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View Full Version : 98 Audi A4 Quattro Coolant Leak & Smoke



FlyNikolai
07-08-2017, 03:29 AM
😩😩 So this morning my instincts just kicked in & told me to check the fluids. And I pop open the hood & the coolant reservoir is basically empty, I just refilled her on June 28th so it's only been 10 days. This leak definitely has to be recent...

No coolant light or check engine light on, any idea where the leak could be coming from? Any help is greatly appreciated before I hit the shop. I did look around before I posted, I'm a noob as this is my first car & Audi.

I also noticed some smoke in the back & a new weird noise from the front of the engine 😩😩😩

Here's some pictures & videos...


https://youtu.be/P0Pj-mjhLQA

https://youtu.be/bSYXYfppYf8

https://youtu.be/Rni9QqLJ7nU



https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170708/160e80deddecdd7bd798ae06a2258ea6.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170708/21c3501264c09747e315d28e50795650.jpg

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KSEADUB
07-08-2017, 09:35 AM
Well... looks like you can already tell what area the coolant leak is occurring from. Looks like one of the radiator hoses, or the radiator itself.

The smoking from the backside of the engine is a common problem on the V6. Google 'cam seals audi v6' or something like that and you'll get a whole bunch of info. Basically the PCV system gets clogged, and the resulting higher than normal backpressure pushes oil out the seals on the back of the engine. The oil then drops down right onto your cat, and poof! You get smoke.

You'll have to replace the whole PCV system, and then the seals themselves to get rid of the problem.

Are you going to do the work yourself?


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FlyNikolai
07-08-2017, 09:55 AM
Well... looks like you can already tell what area the coolant leak is occurring from. Looks like one of the radiator hoses, or the radiator itself.

The smoking from the backside of the engine is a common problem on the V6. Google 'cam seals audi v6' or something like that and you'll get a whole bunch of info. Basically the PCV system gets clogged, and the resulting higher than normal backpressure pushes oil out the seals on the back of the engine. The oil then drops down right onto your cat, and poof! You get smoke.

You'll have to replace the whole PCV system, and then the seals themselves to get rid of the problem.

Are you going to do the work yourself?


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Thanks for the reply.

Well I'm pretty familiar with the fact the V6 does have oil leak issues, so I'm not entirely surprised about the smoke coming out from the backside. I've seen smoke come out my headlights several times so I'm pretty use to it lol.

I've just never seen it actually come from the the backside like that with the hood up running. But thank you very much for that information.

My main concern is the coolant leak, so you have a good hypothesis that it's a radiator hose or the radiator itself? I was scared it was the water pump from all my research.

No I'll be taking it to a shop, is it a pricey/hard fix?

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KSEADUB
07-08-2017, 03:06 PM
The water pump is always an option for leaks, but since your video showed coolant dripping off the lower front valance under the radiator, I'd probably start there.

If it was leaking from the water pump, the only way for coolant to get from the pump to the lower front valance would be down one of the coolant hoses, the passenger side being most likely. You can check the hoses to see if they have coolant dripping down them. If so, just work your way back from there.

The easiest way to find out what is leaking is always a pressure test. You can get a pressure testing kit at Harbor Freight for about 50 bucks. I'm not sure how much a shop is going to charge you to diagnose and fix the leak. That all depends on how long it takes them to find it :)


BTW - when was the timing belt last done? It might be time to have the whole front end ripped off for replacement of that anyway. Thats a great time to do the water pump, thermostat, and the timing belt tensioner/roller. That whole procedure at the dealership will set you back about $1400. I assume indies will be cheaper to some degree.

FlyNikolai
07-11-2017, 05:43 AM
The water pump is always an option for leaks, but since your video showed coolant dripping off the lower front valance under the radiator, I'd probably start there.

If it was leaking from the water pump, the only way for coolant to get from the pump to the lower front valance would be down one of the coolant hoses, the passenger side being most likely. You can check the hoses to see if they have coolant dripping down them. If so, just work your way back from there.

The easiest way to find out what is leaking is always a pressure test. You can get a pressure testing kit at Harbor Freight for about 50 bucks. I'm not sure how much a shop is going to charge you to diagnose and fix the leak. That all depends on how long it takes them to find it :)


BTW - when was the timing belt last done? It might be time to have the whole front end ripped off for replacement of that anyway. Thats a great time to do the water pump, thermostat, and the timing belt tensioner/roller. That whole procedure at the dealership will set you back about $1400. I assume indies will be cheaper to some degree.
Well yes you were correct it was the radiator, I did a pressure test & Coolant came dripping out the bottom left corner. That's a $400 job that I'm not even trying to mess with right now, in combination with all the other sudden issues that have arised recently smh.

