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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to VWs. Just purchased 2001 Golf GLS 1.8T, auto, 162,000 miles. Nice condition, runs great for twenty or so miles, then the oil pressure light starts flashing. Stop engine, restart, runs great for some more miles (haven't gone far enough to check whether it comes back on or not), but lots of lifter noise when I get out the car and open the hood. Oil level on maximum. Oil/filter changed by dealer in Chicago before car was transported here to Michigan U.P..
I've read much on sludge, oil pickup tubes getting blocked on 1.8T. Were it not for the lifter noise I'd guess it was a bad sender, but I hate not having an oil pressure gauge. They should be standard gear on all turbo engines.
Any comments would be appreciated, but here's what I specifically need to know:

1. Where does an oil pressure gauge sender unit fit, if I fit one? I read that there's possibly take-offs somewhere around the oil cooler, but can't locate the oil cooler (Man, it's well packed in under that hood!). Will a mechanical gauge work, or do I need an electrical one? Will the standard sender supplied with a gauge, fit?

2. If a gauge indicates low oil pressure, can the sump pan be removed easily to clean the oil pickup pipe, or will half the suspension need to be removed first?

3. Is the oil pump accessible once the sump pan is removed, in case it's faulty and needs changing? Is it a straight-forward job?

4. Here's my plan of action (critiques or alternatives gratefully received): I guess I need to know how the oil pressure is behaving, so first I need to fit a pressure gauge. Will a cheapy from Advance Auto work? If the pressure's low, I'll do the Seafoam treatment and see if that improves matters. If not, try and remove the sump pan to clean oil pickup pipe and possibly replace oil pump. If that doesn't work, curse, kick car, and beat wife (not necessarily in that order!).

Answers, and any further advice would be heartily appreciated.
 

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the pan is easily removable.
the pump is easily removable too.
the gauge can be fitting on the oil cooler/filter peice. thats where the sensor is too.
a cheap mechanical oil pressure gauge will work fine.
 

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Ok so I would recommend you not drive the car any more!

There is a VERY good chance that your engine has sludge build up, it a common problem in the 1.8t

Fortunately you have the golf which SHOULD make this a lot easier. That is if Im correct in saying that the motor runs sideways with the car.

If that's the case, what you need to do will take about 5 hours depending on your mechanical ability.

You will need
1. oil pressure gauge $15 - $25
2. RTV red or black
3. 5 quarts of regular oil.
4. 5 quarts of MOBIL 1 full synthetic
5. OPTIONAL 5 quarts of cleaner oil.
6. Optional New timing belt to change while your in there.



1. remove the intake manifold.

2. remove the valve cover.

3. remove the 2 camshaft holders to the far right, when facing the motor from the front of the car. (these are the ones that go bad first)

4. use a bright light to inspect the surface of the cam shaft, and make sure there's no damage from lack of oil (If there's no damage proceed to step 5)

5. drain out your motor oil through something that will catch any particles, inspect the oil, see any thing bad?

6. remove the oil pan. This is a pain and will probably require a 5 mm alan wrench that's quite long. the screwdriver type will work if you use vice grips on the handle to give you more leverage.

7. once the pan is off check the oil pick up and inspect the bottom of the motor.

8. if theirs no obvious damage, ie lots of metal in the oil. you can begin with the reassembly process.

9. clean everything REALLY well, the valve cover, oil pan, oil pickup, top of the motor, bottom of the motor. You will need a couple cans of carb cleaner for the oil pan and valve cover.

10. put every thing back together, You might want to replace your timing belt while your in there, and I forgot to add you will probably need a new oil pressure sensor.

11. (Optional) fill the motor with cleaner oil and run for 20 min, then flush.

12. fill with regular oil, not the expensive stuff. drive it for 500 miles.

13. after the 500 miles, drain your oil and check for any more particles. then fill with MOBIL 1 Full synthetic oil and your done!!

If you have any question you cal call me later today at 315-882-0921

Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First, let me say thank you to you guys for coming to my rescue. I used to be a reasonably proficient amateur mechanic, but I'm 66 years old and most of the cars I worked on were much simpler beasts dating from the 60s and 70s.


fubardub..I appreciate your succinct response. It told me much that I needed to know.


just a noob (Shawn) ...thanks for taking the not inconsiderable time to spell out exactly what I need to do. I've already stopped driving the car. Something's obviously wrong and using it can only make matters worse.

I note you don't mention the Seafoam treatment that I considered as a first option. I admit it's seems a long shot and involves running the engine, possibly causing more damage. I just hoped it might save me a ton of work! I guess I'll give it a miss and proceed as you indicate. Yes, the engine is transverse, across the car.

Couple of questions: bearing in mind I'm British and unfamiliar with the some of the technical jargon you guys use, I'm assuming RTV is a sealant for the sump pan and valve cover. Can you confirm, and is it something stocked by Advance Auto, or a similar store? Do the sump pan, valve cover, and inlet manifold need gaskets? You also mention 'cleaner oil'? I guess it's what we Brits call 'flushing oil'. Can you suggest a suitable brand so I know what to look for?
I appreciate having your phone number. If I get stuck and can't find the answer here or elsewhere on the web, I may well use it!
One last question: I don't have a lift or pit, only wheel ramps. I note the drain plug on the sump pan is at the rear, so I guess it'll be okay to drain the oil while the car is front end up?
 

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Yes RTV is a brand of high temp oil resistant silicone. Walmart has it as well as there own brand, so does Autozone ect.

The reason i didn't mention seafoam is because Ive never used it in my oil, I have had great results with it in my bike my other car lawnmowers ect. but that was always in the gas tank or sprayed into the intake.

yeah its the same as flushing oil, but I don't know of a good brand, it was something we didn't end up doing. but i dont think it would matter what the brand is considering all you doing is rinsing any thing bad out. is only gonna be in there for a short time, **Note** I just did quick research on how to use it so 20 min might not be long enough?

