Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Volkswagen Passat Sludge Issues

1468910

Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Agreed. Some engines are more inclined to leak than others, my current daily driver has over 150,000 miles on the clock and has yet to shed a drop. I've had other cars that were dumping a quart every couple hundred miles once they hit the 100,000 mile mark.

    That said, there is zero scientific evidence to support the argument that says that switching a well broken in engine to a modern synthetic oil will cause oil leaks. None. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Hi:
    I understand VWoA has issued a letter on warranty extension on 1.'8T, and
    I need a copy. Can you help?

    pioneerich@earthlink.net
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I believe that your dealer should be able to provide you with that letter.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    image

    image

    image

    Hope that helps...it was posted in the car repair database at my local library.

    There's some interesting items in this letter that I should point out:
    1) The letter changes the service interval to no more than 6 months between oil changes. My owner's manual notes the oil change interval to be 5,000 miles or 12 months.
    2) They've made some errors in the oil list. Valvoline Synpower 5w-30 as available in North America is not 502.00 compliant. I've never seen most of these oils in the parts store. I've only regularly seen M1 0w-40 and Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 (and this one only at NAPA stores).
    3) The 502.00 spec is lower than the spec mentioned in my '03 manual (503.01 is specifically cited).
  • My 2001 Passat 1.8t has over 130K mi on it. The oil light has been on only a couple of times in the last several months but the cam chain tensioner is having a problem. I think that problem (the cam tensioner) is caused by low oil pressure.

    I have done a lot of searching and have found a lot of people complaining about sludge in the Passat engine. I have changed oil faithfully at about 5K intervals using Castrol Syntec oil. And still I am having trouble with oil pressure so lets not jump to conclusions about anyone's adherence to oil change recommendations.

    In fact I have also come across text that hints that oil change recommendations are somewhat ambiguous.

    I also found a possible solution. I figure it is worth a shot considering this approach only costs a little more than $60 to implement as opposed to $900 to replace the cam chain tensioner. Here is the link... http://www.auto-rx.com/ check it out if you like. I am not paid by them and I have not begun my procedure yet. But the sheer number of testimonies for this stuff is very impressive.

    I hope this information is helpful to you!

    j
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I have done a lot of searching and have found a lot of people complaining about sludge in the Passat engine. I have changed oil faithfully at about 5K intervals using Castrol Syntec oil. And still I am having trouble with oil pressure so lets not jump to conclusions about anyone's adherence to oil change recommendations."

    The question here is, "Which Castrol Syntec oil?" The only two oils sold here in the U.S. that are made by Castrol and approved by VW are the domestically produced Castrol Syntec 5W-40 (502.00), and the German produced Castrol Syntec 0W-30 (502.00 and the more stringent 503.01 oil specfications).

    "In fact I have also come across text that hints that oil change recommendations are somewhat ambiguous."

    Ambiguous? How?

    "I also found a possible solution. I figure it is worth a shot considering this approach only costs a little more than $60 to implement as opposed to $900 to replace the cam chain tensioner. Here is the link... http://www.auto-rx.com/ check it out if you like. I am not paid by them and I have not begun my procedure yet. But the sheer number of testimonies for this stuff is very impressive."

    True, there are lots of testimonials out there about this stuff, however, I've read lots of testimonials about the effacacy of Slick-50 and MMO as well. Looked at another way, I've never seen any scientifically compelling evidence that shows that his stuff is anything more than snake-oil.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • To be honest, I don't know what exactly is the Castrol oil. I believe it is the 5W-40. It is the stuff the VW dealership uses.

    Regarding the ambiguous oil change info; one post said oil changes should be done every 5K miles then at 10K, 20K and 30K... not sure of the exact quote, sorry. But another post in this column recently showed a letter from VW that also was inconsistent in this area.

    Regarding the testimonials about Auto-RX etc. I will let you know how my experiment turns out. But as I think about it it will only be another testimony to you. The testimonials for this stuff gives me great hope that I will be.

    Jim
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Regarding the ambiguous oil change info; one post said oil changes should be done every 5K miles then at 10K, 20K and 30K..."

    What you've listed above is the oil service intervals for the newer 2.0T (sorta, it should be 5K, 15K, 25K...), the 1.8T is every 5,000 miles.

    "Regarding the testimonials about Auto-RX etc. I will let you know how my experiment turns out. But as I think about it it will only be another testimony to you. The testimonials for this stuff gives me great hope that I will be."

