Lifter noise

Yuk

Messages
883
Location
Edmonton, AB Canada
My 1999 VW Passat 1.8T, with 130,000 km on the clock, seems to have developed lifter noise and the engine also has sludge under the valve cover. I have used Castrol 5w50 Syntec since about the 20,000 km (12,000 miles) mark and it has always been changed every 8,000 km (5,000 miles). Is the sludge causing the lifter noise and is it possible that another brand/type of oil could fix these problems? Thanks
 
Messages
116
Location
Southern California
It is very possible that the sludge is causing the lifter noise. Your engine sounds like an excellent candidate for an AutoRX cleaning treatment. Do a search on this site for lots of good info and success stories. You will also find lots of good information here on this site to help you select a new oil.
 
Messages
2,480
That is weird....after switching to 50 weight oil (M-1) last summer/fall because of noticeable sludge from a 30 weight oil, I too developed a 'lifter' noise especially at colder temps.. Delvac 1 seemed to clean things out the best (compared to M-1 5-30 and Havoline synth. 5-40). Now I'm using the Syntec 5-50...but my thought are that the cleaning ability is almost equal to what I've seen with Delvac 1. I've only done 2 drains with it (each 4.5k mi.) to flush things out...and am getting ready to do a full 9k mi. interval within the next week. This may sound weird too, but how frequent do you use fuel system cleaner? Is your car due for a tune-up as well? Oxygen sensors? Otherwise, I agree...seems like auto-rx is the ultimate engine cleaner...
 
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7,775
Location
Oklahoma
OK, I'm fixing to say something that some will agree and some won't, but WHY are you using a 5W-50 weight in the Canadian county??? [Confused] That is some heavy oil for that size engine and the climate. Why don't you try a thinner oil and see if the lifter noise goes down. It also may be time for valve adjustment. Not familiar with VW's though.
 

Yuk

Thread starter
Messages
883
Location
Edmonton, AB Canada
"This may sound weird too, but how frequent do you use fuel system cleaner? Is your car due for a tune-up as well? Oxygen sensors?" I hadn't used any fuel system cleaners until the car reached 118,000 km. In the last 12,000 km I've treated the car to a several bottles of Techron fuel system cleaner. I thinkt he car idles a little better (anecdotal assessment), but otherwise I can't say I've noticed a dramatic improvement I don't know about the condition of the oxygen sensor. The car runs very well, I get about 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the hwy, so I think all the sensors are in good shape.....? Schmoe, I've used 5w50 because: 1. Its cheap, I can buy it for under $4.00 (USD) a litre. 2. The VW factory recommends changes with oils ranging from 0w40 to 10w60 and no lighter than a _w40. The Edmonton dealers all use Syntec 5w50 as there "synthetic" oil of choice. Does Syntec have any sort of reputation as an oil that sludges up, or is this a Vdub issue? Thanks to everyone for the replies.
 

CJH

Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: OK, I'm fixing to say something that some will agree and some won't, but WHY are you using a 5W-50 weight in the Canadian county??? [Confused] That is some heavy oil for that size engine and the climate. Why don't you try a thinner oil and see if the lifter noise goes down. It also may be time for valve adjustment. Not familiar with VW's though.
Are you sure of what you are saying? I am under the impression that 5W50 is an excellent oil for cold climates. It behaves as a 5 weight oil when cold starting and I think this is all that matters. When the engine is warm, it behaves as a 50W oil, but since the engine is warm, the climate does not matter then. Right? Am I missing something?
 
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23,591
I used Castrol Syntec 5W-50 with very good result in my '96 Audi Audi V6 engine for 80k miles. Though, it's a fake synthetic (and possibly overpriced), I found no reason to complain regarding its performance. My local VW/Audi/Porsche dealer also offers that oil as a synthetic choice.
 
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23,591
Yak, using the Techron cleaner ruined my spark plugs, and the engine ran like crap (noisy!). I've heard from others that, depending on the engine, fuel additives can cause ash fouling on the plugs. That's what happened to me. If you want I can post a picture of my foulded plugs. Ever since I found that out, I use a can of Techron in the last tank before I switch the spark plugs no more problems! Another idea: Are you sure the lifters are noisy? Does the noise go away when the engine is warm? If it doesn't go away, then you may want to check if all plugs are tightened properly (tighten on cold engine only!). VW/Audid engines have occasionally spark plugs come loose - mostly due to techs who use calibrated elbows instead of torque wrenches. [Wink]
 

Yuk

Thread starter
Messages
883
Location
Edmonton, AB Canada
Moribundman, You also misspelled my name... I'll over look it this time... [Wink] The noise is loudest at start up, but can be heard continuously (albeit quieter) when the engine is warm. I think the plugs are good, but I hope you are correct. Plugs a cheaper to change than lifters and this set is at least 30,000 km old. I'm guessing you still like Techron if you continue to use it prior to plug changes?
 
