oil pan vulnerability

Dennisr

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Location
WV
TDI
Jetta, 2002, Blue
I see lots of post about fitting a new metal skid plate on my Jetta but I would like to know why this is not a stander part of this car. Driving down a show covered road in the winter and hitting the center bottm of the car in the snow is pretty common around here. I have already replace an oil pan because of this and I was not going over 10 MPH. I would like to know how common of a occurance this is. By the way it cost $356.00 for the repair at my local dealer. I have asked VW these same questions. My local dealer told me they replace lots of oil pans.
 

MITBeta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Location
Boston's Metro South-West
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 2004 Sprinter CDI Passenger (Mid/High), former: 1996 Passat TDI Variant
I can't answer your question, but I can say that this is a relatively easy repair.

I busted my pan on a pothole in Boston... luckily the plastic pan was salvagable and only the aluminum pan required replacement.

The total dealer charge was in the neighborhood of $275, but the parts were only about $110...

This all happened before there was ever talk here on Fred's about a skid plate. So now I have to ask myself: Do I think that this will happen 3 more times? If so, then it's worth buying the skid plate... if not, then the skid plate is a waste of money... Maybe that's the same thing VW was thinking...
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
Dennisr-

I had to replace my oil pan too, but it was because I hit a curb!


Are you sure there wasn't something under that snow that took out your oil pan?

The reason the steel plate is not standard probably comes down to the cost of a steel part versus molded plastic. The plastic unit works sufficiently to protect from water and (most) snow.

These cars aren't really any lower than most cars in their class (with stock suspensions/wheels). Don't know why these would be prone to any more oil pan replacements.

-tom
 

Curious Chris

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Location
Pineview GA
TDI
Jetta Wagon 2003 RIP Rockford IL
Oh you guys, go to www.dieselgeek.com and order a metal skid plate kit from Jim Royston. I have it on my car and I love it.

Today was a classic day: wet snow yesterday, nasty chuncks of ice today at intersections where the snow was plowed. I drive right through them and listen to the metal skid plate crush the ice as I pass over it. Do this with the POS OEM plastic belly pan and it will be destroyed. Earlier this week I hit something nasty on the freeway, and all I heard was the THUNK when it hit the metal skid plate. Without the metal skid plate the THUNK might have been the sound of a hole being made in the oil pan.

I agree with you completely that in North America the metal skid plate should be a standard part. It is not an aftermarket part, it was designed and is sold by VWAG!
 

corrado tdi

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Location
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
TDI
2016 Golf TDI
I found out that they are lower to the ground on the Beetles. The Original NB plate sat a little higher up in the chassis but isn't available anymore.

Jim
dieselgeek.com

Originally posted by VelvetFoot:
The skid plate does seem to be a little lower to the ground though.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
 

Birdman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 7, 1999
Location
Near Hagerstown MD.
TDI
Jetta 2001 Died by Truck one snowy day. Jetta 2003
Tell me are they OEM (metal Skid plates) over seas. Because they have weather just as bad as ours and i don,t seem to see them complaining about pans. It would be nice to know.
 

Dennisr

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Location
WV
TDI
Jetta, 2002, Blue
I really don't know what I hit but I drive the same road everyday (its my driveway). I don't believe it could have been anything but hard snow.
It only leaked oil on the ground the last 30' before pulling into my garage.It did not damage the plastic pan at all, only the thin alumium oil pan had a small hole in it.
 

Andi TDI

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Location
Bucharest , Romania
TDI
2003 Passat 1.9 TDI PD
Yes there are.
I have a friend (golf IV TDI) who bust his oilpan hitting a rock on the road. The insurance paid for the pan and he had to add the price difference between the OEM plastic and metal skid plate.
Now he owns a brand new OEM skidplate.
 

Brioscooter

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Location
Baltimore, Md.
TDI
2004 and 2005 Golf TDIs
So, the metal skid plates are an unadvertised option on VWs worldwide, it seems.
I suppose VWAG leaves it up to the dealers to recommend the upgrade to customers who have had their oil pan damaged.
But VW doesn't push it because they are making money replacing holed oil pans.
Sad...
 

stayalert

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Location
VT, USA
TDI
2001 golf black
I holed my oil pan and for ~130 US dollars I got a replacemtn from the dealer. I think this included the sealant goop. For me it wasn't so mush the cost of doing the saem work a couple of more times it was the sever inconvienience of being late to an important meeting becuase my car got towed to my house. I like the steel pan but so feel that it reduces ground clearance. I still grit my teeth when I bottom out or hit something (happens EVRY day) I'm in the need of a suspension assessment and lift and/or larger diameter tires...Just my experience...Rob M Concord, MA
 

Dennisr

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Location
WV
TDI
Jetta, 2002, Blue
Does this not seem a bit unfair? I have been a driver for 36 years and have never before had to worry about hitting snow or rocks during 'normal' driving. This is not an offroad vehicle and I don't treat it as one but everyone is suggesting I install what I would consider an offroad skid plate. This should be something VW addresses. I am in contact with them and have asked for their explanation in writing. But I still wonder how often this happens, and to what % of the VW cars as compared to say the Honda Civic.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2003
Location
Bardstown, KY, USA
TDI
cowspots40004
Oh my, now I know where that oil leak/consumption problem is from.
A car bumped a big piece of steel into the path of my TDI on I-65N in KY. This winter I have dragged bottom several times in snow, too. I am going underneath today to review the damage. Where can I find a pic of the steel pan? I do lots of fabricating, perhaps I can cobble one up for less than the $300.00+ that I am hearing about here.
 

