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Volkswagen Passat Sludge Issues

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yup, you got that right. Of course it doesn't help matters that some dealers haven't even figured this out yet. :-/

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Too true, that. Also doesn't help that the list VWoA has posted has so many oils that aren't available in North America, or have different formulations in different world markets. But having the dealership network unaware of, or overriding, VWAG's recommendations or requirements is just unacceptable.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Incredibly, VWoA took down the link to 502.00 spec oils. Well, that was bright...
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Found a list on Audi's USA website:

    Audi List of 502.00 Oils
  • odwyerodwyer Posts: 1
    2002 VW Passat GLX V6

    oil in cooling system, flushed using liquid detergent, system refilled but engine light keeps coming on for low coolant, Engine temp guage is reading 190, could low coolant sensor be clogged , where is it located ?

    Is it easy to change thermostat?

    Thanks
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Low coolant sensor is located at the bottom of the coolant reservoir.

    Thermostat is not easy to change.

    Did you find out why and correct the problem with oil into the coolant?
  • I also got "stuck" with a 2000 passat that has been nothing but problems; if it's not one thing it's another! I will never ever buy a volkswagon again! no air conditioner, they sold me the car with the compressor damaged...no I did not have anyone check the lemon, I feel that the dealer should also be honest with a buyer...the car was bought in October and we did not "turn" on the air conditioner, anyways, it's been nothing but a migraine. I feel like a I have a Christmas car with all these lights going on all the time!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The problem here is that you bought a used car with a questionable maintenance history by the previous owner(s) and questionable usage history (i.e. was it driven abusively). Shame on the dealer that sold it to you for peddling such a car and not making it whole when it broke, shame on you for not doing your homework before you bought it.

    What I don't get in all of this is how/why you blame Volkswagon for the problems. :confuse:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I don't think any of your current issues are related to sludge.
  • I had this problem with my VW Passat 2002 at 100,000 miles my engine died. When I took to the dealership they said tough luck unless you have all of oil changes within 5,000 miles. I had most of my records but who really keeps all of their records. What I did was I went to the local auto body shop where I usually got my oil change and asked him if he could "create a couple of missing oil change receipts". He said not a problem, I took all of my receipts to VW and they put in a new engine. It did take a little arguing with vw about this however, they are obligated to replace your engine if you have your receipts.

    Hope this helps you all-
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    What oil(s) were you using?
    What do you use now?

    Krzys
  • I feel your pain!!! I own a 2003 1.8T Passat and have recently experienced the whole sludge problem.....even though the VW garage I had to have it towed to will not admit it. Their reasoning for that is that there is alot wrong with the car. Well ya there is now due to the sludge problem. So now that there is $4000 worth of damage they are not taking any responsibility. I have contacted my finance company because they have a vested interest in this car to see if maybe they can get VW to take responsibility for this. I have receipts for timely oil changes and 2 additional mechanics who tell me that all of this is due to the sludge. What I don't understand is how VW can not post a recall when they are fully aware of the problem??? Anybody got an answer for that? I get a recall for a brake switch which is sort of important but surely not disabling!!! So now my poor car sits in my yard waiting for me to fix it or sell it for parts. Not sure I even want to put that kind of money into it. Oh, and by the way, I priced out the parts for this repair, and I can buy it all for $260!!!!! What do they think we are? Total idiots!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I have receipts for timely oil changes..."

    Timely oil changes with what? Do your receipts prove that the folks who changed your oil used synthetic oil that meets the VW 502.00 oil standard? If they don't then you're probably out of luck as your car was lubricated with substandard oil.

    "...2 additional mechanics who tell me that all of this is due to the sludge. What I don't understand is how VW can not post a recall when they are fully aware of the problem??? Anybody got an answer for that?"

    The extra warranty they've offered on the 1.8T engines requires both timely oil changes and proper oil. As a general rule (and many folks here can support this), if you used proper oil, you engine won't sludge.

    "Oh, and by the way, I priced out the parts for this repair, and I can buy it all for $260!!!!! What do they think we are? Total idiots!"

