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Audi S4: Roy, I have a 2004 Audi S4, 4.2 V8, 93K miles, that…

Roy, I have a 2004...
Roy, I have a 2004 Audi S4, 4.2 V8, 93K miles, that has been seeping oil from the valve covers for about a year now. I did not see it as the oil film is gathering in the plastic belly pan on the car. There is no oil film on the visible top side of the engine. I found this out the other day after having the car in for its 95K service. The Audi dealer wants to change the valve cover gaskets and some other seals where they noticed the oil film, and claims the seals are beginning to wear due to age. While that may be necessary, I would like to be sure the crankcase is vented properly before tearing into the engine and the expense that goes with that. Could there be some sort of blockage going on here?What are your thoughts?
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
4/22/2015
FIXITMAN
FIXITMAN, Master Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 17,588
Experience: ASE MASTER CERTIFICATION, AA DEGREE AUTOMOTIVE/DIESEL
Verified
Hello, my name is***** for the question. If I am not online when you return please give me some time to get back to you. If the crankcase breather system is clogged, which it normally is at this age, then it will cause oil leaks and make any existing oil leaks worse. This is something that the dealer should be offering to fix or look into while they are doing the repairs on the seals and gaskets. You may want to ask them about this. It should be somewhat included in the labor as they will be already in there doing the other work. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more help.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Bobby,Thank you for your response. Your suggestion is basically what I followed up with the Audi dealer earlier today. I asked if the crankcase breather apparatus was checked for this condition because I believe some sort of blockage is the source of this oils seeping problem. It is my understanding that the pressure buildup on the crankcase will find the weakest exit points, typically at joints and gaskets. The service writer suggested that the crankcase breathing was not even considered with this problem, however, he did offer to ask the mechanic about it and/or schedule another visit for a thorough check for a blockage. In your opinion, do you believe the gaskets and seals need replacing on their own due to age? I am not sure I agree with that position with out first checking for breather blockage. Thanks again!
At 10+ years old it is common for the gaskets to fail. If the breather system has failed and is causing excessive crankcase pressure then it will find the weakest point to leak, but most of the time repairing the breather will not stop the leak, but may simply slow it. Once there is a leak it really needs to be fixed. I just do not recommend fixing any of them without looking into the breather ans repairing or cleaning it as needed.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Bobby,Thank you for your thoughts on this. It looks like there is some consistency with your position on the need to replace gaskets and seals, and the position of my Audi Service personnel. I have kept other cars (American and Japanese) for similar lengths of time, and have not experienced this type of oil seeping problem with them. I just wonder if the seals Audi uses are not as robust. In any event, it appears I need to have the breather system checked for blockage as well as replacing the gaskets and seals. This is about a $3,000 job at the Audi dealer, but I like the car well enough to keep it as it is still in great condition.
Thanks for your time. I think we are done here unless you feel the need to share some additional tips about this condition. Have a nice evening!
These engines and those from many European manufacturers tend to have more issues with this simply due to the higher compression engines. It really is not a sign of inferior quality by any means. If you think of anything else that you need please let me know. Please rate when you have time also. Thank you and have a great rest of your day.
FIXITMAN
FIXITMAN, Master Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 17,588
Experience: ASE MASTER CERTIFICATION, AA DEGREE AUTOMOTIVE/DIESEL
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