Audi A3 BKD intercooler hose popped off

Woe is me, the car decided to exhale it’s air

OK, a car breakdown is NOT what I wanted to happen to me coming home from work tonight.

Luckily, it happened shortly after I left work, which means I managed to pull over somewhere safe.

I pulled over somewhere quick and had a spy in the engine. I needed to work on the car so limped into a car park at Aldi.

Damaged charge pipe

My old charge pipe


What happened next?

I then set about jacking up the car using the OEM scissor jack (verryyyyy sketchy and scary), and removed the underbody shield on the car.

Once it was removed, I could see the hose was disconnected. Great, a boost pipe collapsed. It’s always good when you quickly find the source of the problem (albeit irritating).

I reconnected and started the engine revved it a few times. Sounds good.

Now. Time for the journey home, wish me luck. I hoofed it inside the car park, and all seemed good so started the long drive home

Nope, no you don’t

Well. Bye goes that idea, within 500 metres of driving, another loud bang and FOOOOO (video from dashcam below).

Hose popped off and car ran like absolute shit again with the loud expulsion of air. I knew the pipe had already collapsed. Queue a slow and embarrasing limp along a dual carriage way… ah not good. Pulled over somewhere safe.

Here’s the problem I experienced. I was driving towards a roundabout then all I heard was a loud and loud FOOOOO sound along with a very quick expulsion of air. I’m not a mechanic, but I immediately suspected I had a boost pipe collapse or come off the car.

Video example of popped intercooler hose

I checked my Dashcam was recording, this is what it sounds like when the boost hose pops off the car

What now?

Sod it. I didn’t risk it a 3rd time. I rang a recovery truck company and had my car towed home (was £70), but I bunged him £80 as a thank you. (Moos Motors if you’re based in North East England – he’s called Steven, they’re on Facebook). We had a good old natter on the way home.

Anyway, whilst I was waiting. I did some googling. Turns out the hoses tend to blow, because the little clips holding them in place tend to wear down over time and once they fail, they just keep popping. Some people use self tapping screws to do the job and have had some success. Generally speaking once the hose fails however, you’re buggered and you need a new one, and new clips.

I didn’t want to keep putting it on the car, because:

  • I had a long drive home, and it would be too risky
  • Each time the hose pops off, it can damage the intercooler. Safer to not risk it, than cause more damage

Next steps

Finally managed to get the car home, and pulled off the hose. The pictures above show the damage to the locking pins on it. Clearly the pipe is F.U.B.A.R and ain’t worth it. I’ll be buying / pricing a new pipe and clips up from the dealer. If they’re too much, eBay will be my friend. I usually buy Febi Blistein gear because it’s German quality and had no issues so far.

EDIT – eBay was my friend, pipe from dealer is ~ £120. I suspected closer to £150, but I was only going to buy the pipe if I couldn’t source an alternative, or it was around £75. I aint paying that much for a pipe. Bought all the parts I needed on eBay (Clips, Pipe, O-Ring) for £65

The silver lining in all this thinking back on it however, is that I think I’ve found the source of my power problems that I wrote about a while back. I suspect what has been happening, was that the pipe was loosing connection and I was temporarily losing boost on the car. It makes sense because high speed = more air flow = more pressure.

Basically the engine has been going under load, losing power then reconnecting after a temporary drop

The symptoms however have just got worse over time and the part has eventually failed. To be fair, I’m glad it failed where it did and not somewhere like a dual carriageway or motorway. That would be a lot riskier to work on.

I don’t know if this is the source of my problems, but I’ll be able to do some testing afterwards and see if it resolves it, then I’ll follow up both posts.

EDIT2 – I don’t think it’s fixed the issue (related to intermittent power issues), so more testing required. Either that or I have a boost leak elsewhere. I’ll update this post if I ever figure out more information. It fixed my hose problems related to this post however!

Do you have this problem yourself and need to fix it?

Here are links (affiliated ofcourse) I earn a commission if you make a purchase with them them. Of the items I used to carry out the repair on my car. I’ve also listed the part numbers if you need to search them (they are specific for my model 8P Audi A3 Sportback), although they’re used across families in the range. I’m posting them here mainly to help you if you need to find them.

I suspect you can use the same retaining clips, as the part numbers are the same just newer variants. I haven’t tested this though, as I just ordered what I needed for my car.

  • 1J0145769H (Retaining Clip for Intercooler at front of engine)
  • 1K0145832E (Charge air pipe) – This is the part that fails
  • 3C0145117H  (O-Ring Intercooler pipe at front of engine – 61.9MM) – Not needed if replacing hose itself
  • 3C0145117F (O-Ring Intercooler pipe going towards rear – 57.85MM) – Not needed if replacing hose itself
  • (Retaining Clip for Intercooler pipe at rear of engine) – There are two variants for this, you need to check your car to verify the right one to use

For the above clip, I’ve put in the original numbers I made a note of. You will have to check your car to make sure you get the right one. The clip I purchased was the wrong one. As the OEM clip the prongs were facing the same direction, the clip I purchased the pronges were facing opposite direction. Make note of my mistake, so you don’t make the same one. 

The letters above at the end of the clips are usually the versions. If you can’t find it based on the code number, try just typing it without the variant, you should find results. 

If you’re unlucky enough to have this problem with your car, then hopefully the above will help you fix it. I’m busy designing a file for a doggie clamp to mate up to it. Factory boost shouldn’t really have a problem, it tends to affect high boost more. I want to eliminate potential leaks on the car though

So. Sometimes shit happens, you just have to deal with it, it’s not really we want to happen, but it’s better to work on it now than later. I’ll be happy getting the car back to full operational power again