I've just joined the 8V water pump club

ACWKGYTO

Registered User
Mines done around 0.75l in 7k.
I just check it every two weeks. If it needs topping up I top it up.

I own a pressure tester. I can't see obvious signs of a leak.

I do not agree coolant should be lost as it's a sealed system but I understand the level will raise when hot and cold.

Still I hope I don't have any issues as my remap is booked next week so bye bye warranty.

Call Audi breakdown (get an Audi technician in a van) there is a software update, and they vent the system at the same time, had mine done and no problems since. Not had to top up
 

PanamaS3

Registered User
Mines done around 0.75l in 7k.
I just check it every two weeks. If it needs topping up I top it up.

I own a pressure tester. I can't see obvious signs of a leak.

I do not agree coolant should be lost as it's a sealed system but I understand the level will raise when hot and cold.

Still I hope I don't have any issues as my remap is booked next week so bye bye warranty.
@RO65ERS mate mine was losing coolant before and after Stage 1 tune...however once I had the system flushed and refilled and the expansion tank replaced because I was getting rusty coloured sludge in mine I have had no more loss of coolant. I had the water pump replaced too but that had no effect on the problem.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
If it's leaking then the 40/60 (or whatever) split is fine but if it's a case of boiling and the pressure release valve releasing steam then surely adding coolant would just up the concentration of G13?
 

mfl

Registered User
had to top mine up today, got the low coolant level warning - currently done 16,000kms - will see what happens - too much deja vu though - my GTI did the same - 3 water pumps - 1 every 15,000kms.
 

mfl

Registered User
had to top mine up today, got the low coolant level warning - currently done 16,000kms - will see what happens - too much deja vu though - my GTI did the same - 3 water pumps - 1 every 15,000kms.

turns it was a 'air bubble' in the system (after it was pressure tested), the dealer said there was a TPI, and it can occur up to 26,000kms.

I mentioned about the water pumps, and he said the main problem, they had found was the thermostat, causing the problem.

My original dealer said, he couldn't fit me in for 2 weeks, but I probably shouldn't be driving the car. After a phone call to Audi Aus customer service, the car was booked into another dealer for the next day......... not quite the service initially - I expected of Audi.
 

fm91

Registered User
Got the "stop engine and check coolanr message" last week. I let the engine cool down and then opened the coolant went from below minimum to just above. It was a hot day so thought maybe that was the cause.

Friday it happend again and did the same. It rose to probably middle of the tank after opening it. Couldnt contact audi service as it was aftet hours and thought il leave it until monday.

Happend again today and i thought better get it topped up to maximum but when i opened the tank, it filled itself to max. So i dont want to add anymore. Audi said phone tomorrow when someoen is in service deparment.
I have read the threads but nothing similar as to coolant rising back to normal so not sure if there is a leak or the coolant is just hiding somewhere lol.

Also since yesterday car has been feeling notchy and not smooth. Is this what we describe as "misfire"?

Car is 15 plate with about 6k on the clock.

Thanks
 

ACWKGYTO

Registered User
Got the "stop engine and check coolanr message" last week. I let the engine cool down and then opened the coolant went from below minimum to just above. It was a hot day so thought maybe that was the cause.

Friday it happend again and did the same. It rose to probably middle of the tank after opening it. Couldnt contact audi service as it was aftet hours and thought il leave it until monday.

Happend again today and i thought better get it topped up to maximum but when i opened the tank, it filled itself to max. So i dont want to add anymore. Audi said phone tomorrow when someoen is in service deparment.
I have read the threads but nothing similar as to coolant rising back to normal so not sure if there is a leak or the coolant is just hiding somewhere lol.

Also since yesterday car has been feeling notchy and not smooth. Is this what we describe as "misfire"?

Car is 15 plate with about 6k on the clock.

Thanks

Call Audi breakdown and ask for an Audi technician van, not just a greenflag or whatever they contract out to....they will sort you out, as they did for me, no problem at all since. Its a vacuum problem which was an error at the factory and the system needs venting and software update.
 

ahfh1

Registered User
Hi all,

I just got the dreaded 'switch off engine and check coolant's light'

Is it safe to just top up with water to see me through the rest of the day until I book the car in with Audi?

Thanks
 

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fm91

Registered User
Hi all,

I just got the dreaded 'switch off engine and check coolant's light'

Is it safe to just top up with water to see me through the rest of the day until I book the car in with Audi?

Thanks

Open the tank and see if that causes it to refill itself. It may buy you some time. If not then pethaps call audi breakdown
 

ahfh1

Registered User
I've just topped it up with some distilled water up to the maximum. I'll keep an eye on it.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
mine was losing coolant before and after Stage 1 tune...however once I had the system flushed and refilled and the expansion tank replaced because I was getting rusty coloured sludge in mine I have had no more loss of coolant. I had the water pump replaced too but that had no effect on the problem.

