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Re: Cracked coolant overflow tank
If my last three Audis are any indication ('82 Coupe, '84 4KQ, '86 5KCSTQ)
all of these coolant tanks crack from an internal seam smack dab in the
middle of the front face of the tank. The one on my '86 is in the process of
cracking through and will make it any day now.
Yes, it causes instant catastrophic coolant loss. I was in the mountains of
Pennsylvania when the one on the '84 blew, nearly stranding me in the snow.
Luckily, I had noticed the crack before I began the trip and picked up a
spare (and a couple gallons of coolant in the trunk) at a local junkyard.
I got some super-duty epoxy and made a preemptive patch of the one I
installed on the '84. Don't know how it held up as I sold the car.
I would go to a junkyard and find a spare that fits your car, or see if you
can get one from a used parts supplier who knows about these things and knows
how to pick a relatively good one. They can be cracked pretty severely but
still "work", however as soon as the pressure gets high on a really hot
day...Thar She Blows!!!
The last time I went to the junkyard, all 5 of the Audis I looked at had
cooling overflow tanks in various stages of rupture, from a minor whitening
of the plastic along the seam in that area to full, weeping fissures.
A new one from Audi is mucho expensivo. I'd just get two or three used ones
and replace them every year. Be careful that you don't damage the coolant
sensor in the one you pull - it is BUILT INTO the unit and impossible to
replace separately. Make sure you can bring it back if the sensor doesn't
work. Other than that, replacing it is a ten-minute job. Junkyards will
usually only charge you about ten bucks for them.
It is appalling that Audi never redesigned these things. All of them crack,
and then you're stranded.
Alex '86 5KCSTQ, 92K