Is my engine eating itself from the inside?

McGuillicuddy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Location
Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon (5MT)
Had a UOA done for the first time. I was shocked to see extremely high lead/copper numbers. I'm worried my bearings are in trouble. Everything else looks pretty reasonable.

Some details:

-Oil is LiquiMoly 5W40
-Oil was collected after driving for about 15 minutes. Car sat for about 20mins after that before collecting.
-Sample was taken in the later part of the drain
-Was collected during some pretty cold weather (early Jan); could cold starts be contributing?
-This oil was changed at the same time that the clutch/flywheel and rear-main seal were replaced. Wondering if this could influence the result at all if any of the clutch material/gear oil got in the oil pan during that process.

I went through part of the massive UOA thread but couldn't find much guidance. Does seem that high copper/lead numbers (even higher than mine) are not unheard of for the ALH but not sure what that means for my oil change interval, or the optimum oil type.

Here are the results:



Would appreciate input from anybody who is more familiar with these things!
 
Last edited:

imo000

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Location
Cambridge
TDI
2009 M-B ML320 Diesel & '05 Passat TDI Manual 5-Speed
If the engine is running good, don't worry about it. It's not like you will be pulling it based on that report anyways.
 

McGuillicuddy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Location
Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon (5MT)
True. But it could change my OCI. Was running a 15k interval but was thinking of sticking to 10k. Although Im not going down to the 5k recommended in the report as I think that is counterproductive. Oil is just getting good by 5k.
 

2.2TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Location
TDI
⠀⠀
True. But it could change my OCI. Was running a 15k interval but was thinking of sticking to 10k. Although Im not going down to the 5k recommended in the report as I think that is counterproductive. Oil is just getting good by 5k.
Just take some more samples and see if you're still getting the same results, maybe try liqui moly certec?
 

McGuillicuddy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Location
Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon (5MT)
Yah, that's my plan. It runs like a top otherwise so I don't have a lot of incentive to do much else.
 

McGuillicuddy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Location
Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon (5MT)
Thought of that. Liquimoly seems pretty well-regarded though. Could try Rotella T6 I suppose...
 

BlankThis

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Location
Montreal, QC
TDI
2002 Golf GLS TDI
I would just shorten your intervals to 10K and don't get your oil analyzed. The car doesn't really owe you much (nor is it worth much anymore) and the cost of a replacement engine, should your current engine bite the bullet, is only getting cheaper and cheaper. Not worth losing sleep over. Just drive and enjoy!
 

imo000

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Location
Cambridge
TDI
2009 M-B ML320 Diesel & '05 Passat TDI Manual 5-Speed
I was using Motomaster Diesel oil in my '00 for years and the engine was crystal clean when I finally pulled the valve cover off around 400K km. At some point I started using synthetic during the winter to make it easier to start but never used anything imported or exotic. If the oils I've used were bad for he engine, it would have chewed itself apart in the 200K km that I've used in that engine. The way I see it, most of these imported or exotic oils are wasted money, they aren't needed to make your engine or turbo last longer.

Some people worry too much about their cars, just drive them and stop worrying.
 

SheeB

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Location
Ottawa, ON
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS Manual
I have used T6 for most of the 260k I've owned my TDI. This summer I had to reduce the OCI from 16k to 12k as it was consuming too much oil for my liking. Never had a UOA done.

I thought I heard something about Shell changing the formulation or something? Maybe if that's the case, this is the cause?
 

SFHGolfTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Location
Ventura, CA
TDI
2002 Jolf GLS TDI - Reflex Silver (purchased 2011) | Previously: 2001 Golf GL TDI - Indigo Blue (sold 2005)
I started a thread about high lead, but your lead is about twice as high as mine. My copper was much lower also: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=437486

I'd be concerned if I had those numbers, but your car has twice the miles as mine. Subscribing. Keep us posted.
 
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