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View Full Version : Superstorm Sandy A4 Survivor....(sort of)



A4pilot
11-23-2012, 02:06 PM
Just got back to my place in Long Beach, NY and my A4 has somehow survived hurricane Sandy....1998 a4 fwd tiptronic, 198k miles and it started right up after being flooded mid doors and sitting for three weeks!!! Couple issues though.....no pixels for dashboard display where gear indication was, and shifts really hard into gear. Feels like the tranny may have saltwater in it, not sure. Also, oil light on dash continuously flashing and brake like flashing too. I checked the oil and it appears there is no water in it. Quite a bit of white smoke out the exhaust though, which I don't know what that may be an indication of....anyone have advice, opinions, etc?? Car didn't have comprehensive insurance due to the age/mileage so insurance will not cover damages. Do you think a tranny flush may help or should I just consider the car a loss? Thanks

A4pilot
11-23-2012, 02:07 PM
Also....windows will not move up or down...seems like some electrical issues here now too

jvega21
11-23-2012, 02:12 PM
if it was flooded mid door, your window motors probably got fried.
White smoke might mean you still have water or moister in your exhaust,
all the other stuff might be water damaged sensors. like the oil level sensor, maybe your TCU or neutral safety switch? on the side of your trans took a dump too. might explain the hard shifts.
I have a TCU laying around if you need one

Nateness
11-23-2012, 02:14 PM
White smoke is steam. Likely from water lingering in the exhaust piping.

I'm not sure about the tiptronic transmission, but the manual transmissions actually have an exposed opening on them (unless you buy the 034 block-off plate). If the tiptronic transmission also has an exposed opening, then you probably have some sort of water accumulation in the transmission. Try giving it a flush and seeing if the performance improves.

Watch out for mold growth in the interior, especially in the carpet.


Just got back to my place in Long Beach, NY and my A4 has somehow survived hurricane Sandy....1998 a4 fwd tiptronic, 203k miles and it started right up after being flooded mid doors and sitting for three weeks!!! Couple issues though.....no pixels for dashboard display where gear indication was, and shifts really hard into gear. Feels like the tranny may have saltwater in it, not sure. Also, oil light on dash continuously flashing and brake like flashing too. I checked the oil and it appears there is no water in it. Quite a bit of white smoke out the exhaust though, which I don't know what that may be an indication of....anyone have advice, opinions, etc?? Car didn't have comprehensive insurance due to the age/mileage so insurance will not cover damages. Do you think a tranny flush may help or should I just consider the car a loss? Thanks

A4pilot
11-23-2012, 02:20 PM
Ok, I will look into tranny flush for sure. What should that cost? Car has high mileage so I don't want to dump too much into her....just so amazed this even starts right now. So many cars parked around me(including SUVs that are much higher) are totaled and being towed to salvage yards. I'm lowered too, with bilstein/h&r and thought my car would have been a complete loss...

A4pilot
11-23-2012, 02:22 PM
Side view mirror motors work fine, as does radio, a/c and heat and outside air temp indication. Do you think it could be a fuse blown for dashboard gear indication pixels/ window controls. Are they on the same fuse??

Scotty@Advanced
11-23-2012, 04:54 PM
The Automatic computer is waterlogged as is the lock pump/convinence module. It's possible the airbag computer got wet as well as the climate control module. If it' saltwater it's a total loss as the internal wire junctions corrode quickly, meaning you have to replace the wiring harnesses.

Jtroiano
11-23-2012, 06:36 PM
I agree!

A4pilot
11-23-2012, 06:46 PM
So how much are harnesses?

ianwpb
11-23-2012, 07:20 PM
So how much are harnesses?

Ebay always has a good selection of different harnesses. Depends on what you need. There are engine harnesses, A/C harnesses, 4 door harnesses, 2 Headlight harnesses, Interior wire harnesses etc.

http://motors.shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=audi+a4+b5+harness&_sacat=&_dmpt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&_odkw=audi+a4+harness&_osacat=0&bkBtn=&_trksid=m270 - Check it out.. It could get expensive, but mostly time consuming if you're doing it yourself.

A4pilot
11-24-2012, 12:35 PM
Thanks for the info! I appreciate everyones help

andyrew
11-24-2012, 09:43 PM
FYI I would have drained the oil and put new oil in then removed the spark plugs prior to firing it up to clear any water that was in the cylinders as a precaution.. If any water got in the cylinders it would have bent the valves at startup.

