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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2015 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI Quattro, 2-weeks ago I had coolant level dropped way below min mark (almost 1/4 of expansion tank) this I found out by a warning indicated by the instrument cluster indicating - "Switch off Engine and check coolant level".

So topped it up with recommended G12++ coolant fluid up between min & max mark.

After a week later, I opened the bonnet & checked again. It seems to have dropped again ever so slightly that its now just below min mark.

I have noticed a small puddle of fluid on my driveway but soaking tissue on it didnt say much, as I understand coolant fluid is pink in colour. But it also didn't smell sweet or had any colour on the tissue.

Coolant Fluid is definitely leaking somewhere, just not sure where. After reading many posts on forums people with similar issues from my understanding is that - it could also be the head gasket, gasket seals or anything.

If any one could help deter what could be the issue I'll be very grateful.

Sometimes even when the engine is warmed up I get light white smoke coming from my exhaust, this I can see from rear view camera and this happens rarely but enough to grab my attention from side mirrors.

Now I have attached some pictures of head gasket and I have uploaded a video of a small puddle on the belly pan below:

Audi A5 coolant leak
 

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Hi there

Seem to be losing a bit of fluid here. But it may not be the head gasket. A couple of things you can check yourself:
  • Remove oil filler cap - is there lots of white goop (like thick cream which could be coolant mixing with oil)? Or just oil.
    • (A small amount (tiny) of white goop may just be condensation mixing with oil.
  • With engine warm, carefully (don't burn yourself) remove coolant tank cap. With the engine running observe coolant. Is there a constant bubbling of the coolant (combustion gas mixing with coolant)?
  • The two above "could" be a sign of head gasket going/ gone.
I would then get the coolant system pressure checked by a garage (an easy job for them) to see if that can identify where the leak is coming from.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Firstly, thank you so much for the quick reply.
1) I removed the oil cap and checked, there doesn't seem to be any white stuff which you mentioned. I can't 100% make sure if its contaminated or not as this model of Audi does not come with a dip stick either. But oil cap seems to be fine, just clear oil stains when i wiped with a tissue.
2) There is no bubbling either i tried that last week to check, but i can see air bubbles over on top of expansion bottle ceiling. I dont know if described it correctly.

Im waiting for an appointment for pressure check. hopefully that would tell me.

But sometimes even pressure checking might not help find where the leak is a friend of mine was telling me. Is that true?
 

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That's good. That sounds quite positive that the oil cap is not contaminated and no real continuous bubbles in coolant. The first indication that the leak may not be head gasket or at least its not mixing with the oil or leaking into cylinder.

A pressure check is a good way to try and find a hidden leak. It will help diagnose if its head gasket or another part of the cooling system. By placing the system under pressure it should hopefully start forcing fluid out at the point of leak. If its a slow/ small leak it may be difficult to spot (not enough fluid coming out to drip etc). If its a medium to bad leak you should see coolant being forced out and dripping somewhere on the engine and associated pipework.

"But sometimes even pressure checking might not help find where the leak is a friend of mine was telling me " - its better than not having a test done as you'll never know where the leak is until something catastrophic happens! If the leak is very small or leaking fluid cannot be seen (hidden by engine system parts) then it can be difficult to find. But not impossible.
Of course, if your friend has a better way of finding out, then we're all ears!
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you for your help, suggestions and a very good explanation of why this could happen but better yet to get it checked either ways.
I will get the pressure check done exactly as you have mentioned also update back with diagnosing the issue.

PS - Also thought i should let you know,
I see a slight decline in coolant level from last week. So last week till now I barely saw drop in coolant levels but enough to make out that its definitely leaked.
 

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I had a coolant leak on my 2013 A3 at around 75K miles. It was the water pump.

The water pumps on these engines are known to fail. There's even a class action lawsuit in the U.S. where Audi had to replace any water pumps for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
you are correct, you won't believe what I just discovered after I got back home from work.
I'll upload a video in abit. Could you please check if it's the same issue you've had?

Video 1
Video 2
 

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Sure looks like it. Any mechanic who's worked on VW/Audi in the last 10 years could probably do the change blindfolded because they almost all fail prematurely. It's not a tought job, but you will need specialized tools.

Since I see you're in the UK, I'm not sure if you qualify for a replacement. Couldn't hurt to ask :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
you were right @findalex, it's the water pump housing + thermostat. Just got it checked by Audi mechanic. Found the source and leak is from the housing/flange.

He said water pump itself is working and fluid is flowing through but housing is made of plastic so it wears off eventually apparently it's designed to fail.

