Me and my buddy took a small (1 hour one way) trip to the nearest dealership to pick up some parts for his B4 Passat and for my Jetta. I also took a test drive in the 2005 GLI 1.8T.
Anyway, I own a 1999.5 2.0 and ever since I got the car the orange dipstick tube was broken at the top next to the engine cover. It did not bother me for the last year or so since I really did not see any problems with it. Not to mention that it is a common thing at least the 2.0 engines and noone seems to have problems with it...
Yesterday. I was checking the oil (you can never be too carefull) and noticed that there was some oil sludge on the dipstick. I have never seen oil sludge on my dipstick before and this worried me. I took a closer look and I found out that there was a hairline crack in the orange dipstick tube barely visible but big enough for moisture to get through!
So I got an new dipstick tube.
For the 2.0 engine the part number is 06A 103 663 C. It cost about $7.00 from the dealership.
Replacement is pretty straight forward:
1. Remove engine cover.
2. Pull dipstick out.
3. Pull the dipstick tube and reinstall the new one.
The reason why I am writing this is becase I think I have found the reason why the dipstick tubes break so easily. This is because there is a coolant hose that passes right next to the dipstick and heats it up quite a bit:
As a result from that, the normally strong plastic becomes very soft, inflexible and prone to brittling and cracking. I washed my old dispstick tube and here is how it looks like after 64K miles:
Notice the color difference! The region with the color change is right next to the coolant hose! When you press on the discolored portion, the plastic bends very easily and you can literally hear it crack under the slightest pressure. If you press down on the normal part of the dipstick tube it is hard, strong, does not bend and does not crack!
So go pick up a new dipstick tube from your dealer and replace it. You will minimise the amount of moisture entering your oil pan and also prevent any plastic pieces from falling into the oil pan!