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    Thread: 30V V6 Oil Leak, behind right head, poss cam adjuster seal, pcv questions

    1. 11-30-2011 07:24 PM #1
      Hello, I have been looking into the source of an oil leak, and think I might have figured out what it is.

      I was getting burnt oil smell, and the smoke was coming up from behind the right side valve cover. I cleaned the valve cover off, and it's not leaking there. It's down below and I couldn't see exactly where. Reading around it sounds like it could be the cam adjuster seal, but they say the cause itself is the PCV being clogged.

      They talk about 3 parts, but I wanted to get the name and part number of the commonly replaced parts and make sure I got the right stuff for my engine, since apparently not all 30V have the same parts, and mine is a B5.5 (after the break 2001).

      Smoke comes from below there, the black disc is silver now that I cleaned it.


      Looks like oil is dripping off here, I just couldn't identify for sure what needed to come out:


      Looks like here:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...light=oil+leak
      and here:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...light=oil+leak

      have some good info, but like I said, if I could get confirmation if someone recognizes the part or knows which one fits my car.

    2. Member O_o's Avatar
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      12-02-2011 02:08 AM #2
      There are so many VIN splits for the B5.5. The best thing is probably to call a $tealer$hip.

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      12-13-2011 10:19 AM #3
      I too smell a slight burning of oil in the cabin, especially at low speeds with the heat on. I haven't had the chance to check to see if it is coming from the rear cam seal. My car only has 75k on it so I don't know if it is the PCV. Is there any way to test the PCV before going out to get a new one? Aside from a PCV, what else would I need to get this fixed?

    4. Member AndyTR32's Avatar
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      12-16-2011 12:59 PM #4
      I'd say a cam seal or the head caps. Might as well buy a whole kit and replace the tenionser seals and valve cover. The cam shaft has to come out for the cam seal so you may want to consider replacing the cam chain tensioner /adjuster (~$280) while you're in there (depending on mileage).

      Also, the PCV system can be checked by simply popping the hose off of the valve cover nipple. Just take a peak and look for clogging. Very likely to be clogged at 75k miles. Be careful because engine heat causes the hoses to become brittle and they crack easily, especially on the rear below the throttle body.

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      12-22-2011 05:05 AM #5
      Looks familiar, to venture a guess I'd have to say Cam Tensioner. Requires removal of valve cover, fuel lines out of the way. Clean up the mess with some degreaser before you start tearing things apart and drive your rig a bit. the source of the leak should show fairly quickly. The tensioner has its own gasket kit. Good Idea to replace the valve cover gasket of course so pick one up at the same time. I was able to replace mine without disturbing the cams as the tensioner will lift high enough to swap out the gasket and half round seal. Takes a great deal of patience and time. Walk away from it if you are tempted to use a bigger hammer.

    6. 01-03-2012 12:20 AM #6
      cam chain tensioner /adjuster gasket... the dealer had to do it 3 times to get it fixed, the oil will drip out the back of the right side of the engine dripping on the exhaust and then get sucked in the cab. My car was in and out of the dealer for 2.5 weeks... good thing they warranty their work for one year ... they seem to think they had a bad bunch of gaskets. Get it fixed asap! I got really sick from the smell.

    7. 05-19-2012 08:29 PM #7
      Just a follow up on my own issue: It was leaking from the cam chain tensioner. However, the leak was prompted because of a clogged PCV.

      I ended up replacing and cleaning the PCV (replaced the top breather hose and the Y valve, ran sea-foam through it) and it actually stopped leaking.

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      05-26-2012 09:37 PM #8
      What did you do with the sea foam, I have a can of it in my garage and kinda want to use it but I heard bad things about sea foaming your car, can you give me more details about it?

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      05-29-2012 12:05 AM #9
      you do not have to take the cam shafts out to do cam adjuster seals, lol
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    10. Member AndyTR32's Avatar
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      05-29-2012 08:42 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubtech398 View Post
      you do not have to take the cam shafts out to do cam adjuster seals, lol

      Quote Originally Posted by AndyTR32 View Post
      I'd say a cam seal or the head caps. Might as well buy a whole kit and replace the tenionser seals and valve cover. The cam shaft has to come out for the cam seal so you may want to consider replacing the cam chain tensioner /adjuster (~$280) while you're in there (depending on mileage).
      Cam tensioner seal is different than the cam seal.

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      05-29-2012 12:17 PM #11
      Correction, You do not need to remove the cams to replace any of the cam seals. It does require special pullers to remove the seals behind the cam gear tho.
      Last edited by vdubtech398; 05-29-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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    12. Member AndyTR32's Avatar
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      05-29-2012 01:01 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubtech398 View Post
      Correction, You do not need to remove the cams to replace any of the cam seals. It does require special pullers to remove the seals behind the cam gear tho.
      Interesting. Are you saying you can get the seal off without taking the bolt off of the end of the cam?

