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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car is at 61,000 miles now. I have been doing my own oil changes since 25,000. I've noticed over the miles that each oil change seems to drain longer and accept less new oil. When I put in 3.9 quarts now, the dipstick is over the mark and up to the next neck in the dipstick. It didn't use to do that.

So I'm wondering, sludge buildup despite using Synpower 5w40 since 35,000 miles? Sludge is not a good thing. The engine also is not as smooth as it once was. I can feel it stumbling very slightly while idling at a red light. I am thinking that the solution may be to just remove the oil pan and clean it out. Having never been inside there before I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. Anyone ever done anything like that?

There is also a sludge cleaning solvent recommended by bobistheoilguy.com, but the process involves several thousand miles and 3 oil changes. Sounds like it would be easier for me to clean the oil pan once at my next service. Any ideas?
 

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Triumph: I've done the pan removal, pump replacement. Altair 4 is right, it's not fun nor easy on the 1.8T.

You have a classic case of symptoms for sludge. Whatever you do PULEEZE don't do one of the quick flushes or take it to an oil change place that does the power flush. :puke: That cost me a pump and a turbo and almost cost my top end. It dumps all the stuff from the whole engine down to the bottom and it instantly clogs the oil intake screen. Here is what I would do in your situation:

Get two bottles of Auto-RX (www.Auto-RX.com) and follow their heavy sludge removal procedure. Auto-RX is perfectly safe and it absolutely works. It will remove your sludge all over the engine and do it will clean up the ring packs and you'll get smoothness and power back. This product works... it just takes time.

Alternately, here's what I would do if I wanted to attack the sludge in the pan instantly and then do the Auto-RX for the top end:
-Drop the oil.
-Put the plug back in.
-Pour in 3 qts of kerosene. DO NOT START THE ENGINE.
-Take off the filler cap so vapors can escape.
-Let it sit overnight, then dump the kero. LOTS of junk will come out.
-Repeat above steps again for a second clean and rinse.
-Pour another couple quarts through with the drain open to purge the loose stuff. Let it thoroughly drain.

-Put the plug back in and put in some cheapo oil.
-Run the engine for 5 mins at idle until it warms up.
-Drop the oil and the filter.
-Replace oil with decent dino oil and run Auto-RX for the 1500 mile cleaning phase and follow their directions.

The kero trick has been used for a long time by mechanics. In fact the quickie flushes are mostly kero. They're just too harsh and risky in this situation to risk starting the engine. Bad for seals too.

Auto-RX has worked really, really well for me not only in my Passat but in my Windstar, and others on CB5 have used it with excellent results. The ONLY risk with using it is that if you are on the cusp of a total sludgeup and pump failure it may be too slow, as it takes 3500 miles for one full cycle of cleaning and rinsing. Sounds to me like you may not be quite there yet.

Since I've got mine cleaned out I'm going to keep 3oz of Auto-RX in each oil change to keep the engine totally clean. Sludge never again! It's a really destructive pain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
5,000 miles, mixture of city/highway. Average driving I would say.

ericpeterman: why do the kerosene flush if I'm just going to run Auto-RX? won't the Auto-RX also deal with the oil pan sludge?
 

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Triumph: See my section on the "ONLY risk". Kero instantly debulks a bunch of sludge if you think you're right on the edge of a failure. Auto-RX takes a few thousand miles, and with as much as you might have you'll probably want to follow their 2 bottle procedure.

Please do keep us posted on your progress. If you decide to drop the pan I can e-mail the procedure I followed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
eric: I doubt I am anywhere near the point of failure. If I am, then I would be seriously disheartened by VW's engineering abilities. I drive my car fairly hard, but I have always followed 5,000 mile intervals with IMO the best available synthetic oil for the 1.8T, and I always cool down before shutting off the motor. make no mistake, i take care of this car mechanically.

I am at 61,500 right now, sounds like a perfect time to do 1500 + 2000 mile service per their instructions, and I can jump back to synthetic at 65,000 miles. Any idea what the forum member price is for Auto-RX?
 

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I think you get a $5 off coupon. Go to their site and it'll tell you. Retail is around $25 I think.

I really hope you're not near the point of failure but your mileage and OCI put you in the crosshairs I'm sorry to say. When I say "failure" I mean that enough coked oil particles clog the oil intake screen that you get pressure failure and a bunch of valve train noise and potential wear. Also the turbo gets starved for oil in that case and the bearing comes apart!

The problem is that the turbo is really hard on oil and tends to coke it. This leaves you with the question: if coking happened before, what is to prevent it again. I think the solution is to deal with the symptoms and suppress them totally with a maint dose of RX with each oil change.

I think you're going to be very happy with the Auto-RX though.
 

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5,000 miles, mixture of city/highway. Average driving I would say.
Nuts. I was afraid you were going to say that. Maybe it's time for me to consider Auto-rx on a prophylactic basis, as it were. I'm at 15,000 miles and using a 4,400 mile OCI, using Synpower 5w-40. Any advice on how to avoid getting into Triumph's situation?
 

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Altair 4: I think a maint dose of Auto-RX with each OC is called for in the 1.8T. SynPower 5-40 is good stuff in this engine so I don't think a change of oil would necessarily help.