I filled her back up & it hasn't leaked since the pressure test. But I also (just put on flame suit 🕴️🔥) put some bars leak in afterwards, and bought a roll of jb weld steel epoxy. Just in case I may have to physically "plug" it, but it has stopped leaking for whatever reason. Hoping the bars leak helps even more

Also my other problems consist of leaking rear exhaust clamps, which I just ordered this morning. Not sure if you can verify if these are a correct fit, a shop I went to said $50 for each clamp...lmao hysterical at best. But yea my exhaust is loud due to the recent rusted clamps

And another thing is, I'm hearing sort of a rotating or hissing/tapping noise(can't really describe it well lol) coming from the engine bay as of recent. A guy came to my window and said it sounds like a failing exhaust manifold/gasket

Not sure if you can hear the noise from the video. And the timing belt was changed at around 100k with the first owner, car is now at 158k.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170711/f65a76543d655691fb9cf28d2f50a313.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170711/25de6738950b399b80e350f6d2c70ea4.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170711/17763b071e275c2487f68e086d749a23.jpg

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KSEADUB
07-11-2017, 01:22 PM
I filled her back up & it hasn't leaked since the pressure test. But I also (just put on flame suit ��️��) put some bars leak in afterwards

Haha. Nah, its all good. We all got to do what we gotta do right? Just as long as you don't get pissed when it starts leaking again, or when the stop leak clogs up your heater core :)

As far as the exhaust clamps go... I have had pretty good luck with Amazon being able to assess fitment. They also look to be the correct style. Your original ones are... WOW!. I assume you are just going to cut them off?

The hissing noise could be a lot of things, but with the way those exhaust clamps look, I wouldn't rule out another exhaust leak. When do you hear the noise? All the time? Just at startup? Does it get louder with higher RPM?

Audi recommends TB replacement at 70k-ish intervals (Was 105k at first, they rolled it back to 90k, then 80k, then finally 70k after a myriad of failures/complaints), so you've got a little more than 10k till its due.

I'm digging the interior/exterior combo. Definitely rare these days. I'm also surprised you have the little 'Audi' fender badges. I thought that was a '96 MY thing only!

FlyNikolai
07-11-2017, 10:29 PM
Haha. Nah, its all good. We all got to do what we gotta do right? Just as long as you don't get pissed when it starts leaking again, or when the stop leak clogs up your heater core :)

As far as the exhaust clamps go... I have had pretty good luck with Amazon being able to assess fitment. They also look to be the correct style. Your original ones are... WOW!. I assume you are just going to cut them off?

The hissing noise could be a lot of things, but with the way those exhaust clamps look, I wouldn't rule out another exhaust leak. When do you hear the noise? All the time? Just at startup? Does it get louder with higher RPM?

Audi recommends TB replacement at 70k-ish intervals (Was 105k at first, they rolled it back to 90k, then 80k, then finally 70k after a myriad of failures/complaints), so you've got a little more than 10k till its due.

I'm digging the interior/exterior combo. Definitely rare these days. I'm also surprised you have the little 'Audi' fender badges. I thought that was a '96 MY thing only!
UGH that heater core comment hurt my heart & soul (holds chest lol) haha but yea I know the risk I took by going that route smh. I figure it's worth a try before a new radiator is needed.

Yeah thanks a lot, I love my interior to pieces lol--also the Gold exterior it grew on me quickly. And I figured it was rare, that's what also has me so attached to the car.

The original owner I got the car from, was a wealthy guy & bought the car straight off the showroom floor(I love telling this story so you're gonna hear it lmao) with all the sports packages & trims available.

Sport suspension, sport steering wheel, heated seats, Bose system all the works and I'm sure he also opted for the Peanut butter interior all for his daughter back in 97-98 lol. It's going to be so hard going to anything other than upgrade from this lol, like my standards have been set high interior/exterior & feature wise

But yea he gave it to me for free last year May, I've only put about 3100 miles on it in a year so far. But back to business, yes I'm guessing my only option would be to cut the clamps off due to the obvious condition lol smh

Should I just go will all new pipes there? Or I can just replace the clamps? And the engine noise is very consistent, happens once the engine is on. I'll take a video later today

And thanks on the TB information I did do some research on that, was actually about to cry if I found out the water pump was going bad on me already.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170712/de7884ee72064d5f72f8a4e5df6eb08d.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170712/91798a12ff8286832f5f2e35944d9482.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170712/9c088bb1f71d9853fe0069d5303909a2.jpg

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FlyNikolai
07-11-2017, 10:42 PM
Hurts my soul all these issues are occuring, she did treat me very well for a year plus. And I've only spent $250 on a bearing change so far lol

Just hoping the engine noise isn't something significant.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170712/c1b5f734c4def0e25838f1f23d779451.jpg

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FlyNikolai
07-12-2017, 12:28 AM
The hissing noise could be a lot of things, but with the way those exhaust clamps look, I wouldn't rule out another exhaust leak. When do you hear the noise? All the time? Just at startup? Does it get louder with higher RPM?

Here are the videos with the engine sound, sounds like random knocking & something like rolling or hissing idk lol. It surely was there a few weeks ago though


https://youtu.be/0cp17CXIUjg

https://youtu.be/cuC2M5X2j6A

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FlyNikolai
07-12-2017, 01:35 AM
Here's another video from in the cabin

https://youtu.be/yyw7JdC4sek

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KSEADUB
07-12-2017, 08:45 PM
Hmm. Take the serp belt off and see if the noise stops...


You can run the engine with it off. Just don't take it around the block :)

And those seats man. I'm diggin the caramel and black. Way ahead of its time!

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