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3.0TDi inlet manifolds - Looks like I'm gonna have to bite the bullet

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by jdp1962, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    I think I now have no option but to replace the manifold flaps, but I really hate the idea of paying Bexley Audi £700 or thereabouts (each!) to supply and fit them.

    I'm wondering if this might be a better bet? Two remanufactured manifolds supplied for £314, and my local indie would fit them for around £200-ish in labour.

    Any thoughts, anyone? ​
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  3. jjmurphy21187
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    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Isn't there a 'fix' for this inlet flaps issue, somewhere in the region of £250? Don't know what it entails but I think it's an alternative to replacing the parts. I've seen it on an old thread somewhere... but can't remember where.

    What's made you decide you have to bite the bullet and replace them btw??
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  4. rowdyboy
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    rowdyboy Member

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    As above, why do you have to bite the bullet?
    Just remove them.
    #3
  5. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    That was me. Fontain, the independent Audi retailer I bought the car from, offer a modification (probably similar to the work done on the manifolds being sold in the Ebay ad) to an existing manifold, costing £225 per side. They tried to sort mine out in May. They managed to re-fix the motor rod, but the flap linkage itself was too badly worn for the mod to work. So they only charged me for an hour's labour (£90) and warned it was likely the engine light would come back on again. It was fine for a couple of months, but it's now coming on practically every day.
    #4
  6. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    I've been told if I remove them, the engine management light will be on permanently, so it will fail the MOT.
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  7. rowdyboy
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    rowdyboy Member

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Remove them and get them mapped out. It'll be a dam sight cheaper than £700, with no noticeable effect on performance.
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  8. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    I looked into that option back in May, but was told it's not possible.
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  9. rowdyboy
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    rowdyboy Member

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Anythings possible to map out, they do it with the EGR valve, who told you it wasnt? Maybe you need to ring round a few companies.
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  10. Brodster
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    Brodster Shark Performance In Scotland Regional Rep Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Yep if you have an EML and its not detrimental to the health of your car it can certainly be mapped out. Mods such EGR deletes, PSV deletes etc etc will all flag up an EML and the patch for it is embedded within the map so stops the EML coming on again.
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  11. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    I did ring round a few companies, and they all told me that whilst it could be done with the EGR valve, it couldn't be done with the manifold flaps.
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  12. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Azeem

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    What was the mileage of your car when you first started getting this issue? Surely it doesn't happen to all of them, I hope I don't get it as it sounds bloody expensive for what it is. Best of luck with it all and let us know how you get on.
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  13. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]

    Around 71,000. It's done 74,000 now. If you have a 3.0TDi, expect to have this issue some time. It's as common as faulty injectors on the 2.0TDi 170, or a blocked oil pick-up on the 1.8T, except there's no recall, just a bl00dy big bill.
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  14. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Azeem

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Great, another thing I better start saving for...I'm currently on 57,000 miles.
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  15. rowdyboy
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    rowdyboy Member

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Dont get too excited, I'm at 132,000 miles and I've checked mine, there's no wear or rattles whatsoever. I think it depends how the cars been driven, town/motorway etc. I think only 2 - 3 people have mentioned it on here.
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  16. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Azeem

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    How do you go about checking it?

    I drive about 75% motorway at steady cruise and 25% around town with the occasional spirited driving style I have (preventing excessive stress on the engine where possible).
    #15
  17. rowdyboy
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    rowdyboy Member

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Pull the engine cover off, look at the back of the engine, get someone to turn the ignition on and you'll see the rods move.
    With that style of driving, you should get a lot more miles out of yours, I think it's the town driving that's the problem.
    Revving it hard on a regular basis, actually benefits the engine, it helps keep everything clear and free'd up. Don't think you'll stress the engine.

    I dispute the claim that its as common as the injector problem on the 170's, I don't know how how JDP has come to that conclusion.
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  18. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    By browsing other areas of the forum where the 3.0TDi engine is more common, i.e. the Q7 section, and by talking to service staff in dealers and independent garages
    #17
  19. jjmurphy21187
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    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    There WILL be a way to map it out of the ECU. An ECU is just a computer like any other, and with the right software it can be edited to remove anything you want. The majority of companies probably won't know how to disable it as it's not a common thing to disable (compared to EGV valves of DPFs), but there will be a way. You just need to find someone who is willing to think a little bit outside the box and do some investigating.

    Even if you had to pay them 4 hours labour, it's an awful lot cheaper than getting them repaired/replaced.

