Question about 2002 Audi A4

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My 2002 audi a4 3.0 quattro coolant gushed out then overheated

Was driving home from work one day, dropped a buddy off that works with me and I get to his house and all of a sudden arises a cloud of smoke. (smells like coolant) I get out and to observe then I find a puddle of gushing coolant. I am relatively close to home so I try to make it there or as close to it as possible. Eventually my car shut off on me while on the highway but I was able to coast it off and on to the far side of the road. Out of the way of traffic. Currently the vehicle is parked in my driveway ready to be worked on. But the worker (me) is not 100% sure, nor is anyone around me on what work is to be done, and well I know no German Vehicle experts. I just want assurance on what the direct problem is that is keeping me from driving. I have no doubt that it could be a multitude of problems as opposed to just one, and thinking about that has mentally prepared to fix any and everything until this car is sound. Although I am mentally prepped, I am not so financially prepped. Which is why I would like to narrow the reasons for zero driving due to leaking coolant then overheating.

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First off, the bad news:
DO NOT DRIVE it while you have coolant missing/leaking. If your engine over heats (and it sounds like it already did if it shut off) you could crack the engine block, which means you'll be in for a HUGE thousands of dollars repair).

Secondly, the optimistic news:
It sounds to me like all you have is a broken radiator hose, which is probably less than a $20 part. Start by checking all the hoses, find the one that's broken/cracked or leaking and replace it.

Thirdly the less optimistic news:
You could have a bad radiator. If you're radiator is leaking you need to replace the radiator. Probably a few hundred dollars for a new part.

If it's none of the above then it could be leaking from around the water pump, head gasket, or some other part.

Fill your radiator back up with water (when the engine is cold) and look for leaks. If you see nothing, start it back up for (no more than a minute or two) and look for the leak. Once you've found the leak, flush the cooling system and fill it back up with the proper coolant (not just any coolant, get the right coolant for your car at the auto parts store or dealership, just ask them what you need- they can look it up). Be sure to use the proper procedure for returning coolant to the system (you need to fill it up wait for the thermostat to open, then add more coolant- missing the last step could cause your engine to over heat again, and crack the block. Never add coolant/water to a HOT engine (or you could crack the block).

If you find the leak, replace everything that's leaking, replace all the coolant, and find that you're still slowly losing coolant mysteriously (no drips anywhere) then you did indeed crack the block.

Good luck James. Let us know how it goes.

Posted on Apr 08, 2014


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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: 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: 2001 Audi A6 Seat overheated!

There should be plug for the heated seat most likley under it or on the drivers side of passenger seat. This should fix your problem, if it doesn't that means the short is in the dial in the dash. There should be a seperate fuse for each seat in the fuse box. If unplugging the seat doesn't help come back and i will figure out which fuse is the right one and where your fuse box is.

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SOURCE: 03 Audi A4- Coolant fan runs until the battery dies

What does the fan do when you restsrt/charge the battery? Start up again? Replace the sending unit, or unplug the sending unit first. If fan keeps running, the relay is faulty.
if it stops, the sending unit is at faulat. good luck

Posted on May 31, 2009

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SOURCE: what type of antifreeze for a 2006 audi a6

Audi cars use a special coolant called G12. It's not compatible with the typical green coolants you'll find at an auto parts store. You'll need to buy it at an Audi or VW dealership, or you can order it from,,, or (I've bought from all four of these companies, and they're all top-notch). It's not terribly expensive, although it does run more than a typical coolant (I paid about $20 for a gallon of it at a dealership a few months ago).

FYI, the power steering fluid and the brake fluid in an Audi are also proprietary fluids, so if you go to order coolant, you may want to order a bottle of each of those as well to keep on hand.

Posted on Aug 06, 2010

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1 Answer

Overheating issue

The big question is it overheating because of coolant loss (a leak or leaks) or is the overheating caused by a jammed thermostat, blocked radiator or the cooling fan not working.
This is the confusing chicken-and-egg situation that often faces the diagnostician, especially as when checked the coolant level is likely to be low in both cases and overheating can create coolant leaks...
Furthermore when an older engine overheats a lot or boils it can begin a chain of events that causes great expense and inconvenience over an extended period of time...

In your case it would seem the coolant is low because of a leak and that is what caused the overheating. Clearly you need to trace the leak and I can be of little help in the matter other than to suggest a hose can fail at any time and although regular inspections can greatly reduce the chances it can't entirely eliminate the possibility. Water pumps on the other hand, often aren't accessible for inspection without removing lots of stuff but they are generally very reliable and tend not to suddenly start gushing coolant. Most often they are responsible for a minor mystery coolant loss that gradually gets worse over an extended period.

I am wondering if the previous owner could have known something about the problem.

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