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Old 12-28-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default Leaking water pump issue... after only 60k?!

So I had the timing belt done at about 105,000 miles, I'm now at about 165,000 miles and my water pump apparently is leaking. I've gone from a full tank of brand new coolant to just to the point where the low coolant warning is coming on in about 9 days and maybe 50 miles driven.

Audi quoted me I think about $2,000 in parts and labor which is way more then I want (have) to spend right now.

First off, should this have failed so soon? I had an independent Audi guy do it and used the kit from Blau parts. I'm kinda kicking myself wishing I had gone with official Audi parts instead if they would have lasted closer to the 105k service window vs. the ~60k miles I got on this! I think my independent guy charged about $1200 total (this is including what I paid for the parts) and that just seems like a huge amount to invest every three years or so for the damn timing belt/water pump! Should I spend the ~$700 or so in parts for official Audi stuff from ECS or somewhere and try to do the job myself at home? (I can follow directions really well and have about a week I could work on this but... I've never done something this involved)

Did my indie just do a poor job? (Maybe didn't flush the cooling system well enough or clean up any broken stuck on gasket from the previous water pump when he installed the new one?) Is it just a fluke the Blau parts failed after 60k instead of closer to 100k? (I would have been happy if it was at 90k, but 45k miles before Audi's service interval!? )

I'm just massively frustrated. $400 aftermarket parts + a couple days doing it myself (if you think it's possible, not sure how hard bleeding coolant is or how much special tools besides cam locking bar I need...) is totally worth it, $1,000 at Audi with official parts and them doing it would be worth it. $2000+ is way out of the story and just isn't something I can swing right now with the car.

Whats your advice and input?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
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You sure it's not coming from the aux water pump? Mine took a dive shortly after last TB change. Just saying. What motor do you have? You should fill out that profile so everyone knows what you have before they start firing part costs at you.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:23 AM   #3
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You sure it's not coming from the aux water pump? Mine took a dive shortly after last TB change. Just saying. What motor do you have? You should fill out that profile so everyone knows what you have before they start firing part costs at you.
Totally forgot to post the car info! Lol, this has me so frustrated.

It's kinda both. They think the aux water pump will probably keep holding but will need replaced at some point (honestly I don't mind having to do that within a year or something but man I'm hoping it doesn't happen as soon as the system is filled with new coolant). Audi dealership said it looks like it's seeping because there is crystalized coolant around the aux pump, but I haven't noticed leaks and the tech didn't notice leaking with the aux pump, just the crystalized coolant.

They said the main water pump was the cause of the leak but didn't go into detail on what part of it was leaking. (I didn't think to ask if it was coming from the gasket around the pump or actually the pump it's self, but I'm losing enough coolant that I'm screwed)

The car is a 2002 Audi A6 with a 2.7T and about 164,000 miles. Just found the email and the timing belt job was done at just under 105,000 miles.


Edit: Also, just spent ~$900 (after tax) on a full brake job a few months ago and with christmas I'm freaking broke.

Last edited by acarney; 12-29-2013 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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Totally forgot to post the car info! Lol, this has me so frustrated.

It's kinda both. They think the aux water pump will probably keep holding but will need replaced at some point (honestly I don't mind having to do that within a year or something but man I'm hoping it doesn't happen as soon as the system is filled with new coolant). Audi dealership said it looks like it's seeping because there is crystalized coolant around the aux pump, but I haven't noticed leaks and the tech didn't notice leaking with the aux pump, just the crystalized coolant.

They said the main water pump was the cause of the leak but didn't go into detail on what part of it was leaking. (I didn't think to ask if it was coming from the gasket around the pump or actually the pump it's self, but I'm losing enough coolant that I'm screwed)

The car is a 2002 Audi A6 with a 2.7T and about 164,000 miles. Just found the email and the timing belt job was done at just under 105,000 miles.


Edit: Also, just spent ~$900 (after tax) on a full brake job a few months ago and with christmas I'm freaking broke.
Not unusual to have a leaking water pump or even a failed thermostat 60K after a TB job. The parts just aren't that good.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:08 AM   #5
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Time to make some decisions. If you are capable of handling a t-belt job on this car, you'd save money and ensure that it is done right (provided that you in fact, did it right). Otherwise, find a competent mechanic and ready to spend money. @165k, I am surprised your turbos are still working.... Damn it, Am I the only one that had a bad apple? (nevermind)..

