oil cap residue on 2000 vw golf

spacini1spacini1 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
any suggestions?

I have a 2000 vw golf and I noticed that after my second oil change there was a creamy thick residue under the oil cap. From previous experience I thought this was cause for concern. I previously owned a Chev Corsica and under the same circumstances I was told I had a head gasket leak. I brought my Golf into the dealership and questioned as to why this residue was present and was informed that it was normal and due to CONDENSATION?? Any thoughts?




  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    He's probably right. You can't really tell anything from oil cap residue. At the very worst, it would be an indication for you to look further. If there is no milky residue on your dipstick, and your car is not running hot, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are really concerned, you can have the dealer lift off the valve cover and see how extensive the water vapor is.
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    On a Chev v6 I had to clean out one of the breather lines once, just had a buildup of crud and was not breathing ENOUGH, not clogged but close.
    If it is only condensation then the breather lines should evacuate it quick enough, if it is a water cooled engine check for coolant loss, if it is air cooled make sure the top of the heads is BREATHING/VENTING adequately.
    Hope this helps
  • zielinwzielinw Member Posts: 83
    You may want to check the sludge postings on other areas of this site. The residue may be a greater problem than just moisture.
  • gjnbngjnbn Member Posts: 4
    I had this problem on a F150. I was worried at first. This happened in the winter when I was making short trips back and forth to work. I drove the truck for 30 to 45 minutes after work one day and checked it when I got home and residue was gone! Hopefully this is your problem.
  • fowvayfowvay Member Posts: 29
    This is possibly caused by short trips and not getting the engine warm enough to burn off the moisture that has condensed in the crankcase. If you will look at almost all new vehicles that have sat on a retailers parking lot you will see a white milky residue under the cap and this is caused by starting the engines only long enough to move the vehicles from one spot to the next. Wipe the cap clean and take a nice long drive on a saturday through the country and put a few miles on your car. Check the cap the next morning to see if it is milky again. If it is clean then it is simply caused by moisture that has not burned off. To be safe keep your eye on the coolant reservoir and watch for any rapid loss of fluid. Coolant leaks are not a common problem on the A4 Volkswagens (either the 2.0 liter or the turbo 1.8) so I would suspect the simplest solution. Best of luck to you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Ignore the oil cap as a source of useful information, please!

    Bad engines can have spotless oil caps. Great engines can have dirty oil caps.

    You want to look inside your engine, go look inside your engine (remove valve cover or drop the pan).
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Not conclusive or may be nothing as in most cases but it is an indicator if nothing more then to run your engine longer to heat it up and cook off the moisture. Like squeaking brake pads, could be nothing but also could be an indicator possibly that they are down to the wear indicator and need replacing.

    To say to ingnore what is under the oil fill cap is irresposnible to me as it can be an indicator.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The information you get by looking at an oil cap can be of only a few types:

    1. It's dirty looking, kinda. So what? Perfectly normal to have some deposit residue in an internal combustion engine. What does that smudge on your fingertip tell you? Nothing at all.

    2. There's a little white gooey stuff. So what? This is condensation, and you can waste a lot of time and money pulling a valve cover only to find that this is what an oil cap often does, trap condensation. You need to look IN an engine to see what's going on. No other way.

    3. It is clean. So what? You could have a disastrous problem in the engine with a clean oil cap.

    Like I said, looking at an oil cap is a totally useless enterprise.

    Why "useless"? Because it contains just information to mislead you and not enough to instruct you.

    No, WAIT! There is one reason to look at it---to see if it is MISSING!

    You want good info? Pull a valve cover, or better yet, get an oil analysis. Then you are working on empirical evidence, not reading tea leaves, so to speak.
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