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Discussion Starter #1
2000 Passat, V6 I have a steady drip, drip, drip of oil from the front of the engine.

I just replaced the seal in the oil cooler (see link below), the seal that is behind the oil filter and at first it seemed to solve the leak but then I drove the car enough to warm up the engine and I found out the oil cooler seal was not where the leak was coming from.

When I look under the car, the oil is running (slowly) down from the front and center of the oil pan. It's coming from somewhere above the oil pan. Any ideas on how to locate this leak? Is pretty tight in front of the engine by the radiator fan, etc., so it's hard to get in there to look around. I appreciate any ideas anybody has and I will keep checking this post.

http://www.passatworld.com/forums/volkswagen-passat-b5-discussion/445905-2000-passat-v6-oil-leak-only-during-very-cold-weather.html
 

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This could be caused by a few things.
The CCT's (cam chain tensioner) could be leaking oil and running down the guards making it look like a leak in the center of the engine.
The other thing it could be, is a front crankshaft seal.
Unfortunately finding these leaks will most likely require putting the front of the car into service position.
There is just to many plastic and metal pieces covering things up to really see anything plainly.

The other possibility is that you have a crack in the oil pan. This happened to me on my '98 v6.
I thought something from above was leaking. but after laying under the car for extended period of time, I noticed the oil was actually leaking through the oil pan.
The oil pan had hairline fractures in it, and when the oil got hot it would seep through the oil pan. When the engine and oil cooled off the oil would not leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I put some dye in the oil and used an Ultra Violet flashlight to pinpoint the leak a bit more. I drew an arrow on the attached pics to show where the leak is running down the front. It seems to be coming from above that area, but I'm not sure if that is just oil that somehow got above the actual leak or if it is coming from around where the radiator fan attaches to the engine. Is there something near where the radiator fan attaches to the engine that could be leaking? Mabe an oil sending unit . . . or . . . ?

P1030530g.jpg P1030532g.jpg P1030538g.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there any way to check the front crankshaft seal without putting the car into service position? I've never put the car in service position before. I've done a lot of work on Passats but I'm not sure if a front crankshaft seal is beyond my home garage experience. Should I attempt this, if I pinpoint the leak to that area? Is there a good step-by-step write-up for replacing a front crankshaft seal?
 

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afaik, there is no DIY for the crank seal replacement on the 2.8 or the 1.8t. you can not gain access to the crank seal for either motor unless the front end is in the service position. on the 2.8, there are two potential sources of oil leakage on the front of the motor *besides* the valve cover gaskets - the crank seal and the cam chain tensioner seal. the tensioner seal is on the right side, however, and it would likely show up farther to the right on the pan as it leaks down the motor.

in order to reach the crank seal, you'll have to pull the front end, pull the timing belt covers, then the pulley off the crank, and then the timing belt (always replace the timing belt, timing belt tensioner, water pump, and thermostat if you have to take the timing belt off!).

having had a 2.8 with a leaking crank seal, do not put this repair off. it will start hemorrhaging after a while, and you will lose oil at something close to the rate of a quart every ten miles at the most extreme.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Jay! Is there a DIY write-up for putting the car in the service position? Is it in the Bentley manual?
 

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Thanks Jay! Is there a DIY write-up for putting the car in the service position? Is it in the Bentley manual?
Any timing belt write-up will have service-position instructions. And yes, it will be in the Bentley. Look for instructions on putting the "Lock Carrier" in the service position. (Why on earth the front end is called the "Lock Carrier" I have no idea.)
 

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After looking at those pictures on a computer and not a cell phone, there is a possibility that the oil is coming out between the upper and lower oil pan.
However, looking at all that oil gunk build up and oil spray going back past the engine you've definitely got a leak elsewhere.
Not knowing the type of person you are, if you care about your car, I would seriously heed the advice myself and the veterans who replied.
Get the car into service position and as long as you're in there take care of all oil leaks and I would seriously check into a timing belt kit change.
This would be an opportune time to replace any swollen coolant hoses. With all that oil I'm sure some of those coolant hoses are getting pretty soft.

There are write up's for service position in this forum. If you have questions ask, someone here will respond.
It may seem like a daunting task but just take your time. When removing screws, nuts, bolts or whatever it may be, I use zip-loc bags to identify what the hardware is.
Also take pictures along the way, if you get confused or can't remember where that last electrical connector goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all very much. Thanks for the links, I didn't find those write-ups when I searched, but I wasn't searching for timing belt replacement. Today is Monday, there is an excellent VW repair guy in Mpls. He is going to look at the car on Thursday and if price is right, I will have him do the job. I would like to do this repair myself but, after reading those write-ups, I'm intimidated. The mechanic who is going to look at the car on Thursday worked on the car 6 months ago. At that time he replaced the timing belt, thermostat and various things while he was in there. I will post back on Thursday.
 

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Putting it into service position looks scary, but it really isn't. I did mine one handed literally, because my arm was braced up with a torn rotator cuff. It is worth a try at least.
 

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on the 2.8, there are two potential sources of oil leakage on the front of the motor *besides* the valve cover gaskets - the crank seal and the cam chain tensioner seal.
There's a third, which caused the only oil leak I've had on my 2.8: the oil pressure switch. At the very least, this requires removing the bumper cover and using a U-joint socket. The cam areas can be more or less ruled out by just removing the upper covers and inspecting. Just to cover the bases, check that the power steering pump or hose connections aren't leaking. That green oil may not be green by the time it runs down the front of a dirty engine.
 

