Hard Start / No Start - Is your intercooler frozen? Check Here!

VWConvert

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Dec 2, 2010
Location
Cincinnati, OH
TDI
Going to purchase one
Not trying to jack this thread... but I am curious about the hydro lock thing. Can it happen on any Turbo charged cars intercooler, or naturally aspirated too?

I had a 3 day, 7 inch rain storm here in Cincinnati (3 days non-stop rain), afterwards... my Rx7 acts like the engines stalling when I give it a regular throttle (normal driving) I can only move my gas pedal about half way, any closer to the floor board and the car goes crazy. Would that be a result of hydro locking? It's a 91 naturally aspirated, and the car doesn't have a distributer... I can't think what the problem is.

Suggestions? Yeah, not a diesel motor... just curious if anyone might shed some light on it :(
 

tcp_ip_dude

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May 14, 2010
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Cape Fear area, NC
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2010 Jetta TDI Sedan
Not trying to jack this thread... but I am curious about the hydro lock thing. Can it happen on any Turbo charged cars intercooler, or naturally aspirated too?

I had a 3 day, 7 inch rain storm here in Cincinnati (3 days non-stop rain), afterwards... my Rx7 acts like the engines stalling when I give it a regular throttle (normal driving) I can only move my gas pedal about half way, any closer to the floor board and the car goes crazy. Would that be a result of hydro locking? It's a 91 naturally aspirated, and the car doesn't have a distributer... I can't think what the problem is.

Suggestions? Yeah, not a diesel motor... just curious if anyone might shed some light on it :(
Hydrolocking under the circumstances being discussed in this thread is highly unlikely on a rotary engine (RX7) for many reasons, least of which is that they are relatively low compression engines and have an entirely different combustion cycle. But I won't say it's impossible, but I've never heard of it and I use to race rotaries (RX/3, RX/7, etc)

Hydro-locking occurs when a sufficient amount of un-compressible liquid (water, oil, etc) enters the combustion cylinder and during the compression stroke, well, something's got to give and things get very ugly, very fast.
 
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ToeBall

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Apr 24, 2010
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Houston, TX
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2010 VW Jetta Wagon TDI
Hydrolocking is highly unlikely on a rotary engine (RX7), they are relatively low compression engines and have an entirely different combustion cycle.
Actually for gas burners, Wankles are relatively high compression motors. Hydrolocking, in the true sense isn't possible, however, since all that would happen is the motor would blow its brushes if the volume was too high. Still would leave you stranded, but it's a much easier fix than replacing connecting rods and rebalancing the rotating assembly.

Hydrolocking isn't a function of compression ratio, only volume. If the volume at TDC is smaller than volume of water ingested during the intake cycle, the rod bends since the crank won't stop and there's nowhere for the piston to go.
 

honda93

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Jun 25, 2010
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2010 Golf TDI
Anybody else ever owned a new car that you have to manage what weather conditions you drive it in....? Yup...me neither...:eek:
wow thats nasty!!! I dont want my engine taking in that shizz...i'm a bit disappointed to see that on a 2010 with 10k....:(:mad:
Thanks to all for the explanations.

Now I have one more thing to worry about...exploding fuel pumps and frozen intercoolers.

Thaks a lot! :eek:
This is my first TDI and my first VW in general. Should I ditch it now with just 6500 on it, go underwater on the loan, and get a GTI? This is silly... I entered into this purchase expecting a 400K mile capable automobile, not one that would have me biting my fingers each time these not-so-minor issues surface on this forum. I had delusional visions, didn't I? :(
 
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tcp_ip_dude

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May 14, 2010
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Cape Fear area, NC
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2010 Jetta TDI Sedan
Actually for gas burners, Wankles are relatively high compression motors.

Hydrolocking isn't a function of compression ratio, only volume. If the volume at TDC is smaller than volume of water ingested during the intake cycle, the rod bends since the crank won't stop and there's nowhere for the piston to go.
Highest I've ever seen or heard of (in a Mazda race engine) was ~10:1, which is I guess in par for a regular 4 stroke street gas engine, but the apex seals were replaced after each race.

But try parking an RX/3 in first gear on a hill and leave the e-bake off and see what happens (ask me how I know this) :D

You are absolutely correct about the relationship of Hydrolocking, Compression Ratio and volume.

Back on topic. Sorry for the deviation.
 
