Is this a cracked oil pan? (Pic)
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  1. #1
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    Is this a cracked oil pan? (Pic)

    2002 Passat 1.8T AWM FWD 126K.

    I did an oil change on Friday and noticed a leak coming from the drain plug area.

    Does it look like the pan is cracked around the drain plug area?



    I left it in the garage for 3 days and saw oil accumulation around this area.

    If it is indeed cracked, what can be applied to stop the leak? JB Weld?

    Is there anyone else who has dealt with this problem?

    TIA

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  3. #2
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    If it is a crack it's a waste of time to seal the pan the right way since you would have to take it off and clean the inside so everything could dry. Might as well just get a new pan.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDaniak View Post
    If it is a crack it's a waste of time to seal the pan the right way since you would have to take it off and clean the inside so everything could dry. Might as well just get a new pan.
    I second this. However it could be the plug itself leaking. Did you use a new crush washer?

  5. #4
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Wipe it dry with some solvent like brake-cleen and see where the oil is coming from. It's hard to tell in the photo because of focus and shine.

  6. #5
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    Yes I did use a new Crush washer, infact a new plug as well. I had noticed a leak with the old bolt so I bought a new one but it still leaks and it's getting worse.

    Steve, I will post a new pic tonight.

    Why do I need to take out the whole pan. Would welding it on the outside not work? As I understand, it would be a major PITA to remove it on a 1.8T.

    If I buy a new pan, is a steel pan better than aluminum?

  7. #6
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Some people have had good results with products like JB-Weld or other epoxy's. The key to getting those types of products to adhere and seal is surface preparation. It's hard to get a 100% clean surface on an active oil leak. Any oil seeping out contaminates the area you're trying to adhere to.

    Does it look like the crack extends to the oil plug bung? If so, the crack may expand when the plug is torqued down.

    Also, an epoxy patch is likely to get scraped off if you bottom out in the same place.

    Pulling the pan on the 1.8t is an involved job. The engine needs to be suspended and the sub-frame dropped.

    I suppose welding it in place might not be impossible, but it won't be a easy. You're talking about overhead welding aluminum alloy.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in Chicago View Post
    I suppose welding it in place might not be impossible, but it won't be a easy. You're talking about overhead welding aluminum alloy.
    A thin piece of aluminum alloy, coated with a flammable substance on the other side. I'll just step outside while you do that, OK?

  9. #8
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    Gentelmen, I just want a temp fix for a few months, I have been working on the car almost every weekend since March and need a break for a few months.

    Steve I agree that torqueing the plug will extend the crack. But for now I don't want to drop the pan.

    I will drain out the oil before I put some epoxy.

    The only one I can think of is JB weld.

    Is there any other recommendation on which epoxy I should use?

  10. #9
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    Please help.....

  11. #10
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    have you cleaned the area with brake clean to pin point the leak?

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in Chicago View Post
    Some people have had good results with products like JB-Weld or other epoxy's. The key to getting those types of products to adhere and seal is surface preparation. It's hard to get a 100% clean surface on an active oil leak. Any oil seeping out contaminates the area you're trying to adhere to.

    Does it look like the crack extends to the oil plug bung? If so, the crack may expand when the plug is torqued down.

    Also, an epoxy patch is likely to get scraped off if you bottom out in the same place.

    Pulling the pan on the 1.8t is an involved job. The engine needs to be suspended and the sub-frame dropped.

    I suppose welding it in place might not be impossible, but it won't be a easy. You're talking about overhead welding aluminum alloy.

    Doubt welding it would work, same issues with as other methods, getting it clean enough. Aluminum has to be very clean to weld.

  13. #12
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    You would never be able to weld that in place, hell even I couldn't do it and I weld alluminum, stainless to exacting standards as part of my job.
    To weld it you would need to remove it, clean it, grind out along the crack, clean it. Oh and clean it.
    Removing the oil from the crack would be a real pain. A good hot soak in a slovent should do it. BUt honestly, It's a;; too much trouble. Just clean it the best you can and use JB weld as a temp solution as mentioned previously.

  14. #13
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    Thanks guys for all your helpful info. In all the different forums I have been, I have yet to come across a more selfless, friendly and knowledgeable group of people. No snide remarks, no ridicule, just facts.

    You guys rock!!!

    I will try out the JB weld and report back with before and after pics.

  15. #14
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    I would clean it with a wire brush and then take some acetone to it. That should clean it well.

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    Did you find out the full extent of the crack..?? Does it indeed start at the threaded area where the oil drain plugs screws into the pan..??

    Cleanliness is going to be the problem for JB Weld too, just as with welding. Here's my 2 cents for a temp repair; a 2 part combo of gasket sealant and a small patch held on with JB Weld.

