Car engine oil dipstick

Why Does the Fan in Your Audi Stay On? (& Should You Worry?)

Have you ever noticed that your Audi’s fan stays on even after reaching your destination?

If so, it can cause some genuine concern.

Is something wrong with the car, or is this behavior normal?

The fan in your Audi stays on after the engine is off to cool down certain engine components. This is generally nothing to worry about.

For instance, a gas-powered engine may require a cooldown of the turbocharger, while a diesel-powered engine may be in the middle of a DPF regeneration process.

However, in other cases, it can be a sign of something being wrong.

Read on to learn more!

What causes an Audi cooling fan to keep running?

In most situations, an Audi cooling fan that keeps running when the car is off is normal.

Here are some reasons for why this happens:

Fan keeps running on a petrol Audi

If your Audi has a petrol engine, the fan can stay on after the engine is turned off to cool the turbo and prevent oil coking. This process is normal and helps to prolong the lifespan of your turbo.

Oil coking is a problem that can arise in a turbocharged car if heat isn’t appropriately regulated.

During operation, the engine’s exhaust gasses heat the turbocharger excessively.

If the turbocharger is at its peak temperature, it has to be cooled down.

Usually, the turbocharger is cooled by air and engine oil flowing through them.

However, when you shut down the engine, it stops the oil flow through the turbochargers.

If the turbocharger isn’t cooled quickly enough, the engine oil left in the turbocharger will heat up so much that it turns into deposits of solid material.

These deposits, also known as coke, can cause major damage to your turbocharger:

Oil coking in a turbocharger
Oil coking in a turbocharger (source)

Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding problems related to oil coking, so if your turbocharger is hot and you turn off the engine, the cooling fans can stay on to cool down the turbocharger.

And that’s why the fans in your Audi may stay on!

Fan keeps running on a diesel Audi

If your Audi has a diesel engine, the most probable cause for its cooling fan staying on is that the car is performing an active diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration cycle. This is normal for all diesel Audis.

DPF regeneration is a critical process for diesel engines to reduce harmful emissions.

It works by continuously burning off soot and trapped particles in the filter, allowing exhaust treatment systems to run efficiently.

A schematic of the diesel particulate filter
A schematic of the diesel particulate filter (source)

This process is known as passive DPF regeneration, and it happens when the engine is running at normal temperature, whereby rising exhaust temperatures help oxidize the trapped particles.

However, an active regeneration system may be necessary if the passive system isn’t enough to get rid of enough trapped particles.

Active DPF regeneration forces high levels of fuel into the combustion chamber to burn off residual soot and particle build-up throughout the filter.

Your Audi can start this process anytime, even after driving just a few kilometers. And thus, sometimes, it can start just before you arrive at your destination!

During the DPF regeneration process, the diesel particulate filter of your car can reach temperatures of almost 650 degrees Celsius.

So, when you turn off your car, it will self-activate the cooling fans to cool everything down.

Once the temperatures drop, the fans will stop automatically.

Should you worry about the cooling fan staying on?

As you’ve learned, there are some logical reasons why the cooling fan in your Audi stays on after you switch off the car.

However, something may be wrong if the cooling fan keeps running for more than 20 minutes after turning off the engine.

For instance, you may have a low coolant level or a coolant leak, preventing the cooling system on your Audi from functioning as well as it should.

Or, you may even have a defective coolant temperature sensor, which would keep sending hot temperature warnings to the car’s engine control unit (ECU) while the temperatures have cooled down already.

Either way, before taking your vehicle to a mechanic, it may be worthwhile to check if it has any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs).

That way, you can diagnose (and fix) the problem yourself!

If there are fault codes in the cooling system, Audi models are programmed to set the fan’s setting on high by default.

To read and reset any codes on your Audi, you will need an OBD2 device like the OBDeleven.

OBDeleven overview

OBDeleven is a professional diagnostic tool that connects to your vehicle and allows you to diagnose any fault codes or even unlock some hidden features on your Audi.

OBDeleven car diagnostics

Combined with OBDeleven’s mobile app, you will easily see if your car has any fault codes and fix them accordingly.

You can learn more about OBDeleven in our in-depth review!

FAQs about fans on Audis

Here are some other common questions about the cooling fan on your Audi!

Why does the fan run in my Audi in the cold?

If your Audi is turned on, the fan can keep running (even though it’s cold) to allow the climate control system to function. Other reasons why the fan is running can include that the car is running a DPF regeneration or cooling the turbo.

Why does my Audi sound like it’s on when I turn it off?

If your Audi is turned off and it still sounds like it’s on, it may be because of the cooling fans that are still running. This is generally nothing to worry about as long as the sound disappears within 20 minutes.

Can a low coolant level cause the fan to stay on?

A low coolant level can cause the fan on your vehicle to stay on for longer because the cooling process is less efficient when the coolant level is below the minimum.


If your Audi’s cooling fan runs for a long time or stays on after you turn off the engine, there are a few potential causes.

Most of the time, there’s nothing to worry about.

A cooling fan is designed to stay on occasionally for a certain amount of time after the engine is turned off.

For example, a diesel car may be in the middle of a DPF regeneration process, while a petrol car may have to cool down its turbocharger.

Keeping the fan running ensures that these systems are cooled down properly.

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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