Mechanic issues surprising warning to Volkswagen/Audi drivers during repair

@royaltyautoservice/TikTok ricochet64/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Every VW/Audi owner should be aware of this problem’: Mechanic issues surprising warning to Audi drivers during repair

'I learned something new.'


Phil West


Posted on May 1, 2024   Updated on Apr 29, 2024, 11:01 am CDT

A mechanic working on a 2012 Audi A5 was looking for a leak and found it in a rather surprising place, issuing a warning applying to Volkswagen as well as Audi drivers.

The video comes courtesy of Royalty Auto Service (@royaltyautoservice), a Georgia auto shop that’s gained a fair bit of virality online for its car repair videos. This one, which went up on Wednesday, has more than 263,000 views, and included the on-screen caption, “Every VW/Audi Owner Should Be Aware of This Problem.”

The video begins with Sherwood, one of the principal mechanics in the video series, hooking up a smoke machine to the Audi in the hopes of finding where the leak might be coming from, as the car is running “lean.”

He notes, “Normally we’re looking on intake manifolds and things like that,” but then reveals that the smoke is actually coming from the rear main seal underneath the car.

A Reddit forum on car maintenance, titled r/StupidCarQuestions, had one Redditor claiming that Jiffy Lube estimated repairs could cost as much as $1,200 for the leak. Other users chimed in to first warn against trusting a Jiffy Lube diagnosis, but putting it more in the realm of $1,000.

Sherwood did note, in his video, “This is very common on these things,” adding that if they’re left unchecked, oil can drain out of the engine and it can create an extremely troublesome situation for car owners.

He put it on a lift to show the underside of the car, where smoke from the diagnostic smoke machine is clearly, visibly escaping.

@royaltyautoservice A different kind of vaccum leak.. #volkswagen #audi #vw #mechaniclife #mechanicsoftiktok #automotive #cartok #viral #tips #fix #car #engine #fyp #foryou #technician #tool ♬ Storytelling – Adriel

The car in question, according to U.S. News and World Report, “Gets 21/29 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is fairly good for the class. Test drivers wrote that the A5 is more of a touring car than a high-performance machine, with a comfortable ride and solid handling. Reviewers said the brakes are strong and the steering is accurate, though some complained that the steering effort is too light at low speeds and too heavy at high speeds.”

Commenters had their own thoughts about rear main seal repairs.

“VW master tech here, you also need a PCV breather,” one offered. “The breather fails, causes the crankcase to pressurize, then blow out seals. Rear main is the most common.”

Another said, “Yessir you are spot on. Breather goes bad and blows out the rear main. Always replace the breather with the plugs at 80k. My recommendation anyway.”

Someone else said, “I feel like I’m an Audi mechanic after this video. Dad is a real mechanic. Great diagnosis.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Royalty Auto Service via Facebook message and to Audi via email.

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*First Published: May 1, 2024, 9:00 am CDT