Sorry to hijack, but I'm having a rusty sludge problem in mine too, and I wondered if you were ever told what caused it, and if it had come back?

Originally I noticed a weird black residue in the expansion tank. On closer inspection this was little flecks of jet black solid. Took it straight to dealership who swapped out something in the cooling system and (I think) replaced the expansion tank too.

Only two weeks on now, I've just checked it and the black flakes have gone but now it's rust coloured, like it's very very old G12 or something. Or like there's just been plain water in there for years. Not normal for these cars in my experience. I'd expect it to be clear and violent pink/purple? Was actually clearer before the dealer work.

I haven't experienced actual coolant loss that I know of, but it did bubble over quite violently when the service manager took the cap off the header tank while she was hot, which he said wasn't normal.
 

PanamaS3

Registered User
Sorry to hijack, but I'm having a rusty sludge problem in mine too, and I wondered if you were ever told what caused it, and if it had come back?

Originally I noticed a weird black residue in the expansion tank. On closer inspection this was little flecks of jet black solid. Took it straight to dealership who swapped out something in the cooling system and (I think) replaced the expansion tank too.

Only two weeks on now, I've just checked it and the black flakes have gone but now it's rust coloured, like it's very very old G12 or something. Or like there's just been plain water in there for years. Not normal for these cars in my experience. I'd expect it to be clear and violent pink/purple? Was actually clearer before the dealer work.

I haven't experienced actual coolant loss that I know of, but it did bubble over quite violently when the service manager took the cap off the header tank while she was hot, which he said wasn't normal.

No I didnt get any explanation...and I think its back, but without coolants loss this time. Taking car to my friendly mechanic next week and will ask him to check it out as don't trust the dealer. When they worked on my coolant a long while back they blew coolant all over the engine bay too. Seems like we have very similar issues which I'm hoping isn't oil leaking in....
 

3dit0r

Registered User
No I didnt get any explanation...and I think its back, but without coolants loss this time. Taking car to my friendly mechanic next week and will ask him to check it out as don't trust the dealer. When they worked on my coolant a long while back they blew coolant all over the engine bay too. Seems like we have very similar issues which I'm hoping isn't oil leaking in....

Hope you get it sorted, let me know if your mechanic finds the issue. Mine will be going back to Audi next week sometime, so I will push them for an answer this time and post it here if they come up with a proper explanation/cure.

My concern is also oil, although I'd surprised if mine went from little black flakes of crud to oil within a week of Audi 'fixing' the black crud (which definitely wasn't oil). I'm hopeful it's not oil as it's not emulsified, it's still a clear liquid like black tea? Very odd though, and concerning especially in such a young, low mileage car.

I have heard the oil coolers can sometimes cause a coolant problem on these cars, so not necessarily a head gasket.

Although I have a trusted mechanic, this one's under warranty and I'll persist with Audi just in case it turns into something major. That way it's their responsibility to foot the bill.
 

rb2fm

Registered User
Apologies jumping in here but I've just found this thread and have something similar happening to what is described in the last few posts.

My coolant level has only changed very slightly but early in Jan I noticed that the coolant had turned a reddish brown colour and left a slight residue in the expansion tank, having previously checked about a month earlier when all was ok.

I got my car into the dealership (under warranty) who confirmed the fault and then had the car for 3 days while they flushed / pressure checked and refilled the coolant system a number of times. Car was returned as fixed but with a very pale yellow (straw colour) coolant and clean expansion tank. The coolant definitely had anti-freeze (from smell) but looks nothing like the usual dyed G13. I wasn't told what had caused the problem, just that it had been remedied. When I followed this up with the service manager (as I wasn't satisfied with the explanation) I was told this was all the info Audi UK had provided but to keep an eye on the colour and bring my car in again if the problem returned.

Well, it has gradually over a couple of months and was noted at my first full service. My car is now booked in for a further investigation in a week's time. Whatever is causing the colour change doesn't seem to involve oil as there's no sludge and no noticeable surface film on the coolant. I'm suspecting some kind of corrosion or other chemical reaction in the coolant system.

I used to have a very good independent Audi / VW mechanic before I bought new so may be going back to him for help but I need to do whatever I can with Audi while the car is under warranty. Will report back if I find out what is going on.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
That's worrying, and strange. I've been puzzling over mine, which I must book in again this week for this and another couple of issues, now I have a moment.

I've owned (OK, been obsessed with) Audis and VWs my whole adult life, including rebuilding and restoring them, and haven't ever come across this particular colour change in coolant/black flecks in coolant problem. As you say, it doesn't seem to be the usual culprits, like oil, as that tends to emulsify and turn opaque, or leave a film. And since these are all being looked at under warranty by Audi, it's not the other likely suspect which would, in the past, have been mixing G11 with G12, etc. They seem very young, and full of correct coolant mix to have a corrosion problem, too.

