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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old January 4th, 2018, 17:34   #1
Camel413
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Default Oil Consumption

Hello all. I have a random oil consumption issue. I have to keep an eye on the oil level pretty often. Some times it uses oil rapidly other times I cant see that it is using any. Needing some suggestions of things to look at.

Some background. I am not new to TDI. I know how the intake system works on these cars and that it is normal to have small amounts of oil in the intake system post turbo. My intercooler has been leaking oil since I bought the car back in October 2016. Since I got the car it would leave a dime sized oil spot below the intercooler maybe once a week. In the past month or two it has been leaving larger puddles on the floor. I dont clean it every time but after 2 weeks it was probably basketball sized. Since it leaks I cant really say for sure how much it would be holding if it didnt leak. Also I know to drive it spirited every once in a while to keep it the oil cleaned out and keep it from pooling.

My first thought was the turbo was going out. Tonight I pulled the intake tube off the turbo inlet to check for axial play. There was none at all. A very small amount of sideways play. Can the turbo still be bad if there is no axial play?

I have noticed that the small hoses connected to the hockey puck was getting oily and grimy. Also the intake tube where it connects to the turbo inlet has an oily film around it.

I havent checked compression but the car runs like a top. Runs the same that it always has. I try to check the oil very often since the leak out of the intercooler has gotten worse. Some times I can drive a whole tank (1000 miles) and it hasnt used any oil. The last 500 miles I drove it used over a quart though. It seems to be fairly random on how much it uses.

Any suggestions?
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Old January 4th, 2018, 19:09   #2
iluvmydiesels
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the hockey puck, you mean the cc vent thingie on top of the valve cover? the small amount dripping down out of intercooler sounds like a small amount, the drip could be traced, prob a new intercooler, or hose/junction hose. a lot more than a dime sized amount passes thru the intake in several hours. not to say a week. find that leak(big sized one), i ve busted an oil pan before, well not me, as it turned out, that jetta was seriously lowered, may have been eibach springs, with the konis. oil pan, and/or gasket. oil cooler, check those oil cooler gaskets, the top one. check oil pressure switches for leaks. other than that could be coming past rings, to intake. thats a lot you should see &/or smell oil smoke. compression test should tell you. not very expensive for a good compression tester. oil going in the intake wont make puddles, it will go in down the intake, unless, then most will go in cyls, some may drip, puddle.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 19:31   #3
Mongler98
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Turbo is fine. figure out what the oil leak is from, a crack, bad hose? fix it. you get 1000 miles to a tank? get us more data, hard pulls?

a good way to test your oil consumption is to drain the intercooler and measure it and add a make shift catch can to the CCV. If you dump a quart and you find it here, well then, move forward with that solution. Otherwise highly suspect rings or valve oil seals.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 21:41   #4
Steve Addy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
Turbo is fine. figure out what the oil leak is from, a crack, bad hose? fix it. you get 1000 miles to a tank? get us more data, hard pulls?

a good way to test your oil consumption is to drain the intercooler and measure it and add a make shift catch can to the CCV. If you dump a quart and you find it here, well then, move forward with that solution. Otherwise highly suspect rings or valve oil seals.
The Passat has a somewhat larger fuel tank than the Mk3. It is not uncommon to be able to travel 1000 miles on one tank. Most probably highway travel with reasonably conservative foot too.

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Old January 4th, 2018, 22:14   #5
turbodieseldyke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Addy View Post
The Passat has a somewhat larger fuel tank than the Mk3. It is not uncommon to be able to travel 1000 miles on one tank.
OP has a wagon. Even more boo-koo gallons.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 06:55   #6
ketchupshirt88
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For reference: A3 tank capacity is about 14gal, B4 is ~19gal, B4V is ~26gal.

as for the oil leak, the only one ive had that was similar to yours was the CCV tube from the block to the puck on the valve cover. Was cracked at the base and would leak but not consistently. Usually its more obvious... but its hard to tell sometimes on a dirty engine.

My go to solution when i cannot find the source of a leak - my dads steam cleaner pressure washer. It makes finding the fresh oil from leaks sooo much easier.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 16:04   #7
Camel413
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Yes I have a vented tank so can hold 26 gallons. I am usually in the high 900s on a tank, can stretch it to 1000 if I get really low but I try not to, been stranded once in the testing phase (note: fuel needle does NOT go to the last red line).

Anyways a little update. I finally found a new stock intercooler last week. It arrived today. I pulled the lower hose off and about a full cup of oil drained out. I now have the new intercooler installed and I have a short drive tomorrow, probably about a 100 miles. I am going to pull the hose again to when I get home to see if anything collected.

Is there an average of what should be in there over so many miles? Now with this new intercooler on, the car should have no leaks of oil from anywhere. Also I dont think it is burning oil either. I am still thinking the turbo is going bad. Is there any actual test to do besides feeling for axial play or removing it to rebuild it?

