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2000 Passat B5 wagon, 4-Motion, 2.8l ATQ
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Discussion Starter #1
Are the two metal lines with the droplets on the bottom brake lines? [Front passenger side, near sway bar] As far as I can see, they connect to braided hoses above.

A couple of months ago, I marked the brake fluid level in the reservoir because it seemed lower than normal. Since then, the level does not seem to have dropped, although I haven’t driven much during this period. When I removed the belly pan, it was greasy in this area. I cleaned the metal lines, and haven’t seen any new drops in the past few weeks.

The only repairs I had done recently was replacement of all motor mounts.


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Those are the trans cooler lines and they carry trans fluid to the radiator. If you trace them back, they go above the axle and connect there to metal lines that go over the top of the trans and into the side. The oil dipstick is also above that area, but it looks like the lines are leaking as everything above the lines is dry, but the lines further up look wet.
In this pic with the subframe removed, you can see the dipstick and oil pan seeping, but the lines are relatively clean. I have seen some lines rust through enough to leak. If you need new lines, I have this set in the pic from when I swapped to a manual trans.

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2000 Passat B5 wagon, 4-Motion, 2.8l ATQ
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Discussion Starter #4
Those are the trans cooler lines ...
Nice photo.

Ha, maybe I should go back to a manual transmission - I drove my ‘86 Accord for 30 years!

This is going to be above my skill level. With the naked eye, best I can see from below, the greasy fluid starts ABOVE the junction point [about half way down in your photo]. From above, I can’t see much at all. And, I’m assuming there’s no easy way to check the trans fluid to see how much I’ve lost …

The $3K question: Is the labor cost on this going to be very expensive or very very expensive?
 

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I imagine it's not a simple job with the subframe, cats and axle in place. You can check the trans oil only by having the car level on stands and running. Then pull the fill plug and add some until it runs out, again not a simple job.
I expect the lower lines can be pulled with just the axle out, but the uppers require the rear of the subframe to be lowered. With the exhaust in the way, it would still be a pain.
Before all of this, I would check the oil level. It's possible a blown cam plug could be dripping oil down the back of the engine where it meets the trans and dripping down onto the trans lines. That is an easier repair.
 

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2000 Passat B5 wagon, 4-Motion, 2.8l ATQ
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Discussion Starter #7
I would check the oil level. It's possible a blown cam plug ...
Yes, I do need to add 0.5+ quarts of oil every 1K miles. There has never been any blue smoke. And no oil leaks at the oil pan / filter area. I'm not sure what is "normal" for these cars at 146K miles - I inherited the car a few years ago.

With a flexible mirror and by removing some of the upper plastic-ware, would I be able to see the cam plug(s)? I have the 2.8l engine.

If the trans fluid were getting low, is there a sensor that triggers a fault code?

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Discussion Starter #9
as to tranny fluid,no code or warning....check and fill per protocol
Is it possible to distinguish between trans fluid and motor oil, from a few drops sample? I changed the motor oil a few days ago, so it's still pretty clean.
 

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It's tough with older oil, but new oil would be pretty clear. Try some oil off the dipstick and compare. Trans oil is pretty thin, closer to 10W from what I have heard.
Pulling the engine covers and intake flex tube off would allow a mirror back enough to see the cam cap. You can reach them easier than you can see them. Here is a good pic from the back, while I had the trans out. You can see a little seepage under the CCT and the black coated cam plug on the right.
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Correct me if I am mistaken, isn't there a UV tracer available that you can put in your oil ? or was this some just gimmick I had read about ? Or was it maybe in your coolant?
 

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Correct me if I am mistaken, isn't there a UV tracer available that you can put in your oil ? or was this some just gimmick I had read about ? Or was it maybe in your coolant?
That is for coolant leaks. One of my colleagues had it and suggested to me using it. It's about $10 but you also need a special flash light to expose it.
 

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That is for coolant leaks. One of my colleagues had it and suggested to me using it. It's about $10 but you also need a special flash light to expose it.
Maybe as you've seen it applied on this site, but they most certainly make the UV dye for A/C systems and various oil types. Basically, if it's on a car and can leak, they have a dye for it.
 
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Yes, I have seen the oil leak dye, but never used it as I don't have a UV light.
 
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