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  1. #1
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    Unhappy HELP PLEASE - Coolant Level??????

    My car is an 05 petrol Sportback, just under 6k miles and I've been monitoring my coolant level for the last few months.

    After a drive the coolant level in the reservoir is on the top of the bottom most X next to the minimum line (perhaps 1cm above the minimum line).

    The next morning before I drive off to work (i.e. when the car has been standing all night) the coolant is on the minimum line.

    This appears to be the cycle.

    Now, according to the manual it is sealed for life and shouldn't need topping up and I have seen no leaks.

    However I don't understand why the level is on the minimum when the car has been at rest - surely the car would've been topped up half way between min and max at the factory???????

    Please please please could some of you have a look at your coolant levels before and after a journey and tell me whether they are like mine.

    I need to know whether I have a leak anywhere or whether these levels are normal.

    In the meantime I'll carry some water, presumably topping up with this would do no harm if I do have a leak and the light comes on?

    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by cdb2; 12th October 2006 at 13:06.
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  3. #2
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    Have a search on here. Theres now been a couple of people with serious head problems, with symptoms exactly the same as yours. Engines do NOT use coolant.... Best get it sorted under warranty dude.


  4. #3
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    I searched and saw a few people have had probs and new heads - not good as you say.

    It will be good to hear from some of you what your levels are from the factory. If your coolant levels are all half way between Min and Max then I know I have a prob, i.e. a leak.

    The car already leaks oil.

    The coolant looks perfectly clean and pink in the reservoir so isn't mixing with anything afaik.
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  5. #4
    Vertigo1's Avatar
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    The reported problems with the coolant (that I've seen) are all related to early 2.0TDI engines, some of which had a manufacturing flaw in the cylinder head. That's what happened to me. I've not seen any reports of issues with petrol engines.

    If you're saying the level is at the max after a drive but at the min the next morning then that sound like simple expansion to me. When the coolant is hot it will expand and the level will rise, after it's cooled it will fall again.

    If the level is always at the same level after each drive and at the same level each morning then I wouldn't worry.

  6. #5
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    You would only see a discolouration in the header tank if oil was coming out into the water. Its more likely that water is entering into the oil.

    My mate had this problem on his 2.0tdi, started with bad starting in the morning. Turned out it was a leaking head. Fixed under warranty.

    Have a look at the dipstick to see if their are any signs of water in there, bubbles etc as oil and water dont mix


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  7. #6
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    Might be worth asking a main dealer for the "from factory" level as they will probably have a few new ones on the forecourt ?

    Would the sensors only report a low level or a loss ? I gather if no sensor has been triggered then the level is not at a dangerously low level yet? although if it is going down their must be a cause which needs sorting.
    Last edited by A3_TOBES; 12th October 2006 at 15:43.
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  8. #7
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    The distance between the min and max black lines on the reservoir is about 4cm.

    After a drive mine is about 0.5cm above the min line, when it has cooled down it is on the min line.

    I've never bothered looking at it in the past as the manual says it is filled for life. However mine doesn't seem to have much in there! I would have thought at cold it would be half full, i.e half way between min and max?

    Therefore very interested in what levels you guys have both when cold and after a drive so I can compare and judge if mine has gone down over time. (no sensor has been triggered yet and no sign of water in the oil). So come on guys, pop yer bonnets for me please!!!! Pretty please!

    Thanks.
    Last edited by cdb2; 12th October 2006 at 21:36.
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  9. #8
    Rev-head's Avatar
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    I would take straight back to the dealers and get them to pressure test the system get oil leak fixed UNDER WARRANTY for that mileage the car should be running sweet as a nut with no problems

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  10. #9
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    Just as a matter of interest what are peoples coolent levels from cold ?
    Last edited by A3_TOBES; 12th October 2006 at 15:48.
    05/05 Audi A3 (8P) Quattro S-Line 3.2

  11. #10
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    If you do find you ever need to add some water does it have to be de-ironised or will any suffice and to what level ? Always good to know.