Also, make sure you let the turbo cool off by running it for a minute or so before shutoff after a hard run or hill climb. Finally, the PCV valve and crankcase breather tube need to be maintained properly or gasses will not be properly purged and sludge will form. I think that contributed to the overall problem in my car. PCV was junked up and breather tube cracked. When I took it all apart it was really ugly with sludge and coke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Altair 4 said:
5,000 miles, mixture of city/highway. Average driving I would say.
Nuts. I was afraid you were going to say that. Maybe it's time for me to consider Auto-rx on a prophylactic basis, as it were. I'm at 15,000 miles and using a 4,400 mile OCI, using Synpower 5w-40. Any advice on how to avoid getting into Triumph's situation?
apparently buy something better engineered than a VW! :mad:

i've always been a defender of VW's core engineering abilities, despite electrical nuisances and the like. i think i'm losing the faith. as a mechanical engineer, i can tell you that proper cooling is one of the FIRST things you address when designing almost anything! stupid goddang 3.9 quart oil capacity. what the fuck? i've always expected this engine to run to 150,000 miles without trouble. and since removing engine sludge is not on the regular service schedule, i do consider this running into trouble.
 

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Triumph: Actually this problem is common to a LOT of engines nowdays. Read up on Camrys and massive sludging (I mean pounds of it) and weep! Saturns too, etc.

Consider using the Big Kahuna Napa oil filter. It adds a lot of oil capacity. Search for it on this site.

Your engine will definitely go a long time if you address this issue. I have 103k and perfect compression and zero oil consumption even after the oil pump screen sludge problem. Now that I know to keep the issue a non-issue with a little Auto-RX I'm extremely happy with the engine.
 

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Triumph said:
Altair 4 said:
5,000 miles, mixture of city/highway. Average driving I would say.
Nuts. I was afraid you were going to say that. Maybe it's time for me to consider Auto-rx on a prophylactic basis, as it were. I'm at 15,000 miles and using a 4,400 mile OCI, using Synpower 5w-40. Any advice on how to avoid getting into Triumph's situation?
apparently buy something better engineered than a VW! :mad:

i've always been a defender of VW's core engineering abilities, despite electrical nuisances and the like. i think i'm losing the faith. as a mechanical engineer, i can tell you that proper cooling is one of the FIRST things you address when designing almost anything! stupid goddang 3.9 quart oil capacity. what the fuck? i've always expected this engine to run to 150,000 miles without trouble. and since removing engine sludge is not on the regular service schedule, i do consider this running into trouble.
3.9 qtz oil sump for a turbo engine is pretty ridiculous. The most cost effective preventative maintance you can do for the 1.8T engine is to increase the oil capacity by using the over-sized oil filter Wix 51333 or Napa 1333 (1 qtz + 3.9 qtz of oil is a good thing) :thumbup: .
 

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The Synpower is a group 3 oil that has shown to shear to a 30 weight. Shearing causes sludge. Switch to a good shear stable group 4/5 oil like German Castrol 0w-30 or Mobil Truck and SUV 5w-40. They are shear stable and show great wear results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
TWhite said:
The Synpower is a group 3 oil that has shown to shear to a 30 weight. Shearing causes sludge. Switch to a good shear stable group 4/5 oil like German Castrol 0w-30 or Mobil Truck and SUV 5w-40. They are shear stable and show great wear results.
the mobil is new, so i haven't considered that, but the castrol is not the correct weight to begin with. i don't know if it meets the other oil requirements, either. shearing to a 30 weight or starting at 30, not much difference it seems.
 

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The German Castrol, which is almost a 40w, is the factory fill for Audi and meets all the VW requirments for your engine. I use it in my 03 v6 and it really runs smooth. I had previously used M1 0w-40 but after 4k miles noticed a rougher hot idle. It has been shown to shear down to a 30w as well. But, starting with a 30w that stays in grade is much better than having one that shears down because it doesn't produce sludge.
 

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Altair 4: I think a maint dose of Auto-RX with each OC is called for in the 1.8T. SynPower 5-40 is good stuff in this engine so I don't think a change of oil would necessarily help.

Also, make sure you let the turbo cool off by running it for a minute or so before shutoff after a hard run or hill climb. Finally, the PCV valve and crankcase breather tube need to be maintained properly or gasses will not be properly purged and sludge will form. I think that contributed to the overall problem in my car. PCV was junked up and breather tube cracked. When I took it all apart it was really ugly with sludge and coke.
Hi Eric, I read some of your posts on sludging issues and felt compelled to write to you. I recently went thru this on my 01 1.8t audi A4. I started getting the warning light while driving. Lifters were very loud, added 1/2 can of seafoam, everything went quiet and smoothh. Changed oil, ran 2nd 1/2 of seafoam, dropped oil and filter. Well, all was well for 60 miles or so and then the dreaded light was back on, along with lifter noise.
I think what might have contributed is something similar to what you had. I had a cracked oil breather tube that connects to the oil filter housing. I made the mistake of cleaning it with a screw driver. That dislodged the coke, sludge which then got picked up by the pickup tube.
I current have the car on stands, pan loosened but stuck and will drop the crossmember to get it out.
I just ordered Auto-RX was per your suggestion.
How should I go about doing this after installing new filter? Should I go to group3 oil for now and add auto-rx? do 2 treatments?
I feel like the bottom end will be perfect when done (new pump and pickup tube) but the top end is still probably gunked up.
Thanks for your advise.
Raj
 

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Hello guys: Ive reading all your threads...........I have a 01 passat 4-cyl 1.8 turbo several years ago I was trying to do my oil change and noticed that my return tank for the radiator fluid was very brown and looked **** it had
oil in it (is this possible:?)
anyway it was taken care of at the dealer but they were very careful to not divulge too much info to me
I have always been suspicious of this and hve heard of a certain lawsuit concerning sludge does any one know of this?

thanks tm
 
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