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AudiDoc
AudiDoc, Independent Audi Shop Owner
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 6456
Experience:  I've been working on Audis since I was 18 and own an independent Audi repair and performance shop
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Audi A4 Quattro: I have a very slow leak in my heater core

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I have a very slow leak in my heater core on 97 A4 Quattro. I live where I rarely need a heater. Can I delay replacement of the core by driving with the heater off? There is no moisture or odor in the passenger area floorboards.

AudiDoc :

Hello, I'm Jason. I will do my best to answer your question quickly and accurately using the information you have provided.

AudiDoc :

You can bypass the heater core at the firewall by installing a u-shaped pipe so that it just recirculates back into the engine

AudiDoc :

but without doing that, it will still leak

AudiDoc :

I also do NOT recommend any sort of additive to stop the leak

Customer:

I gather that means there is no heater control valve on this car that shuts off flow to the heater? I'm leaving on a trip soon, and hate to spend $1500 - $2300 (dealer estimate) to replace the core. I might get it done when I get back because they want a week to replace it.

AudiDoc :

correct, heat flow is controlled by an air flap inside the car

AudiDoc :

there is no water valve of any sort

Customer:

Do you feel I should not drive it on a long trip without replacement?

AudiDoc :

if it's leaking currently, without a bypass, I would hesitate to drive it

Customer:

Right now the leak is not noticeable. I add coolant about every 4-6 months.

AudiDoc :

oh, that's very minor

AudiDoc :

that wouldn't concern me greatly

Customer:

Thanks Jason. I have great AAA coverage, so I'll just keep a close eye on fluid level during the trip.

AudiDoc :

ok, sounds great. Glad to help

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