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Discussion Starter #1
I could really use everyones help! My vw passat wagon 1.8t gls 4motion is leaking oil and I can't find it anywhere! I recently replaced my crankcase breather hose along with all the rubber fittings that connects it all together along with the pcv valve all from the factory. After replacing the pcv system i replaced my vavle cover and cam gear chain tensioner gasket and half moon seal. I took the time to make sure all the surfaces were clean before putting it all back together. Now my car is leaking oil really bad and I can't find the source for the life of me and when my heat is on defrost I can smell oil burning still. There are no puddles under my car and while it's running if I stick my head near the back of my engine I can smell oil burning but can't find out where. I disconnected everything so i could take a closer look at the cam gear chain tensioner and the half moon seal area and it looks completely dry but I cant inspect that area with the car running. Is it possible that I overtightened the cam caps or cam gear chain tensioner which is causing my engine to burn oil on the inside? I also noticed the cgct has a little gasket where it connects to the wiring harness but I cant imagine losing that much oil from there. Could it be an oil feed or return line that somehow got damaged during the work I did? I just did an oil change and I scored the dipstick so I could keep an eye on the level and within 2 days I am almost a quart low. I spent a good amount of money already and I can't afford to keep guessing so please help me figure this out. I will upload some photos as well.
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Oil can leak through the turbo and it will go into the engine intake. Is there any black soot inside the tail pipe?

I'd say some slight oil smell isn't uncommon after working on the parts you did. It should burn off eventually. I think if the car is losing a quart in 2 days it would be visible if the leak was just a hose clamp or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Before I did all of this I did notice some dark fluid around the fuel injectors but I figured it was due to the clogged pcv system ill check the tailpipe now and will report back. I did put some uv dye in the oil to see if it will help find the leak. Thank you for the feedback!
 

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pull the plugs, too. Note the color and condition of the tips. Pull the hose from the bottom of the intercooler and see if any oil drains out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The plugs were covered in oil when i did the job which was due to the bad valve cover gasket and I planned on changing them but this oil leak has consumed my time. I put some uv dye in this morning and drove it around for a little bit and confirmed I have 2 oil leaks. Looks like the o ring near the oil filter housing needs to be replaced but the larger leak is building up oil over here in the photos (passenger wheel well)
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but still cant find the source. Should I still pull the house from the bottom of the intercooler?
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If it's a phone camera, take a picture of the back of the engine from down near the back of the cat on a cool engine. If there was no die in the oil before the repairs, it's leaking from that area. I've had old leaks smell for over 2 hours as different parts coated with oil take longer to get hot enough to burn or evaporate it off.

I've seen leaks through the electrical connection to the CCT and even from a plugged port on the CCT. Get the camera as far behind the engine as possible. Take multiple pics as you move it around.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I took the day off of work to continue to find this leak. It is still leaking from behind the engine as shown in the photos but I also noticed oil is building up on the lowing intercooling hose from the turbo side all the way to the driver side intercooler. I know my way around a car but I am not familiar with turbo really. What would be the easiest way to inspect the turbo and in the mean time I will try to take as many photos of the back of the engine. I cleaned up the area underneath the cct to see how severe the leak is in the back but with the amount of oil found on the lower intercooler piping im thinking that's where my oil is going.
 

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The turbo runs at 10k rpm or something so you can't readily inspect it. I'd just clean the oil out of the intercooler hose and drive the car for a while. If oil is collecting in there quickly the turbo is the leak and it will need to replaced. There are places that rebuild them but for this one (Garret K03 IIRC) I'd just replace it.

One quick check for the turbo is to see how much side-to-side play there is in the shaft. I think you can see it with the air intake hose removed. It will probably move slightly but anything over about 1/16" means there is probably too much play.
 

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You can pull off the inlet hose to the turbo and feel for that play if any. Pop the hose off the outlet side of the turbo to see if there is any oil build up and also at the connection to the intercooler.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you guys for all the feedback and it does seem that my turbo is the cause of the oil leak so I am going to buy a new turbo. Any suggestions on where i can find one at a fair price? Id rather just buy a new one vs finding one used only to have it die on me a few months later.
 