    Make a small patch metal area from a section of tin or aluminum. Form it to a very close shape to match the area you are covering. Rough up the areas where this patch will meet the oil pan and then use JB Weld to fasten this patch to the oil pan. Before you do this though, cover the leak area in gasket sealant or some other similar silicone sealant product. The metal patch will hold the sealant in place.

  17. #16
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    I applied brake cleaner to the area surrounding the suspected oil lean but no drops have come from the drain plug area.

    When I looked around the oil pan, I saw there were two hoses running next to it, the hose closest to the oil pan seems to be leaking.

    Here are the pics of the two hoses:





    • These hoses seem to be going to the radiator. These are used to cool the oil, correct?

    • The coupling of the hose nearest to the pan seems to be leaking. This is then traveling downward to the oil pan drain hole area.

    •What is the part number for the connector?

    TIA.

  18. #17
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Those are freon lines for the air conditioning. You may be leaking engine oil from above and it's running down the hoses.
    Or, you could have a freon leak at that hose coupling. The AC system contains an oil in addition to the freon.

  19. #18
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    Steve, thanks for the quick reply.
    I will start the car and AC and then monitor the area.

  20. #19
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    Man, it looks like you sprayed the whole undercarraige with oil. Clean it all off everywhere or you'll never really know where anything is coming from.

    To me, it looks like the whole line all the way up is covered in oil.,

  21. #20
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    I think some of this oil may have been the runoff from when I removed the oil filter.

    Or there is some other leak going on in that area.

    I cleaned up the area with brake cleaner and went for a drive. I checked again after I returned and there was no oil leak around the drain plug area.

    So for now it looks like the pan is fine.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in Chicago View Post
    Those are freon lines for the air conditioning. You may be leaking engine oil from above and it's running down the hoses.
    Or, you could have a freon leak at that hose coupling. The AC system contains an oil in addition to the freon.
    you sure steve? they kinda look like tranny cooler lines to me

  23. #22
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwb5t View Post
    you sure Steve? they kinda look like tranny cooler lines to me.
    They look like AC lines to me, but I have a manual trans and don't remember what the auto trans cooler lines look like. The AC lines are on the passenger side on mine. Where are the auto trans cooler lines located?

  24. #23
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    Those are the tranny cooler lines, all the AC stuff on is on the passengers side of the the car. These run right next to the oil pan, then should connect to the lock carrier and make there way to the passenger side of the radiator. They are held to the pan oil with one(1) 10mm headed bolt. The should not be to diffcult to replace, mostly time consuming, getting them out of the radiator can be hard.


    Side not, I think it is interesting that you car has no oil level sensor, I thought you had a 2001.5 or something like that.

  25. #24
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    Hats off to you Gentlemen.
    The undercarriage of my car had lots of oil as VAGguy mentioned and I have an ATF leak from somewhere. So it could very well be the tranny cooler lines.

    The one closer to the oil pan had oil coming out from underneath the metal connector.
    Is that the inlet to the radiator?

    Today I cleaned up the area and have driven for about 50mi and so far nothing has leaked.

    I will monitor the lines for any more leaks over the next week and report back on my findings.

  26. #25
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    If it IS trans fluid leaking, after you get it fixed you'll want to check the trans fluid level and top it back up if needed.

  27. #26
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    Yes I lose about 50-100ml ATF a month so I try and top it off every couple of months.

    When it was under warranty the dealer had replaced the TC main seal so I had assumed that it was broken again.

  28. #27
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    Addendum to this story.
    When I checked my oil at my next change interval at 131314mi, it was completely empty.

    The dipstick showed up clean, with only a small oil drop at the end of the dipstick, way below the MIN mark.

    1) I see no evidence of oil in the coolant so I am ruling out an oil cooler failure.

    2) The oil pan was clean at the bottom, no evidence of a leak there as well.

    What do you think happened? Where did the oil go?

  29. #28
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    You may be burning some? It may be leaking from something up high like the valve cover gasket?

    You need to start checking the oil level more frequently. You don't want to let it go that low if you can help it. The 1.8t already has a smaller oil capacity than it really needs.

  30. #29
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    Dude, this looks stupid but you might wanna check the oil pressure regulators. Sometimes their body crack and these stupid lilttle parts leak oil all around it! I was sure that my oil cooler was leaking and after dismounting the whole thing I realized that these regulator was cracked and spiling oil all around it.

    P/N: 06A 919081 D

  31. #30
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    That's an oil pressure sender (switch). Definitely worth inspecting. Pull the three screws holding down the coolant expansion tank and lift the tank out of the way (unplug the level sensor connector on the bottom). Get a good light and inspect the area to include the oil pressure sender, the turbo oil feed line, oil cooler, PVC hoses under the intake manifold, dipstick tube.

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