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Audi V6 Coolant Transfer Pipe Leak — Causes and Fixes

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Both Volkswagen and Audi make some good cars. There’s no denying that. However, just like many other brands out there, Audi/VW has fallen into the trap of cutting costs, often in all the wrong places. Granted, they haven’t gone as far as some, but this mindset is obvious when you take a closer look at some of their engines. 

The VW/Audi engines used in VAG cars from roughly 2001 to 2009, were engineered with a coolant transfer pipe (OE reference 022121050) made entirely of plastic, and the good kind either. This pipe is known to fail over time, causing a coolant leak that is often difficult to spot. Here’s what you can do to fix it permanently.

What Is a Coolant Transfer Pipe, and Why Does It Fail? 

This generation of VAG engines is full of plastic coolant pipes. However, the one we’re talking about today is the coolant transfer pipe that connects the water pump to the thermostat. It’s a straight piece of pipe that has the misfortune of sitting right next to the engine. As such, it is exposed to vicious hot and cold cycles, courtesy of the engine block and the hot coolant. 

The issue with this pipe is the plastics it’s made of. After years of heat cycling, the material becomes so brittle that it is almost guaranteed to spring a leak. Sometimes they fail gradually, but sometimes they tend to develop a large leak that will leave your engine without coolant if ignored for too long. 

How to Spot a Coolant Transfer Pipe Leak? 

Coolant leaks can be tough to diagnose, especially if they’re coming from an obscure place. You’ll see a small pool of coolant on the ground, but that isn’t always indicative of where the leak is coming from. Things are made even more complicated by different Audi/VW engine designs/orientations.

On something like a VW VR6 engine, the coolant transfer pipe, or crack pipe as it is also called, is located under the intake manifold, at the very front of the engine. The situation is more or less the same with Audi models. 

Depending on the car you drive, you might have to disassemble the entire front end to actually reach the coolant transfer pipe and have it replaced. It’s not an easy job, but it’s necessary if this part has failed. 

Check the Coolant Transfer Pipe Periodically 

If you’re looking for a VW/Audi vehicle that features this type of coolant transfer pipe, it’s in your best interest to have it inspected before you make the purchase, or right after. In fact, if the previous owner never changed this part, it’s a good idea to swap it out preemptively. 

Unfortunately for most owners of these cars, it’s not a matter of if, but when the original pipe will fail. The VW/Audi community calls this component “the crack pipe,” mainly because of how often it, well, cracks. Sure, it’s not an easy process to replace the coolant transfer pipe, but you’re far better off swapping it out on your own terms, instead of waiting for it to fail, potentially catastrophically. 

Choosing the Right Part 

Speaking of replacing the coolant transfer pipe, there are two things you can do. You can get the genuine VW/Audi part that is pretty much of the same quality as the one that came with the car. Or, you can go with a proven aftermarket alternative that solves this issue once and for all. We strongly recommend the latter and for a good reason. 

Uro Parts is a company that specializes in the development of niche replacement parts for European vehicles. They are known for identifying factory issues and engineering solutions that go beyond the car manufacturer’s standard.

In this particular case, Uro has designed a coolant transfer pipe made completely out of aluminum that is resistant to temperature cycling. With 022 121 050-PRM coolant transfer pipe from Uro, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to deal with any leaks in the future. 

If you’re wondering how well this part fits, rest assured that it fits every bit as well as the genuine VW/Audi part. Uro has built this coolant transfer pipe to perfectly match the OE specifications in terms of fit. It’s a simple mod that solves a potentially serious issue. 

Check Out Our Selection of Uro Parts

Here at eEuroparts.com, we value good craftsmanship, especially when it works to solve widespread issues like the one discussed above. Because of this, Uro Parts has been a staple in our catalog for a long time. You can find their aluminum coolant transfer pipe in our product lineup, along with other solutions that they offer. 

 

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