    Chances are pretty good that if your engine is truely sludged, you need far more than $260 in parts (not to mention LOTS of labor) to repair the car.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • frannefranne Posts: 2
    I am the unfortunate owner of a 2002 passat station wagon. The car is currently at the dealer being "flushed" with the VW authorized "kit" designed to fix the infamous sludge problem common in the 1.8T engine. I am fortunate that VW is paying the tab on this repair, but quite frankly, that is the least they can do after inflicting this disaster of an engine on the public. Has anyone had any experience with this repair? What is the long term prognosis for this engine after the "flush". I am trying to decide whether to keep the car or not, and your feedback may help me decide. I have lost confidence in the car in particular and volkswagon in general. I will never purchase another of their vehicles.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I am the unfortunate owner of a 2002 passat station wagon. The car is currently at the dealer being "flushed" with the VW authorized "kit" designed to fix the infamous sludge problem common in the 1.8T engine."

    No, the flush won't "fix" anything, what it will do (supposedly) is remove much of the sludge that is threatening the life of your engine.

    "I am fortunate that VW is paying the tab on this repair, but quite frankly, that is the least they can do after inflicting this disaster of an engine on the public."

    That's a bit extreme. As many owners will attest, if you (or the original owner) had maintained it per the VWoA recommendations, it wouldn't have sludged in the first place. There are folks on this board that have over 100,000 sludge free miles on their 1.8T engines, and all they did was follow the oil specification guidelines and made sure that oil met the VW 502.00 or the even more stringent 503.01 oil specs.

    "Has anyone had any experience with this repair? What is the long term prognosis for this engine after the "flush". I am trying to decide whether to keep the car or not, and your feedback may help me decide."

    I have yet to hear of this procedure, however, if it is truly approved by VW (unverified at this point), and does in the end remove the sludge clogging up critical components, then your engine should be in pretty good shape. From here on in, just make sure that A) you use the proper oil, and B) you have said oil changed often enough. Do that and you should be good to go for a long-long time.

    "I have lost confidence in the car in particular and volkswagon in general. I will never purchase another of their vehicles."

    I've got to tell you, that almost smacks of you blaming VW for what sounds like your (or the original owner's) incorrect and/or insufficient maintenance habits. Yes, no? If that's the case then I'm having a difficult time understanding your rancor.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • frannefranne Posts: 2
    Obviously Volkswagen is paying for the car repair which should tell you that all maintenance has and was performed on schedule and as directed.

    Back to my question, does this repair work ???
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Nope, not so obvious at all. Many (and I do mean MANY) dealerships decided to buy bulk oil on the cheap, oil that didn't even come close to meeting even the minimum 502.00 oil standard, as a means of increasing their profit. Sadly it seems, there are dealerships that still adhere to this practice (one just turned up on these boards just a few months ago).

    Reading between the lines here, it sounds like you had your car serviced at your local dealership, and they put crap oil in your engine. Since you've (apparently) been able to prove that the car was serviced "on schedule", then the only remaining issue is the quality of the oil used at each change. My bet is that they (your dealer and not VW) know very well that the sludging is their fault and they are offering you this free sludge removal process. Personally, I'm more than a bit skeptical that this is going to work as I have yet to hear of this process, and I've been following this issue for a number of years now.

    Were I in your shoes, I'd do a couple of things:
    1) Go through your oil service receipts and log exactly what kind of oil was put in your engine. If the receipts don't specifically indicate that (and they may very well not), then I would ask your dealership what kind of oil they use for oil changes. Unless they can prove (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that they've been using 502.00 certified oil in your engine, you've got them on a potentially actionable (from a legal perspective) breach.
    2) Once the sludge remediation process is complete and you have your car back, I suggest that you take it to a good independent European car mechanic and have him/her give the engine a quick once over. If there is still evidence of engine sludge, I'd demand a new engine. If your dealership can prove that they used the proper oil, they can most likely have VW pay for the new mill, however, if they cannot (my bet), you can force them to put in a new engine on the grounds that they used inferior oil when servicing your car. That said, you may need the help of a lawyer to emphasize that you are holding them liable for how they serviced your car.

    So, does this repair work? Like I wrote above, I'm skeptical to say the least.

