Audi A3 The Audi A3 offers cutting edge engineering, performance, and luxury in one affordable package.

A3 Coolant Problem

Old 09-29-2009, 09:47 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
Default A3 Coolant Problem


I wonder if anyone can give me some pointers / advice please ?

Basically I've recently bought a second hand Audi A3 (51 plate - 66,000 miles) and it's been running fine for the last couple of months, although there was a coolant leak when I bought it so this was fixed as it was due to some problem with the radiator or pump or something (apologies, but I'm not technical as far as cars are concerned!)

Anyway, I've suddenly noticed oil patches on the driveway so it looks as though there is a problem there.
Also, the coolant warning light has started coming on the dashboard and the temperature gauge shows 120 once i've been driving for about 10 minutes.

I've topped up the coolant as it was showing under the minimum, but the next day, the same thing happened.

What is likely to be the cause of this ?
Is it serious ?

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

Thank you.
Old 09-29-2009, 10:59 AM
1st Gear
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 261

Not sure what a "51 plate" is, so no idea what year your car is.

My 2006 A3 developed a radiator leak in the middle of a vacation trip. The dealer in Calgary, Canada fixed it under warranty, and helped me get a rental car for the two days that it took to fly in the new radiator and make the repairs. They never mentioned an apparent cause, but I have heard of other A3s with radiator leaks due to faulty hose routing. I've had no problems since, but I'm thankful that my car is still covered by the Certified Pre-Owned warranty for another 18 months.
Old 09-29-2009, 11:04 AM
USAF_06A3_2.0T's Avatar
1st Gear
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 84

Ok, well, you may have two different problems here. First, let me say I AM NOT a Technician.

Take some coolent, soak a rag in it, and leave it over night on your driveway, then check and see if it has reproduced your "Oil Spots". Or if you are pretty comfortable that it is oil that is leaking, we can call it "Problem # 2".

Problem #1 AKA Coolant Leak:

Take your car to a carwash and make sure the under carriage gets good and clean, also clean your engine bay with a hose and degreaser from above (DO NOT LET THE WATER GO INTO OR UNDER YOUR ENGINE COVER/VALVE/COIL/PLUG Area). But generally just give it a good clean.

Then fill it up with coolant, start it, grab a pillow and a blanket and park it in the shade, lie down next to your front bumper, and watch for leaks. As soon as you see drips (let the engine dry off from the wash prior to doing this check), shut off the engine, and then crawl under your car and let the investigation begin.

Look for Hoses from the Radiator to the engine, seams on the radiator etc, then using the laws of gravity and common denomination, isolate where the leak is coming from. Then report back here what you find, dont worry so much about nomenclature as much as general location and a good description of what the item looks like that is leaking, and the level of the leaks intensity.

Problem #2 AKA the Oil Leak: If you have determined that you do indeed have a leak from oil, then fill it up with oil (warm engine, utilizing dipstick to know when you are "full"), and repeat Problem #1's trouble shooting technique and report back what you find here.

Last edited by USAF_06A3_2.0T; 09-29-2009 at 11:06 AM.
Old 10-01-2009, 02:22 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2


I've now had it into the garage and he has pressure tested the car and found no leak !

There was oil leaking but this was due to the oil cap being missing (I knew this was missing and I had one on order, and now it's on there).

I checked both the oil and coolant before driving it tonight and both are full.

However, I've just driven it and after about 5 minutes / 3 miles, the coolant light came on and the temperature gauge went up to 120.

Could the sensor be at fault, or is there definitely something else ?
Old 10-06-2009, 06:01 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 395

If your coolant level is staying steady with little or no flux I would say the thermostat may be going out or you have an electrical problem of a chewed or burnt wire. Ran into the same problem and thanks to my rural are that I live a field mouse thought it would be cool to chew on a half dozen wires. So that didnt fall under warranty & was $350 to fix them all properly and not just re splice them together.
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
B5 Models
08-02-2009 03:51 PM
Audi A6
06-12-2008 05:27 PM
Audi A4
07-24-2007 05:34 PM
Audi A4
07-16-2007 08:55 PM
Audi A4
10-02-2006 10:15 PM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: A3 Coolant Problem

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.