Messages
23,591
Yeah, I'm guilty as charged. I'm misspelling almost everything today! [Eek!] Well, I do like to use the Techron sometimes as a preventive measure. The Syntec didn't cause sludge in my normally aspirated engine, but yours is turbocharged and a lot harder on the oil. If you have 30k miles on the plugs it's high time to change them. Maybe your engine will sound a lot better! You may want to check the A4 B4 platform forum on audiworld and ask people what spark plugs they recommend for the 1.8T engine (Passat, Jetta, Beetle, and A4, all are available with the 1.8T motor). I only know you should NOT use platinum plugs with this engine. [ June 24, 2003, 08:39 AM: Message edited by: rugerman1 ]
 
Messages
509
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Yuk, I agree with the others that suggest using AutoRX. You may want to try doing an RX treatment about every 60,000 or 70,000 km after your first treatment. Since you can get the Castrol Syntec 5W-50 so cheaply I would suggest that you continue to use it. Even-though your engine has developed sludge with this oil I still think your current choice of oil will work better than most conventional oils would in your turbocharged VW. The only example of Castrol Syntec causing sludge or varnish that I recall reading about was some Porsche 911 owners saying that this oil was causing this same problem with their air cooled motors. However this oil still seems to be popular with many 911 owners. Nothing could be harder on an oil than a high powered air cooled motor. I have even read a few times about complaints from Mobil 1 users that developed sludge or varnish but it does seem to be rare.
 

Yuk

Thread starter
Messages
883
Location
Edmonton, AB Canada
I have 18 litres of Syntec 5w50 left on my shelf that I would like to use up. How do those of you who don't approve of the use of 5w50 feel about me mixing my German Syntec 0w30 with the 5w50 to produce a 2.5w40-ish blend?
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Yuk: I have 18 litres of Syntec 5w50 left on my shelf that I would like to use up. How do those of you who don't approve of the use of 5w50 feel about me mixing my German Syntec 0w30 with the 5w50 to produce a 2.5w40-ish blend?
Those two oils are so radically different that I don't think mixing them is a good idea.
 

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
quote:
Originally posted by Patman:
quote:
Originally posted by Yuk: I have 18 litres of Syntec 5w50 left on my shelf that I would like to use up. How do those of you who don't approve of the use of 5w50 feel about me mixing my German Syntec 0w30 with the 5w50 to produce a 2.5w40-ish blend?
Those two oils are so radically different that I don't think mixing them is a good idea.

Very true. But the American 0W-30 can be used. Be a good citizen, help to clean out old 0W-30 at your local Autozone so that they restock with German stuff [Cheers!]
 
Messages
2,480
The 5-50 is very good for all temps. as is posted above. Those naysayers are the one's that have never tried such oil weights. Just like 3k oil changes. I agree...those are Bosch Platinum +4's....platinum plugs suck in general...and I feel that way especially about all these gimmecky plugs...spitfire, v-groove, fork-platinums, etc....copper is a better conductor...and secondly, to which pole does the spark go? The cleanest one? Do the other 3 get contaminated then? Just too weird for me...a gimmick...no doubt.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: The 5-50 is very good for all temps. as is posted above. Those naysayers are the one's that have never tried such oil weights. Just like 3k oil changes.
I don't mean to pick on you, but you've been singing the praises of this oil without any UOA to prove that it's any good (And before anyone else mentions it, I realize I've been doing the same with the German 0w30) I know you mentioned that 5w30 oils were no good for you, they caused a lot of sludge, well this 5w50 oil is going to cause more sludge than just about any oil, since it's going to contain a monster sized amount of VII in it. I don't understand why there are so many 50wt oil users on here who keep saying how it's so much better for their engine but refuse to do UOA to prove it to us. Two of the most knowledgeable people on this board, Molekule and Terry Dyson, both recommend 10w30 for just about every application. And both of them will tell you that if you do need a slightly thicker oil, a 40wt synthetic is the highest you need to go on a street driven car (BMW M3 excepted). The main reason a pure race car will use the thick 50wt oils is because they've got huge clearances, and they know they're going to get fuel in the oil and so by the end of the race it ends up being a 40wt anyways.
 

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: The 5-50 is very good for all temps. as is posted above. Those naysayers are the one's that have never tried such oil weights. Just like 3k oil changes.
I see your point. However, I tried 5W-50 in my Subaru and that was a huge mistake. On cold mornings the engine sounded like it would self-destruct. Way too much valvetrain noise. I think that some other 5W-50s may be OK (like Mobil 1 perhaps) but Syntec 5W-50 is more like 20W-50 in its cold flow characteristics.
 
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