Oil leak near alternator

roni024

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Location
Syracuse, NY
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL DSG
I brought my car to the dealership last week for an oil change (I know, I know... I'm usually a DIY guy but the price of the dealer to change my oil is pretty close to what I'd pay just for oil and a filter). A few days later, I noticed an oil spot in my driveway. I brought it back to the dealership thinking either filter cap not tight, drain plug not tight, or crush washer faulty. They put it on the lift and verified that none of these areas were leaking. They added a UV tracer dye to the oil and degreased the underside of the engine and advised me to make another appointment (after they ran the car for a while and did not notice any oil leaking).

Last night, I crawled under the car with a UV flashlight to see if I could find the leak. I noticed the UV dye on the charge air (turbo?) water pump, its bracket, inside the alternator, and inside the ribbed belt tensioner. I pulled the timing belt cover and did not see any dye in that area. It seems to me that the leak is somewhere under/behind the fuel pump. The only problem is that's such a tight and obscure place that I can't see in there all that well, even with a mirror (we all know how adept Germans are at stuffing things into tight spaces).

Does anyone know what could be in that area that would cause an oil leak?
 

nord

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Location
Southern Tier NY
TDI
All turned back to VW. Now a 2017 Hundai Tuscon. Not a single squalk in 10k miles.
In that particular area there are really only minimal choices...

First would be a spill high on the engine which is draining into the area in question. UV might not find it if the oil was spilled pre tracer.

Next would be your valve cover. Amazingly I've seen leaks on the back side somehow migrate to very strange locations.

I believe on this engine that there's a soft plug (somewhat like a freeze plug) located somewhat under and in back of the timing belt pulley on the head. This from memory and not experience. A leak here should show itself by contaminating the timing belt, water pump, and HPFP drive.

Given that you have a 2013 with known possible turbo issues there's always the chance of an impending failure. Excess oil in the lower charge air tube could be leaking at the coupling. This is something I'd check just on general principle.

Other than that there really shouldn't be much on the left front of the engine having to do with crankcase oil.

In this case I heavily suspect "Door 3" and that the leak will be located just behind the timing pulley. If I'm correct, then please consider a complete timing kit as engine oil and rubber belts generally don't play well together.

If you're in a pinch I'm not too far away. Actually just north of Corning. Our shop is well equipped (we do all our own work) and our lift makes life much better for anyone needing to be under a vehicle. I just had a close friend come down from Utica with his Jetta and several other members have dropped by as well. Just leave a private message here if you need help and I'll contact you.
 

roni024

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Location
Syracuse, NY
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL DSG
nord,

Thanks for the info. I'm thinking, and dreading, door 3 is going to be the outcome. I'm bringing it back to the dealership that installed the UV dye today to see if they can give me some good news. If not, you are definitely on my radar.
 

roni024

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Location
Syracuse, NY
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL DSG
Just an update, I never got around to bringing the vehicle to the dealership to trace the leak, but from the advice I've received here and elsewhere, I'm leaning toward the valve cover gasket or someplace behind the inner timing belt cover. I ordered the deluxe timing belt kit along with a tool set from Jim at dieselgeek.com, and a valve cover gasket from a local supplier. Will post another update after I tear into it and locate the leak.

As far as performing the timing belt and valve cover gasket jobs, can anyone offer any pointers to what else should be done while I'm in there? What should be cleaned up while I'm at it? And, on which fasteners do I need to use thread lock?
 

roni024

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Location
Syracuse, NY
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL DSG
I tore into my project this weekend. I removed the timing belt, and pulled the inner cover to the point I could see behind it. I could not find a leak anywhere. The only place that showed some sludge was at the weep hole on the water pump. It makes no sense to have a leak there, so I'm still skeptical. Another member on here had a similar thing happen to his car.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=432491&highlight=oil+leak

New timing belt is on. Job was tricky, but not very difficult. Next time will be easier. As to the oil leak, time will tell.
 
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