I'll also report back what, if anything, they find on mine. FWIW, my usually great indie mechanic didn't have a clue, given ruling out the above two issues. So definitely back in Audi's court to provide an explanation and fix.
 

rb2fm

Registered User
Yes, I've always had VWs and 'stepped up' to an Audi when I could finally afford to do so! This is my second A3 (and first from new), the previous was the 1.6 TDI and the coolant in that still looked pristine after 2 years and 20K miles.

I still have around 15 months on the standard warranty and will persist in getting this sorted. I work at a uni and asked one of the chemists if there were any simple tests for iron or aluminum in solution that I could check out on a sample of the coolant. Short answer is nothing reliable without using some high-end diagnostic equipment we don't have plus I'd need a control of a similar unaffected model.

FTR mine has 11.5K on the clock and is used mostly for (reasonably) gentle motorway driving, so good usage for a TDI. Interesting your mechanic had no suggestions.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
Took some pics this morning for reference -

This is my header tank in full sunlight (the most favourable condition possible to see bright pink). This is only three weeks and less than a hundred miles after Audi replaced part of the cooling system to get rid of black specks. Before this, the coolant was nice bright pink, but with little black specks in. Directly after replacement (when I looked at the dealership) it was also bright, clear, pink. Now it's a sort of dark rust brown, a bit like black tea, and seems to have stained the new coolant tank quite quickly also.
IMG_5591.JPG



Direct view down into tank, again the tank is lit with direct bright sunlight. Usually should be vibrant pink, not black tea colour.
IMG_5593.JPG


For comparison - the tank in my Dad's 2011 Alhambra, which is in shadow, not direct light. The coolant on my 2000 Golf is a similar colour.
IMG_5511-2.jpg


Something definitely amiss here. Just about to call Audi and book it in again.
 

pburv

Registered User
Not sure what the device is called but there is something you can use to test the fluid for carbon dioxide contamination ...Could be head gasket issues you have developing??
 

rb2fm

Registered User
Yes, that's how mine looks. :frowning:

pburv - Thanks, that's not something I would have thought of at all. Did a little bit of reading and I will mention this when my car goes in again and think about checking myself. The kit on eBay wasn't recommended for diesel but there must be ones that are.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
Can exhaust gasses from a leaking head gasket react with coolant that quickly to produce a colour change? Anything's possible, but I'd be surprised at having no other common HG symptoms? Car is showing no noticeable symptoms of compression loss, or coolant loss, no cross-contamination (as far as I can tell) from oil to coolant or coolant to oil. Will definitely ask Audi to specifically check for this, though, worth ruling out. If it is that, Audi have a potentially serious issue on their hands with cars this young?

The diesel engine is a very different design, and so's the head-gasket, to the 1.8TFSI, so I'd be more inclined to look for components in common given the very similar symptoms...
 

rb2fm

Registered User
I've read that CO2 might react with the inhibitor in the coolant reducing it's effectiveness so then the water could cause corrosion over time which I'd wondered about in the first place bearing in mind the colour.

The same as you, I've noticed no other problems and my mileage is low. TBH my knowledge here is very limited so there's a danger of me over-thinking things. I am fairly certain though that another flush, test and refill isn't going to sort things out at this point.

I'll report back next week (car is booked for Mon) and will suggest they start looking at components.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
Mine was a clear pink colour until 3 weeks ago when it had fresh coolant in, so I'd be surprised if exhaust gasses could react and cause corrosion that quickly when it's been driven probably only about 60 miles since then, with no other symptoms, but I'll definitely ask them to check it.

Mine's booked in for Monday too, so will ask them to have a careful check of anything which could be causing this. Will be interesting to compare notes afterwards from two different dealerships (I assume)!
 

rb2fm

Registered User
Agreed, 60 miles is very little. I'd done about 800 after the coolant change over which time the colour has progressively changed. Putting a clear coolant in made it obvious which may be why they used that instead of the usual G13?

We have different engines but a very similar problem so definitely worth it to keep comparing notes.

I'm in SE London (Bexley) btw.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
I was trying to think, overnight, what else might be causing this, as I'm not convinced it's HG (yet) for various reasons.

If there were tiny amounts of oil getting in, not enough to emulsify the coolant but just discolour it, maybe the engine (or gearbox?) oil cooler?

If exhaust gasses, could the water jacket around the turbo be seeping tiny amounts into the coolant in some way? Do they use a water jacket around the exhaust to get up to temp quicker for emissions on these cars, in which case could that be leaking?

Do both these cars have EGR and does that have any cooling? If so, could it be carbon contamination or gloop from that of some kind?