Vag-Com is your friend at this time, Your going to have little electrical things pop up constantly and this will help you track them down.

Good luck

walky_talky20
11-24-2012, 09:57 PM
I'm thinking your trans problem is more likely to be the Multi Function Switch (aka Neutral safety switch) on the side of the transmission and not the actual TCU. Those switches can die just by getting a splash of water on them sometimes. Just check the codes in the TCU and it will tell you right away. If the switch dries out, you may just need to clear the code. Once it sets a code for that switch, the gear-slamming doesn't stop until you clear it.

I also would have recommended you change the oil and clear the cylinders before starting it. You should at least change the engine oil now. There are a few vents on top of the trans. It would be a good idea to do a drain and fill on the trans fluids (atf, front diff, and center diff). Probably the rear diff as well. All of the fluids are likely to be contaminated. I would recommend you allow the car to sit for at least 24 hours before draining the fluids (don't drive it into the shop and then drain it!). The oil and water will separate on their own, and the water will be at the bottom and drain first. This is desirable so you get all the water out of everything.

Did you pull the carpet up to dry the interior? If not, you're going to have a LAKE under the carpet. Get it pulled and dry it out.

Euromike
11-25-2012, 12:15 AM
Do you have insurance? They would likely total this car..

Up to mid doors, wow. your carpet needs to come out entirely. Wheel bearings are likely not going to last much longer.

A4pilot
11-25-2012, 04:19 AM
My insurance does not cover the damages because I didn't have comprehensive. I am hoping the car will be okay after tranny flush and oil change. What are the first signs of bad wheel bearing? A clicking noise in the tire?

GreenFields1
11-25-2012, 07:12 AM
My insurance does not cover the damages because I didn't have comprehensive. I am hoping the car will be okay after tranny flush and oil change. What are the first signs of bad wheel bearing? A clicking noise in the tire?

Bad wheel bearings will sound like a grinding or clicking noise when driving (especially when turning). My friend just went through this with his evo gen III thanks to hurricane sandy and wound up replacing more things the day after when the car stopped running. Even though the car starts I would let it sit for a few days while cleaning up the water and then replace fluids and would pretty much take the car apart to see the extent of the water damage...or if you want to take the loss and sell the car best place to start would be to part the car out.

jvega21
11-25-2012, 08:44 AM
Good luck with the car. Hope the TCU helps. Now you gotta find that Neutral Safety Switch. I'd send you my old one. But I'm sure that one is bad too.
Once you rip your carpet out you'll see the TCU in front of the Front passenger seat.
Good luck.

A4pilot
11-25-2012, 09:10 AM
Just pulled up the carpet and located the TCU. Doesn't look good at all....the plastic protective box it sits in was full of merky white water and the TCU completely soaked. I unplugged it from harness and most of the connections were corroded out. Same with the harness.....so it looks like I will need a new harness too. There are some on eBay but looks like the wiring was spliced and I'm a bit worried attaching those wires to the ones soaked in my car.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDI-A4-A6-S6-PASSAT-TRANSMISSION-TCU-TCM-WIRING-HARNESS-W-CONNECTOR-OEM-/200824001624?hash=item2ec20b1458&item=200824001624&pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

Any ideas if that would work or should I look into fully replacing the wiring? Thanks again for the TCU Jonathan!!

walky_talky20
11-25-2012, 11:59 AM
Not sure how bad this corrosion is. I would pull all the seats and all the carpet out the car. Get it all dried out. Clean all the connectors that were under the carpet with electrical contact cleaner. Changing the harness is going to be a pretty major job. Like 15+ hours pulling the dashboard and such. I would try to just clean up what's there and make it work. Good luck.

jvega21
11-26-2012, 07:31 AM
Just pulled up the carpet and located the TCU. Doesn't look good at all....the plastic protective box it sits in was full of merky white water and the TCU completely soaked. I unplugged it from harness and most of the connections were corroded out. Same with the harness.....so it looks like I will need a new harness too. There are some on eBay but looks like the wiring was spliced and I'm a bit worried attaching those wires to the ones soaked in my car.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDI-A4-A6-S6-PASSAT-TRANSMISSION-TCU-TCM-WIRING-HARNESS-W-CONNECTOR-OEM-/200824001624?hash=item2ec20b1458&item=200824001624&pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

Any ideas if that would work or should I look into fully replacing the wiring? Thanks again for the TCU Jonathan!!


