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Oil in coolant. Can't link to diagnostics. Oh ruddy hell...

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Cornrow, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    Continuing the belief that I may have bought a right lemon of a car, I booked my car in for a service today at an Audi specialists and they delivered a rather worrying list of problems with the car. Something all the more annoying after it apparently passed an MOT with no advisories just three weeks ago (that's what you get from buying from a garage who say they'll MOT it for you)...

    First was that the car wouldn't talk to the diagnostics equipment - neither the ABS or the ECU. Mechanic suggested that maybe there was a 'break in the datalink' or a damaged loom. Anyone help shed some light to clarify things for me?

    Also, one of the balljoints was literally falling off (which explains my suspension problems in my other post). That, and there was a bloody great nail in one of my tyres.

    More worrying was masses of oil in the coolant. Now, it doesn't appear to be leaking any coolant and the car isn't overheating but my fear is the headgasket and that, I imagine, is an expensive job. He also mentioned something about the oil cooler perhaps being responsible but by them I was a just about ready to hang myself.

    Can anyone offers me any sort of consolation so I don't drive it off a cliff and be done with it?

    Thanks!
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  3. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    Well, asked the mechanic to swap the oil cooler (he's '60% positive that's the problem') - I'll take them odds.

    But I'm still unsure why mechanic can't get any sort of reading from the diagnostics...
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  4. [Dave B]
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    [Dave B] Daddy

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    Who's the specialist working on the car?

    Do you have any form of warranty from the 'dealer' you bought it from?
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  5. Matt82
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    Matt82 Active Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    oil could be remnants of a previous failure. needs to be diagnosed properly
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  6. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    It's a VW/Audi specialist called CSB in Bristol. The guy certainly sounds like he knows what he is doing and being very honest with me.

    Apparently, he has kept all the oil in a jar to show me how much he got out the expansion bottle (?), so it might be optimistic to think its leftover from a past failure.

    There are definitely no leaks from the coolant and, if anything, it takes plenty of time to get up to temperature so I will cross my fingers that it's the oil cooler rather than HG.

    Not sure if what sort of warranty (if any) I got from the garage. It wasn't a dealer or anything like that. As is the way, they offered me a horrendously expensive extended warranty which I couldn't afford (I know, I know...) But I will check later to see if I have any sort of comeback on them.

    Doesn't exactly fill me with confidence the fact that the apparent MOT missed both a worn brake pad and something virtually hanging off the suspension.

    I'm usually the most cautious man in the world when it comes to buying cars and never buy from garages. Kicking myself that I probably rushed the purchase and now I'm paying the price!
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  7. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    Oh, for reference - it's a '98 1.8T with around 73k on the clock.
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  8. Matt82
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    Matt82 Active Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    sounds like big lemon.

    the oil in the expansion tank could easily be the left over from a failed head gasket or oil cooler.

    before i pulled things apart and STARTED GUESSING id clean it out and test for leaks.

    there is no point guessing because it costs you money
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  9. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    Sadly, its my lemon and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be stuck with it.

    Mechanic has got the car for the next couple of days. I'll ask him to check for leaks.

    Anyone got any clues why it isn't talking to the diagnostics?
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  10. Matt82
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    Matt82 Active Member

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    [Jun 30, 2010]
    hard to say. could be as simple as damaged wiring or a pin damaged on the connector.

    they can pressure test the coolant system, do a sniff test on the coolant to see if there are signs of exhaust gas in there. if not, it would be left over oil, which would need flushing out which isnt too hard
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  11. DaveA3
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    DaveA3 Audi A-Trizzle!

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    [Jul 1, 2010]
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
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  12. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 1, 2010]
    The diagnostics can fail for something as simple as having an after market head unit fitted maybe thats the case?
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  13. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jul 1, 2010]
    Thanks for the responses, guys. And DaveA3 - that's a great link, thanks.

    I'm picking the car up from the garage later today. Oil cooler swapped, coolant flushed. I'll see if I still get problems. Only bought the car at the start of June, from a place called Autolink Bristol.

    I did call the dealers and suggest that the car probably shouldn't have got through the MOT (worn brake pads, loose suspension, worn rear bushes) but he suggested, as they were 'MOT problems', I needed to take any issues up with the MOT station.

    As I have paid for the service and the work, do I have any rights to claim anything back from the dealer for the suspension and oil cooler fix? Typcially, it turns out that I can call VOSA if I think the MOT was unsatisfactory - within 28 days after the MOT. I found this out on day 29. D'oh!

    Byzan - I'm pretty sure the headunit is aftermarket. Is it simply a case of disconnecting it and the ECU will respond again? Do you know why it interferes?
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  14. DaveA3
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    DaveA3 Audi A-Trizzle!

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    [Jul 1, 2010]
    You can take all reciepts to the dealer and make them an offer. For example a full refund and reimbursment of the repair costs. or even just for your money back its up to you. If he doesnt respond or make a deal within 7 days trading standards will assist you with everything. Best to send a letter with ur concerns and offer in writing.

    His company will then be thoroughly checked for tax evasion etc (how many cars sold using cash and not claimed for) and all cars purchased in the last 1/2 years will be checked to see if there were any problems and then cause him a whole lot of grief sorting out other customers problems and costing him a hell of a lot of money!

    in short he will pretty much lose his business.

    its worth giving trading standards a call they are very helpful and will guide u the whole way
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  15. Cornrow
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    Cornrow Member

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    [Jul 2, 2010]
    Car feels much better after the service and the repairs. The end bill wasn't as horrendous as I thought it could have been but I still plan to chase up with garage/MOT station to see if I can reclaim any of the costs back. I'll keep anyone who's interested posted!

    I've been trying to research the aftermarket stereo/VAG-COM thing (mechanic still couldn't get his scan tools to connect to the OBD). I found the link on the ross-tech site but I must admit that that all the talk of k-lines and CAN-BUS and **** has pretty much melted my mind. Electrics are like Dark Arts to me.

    Is there anyone in the Bristol area with Vag-com who could be convinced to scan my car in exchange for beer tokens?

    Thanks everyone for your help. Feel like all I have done is moan about my car since I joined the forum, so I'm sorry for that!
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