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There's a third, which caused the only oil leak I've had on my 2.8: the oil pressure switch. At the very least, this requires removing the bumper cover and using a U-joint socket. The cam areas can be more or less ruled out by just removing the upper covers and inspecting. Just to cover the bases, check that the power steering pump or hose connections aren't leaking. That green oil may not be green by the time it runs down the front of a dirty engine.
I was actually thinking the PS pump myself. I had the exact same signs, when my pump was on its way out. It would look like oil coming from dead center of the car and drip down the oil pan.
 

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Umm, that first pic clearly shows yellow (motor) oil. The PS hose may be leaking sure, but green will turn to yellow how, exactly?

To wit: the gunked up oil is a clear sign of prolonged oil leak(s) some due to a shot PCV system, if not other reasons as well. This doesn't look like an engine left to leak for a couple of thousand miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think I can rule out the power steering fluid because I put florescent dye in the oil and the leaking fluid started glowing under the black (UV) light. I don't know if this is a clue or not, but the car has been sitting for a day and it seems like it only leaks when the car is running.
It has been too cold to work on the car, but later today I will start the engine and try to see if the leak is coming straight from the front or if it originates near the oil filter/oil pressure switch. That would be great if it turned out to be the oil pressure switch.
 

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Most oil leaks happen when the engine is running. That's when the oil is moved around under pressure and, most importantly, there is gas pressure buildup in the crankcase (escaping past the piston rings). There is a pressure relief system in place called PCV. If that is blocked, that back pressure will try to find a way out of there through whatever weak spot it can find. Sometimes, it will push the oil dipstick up and out of the tube its in. Since oil is near or behind every one of those engine seals, it will get pushed out of the seals. You may also have oil smells inside the cabin while driving.

Normally it is helpful to include some info on service history but in this case the pics say it all.

Don't be afraid of service position. Tools and a DIY writeup notwithstanding, all you need is a way to track each step so that they are all reversible, and to organize what you remove. You don't need a helper either.
 

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Putting it into service position looks scary, but it really isn't. I did mine one handed literally, because my arm was braced up with a torn rotator cuff. It is worth a try at least.
I agree - it looks and sounds daunting the first time. It was the part that worried me most about my recent timing belt and etc job but if you keep track of which fasteners go in which places then just find a list of stuff to remove/replace to get the bumper off and it'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I started the car to try again to figure out where the leak is coming from. This time instead of a drip, drip, drip, the oil started pouring out. The local mechanic I talked with said usually a leak like the is more likely to be the oil sending unit/oil pressure switch instead of the front crank seal. I tried to find the source of the leak near the oil filter but the oil was running from the front of the oil pan, the front center of the car. I know the oil could be spraying in that direction from the oil sending unit. Also, the oil seemed to be higher than the oil filter, does that rule out the sending unit? Or, might the leak be spraying up?
Are there any write-ups for replacing the oil sending unit?
This might be a clue, when the engine was very low on oil, low enough that it did not register on the dip stick, the warning light on the dashboard did not come on, maybe the warning light did not come on because the sensor was broken?
 

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I took the car to a local mechanic that I trusted. When I dropped the car off I specifically told the mechanic a) it only leaks when the car is running ("Most oil leaks happen when the engine is running -- GLINick)" and b) I reminded him that he replaced the water pump and timing belt on this car two years ago. The next day, the mechanic called to say that he did not see any oil leaks but he thinks the water pump might be leaking and the timing belt is worn and the both need to be replaced. I told him that I did not want any work done. I go to the shop to pickup the car and the mechanic says he didn't see any oil leaks so he didn't do anything to fix any oil leaks but he replaced the water pump and the timing belt. I showed him his receipt showing that he replaced the timing belt, water pump and thermostat. He said he would not have used that type of timing belt, someone else must have replaced the belt with an inferior belt. I said I didn't authorize replacing anything and I shouldn't pay for the water pump and timing belt. He wouldn't give me the car unless I paid $275 for his labor to take the car apart, check for oil leaks and put the car back together without fixing the oil leaks.
This is why I do my own repairs!!! I should have listened to all of you who encouraged me to do this myself.

Now, my car is sitting back in my garage leaking oil. I'm sure it's the front crankshaft seal. I'm going to use the great step-by-step guide from the link provided by 2002GLXV6 (link below). I plan to get the 3415 counter support tool and a replacement bolt for the crankshaft sprocket. What size socket do I need for that bolt? Do I need to take the timing belt off to replace the crankshaft seal? Does the seal just pull forward or do I need to drop the oil pan to loosen anything inside the oil pan before trying to pull the seal?
I appreciate any advice or links to V6 crankshaft seal info that anybody has and thanks for the encouragement to tackle this.

V6 Timing belt replacement
 

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You might be right, but how are you sure it's the crank seal? The TB will have to be re-timed because the sprocket is in front of the seal. It pulls straight out, using a wood screw threaded in the front for grip, or the special tool made for it. I'd still check this really carefully; you don't want to put it back together and find the leak wasn't fixed.
 
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