Help, yellow sludge on cap and dipstick
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  1. #1
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    Help, yellow sludge on cap and dipstick

    Hey, first of all thanks for reading this, hope you can help

    Ok here's the loooongs troubled story of my poor 1.8T
    I was in Germany, driving autobahn, like always, and my temp light came on. Waterpump failed and my engine was shoot. so we took it apart, had the head fixed new waterpump new turbo. Put the baby back togehter, no problem.

    Few days later i noticed i was loosing a lot of coolant. And upon checkin my oil i noticed some yellowish sludge on the cap and the dipstick. Changed the oil but it looked pretty normal. It kept doing it and we ended up taking it back apart, checking the head and replacing the headgasket - again.
    Few days later, same problem. So we figured the block was shoot. So i got another engine. Block and head, 60K.
    I come back to the states, everythings cool, now a few days ago i noticed i'm loosing coolant again. What the heck. Sludge on the cap and the dipstick AGAIN. Its a different engine though!

    So what could it be? Headgasket? Ok i can work with that. Intake valve gasket? Oil cooler that sits above the oilfilter. I cant think of any other places where they could mix. no oil in the coolant, just water in the oil.
    Please help

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  3. #2
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    You've listed the most suspect culprets, could be a cracked head too.

  4. #3
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    I would hope not, not being back in the states, never driving faster then 90mph. No real stress to the engine. No overheating, actually has a hard time getting up to temperature sometimes.
    I guess i have no choice but to take it apart next week.
    Any other ideas what i can do before i go through the troube of taking this whole engine apart again, ANYTHING HELP!

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by silencer_tk
    Oil cooler that sits above the oilfilter.
    This is a fairly common failure - it corrodes through between the water and oil. Sometimes water goes into the oil, sometimes, oil into water.

  6. #5
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    so your saying change the oil cooler first...

  7. #6
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    We had changed the oil cooler back then. Then we swapped the whole engine..
    And the weird thing is it didn't start right away. Didn't start seeing the yellow stuff until after a few weeks. I mean whats the chances of the oil cooler going bad AGAIN. So i'm thinking 70K miles, probably the headgasket.
    But it's just to weird, two engines and the same identical problem? Wasnt the head gasket with the first engine. So because we never found the real problem, we assumed it was in the head or block. Here i am with a totally different engine and *tada* yellow sludge is back. Thats why i'm thinking it's something outside the head and the block thats causing this...

  8. #7
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    I have been noticing small amounts of yellow sludge on the dipstick as well. Different car however 2000 V6 Manual 130,000. I have been worried that there is a head gasket leak aswell. But have no other symptoms to suggest that. the level of coolant has stayed the same. No loss of power, runs smooth. One thing I have noticed is that there is always yellow guck and water in my PCV system. I put in a new breather hose and valve which was completely filled with yellow crap. And later replaced the suction pump which was clogged two weeks later I take off the PCV to do the cam seals and there is more yellow stuff and water in the breather hose again. It wasn't clogged but it was there and it is kind of unsettling. It is rather cold here so I am wondering if it could just be condensation and oil emulsified. I know water is a product of combustion and so i could see it naturally collecting in the breather system. I took off the valve cover this weekend and didn't notice any yellow sludge in there which is reassuring. I know the V6 has a oil separator attached to the block below the intake manifold which the sludge from the pvc could flow back into the oil pan. The 1.8t is of course different but do you think this could all be becasue of poorly designed breather systems. In the write ups I have been reading for V6 PCV replacement it seems as though most people have a lot of crud in there.
    Is it reasonable to think there is a fair anmount of water in blow by gasses? That might collect in the breather system and emulsify with the oil?
    hopefully this is more of a nussiance than harmfull.
    Have you been doing all the work yourself on this car?

  9. #8
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    Yes, some water can condense out of the air and combustion by-products and result in a small amount of yellowish sludge on the dipstick and filler cap, but that does not account for losing coolant. Is it possible that you are losing coolant some other place (leaking radiator, hoses, etc.) and the yellow sludge is just coincidental?

