DODGE Dakota Quad Cab 4.7 v8 yellow sludge in oil cap

murray22murray22 Member Posts: 7
edited April 2014 in Dodge
I have a 2000 Qcab 4.7 v8 -last oil change had to add antifreeze & had generous amounts of thick yellow condensation/sludge in the oil cap. Dealer chked it out couldnt find any problem says normal for 4.7....I dont believe them...he said have had several other 4.7 with same symptoms. Any suggestions??


  • paiellopaiello Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 dakota/quad cab v8 that broke down the day after christmas, we were driving down the highway when it shut off without warning all gauges read normal wouldn't refire. Dealer said it needs a new engine and since the oil wasn't changed every 3,000 miles they will not cover it under warranty. I cannot believe that there isn't an engine defect of some sort. The truck runs now but has a serious rod knock! I should have listened to all my friends that told me not to by a dodge!
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Depending on the amount of milage on the vehicle this deposit could be normal, antifreeze, condensation (which depending on the location of the cap may not be unusual), it also be blowby or a defective PVC valve. You could have an oil analsys taken- not sure what it would tell. I'd check with a reliable mechanic.

    paiello: That's BS - what is the manufacture's recommendation? Probably 7500 miles. The manufacturer needs to prove that neglect on your part caused the damage. Just going beyond the recommended miles does not void the warranty. Get out your manual and start the complaint process with their consumer's dept. Good luck.
  • doublewingdoublewing Member Posts: 16
    "Yellow condensation/sludge in the oil cap"

    Always an indication of coolant contamination, and you confirm it by adding antifreeze. Almost always a head gasket problem. Can indeed be destructive.
  • cajndavecajndave Member Posts: 12
    The sludge isn't always an indication of coolant contamination. More than likely it is a sign of not getting the oil to operating temp and driving long enough to "burn off" the moisture in the oil. All cars are going to get moisture, condesation, in them and even more so in the winter. If you don't physicaly remove the yellow sludge it will not burn off very easily. I would at the very least change your PCV valve. Also if you are making alot of short trips in your vehicle you will get this over and over agian.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Yep. Manufacturers classify short trip driving as "severe service". At least one domestic manufacturer states that it takes 15-20 miles of freeway operation to fully normalize the powertrain.
  • doublewingdoublewing Member Posts: 16
    And Yellow =Coolant.
  • cajndavecajndave Member Posts: 12
    That isn't true. I don't know what you do for a living but I'm a mechanic and I can tell you for fact 90% of the time it is just condensation.
  • murray22murray22 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for all the helpful info. Its clear to see that every issue has very different perspectives. I'm going to go with the flow that says this is normal. Mostly because there is no contamination in the oil itself & partly because I havent seen any posts specifically identifying anyone who has has a blown head gasket/head problem & several saying this is normal. I will take it all under advisement & try insulating the filler tube & monitoring the antifreeze & oil closely until the dealer gets the mod parts installed. Im sure its not due to not getting the oil temp up to "operating temp" as I drive 75 miles 1 way to work daily- almost all highway.(that's how i got 30k miles as of yesterday- in less than 9 months).I am glad that everyone has been so helpful & informative. Ita appears that most of the Dakota QC owners love their trucks as much asI love this one.!Thanks again
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Dave, I'm a mechanic too and I know as you do what causes the buildup, especially during Canadian winters. HowEVER... you're not going to change the fixation Doublewing has about coolant being the only source of water in the oil coolant. Let him believe what he wants. After all, it's not our engines. :-)
  • dakota2000dakota2000 Member Posts: 2
    while changing my oil today i also found a thick layer of yellow/brown sludge in oil filler tube and cap.Truck is a 4.7 5sp. with 9000 miles(oil changed at 3k and 6k and now 9k).After draining oil no sign of contamination or coolant loss.I'm still a little worried but relieved to hear it may just be condensation.there is one thing i noticed...after screwing on oil filler cap(not crossthreaded)upon closer examination cap did not appear to be fully sealed.After 2 or 3 try's got it so it seated right.I suspect this may be the cause of this condition in my truck and others.Check those caps close!!
  • spirit97spirit97 Member Posts: 2
    We are in the looking stages of buying a new truck. There are physical restrictions involved and the Dakota Quad Cab is the only one that I can be comfortable in over a 3 to 4 hour ride. I have been getting some static from well meaning friends,one is a qualified A/T rebuilder and he agrees that the Chrysler Corp. A/T is crap and does not hold up. He also claims that the Quad Cab is so new that he has not seen but a couple come in. My question is, are there any of you on this forum who have experienced A/T failure? I'd settle the whole thing and get a standard, but no longer can manage a clutch. Thanks for any feed back. Ron
  • calkins82calkins82 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Dakota quad cab 4x4 and Just noticed this yellow sludge in the oil fil cap today. The truck only has 2900 miles on it. Should I take it to the dealer and have it checked out? I love the truck for the most part but this worries me alot. Also, My gas mileage is only 13.2 MPG with 70/30 hwy/city driving. This is lower than what I expected. Anyone else getting better than this? Let me know.
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    doublewing, you clearly aren't a person who has to deal with vehicles in a moist area.
    Usually the crankcase ventilation in an area that has high humidity is a cause of condensation on the dipstick and oil cap.More than likely condensation is building on the cap,which is the likely place for it to go, wheteher it be because of extreme humidity or a bad PCV valve.

