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Discussion Starter #1
Been dealing with my son's Passat low oil pressure issues for several years now. It all started with an exploding CCT that shredded the valve cover. New CCT, new valve cover, pulled oil pan and cleaned pickup and replaced oil pump and installed oil pressure gauge to monitor pressure which was usually in the 60's upon startup and 40-50's after warmup and she was good for a while. Year or so later CCT was making noise again so I dropped the pan again, sure enough it was clogged, cleaned it up and has been going good for at least 6 months now.

My son came home the other day from college (70 mile drive) and said the "stop engine-low oil pressure" warning came on so he pulled over, stopped the car and called me. When he started the car back up the warning was gone. He said that reading on the gauge was 20 psi but I wasn't there to confirm that he was reading it correctly. When he restarted the car the warning was gone so he drove it home.

I went out today to check the oil and start it up. Oil level is fine, although the oil looks dirty. He only drives this car to and from college and only comes home like once a month so actual mileage on this oil can't be more than 1,000 miles and probably less. When I started the car the oil pressure gauge was very low (below 20 psi) and I could hear the CCT making noise. 2 seconds later the oil pressure is up to 60 and stayed there until warmup when it came back down to 50 or so. I'm assuming this is normal operation since the car has been sitting a few days.

Before I tear this damn car apart yet again to clean the oil pickup, I thought I would start a thread and see if there might be something else to try first. If the pickup is clogged I would assume it would stay clogged but the "stop engine - low pressure" warning did go off, even if just that one time so I don't want to chance things. Things that come to mind are:

- dirty oil
- clogged pickup
- bad oil pump

My thoughts on all of these is if any were the issue I would think it wouldn't be sporadic...it would still be low pressure. What do you guys think? Thanks in advance for any and all comments!

GS
2003 1.8T AWG
 

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The fact the pick up tube gets clogged so often signals me that you folks are not using full synth 0W40 oil. If you are using regular mineral based oil and small filter then that may be your cause of issues. But, of course, there could be other factors as well.
 

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The pickup may be temporarily clogged while driving at high rpm for more than 15 minutes if it picks up enough sludge. After stopping, the sludge drops back into the pan until the oil is pumping at high volume again, and it slowly starts to clog the screen again. You may need to clean more than the screen if the block has sludge built up on the walls. I had to scrape the lower end of the block while the pan was off the 1.8T. After that and a pump/screen replacement, it's been running fine for the last 2 years.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Emry - I can't vouch for previous owner but I've been using full syth and bigger filter since I've had it.

PZ - Nice to hear from you! Did you augment the screen at all?

I don't know if you guys have seen this but there is a guy on youtube who drill a hole in his Passat oil pan right by the pickup. He then made a plate that screws on so it takes him 15 minutes to clean the pickup. I would pay good money for that!

 

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I can't vouch for previous owner but I've been using full syth and bigger filter since I've had it.
Then I'm puzzled about the sludge. Unless that the oil/filter change intervals have been excessively long, I don't expect the full synth oil turn into sludge easily.

I don't know if you guys have seen this but there is a guy on youtube who drill a hole in his Passat oil pan right by the pickup. He then made a plate that screws on so it takes him 15 minutes to clean the pickup. I would pay good money for that!
haha... that's a nice trick although I have a bit of reservation on leaking oil from that plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That car doesn't get driven that much to have oil change intervals be an issue. The stuff I had to remove from the pickup screen the last two times I've had to do it wasn't sludge. It was small pieces of what I assume is coke.

GS
 

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That car doesn't get driven that much to have oil change intervals be an issue.
Changing oil interval is not based only on the mileage driven it also depends on the elapsed time. You can't park the car for years and then assuming the oil still is the same after all the time. It loses its properties over time whether you use it or not.

The stuff I had to remove from the pickup screen the last two times I've had to do it wasn't sludge. It was small pieces of what I assume is coke.
Some people had reported they found small pieces of plastic in the oil pan that clogged the pickup tube. Those came from shattered plastic oil stick tube during exchange that fell into the pan and mixed with oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I should have also said that the car hasn't really sat that long either. It gets driven 140 miles or so round trip once or twice a month. Last oil change was maybe 6 months ago max.

First time I pulled the pan there was tons of plastic from the exploded CCT. 2nd time it was all small coke particles.

GS
 

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First time I pulled the pan there was tons of plastic from the exploded CCT. 2nd time it was all small coke particles.
OK maybe the first time for whatever reason didn't clean up the whole system and the rest of gunk came out later. Unless there is a systematic thing that produced the coke, I don't expect this to reoccur.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Things under the valve cover have looked pretty good (clean) both times I removed it. Whatever the workings are that you see when you remove the oil pan...those were less clean. They had speckles of what I assume is coke on them and I've assumed that's what falls off and eventually gets stuck in the pickup screen.
 