    Well, your results, disappointing though they most likely will be, might still prove to be intellectually interesting. Not scientific by any stretch, but interesting none-the-less.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Shipo, majicman might be referring to another poster here who insists that the OCI for the Passat (B5 & B5.5) is 10k. This, despite me posting two different excerpts from different model years showing a 5,000 mile maximum OCI. It's really a disservice to the members here, but I digress.

    Majicman - Read your owner's manual. Read the supplement that VW sent out. The OCI is a max of 5k. The manual, at least mine does, states tht under some conditions the oil should be changed more frequently. It's not ambiguous at all. Look at post 46 and 50 under the thread here on Passat Engine Problems - I posted the sections of the manual.

    And just because a VW dealer did the oil changes doesn't guarantee, not by a long shot, that every oil change on your '01 was done with synth. Crikey, many dealers in 2002 were still using bulk Castrol 5w-30 dino juice for oil changes....

    And from what I've read, the Passat doesn't suffer from what I would call "sludge". It actually develops hard, granular particles from the coking of the oil in the hot turbo. One wag on the web christened them "turbo turds."

    Dino juice is more likely to do this, given that true synth is more resistant to coking. Frequent oil changes, with the proper spec of synth, along with proper cooldown after hard driving is the only way to avoid the problem.

    The cam tensioner goes bad because the coked particles block the oil flow and starves the area of lubrication.

    Good luck with the Auto-Rx. Post if it works for ya (well, please post if it doesn't, too).
  • Thanks guys for your replies.

    I have been faithful in changing the oil at least every 5K mi. I admit I have been delinquent in monitoring exactly what oil they have used. And I only mentioned the inconsistency (perceived?) in oil change interval documentation because someone jumped on another poster about his not following recommended intervals. Nuf said about that as far as I'm concerned.

    LOL... "turbo turds"!! This stuff is supposed to melt those too... but I will write and let you guys know what is going on..

    The process started today and involves driving 1200 mi then changing the filter only. Then the next 1200 mi the oil and filter is changed. I drive almost 500 mi each week so it will be two weeks before the filter only change. I have requested the dealer to measure the oil pressure so I have a comparison level in two weeks.

    And thanks for enlightening me about letting the turbo cool off. It never even occurred to me that this could be a problem. As I said I drive 55 miles each way to work 4 days a week at highway speeds. In the morning I arrive at the office with little time to spare. And when I get home at night I just want to get out of the car and into the house. Though I have done this for over three years with this car.

    jim
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "LOL... "turbo turds"!! This stuff is supposed to melt those too... but I will write and let you guys know what is going on.."

    Funny thing though, panaceas usually aren't. ;)

    Regarding you attempt at desludging, if you could pull the cam cover, take a photo, and then do the same after you're done Auto-RXing, I'd be interested in seeing the pictures. :shades:

    Keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Well, I think I am a pretty clear thinker and am not easily persuaded of things that don't make sense. I may be misinformed but I figure it is worth the try. $60 vs. $900 ... which would you chose? Even if I have to do the $60 thing and fail, it is only $60 so please stop trying to rain on my endevor... You don't have to be supportive, but you don't have to be negative about it each time you reply either.

    I talked with the mechanic this morning, (picked the car up from the VW garage after the oil change) he said the engine looked pretty clean with respect to sludge. I would take pics with the valve cover off but bending over the engine is not possible for me because of a bad back. That's why I didn't do the oil change myself. :(

    I may go out and see what I can see with the oil filler cap removed. If I can get decent pics I will do it. I don't know how to post pics in here though is there instructions somewhere? Or do I send them in email?

    I will keep you posted as much as possible. And I will be honest about the results if I fail I will tell you, If successful I will tell that too.

    Jim
  • I posted earlier on; my VW 2004 1.8T Passat; only 30K miles; filed complaints about the dealership as this "letter" was sent prior to my purchase and since I bought it as a demo, I never got this letter. My oil changes were using non synthetic oil as I did not know and the 3.2 part of my manual when purchasing the vehicle is not even in there!!

    Question however; my car when I accelerate sounds like "closest to an aquarium that has pebbles in the filter"....just sounding like bubbling and like particles are stuck...is this what you are referring to and can this be fixed with any of the products that will remove sludge?

