newmans at istar.ca
Fri Jun 1 09:22:17 EDT 2001
I initiated some discussion in this forum about the advisability of
pulling a trailer with my '89 non-Q. The consensus was to use the DeLan
hitch which is rated for 2500 lbs and observe the Audi manual limits on
tongue weight and total trailer weight. There was a bit of a discussion
on trailer lights and and why the brake light warning light showed when
the trailer lights were connected.
I just want to tell you all that I towed my pop-up camper trailer from
Ottawa, Ontario to Cape May, New Jersey and back this past month for a
two week vacation and was, overall, very pleased. The car had enough
power to travel at the speed limit during almost all conditions. Thanks
very much for all the good advice from the list.
Our experience was not totally pleasant though. On one of the hills
just north of Scranton, PA, the heater control valve broke and coolant
cascaded out. The warning light appeared but I didn't react quickly
enough and blew a head gasket. My reaction time was conditioned by
needing to add small amounts of coolant regularly since I bought the
car, 3 years ago, and I carry coolant with me in the trunk for this
purpose. When the warning light appeared, I thought the coolant level
had simply been reduced a bit and I could wait until I reached the crest
of the hill and park on the flat alongside the road. Wrong decision!
Luckily, I found the services nearby of Northeast Imports, who did a
very good job of diagnosing the problem, fixing it and getting me back
on the road in short order. (This is a recommendation.) Apparently,
the head gasket had been leaking a little from the coolant passage to
the combustion chamber all these years which accounted for my not
finding any evidence of leakage whenever I looked for it. There was
never any evidence of coolant in the oil, either.
Another point. Boost level would stay very high when traversing the
hill country thru PA if one didn't modulate the foot pedal. I tried to
keep the boost under 1.0 so as not to work the turbo too hard. It was
not always possible but, if you can accept the reduction of speed from
65 to 50 as you climb the hill, this was often doable.
Bottom line - With one reservation, I would recommend trailering with
the Audi turbo, particularly if the terrain was relatively flat and the
temperature was below 25 degrees C. I found that, as the ambient
temperature increased, the coolant temp increased also. During
conditions of high outside temperature, it ran rather close to 106
degrees C., even with Audi's summer thermostat, making me feel a bit
uncomfortable. I am aware of the Audi design requirement to run
normally at the high end of the temperature range, but my car had never
exceeded 102 degrees before - at least when I observed the gauge.
Again, thanks for all the help from the list.
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