalytic converter. That way, you might still be able to drive your Audi to a nearby garage or automotive repair center. Learn about this procedure by following that link.

Faulty Oil Level Sensor

Pouring new oil to the car

Your Audi's oil level sensor is a component generally found in the vehicle's oil tank. This part can become worn, leading to an incorrect reading. So it can be the main culprit for the car displaying 'Please Drain Oil,' even if it is within a recommended level.

How To Fix

Replacing the faulty oil level sensor may remove that error message. Unlike replacing a catalytic converter, swapping out a bad oil level sensor with a new and working unit should be less laborious and require less time to complete.

You can perform this repair by following these general steps:

What You'll Need
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Drain pan
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Torx screwdriver
  • Ratchet and socket
  • Torque wrench
  • Engine oil
  • Funnel
  • Replacement oil level sensor
Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Park your Audi in a location with flat and level ground.
  2. Raise the vehicle using a floor jack and support the setup with jack stands.
  3. Chock the grounded wheels to prevent them from moving or rolling away from your work site.
  4. Unthread and remove the screws securing the splash shield underneath the vehicle.
  5. Remove the splash shield and set it aside temporarily.
  6. Place a drain pan underneath the oil tank.
  7. Remove the drain plug and wait for the oil tank to empty. Return the drain plug afterward.
  8. Remove the bolts securing the oil level sensor.
  9. Unhook the red clip and remove it from the oil level sensor assembly gently.
  10. Wiggle and pull the old oil level sensor out of its mounting position.
  11. Install the new oil level sensor in the same location as the old unit.
  12. Refill your Audi's engine oil levels and return the splash shield.
  13. Lower the vehicle to the ground and turn on its engine to check if the problem persists.

Check out this replacement Audi oil level sensor on Amazon.

Warning: Ensure that the oil level sensor you're about to install in your Audi is compatible with your vehicle's specific model. Don't attempt to put in a random oil level sensor, as it may cause more harm than good to your vehicle.

You can also watch the video below if you need a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

Does Audi Tell You When To Change Oil?

If the vehicle needs fresh oil, a warning light or message should appear on your Audi's dashboard, center display, or infotainment screen. Otherwise, you can also pay attention to the vehicle's accumulated mileage.

Audi Q7 parked next to a building, My Audi Says 'Please Drain Oil' - Why? What To Do?

Remember, you should change its oil at least once yearly or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Why Do I Have To Keep Adding Oil To My Audi?

Luxurious interior of an Audi vehicle

Like relatively any car, your Audi burns oil. This substance is typically responsible for lubricating the engine's different parts and assemblies.

Failure to add sufficient oil to your Audi can result in components grinding, which may also lead to irreparable damages.

Check out this engine oil on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

You can try getting rid of the 'Please Drain Oil' message from your Audi by draining its excess engine oil. If that procedure doesn't work, inspect the vehicle's catalytic converter and oil level sensor. Replacing these parts may restore your Audi's normal functions and remove that error message.

If you're looking for answers to other Audi concerns, check out these other great reads:

Does The Audi A4 Have Folding Mirrors?

Does The Audi A3 Have Apple Carplay?