Oil leaks

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
There appears to be a two oil leaks on my golf. The first one, and more serious, is the one on the passenger side. It is coming from the side of the engine, and running down onto the harmonic balancer. It is not leaking from the valve cover, and I don't think it's coming from the camshaft seal. Here is the picture:



Are the only possibilities for leaks on that side of the engine valve cover, camshaft seal, head gasket, and crankshaft seal?

I have another smaller leak on the opposite side of the engine (drivers side) that does not look like it's coming from the vacuum pump:



A year ago I replaced the the head bolts with ARP studs. Although I'm not sure if I had this leak prior, do you think it would be a good idea to take off the valve cover and torque these down again? How likely is it that its the head contacting the block causing this leak?
 

eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
typically I find on most vehicles it is simply the camshaft seals or valve cover that leak.
These are generally the easiest and cheapest fixes.
I lean towards the camshaft seals due to the fact that they are one on each side.
Not much else to leak, if the head was the issue you would likely have more symptoms than a little oil running down the block.

cam shaft seals seem to be one of the most neglected seals on an engine.
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
I've ordered two replacements, and will do them this weekend. Thanks much Eddie, good advice.
 

Airstream

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Nashville, TN
TDI
2000 Jetta; 2010 JSW
Please keep us updated on how that works for you. I have a very similar leak and I am under the impression that mine is the crankshaft
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
So... there are supposed to be two cam seals?!? I only see the one on the passenger side of the engine.

I was disappointed to see that the passenger side cam seal was relatively dry. When I pulled it out I did notice that oil went all the way from the inside to the outside on the seal. It's not showing a line of oil from the seal though, so this concerns me. I think I am going to take off the harmonic balancer and see if there is a leak around the crankshaft.



If there is only one camshaft seal on this engine, which it looks like is the case, I probably just need a vacuum pump seal to fix the driver's side leak.

 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
So I took off the harmonic balancer to take a look at the crank to see if I had leakage. The crank sprocket itself looked clean, and there was no oil leaking from the crank. The timing belt is dry. I'm assuming the mess would be considerate around the sprocket area, and the belt would probably be getting full of oil.
Here's an OK picture, I know I should have taken one when I had the timing belt cover off.

Can anybody direct me to a picture of a leaking crankshaft please? I can't find one via search.

 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
I replaced the one cam shaft seal, and I had another vacuum pump seal that looked better than the flattened one that was on there. I used RTV sealant all around my valve cover, and around the bottom end of the vacuum pump. No leaks yet, very happy! I will watch for a leak though.
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
So what do you think it was ultimately?
On the passenger side, it was definitely the cam shaft seal. I've driven now for 2 days with no leaks what so ever. I have made a preference over cam shaft seals, I really like the ones IDParts sell. They have a spring around the inner diameter, and even though I was reading that was the "old" one... it really felt like it was going in there tighter.
The teflon one I put in there when I changed the timing belt 5k miles earlier was the issue.

On the drivers side, I am confident the vacuum pump was leaking on the back side. I replaced the seal, and used RTV sealant. Again, dry.

I also cleaned out my intercooler for the first time on this car, and found an old stretch injection pump bolt in it! I know it wasn't my fault because the pump bolts were not stretch when I replaced the timing belt.. so it must have been in there for a while. What a difference cleaning out the intercooler has made.. it definitely gives me more power in the 2.8k+ range.

Will monitor, but I'm sure the oil leaks are finally gone. I was driving with this mini headache for 2 years, and its nice to have a dry car for once. At least the oil leak was small enough it wasn't a showstopper.
 

Airstream

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Nashville, TN
TDI
2000 Jetta; 2010 JSW
Good deal. My oil leaks are almost exactly the same. My vacuum pump is leaking a little but the one coming of the harmonic balancer is getting everything oily. The TB belt is dry though...

How difficult/what are the steps to take off the harmonic balancer and check to see if its the crankshaft seal? I would hate to get in the middle of the TB job and realize its the crankshaft seal!

Thanks
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
Since your timing belt is dry, I'm betting you do not have a crankshaft seal leak on the passenger side of the engine. You can still take a peek though to verify. It's not much additional work; push the serpentine tensioner up with a 16mm wrench and a pipe to take the belt off. Take the 4 harmonic balancer bolts out (You might need to take off the side cover if you require more room) and then you can just take off the 3x 10mm bolts that hold the timing belt cover on. No worries about the top 2, you can still slide the bottom cover out.

My advice, purchase a new vacuum pump seal, and a new camshaft seal... plop those guys in and I'm betting you will also have a nice dry car. Also, be sure to confirm the outer [the one that contacts the head] vacuum pump seal is leaking (versus the one inside the pump) when replacing the seals.

Oh how I know how sad it is driving into the garage and seeing a new oil spot.

Good luck, it feels great to have this finished.
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
Well unfortunately I still have my oil leak. It is still coming from the passenger side of the engine. The vacuum pump seal seems to have fixed the other side. I guess I didn't drive it long enough after cleaning it to say I was dry. I'm thinking because I didn't see oil around the crankshaft that perhaps my camshaft is wore and is not sealing well with the new seal? Is this a possibility? I left the car sit overnight to ensure the seal didn't get ruptured while it stretched.

I don't have time to crack it open yet, but when I do I'm thinking I might put some dye in the oil and shine a UV light on it after giving everything a good clean down.
 

CTD01

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Location
CT
TDI
01 golf
I have the same problem right now. I think im going with a new cam kit from Id parts. Did you replace you tensioner when you were in there? I did mine 1000 miles ago and just cant justify spending another 70 bucks. BTW my cam didnt look too worn but I cleaned it up with a piece of emry cloth and I belive its still leaking.
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
When I did my timing belt, I replaced both tensioners. When I replaced the first cam seal when doing my timing belt it was a teflon. Now I just recently read on these forums that you cannot go from teflon back to rubber. I am not sure if this is true because I replaced a teflon one with a rubber seal on another tdi and it stopped the leak entirely. It could have been however that I replaced it within a day of putting the teflon in so it maybe didn't wear on the cam like mine perhaps did.

Let me know how the cam replacement goes; that will most likely be my route if it works for you. I also hear that it adds some responsiveness back to the car.. I am also unsure of these claims as well.
 

Shizzell

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Location
US
TDI
2000 Golf 1.9L GL 2dr
So it looks like the leak may have stopped, or slowly drastically. When I first installed, no oil, then a week later started seeing spots on the floor. A few weeks after that I stopped seeing new drops, and it looks like the oil pan is relatively clean. Maybe the rubber formed a better seal after being run for a while. Did a new cam solve your issue?
 

Richptl

Vendor
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Apalachin, NY
TDI
2004 Jetta TDI automatic 305,000 miles
I've got an 04 with the BEW engine with a tandem pump whereas the ALH has a vacuum pump. It sounds like there is no seal on the tandem pump side of the cam, and that the leak I have is from the tandem pump gasket and/or the valve cover gasket? Sounds like the BEW repair is not too much different from the ALH repair, except that I have fuel lines on the tandem pump in addition to the vacuum lines.
 
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