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my coolant loss story

Lex Mar 2, 2009

  1. Lex

    Lex Member

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    I wonder why i ever bought this bloody A3?

    I've had the car for a good 10 months before my first coolant loss. At first i took it to audi to get pressure tested and it showed up with nothing at all and they charged me £50 for it. Audi stafford said they can look into it further but i cant spend £100 a day on labour just to look for the problem.

    So i took it to midland vw audi specialist and jodie looked at it, saw the rad was ok and booked it in for the new turbo which it needed and the head gasket thinking that as where the coolant was leaking. He also had the replace the EGR because that was leaking.

    Total cost so far £1550 spent on the car.

    I was happy enough because i thought that was it over but roughly 700miles later COOLANT flashed at me again.

    so it was booked back in at midland vw and jodie found a small clip on a hose that was covered in a red substance (coolant) so he replaced the hose and clip for free (which i thought was nice of them) and i set on my way again thinking that was it done with.

    500 miles later COOLANT flash flash

    so today i took it to midland vw again and jodie had a quick look and said its the engine is bone dry and is showing no leaks outside of the engine and has finally come to the worst conclusion that it is the cylinder head which is the most feared thing because i've heard the cost can be above £2k which is money i haven't got.

    The only bit of good news Jodie has given me is that he will wave the labour cost for me so i will just be paying for the parts which i think is about £560. This did cheer me up abit.

    So i have spent a fortune on this car just for a little water leak, im not sure i will fully trust this car again.

    The worst part is that i cant justify selling my car once fixed because i bought it for £9k a year ago and its only worth £5k now and i've spent £2k on it. so if i sell it that mean i've lost £6k in a year, i dont even earn more than 6k a year cos i a bloody student.

    I'm actually thinking it would be better if i were to crash my car and get the insurance money.

    cheers

    lex
     
  2. APL TDi

    APL TDi Member

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    I think there must be a curse on dark grey 2004 3dr 2.0tdi's as mine has been a complete pain in the ass too! I feel for you mate, hope it gets fixed soon.

    Its never a good idea to crash a car and try and claim on insurance, the best thing I would suggest is fill it up with coolant, take it to a dealer and px it....

    Good luck mate
     
  3. Batt284

    Batt284 Member

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    Have you monitored the amount of coolant it is losing and the oil level? If it is the cylinder head the coolant will be going into the oil and causing the oil level to rise. I wouldn't get the cylinder head done without diagnosing it first. The small consolation is that if you get the head replaced you will get the new improved version of the cylinder head that should not cause you any problems :)
     
  4. Lex

    Lex Member

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    i was told that even if the coolant was leaking from the cylinder head it wouldn't get into the oil but i will check again anyway
     
  5. Lee_R

    Lee_R Active Member

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    Jodie is sound at midland VW, he will sort it!
     
  6. Lex

    Lex Member

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    i do trust jodie, he is a great person to know

    i've always taken my cars there

    he has done alot of work on my old 1.4 golf and now my a3 and he knos his stuff well.
     
  7. davemk

    davemk Member

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    Don't Audi offer an extended warranty on the porous cylinder heads? Surely, a porous cylinder head would be deemed to be "not fit for purpose" under the Sale of Goods Act? :think:
     
  8. Lex

    Lex Member

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    they sometime offer goodwill gesture

    however because mine is now 3 years out of warranty and has 97k on the clock and it hasnt got a full audi service history there's no chance i will get one

    its been serviced at audi all its life except the year i've owned it because i use midland vw

    i do hate audi sometimes
     
  9. A_C4mby

    A_C4mby Member

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    Make that 3!!! Mine's Lava Grey

    I had mine 11 months without any problems - best car I ever had (and I've had a lot!) - apart from the uneven idle.