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TDIFred

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Oct 29, 2004
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Hamilton, Ontario
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Jetta Sportwagen, 2009, Graphite
This is my first TDI and my first VW in general. Should I ditch it now with just 6500 on it, go underwater on the loan, and get a GTI? This is silly... I entered into this purchase expecting a 400K mile capable automobile, not one that would have me biting my fingers each time these not-so-minor issues surface on this forum. I had delusional visions, didn't I? :(
unfortunately for you, and many other newer owners on here, there is a tendency for doom and gloom to dominate. many over-dramatise small problems which get undue attention. while I am not trying to minimise engine failures or HPFP failures, they are relatively rare. we are car buffs otherwsie we would not be on this forum. what about all the other drivers who are not TDIClub members? my 2009 JSW is my fourth VW diesel and I (touch wood) have not yhet had catastrophic failures. I have had some minor annoyances but none more than I would had I done like my neighbour's license plate read: "OUt of a Job Yet, Keep Buying Foreign". I like diesels, and hopefully will never have to go back to gas...
 

honda93

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2010 Golf TDI
unfortunately for you, and many other newer owners on here, there is a tendency for doom and gloom to dominate. many over-dramatise small problems which get undue attention. while I am not trying to minimise engine failures or HPFP failures, they are relatively rare. we are car buffs otherwsie we would not be on this forum. what about all the other drivers who are not TDIClub members? my 2009 JSW is my fourth VW diesel and I (touch wood) have not yhet had catastrophic failures. I have had some minor annoyances but none more than I would had I done like my neighbour's license plate read: "OUt of a Job Yet, Keep Buying Foreign". I like diesels, and hopefully will never have to go back to gas...
Thank you Fred! :)

I try to avoid falling for such "doom and gloom" scenarios on a general basis, but a lot of people I know, especially within the SCCA, implied before the purchase that I should avoid VW's in general (in making the jump from almost 20 years of owning Honda's).

I would hate to see them proved correct because I really do love the car and am impressed by so many components of its design and engineering that I would hate for repairs (versus maintenance) to become the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the car.
 

Ryephile

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Metro Detroit
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MkVI Golf
Wow, the sky is falling again. :p

If you want to be proactive, every 10k oil change, loosen the IC hose and dump out whatever is in there. It'll add a whole 2 minutes to your oil change procedure, and ease your mind.

A catch can would be another good idea, though AFAIK nobody has developed one for the CR TDI yet.
 

GraniteRooster

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Upper Valley NH
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'12 JSW 6MT
Just got off the phone with VWoA - rep was initially clueless but after being forced to review the case with her supervisor, found out that apparently that VW is supposed to come out with a TSB "Soon" on this. And, my case will be elevated to the regional rep immediately, I should hear from them within a business day.

Hopefully the TSB is more than "drain it out and put it back together". I feel no need to disconnect my intercooler hoses for this kind of nonsense. Dealer thinks it should take another 5k miles before I collect enough water for this to happen again. I give it a week, and just one "run" in the right conditions.

By my calculations our engines move ~71 cfm through the manifold at 2000rpm - over my 100 minute commute to work that is total 7100 ACFM (that is 7100 cu.ft. @ typical boost pressure) or about 10,000 cu.ft SCFM total depending on what you figure for typical cruising boost @ 65 mph average. I'll bet a lot of water can be condensed out of that volume under humid conditions... no way I should have to check my hoses every week, or every day - thats junk.

For bonus points - what engine RPM's are required to "Blow Out" your intercooler full of water? For a roughly 2" intake pipe @ above 2000 rpm, I get 54 ft/s intake velocity, or about 37 mph. Anyone know the terminal velocity of water drop falling in air?? I looked it up - seems like 10 m/s or about 33 f/t sec is the max speed published for a big raindrop.

So it seems to me like about 1200 rpm (just above idle coincidentally) would make enough airflow to lift out the big drops, and @ 2000 rpm it should be like a 40mph wind tunnel inside the intercooler and water should have very little if any chance to "collect". And if you ever rev your engine to 3-4k RPM (like daily, right!!!) that should really blow through collected water, unless there are some seriously poor flow geometries in the system.

Icing from condensation on the other hand, I can see that. Ice melting after shutting down and sitting warm, making puddles down low, and then slugs of water ingested straight in on startup - I can definitely see that.

My $0.02 - thanks for reading. Typing is therapeutic and I'm a little riled up :eek:
 
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ymz

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Between Toronto & Montreal
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they are relatively rare.
Yes, they are, but...

It's VW's response to these things that irritates most... (And if you happen to have a 2004/5 Passat TDI, it's not a rare occurrence when your balance shaft / oil pump fails... at some point it's a certainty unless you've had the geared module installed - at your expense, and hopefully before the engine's trashed...)