No problem. One less automatic part in my trunk.
Hope it helps.
check all the wires for corrosion. the ends are going to be bad, but if youre careful and strip away some of the plastic, you can check the wires at different points to see if you really need to replace the whole harness or just cut the bad parts out. deff cheaper and less time consuming.

spinall4
11-26-2012, 04:59 PM
i have 4 window motors if you need them $30 + shipping for all of them,. pm me if you need em

J Ozzie
11-26-2012, 06:03 PM
i have 4 window motors if you need them $30 + shipping for all of them,. pm me if you need em

SHIT THATS CHEAP!! GET ON IT! i payed 25 for 1

A4pilot
11-29-2012, 06:06 AM
I may need those window motors if they are still available, thanks!

A4pilot
12-04-2012, 09:50 AM
Jonathan, I got the TCU in the mail and am working on cleaning the connector terminals out before installing your TCU. I have been spraying the corroded connector with wd40 and looks like it is cleaning it okay. Anyone have any better ideas or should I buy a replacement harness and re-wire it all? Also, my power windows and locks don't work as well as my sunroof and dome lights....are those all associated somehow? Thanks

jvega21
12-04-2012, 09:59 AM
good to hear. i was getting a little concerned and lost your number.
i think there might be something a little better than wd40 to clean though. Im sure someone else can chime in on that aspect.
as long as the entire harness isnt completly jacked, then you should be fine.
as far ass all the other stuff, im sure they are seperate from each other. but i wouldnt doubt blown fuses and relays or other corroded connectors.

ddillenger
12-04-2012, 12:15 PM
For cleaning corroded terminals go to the hardware store and buy a can of aerosol contact cleaner, and a tube of dielectric grease. She'll be good as new.

A4pilot
12-04-2012, 03:04 PM
Even after salt water mixed with sand and sewage?

A4pilot
12-08-2012, 01:38 PM
As you can see I did some rewiring today to the TCU and got my cluster back working on the dash. The car shifts pretty rough from 1-2gear, otherwise is running well. Lots of lights still on the dashboard as you can see. Thanks again Jonathan for sending me the TCU!!! It looks like my nuetral safety switch needs replacing......isnt that why it is all red around the gear indication on the dash or could that be something other than nuetral safety switch??

http://s5.postimage.org/c0qdb7kzb/IMAG0730.jpg
http://s5.postimage.org/xymu4zzzr/IMAG0732.jpg
http://s5.postimage.org/49e8qe67r/IMAG0733.jpg
http://s5.postimage.org/flpbnfylz/IMAG0679.jpg

jvega21
12-08-2012, 04:53 PM
As you can see I did some rewiring today to the TCU and got my cluster back working on the dash. The car shifts pretty rough from 1-2gear, otherwise is running well. Lots of lights still on the dashboard as you can see. Thanks again Jonathan for sending me the TCU!!! It looks like my nuetral safety switch needs replacing......isnt that why it is all red around the gear indication on the dash or could that be something other than nuetral safety switch??

http://s5.postimage.org/c0qdb7kzb/IMAG0730.jpg
http://s5.postimage.org/xymu4zzzr/IMAG0732.jpg
http://s5.postimage.org/49e8qe67r/IMAG0733.jpg
http://s5.postimage.org/flpbnfylz/IMAG0679.jpg

Looks like you've been busy. I'm glad the TCU is working out. If you can, scan it with a VAGCOM to see what trans codes its throwing.
but it looks like you're on the road to recovery.
however if you decide not to keep it or part it out; I call first dibs on the S4 bumper

A4pilot
12-23-2012, 12:53 PM
P1361, p0705 .....wondering what is still happening with this car. Shifts HARD from first to second gear, all other gears are mostly smooth shifts. On highway, seems to stay in 4th gear, aprox 3500 rpm at65mph and feels like it should up shift to 5th but doesn't. The cluster is still all highlighted PRND432. Help?!?

A4pilot
12-27-2012, 02:06 PM
Anyone??

jvega21
12-27-2012, 03:17 PM
did you ever find another neutral safety switch? what about the fluid in the trans? did you flush it or anything?


are you getting these codes through VAGCOM or just a scanner, VAGCOM can scan the tcu and trans codes. unless my old tcu was shotty, in that case, im sorry [=(]

A4pilot
12-29-2012, 10:00 AM
Didn't find the neutral safety switch yet and haven't had time to get a tranny flush! I think your TCU is okay, I just need to find another neutral safety switch somehow. Hopefully that will solve the PRND432 issue and improve the hard shifting

Daveistech
12-31-2012, 08:54 AM
Isn't your car automatic?