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mileage? check your turbo supply line.......if the turbo is leaking you will have no oil drooling on the engine, it will be inside the air plumbing (hoses, intercooler etc.) and as mentioned wipe your finger on inside of tailpipe for oily sooty residue......Turbo is a Borg Warner K03.... You mention it is really leaking now , implying that is was not as bad or apparent before you did the maintenance, PVC valve and check valves all going the correct direction ? Check the metallic pipe that goes from back of engine along valve cover to turbo area being clogged ,I believe your "puck" Pressure control valve could possibly be bad , with your year I think it is in back and above VC......
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am just about to hit 150k miles. All the factory scheduled service was done at a vw dealer up to 100k and then just regular service oil changes cv boots etc. The leak I found from the back is coming right under the cam gear chain tensioner and that surface was cleaned thoroughly so I am going to order a new puck but the aftermarket pricing is so much cheaper then from the factory but just gonna play it safe and get the factory one. Its not a constant leak and takes several minutes to start and its a drop or 2 here and there looks like all that oil buildup was from before doing the gaskets. The turbo is definitely leaking a lot more then it was before doing the gaskets and pcv system so puck first and then ill bite the bullet and replace the turbo and check the lines replace gaskets, crush washers etc. I have noticed on youtube getting to some of those exhaust bolts are very hard to get to and saw someone make a custom angled wrench. Any advice on how to access them easier?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The borg warner is $1,177.83 at autohaus for my 2005 vw passat 1.8t gls 4motion! (Pn 53049887500) I was expecting $600 but this is out of my budget. Thoughts on rebuilding a decent junkyard one so I can continue to drive my car daily and once the junkyard one is rebuilt swap it in?
 

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I think I still have the one I took off my old wagon at 200k that you can have for shipping if you're interested. IIRC, I swapped it out when I replaced the head and it was OK at the time although I wanted a newer unit on it after doing all that work. LMK.
 

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You have to shop around for turbos, I did get mine two years ago a new OEM, B.W., KO3 from Ca., like 600 bucks......Some have had success with offshore knock-offs, but that is a crap shoot, but for the price you could buy 3 !
As to removal, unbolt exhaust downpipe/cat. and slide down. The stud/nut (of 3) that is the pita is the back one, think it is 17mm, will post pic later today of wrench I modified, you might be able to find one with the obtuse angle/offset at McMaster Carr Supply. It seems like a daunting task but not that bad once you have done it, of course the first time......you and I know how that goes. At 150K, the metal pipes above turbo and cat. running along VC , need a complete internal cleaning with drano crystals,no doubt clogged. As to rebuild,kit is about 80 bucks, nothing to technical other than you have to be meticulous and methodical on disassembly ! so when reassembled balance is maintained. Or send it to be rebuilt ,I recommend; G-Pop Shop, very approachable and do the job correctly at a reasonable price. Did me right ! Other alternative,cheaper is just buy the cartridge, no balance required,just insert into your turbo body.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thank you so much for the help! You know the saying when it rains it pours. Of course right when I was about to buy the turbo the rear passenger seat was completely soaked so i had to pull my carpet and checked both sides and the back floor was really bad so I checked the front and rear sunroof drains which were good so I am thinking my other half must have left the sunroof open the other day when we had gotten like an inch or two of snow but to be safe I resealed the air cabin filter housing, dried the carpet and insulation underneath. ordered a borescope so I can take a closer look at all the connections without having to pull the entire headliner which will give me peace of mind. I do love this wagon and I don't mind putting in the time and money as long as this vehicle will last another 50-75k. In addition to replacing the turbo what else should I replace while I have everything taken apart? If I am going to put in a brand new turbo I want to make sure I only have to do this once. If you could post a pic of that modified wrench that would be awesome.
 

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Just search for offset box end wrench. You'll need a 17 mm. If you're lucky, all the bolts will come out. Good chance one will break though, but that's okay because you are replacing the turbo anyway. I'd suggest you have at least one new bolt on hand.
As for other things while you are in there, you should replace the gasket between the turbo and the cat. Also, replacing the rubber, U-shaped coolant pipe that attaches to the engine block behind the turbo is cheap insurance. It has banjo fittings on both ends. If it is weak and breaks later, you will curse it because you will have to take the turbo out again to fix it.
Lastly, check the condition of the small hose that runs from under the intake manifold, across the front of the engine, and down to the valve on the large air intake pipe that goes into the turbo. You can replace it with 7mm silicone or VW OEM braided, if it is shot. It's the hose that goes in the hangers on the upper timing belt cover.
 
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