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If it running hot you should cut engine off. Have someone check the coolant level. Call the shop that worked on your car to let them know that there is a problem.
If the bearing is bad I would not want the libilty of doing and brake work. But to be sure you can take your car to another shop for a second opinion.
In my opinion they never need to be flushed.
Don't rule out the battery. Have it tested. Lights take very little amperage....starter motor needs much more battery than lights do. Most jumper cables folks have are junk and are useless if battery in vhehicle is weak.
If you are suscribed to On-Star you can call them and they can unlock remotely. There are companys thart will come and unlock your car for a service fee also.
System has pressure cut off switches if system pressures are too high or too low. Best take it back to whomever did the A/C work so they can check it.
Whole system would not need to be replaced. Components of system can fail or wear out. Need to have it diagnosed and repaired. Common fault is the ignition lock cylinder has very small wires going to the part that senses your key and break with age. New keys with a replacement lock cylinder are the most common repair.
The generic codes you have are of little help. Suggest you find someone that can pull factory codes. Sounds like you have a electronic thottle control problem...but you probaly already are aware of that. Lots of shops have the Ross-Tech Vag Com that can pull the codes needed to diagnose. Part stores can only pull generic codes.
Is it a no crank condition when it happens or does the starter crank and engine will not run? Cold weather can cause a weak battery to fail in colder tempuatures and you will have radio and lights etc. but not enough amperage for starter to crank. Since it has happened only 2 times it still could be a coincidence that it was cold when it happened. Have battery tested would be easy thing to check. Its at the age that they normally fail.
Many exhaust specilist or some folks call muffler shops can cut and weld a pipe in place.