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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 Passat GLX. Automatic.

About a month and a half ago, I was driving home from work late one night. When I stopped at the first stoplight after exiting off the freeway, I noticed a terrible burnt smell and thought I had driven into it. As I drove the few remaining blocks home I had to roll down the window because of the smell and get some fresh air. I realized the smell was coming from my car. In my garage I popped the hood and smoke came up. It was late and dark so I monitored the car for a while and went inside. The next morning, I decided to drive it 4 blocks to the mechanic. When I backed out I noticed oil on the ground.

The mechanic told me whoever did my last oil change put on the wrong filter and the seal blew out. Well last night the same thing happend again when coming home from work. As I got off the free way I noticed the same smell and now there is oil under my car.

What's going on?

The weather has been relatively warm this winter, however both nights this has happened have been on two cold (zero degrees) nights. Probably the two coldest so far. I'm wondering if I need to give my car more time to warm up before getting on the freeway from work. It's not like I start the car up and then immediately drive it 70 mph. I let it warm for a couple of minutes and drive it easy until I see that it is warmed up. Maybe I need to be more easy with it during cold nights.
 

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It's possible that the mounting area is dirty, preventing the filter gasket from making a tight seal.
 

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oil type what does oil have to do with it? how about what oil filters are you using? are you doing your own oil changes?
A 50W could contribute to this problem. It's a good question, along with your of course.
 

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So are you saying that this second filter was the correct one and the problem still happened? Who is changing your oil? Hard to believe the sealing gasket is blowing out in zero degree weather with proper filter and oil weight (viscosity grade). With cold engine, wrong viscosity oil, and "cheap" oil filter, I guess it is possible that the oil pressure can be high enough to blow out gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Previous to any problem, Firestone did my oil change. I took my car to a different garage (Lehman's) when I first had a problem. Lehman's told me the wrong oil filter (from Firestone) was installed and the seal blew out. This filter had been on a long time and it was time for an oil change anyways.

Lehmans put on an oil filter (I'm assuming the right one) but I don't know what type of oil they used. You would think it would be an oil for colder temps.

I'm wondering if maybe Firestone did put on the correct filter since the one from Lehman's also had the seal blown out.

I just got back from Lehman's but they are closed until Monday. I'll update the board when I get new info.

Thanks for the responses so far.
 

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I'm assuming that since you don't do your own changes that the car is at the shop and that you're not driving it around still risking running out of oil. When the shop does replace the filter, ask them to see the old filter so that you can determing if it is in fact the right filter for your car. I'd also suggest as someone else pointed out in this thread that you ask them to clean the area BEFORE putting on the new filter - if there is oil in the area it will prevent the new filter from sealing correctly.

Also, tons of oil change shops install oil filters incorrectly. Most think they have to crank them down as hard as they can. This can crush the gasket making it essentially useless. An oil filter installed correctly has a light coating of fresh oil on the rubber gasket and is only tightened down hand tight (and then I do a quarter turn with a filter wrench).
 

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I suppose its worth saying that the symptoms you described could indicate the same problem but they could also be symptoms of other problems too. Depending on how much oil you're finding under the car, one other typical problem that comes to mind is cam tensioner gaskets. In the V6, when these go, one side will leak oil down onto the exhaust where it burns and stinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I left my car at the mechanic's yesterday and walked home. Luckily my parents have a car I have been using.

I really think the cold weather had something to do with it since it happened both times on the two coldest nights of the year.

I'll be sure to find out the what kind of oil they are using, and ask to see the filter, and to ask them to clean the mounting area and check for an old seal.

One thing I'm also wondering about is that during both these events I never got a check engine/oil light.

I'll post an update tomorrow or Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I suppose its worth saying that the symptoms you described could indicate the same problem but they could also be symptoms of other problems too. Depending on how much oil you're finding under the car, one other typical problem that comes to mind is cam tensioner gaskets. In the V6, when these go, one side will leak oil down onto the exhaust where it burns and stinks.
I just found out when I called the garage, they said the oil filter is just fine and something about the seal associated with the cam. They said to get it fixed would cost about $610.
 

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The cam seals are on the front and back of the head. It would be hard to confuse them with a blown oil gasket. Hmmm.

How's your PCV system doing?
 

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this threaded stud:

threads into this interface on the engine:

which holds the oil cooler on...there is a 27mm nut which sandwiches the oil cooler on. the filter then threads onto this same threaded stud.

its possible the nut on the oil cooler stud is loose...this would cause the oil filter to seem tight when installed, but with vibration could cause things to move around and a leak would develop.
 

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I just found out when I called the garage, they said the oil filter is just fine and something about the seal associated with the cam. They said to get it fixed would cost about $610.
I believe there's oil leaking at the cam seals, but how does that explain the oil filter blowing off? At least ask them to walk you through that before authorizing repairs. At this point, you could have oil leaking off the frame, block and belly pan that would burn on the exhaust and drip on the ground. When the oil filter came off, it made a big mess. If the filter coming off was an isolated incident due to wrong or misfitted filter, I'm not sure you have any urgent repair needed. How's your oil level?
 
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Yes get a can or two of brake cleaner...hit the whole frame and back of the V6 and the front....let it go and then when the smell comes back...you know whats the leak from. But the smell seems to be that
 
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