  10. #9
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    How would i find out. I suppose there's no way to check for a leak. I did a visual inspection but didn't notice anything. It would explain why i'm loosing coolant again, with a totally different engine. But lets add the time factor - i didn't loose coolant or have sludge until i had put about 5000 miles on the engine....

  11. #10
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    isn't there some kind of dye you can put in to find leaks?

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glucks
    isn't there some kind of dye you can put in to find leaks?
    Yes, I bought some to use at work, but I don't remember for sure where I got it - maybe McMaster-Carr.

    Here's a link: http://www.mcmaster.com/ctlg/loadpag...+Leak+Detector

  13. #12
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    The dye is available at autozone. I'd need a uv light though..... any other suggestions?

  14. #13
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    I don't know if this works but black lights are pretty cheap and availble at most hardware stores. Autozone may lend you the light for free they loan out many tools.

  15. #14
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    I'll check it out tomorrow. I'll also check the pcv valve. I expect sludge in there to, at least thats how it was with my old engine. If so, what would it be....

  16. #15
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    no luck, havent had time to do it.
    and i also noticed some dark sticky sludge on the cap today, so i'm not going to take my chances, i'm going to change my oil tomorrow. So anybody else have anything to add?

  17. #16
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    i dont know but could it possibly be a part that you left in when you changed the engine? is the new water pump you put in instyalled correctly, i feel for you i woiuld hate to spend so much time and money and not have a working car.

  18. #17
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    Well gentlemen its official. This engine is done.
    I wanted to change the oil today and took the extra time to take off the valve cover. Oh lord. Everything was sticky. Not crazy sticky, but everything that was covered with a brown film - well you couldn just wipe over it with your finger. it was nice and tacky. So i'm FUCKED excuse my language.
    So i'm taking the head off to see if its the gasket and i guess take it to a shop and have it checked. Anybody know if theres a other way to get the front end off, besides buying the special tool from vw?

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by silencer_tk
    Anybody know if theres a other way to get the front end off, besides buying the special tool from vw?
    Sorry to hear about your problems. If you are referring to putting the front end into the "service position" then I'm pretty sure you can just use threaded rod of the proper diameter and thread pitch. I believe EvilVariant as well as a couple others are familiar with this procedure. (Evil, sorry if it's not you).

  20. #19
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    got any pictures?

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by silencer_tk
    everything that was covered with a brown film - well you couldn just wipe over it with your finger.
    That doesn't sound necessarily like the result of water getting in - a brown film (varnish-like) deposit on metal parts is fairly common with the use of dino oil over a long period.

  22. #21
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    Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to "things i've learned today"

    the brown film, you where right is very common in engines that ran dino for a long time. This engine has only ran synt for about 3 oil changes.
    Also, if water is mixing with the oil, it will be everywhere. this was not the case. No sludge up in the head, no sludge in the oil when i drained it.
    Coolant dye is very effective. I spilled some and eventhough you can really forget the whole UV light thingy, the coolant glows green.
    I noticed some dried up pink spots along the coolant hose that runs out of the coolant tank down into the radiator. Maybe thats where my leak is.
    Drained the old oil, new filter, new oil, synthetic blend, and one bottle of B12chemtool. Ran the engine for about 4 min, drained the oil. And it was........ fairly clean. No black flakes or anything.
    Then poored another can of mobil 1 5w-30 through to rinse it out and changed the oil filter again. This time a bosch. And filled it up with brand new mobil1 5w-30.
    Done deal. Hopefully i can find the coolant leak by monday, else i'm taking it to VW.
    Judging the amount of coolant lost - versus the little amount of sludge found on the oil-cap theres no way thats the same stuff.
    So i took some pics of the head, how do i post them in here?

    Thank you guys so much for helping me out and adding your thoughts. I was really flipping out here.

  23. #22
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    glad you didnt go ahead and swap engines again. I am curious to see those pics I don't know how to post them either. Keep looking for that leak I am sure you'll find it.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glucks
    glad you didnt go ahead and swap engines again. I am curious to see those pics I don't know how to post them either. Keep looking for that leak I am sure you'll find it.
    Ditto..... Good luck.

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