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VWDoc
VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 6456
Experience:  20 years of experience working with VW's. Independent European shop owner and technician.
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Volkswagen Passat Very severe oil leak on a 99 VW Passat.

Resolved Question:

Very severe oil leak on a 99 VW Passat. Oil all over so bad we cant find the leak. Im sure if I take it to mechanic will say they cant see either without steam washing it or something, What are some options? Will a putty do anything? Whats the next step if oil leak is almost beyond repair? Expenses if anyone could help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  VWDoc replied 5 years ago.

VWDoc :

Hello, I'm Jason. I will do my best to answer your question quickly and accurately using the information you have provided.

VWDoc :

Ok, so right now, this is going to be a very difficult one to diagnose through the computer screen

VWDoc :

however, I'm familiar enough with the AEB engine that I should be able to point you in the right direction

Customer:

Ok that would be great

VWDoc :

Ok, give me just a few

Customer:

sure

VWDoc :

Ok, can you give me any sort of idea of which side of the engine this is happening? Is your lower belly pan still in place?

Customer:

looks more like the passenger side of the car

VWDoc :

ok, info on it's way shortly

VWDoc :

Wait...one more. More towards the rear or front, and again, is that lower splash pan in place currently?

Customer:

yes it is. front

VWDoc :

Interesting, and on the passenger side. So, yes I would also want to degrease it, but it's quite possible that you have a bad front crankshaft seal if that's where the leak is greatest. Not entirely common, but not out of the realm of possibility.

VWDoc :

Oil pan leaks are also a possibility, but somewhat rare as well

VWDoc :

wait....silly. I didn't ask. Is this the 2.8 V6 or 1.8 turbo

VWDoc :

For some reason I assumed it was the 1.8

Customer:

no turbo...yea v6

VWDoc :

Ok, hold up then. Let me do a bit more thinking first

VWDoc :

Ok, possible valve cover gasket leakage for one

VWDoc :

Lower oil pan to upper oil pan. There is no gasket here, and the sealant is VW/Audi specific

VWDoc :

But as far as engine oil goes, there are really no other typical leak points on that side. However, make absolutely sure your crankcase breathing system is in good working order. If it's clogged or broken, crankcase pressure will increase and turn potential leaks into real leaks. You can test this with the engine idling. Remove the oil cap with it idling and see if there is pressure or a very slight vacuum. It should be the latter

VWDoc :

I'll be away from the computer for a few minutes...

Customer:

Would this job be worth bringing to a mechanic or are they going to charge me an arm and a leg for the labor? What would parts cost?

VWDoc :

If it's a valve cover gasket, they'll likely recommend the rear chain tensioner gasket as well, which will run about $325 at an independent VW shop, parts and labor. If it's the lower sump seal, then expect about 2.5 hours labor (about $200), plus sealant, and since the oil will all be drained out, new oil and a filter.

VWDoc :

Have them check the crankcase ventilation system integrity also

Customer:
so around $500 to get rid of this problem? thats more than I had thought. labor is a killer.
VWDoc :

Often, yes. Most good indy euro/vw shops are around 80/hr (as is mine)

VWDoc :

But again, I can only go by your description and my experience with these cars

Customer:

Oil leaking directly onto the engine will that cause that oil burn smell inside the car as well?Smells as if it is coming directly through the vents.

VWDoc :

Yeah, the valve cover and chain tensioner gaskets will do exactly that. They leak directly onto the exhaust manifolds

Customer:

ok so that makes sense now. it seems as if lately there is like a slight smog coming through the the vent. cant be good breathing that in

VWDoc :

Definitely not. Also, one last thing. There is what is known as a cam plug (some call it the hockey puck) at the back of each head, which is at the very end of each exhaust cam. Check these, and replace as well, if needed. They cost about $11.50 each and are easy to replace

VWDoc :

They also leak directly on the exhaust manifolds

VWDoc :

Anything else I can clarify?

Customer:

nope i think thats all

VWDoc :

Alright then. If you don't mind, please click one of the accept buttons before signing off. And thanks!

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