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Beloved A8 left me stranded, what the problem be?

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Old 02-22-2014, 08:03 PM
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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
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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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Old 02-22-2014, 09:20 PM
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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
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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
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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
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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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Old 02-23-2014, 05:35 AM
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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
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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
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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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Old 02-23-2014, 08:07 AM
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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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