Don't know this engine well enough yet to answer those, but just ideas.
 

rb2fm

Registered User
I imagine there are a lot of potential causes i.e. anything that comes into contact with the cooling circuit.

It's useful to know that the same problem has affected both petrol and diesel and I will be mentioning this when I take the car in. It does look like we have very similar symptoms but yours have become noticeable after very few miles.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
That's a good point. I'll mention it might be common between petrol diesel when I take mine in too.

Might have another word with my trusted mechanic, wonder if that new info might help him have more ideas.
 

3dit0r

Registered User
Spoke to the master tech this morning when my car went in.

He straight away said that the brown colour would be part of the flush they would have used to clear out the black silicone flakes last time.

Apparently, these expansion tanks have some kind of silicone block in them. No idea what it does (?), but the original black deposits I had were where this had disintegrated, which he said is fairly common for some reason.

When this happens, they use a 2-part flush, and the second part of this is brown coloured. He said it's common to flush this several times until it's clear, then refill with coolant, so it's nice and pink (which is how mine was when I picked up my car afterwards) then for it to turn brown as the car is driven if they didn't get it all out. It's a bit of a bitch to fully flush, apparently.

Anyway, they'll just keep flushing til it's clean again, he said. Since I don't have any other symptoms, I'll assume he's right unless anything else develops. Hopefully, they'll get it all this time!
 

rb2fm

Registered User
I got my car back yesterday after taking it in Mon. Apparently the flushes they had done before hadn't got rid of all the residue and the engineer suspected that some was still lodged in the heater matrix. So they removed it and did indeed find lots of gunk still trapped inside. After several flushes and fitting of a new matrix (and expansion bottle) it certainly all looks clean again.

When I spoke to the engineer afterwards to try to find out how the coolant had got like that in the first place he wasn't sure but suggested that it was possible a treatment performed at the factory (maybe a flush like your engineer explained) had left some residue which had discoloured the coolant over time. Still doesn't really explain why it took so long to show up though?

However, it may be they fixed the original problem when they did all the flushes in Jan and then some of the flush was left behind to show up this time.

I'll be keeping an eye on it though and keeping my fingers crossed. Like you I've no other apparent problems with leaks or engine performance.
 

Baldyone

Registered User
Thread revival alert....March 2016 S3 on 18,000 miles. Coolant low warning now for about the 4th time in my ownership. Each time I pull over, let it cool and open the res. Bob's your uncle, the level corrects! I'm pretty sure it develops an air lock in the header tank forcing the fluid below the min level. As the engine warms the air expands and I get a nice red flashing
Due for service pretty much now but did any of you old dogs on here that have been around a while learn what the cause may be or even suffer this yourselves? I'm not loosing coolant but there is a few with my symptoms on this thread. It's old and there may we'll be a known fix. Either way it's going in!
 

Baldyone

Registered User
I've just posted a write up on this check it out
Your guy does a good video. Like I say, I don't think I'm loosing coolant (think being the important word here) but his symptoms are close, I just haven't had to top up yet. I'll book it in tomorrow and won't be at all surprised if my issue turns out to be the same. Cheers
 

PanamaS3

Registered User
this problem has been discussed at length on here....if its not leaking from anywhere then its most likely air in system....if they check for leaks and find none, then refill system, you need to make sure they remove any air bubble....which I think means driving it after said refill then topping it up
 

Baldyone

Registered User
I do think it's two different problems but the resulting "Stop now or your car will drop its guts all over the road as you continue" (bit dramatised I know but everyone hates red or amber lights on the dash) is the same, leading to some possible confusion. Like you say, discussed at length but both my car and The gents in the clips shows it's still an issue in both PFL and FL 2016 cars
 

PanamaS3

Registered User
yeah i feel for you guys....i had my first "drop its guts" moment from a phonecall from my wife by the side of the road while i was away on business....but hopefully there's enough been gleaned/learnt now for you guys not to worry too much that the car is on self destruct.
make sure you have some water and/or coolant from dealer in your car all the time....but if they do a refill most important to drive it after then top up later when its cool to force the air out.....good luck!
 

mfl

Registered User
Had the dreaded "stop engine and check coolant level" message in the DIS this morning. Managed to get home after a brief check to ensure there was still some water in the expansion tank, and drove to the dealer at lunchtime. Thankfully they agreed to look at it this afternoon, and have just called to say it needs a new pump, but as this won't be with them until tomorrow they need to keep the car over night. The car has done just shy of 17000 miles.

There have been one or two mentions of water pump replacements on here - it looks like this could turn into a common fault.

Same coolant loss problem, yesterday in for service - turns out to be the thermostat in my case - which also seems to be a problem, car has done 30,000kms.

As an aside the handling got really crappy - trans out the front suspension bushes need to be replace ...
 
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