2002 VW Passat 1.8t sludge recommendations

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Aug 19, 2007
Cincinnati, Ohio
Here's the short version... 2002 VW Passat 1.8t, 57k miles. 5-6k OCIs. Only oils ever used MI 0w40 or U.S. Syntec 5w40. Saw sludge deposits on oil filler cap. Asked dealership to check it out. VW has 8 yr./80k mi. sludge warranty, right? Tech. wrote "Inspection found some build up, if customer has been using synthetic oil throughout the life of the vehicle the sludge issue may take awhile to cause oil pump failure." This OCI, I brought in my own 0w30 GC. I want to use an oil that not only meets VW 502.00 spec, but also has highest deposit-cleaning ability. Is GC the best choice? I will ask about using Auto-RX in a separate thread-I just want to know now what oil is best to use straight. Thanks...
Well, you've certainly had your share of sludge problems. But dammn, I would have never guessed you would have a sludge problem running 5k OCIs on synthetic, especially with M1 0w-40. That *would* have been the oil I would have recommended to clean so I'm not so sure now lol. Another possibility is that you've been paying for synthetic but the dealer has been putting in dino, I dunno. I'd probably stick with M1 0w-40 and not veer from it. Change it every 2 or 3k for several OCIs and see what happens. Also check your pcv system (do you have oil consumption?), filtration and run some good injector cleaner through.
You need VW to do the warranty work for this which involves cleaning and replacing some parts. Don't try to fix the issue yourself with Auto-RX or any other liquid you pour in the oil. I just got over my varnish episode with my VW GTI 1.8T which cost me over $500 in replacing PCV system parts. VW will do much more than that under the warranty for sludge. GC is no better than M1 0W-40 for cleaning deposits, IMO.
VeeDubb, maybe this makes sense... For the first 3 yrs. or so, I always brought my own M1 0w40 to the dealership. Then, after VW instructed its dealers to use synthetic on the 1.8t, I just let the dealership put there own oil in, which was supposedly Syntec 5w40. So perhaps I should switch back to M1? There is some positive commentary about using MI 5w40 TDT in the 1.8t, but I can't see where it meets VW 502.00. What are the difference between the two M1s? JAG, do you have any VWoA publication numbers to which I can refer the service advisor? If I'm asking for free repairs, I want to deal from a position of strength, and not let the dealership dodge the issue by playing dumb. If the PCV system were fouled, would I necessarily get a CEL? Right now, I'm mot getting one. Thanks for the replies.
The only documentation I know of is the sludge warranty letter which you should have received. The pcv problem would be a symptom of sludge and I've never seen actual documentation. But I'm sure JAG can tell you more. JAG does have a nice thread about this whole issue so do a search on threads started by JAG. One sure sign of a clogged pcv is oil consumption, because healthy 1.8Ts hardly ever consume oil. As for TDT, I've never used it or considered it. So I don't know much about it. Maybe somebody else will chime in.
I'm no expert, but I have a REALLY hard time believing that a high-quality syn like M1 would sludge up on short OCI's....even in a VW...that is weird, and sounds like nothing is going to cure it!
I would let VW do the warranty work. I would change out the PCV system every 40k. All of the ones I have replaced at that mileage are pretty clogged up. If the PCV system fails, moisture can not exit the engine. Also proper cool downs will help cool off the turbo housing. Even though K03 turbos are water cooled, they seem to run super hot on the 1.8t's (the manifold will glow bright red under boost). The only way to prevent sludge on these cars is to maintain them to perfection. Proper warm ups and cool downs, PCV maintenace, synthetic oil every 4-5k-even sooner under adverse conditions, proper (OEM) spark plugs will help prevent fuel dillution (changed every 40k). You are comming up on 60k so it is time to start checking that timing belt. Even though you have the new style tensioner, the water pumps rarely make it past 75k, so start frequent checks of that now. Also if you have the Tip, change the tranny fluid. VW says it "lifetime" but it is usually is shot by 80k. Use the Esso or Pentosin fluid. Some people have had luck with Redline D4, but I would stick with the OEM fluid.
... the water pumps rarely make it past 75k, so start frequent checks of that now.
75k? You must be kidding. Mine failed @ 35k. Has VW ever replaced the plastic impeller water pump with a metal one, and if so, is there any way to find out if I have the metal one; i.e., if there is a metal pump, does it have a different part no. than the plastic one?
Also if you have the Tip, change the tranny fluid. VW says it "lifetime" but it is usually is shot by 80k. Use the Esso or Pentosin fluid. Some people have had luck with Redline D4, but I would stick with the OEM fluid.
Are you talking about a drain/fill or a flush? Is a dealer likely to do this for me? I have read about dealers refusing since it's "lifetime ATF." I asked an independent I know about it, and he said "whatever you do, don't change the ATF," which makes no sense to me. Thanks again.
Dunno about the ATF because I had a manual, but there is no OEM metal impeller (I checked). You can get a metal one from aftermarket shops but then your dealer may not warranty anything affected by the water pump. It sucks, I know.
