One hell of an oil leak!

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
Hi all,
I've just returned from a trip to sunny Scotland and have developed an oil leak on the way home.
The drivers side of the car was matt with oil and i'm dripping oil over thr driveway.
No bells or whistles from the DIS but i must have been short of oil by the end of the journey if not pressure.
I've had the bonnet off an no oil at the top so i'll stick it on the lift later to have a look from the underneath once i've tried to clean the exterior.
I'm thinking oil pipe, breather, intercooler etc but open to suggestions.
Just to note no loss of performance but starting this morning was difficult with a cloud of grey smoke and rough idle but revs freely. Also changed the oil and filter (genuine) before heading north.
I'll post pics and updates once I have some
Cheers
Jonathan
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
Only got home an hour ago and i've had a quick look around and a bit of a clean up. Hose from bottom of intercooler is properly covered and dripping in oil. Bottom edge of front bumper oily and looks like hot oil as its slightly misshapen now but was a bit before. Intercooler looks reasonably clean. Filter housing and filler hose both dry sump plug As oily as everything else! Although there is oil up near the turbo - its quite difficult to determine anything as there is so much oil about. Now that i've cleaned it up i'll have a good look for split hoses and if nothing obvious i'll top it up with some fresh oil and run it whilst watching from beneath. But thats for another night. Thanks for the replies i'll try and take some more pics and update tomorrow.
Jonathan
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
I've managed to take some pictures and have another root around. From the look of the undertray I might have two leaks. Clearly one is concentrated around the front o/s corner right around the base of the airfilter although I think the oil was escaping through the drain holes there and this would account for it being flung down the side of the car by the front wheel. The other is at the back of the engine (The sump plug is tight and was new with the oil change).
My next task is to start her up and see is that makes it all bloody obvious. First I'll need to vent the exhaust as she is on the ramp back to front (We have a pitched roof garage and where the lift is thats the only way round she can go up and I can still store another car underneath).

Enjoy the pics
More soon
Jonathan

pic1 looking up at alternator and bottom of filter housing
pic2 undertray
pic3 looking up again - note oil only on underside of pipe
pic4 bottom rhs corner
pic5 intercooler
pic6 up behind sump
pic7 sump plug
pic8 up towards driveshaft
 

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RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Are you sure that your turbo is healthy? I would not be suprised if it's dumping oil into the air to the intercooler (and the exhaust) and, by dint of good fortune, the intercooler is cracked or it has a poor connection. So it's leaked out and not borked your engine! If so, the earlier you stop using your A2, the cheaper it will be to repair!

RAB
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
Thanks RAB
I'm not using it at all at the moment and won't until its sorted so no more damage hopefully. This had crossed my mind but I wasn't experiencing any peformance issues. I remember how it was when the intercooler went before, felt alot like limp mode.
I guess a scan will show this up? otherwise how would I diagnose?

Thanks again
Jonathan
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
It depends how big the crack/leak is. A scan may not show anything because it may be too small in terms of volume of air. But if there is a leak in the bottom of the intercooler and oil is present, it will leak out. There's no possible oil source near the air filter housing, apart from the intercooler and associated pipework.

RAB
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
I suppose I could try the washing up liquid trick to see if any bubbles form. If there is excess oil in the pipework, leading to the intercooler, then am I correct in assuming the source of this oil is from the turbo either, in some way coming from the oil which lubricates the actual turbo (cracked housing) or through the breather pipes fed in through the egr?
Which begs the question how much is excess!??

Thanks for all your help
I've got Friday at home some might sneak a few hours underneath her and try and make some progress.

Jonathan

T
 

dan_b

A2OC Donor
I had three sources of oil leaks on my car last year.
1 was a split crankcase breather hose
2 was a leaking rocker cover gasket
3 was a leaking lift pump seal.

If that helps...
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
I suppose I could try the washing up liquid trick to see if any bubbles form. If there is excess oil in the pipework, leading to the intercooler, then am I correct in assuming the source of this oil is from the turbo either, in some way coming from the oil which lubricates the actual turbo (cracked housing) or through the breather pipes fed in through the egr?
Which begs the question how much is excess!??

Thanks for all your help
I've got Friday at home some might sneak a few hours underneath her and try and make some progress.

Jonathan

T
It will be oil that has escaped from turbo housing through the seal at the compressor end, into the pipework to the intercooler. Normally there should be none or very little. If it's not too far gone, the turbo can be rebuilt which is much cheaper than renewal. You can assume that the seal at the exhaust end is no better.

RAB
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
Right I have at last got round to some work on the old girl. Good news I've found the leak, not so good news - still need to find the cause.

The leak was from what look like a dummy nipple on the bottom of the intercooler. Mine is an aftermarket replacement and the nipple started out as non functioning. However, the plastic end has broken through and was squirting oil almost directly at the air filter.

I have had the turbo hose off expecting it to be full of oil but its not too bad, yes there's a bit but not that much.

Anyway I have blanked off the nipple and checked all the breather tubes.

I'll start her up tomorrow after I have scanned her, (couldn't find my OBD cable - first job tomorrow). I have a horrible feeling this could still be turbo related but we'll see. ( Has any one else had a turbo go? - mine is a TDI 75 so not variable vaned)

I have attached pic of intercooler nipple.

Cheers
JonathanIMG1.JPG
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
Lead found and car scanned. Nothing came up of any relevance (the alarm had gone off - interior monitor) so topped her up with oil and started her up.

Slight rough idle but started on the button. Took her for a gentle drive and there was a bit of smoke from the back a bit like giving her an italian tune up but it was actually residual crap being burnt off as by the time i got home the exhaust was clear and the idle smooth (as smooth as a 3 pot diesel gets)

I'll have another look under neath tomorrow for leaks and scan again.

Cheers
Jonathan
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
But there shouldn't be any oil in the intercooler, or at least very little! It's a sign that you're turbo is about to give up. Get it overhauled or replaced before it goes and takes the engine with it!

RAB
 

dan_b

A2OC Donor
75PS turbo failures are rare but it does sound concerning. Check the turbo bearing for play?
 

vkx245l

A2OC Donor
Although she has been fine for the last week the seed of doubt had been sowed by your replies and so I have taken the hint and started to remove the turbo today. Not doing too bad. I think I've got one nut and the oil feed pipe to go.
Does anyone one know where there is a write up for its removal? Or does anyone have any tips?
I'm not sure once its free how its going to come out, I have read that the engine can be rocked forward and it removed over the top or that the "proper" way is to remove the driveshaft and take it out from below.

Any help and guidance really appreciated as usual

Thanks
Jonathan
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Elsawin? There should be no need to remove a driveshaft - the turbo should be removed from the top, so you will have to remove the air duct. The most difficult part is the bracket that holds the turbo to the block. It can only be removed from underneath. I have assumed similarities between the 1.4tdi and 1.2tdi.

RAB
 
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