    Mine's on 115k now, and as far as I know has never had any issues with the flaps (no record in the FMDSH)...
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  20. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Fingers crossed it remains that way and you don't have any problems, JJ. Likewise yours, Rowdyboy
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  21. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    But even if I could find someone who said it could be done, it would be a bit of a leap of faith that they could actually deliver. I don't really want my car being experimenting on, just in case it turns out they don't know what they're doing. Nor do I want to be bothered with telling my insurer my car is remapped, because you can bet your life they'll hoist my premium, this year and every year after that . To be honest, I don't really want it re-mapped at all. I want it restored to proper working order, but standard, if you get my drift. Hence, to use my original phrase, I need to bite the bullet.
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  22. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    I have a colleague who had the same problem on his Q7. The units were replaced by Audi under the terms of the used approved audi scheme at approx 64k if my memory is correct.
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  23. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Mine is well outside any warranty period.
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  24. jjmurphy21187
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    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    Fair play, you're not the only guy on here wanting to keep thing OEM and as Audi intended.

    On a side note I took the engine cover off out of curiosity when I got home today, saw the two plastic ends of the flap mechanism moving when under throttle... is there any way to tell if they're worn without taking the whole assembly apart? Or do you just need to wait for the engine management light and check the error code??
    #23
  25. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 3, 2012]
    When mine first went, the rod actually became detached altogether at the flap end, so it was easy to see. But even if the rod isn't detached, the flap mechanism inside the manifold could be worn and loose, and you might not be able to tell.
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  26. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    [Sep 4, 2012]
    ive changed 2 or 3 now. if memory serves 2 x 2.7 tdis and a 3.0. cant remember what mileages they were on.

    i think the problem is again caused by the soot coming thru the egr system. the soot mixes with the oil in the inlet/manifolds and it makes itself into a kind of grinding paste around the moving parts of the flaps! this wears out the flaps shafts to the point where the actuator has difficulty moving them then the rod pops off the little ball joints or snaps the actuator arm off the manifold end.

    it is a common problem.
    #25
  27. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 4, 2012]
    That's a very interesting description, Murran, and it makes a lot of sense to my rather unmechanical mind.

    Given your hands-on experience of these, I wonder if you had any views on the risk involved in ordering a pair of re-furbished manifolds (without gaskets or motors) from the Ebay site in my original post.
    #26
  28. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    the ones ive fitted have all been new from tps.
    id be interested in seeing some "refurbished" ones.
    #27
  29. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 19, 2012]
    Update. I succeeded - with help from the forum - in locating a business that can map out the inlet manifold fault codes, and it's being done as I write this. Also getting an "economy" remap done at the same time (which apparently increases power as well). So if all goes to plan I will be a very happy man in about two hours time.

    Thanks to all who helped, and stayed patient with me while I agonised over what to do.
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  30. jjmurphy21187
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    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

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    [Oct 19, 2012]
    Glad you got it sorted. Who's doing your coding/remap?
    #29
  31. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 19, 2012]
    A marvellous fella called Marvin Franklin at SFD Solutions of Dagenham. He's a franchised agent for FR&R Tuning, a Bradford-based firm I was recommended by an Audisport member who had used them to do the same exercise.

    He's mapped out the inlet manifold faults altogether, and installed an economy remap - both maps are listed in the product page if you click on the above link. Only driven home from Dagenham so far, in long traffic queues, heavy rain and the Woolwich Ferry, so no way of knowing whether or by how much it is faster and/or more economical, but the car sure felt good.

    All in, it's cost £600, plus a £50 increase in my insurance premium.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
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  32. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 19, 2012]
    Oh, forgot to add, Marvin owns a beautiful blue (Nogaro, I think it's called) 56-reg Audi TT 2.0T, which of course he has mapped off the scale.
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  33. .Jas.
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    .Jas. Member

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    [Oct 19, 2012]
    Cheers for the update.
    This chap is local(ish) for me, so I might give him a call for an EGR blank and a remap.
    Let us know how your remap feels when you get a chance to give the car a proper spin.
    #32
  34. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 19, 2012]
    I can PM you his mobile number if you like.
    #33
  35. .Jas.
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    .Jas. Member

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    [Oct 20, 2012]
    Yes please, and keep us up to date with how you feel about the remap :icon_thumright:
    #34
  36. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 20, 2012]
    Drove 20 miles to Sevenoaks and back on A2 and M25 this morning. Not vastly quicker, but definitely an improvement. The engine feels much smoother and quicker to pick up and go, with fewer flat spots and less turbo lag.

    Also, where before the cruise control was a bit jerky and sudden when using the incremental increase/decrease function, it's now seamless.

    Best of all though, no engine light. :yahoo:
    #35
  37. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 20, 2012]
    PM sent.
    #36
  38. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Azeem

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    [Oct 26, 2012]
    Were the flaps mapped out of operation or just the errors mapped out? In other words is there any physical restriction in your intake or are they fully open now?
    #37
  39. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2012]
    Good question. I don't think I know. I guess I can find out by taking the engine cover off, starting it up & watching the motor links, yes?
    #38
  40. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    [Oct 26, 2012]
    dont they fail in the open position by default?
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  41. jjmurphy21187
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    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

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    [Oct 26, 2012]
    Yeah, the flaps open under full throttle, and close at low speeds to allow slightly smoother running. Makes very little difference to performance if they get stuck open but they cause an error on the dash which equates to an MOT failure...
    #40

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