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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+)

VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old September 14th, 2018, 09:09   #1
Tom in PT
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Fuel Economy: 41 mpg in '05 ; up to 57 in '13
Default P026A code and intercooler buildup

2013 Passat TDI SE, 28,00 miles
I have had a series of P026A codes and have been getting fouling of the IAT sensor at the top of the intercooler. So, I removed the hose from the bottom of the intercooler and a good a mount of greenish/blackish gunk had accumulated, which I cleaned up with shop towels.

Should I attempt to flush/clean the entire intercooler and can that be done without removing the intercooler from the engine?
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Old September 17th, 2018, 06:16   #2
740GLE
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+5 years and 28K? Less than 6K a year? or new car to you?

Seeing the IC is water to air, it's gonna be a rather large messy task to remove the unit from the car, I'd say empty from the bottom and clean as best you can.

Time to do more driving!!!!
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Old September 17th, 2018, 14:01   #3
Tom in PT
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^ I bought the car new March 2013. I am leaning towards draining the coolant and removing the intercooler for cleaning. There is not much you can do from the bottom in terms of cleaning the heat exchanger structure itself.
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Old September 18th, 2018, 08:48   #4
740GLE
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Def a good project and a proper way to clean it, a coolant flush prob wouldn't hurt with heater cores clogging up as a common issue.

Good luck.
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Hers: 2015 Passat SEL (NOS) w/ VW fix and Malone Stage 2.
His: 2017 Alltrack SE, waiting for TSI to TDI conversion kits to be released.
Bought back 2010 Sedan, cog swapper, build date 07/09, BB 6/7/16. 2012 Passat, Roof+Nav, build date 05/12, BB 7/11
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Old September 18th, 2018, 22:01   #5
flyboybob
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at 170k miles on the clock i've now cleaned my intercooler 6 times due to the turbo compressor seals leaking a significant amount of oil (approx half pint per 10k miles) into my intake.
***
the first time the map sensor got fouled with oil (at around 100k miles if i recall correctly) i removed the intercooler. brought it to a radiator shop (mac's) to have it cleaned (aqueous cleaning) and leak checked. after they were done i still wound up cleaning it myself (with mineral spirits) to get out what they left behind. all said n done i wouldn't ever bother removing it again for cleaning.
****
now on a regular basis i clean the charge air cooler in the car. i remove the lower hose and plug the bottom of the intercooler w a size 10 1/2 hard rubber stopper ($2.98 @ ace hardware). then i remove the map sensor from the top of the intercooler (without removing the 4 wire connector which i've found to be fragile). then, using a flexible funnel, i CAREFULLY fill the intercooler (AND ONLY THE INTERCOOLER!!!!) w mineral spirits (approx $14.00/ gallon @ the home despot) thru the map sensor hole. let it sit for a few minutes then drain (easy to mod the rubber stopper w a valve to make draining painless). blow dry w compressed air (w a rubber tipped air nozzle thru the map sensor hole). then reassemble bottom hose and sensor....job done.
******
i can complete the cleaning in the car in under an hour. that's compared to 4-5 hours it takes me to remove n reinstall the intercooler. LOTS less hassle and WAY less risk of damaging the intercooler (i've found those small diameter hose connections to be fragile and a PITA to remove/install hoses on).
*****
HOWEVER, CARE MUST BE TAKEN NOT TO GET THE SOLVENT IN THE INTAKE MANIFOLD!!!
overfilling w solvent (say by holding the funnel too high) to the point that it enters a cylinder thru an open intake valve will cause damage to your engine (think liquid hydraulic lock).
******
so....just sayin...
if you're careful there is another way.
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bob.
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Last edited by flyboybob; September 23rd, 2018 at 05:41.
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Old September 19th, 2018, 07:27   #6
Tom in PT
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Thanks Bob. I was hoping you would weigh in. I like your cleaning idea and will try it.
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Old September 19th, 2018, 10:41   #7
flyboybob
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hi tom!


pm sent.


bob.
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Old September 19th, 2018, 12:14   #8
Tom in PT
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Well, I used flyboybob's method with mineral spirits and it worked good. I did not have compressed air so used a powerful vacuum, hose at the bottom of intercooler with towel wrapped around it for a tight fit and sucked out the vapors and a little more solvent from the intercooler.

If you use this method, let the solvent drain for at least 10 minutes and wipe it all up before and after vacuum/compressed air.

And follow flyboybob's commandment to not overfill the intercooler with solvent. I used a clear transparent tube attached to funnel so I could see if the solvent was up to the level of the air sensor hole and stopped well before then -- I did 1 flush of about 1 Qt., Will repeat at next oil change in 6 months.
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