    Surely the coolant level over say a 2 year period will drop ? Any cooling system or Audi techies experts out there to confirm this ?
    05/05 Audi A3 (8P) Quattro S-Line 3.2

  12. #11
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    Sure the manual said it was a closed system that required no maintenance.

    Have u had a chance to check out your level at cold and after a run TOBES or doing it in the morning?
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    Soz m8 can't help at the moment as I'm away from home for a few days w/o the A3. Would have done so if I was able to.
    05/05 Audi A3 (8P) Quattro S-Line 3.2

  14. #13
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    Having a similar problem myself. Coolant warning lit up about a month ago and started bleeping on the DIS. Rang my fleet company who promptly sent out the AA. AA chap pressure tested the system and told me I had a leak. The advice was to top it up with water then get it checked ASAP by a dealer but don't worry too much. He also showed me coolant residue on the underside of the car so definitely a leak.

    Took it in to Audi Leeds who supposedly also pressure tested it but couldn't find a fault. "We can strip the engine down, Sir, but it will be at your cost as we cannot find a fault that qualifies as a warranty claim". My response is to tell them the AA man found it in less than a minute and I certainly won't be paying for work on a company car. I'll happily run it to destruction and then order something more reliable thanks.

    Now I'm finding that the car fails to start occassionally and the emissions light just lit up yesterday and is permanently on now. I've also had 3 occasions in the last fortnight where the DSG has failed to shift up and the engine has redlined (twice in first and once in 3rd). Very embarrasing as everyone thinks you're a tw@t. Hopefully the car will blow up some time in the next month or two and I can start to think about choosing something less noisy and erratic.

    The car's about 18 mths old and has done 26,000 miles. Oh yeah, it also had a service from Leeds Audi about a month before the first fault when of course it had all its levels checked and topped up.
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  15. #14
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    There seems to be a few of us with coolant concerns!

    So come on guys, especially my fellow regulars, please pop yer bonnets for us!

    What coolant levels do you guys have both when cold and after a drive? For example when the car has been standing and cooled, is the reservoir on the min or half full?

    Especially interested if you have a new car as that will tell the rest of us what factory fill levels are so we can compare to see if we are leaking.
    Last edited by cdb2; 14th October 2006 at 15:13.
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdb2

    In the meantime I'll carry some water, presumably topping up with this would do no harm if I do have a leak and the light comes on?

    Thanks guys.

    Can you use just normal tap water ? I'll try and remember to check the car tomorrow b4 it goes in for its servce. Apologies but I forgot this morning due to having a manic Sunday morning rushing round.
    05/05 Audi A3 (8P) Quattro S-Line 3.2

  17. #16
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    To the original question, the system is sealed but as the water is going from being cold to almost steam (it's pressurised) there is no need to worry if the level goes up when the engine is hot and back down again when it's cold. You only need to worry if the level is dropping when it's at the same state eg. engine cold today and lower when the engine is cold next weekend.

    If you car is in for a service anytime soon it's probably worth asking them to check if not I wouldn't worry as it'll beep at you before it gets too low to do any harm. Or you could pop down Audi buy some coolant and top it up then see if it drops at all?

  18. #17
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    Seems to be a problem others have possibly experienced. A guy on another A3 forum had a low level of coolant and purchased some more from Halfords. View was that it could be it wasn't full ever and could have been missed at PDI since there was no sign of leak....?

    So come on, is no one really willing to pop their bonnet and tell us what coolant reading they have when the engine is cold, i.e. is the reservoir on the min or half full? Please!
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  19. #18
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    cdb2, i've always worked on the principle that you keep it topped up on the max. line. This gives the coolant enough leaway to expand into the space that is left above it in the expansion tank / reservoir or to drop to the min. level if you have a leak.
    My first A3 8P (2.0TDi) was on max when I got it.
    It never lost a drop until it was 2.5 years old, just after I had agreed a trade in for a sportback. In the following week I topped it up about 4 times over 400 miles. The day before I handed it to the dealer it went from max to min on a 35 mile round trip to work.
    The sportback I have had since June is on max and hasn't dropped.
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