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51 Plate Audi A3, 1.6 Petrol with Serious Cooling Problems

I drove my car around at 50mph for 5 miles after a flat battery. The temp needle goes to 90 then jumps fairly quickly to 120 and maxes at that, im sure i could have smelt burning plastic. Alot of the engine parts on this car are new and it has very low mileage.
During the winter I ad no hot air from the vents so i don't think this problem is new.

The large fan at the front only seems to come on when the car is stationary and after ive taken the key out of the ignition even though it was replaced only last week. The coolant is not leaking and is at the recommended level. Is it a water pump that has gone? or something else the mechanic needs to check, I opened the coolant cap and turned on the engine, there was no rotation to the fluid.
i would really appreciate the help as my car is eating through cash that i cant afford but really need my car for work.

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  • d_s_chana May 24, 2009

    Hi thanks for the response, yes the car is overheating, the temp is in Celsius. I believe it is the coolant light that comes on and beeps, once approaching 120 degrees even if driving around the block. Even at the same speed, about 20 mph the temp would be at or near 120, at other times last week it was at 90, so it seems very erratic even on a very short drive of 2-3 miles in traffic.

    There was plenty of heat coming out of the engine after that short run i mentioned and the fan stayed on for about 5 minutes after the car was turned off. Previously the fan has stayed on much longer but the car has never overheated before even when no air was coming from the vents inside. There really doesn't appear to be any leaking of the coolant.

  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    When the engine is at operating temp feel the lower hose and /or the bottom part of the radiator and if it's cold or much cooler than the top, change the thermostat.

  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    fan usually won't come on while going down the road...there is plenty of air coming in through the front. Unless the water pump is leaking or the shaft bearing is loose leave it thirty years I've seen only one impeller go bad, and that was not because of the pump. You haven't said if it is overheating so, what's your problem? (are temps in F or C?)



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Before you replace the pump, check the filter located inside the oil tank. This filter cleans the oil before going to pump. REMEMBER that Audi uses a special oil!!! Not your normal power steering fluid! Mixing them could cause damage to the entire system!

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SOURCE: Overheating

Is the car-heating also staying cold while the engine is overheating ?

The waterpump is a much known cause for this type of problem with A4s and since you don't have any leakage, it's the most likely cause (especially if the car-heating is staying cold).

Shouldn't be a fuel issue.

Posted on Mar 22, 2009

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SOURCE: 1993 audi 90 CS overheating

be careful overheat expensive dont drive ok let it cool fill with water let idle watch gaugers and if it gets to three quarters on gauge and no fan problem if you have alight let run half hour from cold no fam same look for stuff unpluged let me know

Posted on May 27, 2009

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SOURCE: Code P0118 on Audi A4 - Related to Ignition Coil Problem?

Hi, the sensor on the engine (right at the rear end of the cylinder head) has two separate outputs. One drives the temperature gauge and the other provides data for the engine control unit. The output for the engine control unit is almost certainly faulty and the sensor will need to be replaced. It isn't an expensive item and's not time consuming to replace (1/2 hr) - so you could ask Audi to do it for you when they replace the ignition coils.
Hope that helps Matt..

Posted on Nov 23, 2009

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