Urgent advice requried - Oil Contamination in Coolant. Big bill?

Seeker_UK

Registered User
I took the car out today to sell.

When the buyer started checking it over, apart from a droopy rear spring, he identified a much more serious problem.

The expansion tank, rather than being opaque plastic was black and lifting the cap off, it was covered inside with a foul-smelling orange 'mayonnaise'.

Initial thought was a head gasket on the way out and that has the potential to be ruinously expensive. The buyer suggested that a head gasket going on 2.5 TDI (180) engines is rare and it might be a busted "water cooled EGR valve". Still expensive but not so much as it would be beyond economical repair.

What are your collective thoughts on this? What sort of money am I talking if it's worst case and a new head gasket is needed? Does it reall yneed the whole engine coming out?

A bit of background - car is a 2002 model, has done 106k and has FSH. When the car was last serviced, the EGR gasket was replaced - apparently it had been driving aroudn for a while w/out one.

At 103K, it had new 'stat and water pump so I assume the coolant had been drained out then and no-one mentioned any problems. Either becuase there was no prolem or they kept it quiet.

Thanks veyry much in advance.
 

white.akita

Registered User
90% more likely its the oil cooler at fault, they are around £140 new but sometimes you can get a bargain on ebay for alot less.
 

Turkster

W.Bro.Paul 2.0d Q5 Quattro
one for chris adams me thinks.....................
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User

Seeker_UK

Registered User
He says its Tiptronic.Wondering if theres any mayo in the oil cap? If not would h/gaskets be OK?

Oil cap was clear.
 

Turkster

W.Bro.Paul 2.0d Q5 Quattro
iv seen the radiator fail on a auto , the auto oil mixes with the water in the radiator due to a crack in the pipes and let the 2 fluids mix in there, the autos have a duel function radiator set up,

how does the car drive?
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Seems OK.

Occasionally though it won't start as easily - ie it needs to be turned over for 10 secs and starts with a bit of white smoke out the back.
 

adamss24

Registered User
Oil cooler on v6 tdi is rare- never seen one so far, i have one here if needed. My thought is (as Turkster/Paul suggested) the radiator cracked internaly as it doubles up as a gearbox oil cooler however, if that's gone, most likely the gearbox wont be far behind as it's been run low on oil. AFAIK, the EGR valve is not cooled on 2002 models, they started fitting the EGR cooler to late models 2004 on with BAU/BDG engine codes which needed to meet Euro 4 spec. If the EGR pipe to inlet manifold is round then no EGR cooler, if square and with rubber hoses running to it then it has the cooler. Also HG is fairly rare on v6 but you would know straight away as it will either overheat or the coolant level will drop. Have the gearbox oil checked asap as you risk damaging it beyond repair !
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Thanks all for your responses.

I really don;t know what to do now - I guess I'll have to get it fixed but it's gonna cost me a fortune. I am seriosuly going off Audi as a brand.
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Given that the 'mayo' in the expansion tank is orange and stinks - does this mean it's likely to be ATF?
 

adamss24

Registered User
Yes mate, most likely it will need a new radiator, gearbox oil flush, new strayner and genuine gearbox oil + antifreeze. Budget 500 quid for repair and pray the box is still in one piece ! I am afraid that most new cars will give problems one way or the other it's just some break more often and cost less and some break very rarely but you feel it big time on the wallet !
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Great.

Is it going to be OK to drive while I'm waiting to get it in for a fix? I'm going to need to get to work.:crying:

(edit - I drive 20 miles a day)
 

adamss24

Registered User
Dont drive it before you asses the cause as you can cause a lot more damage to the car- if the gearbox goes it will cost thousands to repair and moist likely will scrap/write off the car.
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Dont drive it before you asses the cause as you can cause a lot more damage to the car- if the gearbox goes it will cost thousands to repair and moist likely will scrap/write off the car.

Just a quick update.

It is the ATF cooler that has cracked and to get it fixed is going to cost £650. The garage thinks that I've been lucky and avoided any damage to the gearbox but they will be flushing it just in case (the second time in 6 months).

So if I'm paying out that sort of money, I'll be keeping it for a while longer.

However, that means it's time to get rid of the chinese ditchfinders I have for tyres on the back.
 

adamss24

Registered User
Fresh oil can do no harm in there, is it ? Good you took it in as you would have blown the box carrying on driving it...
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Good you took it in as you would have blown the box carrying on driving it...

Yes. It would seem I've been lucky (*touches wood*) and even though I've driven it for goodness knows how far with the crack, the gearbox seems to be behaving itself.
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User

Mike B

Registered User
Does the £650 incl the flushing?I have the same car but 04 and I have heard that prices can be around £1000 for a full box service.Why did you have it done before cos Audi say its sealed for life?
 

Seeker_UK

Registered User
Does the £650 incl the flushing?I have the same car but 04 and I have heard that prices can be around £1000 for a full box service.Why did you have it done before cos Audi say its sealed for life?

Yes - it's with a specialists, not a franchised dealer. Whilst the box is supposed to be 'sealed for life', experience with other marques has made me realise that an ATF change is no bad thing at 100K (my car had done 102K when I bought it) and for an extra £100 or so on the top of the service bill, it seemed worth it for a bit of preventative maintenance (along with cambelt, pulleys, pump, 'stat and tensioner). Especially when an autobox rebuild / service is £1000.
 

Mike B

Registered User
Yes - it's with a specialists, not a franchised dealer. Whilst the box is supposed to be 'sealed for life', experience with other marques has made me realise that an ATF change is no bad thing at 100K (my car had done 102K when I bought it) and for an extra £100 or so on the top of the service bill, it seemed worth it for a bit of preventative maintenance (along with cambelt, pulleys, pump, 'stat and tensioner). Especially when an autobox rebuild / service is £1000.
So thats a good price for the flushing.I had the ATF changed by Audi this year for £159just drained and refilled with 5 ltrs.Hope its OK soon .I will keep watch on my coolant now!
 

nzhorsey

Registered User
Hey guys, this sounds a lot like mine!

I have just picked up a 2003 a4 Convertible 1.8t and I absolutely love driving it this summer.

I have just recently discovered that there is a thick brown milkshake looking substance in the coolant overflow tank. There is no milky residue under the oil cap, no milky residue on the dipstick, it is not overheating, and is driving perfectly!

The brown milkshake doesn't smell oily but rather has a peculiar fruity smell????

Does ra anyone have a clue at what could be causing this?
I should add it has only done 117km, has been serviced religiously, and we'll taken care of!
 

Greeny233

It's all about the V8.
TBH the only thing that I think could be causing this is a head gasket failure. The "fruity" smell could just be the smell of the coolant. The only thing I would suggest is to completely flush your cooling system, refill with fresh coolant and keep and eye on the coolant and oil levels and if it happens again then you'll need to replace the head gasket
 
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