One other thing I forgot to mention is that if the problem is not a clogged oil pickup, and there's no other damage to the motor, you will have to make sure the oil ports are clean.

We (me and my dad) just finished this process about a week ago on our 2002 passat. our problem was a clogged oil pick up. It was also a lot harder because you have to remove the front of the car and the K frame to remove the oil pan.

you might want to just get to get a new pickup, there not to expensive, but are a bugger to clean. they also will most likely have to be ordered.

and if your long distance, use this number (315) 672-3509
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
UPDATE: It's been awhile since my original post so I thought I'd update on the situation. Having received excellent advice, I decided my first move was to fit an oil pressure gauge to the car, so I could see exactly what was happening with the oil pressure. A cheap mechanical gauge was procured from the nearest Advance Auto store. Removing the oil sender switch looked impossible. It's hidden away on the side of the oil filter housing above the cooler, and there appears no access without removing lots of things. (I use the term 'things' because at that time I had no idea what was what!) Taking off the inlet manifold looked a good idea, but in the end I just unbolted the black plate in front of the manifold (two 10mm bolts, and two nuts holding the pipe that runs across it), disconnected a couple of electrical connectors, and that allowed me to twist the plate out of the way sufficient to get a 24mm deep socket onto the sender (having pulled of the connection) and undo it. No way is there sufficient access to insert a 'T' piece, but an Oil Pressure Relocation Kit from 42 Draft Designs made the job much simpler.
I poured 8ozs of SeaFoam into the sump and started the car. Oil pressure on start-up was over 60psi. I took the car out for a gentle run and the pressure began to drop as the oil warmed up. After five miles it was down to under 50psi at 2,500rpm. Idling, the pressure dropped to about 15psi. Altogether, not as bad as I'd expected, though it could be much better.
Next, I drained the oil and dropped the sump. It's a relatively easy job on the Golf. Twenty 10mm bolts, easily accessible with a 1/4 drive and extension bar, plus three larger ones to the transmission. The oil was really dirty. It had only been in there for less than fifty miles, so I guess the SeaFoam must have done some good.
The sump pan looked like Jamie Oliver had used it to bake a treacle tart and forgotten to take it out the oven. I used paint stripper, followed by mineral spirits, to clean it. Then gave it a good hosing with water. It took about an hour to get all the gunge out the nooks and crannies.
The pick-up tube was badly encrusted. It obviously wasn't completely blocked or there'd be no oil pressure, but it was well on the way. Removing the oil pump was easy (it's best to loosen the Torx nut securing the toothed cog to the pump before undoing the three bolts holding the pump in place).
The pump looked okay, but having got this far I wasn't going to risk it, so ordered a new one ($195) and a new pick-up tube ($27) from ECS Tuning. There were cheaper alternatives from other manufacturers (one oil pump only $40!), but it seemed sane to get the proper VW bits. (Though, some of you may tell me different!)
There were no nasty bits in the old oil and the bottom of the engine seems surprisingly clean. While I wait for the new parts I'll take off the valve cover and see what surprises lie in wait there. Watch this space.
 

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Sounds great. im glad it looks to be a pretty inexpensive repair, did you end up checking for scouring on the cams? tho it sounds like your probably gonna be fine. and a heads up, when you first start the car it will be very loud, then it will quite up in about 20 once the oil gets everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Not yet, Shawn. I'm planning on taking off the valve cover this week and checking the camshafts. Hopefully, they'll be okay. Thanks for the heads up, loud noises for 20 would've scared me to death if I weren't expecting it! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The replacement pick-up pipe and oil pump arrived late last Friday. Meanwhile, I'd decided to tackle removing the valve cover to check for any obvious cam shaft damage. It turned out an easier job than I anticipated. The camshafts showed no obvious wear, other than might be expected on an engine that's just passed 162,000, so I cleaned off the baked on sludge from the inside of the valve cover, put it all back together and patted myself on the back for a job well done. It was then I noticed the two plastic oil dispursers that should go on top of the inlet camshaft, sitting on the air filter housing where I'd put them after removal. Well, they're black, and the air filter housing is black, and my garage isn't that well lit!
Anyone need to know how to remove and replace a 1.8T valve cover? I'm an expert, now.
The oil pump and pick-up pipe were duly fitted, sump pan replaced with a thin bead of sealant, as per the book. The four bolts on the side of the pan next to the flywheel housing are a bit dodgy to replace. They can fall down and into the housing. I had one heart-stopping moment when I thought one had disappeared behind the flywheel, but it hadn't, and fell out when I dropped the pan down a ways.
Five quarts of oil later, I took a deep breath and fired it up. It rattled like a skeleton in an earthquake for a few seconds, then quietened down to a steady purr. And, oh joy, the oil pressure shot up to 75 psi.
Ten miles up the road, with the engine up to temp, at 2000 rpm the pressure was steady at 55psi. At idle, it dropped to 22psi. Prior to the new parts it was only managing 10-15psi at idle, and an unsteady 40-45psi at 2000rpm.
According to Haynes, idle should be 36psi, (though how they come by that figure is a mystery, as Bentleys only quote an idle pressure for the 2.8l (29psi) but either way it's still a bit low. Haynes say 44-66 at 2000rpm; Bentley, 39-65. I guess these are for new engines and at 162,000 I've got to expect some main bearing slack, but it's still a great improvement on what I had before. Also, the irritating oil light problem appears to have been resolved. At least, with the new oil pressure gauge I will know exactly what my engine's doing. What a pity VW didn't fit one as standard.
 
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