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Rough starting and coolant not circulating

Rough starting and coolant not circulating

 
Old 11-15-2017, 09:46 AM
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Default Rough starting and coolant not circulating

I have a '97 A4 Quattro with the 2.8. Temperature has been 30-40 lately. There are two symptoms that arose almost simultaneously (ignition and cooling), and I'm wondering if they might be related or coincidental.

First, the engine had trouble starting. When I give it a little gas it eventually starts. Sometimes it starts immediately. Sometimes it takes a little work, and it sputters for a few seconds like it's misfiring, but it smoothes out within a few seconds. At first I wondered if my wife used regular gas instead of premium. She said she probably did. It was half full when I filled with premium. I drove it for a little while that night with no problems, but the starting problem persists, so I don't think it's the gas. The next day I drove it for about 5 minutes when I noticed the coolant temp rising above normal. The coolant doesn't seem to be circulating because (1) the heater blows cold air; (2) the upper radiator hose is warm while the lower is cold; and (3) when it starts to get warm, coolant starts dripping out the relief valve on the reservoir. Also, it had been leaking coolant somewhere prior to this.

Car has 123,000 miles on it.
7 months and 2,000 miles ago the timing belt, oil cooler, front crankshaft seal, and camshaft seal were replaced. I have no records on the thermostat.

Is there a chance the symptoms are related, or should I tackle them separately? Also, how far could I safely drive it without coolant circulation? My Audi mechanic might be a 10 minute drive.
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