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Old 07-12-2010, 08:11 PM   #1
NJjeff OP
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01' VW Passat, Oil pressure light coming on???

Ok it's not my car but I get the call with a question. Shit I don't know the answer so i'll ask here.

First off, i'm not a mechanic nor do I play one on TV. Also I have not seen the car, this is just over the phone.

Car: 2001 Passat wagon 1.8L Auto.


While driving WARNING, LOW OIL PRESSURE or something like that shows up on the display.
Car is pulled right into gas station and shutof. Driver walks home.
Than calls me:

I ask:
Any noises
Yea kinda funny
I ask like what
I don't know
Ok......
Well the gas station is going to look at it.
Fine.

I'm than told the oil was changed a few days ago from a shop who regularly sees the car.

Oh, I think they should look where work was last done..

Day goes by.

Gas station says nothing is wrong.
Take car - give us $50. Person does.

The next day the car is used and the warning light comes back on. Car is pulled over but left running.

This time i'm told it sounds "Airy"
ok?
Or maybe transmission noises.
um ok?

At this point the owner decides to drive to another shop.
Why not back to the orginial who sees the car and changed the oil, i don't know???

At the next shop they take some time to see the car. By than a re-start provides no noise and no warning on the dash display.

Ok, owner drives home and on the way warning light comes back on.
Car is parked sitting in garage.

VW gooroo's !
Ideas???
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
sideshow
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Has said person even checked the dipstick?
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
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+1, make sure something stupid was not done, like the oil filter or drain plug left loose, etc. If there is plenty of oil and it is not leaking, it could be a failing oil pressure switch. However, I do not ever recall replacing one on this engine (it was a common failure on the older 8v 2.0).

Check for a creamy goo in the coolant reservoir or on the dipstick. The oil cooler can fail which mixes the coolant with the oil.

The 1.8 does not hold much oil so the turbo breaks it down pretty quickly. If the oil is not changed regularly and a good synthetic oil used they can have problems. The oil forms solid chunks which clog the oil pump pick-up screen. That in turn causes oil starvation to the oil pump, cam chain tensioner and turbo. However, the first signs of this are a rattling noise on start-up that goes away after a few seconds. Probably not the issue, but something to be aware of.

Find a proper VW/Audi shop (not a dealer, not a gas station) and have it checked out.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
pirahna
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Oil Sludge
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideshow
Has said person even checked the dipstick?
No shit, and check for contamination like dave mentioned while you are at it.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Same symptoms I experienced both times I had an engine lose it's main bearings. Oil comes up to full operating temp and thins enough to squeeze past the bearings, lowering the pressure in the rest of the circuit. No noises in either case I experienced, just loss of pressure when hot.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:57 AM   #7
NJjeff OP
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Oh yea.

Oil up to level. Nothing milky or strange looking.

Original owner (just a friends car)
I think the car has around 65K miles.

NICO
was this in a 1.8 VW
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:28 AM   #8
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Easy, your friend probably changed the oil every 10k miles, if that. Inside, the motor is full of sludge and it's clogging the pick-up screen every once and a while. Common stuff for those car when they weren't maintained properly. VW/Audi did a big thing about it a few years ago.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:30 AM   #9
NICO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJjeff
Oh yea.

Oil up to level. Nothing milky or strange looking.

Original owner (just a friends car)
I think the car has around 65K miles.

NICO
was this in a 1.8 VW
Chebbie small blocks. Not sure it makes a difference what motor it is though. The main (and rod) bearings have everything to do with holding oil pressure for the rest of the circuit. If the wear a couple thousandths, the hot (thinned) oil can squeeze past too easily and the pressure drops. In my cases, just a little wear was enough slop/gap to lose pressure but not enough to cause a knocking. One case we swapped the bearings and it ran fine with great pressure for 15k+ miles until sold and the other case we did a crank kit because the crank showed signs of wear.

I"d venture to guess VW is using bushings on their cranks as opposed to roller bearings like a bike. Other thoughts about sludge are valid. If the maintenance is not up to snuff, sludge could be an issue.

Also, the pressure sending unit might be fudging up, although I know nothing about VW's reputation for pressure units.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NICO
Chebbie small blocks. Not sure it makes a difference what motor it is though. The main (and rod) bearings have everything to do with holding oil pressure for the rest of the circuit. If the wear a couple thousandths, the hot (thinned) oil can squeeze past too easily and the pressure drops. In my cases, just a little wear was enough slop/gap to lose pressure but not enough to cause a knocking. One case we swapped the bearings and it ran fine with great pressure for 15k+ miles until sold and the other case we did a crank kit because the crank showed signs of wear.

I"d venture to guess VW is using bushings on their cranks as opposed to roller bearings like a bike. Other thoughts about sludge are valid. If the maintenance is not up to snuff, sludge could be an issue.

Also, the pressure sending unit might be fudging up, although I know nothing about VW's reputation for pressure units.
And how you fix that?

Bigger oil pump?
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #11
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IIRC, My mechanic said if the codes are reset then they will come on after three stop/starts.

My best unedumacated guess is there is an oil leak somewhere. Obviously, check the filter and plug first and that it is not cross-threaded.

Check invoices from both mechanics. Make sure they didn't pay for 2 quarts of oil at the gas station as well as 30 minutes labor or something. That'd be about fifty bucks around here and they'd think the person was dumb for oil starving their car.

Good luck

(I love my VW )
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:13 PM   #12
NICO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alejo
And how you fix that?

Bigger oil pump?
Fix the worn bearings or ...?

Bearings got swapped in one and crank/bearings in the other. Both got high volume oil pumps and new pick-up tubes/screens while the pan was down.

Oil pressure sending unit is usually an easy swap, so long as you can get to it.

Most mechanics worth their salt would put a mechanical gauge in place of the sending unit and verify the bad readings. If pressure was low, they would be looking in the pan to see if there is either sludge clogging the screen or popping main caps or rod caps off to inspect the bearings for signs of wear.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:16 PM   #13
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here's a new take on it...

when you see an 'low oil pressure' light, it generally means you have low oil pressure.

is it the turbo variant? those have sludge probs.

davelength has the right answer. start small by cleaning the screen.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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STOP DRIVING THIS NOW

The only 1.8 VW made is a TURBO - right?? (you omitted that?).

Your oil pickup is crapped up with coke. The coke is sitting in the pan and getting sucked up into the pickup. When it nearly completely clogs your oil light comes on - but in reality you are starving the engine for oil almost all the time. After it sits for a while enough coking falls off to allow the light to go off for a while - but it will come back.

solution:

Drop oil pan - clean it completely (you will see all the particles sitting in the pan). In theory they would get flushed with the oil pan but VWOA has a plug there for an accessory and it traps this crap preventing it from being purged from the pan. Replace the pickup ($15.00 part). Not worth cleaning - just replace it. Also replace the gaskets for the pickup and the oil return line from the turbo while you are in there.

Put pan back on - replace oil. Done.

Any easy job that the 'mechanics' can't diagnose because the computer can't tell them what is happening. This accountant figured it out where the 'mechanics' couldn't.

If you drive your car in this condition you WILL ruin your engine and turbo.

Good luck & may the force be with you-
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgrail
The only 1.8 VW made is a TURBO - right?? (you omitted that?).
Mmmmmm...diesel. Yep, love my VW

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