Not that it's of any comfort, but we've heard of plenty of horror stories about other manufacturers not standing behind their products, leading to expensive repairs that the hapless owners must endure...

As someone once said: A little bit of paranoia can be the key to a long life...

Yuri
 

IFRCFI

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Winchester, VA
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2013 Touareg TDI Lux
Hopefully the TSB is more than "drain it out and put it back together".
You can guarantee it will be as inexpensive a solution as possible, and be kept as quiet as possible. TSBs generally doesn't equal Recall or even re-engineered or additional parts/components. So, draining it will probably be the quiet solution.

OK resident TDI engineers, time to develop a solution to put a petcock drain at the low point on the intercooler hoses.

Small airplane engines use this to separate air from the oil/moisture that normally would drip out the breather.

 

n1das

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Nashua, NH, USA
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For bonus points - what engine RPM's are required to "Blow Out" your intercooler full of water? For a roughly 2" intake pipe @ above 2000 rpm, I get 54 ft/s intake velocity, or about 37 mph. Anyone know the terminal velocity of water drop falling in air?? I looked it up - seems like 10 m/s or about 33 f/t sec is the max speed published for a big raindrop.

So it seems to me like about 1200 rpm (just above idle coincidentally) would make enough airflow to lift out the big drops, and @ 2000 rpm it should be like a 40mph wind tunnel inside the intercooler and water should have very little if any chance to "collect". And if you ever rev your engine to 3-4k RPM (like daily, right!!!) that should really blow through collected water, unless there are some seriously poor flow geometries in the system.

Icing from condensation on the other hand, I can see that. Ice melting after shutting down and sitting warm, making puddles down low, and then slugs of water ingested straight in on startup - I can definitely see that.
I regularly run mine up to 4k RPM at WOT while running thru the gears whenever I'm on a long highway on-ramp and traffic permits. I drive mine like I stole it in addition to cruising along at 2000 RPM. I don't baby it, same with my older TDI(s). My JSW sees DAILY WOT runs!

These cars don't like to be babied. They need to be reguarly driven hard and use the engine's entire power band. "Drive it like you stole it" describes it best. :cool:

Any more info on a TSB mentioned?
 
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frugality

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Spring Lake, Michigan
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none, 2016 GTI
Also, being a fuel throttled engine (diesel) as opposed to an air throttled engine (gasser), relatively speaking, the diesel moves a much larger volume of air through the intercooler (and engine), so I could see how a proportionately larger volume of condensate could accumulate on the 'cold' side of the intercooler.
There is less air going through a TDI intake (intercooler included) than a gasser intake. Our cars get better mileage because they get more 'bang' for the amount of fuel and air. At highway speed, our TDI's will be turning 2000rpm. A similar 2.0T gasser will be higher, say 3000rpm. With the same displacement (and boost), the gasser will be flowing 50% more air.

How it's throttled is a separate matter.
 

Samcar222

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Mar 16, 2010
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Rochester, NY
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2010 Salsa Red JSW TDI
This is all very interesting.... :rolleyes:

Can someone post a pic(s) of these intercooler hoses, where they are, and how one drains them? Is it a long job? (aka, could some dealer tech do it if I kindly asked on a sticky note on the steering wheel at my 10k service due in one week??)

And in the meantime, (before TSB/recall) WOT runs are advisable? :confused:
(like anyone would say no....:D)

(And the car (in terms of powertrain) has been flawless, save the occasional DSG hickup.*knocks on wood*)
 
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ToeBall

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Houston, TX
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2010 VW Jetta Wagon TDI
There is less air going through a TDI intake (intercooler included) than a gasser intake. Our cars get better mileage because they get more 'bang' for the amount of fuel and air. At highway speed, our TDI's will be turning 2000rpm. A similar 2.0T gasser will be higher, say 3000rpm. With the same displacement (and boost), the gasser will be flowing 50% more air.

How it's throttled is a separate matter.
No, our engines get more bang because they recycle some of the heat generated from combustion for ignition and because diesel fuel is a longer chain molecule and stores more energy so it takes less volume. A 2L displacement engine pumps the same amount of air at a specific RPM (assuming same flow resistance on intake and exhaust) regardless of weather it's burning diesel, gasoline, or is being turned by an electric motor or your wheels.