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      05-29-2012 01:44 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by AndyTR32 View Post
      Interesting. Are you saying you can get the seal off without taking the bolt off of the end of the cam?
      No sir, you need to put it in service position to get the bolt all that way out and give yourself room to use the pullers. Just another way to do it.
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    14. Member AndyTR32's Avatar
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      05-29-2012 01:57 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubtech398 View Post
      No sir, you need to put it in service position to get the bolt all that way out and give yourself room to use the pullers. Just another way to do it.
      Taking the cam out seems like it would take much less time than putting the front end in service position (never done it though). It also makes replacing the cam seals and end caps much easier. You'd definitely want to replace those if the cam sprocket seal is bad. You do leave more room for error by taking the cam out though.

      In either case, seems like service position does nothing for replacing the left hand side (bolt is in the take back of the motor). Actually, isn't the bolt in the back of the motor (firewall side) on both sides?

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      05-29-2012 02:09 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by AndyTR32 View Post
      Taking the cam out seems like it would take much less time than putting the front end in service position (never done it though). It also makes replacing the cam seals and end caps much easier. You'd definitely want to replace those if the cam sprocket seal is bad. You do leave more room for error by taking the cam out though.

      In either case, seems like service position does nothing for replacing the left hand side (bolt is in the take back of the motor). Actually, isn't the bolt in the back of the motor (firewall side) on both sides?
      service position take 15 mintues to accomplish. Cam end plugs with v/c still on and nothing disassemlbed takes 10 minutes. The only bolt is in the front on the camshaft gears. The backside is just the end cap seals no bolts.
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    16. Member AndyTR32's Avatar
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      05-29-2012 02:45 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubtech398 View Post
      service position take 15 mintues to accomplish. Cam end plugs with v/c still on and nothing disassemlbed takes 10 minutes. The only bolt is in the front on the camshaft gears. The backside is just the end cap seals no bolts.

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      05-30-2012 12:04 PM #17
      I was mistaken. There is a seal on the drivers side cylinder head in the rear Behind the cam sensor. You were correct on that. You can still get it out without pulling the cams tho. But you will need that puller or it will be difficult.
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    18. Member koidragon1980's Avatar
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      05-31-2012 11:48 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubtech398 View Post
      I was mistaken. There is a seal on the drivers side cylinder head in the rear Behind the cam sensor. You were correct on that. You can still get it out without pulling the cams tho. But you will need that puller or it will be difficult.
      are we talking cam caps here? these are by far the easiest and cheapest fix when it comes to the many pcv and oil leak issues. new caps are like $15... one on each side in the back of the engine. no special puller required. just jam a screwdriver into the cap and pry the old one out. new caps just get pushed into place but i recommend using some gasket sealant around the outer sides of the caps, then let the engine sit for about 24 hours to allow the sealant to cure. good to go after that.

      cam chain tensioner gaskets or valve cover gaskets are more involved but neither require putting the front into service position. everything can be done from above once the valve covers are removed.

      you should clean or replace your pcv hoses & vaccum lines as well. the main cause of these types of oil leaks is excessive pressures due to clogged pcv lines. not address the actual cause of the leak will likely cause your new gaskets and seals to fail faster than expected.
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      05-31-2012 11:58 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by AndyTR32 View Post
      Taking the cam out seems like it would take much less time than putting the front end in service position (never done it though). It also makes replacing the cam seals and end caps much easier. You'd definitely want to replace those if the cam sprocket seal is bad. You do leave more room for error by taking the cam out though.

      In either case, seems like service position does nothing for replacing the left hand side (bolt is in the take back of the motor). Actually, isn't the bolt in the back of the motor (firewall side) on both sides?
      not sure, but i believe that unless your doing the seals that are actually on the cams, you can loosen the bolts and just lift the cam enough to do the work with the other seals. there is also a special tool that allows you to compress the cam chain tensioner in order to do the gasket there without removing the cams.

      i've never seen nor heard of having to put the front into service position in order to do the various gasket and pcv work unless you are doing it in conjuction with a timing belt job.
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      05-31-2012 12:09 PM #20
      we were talking about doing the seals that are behind the cam gears. The cam gear bolt is too long to pull out without service position and you need room for the pullers between the front cam seals and the core support. The cam adjuster seals and the cam caps are no problem. On the driver side head there is a cam seal behind the cam sensor that requires a ppuller to remove. thats what someone was saying the cam had to come out to do. I was trying to explain you dont have to take them cams out or loosen then do to any of the seals
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      07-09-2012 10:06 PM #21
      I had the EXACT same thing with my V6. I researched and found that it is actually a "bug" for this engine. it is known to have this oil leak. I looked into a whole bunch of stuff trying to figure out what needed to be replaced.

