View Full Version : HELP PLEASE!!! Kind of urgent, two part post...Audi A4 and VW GLI both acting up...

07-06-2008, 09:13 AM

I recently replaced the timing belt with the help of MattDevo. Actually I think he did most of the work, but none the less we changed it, along with all the belts, the tensioner, the water pump, the thermostat, the alternator, the coolant reservoir and some new vacuum lines. ECS Ultimate kit.

This is on a 2001 A4 1.8TQ AWM engine code.

Today my wife called to tell me that the coolant light came on blinking, then it came on and stayed on. After a minute or so it went off. She was a few blocks from the house and the temperature was still straight up and down, perfectly normal.

When she got home I got in the car, still running, and drove it around the block to listen, feel, and see what the gauges said (I still don't have the software to pull the codes and I couldn't reach Matt--something I will remedy this week when I order the VAD software for my Centro).

The Oil temp was running a little high. Generally, it only runs about a notch over the bottom. All the time. Now it was about two notches, maybe a bit more, over that. The car smelled fine, ran fine, and didn't give the message again.

When I got back, I noticed that the coolant level was low. In fact, it was about a quart low. When I slowly opened the resevoir, there was a bubbling sound coming from the front of the engine, seeming to come from under the intake on the side of the block, where the thermostat is.

There's no water leaking visibly, and no other signs of why the coolant would be low. The only thing I can think of is that there was a bubble or something which worked itself out, and then caused the level to adjust and show as low. I added about a quart of 50/50 antifreeze just now and I'm going to see how it goes...

Does anybody have any idea what this might be? I'm really freaked out a bit, since I'm down to one car right now.


My Jetta started to overheat very quickly on Thursday and turning on the heater did not help, nor did it produce hot air. And the coolant level was not low nor did it bubble in any way or have any pressure when I removed the top. All the belts are fine as well. The temperature would cool down to where the gauge was straight up and down when it sat, and it would go no lower, then when I started the car the temperature would, slowly at first, then more quickly, rise steadily until I turned it off.

Just a few weeks ago, there was an overheating problem while the car was under warranty and the dealer claimed it was the main cooling fan. They couldn't repair it for a few weeks, during which time the overheating didn't happen again, but they did repair it. When I brought it in for the repair, I was at about 51,000 miles, just out of warranty (the VW is not CPO).

Now I'm at 53,000 miles. I called VW roadside assistance and they showed that I was covered for a free tow to Maund, which they did rather promptly. I spoke with a service advisor there (Brandon because Michelle Thomas was off on Saturday) and he indicated that if it was a water pump impeller that it would be covered, but other than that I'd probably have to contact VW Customer Service.

So, after all the long windedness, does anybody have any idea about:

1. What's wrong with the car? Auxiliary water pump? Thermostat? Coolant temp sensor?
2. In swapping the Main Cooling Fan, could the dealer have messed something up to cause this to happen?
3. Could the problem have been something other than the cooling fan originally and they repaired the wrong thing, only to have the problem get worse?
4. Does it seem likely that the overheating problem now is linked to the overheating problem before, or is it just a HUGE coincidence.
5. Anybody have any experience with VW Customer service?

Sorry for the super long post, I'm just trying to be thorough and answer the questions that would be asked ahead of time.

07-06-2008, 09:38 AM
you put regular antifreeze into your a4? I hope you dont have g12 in there also. When you changed the timing belt and everything and filled it back up with coolant, did you let the car warm up and allow the thermostat to open? Would explain the low coolant if you didn't, or a possible bubble. The VW, idk... seams to me like you pretty much already have your options as to whats wrong there, the fact the the temp keeps rising may be to blame on the thermostat, if it isn't opening.

07-06-2008, 09:43 AM
No regular antifreeze...I just assumed everyone would know I put the right pink stuff in, I just didn't want to miss any details...And we did let the thermostat open, but I think maybe it was a bubble. I'm pretty ok on the A4 now...it seems ok. What worries me now is the VW, but I think it's the water pump. If it's the impeller on the internal pump, VW is covering it under warranty. If it is the external one, I'm not sure what the deal is. I guess I'll have to find out on Monday.

Thanks for the reply...

07-06-2008, 10:04 AM
Just drove the car a bit, heated up nicely, no issues...I'm sure it was just a bubble.

Now I guess it's wait till Monday for the VW...

07-06-2008, 10:09 AM
For your A4, I am going to agree with you on the bubble...What could have happened was air inside your cooling system. Its kind of a pain at times when doing the timing belt service and I have seen it cause the issues you are describing. If your temps rise fast though, you might want to double check the water pump. I have seen a few come in that have been DOA for some odd reason.

07-06-2008, 10:12 AM
Thanks...yeah, pretty sure it's just bubble...all better now.

As for the VW, I haven't don't the TB yet...the water pump would be stock from VW, so I will have to wait until Monday or so to find out what the dealer says.

07-06-2008, 03:16 PM
Sounds like its time for the vw it could be a number of things: thermostat, waterpump, coolant temp sensor. I guess process of eliminaton would work, replace everything till the problem goes away lol.

07-06-2008, 03:31 PM
My Jetta started to overheat very quickly on Thursday and turning on the heater did not help, nor did it produce hot air.

This is classic low coolant or bad water pump symptom. Since you have ruled out low coolant..........

07-06-2008, 07:35 PM
Are you all set now Scott?

07-06-2008, 07:53 PM
I did have similar problem on my 01 2.8. When I got this car, wich only was about 3 weeks ago, previous owner made me aware of the issue that he was not able to resolve. Coolant kept slowly dissapearing, he had to top off expantion tank every other week or so. Car had all usual cooling system repairs done, such as water pump, thermostat, exp. tank and cap. System was pressure tested several times, however no leak was found. [confused]

And so last week I decided to get to the bottom of it, as I work at repair shop and we are a bit slow this time of year. So I pressurised the cooling system with pressure tester to about 17-19 psi and almost immidiatly heard very faint hissing from near firewall area. Removed battery cover and there it was - one of heater core lines going inside the car had several very small cracks, wich just got bigger with time since I bought the car. So I took hoses off and bypassed heater core for now.

Those lines are plastic, so that maybe something you might want to take a look at. I hope you wont have the same problem, because Im not looking forward to pulling the dash, but gonna have to do it sooner or later[wrench]

07-07-2008, 08:54 AM
Maund stepped up and fixed it, no questions asked...it was the main water pump on the block. They fixed it THIS MORNING! and I'm going to pick it up in a little while. I can say this, when it comes time to refer someone, I will gladly send them to Maund! Michelle Thomas is my service advisor (from Roger Beasley Audi) and she is the $h!t. Thanks for your help guys!

Oh yeah, the A4 just had a bubble in the coolant. After adding about a quart it's good to go.