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Audi A4 B5 Generation – Lock Carrier Into Service Position

Applies To:

1996 – 2001 Audi A4

Vehicle In This Guide:

1998 Audi A4 2.8L V6 / 5 speed manual / 104,000 miles


We’re going to show you how to move the carrier into the service position on a B5 Audi A4. The carrier is an assembly in the front of the car that supports the radiator, fan, headlights, etc. The most common reason for moving it out of the way is to perform the timing belt service. You have two options when it comes to the carrier – you can slide it back a few inches giving you a little more room to work with – this is what Audi calls the “service position”. However, with a little more work you can actually swing the whole carrier out of the way giving you all the space you will need. Keep in mind that this was written for the 2.8L V6 engine so there may be a few minor differences if you are performing the steps on a 1.8L engine. Let’s begin.

Locking Carrier Into Service Position

1. Start by removing the front bumper. If you need a refresher, visit the Audi A4 B5 Front Bumper Removal page for instructions.

2. On the top of the carrier, remove the screws that secure the air intake duct. Also remove the two torx bolts on the side. Do the same for the other side of the carrier. audi a4 b5 carrier screws

3. If you are swinging the carrier out of the way, disconnect the electrical wires on the passenger side. There is a torx bolt that secures the fender – remove it. Also remove the big torx bolts that hold the shock absorber. AC hoses stay where they are. audi a4 b5 carrier bolts

4. Now that all of the bolts have been removed you will want to provide some support for the carrier. Grab the allen bolts that you took from the bumper and screw them in as shown in the photo below. This will allow you to slide the carrier forward while you work to disconnect other parts. Lastly, take a look at the bottom of the radiator. See that air temperature sensor? Well there used to be a power steering cooler there too. You car will likely still have one so you will need to unmount it from the carrier. Remove the two 10mm bolts and move the cooler aside. audi a4 b5 carrier support

5. Located on the passenger side, is a cooling duct for the alternator. Remove the torx screw that secures it to the carrier. audi a4 b5 alternator duct

6. Again, if you plan to swing the carrier out of the way, disconnect the electrical wires from the headlight assembly – no need to remove the headlight. audi a4 b5 headlight connector

7. Remove the turn signal socket by rotating and pulling it out with the bulb. audi a4 b5 turn signal connector

8. Remove the hood release cable – pry it out and set it out of the way. audi a4 b5 hood release cable

9. Drain the coolant from the radiator by rotating the red screw. audi a4 drain coolant

10. With the coolant drained, remove the top coolant hose. It is a quick disconnect hose so grab a screw driver and pull the clip up. All you have to do then is pull the hose out. NOTE: it takes a lot of force to get that hose out. Finally, disconnect the wires for the hood switch. audi a4 b5 upper coolant hose

11. You can now start pulling the carrier forward, starting with the driver side. As you pull forward, remember to unclip the electrical cables. audi a4 b5 carrier clips

12. Disconnect the coolant sensor. audi a4 b5 coolant sensor

13. You should now have enough room to disconnect the bottom coolant hose, located on the passenger side of the car. audi a4 bottom coolant hose

14. Finally you can swing the lock carrier out of the way. Take extra care not to damage the AC hoses that are still attached to the carrier. audi a4 remove carrier

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  • Nice write up. I have the same car that I’m working and while I was under it I noticed some thin little box on the bottom of the drivers side frame rail with 2 terminals on it and 2 wires on one of them and one wire on the other. Well one of the bolts was rusted and broke so the wires weren’t connected to it. I see the same thing in your last picture, any idea what it is and where I could buy one?

  • That is the auxiliary fan resistor and it controls the auxiliary fan high/low speed. Audi part number is 8D0959493 and it is around 100 bucks if you order it online.

  • Thanks for the write up. I just picked up a 1998.5 A4 30V 2.8L and am in the process of going through it. On step 5, you call out an Alternator cooling duct. When I went to remove mine, I noticed just a piece of it was still remaining. I want to replace it, but am having a hell of a time finding the part number. Do you have any guidance perhaps?

  • Hi I’m having to replace my alternator and am going to perform this procedure … I have a 98 a4 quattro 2.8l. Would you by any chance know what alternator it is? Is it the 90v or the 120v

  • This is a wicked article. Thanks so much.
    Do you have a list of the different sizes of wrenches, allens, and torx needed to put the audi into the service position? (mine’s a 1998 a6 v6 2.8L)

  • GREAT WRITE UP THANK YOU FOR THE HELP. i love this website , i just stumbled upon now. I am about to do this on my 1.8t, and had a question, is there a particular reason to not just take it all the way off ? does it just complicate things to much ?

    • The main reasons are the A/C lines – which will need to be disconnected if you plan to take the carrier completely off. Then you gotta deal with refilling the refrigerant.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Does the core support swing far enough out to be able to remove the engine? Just bought a 98 A4 Quattro with the 2.8L, and the headgaskets are shot. Bought it as a project car, with the intent to throw a new used engine in, instead of just pulling the heads off, to avoid any potential other issues with the current engine.

  • Need to replace alternator on 2.8L V6. Do I need to do everything here, including draining the coolant, or can I just remove enough to slide it forward a bit without disconnecting the coolant system? Sorry, but your great DIY is a bit unclear about this.

  • I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

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