Of more interest to me is the fact that heat is recycled. This implies (and indeed it does hold true) that a certain amount of heat is needed for efficient operation. Restricting cooling to help maintain that heat level makes sense in that case.
 

frugality

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Spring Lake, Michigan
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none, 2016 GTI
No, our engines get more bang because they recycle some of the heat generated from combustion for ignition and because diesel fuel is a longer chain molecule and stores more energy so it takes less volume. A 2L displacement engine pumps the same amount of air at a specific RPM (assuming same flow resistance on intake and exhaust) regardless of weather it's burning diesel, gasoline, or is being turned by an electric motor or your wheels.
Thank you for re-affirming what I just said. :)
 

53 willys

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Utah
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The sky is not falling.....but it's total BS to have that kinda sludge in a brand new car...and it don't matter if you drain it or not..when the turbo pressurizes the cooler that sludge is getting sucked/pushed in your $10k+ engine..


a drain is a waste of cash..and time.
Good luck getting that kinda sludge to drain through a petcock..lol
 
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GraniteRooster

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Dec 15, 2010
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Upper Valley NH
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'12 JSW 6MT
unfortunately for you, and many other newer owners on here, there is a tendency for doom and gloom to dominate. many over-dramatise small problems which get undue attention. while I am not trying to minimise engine failures or HPFP failures, they are relatively rare.
Wow, the sky is falling again. :p

If you want to be proactive, every 10k oil change, loosen the IC hose and dump out whatever is in there. It'll add a whole 2 minutes to your oil change procedure, and ease your mind.

A catch can would be another good idea, though AFAIK nobody has developed one for the CR TDI yet.
The sky is not falling.....but it's total BS to have that kinda sludge in a brand new car...and it don't matter if you drain it or not..when the turbo pressurizes the cooler that sludge is getting sucked/pushed in your $10k+ engine..

a drain is a waste of cash..and time.
Good luck getting that kinda sludge to drain through a petcock..lol
I hesitate to respond to the sky is falling comments, however, there is a difference between minor quibbles and major design flaws that cause totaling of an engine with no advance warning, or for the car to fail to operate in routine weather conditions. We paid a lot of money for these cars, and it is reasonable at this point in the history of automobile design to have well know issues such as intake icing resolved.

I fail to see how ANYONE with one of these cars should not be EXTREMELY concerned about water damaging their engine due to this issue. If you drive in humid wintry conditions, I can tell you from experience that this problem is real, and happens often. 1 cup or more of water sitting in your intake at startup is a disaster waiting to happen - you can't argue it any other way.

Since the sky is not falling, I guess I will go back to being blissfully stupid about the operation of my car. And I will refrain from posting my concerns or sharing my experience here, I don't want to aggravate anyone by discussing something that isn't a real problem. I'm sure I should be appeased by draining my cooler hoses every chance I get, and happy when my engine grenades in a year or two when its out of warranty because VW's intake was sucking melt-water straight in. After all, I got my warranty period out of the car right? Thats what I paid for after all. No reason I should expect a $25k car to last more than 60k miles.

Going back in the hole I crawled out from - thanks TDICLUB - over and out.
 
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DHall

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Oct 30, 2009
Location
Connecticut
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2010 Jetta TDI
GRooster, I have been following your story as well as others having this issue. My issues started a few weeks ago with not being able to start the car in the garage after warming it up above freezing for a night. This happened twice. My driving conditions have been temps below 20 both to and from work for my 128 mile commute and parking in a garage above freezing. I haven't driven in any heavy rain or snow, and I certainly haven't been crossing any streams or rivers. I did a lot of reading here and using that information I pulled off the bottom cover and pulled apart the inter cooler hoses.

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/6586/img1222zz.jpg

What I found was about a half a cup of green slime with some water mixed in. My wife referred to it as snot. It didn't flow too well at the 4o deg f. that I was working in. So I used my heat gun in the hose and pipe to get most of it moving and then wiped the rest out. I don't believe the installation of a petcock would be adequate to drain this because of the consistency of the substance.

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/2058/img1224vx.jpg

We shall see how next week goes as the weather conditions should be the same. The car has over 37,000 miles (Read warranty is up) on it and I have driven it through some serious snow and rain up until now and haven't had any issues like this until now. I contacted VW last night via their web site to get a reference number. We shall see how that goes.

I don't believe this is an over dramatized issue. You could be doing everything correctly in regards to maintaining your car, not driving through rivers, etc. and in a moment, under the correct conditions, boom your engine is done. We shall see how I make out with VW. I'll be interested in your outcome with the rep from VW.

To answer Samcars question. Remove the "Skid plate" under the car. Once that is removed the inter cooler hose that you pull apart is located on the passenger side. Just pull it apart there. Trying to get VW to do it during an oil change is another topic. I have found they don't do anything unless there is a code telling them what to do. :rolleyes:
 
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IFRCFI

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Winchester, VA
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2013 Touareg TDI Lux
I pulled off the bottom cover and pulled apart the inter cooler hoses.
In that case....