Didn't expect this from Audi/VW starting to think their quality is worse than BMW & Benz. I'm shocked with such quality.

Update - mechanic's supplier didn't have the part so went to Audi and bought it.
Costed - £269.

they said I'm out of warranty so they could not help me. Shame.

My last Audi I'll ever own.
 

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you were right @findalex, it's the water pump housing + thermostat. Just got it checked by Audi mechanic. Found the source and leak is from the housing/flange.

He said water pump itself is working and fluid is flowing through but housing is made of plastic so it wears off eventually apparently it's designed to fail.

Didn't expect this from Audi/VW starting to think their quality is worse than BMW & Benz. I'm shocked with such quality.

Update - mechanic's supplier didn't have the part so went to Audi and bought it.
Costed - £269.

they said I'm out of warranty so they could not help me. Shame.

My last Audi I'll ever own.
I would not be so dramatic mate. Get this fixed and see how the car goes. EVERY car brand has some stupid problems and this site helps you to highlight and understand the defects that we share, as enthusiastic users. But if you visit other forums they ALL have silly problems. Your car is 5 years old so this one is not toooooooooooooo bad, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would not be so dramatic mate. Get this fixed and see how the car goes. EVERY car brand has some stupid problems and this site helps you to highlight and understand the defects that we share, as enthusiastic users. But if you visit other forums they ALL have silly problems. Your car is 5 years old so this one is not toooooooooooooo bad, I think.
Thanks I have already. :)
Have a good day!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
just an Update after putting new thermostat housing in, still leaking coolant somewhere else.. now could someone please help me understand where else it could be leaking as I've definitely seen coolant drop since yesterday.
I'm gonna drop off the car again to mechanic. just puzzles me.

The old thermostat housing pic attached.
 

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One way is to pressure check it. You need a kit that adds pressure to the coolant lines and then you watch for where the coolant comes out. You could also add coolant dye that glow when you apply UV dye to it.

One thing about the TSI water pump is that there is very little clearance with the rubber gaskets that make the seal. You should replace all the o-rings/seals and also the cooler hose connector (here) while you're at it because they harden over time and won't comform to the new housing/connectors.

Finally, I agree with you all the German car makers have gone cheap with plastic everything. They're cheaper to make and barely make it past the warranty period. They're not made to last any more (1980's to 1990's)... now it's just long enough so they don't have to fix it for free under warranty.

All my family's Japanese cars (Honda, Toyota, Lexus) have never leaked one drop of coolant nor oil (over 10 cars in the last 30 years). Some are 13 years old with over 150K miles.

All my VAG cars (Golf, A3, A5) started to leak something (oil, coolant, vacuum) before 60K miles. And don't get me started on the transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One way is to pressure check it. You need a kit that adds pressure to the coolant lines and then you watch for where the coolant comes out. You could also add coolant dye that glow when you apply UV dye to it.

One thing about the TSI water pump is that there is very little clearance with the rubber gaskets that make the seal. You should replace all the o-rings/seals and also the cooler hose connector (here) while you're at it because they harden over time and won't comform to the new housing/connectors.

Finally, I agree with you all the German car makers have gone cheap with plastic everything. They're cheaper to make and barely make it past the warranty period. They're not made to last any more (1980's to 1990's)... now it's just long enough so they don't have to fix it for free under warranty.

All my family's Japanese cars (Honda, Toyota, Lexus) have never leaked one drop of coolant nor oil (over 10 cars in the last 30 years). Some are 13 years old with over 150K miles.

All my VAG cars (Golf, A3, A5) started to leak something (oil, coolant, vacuum) before 60K miles. And don't get me started on the transmissions.
Thank you again for all your help @findalex.
I'm now at a brink of selling the vehicle off and getting a reliable Lexus or Toyota.
I wish I hadn't sold my Mazda. Not a single problem since I had owned it.

Some Audi fans might disagree but this has been my experience of just 6 months of owning a german car.

I'll check with my mechanic and tell him to do all the necessary checks which you have suggested now.

Lets see.
 

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Thank you again for all your help @findalex.
I'm now at a brink of selling the vehicle off and getting a reliable Lexus or Toyota.
I wish I hadn't sold my Mazda. Not a single problem since I had owned it.

Some Audi fans might disagree but this has been my experience of just 6 months of owning a german car.

I'll check with my mechanic and tell him to do all the necessary checks which you have suggested now.

Lets see.
Mazda is a rising star for sure. They've fixed their transmission issues by making their own instead of buying from Nissan, and their Active engines have been fairly reliable (just not the most recent ones with auto-stop-start feature).