    God help me; I owe 13K on the car, VW of America will not honor my warranty as I didn't adhere to a "letter" they sent that I never got. I bought my car in Nov 2004 and the letter went out prior to that.....I am at a loss for what to do... :cry:
  • I don't know about sludge causing your noise... your description makes me think pre-ignition (knocking). Do you use premium grade gas? Or regular? I have used (out of ignorance) regular gas in my Passat for over three years without a peep from the engine about it. If your noise is caused by pre-ignition I would suggest checking the plugs to see if they have carbon deposits. If yes, then replace them and use the higher grade of gas. Does your computer store any fault codes (check engine light on)? If you don't know it might be worth having the codes checked by a mechanic.

    If you want to research the Auto-RX stuff I am experimenting with, follow this link to their web site... http://www.auto-rx.com/ The testimonials there seemed to make sense to me so I am giving it a shot. I will be posting my results as the "cleaning" is moving along.

    Believe me I know what it is like to be upside down in the loan! I hope you find a solution to your problem.

    Jim
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Well, I think I am a pretty clear thinker and am not easily persuaded of things that don't make sense. I may be misinformed but I figure it is worth the try. $60 vs. $900 ... which would you chose?"

    Were it that I was in your shoes I'd try it too, I just wouldn't be holding my breath for stellar results.

    "Even if I have to do the $60 thing and fail, it is only $60 so please stop trying to rain on my endevor... You don't have to be supportive, but you don't have to be negative about it each time you reply either."

    Please understand that I'm not trying to rain on your parade, it's more that I'm trying to suggest to you that if you don't have high expectations of this endeavor, you aren't likely to be too disappointed if/when it fails to solve all of your engine's problems.

    As for why I'm not bubbling over with enthusiasm and optimism for your chances of getting good results from Auto-RX; the fact is that I've been wrenching on engines since the early 1970s and I've seen many-many of these seeming miracle treatments come and go over the years, and so far at least, I have yet to see a single one do the job it claimed to do. The fact is that sludge is fairly hard and dense stuff and is very difficult, if not impossible, to remove with any form of a solvent that won't do considerable damage to other parts of your engine.

    "I talked with the mechanic this morning, (picked the car up from the VW garage after the oil change) he said the engine looked pretty clean with respect to sludge."

    Hmmm, interesting. I'd love to know what component(s) he took a look at to determine the level of sludge in your engine.

    Going back to your first post, you wrote that your 1.8T was triggering a low oil pressure light and that the "the cam chain tensioner is having a problem." You might could well be correct that the low oil pressure is to blame for the problem (and should probably be replaced as a result). As for the pressure problem, is could be for one of several reasons:

    1) The pick-up screen is clogged with sludge and/or "turbo-turds"
    2) The main and/or rod bearings are worn and allow too much oil to escape past them too quickly
    3) Low oil level
    4) A failing oil pump

    Keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Oh.. I think I forgot to mention that I had the oil pressure checked with a manual meter. The mechanic said the pressure was within tolerances for this car, both cold and hot.

    I appreciate your comments and I promise I have realistic expectations. I did take a few photos of my Passat today. You had express interest in seeing parts of the engine. I don't think they show much, but I would be happy to share them if you are interested. How can I do that?

    Based on my conversation with the VW mechanic today, I think I will remove the crank position sensor and inspect it for metal fragments. I think it might be possible that after over 130K mi it could have collected enough to interfere with its operation.

    Jim
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Oh.. I think I forgot to mention that I had the oil pressure checked with a manual meter. The mechanic said the pressure was within tolerances for this car, both cold and hot."

    Well now, that's an interesting turn of events. Could it be that your engine has a bad pressure sensor?

    As for the photos, yes, I'd love to see them. If you click on my ID you'll find my E-Mail address. ;)

    Keep us posted on he results of Crank Position Sensor inspection as well.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Yes, I thought it was interesting that the oil pressure was actually okay. I agree that it's possible that the oil pump screen may be clogged intermitently.

    The machanic suggested that if the crank position sensor was not functioning correctly the computer could interpret the lack of signal as lack of oil pressure, I think because the rpms would look like they had dropped to zero. I am not explaining it as he did, but it made sense at the time. Next time I am in the VW dealership I will ask if there is anyway to check the oil pressure sensor.

    I have sent the email with pics I took. I hope they provide useful information. Thanks for your interest.

    Jim
    :shades:
  • Yes, my stop engine light comes on intermittently. Has done so a couple of times but as I said, the 3.2 portion of my manual does not exist....think I bought a demo lemon but who is to say?