Yeah, (assuming you haven't worked heavy on cars) t-belt job is a bit time consuming... watch some youtube videos first before you roll up your sleeves. Spoiler: It sure is a lot of fun doing it yourself though!
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
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+1 on the DIY aspect. When i bought my first boat i had no idea what was involved in marine motors but spent the time learning(breaking) it in the garage during winter. In the long run (break-down nightmare situations) it paid off. And yeah you should be doing a TB change again around this mileage if you are starting to have issues. One issue leads to another and its a slippery slope. Roll up your sleeves, give yourself that motivational talk in the mirror, slam a red bull, punch the neighbors dog in the face, then tear into that motor like you have diffuse a bomb. That will save you $$$ and keep you from becoming the dealers next bitch. But you may want to order parts and acquire the tools first…… Good luck.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #7
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+1 on the DIY aspect. When i bought my first boat i had no idea what was involved in marine motors but spent the time learning(breaking) it in the garage during winter. In the long run (break-down nightmare situations) it paid off. And yeah you should be doing a TB change again around this mileage if you are starting to have issues. One issue leads to another and its a slippery slope. Roll up your sleeves, give yourself that motivational talk in the mirror, slam a red bull, punch the neighbors dog in the face, then tear into that motor like you have diffuse a bomb. That will save you $$$ and keep you from becoming the dealers next bitch. But you may want to order parts and acquire the tools first…… Good luck.
So true. Just remember to invest in the tools up front. Especially if you are a one car family. Buy quality tools first, then the parts, and don't throw anything away until the new part is all the way in. This is a good time to clean your garage out as well. :-)
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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Not unusual to have a leaking water pump or even a failed thermostat 60K after a TB job. The parts just aren't that good.
So I'm looking at ~$2000 every three years or so?? Man I didn't realize how expensive the upkeep on the Audi was.

Well here's the big question. Are official Audi parts any better then cheap aftermarket from Blau or ECS? $350 or $400 for a kit vs $700 to $900 in Audi parts is a huge price difference, that's all markup and none of it is extra quality?

How does Audi get away with a 105k service interval if it's totally normal for issues near 60k? (My dealer said I shouldn't have this issue if I had replaced it via the dealer and I should get about 100k miles from it if I do it at the dealer now... Complete lie? Or would the dealer stand behind the job unless I was damn close to 105k miles even when the car is this old and out of warrenty?)
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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+1 on the DIY aspect. When i bought my first boat i had no idea what was involved in marine motors but spent the time learning(breaking) it in the garage during winter. In the long run (break-down nightmare situations) it paid off. And yeah you should be doing a TB change again around this mileage if you are starting to have issues. One issue leads to another and its a slippery slope. Roll up your sleeves, give yourself that motivational talk in the mirror, slam a red bull, punch the neighbors dog in the face, then tear into that motor like you have diffuse a bomb. That will save you $$$ and keep you from becoming the dealers next bitch. But you may want to order parts and acquire the tools first…… Good luck.
Care to give me a list of "must have" tools to do the job correct? I've been reading around and kinda building a list of what I need but some sites suggest a few special tools and others kinda say you can just get around by using this or that to pry something or another off. I don't wanna go a short cut just to end up screwing something up down the road. I should have the time, even if it takes me more then a couple days, but no, I'm never done anything this detailed on the car. (Cam locking tool is a must for me I know, but like everyone is fairly vegue on how to properly flush the cooling system (clear on NOT to use flushing agents but not clear and the method) or bleeding the system, etc.)

Oh, and about the turbo comment... I've been leaking oil from the passenger turbo seal (at least that's what my indie has said) almost since I bought the car 70k miles ago. It's never been more then about a dime sized amount over night and hasn't got worse (crosses fingers). I was told keep doing oil changes at 3k miles, use high quality oil, let the car run for a little bit while parked before turning off the engine and that turbo might last a good long while... I keep hoping it will keep lasting...


(These cars seriously don't seem to be built very well, I mean I love the car, it's got the right perks and is a beast in the winter, but wow between turbos failing and requiring the engine being removed and t-belt being so costly every 3rd or 4th year, I hope current Audi's are using some higher quality parts or have been designed to reduce some labor for these kind of replacements)
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
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Some of the things you are reading about are the ways that experienced mechanics get by some difficulties when working on Audi/VW cars. Many have modified tools or sometimes destroy hardware while removing it and just install new hardware during assembly(never a bad idea to install new hardware).They are not necessarily poorly built, but over engineered. Like the engineering staff has a blank check to create a better mouse trap, then the poor production engineers and manufacturing engineers have to try and make it all fit in that small space. Then the factory trained technicians have to deal with the end product and they feel your pain too.

As far as special tools go, just rent the stuff from blauparts and return it when done. Their customer service is awesome and being from Minnesota it's not easy to talk up a Wisconsin company. But they would be interested in your failing water pump, I am sure. When i thought mine failed 1000 miles after TB change, they sent me a new one next day air, and just told me to send in the old one "when i got around to changing it". The pump wasn't the issue, but i digress.

You will need a solid assortment of, metric sockets, possibly crows feet, torx bits and other various things such as zip ties, hose clamps and some serious will power to shrug off the cuts on your hands. Trust me, once you get started working on your car yourself you will never stop, so the tools you buy should be HIGH QUALITY. Cheap tools, even for something you think is a one time use, will show you why they are cheap in a hurry. Now, seeing that you have a budget you may want to reach out to some friends for tool use or just another helping hand. You may need to make your own tools along the way (which any solo DIY'er has done) but don't sweat it, there are a lot of others that have been in the same shoes you are in. Use the forums, and look into getting a Bentley manual and VAG-COM software set-up. When you realize that you have to move several things to undo 1 bolt, you are not alone. Just laugh it off and wonder what your VCR would've been like if the ****'s designed it.

Oh, and the leaky oil line going to/from the turbo isn't easy to get at to fix, but can be done. Try finding an Audi tech on Craigslist who is looking for some side work on the weekends. There are about 5 of them looking for work here in Minneapolis, so that is one source for knowledge/tooling/extra hands….
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:34 PM
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