The recent Honda turbo engines have oil dillution problem (very bad). And the most recent Toyota CVT with launch gear is going through recalls in the U.S. and now I hear over 1 million Toyota's and Lexus's are having their fuel pump recalled because it's a bad design.

The car makers have become complacent on quality and instead is focusing on latest/greatest new technologies that will inevitably have growing pains. The new Toyota CEO wants the cars to be "sexy and hi-tech" not "reliable but boring". I think we are seeing the beginning of the downfall of Japanese car makers.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Mazda is a rising star for sure. They've fixed their transmission issues by making their own instead of buying from Nissan, and their Active engines have been fairly reliable (just not the most recent ones with auto-stop-start feature).

The recent Honda turbo engines have oil dillution problem (very bad). And the most recent Toyota CVT with launch gear is going through recalls in the U.S. and now I hear over 1 million Toyota's and Lexus's are having their fuel pump recalled because it's a bad design.

The car makers have become complacent on quality and instead is focusing on latest/greatest new technologies that will inevitably have growing pains. The new Toyota CEO wants the cars to be "sexy and hi-tech" not "reliable but boring". I think we are seeing the beginning of the downfall of Japanese car makers.
Your quite right there.
100% Agree.
Hard to find a car manufacturer these days which are reliable as back in the days when tech was little to none, only mechanical.

I'm really into bikes rather than cars, but this time thought will treat myself to a nice car finally. Which cars have you owned in the past? @findalex
 

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Thank you again for all your help @findalex.
I'm now at a brink of selling the vehicle off and getting a reliable Lexus or Toyota.
I wish I hadn't sold my Mazda. Not a single problem since I had owned it.

Some Audi fans might disagree but this has been my experience of just 6 months of owning a german car.

I'll check with my mechanic and tell him to do all the necessary checks which you have suggested now.

Lets see.
Hey Shez

I understand your frustrations. It can be any car - any make that gives you grief. My first A5 had lots of gremlins:
  • Waterpump fell out on motorway (~£700 repair bill!)
  • Both window regs failed
  • Heating/ aircon circulation modules broke
  • Aftermarket wheels (came with car) had cracks in them
  • I'm sure there were other things too!
The A5 i currently have has had no issues. Everything works (don't speak too soon!). Both A5s, both different.

If the water leak is the only issue (its not head gasket, it can be solved) then you've probably got a good car once you're over this hurdle. It'll all work out fine! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey Shez

I understand your frustrations. It can be any car - any make that gives you grief. My first A5 had lots of gremlins:
  • Waterpump fell out on motorway (~£700 repair bill!)
  • Both window regs failed
  • Heating/ aircon circulation modules broke
  • Aftermarket wheels (came with car) had cracks in them
  • I'm sure there were other things too!
The A5 i currently have has had no issues. Everything works (don't speak too soon!). Both A5s, both different.

If the water leak is the only issue (its not head gasket, it can be solved) then you've probably got a good car once you're over this hurdle. It'll all work out fine! :)
Hi @savs,
I hope so... Its a beautiful looking car + driving dynamics may not be better as BMW but certainly better with other aspects such as AWD(Quattro).
Car keeps well planted on the curvy roads and bends.
Absolute joy to drive specially with S-tronic gearbox.

When you've already spent all that money on all 4-brand new tyres + Major servicing (S-tronic oil change etc) and then coming to terms with this coolant leak issue. I guess it would make any car owner unhappy. Lets hope its only that issue. I've now got a courtesy car at least to get to work & back.
Only time will tell whats the actual issue. Still waiting on my mechanic to get back to me.

I can most definitely say - your positiveness has certainly made my mood bit better. :)

Touch wood. Which year is your current A5 Coupe 3.0 TDi, Tip, S-Line, if I may ask?
 

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I have found the most reliable models are the one as far away from the 1st year of the new generation as possible.

I had a 2001 VW Golf that was 2 years from new generation (1999 in USA) and it had lots of problems (windows, brakes, A/C, LCA, drive axle, thermostat, coolant flange, etc., etc.)

My 2009 Audi A3 TFSI was a face-lift so looks different but same mechanics for 5 years. Solid car with very little problem in 5 years I had it except for the S-tronic.

Also have a 2013 A5 face-lift. 81K miles and only big repair so far is waterpump.

Finally, a 2013 Audi A3 TDI with CR TDI engine (post face-lift, new generation HPFP). The last model year before the new generation. It was flawless. VW/Audi had finally figured out the S-tronic.
 
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