No way will I drag myself under a brand new car, in winter, to unhook and drain sludge from anything. This doesn't exactly show up in the scheduled maintenance section of the book. As long as its under warranty, its not my problem..its VWs. Post warranty, it gets added to the keep/dump equation.

It will be interesting to see if a TSB ever materializes, and what it says. Should be good for entertainment value. VW ain't the best name in the business for taking care of its customers....
 
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honda93

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Jun 25, 2010
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USA
TDI
2010 Golf TDI
DHall, or anyone else here with a turbocharged gasser in addition to the TDI, are such issues common to all turbocharged and (front mount) intercooled cars?

What I don't get is that VW sells the Golf as a true World Car. The TDI (in its various engine sizes) is hugely popular and important for the masses in Europe, in particular, and it sells like hotcakes over there in all the different climates that continent offers.

Given this and other issues, are Europeans just complacent to stuff like this figuring, "It's a VW, it's just the way it is."
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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South of Boston
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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Anyone else think that the TDI's excellent thermal efficiency is an issue here? That, combined with great intercooling and cold, wet weather prevents moisture from being evaporated. I drove out to Detroit in 0F weather two years ago and at the time had a scan gauge on my ALH. I saw IATs at -10 to +10, depending on load. I believe those are measured in the intercooler. Not much is going to evaporate at those temps.

A couple people have mentioned blocking off the IC to keep the engine warmer. Given that more than a few people are experiencing slow to no warm-up on '09 and later cars in really cold temperatures, this might help both issues.

I'm running a winter front on my wagon this year for the first time in 20F and lower temps. It does significantly help warm-up time and heat production. Something similar for the newer cars might help. Not saying this is the entire solution, but it might provide some peace of mind.
 

honda93

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USA
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2010 Golf TDI
Anyone else think that the TDI's excellent thermal efficiency is an issue here? That, combined with great intercooling and cold, wet weather prevents moisture from being evaporated. I drove out to Detroit in 0F weather two years ago and at the time had a scan gauge on my ALH. I saw IATs at -10 to +10, depending on load. I believe those are measured in the intercooler. Not much is going to evaporate at those temps.

A couple people have mentioned blocking off the IC to keep the engine warmer. Given that more than a few people are experiencing slow to no warm-up on '09 and later cars in really cold temperatures, this might help both issues.

I'm running a winter front on my wagon this year for the first time in 20F and lower temps. It does significantly help warm-up time and heat production. Something similar for the newer cars might help. Not saying this is the entire solution, but it might provide some peace of mind.
I've only seen such covers for the earlier cars. Are such covers available for the Mk. V and Mk. VI chassis yet?
 

El Dobro

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Feb 21, 2006
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NJ
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2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
The goop in the hoses may possibly be from the way VW designed the crankcase ventilation system for the new CR engine. There's a whole section in the study guide about how it works. If VW actually has a tech bulletin in the works for this, then I would say the problem is more prevalent than what's popping up here.
 

Jim'stdi

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Jan 6, 2010
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Birmingham, Al
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2010 JSW
Here is a picture of the intercooler system. I'm guessing you loosen the 2 clamps ( #5 in drawing) and drain there?

 

ChippedNotBroken

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Dec 29, 2004
Location
Pocono\'s, NYC
TDI
Jetta A4 1999.5 Green
Even ice can evaporate in subzero temp's if there is enough air blowing over it. I'd guess that we are seeing a dead spot in the intercooler system that is allowing this to happen. Locate the spot where the air is not flowing properly and, if I am right, problem solved.

IBW's idea of blocking off cooling system in the winter is a good idea, even if you don't have this issue. Quicker warm up is only one of many benefits I can think of.

As for prevalence I'd guess that over half the cars out there never see our temperatures, and we only see them 3 months out of the year. Of those of us that drive in the winter, only a hand full might drive under the right circumstances to produce an effect that would result in a catastrophic failure. Doesn't mean it's not a serious problem that the oem needs to address.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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Winter fronts have only been available for MKIV cars. And they're all gone, obseleted by VW. We got our last two for the Golf last week, no more Jetta.
 

El Dobro

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Here is a picture of the intercooler system. I'm guessing you loosen the 2 clamps ( #5 in drawing) and drain there?

Yep, #5 on the passenger side is where the goop accumulates. The hose on the driver's side where it attaches to the intercooler is where the oil usually drips.
 
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