Having some challenges with my 2003 1.8T Passat (only 62,000 miles). Have been told about an oil leak long ago which is just now starting to be noticeable in actual drips. Keeping that under control (while I save up to pay for it; am not an "under the hood" type) for the moment (I check the oil level weekly and have only had to add a little since adding two quarts 6 weeks ago), but yesterday and this morning I now see a pink, watery fluid leaking from under the front passenger side. About 6 weeks ago I had an issue where I had no coolant at all (got the warning light, my brother took me to VW, got the coolant, filled up). Checking that weekly too and had to add a little about two weeks ago, but so far its remaining level. Plus its on the driver's side, so would it have hoses running to the passenger side that could leak? Checked other threads but find nothing else described as pink. Panicked this is steering, transmission (brakes even?), clutch (if there is) fluid? Am in a financial bind right now so can't just take it to some one for a look-see, and, as I say, am not a car geek. I can add oil and washer fluid, that's about it.
Does anyone know another pink fluid and should I be panicked or simply continue to monitor coolant level?
Gee, sorry to see no one has a word of advice to offer or knowledge to share. Is it a too obvious question? Don't non-car folks merit attention? Have always gotten good support and sage advice here. Wonder why this one just doesn't get a thing.
I have read the other threads here on the Vortex that discuss coolant leaks and it seems to be the only fluid that is pink, but I would just like this confirmed by someone, anyone, who knows.
I do still hope someone can give me a second of their time.
Is the front passenger side carpet wet? If so, it seems like the heater core might be the issue with the leaking coolant.
As for the oil, can you tell at all where it might be coming from? Have you had any work done on the car recently? Even though the car only has 62k miles, it's still nearly 10 years old, so things tend to get worn out. Gaskets and seals may be the most likely culprit(s) for the oil leak.
Last edited by ChristpherWa1ken; 04-27-2012 at 01:04 PM.
Is the car still leaking coolant? If it's landing on the ground on the passenger's side, it's likely your coolant flange at the back of the head. I would change that, all associated o-rings (seals), and maybe even the coolant temp sensor since it's located there as well.
Is the car still going low on oil? Check the valve cover gasket for leaks around the edges. It could also be the cam chain tensioner gasket. I'd have both changed at the same time. It could be caused by a failing/failed PCV component, which would then put more pressure on the system, forcing oil out of places it normally doesn't come out of. Or, the car could be using oil, maybe from turbo seals or other places. Are you seeing any smoke either from under the hood or out the back?
Thanks for the responses. The oil leak is very slight and seems to be under control at the moment. There is no smoking at all but occasionally a burnt smell. Only occasionally.
The coolant is still leaking, about two teaspoons overnight (catching it underneath to keep track to top off as needed). The leak is under the passenger side. My problem remains financial; I can't get the oil leak fixed (my garage advised me of it long ago) as its a major repair requiring them to pull out the engine I guess. If the coolant leak requires the same effort, am in the same boat. I simply can't afford anything over a couple hundred bucks -- but I fear ruining my engine too. Is the coolant repair you mention nolesfan a biggie?
I hope to be able to get everything repaired in the next two months or so.
I didn't personally do it, but I took it to a garage last summer and watched the guy do it on a Saturday (not business hours) and it didn't look as complicated as I thought. I don't know that I could personally do it as a lot of the work is by feel, but you may be able to call around to lcoal shops, or maybe there's someone in your area that could lend a hand. Total cost for me was something like $160, but that was more of a favor than shop charge.
To me, it sounds like it is the coolant flange, just based on mine leaking about the same amount from the same area. Although a few months ago I had another leak where the coolant pipe (rigid pipe that is on top from radiator to back of head), and it turned out to be the o-ring that sits in there. It was a $6 part; I just removed the bolts holding the pipe to flange and let the coolant drip into a makeshift catch bucket (being lowered didn't allow me to use my oil catch pan).
X2 on the coolant flange. Common problem, relatively easy DIY fix.
Now, as far as the oil leak - nolesfan has the right suggestions as far as leakage points, and none of them require "the engine to come out." However, fixing the very typical Passat 1.8T oil leaks requires a lot of fiddling. You should service the PCV system first, as excess pressure from a clogged PCV is what causes the rest of the leaks. This involves taking it all apart, cleaning what you can and replacing what you must. Not actually hard, but a PITA.
With that done, you can tackle the valve cover gaskets and cam chain tensioner seal. The first is dead easy; the latter is tricky because you have to lift the camshaft a bit.
Scott's right about the PCV stuff. Over the weekend I went to Auto Zone and bought new clamps to replace all the one time clamps I plan to remove soon. Since I have an issue with oil going somewhere, I decided to look into my PCV system (wife was out of town, leaving me with plenty of time on my hands)
Long story short, what a PITA. Although I did find all the hoses I worked on were in great shape (the rubber lines), but I cleaned them well with brake cleaner and let them dry out. The PCV valve (under IM) showed signs of oil dripping out of the exit, but I didn't have one on hand and I couldn't remove the clamp that was holding it to the block breather tube.
This stuff is doable, but you must have time, tools patience, and more time in order to check things over and replace as needed, the right way. My car isn't leaving oil anywhere, but I have an odd smell like oil dripped onto the floor during the oil change and was never cleaned up. The back of the valve cover seems to be leaking a little, but I just replaced the gasket last summer. I'll be doing some more PCV work pretty soon.
Hold in mind that doing the PCV system requires a nearby VW dealer and a spare car (GRIN). The 1.8T's vary enough that it's really difficult to buy all the bits you need in advance. I took it all apart, and made three trips to the dealer to get "one of these".
On my newer Passat, I just let the dealer do it and wrote a check. $396, but a lot less aggravation.