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  1. #1
    Solani's Avatar
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    Car serviced by Audi just over a week ago now I have a blown head gasket! PLEASE HELP

    I purchased a 2004 Audi A4 Cabriolet with 16k on the clock in March 2008 and have spent quite a lot of money on the car since then replacing wear and tear items such as pads discs bearings etc. since then. I decided to have a gold service (http://www.audicare.co.uk/files/service_gold.php) done by Audi last week to give me piece of mind and maintain my car properly before purchasing some warranty (which I did from tesco last week after shopping around).

    The car has driven fine since the service, however on thursday when I tried to start the car (a week after service), there were a few problems......car wouldn't start first time which was strange. I thought it might have been down to a flat battery as I had hardly driven the car since it was serviced (less than 100 miles since I drove it home from Stafford Audi who serviced it), pop the bonnet in order to check the battery and noticed that my coolant level was very low which I thought was very odd given it had just been serviced and was full of coolant prior to service. I topped up the coolant and started the car up again and immediately noticed a white cloud of smoke coming out of the exhausts....basically the smell of burning coolant which I found alarming given that I'd just serviced the car.

    Got really paranoid and decided to call the RAC. It took the RAC guy that turned up less than 5 minutes to diagnose head gasket failure. The first thing he said to me was "have you got 3 grand"

    Since then I have informed Audi who asked me to do a compression test. I have had an Independent specialist look at the car and they are putting it down to an airlock in the system which most probably happened when antifreeze was changed!

    The problem I have now is I am not sure what I can do because. I am worried that Audi will deny that it was their fault and Warranty company will refuse to pay out given that I only purchased the warranty recently.

    Any advice would be highly appreciated as I am seriously depressed about this situation.

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  3. #2
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    Did Stafford Audi change the anti freeze? The Gold service is really just a bunch of "checks" they don't actually do anything apart from change the oil as far as I can see (189 for an oil change? Ouch!)
    If so then you need to speak to them. All dealers are just franchises, so contacting Audi direct is pretty pointless at this stage.
    "How to tear apart the ties that bind, perhaps fcuk off might be too kind"
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  4. #3
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    Well, 1st things 1st, Speak to the people you are dealing with, go to Audi and explain to them that the diagnostics have pointed that the airlock done on the anti freeze change (which is part of the service) has caused the problem and see how they expect to deal with this, you have to approach them asap otherwise they will just throw that and anything else they can at you. You will have to stand firm and stand your ground as you and I both know that they will try to deny all knowledge and will try to get out of paying.

    Also regarding your warranty, read the paperwork, smallprint whatever you have regarding claims, it should all be in there about periods where you can and cannot claim and go from there...If there is no period and you get nowhere with Audi, start your proceedings with Tesco.

    But realistically speaking it sounds like its Audis fault, so i would discuss the whole situation with them 1st and see what they can sort for you.

    Let us know how you get on.

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    According to that link it's not part of the service, (they just check the strength and top up if necessary) so I would be very careful before you tell them anything until they admit the antifreeze was changed. It should be on the receipt if they did change it, but no idea why they wouldn't just top it up if it needed it, which wouldn't cause an airlock.
    If they already know the head gasket has gone you'll be on a hiding to nowhere trying to get them to admit they caused it, unless you have it in writing that they changed the coolant.
    "How to tear apart the ties that bind, perhaps fcuk off might be too kind"
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  6. #5
    NHN
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    Sorry but black & white, the car went in ok, come out & head gasket blows, urrm thats not exactly a hard one fella, go to audi & say you worked on my car & now its fecked, totally argue if you have to & if need be contact is it Mr Jeremy Hicks (think thats his name)at audi HQ & advise him whats happened, sorry but concidental they touch then goes wrong

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  7. #6
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    Sorry but that's not a good enough argument, like saying I drove out of the bodyshop and crashed my car again so I want a freebie. You need to be rock solid on this one as they will weasel out of this anywhichway they can.
    "How to tear apart the ties that bind, perhaps fcuk off might be too kind"
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  8. #7
    NHN
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    Sorry Andy but I think thats a stupid comparison TBH anyone wouldnt in there right mind do that unless the repair caused the accident of course, but to have such a serious part go so soon after a service which is yet to know what was actually changed is for me to coincidental

    He could at least state his concerns now & make them aware he thinks its to coincidental it has gone wrong straight after the service by audi, if you're honest if yours did that you would be straight on the phone to them, come on one week after the car is serviced its blows up as such, before it was fine, its same as when I went to audi to have a new key programmed, they spent 2.5 hours on it, didnt code it, so this involves the security system, tilt sensor etc, then I find some weeks later the alarm doesnt work anymore, sorry but stands to reason if they were last person to touch that area they would be the 1st people I went to, I argued it, they didnt charge me labour but they did charge me for a part which I'm still thinking of arguing with audi uk.