    If coolant was the cause then it would show up in the crankcase. The entire oil system would be showing the contamination.
    If you want to question my credentials, go ahead, read thru Edmund's,you'll see my posts. I'll vouch for Alcan, I know his credentials.
  • doublewingdoublewing Member Posts: 16
    Hey experts, don't keep flaming me, after murray22 has said "I drive 75 miles 1 way to work daily"? And don't try and impress with boasts about your experience level. If you simply make the correct diagnosis of murrays problem, I will be impressed.

    alcan: I never said that coolant was "the only source of water in the oil". If you are going to attack my position, don't do it by distorting it. I am keying on the "yellow".

    Opatience, the topic was not condensation, and sludge caused by coolant will not necessarily be all over the crankcase. It depends on the amount of coolant involved.

    I generally think that water condensation gives you a gray sludge. Do I have it backwards? Sludge experts, I welcome your comments.

    I still maintain that sludge is not normal; it is a problem that should be resolved. However, you all are probably right, that I have not seen many cars operated long periods of time, with only very short trips, in an area of high humidity.

    murray22, the advice on the pcv valve is good; Stick a fresh one on soon.
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    I have a s10 blazer that just recently started showing some condensation inside the oil fill cap. Oil on dipstick looked fine. I cleaned out the line that vents air from that side valve cover to air intake with carb cleaner (does not have a pcv valve in this line) and also cleaned the pcv valve on other valve cover (was not gunky but cleaned it anyway) and now I don't see any more condensation..
  • cajndavecajndave Member Posts: 12
    The only time I have seen gray sludge is when there is oil in the cooling system.
    I work on alot of Cat nat. gas engines and the 379,398 and 399 are notorious for forming yellow sludge in the valve covers in the winter months. These engines run 24/7 and still form yellow sludge in the cold months. It isn't antifreeze it is condensation. I've seen the same thing in a many a car engine also.
  • chico25chico25 Member Posts: 1
    I drive a 2000 Dakota with the 4.7 liter. I went to the dealership. They said the probrlem has been identified and a work order bulletin released. They need to install two parts one of which is a new oil cap. They said it takes about 20 minutes to fix. I was told not to worry about the sludge causing a breakdown while I wait for the parts to come in since the oil in the pan is not comtaminated. I would strongly suggest having Oil System Cleaner (OSC) run through your engine during an oil change at some place like Jiffy Lube immediately after Dodge installs the parts. I had OSC run through once already and it does a good job. Also, save your documentation after the fix as proof the you take care of your vehicle.
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    I simply stated the you evidently do not come from an area that has alot of moisture problems.
    If there is not a sign of coolant or water in the crankcase oil, then more than likely it is condensation. If it is coolant, it would also reside in the crankcase.
    Condensation will build a sludge in the valve cover,oil cap and dipstick, not necessarily all of them. I come from an area that is moist all the time and even vehicles that travel on the highways run into condensation problems if the PCV valve becomes bad.

    If it were coolant, the coolant has to come from somewhere, either the head gasket, the intake manifold gasket or a crack in the head or block. All of these will push coolant into the oil system and all of these will send coolant into the crankcase. So if there is no sign of coolant in the crankcase, then unless you have had the oil analyzed and can confirm that it is coolant, then I would have to go with condensation from the PCV valve being bad.

    Condesation when it mixed with the oil will create a sludge on the cap and valve cover.
  • robert105robert105 Member Posts: 2
    I've got a 2001 Quad with the 4.7. 8k miles now. Have noticed
    the sludge twice. Just spoke with the dealer, they are saying its
    condensation and they have a kit to fix it (supposedly), no charge.
    I live in the northeast, so high humidity causing the condensation
    makes sense. I'm getting the kit installed (will post what the parts
    are later), and keeping the paperwork just in case...
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    I'm no mechanic and I don't play one on TV (although I would if they paid me) but years ago I had a VW Superbettle that I drove for several years. It had tons of miles on it when I got it and did tons more with me.

