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Hi Folks,
As many of yous know, it is common to find oil in the spark plug wells with these cars.

The reasons why I am concerned:
Enough oil can hydrolock the engine.
Small amounts can put the final nail in your older catalytic converter's coffin (not ideal for new cats either).
Foul up your plugs.
Carbon build up on your pistons & valves.


Some people use a rag wrapped around a stick--which is no where near enough!
(I don't like that idea because it also disrupts the debris from the wells and then it falls into the cylinder when you remove the spark plugs and I think this method can be replaced with something better.)

A better method is to first use a spray bottle top and put the straw tube as far down the well as possible next to the spark plug.
Some of the sprayer tubes are thinner than others and will go down deeper without interference from the spark plugs.
I think this method gets you close, but not close enough (a good first step).

A friend of mine suggested a siphon spray gun that can be used with a compressor.
(Think of something like a cheap sandblasting gun with a thin tube that can go all the way down the spark plug well.)

What is your method? Are you happy with it?
Or I am overthinking things?
I know just a drop of oil can cause a ton of smoke / soot.
My last thought is I should hold off on the spark plugs and only change them if I have to so that I don't gamble the cat/cats.

Anyways, this can be an info thread (from me) or tell me if I can do things better that my current two step method (spray bottle top, then siphon feed air gun).
 

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...Or I am overthinking things?
Could be. If there is so much oil in the wells that you risk hydrolocking the engine, then certainly swab out as much as possible before removing the plug. After that, use a new piece of absorbent fabric and twirl it with a stick or other appropriate tool to clean the plug seat. And a bit of oil is not going to ruin the cat, foul plugs, or carbon it up. That takes a continuous consumption of oil past the rings.
 

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Carb cleaner, compressed air. Wrap a rag around the blow gun. Repeat as necessary until oil removed.
Follow up with brake cleaner, repeat until dry.
Wear nitrile gloves (latex will pretty much insta-dissolve from the solvent.)

Messy it can be - but, it works. Been doing it that way for about 20 years (actual tech here.)
 

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the procedures previously outlined are the way to do it, and seriously doubt you will hydrolock cylinders.......assume you have a 1.8...... the problem (oil in wells) will probably re-occur, the problem is more than likely not bad/tired gaskets but more than likely clogged or a comprimised PCV system literally forcing the issue, If you have a lot of miles ? it will happen again ànd sooner. Personally if indeed up there in mileage and age, and yes the gaskets do fatique, that is what I would focus on, you might as well order a set of coil packs and plugs with your VC gasket set, and minimum PCV components. The coils albeit are "sealed" but even so the heating cooling cycle of running will induce oil to migrate internally, which oil, being a hydrocarbon creates "carbon tracking" and eventually one or all will progressively fail, my experience is the failure will occur on a Sunday night...... in BFE......... not in one , but two cylinders........did I mention with no tools......
 

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If NOT in a hurry ,form a tube about 6-7 inches long of corrugated (box) cardboard around a broomstick handle to shape ,insert down into well like a sparkplug socket and leave overnight, oil by capillary action will wick into cardboard and get it all
 

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Was it andreaspassat or someone that used a tampon? NOT kidding, I swear I read that somewhere.
 

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Was it andreaspassat or someone that used a tampon? NOT kidding, I swear I read that somewhere.
As much as I would like to clam this as my own idea I have to be honest, it was LineInTheWater and I that were discussing the quickest way to extract oil from the plugs wells and out of the blue he mentioned a tampon and we came up with the Genuine VAG tool Tamponsicle.
 
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As much as I would like to clam this as my own idea I have to be honest, it was LineInTheWater and I that were discussing the quickest way to extract oil from the plugs wells and out of the blue he mentioned a tampon and we came up with the Genuine VAG tool Tamponsicle.
Bah, close enough.


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Blue paper towel with a screwdriver is what I use if the oil is near the top of the spark plug. If it's well below the top, I just pull the plug and hit the well with a little brake cleaner. Kills all of the mosquitoes in town.
 
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As much as I would like to clam this as my own idea I have to be honest, it was LineInTheWater and I that were discussing the quickest way to extract oil from the plugs wells and out of the blue he mentioned a tampon and we came up with the Genuine VAG tool Tamponsicle.
you don't have to do this every month do you ?
 

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sorry, and rather than start a new thread I was thinking....you know how they say "in dog years" so you multiply by 7, i.e. your dog is 8 so he/she would be like 56 in "people " years.... wonder what factor "Passat" years would use ? I was think like 5 ? , my 2001.5 turns 17 March 6th. (2002 build date) so 85 ?
 

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sorry, and rather than start a new thread I was thinking....you know how they say "in dog years" so you multiply by 7, i.e. your dog is 8 so he/she would be like 56 in "people " years.... wonder what factor "Passat" years would use ? I was think like 5 ? , my 2001.5 turns 17 March 6th. (2002 build date) so 85 ?
It all depends on where the Passat lives, who is driving it and how they care for it. Some age quite quickly from neglect, road salt and abuse. My suspension and tires age faster than my brakes :)
 

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It all depends on where the Passat lives, who is driving it and how they care for it. Some age quite quickly from neglect, road salt and abuse.
Well said.
Back in WI the chemicals they put on the roads to melt the ice and snow, tears apart the drive train and suspension pretty quick.

In the early 70's when they used to pour salt on the roads like they were paving the roads with it, cars would rot out in less than 5 years.
I remember in 1976 my dad bought a 1972 Buick Skylark, that thing had holes in the rear quarter panels so big he had to strap the spare down so he wouldn't lose it going around corners. True story!
Now-a-days, they lay some other form of something or another to melt the ice and snow, that stuff when wet gets into all the suspension components, drive shaft bearings, cv joints, and even the axle seals and it just tears into everything.
It used to be the suspension and other protective rubber would dry rot just from sheer age, now it gets eaten away.

As far how the Passat ages...
My 1998 GLS just recently rolled 160K, Ever since I bought that car, I've driven almost every mile like I stole it. Still the original clutch in it. Even I'm bewildered about that one.
 

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Carb cleaner, compressed air. Wrap a rag around the blow gun. Repeat as necessary until oil removed.
Follow up with brake cleaner, repeat until dry.
Wear nitrile gloves (latex will pretty much insta-dissolve from the solvent.)

Messy it can be - but, it works. Been doing it that way for about 20 years (actual tech here.)
This is the quickest and easiest way to remove the oil.

The air compressor also works great if you spray your engine down with cleaner and water. Blow the water out of the wells. If you don't and there is water in there it will make the car run like crap until the wells are dry.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the ideas everyone!

Here is what I did yesterday:
Plastic syringe attached to a spray bottle tube (straw).
That works pretty fast, and better than expected.

You could spray kerosene down the holes as well afterwards which will dilute the remaining oil, then suck that up with the syringe as well.
Kerosene is pretty close to diesel so that isn't exactly poison to a cylinder in small amounts if any trace gets in.

After trying to get out as much of the kerosene as possible with the with the syringe, if you blow the rest out with compressed air, it will be just a trace amount and won't be as messy.

Just another option, if people already have these items available and want to go that route.

And there we have it, more methods in this thread about this issue than the entire internet searches that I have found.
 
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