    You play the system just as they play it with us fella, sorry but same issues with Samsung who were just a fecking joke over the last 3 months with my Tocco phone call cut of issues that all networks are getting including iphone 3g, think same chipset, in end they were kissing my butt, gave me a new Omnia phone now sold as wont use them again, brand new 200 camera to say sorry, out of principle I always follow up if there service is lacking, but I always say thankyou & praise when its good.

    But IMHO I would be heading straight to Audi asap about this.

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  9. #8
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    Gotta agree with Andy on this one,Only thing you can do is try and stay firm as fook. They will deny any fault at their part till they are blue in the face.Its gonna be a tough one because they will simply say when you picked it up it was fine - Yeah we know where you coming from and Id be the same but remember this is Audi you dealing with but you might be a lucky one and they give in straight away....that I doubt!

    Them warrenties usually have some sort of period where you cant put in a cliam for the first 30days or so of opening a new policy.

    Worse worse case here is if it is a 30 day notice or whatever and you aint having any luck whatsoever with Audi then you just have to wait till the time you are allowed to claim (leave it couple weeks after aswell so it dont give them any dodgy thoughts (even though they couldnt probably do much about it anyway).
    Last edited by J7USS; 7th October 2008 at 18:13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Sorry Andy but I think thats a stupid comparison TBH anyone wouldnt in there right mind do that unless the repair caused the accident of course, but to have such a serious part go so soon after a service which is yet to know what was actually changed is for me to coincidental.
    that was my point, it is a stupid comparison, but that's how Audi will view it. Head gasket can go at anytime, wear & tear, cars are mechanical, we didn't touch the coolant etc etc
    There's no such thing as "too coincidental" when it comes to cars. It's all circumstantial as far as Audi are concerned.
    I had exactly the same thing the last time I let an Audi dealer near my car. They tightened up the alternator belt as part of a service, 2 weeks later the bearings on the alternator start making horrendous noises, new alternator they say, 350 + 80 fitting. **** off I say, you caused that and the part is still under warranty, the cars only done 60k miles. **** off they say, alternator is wear & tear (like everything on a car) so is not covered. Never used them again, got a refurb fitted for 180 all in, which is still working 120k miles later.
    Audi - lovely cars but the dealers are generally terrible (although there are some good ones, usually VW) and Audi themselves will not get involved.
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  11. #10
    NHN
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    I'll give you that mate, fair point you've made, but you'd still tell him to have a go no??

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  12. #11
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    Thx for the really helpful replies guys. Well they already know that the Head Gasket is knackered as i was onto them straight away. They did charge me for Antifreeze and I checked everything before I drove of the forecourt anyway so i know it was changed. On the gold service, they claim to check for any leaks in the system which suggests that if the was a problem prior to service then it would have been flagged up.

    The problem I have is getting them to admit liability which I seriously doubt they will even though I think the guys at Stafford Audi are actually genuinely nice people.

    Regarding the warranty with Tesco.....the small print says you can claim straight away (no waiting period) but I have been told since that most warranties aren't worth the paper they are printed on. Nevertheless I cannot not discount it as it appears to be my last resort if Audi try and dodge the bullets.

    So the general consensus is to play hard ball with Audi and stand my ground?

  13. #12
    NHN
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    Damn right fella, if they checked for leaks, changed liquids etc, I would face up to them squarely & also if they dont do anything goto audi uk guy as already mentioned.

    Call warranty aswell if they say can claim straight away, good thing with warranty is if audi dont help they can at least give a report to tesco's to say the car was fine the week before from there service report so you cant lose mate, lol, perfect situation to resolve the issue no??

    Tesco's getting a report from the stealer saying car was fine couldnt be any better!!!!

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  14. #13
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    You are right......in an ideal world that is a feasible solution. I am rather bemused that the head gasket can go on a car that has done less than 20000 miles. I am relatively new to Audi's.......do they suffer from Head Gasket problems?

  15. #14
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    Id say its defo not common an an Audi with your mileage!
    I havnt heard of it being a common fault either to be honest.
    I know how you feeling though.
    All the best in getting it sorted but as we've said you have always got your warrenty to fall back on. Ive heard few tales of "warrenty not worth the paper its on" but Ive heard more positive. Way I see it, yes its a low mileager but end of the day the damage has occured and the warrenty have to aknowledge it. If not then....well thats another road you'll have to go down.
    Fingers crossed for ya matey!!
    Keep us posted...