I didn't try to claim sludge so don't have any documentation for you to read before you speak to the dealership. BUt I'm sure you can find it by searching online. www.vortex.com probably has info on it or you can anonymously call VWoA and ask for documentation. A clogged PCV system will not necessarily cause a CEL. Yes these engines can get too many deposits using some synthetics for 5k-6k OCIs. You and I are 2 examples. I got the dealership to change my manual tranny fluid at 40K miles. They were happy to change it for me. It makes them money! I got the metal impeller water pump installed since I bought it from ECS tuning. Ask the dealership which kind they put in your vehicle.
A metal impeller pump is standard on most aftermarket timing belt kits. ECS Tuning, DieselGeek, BlauParts et cetera all use metal impeller water pumps. Yours failed at 35K???? That is the earliest I have ever heard of. I know few ever make it to the recomended 105k timing belt service. Do the timing belt yourself. It is not that hard actually, just lots of stuff to do. The most time consuming part is putting the lock carrier into the service position. There are a ton of DIY timing belt service on VWvortex and PassatWorld. And both have tons of information on keeping these finicky cars running. Hope everything works out!
Oh I forgot to mention about the ATF. Lots of people have changed the the ATF and had improvements with shifting. The fluid I drained out of my friends Passat was very dark at 70k. I used the Pentosin ATF1 fluid from ECSTuning. Much beter shift quality! At PassatWorld most people change it around 60-80k, usually to cure shift problems. Changing the fluid is not to difficult. The dealer will do it as they charge a fortune of the ATF fluid (Esso LT 71141 VW part #G 052 162 A2). My first time it took about an hour and a half. Just have the car on jackstands (4) and level and drain it. Filling can be tricky, but just make sure you check with the car in gear and the fluid is between 95-113 degrees F. DO NOT UNDERFILL. The ZF 5HP19FL transmissions do not like being under filled. Again go to the forums to see complete write ups.
Nobody knows anything about the 1.8T's PCV valve? PS: The biggest issue with doing the TB job on an interference engine yourself is that it's you yourself who's liable if your engine grenades.
Nobody knows anything about the 1.8T's PCV valve?...
I do. Straight from the Bentley 1999-2005 VW Jetta, Golf, GTI service manual: "The PCV system consists simply of a breather hose between the valve cover and the air intake boot. On the 2.0 and 2.8L engines the valve cover contains a flame trap to prevent ignition of the crankcase vapors in the event of a backfire. To prevent icing during cold weather, a heating element is integrated into the breather hose. On the 1.8L turbocharged engine, the PCV breather hose has a pressure regulating valve at the air intake boot that prevents turbocharger boost from pressurizing the crankcase."
The PCV is a regular PCV valve. That is ok, it is all the plumbing that gets plugged. Throw in VW's quality (or lack there of) plastic and super high underhood heat and things don't last that long. Here are the parts for an AWM engine. 2 06A103213F breather tube 1 3 N 90467301 round seal 34,2X3 1 4 037121142A retaining spring 1 (5) 06A103247 valve housing 1 6 035103245A bleeder valve 1 7 + N 10258101 pipe clip AL23-35 1 8 + N 90739901 hose clip 31X10X0,8 2 9 06B103213G breather tube 1 10 058103221D breather hose 1 11 N 10201801 pipe clip 17,8-21 1 12 + N 10197601 clamp 19,8X6X0,6 1 (13) 06B103221B breather hose 1 14 + N 90739901 hose clip 31X10X0,8 4 15 058103493A air hose 1 16 06B103213K breather tube 1 AEB's are much simpler. AUG and ATW's are similar, but the part number are different. Yours being a 2002 B5.5, you have the AWM engine code (2001.5-2005.5) Here are engine codes for B5 Passats (1998-2001) AEB is from 1998-1999. AUG is 2000. ATW is the fisrt year of the DBW (drive by wire) 2000-2001. The ETKA number for parts can be found online. And dealer prices may vary. For the TB job, just tripple check everything, spin engine over by hand for at least 720 degrees. Have a friend tripple check everything. Then you start the car. As for Lifetime Fluids, that is still debateable. The G12 coolant is "lifetime" too, but most dealers will flush the system on an TB job. These cars (especially the 1.8t) need maintenance above and beyond what VW calls for. Never let anything slide, you will pay three times as much later.
I for got to add these: 4) 058-905-291 check valve (1) 034-129-101-B "puck" (1) N-904-673-01 breather tube seal (1) 058-103-213 breather tube (1) 06A-103-247 bleeder valve housing (1) 035-103-245-A bleeder valve The Passat PCV system is different than the Golf/Jetta. It is a fairly complex system. Not as complex as the SAIP though!
Dooooh! My mistake for posting what I did. I should have known the Passat was different, but I saw "1.8t sludge", and got keyboard happy.
The PCV is a regular PCV valve.
What wavinwayne seems to contradict this. My 2.8 has a simple float valve similar to the orange one: I didn't mean to imply the PCV valve (or whatever the 1.8T has) breaks. The sludge issues with the 1.8T seem limited to NA. Odd.
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