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Beloved A8 left me stranded, what the problem be?

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Old 02-22-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Beloved A8 left me stranded, what the problem be?

Hello all, on my way home tonight the 2006 A8 L 4.2 overheated. I immediately pulled off the freeway and into fuel station. The engine was definitely hot. Coolant was bubbling within the reservoir, which looked like it might explode. Coolant was also leaking onto the pavement below. The radiator fans were working overtime. I shut it down, caught a ride home, and left it for the night.

I'm guessing it's the coolant pump. Does that sound right? It's nearing time for a new one (timing belt job) anyway, so it seems to make sense.

Any good shops in Portland, OR for timing belt jobs?

Thanks,

-JT
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:23 PM   #2
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Default Thermostat...

I would suspect thermostat before water pump, and you say fans were running as the other obvious guess.

If a timing belt job was in the works anyway, you can cover both the thermostat and water pump while you are at it.
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Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 02-22-2014, 09:20 PM   #3
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Only other, much worst, would be head gasket. Hope not.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:50 PM   #4
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I would also suspect the thermostat first. Hopefully there is no head or gasket damage if you shut it down quickly.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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I didn't see any white exhaust and I didn't see anything amiss with the oil so hopefully not a head gasket issue. I'm going to hope for a thermostat or water pump problem.

How much are timing belt jobs going for these days? I need to tow the car tomorrow and have no idea where I should take it. Most shops are closed because it is Sunday. The dealer would probably allow me to tow it there but they will likely not be competitive on timing belt job pricing. But maybe they are? My independent shop used to charge around $1,100 for a timing belt service on my 2.7T but I'm in a new state and I have no experience with the 4.2.

-JT
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:24 AM   #6
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Since you shut it down quickly chances are the head gasket should be good. Going to the dealer, expect to pay about 1500-1800 for a timing belt and water pump job depending where you live. I would google some independent shops that specializes in foreign cars and calling aroung and you might escape with a 1100-1300 bill. Every little savings helps. How many miles are on the car?? If it has over 50K, I'm surprised that possible original thermostat lasted that long.
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2006 Brilliant Black On Mojave Sand A8L-Garage Queen
-Exclusive Package With Valcona Leather Seats W/Black Piping, and Leather Door Inserts
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-Wood Steering Wheel And Wood Shift ****
-Skibag Rear Seat Pass Through
-19" 12 Spoke Wheels

Former D3's Sold But Not Forgotten
-2004 Black On Black A8L Sold at 113K Miles-1st Audi Ever Owned
-2005 Black On Black/Amaretto A8L Sold At 77K Miles-2nd One Owned
-2006 Black On Amaretto A8L Sold At 88K miles-3rd One Owned

Current Daily Driven Vehicles
-2002 True Blue Ford F150 XLT 4x4 Super Cab-Used For Play And Occasional Light Hauling(Primary Driver)
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:35 AM   #7
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The car has about 140,000 miles on it. The timing belt job has been done once before and was just about due for another one. I guess there is a case to be made for doing it a little earlier than recommended.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powderlvr View Post
I guess there is a case to be made for doing it a little earlier than recommended.
Or for using OEM parts.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:48 AM   #9
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Just ask or find Mister Bally's posts on his (side of) road trip "experience" when he was running Blau's parts from a prior change. And not to pick on them narrowly; probably similar to what many indy shops trying to offer less expensive product would get from their suppliers.

For anything labor intensive and difficult to get at later like this, I would tend toward either Audi dealer parts or OES/name brand. And yes, you pay up on at least the former, but if you know the better regarded OES brands can take some $ out. Thus just as examples, folks like Conti or Gates for belts, Behr for thermostats, etc. These days, don't assume a "German" or Euro sounding name isn't actually just a front for underlying no name Asian parts. For indy parts, a site like Rock Auto is often good at showing a range of brands for some specific part.

