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1.9 TDi Flatlining - Limp mode!

Discussion in 'A6/S6/Allroad forum (C5 Chassis)' started by amimmortal, May 18, 2012.

  1. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Hi all,

    My wife was returning home from the school run yesterday when the car practically died on her.

    It wouldn't rev above 1500rpm and she has to limp home on main roads at about 10mph - scary by all accounts!

    I've had green flag out to see it this morning and they reckon it's the turbo, so it's been loaded up and taken down to Autotechnik at Rosyth, a local VAG specialist (who, admittedly, I know nothing about).

    Does anyone have any idea of how much it might cost to repair? It's also due it's annual (10,000 mile) service, and the timing belt was due to be replaced, so I'm hoping to keep costs as low as possible!

    Thanks in advance!

    A.
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  2. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    In case anyone is interested, which I note they're probably not, looks like my EGR valve has fallen apart and got into the gubbinz of the engine. Apparently they'll need to dismantle the engine to find all the pieces. Big bill beckons...

    A.
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  3. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    cheaper to fit a 2nd hand engine
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  4. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    I sincerely hope not!

    They're hopeful the bits didn't get too far. As am I!

    A.
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  5. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    So, update time...

    Having removed the manifold, glowplugs and cylinder head to try to find the bits and check for any damage to the valves etc, it's thankfully transpired that a) the bits are nowhere to be found (meaning they must have made it through and got pulverised in the engine before being spat out the exhaust and b) there is no damage to any of the cylinders, pistons etc.

    However, as a result, the car needs the replacement cylinder head gasket etc, and the new EGR valve. So while they were at it, I asked them to put the new timing belt on the car (60,000 miles/ 8 years old, so would be due now anyway), and they incorporated the labour charge for that into the rebuild, which sounds quite decent of them.

    Total damage to the pocket... £1380 including VAT, including 14.5 hours labour, the timing belt kit, the new EGR valve and the parts for the cylinder head.

    The car should be running pretty sweet now, and it bloody better be!

    A.
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  6. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    do you have a picture of the egr valve? never heard of them failing letting bits into the engine.
    apart from not revving up there must have been a missing and noises to make them think of removing the cyl head?

    if theyd diagnosed the egr as being faulty, why didnt they just fit a new one and try it? as your lass drove it home after the failure its not like theyd have caused more damage after fitting a new egr valve and running it...... they should make sure they are correct in their daignosis before taking apart, what turns out to be, a perfectly good engine.

    muppets, id have kicked off at them if i were you.
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  7. marty.h
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    marty.h Member

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    If any debris had gotten into your engine you would of DEFFINATLY know about it and heard it I think they have personally pulled your pants down and I would call them incompetent myself
    #7
  8. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Thanks folks,

    Debris definitely got into the engine - two small screws and the valve spindle. There were scratches on the valves where the bits got into the cylinder.

    I went down to see the car when it was on the ramp, before they opened the cylinder head. They showed be the scratches on the valve and what was left of the EGR (the flap was lodged in the manifold). They recommended checking the cylinders and pistons for damage, and (whether it was the cleverest thing to do) i agreed.

    That said, and in their defence, when they put the car back together, they didn't charge any additional labour for the new timing belt, and they took the opportunity to replace the filters and so on that would ordinarily be done in the service. So, the going rate for the timing belt was around £450 on it's own, and the EGR was about £180 for the part, plus the extra labour for fitting. A good portion of the labour charge covered off the investigative work prior to the head coming off. So, all things considered, I think the end price was acceptable.

    That said, when I got the car back, after about 30 miles of driving the coolant warning light came on. Thankfully I was only a mile from home so made it back OK. Looking in the reservoir there was no coolant left for some reason. Fearing the worst I had them come up to get the car.

    Thankfully, it was some kind of air lock in the system that caused the problem, so it now seems to be sorted.

    I haven't mentioned however the dent that appeared in the front passenger's side door, but that's another matter altogether...

    A.
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  9. gen.heinz guderian
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    gen.heinz guderian Well-Known Member

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    They would/should have replaced the timing belt as a matter of course after removing the head,hopefully replacing tensioners as well.
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  10. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    in that case i suppose its better to take it apart and check it rather then not knowing and crossing your fingers its guna be ok.

    you didnt get any pictures? booooooo!
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  11. marty.h
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    marty.h Member

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    Being diesel and the engine running close as its diesel if you had gotten a screw in there I would of defo expected to see pitting on the pistons and head from that was there any of that ?
    #11
  12. Turbo unit
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    Turbo unit Member

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    What a strange case here!....I would have to say if your partner drove it home the damage would of already been done any way so bit of a point less exercise imo....As for the garage they should of new this and have slightly pulled the wool over your eyes!.....But on different note you agreed and was happy with the out come.
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  13. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Another update...

    Ok, so the air lock in the system was clearly bull****. On the way back from the shops tonight and the coolant warning comes on again. I check the coolant levels and, lo and behold, it's almost all gone.

    A quick check of the oil and it's a sludgy mess, with steam coming off it - surely a tell-tale sign that the water is mixing with the oil.