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    thx J7USS.......to think I bought an Audi to avoid this sort of thing.....the irony!

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    Solani, since april ive been on the forum most every day and never seen a head gasket call yet till now. I do think the engine is very reliable and the B5 1.8 20v I had took a terrible amount of punishment even on high miles and was never ever serviced the whole time I had it (a year) as it was just a hack, but a well built hack

    Good luck with it pal, the suggestion about the stealers saying it was fine so you can push it onto tesco does sound like an elegant solution, as long as someone pays instead of you, all is good, yeah?
    B4 TDI - old skool project / daily driver...if it ain't broke, it's probably an Audi...


  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilscotsman View Post
    Solani, since april ive been on the forum most every day and never seen a head gasket call yet till now. I do think the engine is very reliable and the B5 1.8 20v I had took a terrible amount of punishment even on high miles and was never ever serviced the whole time I had it (a year) as it was just a hack, but a well built hack

    Good luck with it pal, the suggestion about the stealers saying it was fine so you can push it onto tesco does sound like an elegant solution, as long as someone pays instead of you, all is good, yeah?
    touche!

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    I'd persist with Audi TBH as you really don't want to burn those bridges only to find the warranty won't cover it, or at best will only cover the parts i.e. a 50p gasket and not the 2k labour to fit it.
    I'd check the small print on the warranty as these cheap warranty deals will very rarely cover anything. The wear & tear clause pretty much gives them a get out on any claim made. Let's face it what do you expect from 200 cover? Every car under this sort of warranty will suffer some minor or major problem in 12 months from faulty glovebox all the way through to an engine rebuild, so how on earth can a warranty company satisfy all the claims? Especially when you consider a replacement glovebox is 350 from Audi.
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    Spoke to Stafford Audi today and as expected they denied any liability. They said as far as they were concerned everything was in order when they serviced the car and nothing they did would have caused the head gasket to fail!......

    That leaves me with 2 options....get really aggressive with them and go in all guns blazing with my independent report demanding that they rectify the situation!

    or just try and claim from warranty which is the way I'm swaying right now!

    What do you think guys?

  21. #20
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    Well, go for the warranty......but as a backup plan start looking for an engine on e-bay.....or uk breakers.....if all else fails.....

    Good luck whatever happens
    Monza Silver A4 2.0TDi S-Line Avant Quattro (170) - Heated Alcantara Leather, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, Folding Door Miirrors, Electric Tailgate, Privacy Glass, etc

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    stick to your guns with audi 1st,keep pushing them,only go warranty route if all else fails, dont let them get away with it,to many people get screwed and walk away so they do it all the more.
    couldnt you go small claims against audi with your independant report.
    LOTS DONE, LOTS SPENT !!!!

  23. #22
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    I could go down the small claims route but I want the car back on the road as soon as possible.

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    2004 16K miles and you have replaced, pads, discs and bearings. Am I the only one thinking WTF! My cab is just hit 16K and the only thing thats been replaced is front tyres and petrol, I havent even had to fill the windscreen washers yet, let alone taken it for its first service. Either your car has had a very hard life or the mileage has been tampered with? How many owners has it had? I am assuming you bought it privately?
    Last edited by gjwell; 9th October 2008 at 09:07.


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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjwell View Post
    2004 16K miles and you have replaced, pads, discs and bearings. Am I the only one thinking WTF! My cab is just hit 16K and the only think thats been replaced is two front tyres and petrol, I havent even had to fill the windscreen washers yet, let alone taken it for its first service. Either your car has had a very hard life or the mileage has been tampered with? How many owners has it had? I am assuming you bought it privately?
    Well discs and pads were upgraded as a matter of preference. OSF Bearing became noisy after 18,000 miles so had to be replaced. 1 previous owner and the mileage seems to be legit.

  26. #25
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    asking the warranty company wont do any harm, and may get it fixed quicker if it does get accepted, and if not then you can only persist with audi or shell out cash for a repair then try and claim it back.

    I would hit the warranty first, since if its no good, then what did you pay for? If the warranty covers head gasket failure, and any conditions attached to a warranty claim are satisfied re service intervals etc then I see no reason why you shouldnt get the claim accepted. They will want more money on renewal but thats normal.
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  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilscotsman View Post
    asking the warranty company wont do any harm, and may get it fixed quicker if it does get accepted, and if not then you can only persist with audi or shell out cash for a repair then try and claim it back.

