"engine" smell coming out of vents.

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  1. #1
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    "engine" smell coming out of vents.

    I get a bit of engine smell when I drive.

    Even the 'cabin air control' on the off position, there is still a bit of breeze coming out of the vents, and that s where the smell comes from.

    is that the cabin filter?

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  3. #2
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    Take a look at the filter. It could be moldy. I change mine twice a year to keep it fresh.

  4. #3
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    By "engine" smell do you possibly mean burning oil smell? it's possibly some oil leaks that are burning off on the manifold when you drive. It's a pretty common issue.

  5. #4
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    ^^^ that will most likely be your cam seals.

  6. #5
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    valve cover gasket

  7. #6
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    Year, mileage, engine, maintenance history...?

    My vote's for PCV issues (especially if an early B5).

  8. #7
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    i own a B5.5 (built 09/02) v6 wagon, 5sp, 49000 miles, i m the second owner; first was a lease so I m pretty sure it was somewhat maintained.

    I tried troubleshooting a bit today:
    -when the AC is on, the smell isn't too bad.
    -when the ventilation is on "cabin recycle" the smell isn t so bad either.
    -the worse is when the air comes from the outside (engine?), without the AC on (ventilation only)

    I'll have the cam seals changed in 10K miles, wile doing the TB job, hopefully they ll do it under warranty.

    until then, will a new cabin filter resolve the smell issue?


  9. #8
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    the smell comes right away though, right upon starting the car pretty much. if it was oil burning, wouldn t it take a while before it started to smell?

  10. #9
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    You should have it checked out right away. To stop the smell until you do, push the recirculate button (this will also stop the "breeze" you describe, which is normal in all automobiles). Just don't do this and pretend the problem's solved!

  11. #10
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    ok, I ll take it in asap, thanks for the advice.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by katone
    i own a B5.5 (built 09/02) v6 wagon, 5sp, 49000 miles, i m the second owner; ...I'll have the cam seals changed in 10K miles, wile doing the TB job, hopefully they ll do it under warranty.

    until then, will a new cabin filter resolve the smell issue?
    I think cam seals (or almost anything that would be causing the problem) would be covered under the 4/50 bumper to bumper warranty. Why wait 10k miles? You're barely still under the B2B warranty now, so in another 10k you'd be resorting to the PT warranty (which only goes to 60k, and does that even apply for the 2nd owner?), which might or might not cover it depending on exactly what's wrong...(unless you have some sort of extended coverage?).

    In any case I wouldn't just cover it up by replacing the cabin filter. If you really need to as a temporary measure, probably best to go with the more expensive carbon type.

  13. #12
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    thanks, I already scheduled at VW.

    btw, what does PCV mean?

  14. #13
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    PCV = Positive Crankcase Ventilation

  15. #14
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    is PCV 'related' to the cam seals at all?

    Sorry if I m asking many questions, i m just willing to learn and know a bit more about this issue before talking directly to the VW dealer. it might save some time and money (and might also get my car fixed correctly)..

  16. #15
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    Yes, my understanding is if the PCV system is clogged up, it can allow pressure to build up in the crankcase and blow out the cam seals.

  17. #16
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    my bet is that accessing the PCV to clean all that up must not be that easy.. correct?

  18. #17
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    Someone who knows the V6 would be better than me to answer that. For the 1.8T it's not too bad, but that's partly due to the writeups and pics in the info forum post. I don't see the same info available there for the V6, so that even makes me wonder that it may not really be the same issue with that engine.

  19. #18
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    piece of cake...
    here's an awesome writeup by ashman78:
    V6 PCV system replacement (with pics)

  20. #19
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    In addition to all of the above, it could also be a cracked dipstick tube causing your oil smell.

  21. #20
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    Great, thanks for the DIY link.

    1- it seems that the PCV issue would NOT be taken care off under warranty (normal tear), while the cam seal would.. am I right?

    2- could it be that ONLY the PCV is damaged (and create the oil smell in the cabin)?
    if so, is there any way to check is cam seals are affected?
    if so again, maybe I should replace the PCV before taking it to the dealership and save some $$.//.

    3- I have CEL on (not blinking), code "P0441: Evaporative Emission Control System Incorrect Purge Flow" (yes, my gas cap is tight..).
    Could this be related at all with the PCV/cam seal issue?

  22. #21
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    1 - Not sure why it wouldn't be covered under the B2B as long as something is actually failed/broken.

    2 - Yes, it could be only a PCV problem. That was the case for me.

    3 - Seems could definitely be related, but someone who knows the codes should confirm or deny.

    Thing is with the dealer it's tough to try to point them at what's wrong. They don't like to be told their job, they assume you're like most customers and couldn't possibly know what you're talking about, or whatever the reason. At least you also have the CEL to point at that they must fix.

  23. #22
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    I visually inspected the engine, PCV, looked around for leaks. everything seems clean.

    I'll bring it to the shop tomorrow morning and report.

  24. #23
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    Its not a leak your looking for

    its cloged with CRAP

    that makes extra pressure in the passanger side valve cover area causing it to seep oil

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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash893
    dude, that's really bad man... what's the mileage when you changed that PCV? mine wasn't clogged like that, but still it was so dirty.

  27. #26
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    wow.
    what causes the PCV to get clogged like that, is that 'normal' tear??

  28. #27
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    is there anyway to find out if the cam seals are in bad shape just by doing a 'visual inspection'?

  29. #28
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    Not to semi-hijack, but are there any write-ups around for replacing a cam seal &/or cam chain tensioner? I've been looking & haven't found one yet.

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by StewPidass0
    Not to semi-hijack, but are there any write-ups around for replacing a cam seal &/or cam chain tensioner? I've been looking & haven't found one yet.
    Check Audiworld, I think I saw a decent one over there recently (2.8?)

  31. #30
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    when you find it let me know ill added to the index

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