    These guys are hardly showering themselves in glory. And of course they're not open until Monday, when I have a hospital appointment, that I've been waiting on for weeks.

    I also need to drive to Manchester for a concert on Thursday night, which now looks fairly unlikely.

    I'm going to demand a courtesy car while they're sorting it, but I don't fancy my chances.

    Between this and the dent that "appeared" on my car while it was in their care, can anyone advise on what I might be able to do to force the point home?

    Thanks folks,

    A.
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  14. marty.h
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    marty.h Member

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    Me personally would get back all the money you have paid as they seem an incompetent bunch of chimps and go somewhere that will do the job properly
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  15. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Well, after some reluctance on their part, they came to collect the car this morning to have a look at it. On the phone, before he saw the car, he said he thought it was the oil cooler, which seemed a bit convenient to me.

    Can anyone confirm, would the oil cooler need to be removed for either the cylinder head replacement and/ or the timing belt? I'd read that it is possible to damage the oil cooler if not removed properly, is this also the case?

    I'm gearing up for a big fight here - can anyone give me any tips on how I might be able to get my money back?

    Pretty pissed off to be honest!

    A.
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  16. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Just got off the phone with the garage. Been told it'll be £450 all in to fix. No indication on their part that the issue is related to the work they carried out.

    Mike O'Neill didn't have the decency to call me back and left it to his receptionist, who wasn't really able to explain anything.

    Considering getting it towed to Star Performance now.

    Shower of useless cretins.

    A.
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  17. marty.h
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    marty.h Member

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    That's a very expensive repair considering they have just had the engine apart should of seen most things. Also normally when an oil cooler goes down you end up with neat oil in the water system.

    Get the car away from them chimps and get it to someone who is not going to slap your backside with a finger out
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  18. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    agreed, if the oil cooler is breached...... oil pressure is higher (possible 20-70 psi depending on running conditions) than coolant pressure (6-8psi??).... hence youd have oil in the water, not water in the oil.
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  19. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    And it goes on.

    Picked up the car last Wednesday (27th June) and all should have been well. New oil cooler was fitted (they had a real struggle getting the right part from Audi) and I was assured all was ok.

    Today, taking no chances, I thought I'd take a look at the water levels...

    I could clearly see that the coolant was about an inch below the minimum, and on closer inspection the water was heavily contaminated with oil. See below:

    [​IMG]

    So, what do I do now? Do I send it back to him to fix and demand that he make the necessary repairs at no cost to me? Do I go to a different garage and get a second opinion?

    If they have replaced the oil cooler but it wasn't the cause of the issue, what else could it be?

    Agh!!!!

    A.
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  20. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Ok, so I was told today that following an oil cooler failure it isn't unusual, after the system has been flushed, for oil left over in the cooling system to come through into the water reservoir. I was advised that there was little point in flushing the system again as there was no reason to be concerned.

    Can I just check, is this sound advice or am I being led down the garden path?

    Thanks,

    A.
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  21. meerkat
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    meerkat Member

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    after oil has got into the water system it will keep coming up to the top of the expansion tank as it goes around the system.usually have to flush it once or twice with detergent to get rid of all of it
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  22. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Cheers - I got a second opinion from Jack Walker Partnership in Edinburgh. They said it was normal, and that I had nothing to worry about.

    Still, that's one episode I don't want to repeat in a hurry...!
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  23. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    keep driving it but keep checking the oil level everytime before you start it (assuming parked on flat level surface). if the oil level is going down while more is appearing floating on top of the coolant.... then you know somethings up.

    seems a little conveinient the oil cooler going. could you not bypass the oil cooler with a bit of copper central heating pipe and run it for a week or so...... see if oil starts emerging from the coolers vacant coolant hose connections??
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  24. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Just a brief update to the issue I had earlier this year.

    Since the oil cooler was replaced I've had to top up the coolant three or four times, most recently prior to a long drive from Fife to Kent and back.

    Now, a week or so after getting back from Kent (and a subsequent trip to the Trossachs), the water is again below the minimum.

    I've checked the oil and there's no evidence of water getting into the engine. Similarly, I've not noticed large quantities of oil getting into the water. just the dregs left over from the oil cooler failure in June.

    I am getting a rather strange smell from the car, which I had originally put down to the aircon, however now I think about it, I think it might be the smell of coolant.

    Can anyone here shed some light on where the water might be going? Quite reluctant to take it back to the same garage for obvious reasons.

    Thanks,

    A.
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  25. meerkat
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    meerkat Member

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    i know after oil gets into water the rubber pipes and seals weaken and go soft.maybe somthing weaping a bit.worth getting checked out.or somthing not quite sealed properly when work was done.not smelling of coolant from inside the car?
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  26. amimmortal
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    amimmortal Member

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    Righty.

    The worst news imaginable.

    System has been pressure tested and no external leaks visible. Oil Cooler and Head Gasket have also been ruled out. Currently undergoing glycol test of the multitronic box. Been advised that if the gearbox oil cooler has failed, I'll probably need a new multitronic box.

    Fingers crossed it's something else.

    ****.

    A.
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