      I replaced the pcv system (complete system), both valve tensioner gaskets, the cam gaskets, and any other gaskets that I removed. I found places that sell kits to do this, and went off of them to know which gaskets and other stuff to replace. Bauparts has them, and I think ECS has the kits as well. Its a bit pricey but your oil leak will stop. Mine has and it seems to be a solid and final fix.
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      07-09-2012 10:08 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by uNLeaSHeD. View Post
      What did you do with the sea foam, I have a can of it in my garage and kinda want to use it but I heard bad things about sea foaming your car, can you give me more details about it?
      I sea foamed my car after the i replaced all the gaskets and pcv system. It cleans out the engine and fuel system. I would reccemmend it. It cleaned my injectors and i've noticed it runs and idles smoother.
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      07-12-2012 10:32 PM #23
      for the 2,938 people that have viewed this thread;

      the reason the camshaft seals leak is because vw did not install a metal oil control spring onto the original seals until 2005 along with not using silicone to hold the rear pucks in place. Excess crankcase pressure caused by a PCV valve that is clogged easily allows oil past the sealing lip causing oil seepage.
      the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front only
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      07-12-2012 11:26 PM #24
      Can we get this spring? Or is it like a dealer only? Why wasn't there a recall?
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      07-12-2012 11:29 PM #25
      the new updated seals have the oil control spring on them.
      the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front only
      02 GTI 1.8t:> 42DD 3" turboback, BFI full stg1 mount kit, Evoms CAI, Forge boost hoses, Tacotaco sidemount, Ebay TIP, IE 2.0 coil conversion, IE manual tensioner, 20th front brake conversion, IE emissions delete, 42dd catch can, Koni STR.t & WRD sport springs, Samco Coolant hoses, SMF vr6 clutch kit.

    26. 11-12-2012 12:49 PM #26
      Which seals? My oil smell is finally bad enough to take the time to fix and I wanna get it done right, the first time.

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      11-17-2012 11:14 PM #27
      The actual cam seals that seal the shaft. The plugs are also updated (a little larger)
      the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front only
      02 GTI 1.8t:> 42DD 3" turboback, BFI full stg1 mount kit, Evoms CAI, Forge boost hoses, Tacotaco sidemount, Ebay TIP, IE 2.0 coil conversion, IE manual tensioner, 20th front brake conversion, IE emissions delete, 42dd catch can, Koni STR.t & WRD sport springs, Samco Coolant hoses, SMF vr6 clutch kit.

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      12-31-2012 07:38 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubtech398 View Post
      Correction, You do not need to remove the cams to replace any of the cam seals. It does require special pullers to remove the seals behind the cam gear tho.
      Do you have a p/n for the VW SST that you use?

    29. 01-07-2013 06:55 PM #29
      It is my first post here but i will try t be as accurate as i can.

      It is a known thing that the VW v6 engines have a problem with the burning oil smell inside when the car is warmed up. In my situation was a bit hard to detect the problem caz i had no oil drops in my driveway. But after reading threads left and right i located the problem and YES it is at the cam adjuster seal.

      This is the bad news part. It is caused by the PCV system that clogged up and pressure builds up in the engine at high rpm. Now since your ventilation is clogged up (PCV) that pressure blows the gaskets and as i read about it, it only happens on the passanger side.

      If this is your case aswell (most probably is) DO NOT TAKE THE CAR TO THE STEALERSHIP.

      I repeat... DO NOT take your car there. You can do it yourself you just have to be a bit patient.
      I went to the dealer to buy the parts needed because i wanted factory originals. i bought the parts for the PCV system, and the gaskets for the right side of the car. What i found out is that you DONT have to take the timing off to change the tensioner gasket. I was told by a mechanic there that even they cheat on that and only loosen up the screws , clean underneath and put the new gaskets in. And obviously they charge u a nice amount of money for doing it.

      It is an easy fix, i will post some links to write ups that i found accurate. If u have a handy background you can do it yourself and save a lot of money.

      There are plenty of guys here that have the problem and most of them can help with advice and answer.

      will be continued....

    30. 01-13-2013 10:44 PM #30
      My wife's car has been leaking in this spot for a while. 3 valve covers layer and I ordered the tensor gasket and the plug.
      Nothing is fun on this v6 but we sure enjoy diving it.

      sent from my mobile thingy while picking my nose.
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      01-13-2013 10:54 PM #31
      The valve covers, adjuster seal and cam caps are all known leakers, the cam caps usually leak the most amount of oil. There is a new designed cam cap that seals much better. Anarobic sealant is recommended on cam adjuster seal when replacing also put a bead of silicone on the cam caps when replacing. Maybe Tibor will walk you threw it he seems to know all. Yes the "stealership" will charge you to work on your car.


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    32. 01-13-2013 11:05 PM #32
      Shouldn't be too hard. Already replaced the cams on the drivers side as well as the tensioner gasket, seal, plug etc.

      Fun? No. Hard? Not really just time consuming.

      sent from my mobile thingy while picking my nose.
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