If you are having a shop do it, ask about the specific suppliers they use and any choices for at least the thermostat, water pump, timing and serp belts. Roadside breakdowns are never fun, even more so with family or friends on board.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


Last edited by MP4.2+6.0; 02-23-2014 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #10
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As MP4.2+6.0 said, use advanced search and read up on my July, 2011 road trip emergency post. Also, my Blau Parts experience post from last Fall. A frayed timing belt caught just in time. The water pump was definitely sub OEM quality. The Audi dealer would not accept it as a core for their OEM part.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:13 PM   #11
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Looks as though I might get genuine Audi timing belt job parts; I just towed the car to the local Audi dealer. They promised to match competitors' prices for service jobs. I find that hard to believe but we'll see.

My 2001 allroad is due for a timing belt job as well (its third or fourth one). Maybe they'll give me two for the price of one!

-JT
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:37 PM   #12
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I agree with the previous post about not using cheap parts because of the labor to go back in there again. I did use a Blauparts timing belt kit on my D2 with good success but I might be in the minority.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:20 AM   #13
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When I had my 04, I had a continental timing kit installed in mine and I never had any problems with it. It's actually a good kit. Since you are at 140K on the 1st timing belt change, that thermostat is most likely bad from a few yrs of use and it's time for another service. I had mine done for $950 and that included everything and serpentine belt and thermostat. I hope everything works out for you.
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2006 Brilliant Black On Mojave Sand A8L-Garage Queen
-Exclusive Package With Valcona Leather Seats W/Black Piping, and Leather Door Inserts
-Premium Package
-Ventilated And Massaging Seats
-Dual Pane Glass
-Rear Seat Lumbar And Rear Digital Climate Control
-Leather Console And Door Panels
-Wood Steering Wheel And Wood Shift ****
-Skibag Rear Seat Pass Through
-19" 12 Spoke Wheels

Former D3's Sold But Not Forgotten
-2004 Black On Black A8L Sold at 113K Miles-1st Audi Ever Owned
-2005 Black On Black/Amaretto A8L Sold At 77K Miles-2nd One Owned
-2006 Black On Amaretto A8L Sold At 88K miles-3rd One Owned

Current Daily Driven Vehicles
-2002 True Blue Ford F150 XLT 4x4 Super Cab-Used For Play And Occasional Light Hauling(Primary Driver)
-2002 Oxford White Ford F150 XLT 4x4 Super Cab-Used For Heavy Hauling, And Towing
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:09 AM   #14
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Update: The Audi dealer just called and said that the water pump had seized. They are going to do the full timing belt kit job for $1,800 and said that everything else looks OK. Should be good as new by tomorrow.

-JT
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #15
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Second update: Just found out that the previous timing belt job was also done at an Audi dealer. The mileage at that time was 78,000 and the mileage now is about 142,000. So this genuine water pump lasted just 64,000 miles.

-JT
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:45 AM   #16
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That's a worry. Do you know what caused the pump to fail early? Bad install, belt tension too high? Blown seals/gasket?
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #17
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Drawing any conclusion on a dealers triage or report is a tricky job.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:37 PM   #18
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If the water pump had seized, the bearing inside the pump must have went bad. It would be logical if the pump seized, the timing belt should have made some noise because of the seized water pump.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:22 PM   #19
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Update 3: The dealer has lowered the price of the timing belt kit install to $1550. Another independent shop quoted me $1000 but I am not sure the provenance of the parts.

Yes, I've been noticing a weird sound. About 10 minutes before the car overheated, when I started it, I heard what sounded like a bad bearing from something up front. I actually opened the hood to investigate. I didn't see anything weird and wondered what the noise was. Looking back I think I've been hearing the coolant pump failing for quite some time. Now that I know the sound I won't let it happen again. It's subtle but sounds like marbles bouncing around in the engine.

I don't know why the pump failed early. I will continue to go 75,000 miles between timing belts but if I hear the sound of a failing water pump again I'll know to get it done early. A lesson learned and, by luck, a good outcome.

My allroad has 262,000 miles on it and is going strong. With any luck I'll get just as many miles out of the A8.

-JT
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:03 PM   #20
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Sounds like the either the impellers were hitting inside the water pump. Who knows why it went out so early but sounds like it did. At least you did not damage the engine so it's not too bad. A little earlier than schedule but in the grand scheme of things, lucky no head work needed.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:03 PM
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