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5k Turbo Throttle Jam @ WOT!
I love my Audi, and have learned to accept that things will break sometimes, but this
time was disturbing.
If you have an 88 5000 (MC) Turbo engine with 5 speed, here's a surprise that you too
might get someday.
There is a dashpot in the throttle linkage to cushion the last few degrees of closing.
This is located inside an aluminun cover next to the throttle pos. switch, under a
roller on the end of the throttle shaft opposite the throttle cable cam.
My 88 5kcsqw had an exciting component failure the other day. As usual, I drove out of
the driveway, shifted from 1st to 2nd at about 3500 rpm and throttled up to get going.
(Here in MA. someone is always on your a** no matter how fast you move) I Ran it up to
about 4000 rpm in 2nd. When I backed off the throttle to prepare for the shift to 3rd,
the car continued to accelerate with the throttle full open, the pedal hanging limp on
Well, as many of you know the I5 Turbo engine is taking a good deep breath at this
point on the power curve, and the world begins to pass by quickly.
I disengeged the clutch and tapped the gas pedal hoping to dislodge the unexpected jam.
This did not relieve the problem. While watching the rev limiter do its job around the
redline, I also saw $$$$ flash through my mind momentarily. Worried about the
possiblilty of steering lockup if shutting off the key, or engine damage caused by no
load/max rpm, I let the clutch out. YEEEEHAA! Aimed the wheel straight and shut it off
with the key, coasted until the engine stopped, and turned the key back to on to keep
steering unlocked and get off the road.
Fortunately, the road was clear and straight in front of me.
Upon inspecting the throttle linkage, I discovered that the dashpot plunger was
completely out of the dashpot, jammed between the throttle shaft, dashpot body, and the
aluminum housing, holding the throttle open. The attachment between the plunger and
diaphragm had broken, the spring behind the little bellows pushed the plunger out.
Has anyone else had this happen?
I called two dealers who told me that the dashpot was supplied only as part of the
throttle assembly, available for about $1,200. Their service guys said that's how they
fix the dashpot.
I called AOA to share my experience and complain about their parts availibility policy.
I explained the failure and it's potential consequences in case of bad driving
conditions at the time of failure. I suggested possible recall, free replacement of
parts during service, or at least notification of owners of these cars to remove the
potentially faulty part. The response was of concern, but since no injuries, I think of
no real interest to them.
I suggest that members of the Qlist who own 88 5000 turbo 5sp cars call AOA and inquire
about this defect. At least Audi should be able to afford to recall and renew the
defective parts for no charge. This would prevent possible injury to people who may not
respond safely to the failure condition I described (and can prove). And what about the
cost of litigation in case someone gets hurt?
Another dealer later looked up the dashpot and found an individual part no. under the
1988 5000CS (turbo, non Q fiche) available by special order for about $90. Looks like a
$10 part to me, but I'm not really surprised at the list price of this rarely (as yet)