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    Thread: Catch can line freezing?

    1. Member SconnieGTI's Avatar
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      11-21-2014 10:00 AM #1
      Hey guys, figure this would probably do me better here than in the 1.8T forum. Also searched but haven't really found much that helps me yet.

      I've got your typical, basic bolt-on and tuned mk4 1.8T and now that winter hit, I'm having an issue with one of my catch can lines freezing up almost nightly. It's the line that runs from near the crank case to the can. Every morning I can grab the line near the t-fitting and its crunchy inside. I have to take the line off and clear out all the slush inside otherwise the car smokes like all hell from the exhaust.

      I've got the 42DD stealth can, and have it mounted on the driver side headlight cover trim right at the front of the engine bay. The line in question had to make an upward turn to reach the can inlet which caused it to pinch a little bit. Thinking that was the issue, I cut the line and added an L fitting to relieve some of the tension where it was binding. However, this morning it was frozen again.

      Anybody have an idea what the issue is? My buddy has the exact same setup, lives in the same town so we have the same weather and hasn't had any issues with it freezing. I've also emptied the can thinking it was just full and condensation was backing up into the line but it still freezes.

      Thanks in advance.

    2. 11-21-2014 01:37 PM #2
      i wouldn't worry too much about that. You vent water vapor from the case through that line....so if water vapor is in that line then it can freeze. Your friends driving habits/what brand of oil he is running/oil levels can make a difference. Lots of variables there

    3. Member SconnieGTI's Avatar
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      11-21-2014 01:41 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by wolfcastle View Post
      i wouldn't worry too much about that. You vent water vapor from the case through that line....so if water vapor is in that line then it can freeze. Your friends driving habits/what brand of oil he is running/oil levels can make a difference. Lots of variables there
      Is there any way to keep it from freezing? Because Wisconsin winters are long so it will get real tedious if I have to do the whole process each time I go to turn my car on lol.

      Would moving the can to the strut tower or possibly the firewall so that it's closer to heat help evaporate some of that condensation? Or is that just wishful thinking?

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      11-21-2014 02:15 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by SconnieGTI View Post
      Is there any way to keep it from freezing? Because Wisconsin winters are long so it will get real tedious if I have to do the whole process each time I go to turn my car on lol.

      Would moving the can to the strut tower or possibly the firewall so that it's closer to heat help evaporate some of that condensation? Or is that just wishful thinking?
      you can't just leave it be and let lines heat up and melt the ice ? There's going to be water vapor in the lines no matter what you do. This isn't as big of a deal as your making it.

    5. Member SconnieGTI's Avatar
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      11-21-2014 02:34 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by 12V_VR View Post
      you can't just leave it be and let lines heat up and melt the ice ? There's going to be water vapor in the lines no matter what you do. This isn't as big of a deal as your making it.
      The car pours out an obnoxious amount of smoke and idles like crap when the line is frozen. I was assuming those weren't signs of things working properly.

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      11-21-2014 02:39 PM #6
      Is it frozen solid or like a thin sheet of ice on the walls of the tube? If it's frozen solid you have some other problem. It is normal for cars to smoke more when it's cold out on a cold start.

    7. Member SconnieGTI's Avatar
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      11-21-2014 02:43 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by 12V_VR View Post
      Is it frozen solid or like a thin sheet of ice on the walls of the tube? If it's frozen solid you have some other problem. It is normal for cars to smoke more when it's cold out on a cold start.
      Frozen solid. And yes I know some smoke/steam is normal on cold starts when it's cold. When I say smoke, I mean so much smoke that it gets inside the cabin if the wind is blowing right an the heat is on. But as soon as I clear the line it goes away within a minute or so.


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      11-21-2014 02:51 PM #8
      I'm no expert but that doesn't look right. Or is there a section in the line where it droops for water and oil to form into a puddle and freeze like that ?

    9. 11-21-2014 03:22 PM #9
      Check your oil level....you might have too much in your motor

    10. Member SconnieGTI's Avatar
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      11-21-2014 03:26 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by 12V_VR View Post
      I'm no expert but that doesn't look right. Or is there a section in the line where it droops for water and oil to form into a puddle and freeze like that ?
      That's what I was getting at in the OP when I asked if the can placement could be an issue. The line loops upwards to reach the can inlet. As opposed to if the can was on the firewall, the line would run virtually straight across the bay to the can.

      I'm not sure how much vacuum it takes to feed that oil through the lines so maybe it's not enough to feed through that upward angle the line makes?

      Quote Originally Posted by wolfcastle View Post
      Check your oil level....you might have too much in your motor
      I never thought about that. I'll give it a look.

    11. 11-21-2014 04:03 PM #11
      That white smegma milky material has been a result of too much oil in the crankcase in my experiences

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      11-21-2014 08:29 PM #12
      yes check the oil level and adjust the lines and/or catch-can placement to prevent water and oil from pooling and freezing.

    13. Member Yareka's Avatar
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      11-21-2014 09:48 PM #13
      Thats a big issue and very normal for catch cans in the winter since most of the byproduct is moisture. When you see excess smoke while its frozen, your crankcase is pushing oil through the rings and burning in combustion. You will overpressurize the crankcase and start leaking from vc and oilpan gaskets if you let it continue. Best bet like you said is to move the can and lines closer to the motor but it still wont help at startup. I would go Vent to Atmosphere during the winter months
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