    The one day driving home I got what appeared to be a slight misfire on light throttle (if it was a petrol engine I would understand, but not a diesel). Thought that it must be fuel filter so changed that. Then a few days later (friday evening in rush-hour) engine started jerking (as if no fuel) eventually got to a stage that it wouldn't drive. I could rev the engine, but as soon as you try to put then engine under any load it would just try to cut out.

    So I did a lot of logs with VCDS (no faults present) and I couldn't see/find anything wrong.

    I did a lot of searching on sites like these, and came up with a whole list of potential known VW/Audi common faults:
    1. Tandem Pump failure
    2. Lift pump failure
    3. Dual mass flywheel
    4. Engine speed sensor
    5. Wiring loom in cylinder head
    6. Injectors
    7. ECU
    8. MAF
    9. PowerBoard (central fuse box)
    10. EGR
    11. Fuel Filter clogging/blocking
    12. Turbo

    Not good or a 3-4 year old model!!

    I originally considered getting it to a stage that it will drive, and trade it in for a Anniversary GTI (TDI), but when I got some trade in values I would lose £6K in one year, and I definately wouldn't sell it to anyone privately.

    Instead, I've decided to replace all the necessary parts. First to find the fault, and secondly to give me peace of mind.

    So far I've replaced:
    Tandem Pump, Lift Pump, Dual Mass Flywheel, Engine speed sender, Turbo.

    At the minute it seems to be running OK but, then it is an intermittent failure.

    Next up is the injectors.

    While I'm changing all of the components I try to upgrade them so that I'm getting a better car.

    Sometimes I wish I'd never bought my A3.

    I've owned VW's and Audi's for the past 15 years, and as a result of this one I would never buy another one, or recommend one. In fact I go out of my way to tell people not to buy either a VW/Audi. But then what are your options if you're buying a new car???

    I've finished my rant now, what next should I upgrade!!!
     
  10. Lex

    Lex Member

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    that sounds awful

    my problem doesn't seem half as big as yours

    i know how you feel becuase i've lost so much money on my car is the space of a year and its a gutting feeling.

    good luck with getting it sorted
     
  11. APL TDi

    APL TDi Member

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    Oh man, way to make me even more paranoid.....:Flush:
     
  12. Lex

    Lex Member

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    maybe if we re-spray our cars they will get better?
     
  13. kaz219

    kaz219 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    I think Audi should do a call back on all the 2003/2004 early 2005 models and fully check the engines out - they seem fairly troublesome but in saying that, mines needed an IMF and its been fine (MA).

    2004-60k.

    Mines black though :p
     
  14. A_C4mby

    A_C4mby Member

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    IMF?
     
  15. Lex

    Lex Member

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    but if you were audi would you call back every 2003/2004 model for a fix which costs £2k each?

    i would be doing the exact same thing if i were the managing director

    i knew i should have bought a focus HAHAHAHAHAHA:keule:
     
  16. dantdi

    dantdi ...

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    Mines Blue! But got the same coolant leak problems. Had it pressure tested small loss of pressure but no leaks found, sniffer test done that was all clear.
    that was from bmw specialist (yes i know bmw)
    They said up to me but just keep topping coolant up see if get worse. Told me id know about by know if was mixing with oil. car seams 2 run fine apart from staring when hot.
     
  17. Lex

    Lex Member

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    same here
    starting when hot is sketchy

    it always starts just takes longer than when cold

    anybody else has this delay in starting when hot?
     
  18. APL TDi

    APL TDi Member

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    Cant say I have mate.....
     
  19. kaz219

    kaz219 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    Intake Manifold Flap - fairly common prob on the vag range - i wrote a whole thread on it somewhere in this section :D
     
  20. kaz219

    kaz219 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    Audi sell milions of cars - and the bkd engine or the engines in the late 03 to early 05 models were only in production for over a year! Surely it wont cost them that much... And only some of them have a prob - maybe a letter to Watchdog if the the people with the head issues come together!

    The engine with porous heads under the sale of goods act are definitly not fit for purpose (as mentioned below).

