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Anyone changed the heater matrix themselves?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Westy, May 9, 2011.

  1. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Any guides kicking about, any tips?
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  3. Sandip
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    Sandip Well-Known Member

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Oh dear, is it leaking Westle :(
    #2
  4. quattro1
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    quattro1 Member

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    [May 9, 2011]
    it looks like an absolute biiaaatch of a job mate! i had a good look at it when i had my dash out to replace my heater fan, definately not a job id choose do to!!
    #3
  5. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    The smell is getting worse and I can only assume it's the matrix :(

    If nobody recomends doing it it'll be done by my trusty mech when he does my turb in 3 weeks time.
    #4
  6. S3 TAM
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    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

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    [May 9, 2011]
    I reckon a late night mechs sessions with elsawin.

    plus a couple of beers sorted.

    save the labour charge and spend on mods. - I think thats good advise lol.
    #5
  7. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Well this is what I was thinking mate as we've got nothing to do till the 2nd week of June :(
    #6
  8. Sandip
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    Sandip Well-Known Member

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    [May 9, 2011]
    That's going to be one heck of a late night session lol
    #7
  9. S3 TAM
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    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

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    [May 9, 2011]
    worst case i'll drive you into work till we get it done. lol
    #8
  10. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Friday into Saturday. Tunes pumping, couple of beers and strong coffees. It's what Friday nights are all about ;)
    #9
  11. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Dude i'm on my bike, there's no worries :beerchug:
    #10
  12. S3 TAM
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    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Hell Yeah

    Better than spending £80+ down the drain.
    #11
  13. Syvo
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    Syvo IF IN DOUBT GO FLAT OUT

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    [May 9, 2011]
    owch nice job to-do wouldnt even hazard a guess when u say it smells nothing to do with the atmosheric catch can you got going on affecting the pollen filter? its a long shot but thought i would ask it
    #12
  14. S3 TAM
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    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

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    [May 9, 2011]
    I can see we are both as busy as each other. lol
    #13
  15. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Nah I've had this smell for a long time and it smells nothing like the fuel smell you get from the catch can. It's more of a sweet spicey smell which I'm guessing is a mixture of stagnant water and coolant. You can only smell it when the heater unit is turned on which all points towards the heater matrix if you ask me.
    #14
  16. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    shhhhhh
    #15
  17. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    #16
  18. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Ooooooooo.... that brings back memories of doing the heater matrix in my A4.... a thankless task...

    Just had a quick look in my A3 Haynes manual (yes, I have one!) and it looks a similar job... dash off before you can get to the heater unit... disappointing...

    You will need to get your aircon degassed prior to the job (thats how I did my A4 at least) then regassed after... I also discovered the aircon condensor needed replacing too as it had a leak...

    According to the Haynes manual, you also have to modify the dash panel support to get the heater unit out... involves drilling out a couple of spot welds then cutting part way through... there is a reinforcing plate behind that you don't cut through as this is what you will be bolting it back together with..

    Crappy phone pic of Haynes...

    [​IMG]

    Drill out 'A' with a 7mm drill and cut carefully through the 'dashed' line underneath but not through the plate at the back is how I read it..

    <tuffty/>
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  19. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Tuffty what's happened to your name?

    Oh and I think I'll give this job a miss! I'll see what my mechanic says.
    #18
  20. quattro1
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    quattro1 Member

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    [May 9, 2011]
    sod that!!! lol
    #19
  21. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 9, 2011]
    You are not wrong... was an long winded job!! My A4 went from this..

    [​IMG]

    to this...
    [​IMG]

    Fun it was not but feck knows how much a dealer would have charged!!

    Neil, the symptoms on my A4 were condensation on the inside of the windows whilst the heater was on and a sweet sickly smell of coolant... if yours has gone I wouldn't advise driving too far with it as it will make you ill... mine was like it for a month before I got around to doing it... I never felt so 'well' afterwards... G12 is not nice stuff..

    <tuffty/>
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  22. quattro1
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    quattro1 Member

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    [May 9, 2011]
    jesus that looks like a complete ballache lol, fair play to you for having the drive to get it done! dont think i could do it!
    #21
  23. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 9, 2011]
    It was but the motivation was purely financial... as was when I did the cam belt on her..
    [​IMG]

    Fairly std process on longitudal VAGs to remove the front though to do 'anything'....

    <tuffty/>
    #22
  24. A3Tom
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    A3Tom Smell my finger.