    Good luck, keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I purchased my 2004 VW Passat 1.8T on 11/14/2004 in FL and dealership titled the vehicle prior to my purchase of it and placed it in service as a rental car. My paperwork indicates I purchased a NEW never titled vehicle and I am having severe warranty issues. Drivers door switch defective that is making my car act very crazy; also had the brake light switch problem that has been fixed. STOP ENGINE light came on in 3/07 and had it towed to dealership. They told me bad battery. Now again STOP ENGINE is on and they say "sludge" and since not under warranty, it is my problem. I see the letter indicating a warranty extension for this vehicle but the letter I never received since I bought it after the August letter was sent. They never told me about a sludge problem but are denying any warranty on my vehicle. Anything I can do? 30K miles only and they are telling me that the car is going to just blow up and that there is NOTHING I can do....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Have you had your oil and filter serviced on schedule (per your Owner's Manual) every 5,000 miles? If so, have you had the proper oil (VW Spec 502.00 synthetic oil) put in the engine? If you can answer "Yes" to both, then you should be covered under the warranty extension.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • There are a lot of posts on this topic here, so I will just talk about my experience with it. I owned a 2003 Passat GLS 1.8t. I sold it to my girlfriend on December 20, 2007. She insisted on buying it because of how meticulouly maintained it is. Anyway, After the break-in oil was drained after 5,000 miles, I gave my VW tech Mobile 1 synthetic oil to replace it. He, and the service writer said, "VW does not recommend synthetic oil for this car." I continued to use it anyway. A year later, in 2004, there was sign behind the service writer's desk that stated "All 1.8T engines require synthetic oil." I also received the update to the owner's manual. I am so glad I did not listen to the tech.

    I am not sure if this is true, but I have heard the sludging has a little to do with the small oil pan used on longitudinally mounted 1.8Ts. That's why the Golfs, Beetles and Jettas do not have the problem (I haven't heard of it anyway). The transverse 1.8T has a bigger oil pan. I used synthetic because I was told by a local VW tuner shop, it extends the life of the turbo. I am glad I listened.

    Be warned...if you use synthetic oil after 20,000 miles of petrol based oil, you may experience oil leaks. I have seen this happen to a lot of Audi and VW vehicles with the 1.8T and a few V6s.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I am not sure if this is true, but I have heard the sludging has a little to do with the small oil pan used on longitudinally mounted 1.8Ts. That's why the Golfs, Beetles and Jettas do not have the problem (I haven't heard of it anyway). The transverse 1.8T has a bigger oil pan."

    Yup, the larger the oil capacity, the fewer times any given unit of oil circulates through the engine the longer it takes that oil to start breaking down.

    "I used synthetic because I was told by a local VW tuner shop, it extends the life of the turbo. I am glad I listened."

    Yeah, back in the 1980s when Chrysler was the largest producer of turbocharged gasoline engines in the world, I discovered that if you ran Mobil 1, the turbochargers would last indefinitely; however, the folks who didn't take my advice invariably had to have the turbocharger replaced before 70,000 miles (usually a lot before).

    "Be warned...if you use synthetic oil after 20,000 miles of petrol based oil, you may experience oil leaks. I have seen this happen to a lot of Audi and VW vehicles with the 1.8T and a few V6s."

    Well, that little tidbit has been repeated so often that many folks assume it is gospel, however, there is absolutely zero evidence to support that statement, VW engines or no. Many folks switch to synthetic oil for the first time with over 100,000 miles on their cars and even still they get no leaks.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Be warned...if you use synthetic oil after 20,000 miles of petrol based oil, you may experience oil leaks. I have seen this happen to a lot of Audi and VW vehicles with the 1.8T and a few V6s.

    Heh! I ran mine on 502.00 spec oil from the first oil change, later followed by using 503.00 spec. By 30,000 miles, I had a little seepage at the back of the valve cover. Didn't have anything to do with using synth after using dino juice...had a lot to do with the design and/or installation of the cover, since it's not an uncommon seepage site on the 1.8T.
  • I gave my VW tech Mobile 1 synthetic oil to replace it. He, and the service writer said, "VW does not recommend synthetic oil for this car." I continued to use it anyway. A year later, in 2004, there was sign behind the service writer's desk that stated "All 1.8T engines require synthetic oil." I also received the update to the owner's manual. I am so glad I did not listen to the tech.