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like Emry says 0-40W full syn. and Purolator (Mann)#40316....as to continued "crap" for lack of a better term, if it's particles and not a sludge build up, it is just flotsam and jetsam finally making it too the screen from the CCT repairs.....stuff gets knocked off...and previous pan removal, it is hard to see crap in block with pan off and just not scrap or mess with it. Made a bulkhead for mine, similar to pic. but made it by the bolts/pick up tube mount,no sense trying to clean it if crap is baked on , I am able to remove it if necessary.....inspect and or replace
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would be willing to send an oil pan and pay you cchief22 or anyone else who could make me an access port that works and doesn't leak :)

GS
 

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I did not augment the screen. The motor was actually new in 2008 as one of the previous owners had it replaced due to sludge. This one had exploded CCT, dipstick and JB Weld from a cracked oil pan:
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/v...t-your-regular-1-8t-oil-pressure-problem.html

A year later the owner donated the engine and parts for my 1.8T swap and the oil pressure has been fine. I've driven to Ohio and back without oil warnings, 80+mph for 10+ hours a day.

I have seen another oil pan with the bottom cut out, but they used a large rubber plug in it's place. Either way, that is one speed bump away from disaster. The pan itself is easy enough to crack, but anything sticking out the bottom would be like an eggshell. I would prefer the 2 part pan like the V6 or the transverse engines have (MKIV Golf).
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well here we go again!

It has been 6 months and maybe 800 miles since last oil pan cleanout with new pickup tube installed, fresh full synthetic oil and big filter and today this is what I'm looking at. Turbo turds right? This crap is light so it floats and loves oil pickup screens. I am not going to do this job every 6 months. There has to be a better way and I can't imagine a better way than an access port. I don't have the time to do it this time around but within the next 6 months I will be buying a used oil pan and installing an access hole. I genuinely hate this car.

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Well here we go again! oil pan cleanout with new pickup tube installed, fresh full synthetic oil and big filter and today this is what I'm looking at. Coke right?
In the post #10 you mentioned "Things under the valve cover have looked pretty good (clean) both times I removed it." So a likely scenario that pops up in my mind that the detergent in the fresh full synth oil at high temp breaks old coke deep inside the engine chamber and release them into the floating oil which end up in the pan. Other than that you cut me by surprise.
 

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Obviously I have what others term as "turbo turds" here. Same consistency as coffee grounds and I would say a great deal of them for the limited driving that has been done with this car since the last time I pulled the oil pan and replaced the pickup.

Once I get everything back together today then of course I'm going to fill with good full syth oil and big filter but I'm wondering if you guys have had any luck preventing/reducing turbo turds going fwd. Replacing PCV components? AutoRX or other treatments? I've read about many things to try. Which ones have any of you done that have actually worked?

GS
 

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Obviously I have what others term as "turbo turds" here. Same consistency as coffee grounds and I would say a great deal of them for the limited driving that has been done with this car since the last time I pulled the oil pan and replaced the pickup.

Once I get everything back together today then of course I'm going to fill with good full syth oil and big filter but I'm wondering if you guys have had any luck preventing/reducing turbo turds going fwd. Replacing PCV components? AutoRX or other treatments? I've read about many things to try. Which ones have any of you done that have actually worked?

GS
Making sure the PCV system is working correctly is always a good idea. To confirm you don't have any leaks in that area build yourself a vacuum / pressure tester - :: a4mods.com :: - The Premiere Audi A4 Modification Guide and Pictures Library

I would use heat resistant thermal wrap to isolate heat generated by the turbo and catalytic converter from the oil and coolant lines around the turbo.
 

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Obviously I have what others term as "turbo turds" here. Same consistency as coffee grounds and I would say a great deal of them for the limited driving that has been done with this car since the last time I pulled the oil pan and replaced the pickup. Once I get everything back together today then of course I'm going to fill with good full syth oil and big filter but I'm wondering if you guys have had any luck preventing/reducing turbo turds going fwd. Replacing PCV components? AutoRX or other treatments? I've read about many things to try. Which ones have any of you done that have actually worked?
If you've been using and going to use 0W40 full synth Mobil1 oil I highly doubt that the turbo is producing those gunk. It's not a bad idea to use AutoRX (may be even couple of times) to clean the interior of the engine as much as possible. Then we'll see if they are still there.
 

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IIRC, when the dealer serviced a car with the 'oil sludge' issues, which I think is identical to 'turbo turds' they flushed the entire oil system with some sort of solvent. Ie, with the engine running the oil was run through a filter while adding some sort of solvent or detergent to the oil. That is 4th hand information so take it with a grain of salt. You can also see what these guys did for a 1.8t that had it's sludge problem 'fixed' but came back with the same problem.

 

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Gstump I just got done fixing a similar issue with my 04 Passat. To make a long story short, I bought the car with a brand new head and brand new oil pump with a clean screen installed and it ended up with "turbo turds" or the little black pieces of coke right after all this work was done. I discovered after pulling the pan myself that the oil changes were not kept up on as there was alot of baked oil stuck on the inside of the valve cover and oil pan. I believe that after the work was done and fresh oil installed alot of these little bits broke free and ended up plugging the screen again. Keep in mind that I drove the car less than 30 miles after this work was done and I was getting the "STOP" warning. You may be getting pieces of scum knocked loose from elsewhere inside the engine from previous assholes missing oil changes or using non-synthetic oil.

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