    It always had yellow sludge inside the oil cap; I was told by several mechanics that 'mayonnaise' is pretty routine stuff. The bettle ran forever anyhow, and whatever causes it - in a beetle it sure isn't antifreeze and it isn't a bad thermostat.

    That beetle was up around 250 k miles the last I heard of it. As I said, I'm no expert, but based on the evidence, combined with the statements of the mechanics here, I'd get the new oil cap and not worry about it.
  • stnickstnick Member Posts: 177
    Do not panic on this issue. The facts are that the design of the oil filler tube and cap in the 4.7L leaves that part exposed to the cold temps, that combined with the fan blowing directly on the filler, allows natural condensation and oil vapors to collect in that area. It is unsightly, but not dangerous. Contact your service dept. There is a TSB on this problem, and a factory fix involving a baffle and a new filler cap. The mopar part #'s are 53032389ac cap and 53032126aa baffle. These parts and the TSB have been discussed at great length on QC owners and maintenance forums also. Be advised that some service departments are not yet aware of this TSB, as was the case with mine. My parts are on order now. Good luck all. Stnick
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    You said you work on Cat engines and they only form the sludge when coolant is present. That is most often true on most industrial diesels because they have a open crankcase ventilation (a dump tube instead of a PCV system). There is no PCV valve and pressure doesn't build in them, but I can tell you that the 3208 Cat engine in my service truck will build condesation in the end of the dump tube and it isn't from ccolant. The industrial diesels and automotive engines are 2 different designs and cannot be compared.
  • doublewingdoublewing Member Posts: 16
    OK, I see I have been confused on this. Thanks, for clearing things up, guys. Murray22, I'm sorry for alarming you with an excessively dogmatic opinion. Good luck, sludge sufferers, and remember, you still want to get rid of it!
  • cajndavecajndave Member Posts: 12
    If you will go and reread my post I said it wasn't coolant and I am well aware of the difference in crakcase venting systems. I was refering to the formation of slude in cold weather months which does apply to all engines. I work on Nat. Gas engines now but worked on diesels and gas engines for 8yrs. Waukasha uses a crakncase venting system using the exhaust system and a regulator to vent the crankcase. This system still get condensation in it as well. Condensation will form in any engine. It is unavoidable unless you live in a climate with very low humidity and/or very little temp. change.
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    Didn't catch the oil in coolant part.
    I do live in a high humidity are and condensation is a major problem here.
  • cajndavecajndave Member Posts: 12
    It's all good.
  • cdatlcdatl Member Posts: 1
    Answer to the Sludge problem. Dodge is aware of the problem and has offered a corrective oil cap. Take your 2000 or newer Dodge into your nearest Dodge/Chrysler Service facility and a replacement cap will be installed.
  • jagger00jagger00 Member Posts: 6
    Spoke to service tech at dealer when I picked up my QC a few days back - he said he was just a course that week from Dodge which acknowledged that owners had complained, but that the problem was simply yellow greasing / lube used (he had some there as well) in the gearing - and that Dodge has changed the color of the lube now. Don't know if this is helpful, but it was one more piece of recent info for those more knowledgeable to consider.
  • bpmanningbpmanning Member Posts: 13
    sorry tho here about your truck. What does your owners manual recommend for oil changes?
    I have a 2000 club cab. my says oil changes ever 7,500 miles under normal conditions and 3,750 under extreme conditions ie hauling trailer and large loads ets. I think you have a bad dealership. Recomendations. 1. call dodge and let them know what you where told and file a complaint against the dealership. 2. Have the service manager explain to you who they can refuse to do warrenty work provided that you maintaned your truck as stated in the owners manual.I don't think can refuse to do warrenty work as long as you did the maintence as directed by the owners manual, have 3. call you attounrey General for you state and file a complaint. 4. file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in you state. Don't take this seating down. 5. Get an attorney if needed. You paid good money for your vehicles and deserve the Service that goes with it. Good Luck.
  • pirat5pirat5 Member Posts: 20
    Hi everybody!