    I would hit the warranty first, since if its no good, then what did you pay for? If the warranty covers head gasket failure, and any conditions attached to a warranty claim are satisfied re service intervals etc then I see no reason why you shouldnt get the claim accepted. They will want more money on renewal but thats normal.
    Going down the warranty route as suggested. Will keep you all posted on developments.

  28. #27
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    ok good luck with it mate, if the warranty holds up i'll buy one myself from tesco
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  29. #28
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    Good luck mate! go get em...

  30. #29
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    Update

    Had a call from the garage (Sanspeed) this morning who have confirmed that one of the cylinder heads looks to have failed. They have been in touch with my warranty provider (Tesco) who have agreed in principle to pay for the repairs as long as I agree to cover the cost of labour of stripping the engine down should it not turn out to be the head gasket that needs fixing.

    So basically what they will do is send an engineer out to assess the damage and confirm that it is indeed the head gasket in which case they will cover all costs for. If it turns out to be something else then I will have to pay for the cost of striping the engine down which is 5 to 6 hrs labour.

    Sanspeed are fairly confident that it is the head gasket although they cannot discount a cracked cylinder head. I would imagine that this kind of damage will also be covered under the warranty

    Ultimately Sanspeed seem fairly confident that this is a straightforward warranty job. I really do hope so!!!

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilscotsman View Post
    if the warranty holds up i'll buy one myself from tesco
    Here Here I think we all will.

  32. #31
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    looking good there mate!

    Im picking up my tesco forms today....
    B4 TDI - old skool project / daily driver...if it ain't broke, it's probably an Audi...


  33. #32
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    Udpate

    Just had a call from the garage saying that the engineer Tesco sent out is claiming that because one of the cylinders is so clean and I have only driven the car less than 200 miles since taking out the warranty that they will not cover it. His assumption is that the problem must have existed before the warranty was taken out.

    I had feared this is what they would say......But the mechanic at the garage has said that it could easily have happened (got that clean) in less than 10 miles if you were driving at high speed and that he doesn't go along with what the Tesco engineer is claiming.

    What a nightmare!

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    Sorry to hear that Solani, but can't say I'm surprised. As said before these cheapy warranties cannot possibly make business sense unless they weasel out of pretty much every claim. It's a car FFS, so any issue can be written off as wear & tear if they so wish.
    So how many miles are you expected to do before making a claim? and if you can't claim that quickly why do they switch the warranty on straight away? Basically the first month doesn't even count, so you're only getting 11 months cover to start with. Pathetic.
    What on earth are you going to do?
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  35. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyMac View Post
    Sorry to hear that Solani, but can't say I'm surprised. As said before these cheapy warranties cannot possibly make business sense unless they weasel out of pretty much every claim. It's a car FFS, so any issue can be written off as wear & tear if they so wish.
    So how many miles are you expected to do before making a claim? and if you can't claim that quickly why do they switch the warranty on straight away? Basically the first month doesn't even count, so you're only getting 11 months cover to start with. Pathetic.
    What on earth are you going to do?
    Well I have spoken to my mechanic and asked him for an honest opinion and he maintains that you don't have to drive hundreds of miles for a one of the cylinders to get that clean......he said that 10 miles at high speed would do it. I am fairly angry that Tesco are going with such a weak get out clause and intend to dispute it.

    Does anybody think a report from a (independent) mechanic would help?

  36. #35
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    try an Engineers Report from the RAC mate, they carry a lot of weight in the industry since they have a top quality, exclusive image to keep up and nothing to gain from saying anything other than the truth.

    If anyone wants to dispute what the RAC report says, they would have a hard time defending that stance with any kind of sensible answers.

    I think its around 120, I know its more money but might just swing things your way with either of the other parties. Think of them as the ultimate independent adjudicator, since both the garage and tesco stand to lose money and face if they are wrong so each is fighting their corner......the RAC dont have to do any of this and are completely unbiased, thats what I would do next, since your own personal position hasnt changed, it cant hurt to get a respected authority on your side.

    Interesting note: The Royal Family are ALL with the RAC, and they (RAC) have held a Royal Charter since 1909, they are "Automobile Engineers by Royal Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen".

    Prince Michael of Kent is its president! Lets face it, The Queen could afford to use anyone, but only chooses the best.
    Last edited by evilscotsman; 17th October 2008 at 07:15.
    B4 TDI - old skool project / daily driver...if it ain't broke, it's probably an Audi...


 

 

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