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Heater matrix?.........................rather you than me!
    #23
  25. quattro1
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    quattro1 Member

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    [May 9, 2011]
    omg tuft lol, that looks unreal. i bet that would cost an absolute friggin fortune in labour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #24
  26. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 9, 2011]
    Paul I've been driving round like it for nearly a year and it's been getting worse and worse. I've got the heater off at the moment. No condensation but it smells like spicy celary! That's the only way I can describe it!
    #25
  27. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Sep 30, 2011]
    Thought I'd revive this thread as the mornings are starting to get cold and I really need to get it sorted.

    I got a quote from my usual audi mechanic who quoted me around £300 for the heater matrix to be changed due to the amount of time it takes. £300 is not an option because I refuse to pay that amount just to be warm, so I'll have a crack at it myself.

    The smell that comes through is definitely coolant as it smells exactly the same as when you stick your nose inside the header tank but it's stronger when heated and in the car.

    I did the old heater on full blast with AC on and pointing at the windscreen to see if there was any moisture that would show a leaky heater matrix. Not a bean, nothing on the screen at all!

    My mechanic said that he's never had to change an S3s heater matrix so I assume it's quite rare that they go! I'm wondering what else it could be but It looks like i'll need to strip out the dash and investigate the heater matrix before I find out. I'll keep you updated.
    #26
  28. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Ok guys I need your help!

    I'm getting together all the needed parts this week ready to tackle this job next week.

    I need a list of parts to do the job including any bespoke tools and gaskets etc. Please add to my list:

    - Heater Matrix (obviously)
    - Coolant
    - Steering Wheel removal tool
    #27
  29. Danio
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    Danio AUDI-MANIACS.COM

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Torx and Hex tools
    Some pliers
    Spanner no.17 or 19 don't remember
    some spare time
    and obviously couple of beers:) lol
    #28
  30. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Have you done this before Danio?

    Can I de-gas the AC myself or is it best to just go to my local garage?
    #29
  31. Danio
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    Danio AUDI-MANIACS.COM

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Yes I've done it before on my A3 when I was fitting air con.

    Yes you can de-gas AC yourself if you know how to. I went to Halfords to do it as I had voucher.
    Obviously it is not hard to do it but you have no guaranties that all system is tight so maybe better is to go to garage and re-gas it.
    #30
  32. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Will definitely get it regassed at a garage but was thinking about de-gassing it myself if it's not too difficult?
    #31
  33. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Good lucky westy.
    Mine is starting to smell.
    But it has to wait a couple of months before I tackle it. I need to get my electronic bits sorted out.

    Can't wait for the post. :)
    #32
  34. Danio
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    Danio AUDI-MANIACS.COM

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    No just open both valves one near radiator and the second one behind maf sensor.
    #33
  35. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Thats bad for the environment, bad for your health and illegal.
    Give it to a registered garage.
    If you talk to them nicely, they might empty it for free if you go back or pay to empty but free refill.
    #34
  36. a3tdi2001
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    a3tdi2001 Member

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Always wondered how many heater matrixes rot from the inside out due to not having the coolant changed. Say a car is coming on ten years old, then how much corrosion inhibitor is going to be left in the original coolant?
    #35
  37. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Not alot in the original coolant but it should be changed. I can't remember when it should be changed it should deffo be changed.
    I think its part of the service schedule.

    People run water, the wrong mixture of coolant or the wrong coolant does not help.
    If it corrodes a heater matrix, just think what it is doing to the rest of the coolant system. :|
    #36
  38. a3tdi2001
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    a3tdi2001 Member

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    I thought that the coolant was for life according to Audi. Oh well.
    Don't like the new G++. They've gone back to using silicates which I'm not so sure about, especially for water pump seals. Time will tell all I guess.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
    #37
  39. Danio
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    Danio AUDI-MANIACS.COM

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    Scott never heard about it that is illegal or bad to environment.
    I thought that gas has got no smell, at least I never smell anything.
    And next thing what if your system is not tight (you don't know about it) and all gas going to atmosphere?? Is that mean everyone will be sick??
    #38
  40. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2011]
    I take it back.
    The old R12 gas is what was harmful, the new R134A is not. Still, I would not trust it as its under pressure.

    It might not be illegal for joe public, I know garages has to dispose of it properly.
    #39
  41. SiGainey
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    SiGainey Member

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    [Oct 16, 2011]
    Found an official audi doc which shows you how to remove the dash if you want it fella. PM me your email address if you do :)
    #40

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