TDI won't start, low oil


Dec 13, 2014
2003 Passat 1.9 TDI

Few moments ago I tried to start my 2003 1.9TDI Passat (AVF engine) but was unsuccessful. Battery is OK, glow plugs also (was driving it yesterday). As I was trying to start it oil warning came on then I suddenly turned the ignition off. Opened the hood to check on oil and strangely enough it was on the minimum mark.. Last time I checked the oil it was almost at the max mark (about 2 weeks ago). What happened? How is this possible? No oil on the ground, no oil visible in the engine bay.

P.S. Forgot to mention that outside it's about -3 F (-20 C) and it's been like that for ~1week, but yesterday or few days before the engine started normally no oil warnings whatever.

Sorry for bad English. Any help is appreciated!

Ski in NC

Top Post Dawg
Jul 7, 2008
Wilmington, NC USA
2001 Jetta ALH 5sp stock
Normal. You cranked a cold engine and it pumped oil up into the overhead and spattered it around in the crankcase. Cold oil flows VERY slowly and it will take hours to drain back into sump and give a normal reading.

Once you get your start situation figured out and get engine running, do another oil check after hot shutdown as normal. Level should be back to normal.

Oil warning comes on due to low pressure if you crank engine and it fails to start, also normal.