2012 Audi A6: Drove through modest puddle and now New Engine?


fender breather box. notice inlet on bottom of box?


It certainly appears to be a “bottom feeder”.


this is a pic of a similar make/model of my car. i had my bumper cover off to fix a big crack and kinda looked at that box and thought air restriction. but, it is also an air silencer. my car has a resonator, mid muffler and dual outlet mufflers. very quiet.


OK’s story reminded me, I don’t know why, just the 4WD and high water deal where some folks have little idea what that means. I followed a young girl into the farm store yesterday and after noticing the tattoos on her arms and legs, I noticed the message on the back of her T shirt: Gas, Clutch, Shift, Repeat. When my dad was teaching my older sister to drive our manual, he pasted a note with the “H” pattern diagram on the dash for her to look at.

Now back to stopping engines with a moisture detector, maybe like they’ve screwed up lawn mowers and miter saws with the instant blade brakes, they can have an instant engine brake. Should be worth an extra $10,000 on the MSRP at least. Then expand the list of sensors to make sure no one can get the hands close to a running engine.

Its just all for our own protection folks, but I see the day when helmets and fire suits will be required along with seat belts and flotation devices will be required for cars as well as boats.


Back in the day, not so much engineering went into most aspects of the car. Today is a lot different. Almost everything is engineered to perform some specific function or meet some specific set of criteria. That air inlet design is addressing several aspects of performance. In the old days, you could easily remove the air intake (and many did just that) and suffer no adverse consequences. Today, that construction is designed to provide air in a way that contributes to engine performance (pulse charging, reduction of resonance for proper flow as well as reduces audible noise, etc). It’s easy to underestimate its purpose and think- I’m going to rip this contraption off my car so it can breathe better! and end up doing more harm than good…


It seems unlikely though. Very unlikely even if the air intake was below the bumper.


Oh, I don’t know about that. I would argue that much more was done in the way of engineering advancements in the 58 years between 1911 and 1969 than has been done in the 58 years between 1969 and now. Everything now is about regulatory compliance. Pre-1970 it was about building better cars.


I disagree. The electronic advancements alone in the last 30 years, not to mention the span you cited, far outpace anything prior. Better cars? The engineering horsepower applied over the last 50 years is orders of magnitude more than all prior. Just look at the car you buy today. It’s superior in every regard, not just mandatory compliance aspects.


I contend that a 1969 car is far more superior to a 1911 car than a 2017 car is to a 1969 car.

I think we’re just going to have to agree that we disagree on this one.


Of course it’s unlikely. But with millions of cars on the roads, unlikely things happen. How do you explain what happened?


A car from 1969 is perfectly usable for its intended purpose in 2017. It might not be as safe, clean, etc…but it can maintain highway speed, be reliable enough (if in good tune) to use as a commuter, etc.

OTOH, a 1911 car would have been “functionally obsolete” in 1969, let alone today. There’s roads you couldn’t take; you’d be hard-pressed to keep it functioning as a daily driver; you’d probably also need specialist training in how it operates to drive it safely (for example, often the rightmost pedal was a brake.)

Progress keeps on progressing, but at a reduced rate. It’s somewhat logarithmic; starts out steep and flattens out as the tech “matures,” but never stops entirely.


A lot of the technology in today’s cars we take for granted. Even crumple zones did not exist in 1969. Or unit body construction, or air bags or electro-mechanical shocks and on and on. I would say the opposite, the technological curve is accelerating on vehicles, not flattening out. The engineering tools that can be brought to bear on every aspect of development is formidable compared to years past. And we’re finding new ways to apply technology that didn’t even exist before. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon either…


Re. 1911 cars vs 1969, there were big technological jumps from the world wars, then slower progress.
If there’s WWIII we’ll be back to walking.


TT, we could go on, and on, and on, and on with this debate. I choose not to.
We disagree. Period.
Have a nice day.


I wasn’t replying to you as evidenced by the lack of a reply icon to you.
I was commenting in general about meanjoe’s post above mine regarding the development curve. Perhaps you can not be so quick to the gun…



Where’s the opening on that thing? I blew that picture up to 250% and all I see is that monster black tube coming down and turning inward at the bottom. Is the air coming in from that rectangular-looking part that appears to be pointing toward the firewall, or is it really at the very bottom near the radiator? And if it’s at the bottom, is that the equivalent of a P-trap in a plumbing drain pipe?


So there you go … there’s one possible solution.

What if you designed in a P-trap on the intake pipe to detect the water? Would that be a performance hit otherwise because the air intake would have that elbow restriction?

As far was suddenly turning off the engine, what happens if you’re barreling down the highway at 70+ mph, the driver suddenly suffers a heart attack or stroke, and you (the passenger) reach over and turn the key to kill the engine (while, of course, trying to steer and somehow apply the brake, too)?


I can’t explain, I can only speculate. And I speculate that the situation was significantly more dramatic than has been related here. Possibly water above the center of the wheel allowing for ingestion into the breater box where it became a heavy spray that was smothering the engine which prompted the driver to repeatedly get very deep into the accelerator in a desperate effort to continue moving, hoping to move clear of the standing water. And of course if the RPMs momentarily spiked excessively and a piston with a significant gulp of water approached TDC there would be some heavy damage. But I feel somewhat certain that the situation included more than a puddle of water and a desperate effort to keep the car running and moving to get out of the water.

But that’s just my personal best guess. Will we evern know what THE REST OF THE STORY really is? Probably not.


I cannot imagine the amount of maintenance and repairs for keeping a 70’s era car up to 180k miles and consider it reliable enough to do our 1000 mile road trip twice a year. Sure you could fix anything along the way, but at 180k miles so far on my 03, sure a breakdown can happen anytime anywhere, but we’re gonna do it anyway. Would take the newer car but 2 dogs and towing the boat to and from the launch makes it a matter of convenience at the moment, keep your fingers crossed for me.


Would the crankshaft immediately stop if the car is going 70? I wouldn’t think it would immediately stop due to stored momentum, though I have never tried this “experiment” myself…

FYI, if this happens, don’t shut off the engine, shift it into neutral instead so you don’t loose vacuum for the breaks or the power steering.