Audi Q3 Owners & Service Manuals

Audi Q3: 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.
  • Only use a ball hitch that is approved for your vehicle. Using a ball hitch that is not approved for your vehicle can lead to issues such as unstable driving behavior or uncoupling of the trailer and increase the risk of an accident. If you have questions, see an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.

Operating instructions

Towing capacity

Never exceed the maximum permitted weights.

In some cases, the load when towing a trailer may be reduced due to the gross combined weight rating.

You can drive up larger inclines if you are not using the maximum towing capacity.

The specified towing weights only apply at elevations up to 3,200 feet (1,000 m) above sea level.

As the elevation increases, the engine power decreases due to the decreasing air pressure. This reduces the hill climbing ability and towing capacity.

For every additional 3,200 feet (1,000 m), the maximum gross combined weight rating must be reduced by approximately 10%. The actual combined weight is the combined weight of the (loaded) vehicle and the (loaded) trailer.

Tongue weight

The maximum permitted tongue weight of the trailer drawbar on the trailer hitch ball head must not be exceeded.

For driving safety, Audi recommends always using the maximum permitted tongue weight, but do not exceed this weight. Having the tongue weight too low affects the handling of the vehicle and trailer.

You can determine the tongue weight using a tongue weight scale, a bathroom scale, or a public weigh station, for example. Audi recommends checking the tongue weight, especially when towing double axle trailers. If the tongue weight differs, it can be adjusted by distributing the load in the trailer correctly. If the tongue weight meets the specifications, then the load on the trailer should not be changed anymore.

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.

When the indicator light blinks, then the turn signals are activated in trailer mode. If a turn signal on the trailer or on the vehicle fails while in trailer mode, the indicator light will not blink twice as fast to indicate this.

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.


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