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Please Help! Radiator leaking! Red Coolant warning light coming on.

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Massey127, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Massey127
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    Massey127 New Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    I am fairly new to this forum registering when I bought my 1998 1.8T sport A3 less than a week ago.

    I am now concerned that just the last two days the red coolant warning light flashes up.
    First time I stopped and topped the coolant up to max but last night driving home from work the warning message came back!
    Checked the coolant level this morning (after midnight when I finished work last night) and it is well below the min level!

    So I am definitely loosing coolant somewhere.
    After briefly looking around the engine bay I have noticed that there appears to be a leak coming from near the top of the radiator on the right hand side (as you face the engine bay) just below where the top hose connects as the area at the bottom of the battery tray and surrounding pipes / wires are all wet.
    It must be quite a serious leak if it has emptied the tank since yesterday covering less than 30 miles!

    Can anyone please help and advise me as to how I might fix this?
    I love the car in everyway and just want to get it fixed but since I have just bought the car I don't exactly have any spare cash at the moment.
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  3. jasongtr
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    jasongtr Active Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    if you are sure you know where its leaking replace the defective item, any bodge fix might fail and you are back to square one or worse.

    if you are not sure where its coming from and its that serious a leak top the coolant up and watch it on idle, it will get hot enough.

    even if its a rad they are cheap enough for a good used one
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  4. Massey127
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    Massey127 New Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    im not 100% sure where all it may be leaking but there definitely is one leak at the location I have mentioned however I have noticed a water dripping down both sides of the radiator if I look through the lower grill section of the bumper.
    I will run the car now and investigate further and report back.

    Thanks for your help Jason
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  5. jasongtr
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    jasongtr Active Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    one other thing try and dry it all off before running it, that way fresh coolant leaking is much easier to spot
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  6. Massey127
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    Massey127 New Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    Well as you advised Jason, I dried as much of the soaked area as possible and let it run and sure enough after maybe 5 mins the water began leaking noticeably from the suspected area.

    It's leaking from the area on the top right of radiator as you look into engine bay.
    Almost 1" below where the top hose pipe connects to radiator but the hose itself and connection are bone dry.
    It appear to be almost where the radiator mount is?
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  7. jasongtr
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    jasongtr Active Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    crack in the rad housing then maybe - time for a new or used rad id say, cost of the rad isnt much is buying a used one, just a pita to have to take the front of the car off to change it
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  8. Massey127
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    Massey127 New Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    As I suspected then I can get a new radiator for £45 inc VAT so that's not too bad as long as it cures it.

    Think I will buy the radiator and attempt this tonight.
    Also worth mentioning is the fact that in the expansion tank there is a bit of white foam on the top of the coolant and ideas?

    Really appreciate your help Jason.
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  9. jasongtr
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    jasongtr Active Member

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    [Jun 15, 2013]
    no probs

    that i dont know im no mechanic, could something and nothing or something more sinister.

    You will be draining and refilling with fresh coolant to maybe just keep a close eye on it
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  10. Massey127
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    Massey127 New Member

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    [Jun 17, 2013]
    Solved!!!
    Problem was indeed a hair line crack on radiator at the join of the top mounting nipple. Looks like it's been caused by a pothole or something as car is lowered.
    Replaced it and refitted everything.
    Car going grand now thank goodness.
    What a lot of work to change a radiator though!!!!!
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