    I have 2000 4.7l,4X4, auto with 20K miles on it. Gas mileage never got better than 16miles/gal. I have cab and always some weight on the back. Pretty happy so far. Last winter I noticed that foaming and moisture in oil filling tube. I called the dealer, of course it's normal. This winter besides that there is also brown, rusty sludge on the walls and cap. I tried my dealer again, not to worry it's normal. After calling few other dealers around, I decided to call Chrysler. All the sudden there is a problem, and they have a kit to fix it. As you already know the cap and baffle. If your dealer pretends, he doesn't know what you talking about tell him to go on his computer to TSB and go to post#0900100A, this should open his eyes. Other posts worth attention are #0900999 (ticking noise) and 0802200A (camshaft position sensor). I was trying to fix ticking noise since I bought the truck, nobody at service could hear it, as always. Never found any noise from camshaft. Maybe changing cap and baffle will help, but other thing worth consideration is switching into synthetic oil. I heart that regular oils can absorb some moisture and this will change their characteristics. Synthetic supposedly repeals all moisture. I was always skeptical about synthetic oil and proffered frequent oil changes, but maybe it's time to change. Did anybody changed air filter with K&N. If so, have you noticed any improvement in gas mileage and power, also where did you buy it?. Last thing. I broke one of the fog lights. Dealer wants almost $100. I thing this is ridiculous, for such a piece of... Did anybody get them after market or decent brand that fits opening in the bumper. Thanks for attention. Good luck with your trucks!
  • stealth1969stealth1969 Member Posts: 162
    In the winter months it is more common to see sludge looking stuff under the oil cap. I don't have a Dodge truck but I drove 60 miles one way to work and would still see it. At one point, I did have coolant in my oil. I had to add coolant way to often and I noticed my oil level rising. I did not notice sludge in my engine, able to look into the head area when the oil cab is removed. I changed my oil about every 5,000 miles, so even though it took a few months to get for the dealer to correct the problem, I still did not have sludge. After the repair, I still get the stuff on the oil cap in the winter not the summer. My coolant usage is also now normal.
  • sg40739sg40739 Member Posts: 14
    Just called my Dodge dealer, they didn't seem to know about the problem until I gave them these part #as 53032389ac and 53032126ac for the filler tube and cap. They came back to the phone said parts were on order and when they came in they would install them for free. Guess there is a TSB out for this. Guess its because the filler tube in in the front of the engine and get alot of cold air blown on it and the oil and condensation build up it what we see as yellow sludge. No cause for alarm they said.
  • greenogreeno Member Posts: 13
    For all you guys with the yellow oil sludge in the cap, this is not a problem. I talked with the service rep at my local five star dealer and he's been getting calls all the time about this. He has a 2000 Dakota himself and all he does is ocassionally wipe it out with a rag a few times in the winter. This will not happen in the summer because of the outside temp being warm. He says this will not harm the engine whatsoever so not to worry. By the way, anybody having a hard shift from 2nd to 3rd in your auto trannies? Especially when cold.
  • mopar67mopar67 Member Posts: 728
    Yup, have the same nasty slam shift on a 45RFE trans from 2-3 when cold. Have complained, complained,complained, complained, complained to dealer. ASE certified technician, said "transmission functioning as designed" So I will wait until I blow the thing up, take it back, and tell them, NOT functioning at all now so replace the transmission please. In the meantime, they keep reseting the Trans controller back to factory defaults, it works for about three days or so, then back to the slam shift.
  • pirat5pirat5 Member Posts: 20
    Hi everybody!
    I've just got my truck serviced to fix sludge problem. All they did was replacing the cup and inserting some plastic divider which supposed to prevent the foam from reaching up to the cup. From what someone described I thought they would replace the whole filling tube. What they've done is obviously not going to prevent foaming. I still consider switching for synthec., but is it really worth the money. The regular oil change cost me $10 max. versus 30$ for synthec. I still wouldn't go beyond 5000 miles, so what's the point.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    This question was addressed umpteen times in the Dodge Dakota Forum (Pickups) and within the Owners Club. The yellowish sludge is sulphur based, a normal by-product of petroleum type (dino) oil. It usually shows up in colder climate conditions, and the TSB fix is to add an insulating baffle in front of the oil fill tube to prevent cold air from playing on it. The other part is a cap that I believe ventilates somewhat differently. The "sludge" is normal, and usually dissipates when the engine compartment has warmed sufficiently. Guys, please feel welcome to read and participate within the Dakota Owners Club also located in Town Hall. We would like to hear from you.

  • ethuressonethuresson Member Posts: 55
    Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but re the synthetic vs dino oil: If you spend the extra bucks on the synthetic oil only to change it at 5k miles, you are wasting money and oil. A good fully synthetic oil should be able to go 10K miles or MORE before changing. Heck, at 10K synthetic probably STILL has superior lubricating properties than brand new el cheapo dino oil. Supporting info on this is available all over the web. C-ya....
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