Audi has made available a kit to fix one particular type of radiator failure.
First, the story --
My 86 5000S radiator broke in a very unexpected way last night (fortunately
I was 200 feet from home!). The "neck," or pipe that exits from the plastic
side tank snapped in two. (There are two necks, actually, one for the the top
hose to fit on, and one for the bottom). Anyway, the one for the top hose
snapped cleanly in two, and the car lost about half its coolant in maybe 15
seconds. The temp guage showed normal, but the autocheck system picked up
There was enough of the neck left that I was able to refill the system and
drive today. This is only a temporary fix, however, because the ridge that
holds the hose one was on the broken off piece.
ANYWAY, here is the interesting part. Neck failure is sufficiently common
that Audi dealers stock a repair kit! (the local vee dub dealers never heard
of it). For about $20 you get a plastic insert that goes into the old neck
and a package of some really industrial sounding glue. Since PAP is now
asking $260 for a radiator, its worth a try. The part numbers:
200121003 glue sugg retail $10.05
200121001 insert retail $11.20
One local dealer wanted $28 for both (the nerve), but the other charged $18.