    Which is precisely why I bring my own 503.01 spec oil with me to the dealer at each oil change... :shades:

    As a matter of fact, the only time I take my cars to the dealer is when I need an oil change or to have recall or TSB-related work done on it. I have a network of private VW mechanics that I go to for the heavier maintenance jobs that I don't have the tools/facilities for. Otherwise I do the rest of the maintenance myself...
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I had the same experience with my dealer when I brought my '03 Passat in for it's first oil change. I had read the owner's manual backward and forward, read a whole bunch of info on the web about oil and what the VW specs cited in the manual meant and came to the conclusion that I really had to use synth oil meeting 502.00. Interesttingly, without reading between the lines of the manual, you would never really understand that synthetic oil was required. The word "synthetic" is never mentioned.

    When I called the dealer to set the appt in early 2003, I was given a price that seemed too low for a synth oil change and asked what was used. It was, of course, 5w-30 bulk oil. The dealer never made a recommendation that I consider using synth. So I ran out and found that 502.00 wasn't that easy to find. I ended up using Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 for a couple of oil changes until a couple of my FLAP stores started carrying 0w-40 M1. I've used that ever since, along with the larger OEM filter. I always bring my own oil and I save every oil purchase and oil change receipt like they are religious relics.

    I am hoping that, along with giving the engine a few minutes of cooldown after harder driving (it all hilly here, so I pretty much do that every time I pull into the driveway), I will avoid the whole sludge issue.

  • When I called the dealer to set the appt in early 2003, I was given a price that seemed too low for a synth oil change and asked what was used. It was, of course, 5w-30 bulk oil.


    That's exactly what happened to me. That's when I began bringing in my own motor oil - Elf Excellium LDX 5w40 from germanautoparts.com (one of a handful of Group IV (non-hydrocracked PAO based) synthetic oils on VW's approved 502.00 list). Then AutoZone started carrying Castrol Syntec 0w30 (Made in Germany) which is a Group IV motor oil on VW's new 503.01 specification (an improvement over the old 502.00 list). I've been using that ever since.

    The only time the factory bulk oil is OK to use is during engine break-in (synthetic's lubrication properties do not make it ideal for breaking in the engine - especially making sure the piston rings wear and seat properly).

    After 10,000 - 15,000 miles, it is safe to switch to synthetic.

    How many miles did you have on the car at the time you discovered that the dealer used the bulk 5w30 oil? I made that discovery at about the 30,000 mile mark. After switching to 502.00 spec synthetic oil (and 503.01 after that), I haven't experienced
    any signs of sludge or engine-related issues.

    Using synthetic oil over an extended period of time should gradually clean your engine of whatever sludge residue has been built up (if any).
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    2003 VW Passat and dealer told me that they use 5W30 regular oil for all changes. Starting with first change I always brought my Mobil 1 0W40. Once, when I forgot to bring oil, dealers were already using synthetics (my box of oil was sitting politely in garage instead of trunk ;-)
    All receipts are in the glove box.

    Krzys
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    How many miles did you have on the car at the time you discovered that the dealer used the bulk 5w30 oil?

    Well, I discovered it at about 4,750 miles, but I discovered it before it went into my engine. ;)

    I'm staying under the 5,000 mile recommended OCI. the first 4 changes were using Valvoline's Synpower 5w-40, the rest are with M1 European Formula 0w-40.
  • Well, that little tidbit has been repeated so often that many folks assume it is gospel, however, there is absolutely zero evidence to support that statement, VW engines or no. Many folks switch to synthetic oil for the first time with over 100,000 miles on their cars and even still they get no leaks.

    My own eyes were evidence enough for me. The cars I saw it happen to had one thing in common...a switch to synthetic oil when they had higher miles. One was my own car. Who knows? I'd rather play it safe though.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've been turning a wrench for over thirty years and I have never seen any car start leaking because of synthetic oil. Not one. If a car starts leaking after synthetic oil is introduced, that I'll bet dollars to donuts that it would have started leaking anyway regardless of the oil.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    While it's hardly a scientific sample, I've driven VW's from three different decades...none of them were the most leak-proof engines to begin with, IMHO. Two decades worth ran strictly dino juice, one ran strictly on synth. The synth engine has remained the most leak-free, at the same mileage point.
This discussion has been closed.