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    VWVortex


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    Thread: Oil seems Overfilled and sudden loss of power

    1. 10-06-2012 01:12 PM #1
      I have VW99 Passat 1.8L Turbo, automatic with 170K on it.

      My car shop changed engine oil yesterday with 4 QTS of Mobile 5W40. Now, when I check my dipstick today, on level surface, the oil level is way too high on dipstick kink [the cross-hatched mark]. I run the engine, shut it off, and let it set for 3 min, but still the level is too high above the Mark. It wets the dipstick almost till the top of its Head.It was reading High when I first checked it, this morning, before starting my car.

      It seems the oil is 'overfilled' or showing over filled; and the engine is about to throw it out from ‘filler cap’ where Dipstick goes in the engine. I saw him using 4 cans 1 QTS oil, which I bought, into my car.

      They did change the ‘oil filter’ at the same time?

      Now, my car looses power while driving. When I accelerated from a stop/light, car slows down or limps. The car suffered a sudden loss of power.It runs awful for about a mile but smoothed out after acceleration.It feels like the car is running out of gas for a few seconds, then all of a sudden it kicks in. The car still drives ok though - No error messages/warnings on dash,CEL, no smoke, no hissing. I actually don't see engine oil thrown out or leaking though.

      I don’t know if the shop drained the ‘intercooler’ while changing the oil, also I know nothing about its importance to my power loss issue.

      The net search manual/states "The engine oil, above the level, can be drawn into the crankcase ventilation system, and enter the atmosphere via the exhaust system". But it does says about damaging the engine/car.

      Should I be worried about the damage to the engine? Can someone please help advising me what to do?
      The shop is closed till Tuesday, and I have to drive the car during this weekend, but I am nervous. I don’t have much clue about oil change, more than the grades of oil.

      Thanks

    2. Member scotts13's Avatar
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      10-06-2012 03:15 PM #2
      Yes, stop driving it immediately. You can do significant damage with a badly overfilled crankcase. the obvious first step would be to drain some oil to reach the proper level.

      The next question is, who changed your oil? An experienced VW shop? It's very common for inexperienced owners or incompetent shops to accidentally drain the transmission, instead of the crankcase. (The transmission drain is exposed. You have to take the belly pan off to get to the crankcase drain).

      Then they "refill" with the recommended amount (closer to 5 quarts than 4) and tada! overfilled crankcase.

    3. 10-06-2012 05:31 PM #3
      Yes, stop driving it immediately. You can do significant damage with a badly overfilled crankcase. the obvious first step would be to drain some oil to reach the proper level
      Thanks for replying. Its week-end and that shop is closed. I have to drive the car to the shop about 5 miles on Tuesday.
      How can I drain some of the oil?
      The next question is, who changed your oil? An experienced VW shop?
      Not very experienced mechanic, not VW shop, just regular-shop-mechanic's son.

      It's very common for inexperienced owners or incompetent shops to accidentally drain the transmission, instead of the crankcase. (The transmission drain is exposed. You have to take the belly pan off to get to the crankcase drain).
      How do I know that he drained the transmission, instead of the crankcase. Is there a way i can look under the hood for now to check?
      He used surely 4 QTs and gave me the last can to use later after a while of driving.
      I will take the car to the shop on Tuesday as Monday he is closed.
      Thanks

    4. Member scotts13's Avatar
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      10-06-2012 06:30 PM #4
      Unfortunately, there's no easy way to check the transmission fluid level. It's intended to be a sealed system, it has no dipstick. You have to get the car up on a lift and open the check/fill plug with the engine running.

      To drain some oil, the correct method is to lift the car, remove the belly pan (large plastic cover w/10 fasteners) and open the drain plug. It's also possible to suck it out through the dipstick tube, either with a pump intended for that use, or (for small quantities) by sucking it out with a plastic tube.

      If I were you, I'd call the shop and ask EXACTLY what they did (remove belly pan? which drain plug?) before driving the car. If he really drained the transmission, I'd have it towed to a shop that knows how to deal with that. You REALLY don't want to do any more damage by running it.

