Following the long and tedious process of changing out the old radiator and fiddling with hoses and thermostat housings, it was time to add water and see how it holds up!
… Or not. The water was added, but the holding up did not occur. I had picked up a vacuum-filler from Harbor Freight in order to test the vauum on the system as well as fill the system up without any air bubbles. This fails when there is an air leak in the system, and well, it failed. I had a lengthy session of tightening, replacing, cleaning, and re-tightening hose clamps. After narrowing down all the possibilities, there was only one culprit left for the air leak: The heater core. DOH!
Most people will have no experience with dealing with the heater core. I hadn’t either, and I knew this was going to be a real big project ahead. I did some research and consulted some very knowledgable buddies of mine (thanks Chapel) and realized I’d be in for about 1 to 2 hours worth of tear down of the front end and then double that for re-assembly. Sigh.
So I found the guide on 12v.org and got to work.
As a bonus, I got to watch the Stanley Cup finals while I was at it! I won’t go through all the steps, but here are some of the pics I managed to snap along the way.
Okay, maybe I forgot to take pictures along the way, so this is more of a post-execution wounded-Audi gallery. After getting the heater core box out, it was immediately evident what the problem was.
What you are seeing here is a cracked and attempted-repair, then re-cracked heater box case. Ugh. I promptly ordered a new one (Around $70 on Ebay, luckily!). I already have a new heater core to go in and blower fan, so now I have to wait until that arrives and then put it all together and re-assemble it all! After that, the car should no longer have any overheating problems… Should.