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Old 07-19-2010, 01:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Audi A4 possible head gasket failure?

I imagine this topic has been raised many many times before. I apologize a hundred times over for this repeat but I couldn't seem to find a topic that followed the scheme of my failure. So again, I apologize.

Here it goes..

I purchased a 98 Audi A4 roughly 6 months ago. It's a 30 valve 2.8 FWD. It only has 80k miles on it but has given me such an enormous amount of problems in these past 6 months that I've only been able to add 2000 miles to it. Over these past 6 months both axles, CV boots ripped open. Replaced both half shafts. Valve covers gaskets failed and leaked oil into the spark plug cylinders. Cleaned spark plug chambers and replaced valve cover gaskets with OEM gaskets.

Shortly after those two incidents, a small "S" shaped radiator hose blew from the expansion from the oil that leaked onto it from heating and cooling down over time. Replaced it. Never overheated. It was 28 degrees outside and the sensor picked up the missing coolant while on the highway. I was 2 miles from home going 80 mph.

Roughly two weeks later, I smelled oil coming from the air conditioner vent. Sure enough I get home, pop the hood and smoke. From the top, you cannot see the oil leak but its dripping from the bottom.

I had some estimates done on the cost of a head gasket replacement over the past 2 or 3 months, but the cost is unreasonable. Some have suggested I replace the engine. But given the fact there's only 80k on the block, I feel it could be a waste of time. Maybe I'm wrong, but who knows.

I drive it maybe a mile or two everyday since this issue came. Roughly two days ago I noticed a smell of gas. Not a terrible smell that made me nauseous, but enough to notice it coming in from the vent. I pulled the dip stick when I got home and noticed a smell of gas in the oil. Figured it could be my imagination, disregarded it. The next day, again. Smells like gas. Not sure what this could mean.

From what I've read and of general knowledge, I haven't encountered situations in which people smell gas in their oil due to a head gasket leak. Typically I've heard of murky white oil due to coolant.

Some were thinking it could be a rear main seal.(before the gas smell) At this point I'm clueless given the conditions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, is a head gasket job on a 30v 2.8 troublesome?(not enough room to work?) Would I need to pull the engine?

I really appreciate any and all help. **NOTE** It's not that I'm unwilling to perform an engine swap, it's just I'd probably end up getting an engine with even more miles than my current. Which seems rather unintelligent. Unless of course the heads are warped.. Then it'd probably be for the best.

Thank you again!

Regards,
Mike C.

Also Note** There is no form of blue or white smoke leaving through the exhaust pipe. There are no odd noises. No rough idle. The car runs incredibly smooth. No misfires. No Check English Light. Just the normal SAI whining on startup for 45 seconds or so, from age, I assume.

Last edited by mikeycee; 07-19-2010 at 01:40 AM.
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