    5. 10-06-2012 07:53 PM #5
      Your hint is very much correct. He filled up engine oil on top of old oil that’s why the dipstick is showing high level. Now it has about 8QTs in it.
      The transmission fluid is not present, or little present, as he drained it out. The transmission drain plug and engine oil plug are very close in location, i guess. The young son may have mistaken the trans drain plug with oil drain plug. It would be hard to contest for me the 'usual service' mistakes with this long time Mechanic.

      After changing the supposed oil, I drove the car for a while, may be 15 miles around. Not on highway though. When i started loosing the power in the car, I realized to check the dipstick. The RPM went high but the car would not pick up the speed while accelerating.The engine RPM goes up but the car's speed stays the same.

      I wish I could call the shop, but the shop is closed till Tuesday/Monday. On Monday, hoping it’s open; I may call him or take my car there. Towing would cost me another $60-70. As the shop is not too far off, may be 8-9 miles. Will that be OK to drive the car up to the shop. I know the damage could cause fortune, but I am just being reasonable/cheap/cheesy here. I am aware that I run a risk of ruining the auto Transmission here.

      I dont have a jack to lift my car up, and i dont know the correct plug to drain out the trans/egine oil , I am stuck with my situation. I dont have any pump either.

      i gather that my car has a sealed transmission as its automatic, so no dipstick to check the trans oil in it.

      Any tip to tackle this situation would be appreciated.
      Thanks
      Last edited by indi; 10-06-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: add on

    6. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      10-06-2012 09:57 PM #6
      I see very few ways this story can have a happy ending..........

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      10-06-2012 10:18 PM #7
      If you're trying to be cheap, listen to Scott13. Save yourself THOUSANDS in damage and have the car towed for the $60. Hell, join AAA for $45 and have them tow it and it should cost $25. Don't drive the car without transmission fluid. The mechanic you used should be more than happy to cover the cost plus your oil cost with a mix up that bad. If it's your only car, rent one for a day or two.

    8. Member scotts13's Avatar
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      10-07-2012 08:53 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by indi View Post
      Towing would cost me another $60-70. As the shop is not too far off, may be 8-9 miles. Will that be OK to drive the car up to the shop. I know the damage could cause fortune, but I am just being reasonable/cheap/cheesy here. I am aware that I run a risk of ruining the auto Transmission here.
      The fun thing about advice is you don't have to listen to it. But here's mine: DO NOT drive the car or even start it. Period, end of story. Presumably, the "shop" you used is legally responsible for any and all expenses involved with the screwup, including the tow and potentially replacing your transmission, catalytic converter, and engine. That's why repair shops have insurance.

      HOWEVER, if you take action which might cause additional damage, after you know about the situation, you may be taking on some of that liability yourself. Don't do it.

      As I said, have a conversation with the shop owner before doing anything else. He'll want to have it back in his shop, but express your distrust in his abilities and tell him you want it evaluated by a VW specialist, possibly an authorized dealer. Then have it towed there.

      This CAN have a good outcome. Here and on PassatWorld, several people a year do this to themselves. (So far, I don't recall any repair shops doing it) More often than not, the fluid levels get adjusted and they're good to go. OTOH, more than one person has had to replace his transmission, and had unending, ongoing engine problems. Which do you want to be?

    9. Member Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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      10-07-2012 10:16 AM #9
      $70 for a tow and whatever a rental car would cost for a few days is CHEAP compared to the cost you're likely to see if you continue to use the car with 8 quarts of engine oil and a drained automatic transmission.

      Your engine revving up and the car not accelerating is due to the transmission "slipping". This is caused by the transmission not having enough fluid in it. This burns up the clutch packs causing permanent damage. Price out a rebuilt TipTronic transmission. The cost will far surpass that of a tow and car rental.

      Severely overfilled engine oil will destroy the CAT converter. Another expensive repair.

      Severely overfilled engine oil can also damage the engine. Yet another expensive repair.

      Continued use of the vehicle in its present condition risks causing enough damage to the car that repair cost would approach or surpass the vehicles value.

      Continued use of the vehicle in its present condition risks causing enough damage to render the vehicle inoperative. At that point you'll be forced to get it towed and rent a car.

      Still think a tow and a rental is too expensive?
      A science of vague assumptions based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive experiments and performed with instruments of problematic accuracy by persons of doubtful reliability and questionable mentality

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