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2001 VW Passat GLX 4-Motion, 2.8L V6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
This has probably been covered based on what I've read, but I want to make sure I'm not misdiagnosing anything. I've noticed that the oil level in my Passat has been dropping a lot quicker than it usually should, like a quart of oil per 2 weeks. I looked under the hood and noticed that oil has been building up on the right exhaust manifold (when viewing the engine from the front). Whenever I come back from a drive I can see liquid oil on those manifolds as well. Opening up the right plastic cover, I found oil puddled near the spark plugs, as shown here in the (admittedly not too helpful) image. You can also see that there's oil that might be leaking out of the oil cap, though I'm not sure if that's normal or if that is a problem.
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The left side is nearly bone dry and no visible oil can be seen on it. It is only the right side that is having this issue. I've heard from forum posts that it means that the Valve Cover Gasket has failed and I'll need to replace it. But I've also heard that the PCV Valve/system has failed as well and is usually replaced with the valve cover gasket. I couldn't see any damage done to the PCV tubes, but I did notice some buildup near the Valve itself shown here.
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I'd assume that if the PCV system fails it'd only need to be leaking oil from just one valve cover instead of both. Now, would the oil cap leaking be attributed to the failed PCV or might the cap just needs to be replaced? Might the listed possible issues be correct or could it be something else? Will post more information if needed and when I have the time.
 

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That's leaking from the cap as that's oil pool is just in an airgap for the plug well. Now if you pull the plug wires off and find oil in the actual wells, then it's the VCG. The PCV looks to be leaking near the suction jet and those cloth covered vacuum hoses are in pretty bad shape. Don't be surprised if any plastic part you touch shatters (or if you look at it wrong).
1 Qt per week is pretty bad, although it's usually listed by mileage. I would look under the car at the oil pan if you are losing that much oil.
 

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2001 VW Passat GLX 4-Motion, 2.8L V6
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's leaking from the cap as that's oil pool is just in an airgap for the plug well. Now if you pull the plug wires off and find oil in the actual wells, then it's the VCG. The PCV looks to be leaking near the suction jet and those cloth covered vacuum hoses are in pretty bad shape. Don't be surprised if any plastic part you touch shatters (or if you look at it wrong).
1 Qt per week is pretty bad, although it's usually listed by mileage. I would look under the car at the oil pan if you are losing that much oil.
So I took a look again and pulled off the spark plug wires. Unfortunately I found oil in the spark plug well so the VCG likely failed. I checked the oil pan and the parts around it and saw oil stains covering the right side of the pan but none on the left side. The oil pan itself shouldn't be leaking though, as there's no visible oil puddles on the ground when it is parked. There's also quite a bit of oil coking on all the parts on and next to the right side of the engine, but it stops past the valve covers.
 

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It would be a good idea to clean the engine to confirm there are no other leaks. I had a cracked valve cover on my son's car and it leaked a lot of oil before I finally noticed the crack.
 
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2004 2.8 V6 B5.5, now a 2012 CC GT
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Don't forget the caps at the rear of the engine too, they like to leak oil onto the exhaust. My VCG was bad enough to create a misfire as it had ruined the HT leads as well (by coating in oil and they break down under HT).
 

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2001 VW Passat GLX 4-Motion, 2.8L V6
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't forget the caps at the rear of the engine too, they like to leak oil onto the exhaust. My VCG was bad enough to create a misfire as it had ruined the HT leads as well (by coating in oil and they break down under HT).
I’ll do that too. I’ve seen a couple of videos on how to do it and it doesn’t seem too difficult. I’ve also seen people say to replace the cam chain tensioner gasket while I’m in there. Is that something I should do?
 

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2004 2.8 V6 B5.5, now a 2012 CC GT
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Good question, I don't recall changing mine, but I may have just done it without thinking...
 

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If it has not been done in a long time, I always suggest changing it out when the valve cover gasket is changed. Mine tended to leak every 5 years or less depending on how much it was driven.
 
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