    My mums got a merc and they dont even charge a diagonostic fee if something goes wrong!! On a 03 plate too and the cars been in the fam since new and always been to the same merc garage!

    Audi are right ****** though and I doubt them ever doing anything like that. They even tried ripping me off before i bought my A3. I paid £11k for mine and they were selling the equivalent for £14k+!!
     
  21. Batt284

    Batt284 Member

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    I would be happy to support the watchdog attempt! When you say only some have a problem, do you mean just the people with the late 03 to early 05 2.0 TDI engines?
     
  22. sprout99

    sprout99 Member

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    early BKD engine suffered with head porosity probs.

    i think thats what Kaz was getting at.....
     
  23. magnus911

    magnus911 R8GGA

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    This whole thread was worth reading just for this - i actually lol'd.

    Thanks Lex.:yahoo:
     
  24. ChayD

    ChayD New Member

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    I have exactly the same issue with mine, except it's silver and is a BMN engine (if I remember correctly, I think it's pretty much the same as the BKD, but a bigger turbo), due to the water in the exhaust stream, it kept eating exhaust temperature sensors (pretty much one every 3 months), it all culminated in water in one of the cylinders (#2) causing a glowplug tip to crack and end up in the cylinder causing some valve and piston damage (fortunately not enough to total the engine - it's still running as of now, although it took me 3 months worth of weekends to source all the parts and strip it down). I did have limited success with Steel Seal, and it held the leak off for a month, then the water loss became worse! As the car's all paid up, I'm toying with just bunging some K-Seal or radweld in it and part-exing the b***dy thing. Shame though because otherwise it's been a good motor. Still doesn't beat an ancient MKIV golf of mine that's still soldiering along at nearly 200k miles :)
     
  25. Rideen

    Rideen Sport Mode Audi A3

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    Oh the dreaded stories of porous cylinder heads...

    Here goes my story:

    I bought the car 3 years ago. A month later I figured out the car is losing coolant. Oil level was the same, no oil in the coolant or coolant in oil whatsoever. I decided to ignore it for a couple of months adding about 0.2L of coolant every month.

    Then it got worse so I bought a sealant, poured it into the coolant and everything seemed fine. I had to top off coolant every 2 months or so, I was blaming the heater core for the problem, was completely ignoring the cylinder head issue even though I knew it was the problem.

    Changed injectors, clutch an flywheel in the meantime. Then a month ago I came home, left the car sitting for an hour, went back in trying to start it and heard a very loud noise from the engine. I tried to start it again to no avail. I figured that the coolant probably poured into one of my cylinders due to the fact that the engine wouldn't budge so I put the car in 5th gear and gave it a gentle push forward for about 15 meters with my friends to force the coolant outside through the exhaust manifold. It worked.

    I booked a car, found a used C revision cylinder head from Passat 6 2.0 TDI for 350 Euros, pressure tested it and it was fine. When the cylinder head from my car has been taken off, you could literally see a hole in valve housing at cylinder 1, so that's where the water was getting into the combustion chamber. Replaced the turbo in the meantime, put the new head back on alongside new valves and camshafts and the car feels like new.

    As for all those who doubt that their head has gone bad and they are losing coolant - it probably is bad, don't fool yourselves. I have found new heads from German manufacturer for 525 Euros so it isn't too big of a pain to sort out, it saves you the money for the usual EGR valve changes, head gaskets, etc. which mechanics make you change even though it's the porous head after all.
     
  26. ChayD

    ChayD New Member

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    Additional to this as I thought it may be helpful to others; The additional water loss I reported wasn't from the head problem any more - the Steel Seal had eaten away the bearing seals on the water pump (a new one!) and allowed coolant to leak from the weep hole in the side. I can only guess that the Steel Seal stopped the tiny amount of coolant that's supposed to lubricate the seals and that caused them to wear down and eventually fail. Either way, that's a new pump (and probably timing belt kit), and an engine flush to boot!
     

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