What happens when you drive short distances in cold weather - VW Forum :: Volkswagen Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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What happens when you drive short distances in cold weather

I have sticky'd this thread to the MKIII forum as it is a rather common issue with the VW engines when it's not driven enough to burn the moisture out.

I thought I would share these with everyone. I got a scare today when doing an overdue checkup on my Golf. I found the oil cap had a whitish sludge inside. I immediately thought oh Sh*t, my new head gasket is going bad. I checked the dipstick and didn't see any "chocolate milk" consistency on the stick itself.



After doing a little reading, I found out that driving short distances in cold weather causes moisture in the crankcase to collect and form on the top of the engine (where the oil cap is). This leads to the false reading that coolant is mixing with the oil.

After driving on the highway for a couple hours (round trip from Groton CT to Newport RI), I cleared out the sludge and got the following result:



Mike

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Last edited by keehn; 03-08-2009 at 10:48 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 10:28 AM
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You want a scare, look in the pcv valve.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 10:35 AM
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Wow that's pretty interesting I've gotta say. I'd probably shit myself if I saw that.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 12:08 PM
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it'll rust your exhaust like othing else too, my neighbor found out about that the hardway.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 01:49 PM
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That's why I rock the stainless steel exhaust system

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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At first I thought the coolant was mixing with oil. But after common sense took hold again, I realized the engine would have been performing poorly if the head gasket took a dump. All this while, the engine has been performing exceedingly well. That should have told me this was nothing to worry about.

I posted this for everyone else to see as we head into the winter months and a question is asked similar to my experience. Note: I did not clean the oil cap at all, I replaced the cap with the "milk" intact and took it for the drive. The engine cleaned itself, like my research said it would.

The pcv valve should be cleaned now as well.

Mike

Currently owned German vehicles:
2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX 2.8l
2003 BMW X5
2001 BMW R1200c (motorrad)

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1996 VW Golf GL
1975 VW Microbus
1981 BMW 528i
1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 BMW 535i
1990 BMW 525i
1998 BMW 328i
1997 BMW 740il

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96GTIVR6 View Post
it'll rust your exhaust like othing else too, my neighbor found out about that the hardway.
Not directly. However, if you drive your VW short distances, the same phenomenon occurs in the exhaust pipes...excess moisture collects without a chance to burn off. Therefore, over time it will indeed, rust out the pipes.

...This phenomenon is true for any vehicles made of metal...it's just nature.

Mike (MKIII Emeritus)

Currently owned German vehicles:
2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX 2.8l
2003 BMW X5
2001 BMW R1200c (motorrad)

Previously owned German vehicles:
1996 VW Golf GL
1975 VW Microbus
1981 BMW 528i
1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 BMW 535i
1990 BMW 525i
1998 BMW 328i
1997 BMW 740il

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 08:58 AM
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OMG!!! I just bought a head gasket kit! Thank you so much!!!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 06:06 PM
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Do any of you guys use catch cans?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 10:08 PM
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 04:21 PM
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im going to run one on my mk4.. (catch can)

yeah man.. thats interesting as hell... good post.. and i would of shit my pants too to be honest.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 06:26 PM
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i saw this a few months ago in my PCV valve and oil cap. almost shit my pants when i saw it. havent checked to see if it's back in a while.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 05:36 PM
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When I first saw this on my oil cap, I was a little frightened too. But not too long ago I did my valve cover gasket and that milky stuff was all in the crankcase breather hose and pcv valve also. I figured I would take a picture when I saw it. This is the end of the plastic crankcase breather hose on the pcv valve side.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 01:15 AM
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seen that shit all the time working in a shop doin oil changes on mk3's its a known problem to experienced mechanics. the solution is doin an engine flush or replacing the stuck pcv valve.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 12:03 PM
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It goes away after an oil change, engine flushes are a waste of money. The milky residue will happen whether you have a stuck or not stuck PCV valve. It doesnt matter.
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