MOGolf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
underneath something
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI Reflex silver, rough road suspension and steel skid plate, 2004 Passat Variant, Candy White, rough road suspension and geared balanced shaft module, and much, much more. 2016 LR RR HSE TD6, 2019 Jaguar I-PACE

SilverPASV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2000
Location
Birmingham,UK
Originally posted by Brioscooter:
So, the metal skid plates are an unadvertised option on VWs worldwide, it seems.
I suppose VWAG leaves it up to the dealers to recommend the upgrade to customers who have had their oil pan damaged.
But VW doesn't push it because they are making money replacing holed oil pans.
Sad...
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My dealer didn't know the metal one existed. All the parts have now arrived but with the bad weather in the UK I haven't been able to collect it. Don't want to chance damage to the car picking up something to protect it - that'd be my luck.
 

stayalert

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Location
VT, USA
TDI
2001 golf black
The dealer I went to wasn't familiar with the steel pan the dieselgeek sells. As far as Honda's I can only add that from my experience I can travel the same road and go airbourne @ 35MPH or so in my '93 accord and not hit the pavement at a particular RR crossing. With my 2001 steel bellied Golf I rerouted my commute becasue I have gone 5MPH over the same route just described and the pan hitsw twice. I like the steel pan but My car needs to be lifted or corrected because I believe the suspension to be worn.
 

Old Navy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 15, 2001
Location
SE Missouri, USA
TDI
None now, unless you count the Dodge Ecodiesel PU.
I have a neighbor who has a Toyota Corolla and was just complaining last Monday how dented up the oilpan was and wondering what his wife was doing to cause this. He was worried about her striking the pan (stamped steel) hard enough to to dent it deep enough to have rod hit pan. If it happened as dent was being cause it could break the crank. Another friends coworker struck something on the interstate last year with their van and destroyed the oilpan, which led to engine failure. The van was a Honda with about 40k miles on it, and would you believe the insurance company refused to pay. I think the real problem with insurance was $500 deductable.

The reason oil pan failure is so common in VW and some other European cars is the use of cast alluminum pan (for greater cooling maybe of the engine oil) verses the stamped oil pan that is less of a problem when inpacted.

However the failure of an oilpan due to impact is not all that uncommon in Japanesse or American cars. Local Dodge dealer say they replace damaged oil pans on cars here about once a month, due to rock impac on secondary roads and the occasional curb jumper.

On the NB I paid to have one installed at dealer. When I bought the Jetta I had it included in sales deal. It has paid for itself several times over on the low slung NB and once on the Jetta.

[ February 06, 2003, 07:52: Message edited by: Old Navy ]
 

MOGolf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
underneath something
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI Reflex silver, rough road suspension and steel skid plate, 2004 Passat Variant, Candy White, rough road suspension and geared balanced shaft module, and much, much more. 2016 LR RR HSE TD6, 2019 Jaguar I-PACE
Denting a steel oil pan could cause the oil pickup to be dislodged, or the dent could obstruct the flow of oil into the pickup. The pickup is located pretty close to the bottom of the oil pan and would receive damage before the crank. Of course, if the pickup doesn't pickup oil, damage to the crank bearings will soon follow.

The cast aluminum pan adds more rigidity to the engine assembly than a stamp steel pan could. They can shave a few pounds from the iron block by depending on the pan to provide the rigidity. It's all saving weight in the name of better fuel economy.

Yet we manage to add the weight of the steel skid plate and no one has reported any observed loss of MPG (unless I missed it). Must be a diesel thing.
 

Bob V

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Location
Texas
A couple of months ago I was at the dealer for some warranty stuff, and saw a Jetta sitting lonely in the corner with a little front bumper damage and it was bleeding some fluid on the floor. The mechanic said this car had hit a recap spit off a truck, and it had a cracked transmission housing. If that was indeed true, that skidplate is well worth the money. I'm still saving my greenstamps to get one of those.
 

Chris B

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2001
Location
N. central Illinois
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon 5 spd
Well, I haven't been under my VW lately (or much at all - just coming up on the 20K oil change), but both my wife's Alero V6 and my old Saturn had a big crossmember right in front of the oilpan, and slightly lower than it. Therefore, any curb whacks or road debris would hit the frame before taking out the oil pan, which is cast aluminum on both cars.

Do our TDI's have a similar arrangement, or does the oil pan hang down further???

Chris
 

Manu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 1999
Location
Simcoe County, ON, Canada
TDI
2010 VW Golf Wagon 6MT Highline TDI
My cousin (in France) broke 2 already. He welded the first one. Had to replace it the second time around. He actually drives around with an oil pan in his trunk now, just in case .................

His car is lowered too, which I guess doesn't help.
 

jjvincent

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
Location
Bethlehem, PA
TDI
Jetta, 2K, Green
Hitting oilpans is nothing new. Stamped steel pans can take more abuse. Remember back in the 80's when many VW rabbit owners hit their oil pans on parking curbs and then broke off the oil pickup. I sure do. I replaced many oil pumps and rod bearings (or engines if the owner wasn't paying attention). I agree, VW could change the design of the oil pan and make it stronger. Just look at any 944, 928, 924 and 100LS. They had cast aluminum oil pans and could survive a pretty good hit.
 
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