Last edited by Camel413; January 5th, 2018 at 16:07.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 18:26   #8
Abacus
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Wow, if you're not getting over 1,000 miles all the time in a wagon there is a problem. I always go over 1,200 miles and easily got 1,300 in the summer. I've also fit over 27 gallons into the wagon tank and still drove to the station.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 18:43   #9
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90% of my driving is 80 mph on the interstate. I never really drive gently. I have larger injectors and a tune that prioritizes power not fuel economy and I use that power regularly. For the way I drive the car I am happy with my 38-40 mpg.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 21:52   #10
ketchupshirt88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camel413 View Post
For the way I drive the car I am happy with my 38-40 mpg.
I flogged my B4 like a rented mule and typically got ~40mpg too. Also chipped with 11mm and R520's.

i can't complain - way more fun to drive than the subie it replaced and nearly double the economy. I do miss AWD though...

A cup of oil is too much unless the car is always babied which you said it isnt. you gotta figure out if the oil is being introduced to the intake system before the turbo by the CCV or after the turbo by way of the turbos seals.

If the oil is coming in before the compressor, the CCV puck isnt doing its job (it wasnt that good at it anyway).

If the oil is entering the intake tract at the turbo, it can be bad turbo seals or a plugged drain line causing oil to be forced back up through the seals because it cannot get through the drain line to the oil pan.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 06:56   #11
iluvmydiesels
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dude 26gals and 1000miles is terrible fuel mileage. i get 500+miles on ~11gals, then again with a hopped-up tune, and a hvy foot---.
rings dude, if its in the intake its sure to be the rings. thats a lot going past the rings. you should notice out/in exhaust, smoke and/or smell. if it were a plugged turbo oil drain line wouldnt oil be pushed out of both seals? hence quite a bit of exh smoke along with oil going in/down intake,, oil seldom passes intake side of a turbo.(unless drain blockage, which both seals would pass oil). could possibly be valve guides, but most times rings, if rings, sounds like it is, may want to consider head work at same time as ring and possibly other work. new guides or referbeshed head. may be quite worn as well(other internals, bearings, pistons, head.).
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Old January 6th, 2018, 07:53   #12
Mongler98
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First thing i would suggest you do is get a real time oil PSI gauge, auber is great but your choice. As long as your engine is still getting decent oil pressure your not destroying it. If your losing oil that fast your pressure might be effected.

Go with a compression test and a leak down on your engine.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 12:32   #13
Steve Addy
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In the name of full disclosure...

Just to be clear, those claiming in excess of 1000 miles per tank are ones who have done the vent mod, or at least that's my guess. If that's the case you need to disclose that for the newer members who may not know what the vent mod is.

Personally haven't done vent mod, no reason to at this point, I don't need to carry any more fuel than I currently do. I will say though that I've run my car down to where it would stall out on mild corners as I headed to the fuel station and when I filled it would not take 25 gallons. It also has a B4 tdi wagon tank, then again every wagon tank B3 or B4 is the same capacity.

In the end it comes down to cost per mile, which is very reasonable. Tank distance is really a meaningless number anyway, people fill differently, some don't have the vent mod, some don't care about vent mod etc, but it's not necessarily an indicator that there's a problem.

The OP casually mentioned his tank distance as 1000 miles, he didn't say how many gallons it would take to fill, so people who cut to the quick and start criticizing his traveled distance per tank when you have no idea how many gallons it would take to fill, or at what point he fills his tank, you're doing the OP a disservice; the criticisms are unjustified and really off-topic.

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Old January 6th, 2018, 18:33   #14
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Mine are vented but they held the same unvented, it just took longer to fill pressing on the button.
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Old January 7th, 2018, 02:48   #15
iluvmydiesels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camel413 View Post
Yes I have a vented tank so can hold 26 gallons. I am usually in the high 900s on a tank, can stretch it to 1000 if I get really low but I try not to, been stranded once in the testing phase (note: fuel needle does NOT go to the last red line).
steve other than having absolutely no knowledge of how much OP put into his tank this time to fill it up; and might i say really no real interest, other than the other/main subject of the topic,post. i mean other than being a minor side comment,& subject. heres OP info he gave. so i dont see the problem overall or the info misrepresented here, or the need for correction. im not criticizing jack, observing,commenting.
think if he wants power mods and tune, hey good deal. if you want to do that, and like it like that.
think my main comment was topic, its most likely you rings OP, and other internal wear. need attention. think in an earlier upper post i stated a good compression tester isnt That expensive. although a diesel tester is of course going to cost more than a gas one, and get a good one. not an el-cheap-o-. just my 2cents. its you pockets.
the other thing, something here, possibly, has worn that engine, right now we cannt tell, unless if in the course of internal work you give us an idea of whats going on in there. could be you havent kept up on engine maintenance. regularly change oil, about 5k maybe 7k miles, good oil, good filter, good air filter.
-a lot of miles? and good amount of extra power available, long drives using this power, and hi top speed of 80mph, huumm, one thing if you use a basic ok diesel (synthetic) oil either that could be a contributing factor, or perhaps you havent changed oil on a regular basis. i, here, dont know, seems your internals doo! aparently.
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