    I have used regular gas but at least 90 octane, so in between. Will check on the plugs. I have no choice but to try to get another oil change, use the rx or whatever and see what I can do with that. I also have an electrical problem...the dealership said it is a module in the driver's door controlling the windows, locks, etc. They want 1K to fix that as well. So the solution the dealership is giving me is: 9K new engine, 1K for electrical...10K fix or they will give me 3K for my car if I trade it in on an 08 Passat....either way I would be out 10K....single gal and have no clue if they are screwing me....turbo still kicks in when driving, etc. I am confused :sick:
  • MAN-O-MAN!! I would suggest getting a 2nd opinion from another VW dealer or an independent mechanic. Perhaps you have a friend or someone at work that does business with a mechanic. Ask if the mechanic works on VWs. I have read threads on this board that talk about a "comfort module" under the drivers seat being affected by water coming in to the passenger compartment. You might want to investigate that too.

    Plugs and wires and coils can affect skipping. Octane can cause knocking. Carbon on plugs can cause "dieseling" and knocking. Has the motor ever continued to run after shutting it off? This will sometimes happen with too low an octane and deposits on the plugs.

    I would definitely NOT take the VW people up on their offer... (of trading for an 08) AND I would not be bashful about telling them why either. You should be able to trust the people that you have service your car! JMHO... It doesn't sound to me like they are trustworthy AND it seems to me from your comment "...have no clue if they are screwing me", tells me you don't trust them either.

    My curiosity is killing me.. I would love to have a look at this car but I know it is not feasible. Let us know how you make out.

    Jim
    :shades:
  • FWIW.. My Passat has developed a very annoying behaviour. That is after about 5 to 10 miles of operation at regular operating temperatures it decides to just STOP. It is as if I shut off the key.

    Monday I was on the way to work when, 5 miles down the road it did this. I wasn't able to start it again until about 15 minutes later. The VW mechanic convinced me that the crank position sensor could cause this. The car is over at VW now for this repair. I will report back when I get the car back, hopefully I can then resume my "desludging" project I began last week.

    Also, I'm not sure I am convinced but he also tried to say that this crank position sensor could cause the cam timing error seen a week ago that prompted me to start the "desludging" project.

    Jim
    :shades:
  • Next time I have a look at my Passat under the hood I'll see if I see a tube running into the turbo. As for the door and electrical problems see if you can either look yourself or get a friend to look for that "comfort module" under the drivers seat. I have read several posts about water leaking in and under the carpet causing trouble in this area.

    If there is sludge you might try that Auto-rx procedure. I am still in the beginning stages of my experiment with this stuff so I cannot advise more than suggest you check out the testimonials on their site.

    You will have to address one problem at a time. What is it that they want to do for $1000? IMHO, a new motor is a bit overkill for a problem with sludge. Is the car drivable?

    jim
    :shades:
  • Thank you again!! I took some pictures of the "aluminum foil" and the oil cap and top of engine. Where is the comfort module? I am an accountant, not a mechanic, but I will try to see where it is....omg thank you so very much!!! :) Can I post pics here? Or can I send them to someone? I can't believe I will lose 10K on a car that I drive very little...but stranger things have happened
  • I will change my profile to reveal a email address when you click my nickname above. I am told the "Comfort Module" is under the drivers seat but can be affected by water leaking in under the drivers side carpet.

    Jim
    :shades:
  • Thank you so very much!! I had a 99 Jetta wagon, 5 speed that never gave me any trouble....they talked me into trading it since it had 66K miles on it and I was about to outlive my warranty. If I can send you pics, I will gladly pay you or give you something for your time to just even look at the pics...:)
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    The comfort control module is under the driver's side carpet. Basically it's between the floor mat posts and the rear edge of the reinforced part of the carpet. It's not actually under the seat. You need to pull up the carpet and pad to access it.
  • The car is definitely drivable; still has the "whistle" for the turbo and it certainly drives....the noise of the aquarium with the pebbles is on acceleration.

    I am sorry; I really don't know what to do....
  • Got the car back last night. The crank position sensor had been replaced. I have to say the car behaves much better now. I drove my 55 miles to work this morning and narry a murmur or peep from the engine. Maybe this was the source of my problems all along! However, I will continue with the "Desludging" project. If the filter change in 1500 miles shows no appreciable crud in the filter I will stop the project after the "rinse" phase.

    Jim
    :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Thanks! :shades:

    While fairly short compared to the 502.00 list, it is longer than I thought it would be. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
Sign In or Register to comment.