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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings emcaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 25 2013
    AZ Member #
    112044
    My Garage
    '04 S4, 1990 VW Corrado
    Location
    Central VT

    Where's my coolant going?

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    I've noticed the S has been steadily loosing coolant for a little while now.....

    No white smoke out the exhaust, no drips from under the engine, and I can't find any visible spot where it looks like it's leaking then dripping down onto the engine and burning off. The only part I question is that the coolant tank has quite a few stress cracks in it. I've picked up a new one but don't want to replace it until I have a better idea what else is wrong and fix it all at the same time.

    I can smell a bit of burning coolant from the engine bay but that is very seldom and appears to only happen on hot days when the car has been idling for a while. I have zero oil consumption, no lose of power, and gas milage has been steady. Everything else appears to be running smooth.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Established Member Four Rings troyguitar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 03 2013
    AZ Member #
    108815
    My Garage
    2004 Z06
    Location
    PA

    I replaced mine earlier this summer as it was also cracked and had a very slow leak. It's a 10 minute job and should tell you if that was the problem, just make sure you have 2 new hose clamps in addition to the tank before ripping it out.
    2004 Z06
    2001 allroad gaytronic - Sold
    2008 TT 3.2 DSG - Sold
    2006 S4 Avant MT6 - Sold

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings emcaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 25 2013
    AZ Member #
    112044
    My Garage
    '04 S4, 1990 VW Corrado
    Location
    Central VT

    Thanks Troy.

    I had to do this on my Dad's C5 A6 once after it cracked and leaked, it's a very easy job. My concern is I don't see where the leak is actually coming from. Could it be possible that the leak is vapor and not liquid coolant so I can't see it but would be able to smell it? (Pretty wild guess but you never know)

  4. #4
    Established Member Four Rings troyguitar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 03 2013
    AZ Member #
    108815
    My Garage
    2004 Z06
    Location
    PA

    Not sure on that. I never saw mine dripping anywhere but I could definitely smell it on occasion. Mine also had a couple of dried up spots where it looked like it had leaked at some point in the past too though (directly below the bigger hose at the bottom of the reservoir) so I was pretty confident that it was leaking either from the cracks in the tank or right at the connection to the hose.
    2004 Z06
    2001 allroad gaytronic - Sold
    2008 TT 3.2 DSG - Sold
    2006 S4 Avant MT6 - Sold

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings dparm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 24 2009
    AZ Member #
    41628
    Location
    Chicago, IL

    If you remove the belly pan, you can't see any stains of dried up coolant?
    now: 2011.5 BMW M3 sedan ZCP
    past: 2005 Audi S4 sedan, 2011 Audi S4 sedan

  6. #6
    Established Member Two Rings Sipset's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 07 2010
    AZ Member #
    62400
    Location
    Charlotte, NC

    Even if its a slow leak for now, it will only get worse. I let mine go for too long and used to have to add coolant before every drive. It would end up all over my garage floor. Basically wasting audis expensive coolant. I'd fix the tank ASAP.
    2004 S4

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings emcaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 25 2013
    AZ Member #
    112044
    My Garage
    '04 S4, 1990 VW Corrado
    Location
    Central VT

    Quote Originally Posted by dparm View Post
    If you remove the belly pan, you can't see any stains of dried up coolant?
    No stains whatsoever. I'll replace the tank in the next day or two and go from there. It's not too bad right now but as said, it'll only get worse.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings LJH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 03 2006
    AZ Member #
    12250
    My Garage
    '84 Ur-q, '04 S4 6MT, '08 Outback XT 5MT
    Location
    CT

    It may you one of your Aux radiators....since I bought our B6 you can smell antifreeze every now and then after running the car for a bit. The sniff test led me to the drivers side Aux radiator but there were no indicators. I am not too concerned as it just required the second top up of coolant in 4 years but it is on my "to-do" list one of these days.


    Cheers,
    Jim

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings emcaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 25 2013
    AZ Member #
    112044
    My Garage
    '04 S4, 1990 VW Corrado
    Location
    Central VT

    Jim,

    Thanks for the input. I did some research about this issue before posting and noticed that the aux radiators do tend to be a source of leaks. From my own sniff test I do not think it's coming from either of them. I also installed the snub mount about a month ago and everything looked good.

    Best guess using my schnoz is it smells worst in the engine bay directly in front of the driver (exactly where the coolant tank is). I'll replace the tank, give the system a flush, and see where I end up.



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