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paul130TDI

yellow / brown sludge under oil filler

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Guys,

Recently I happened to notice when topping up the engine oil, a fair bit of yellow brownish sludge under the oil filler cap (07 GTI). I've done all the usual goggle searches and am quite happy that this does seem to be pretty common and nothing to worry about, although it would be nice to know if anyone else has the same.

Through the week I am doing short runs to and from work, approx 2.5 miles each way and to be honest if the car if even is just about reaching the normal temp reading when I arrive, i would be lucky. From what I have been able to find out it appears to be down to condensation causing the problem where the engine is not heating up enough.

After a good and hard run at the weekend most if not all the sludge had gone, further convincing me that it is condensation and once the heat built up enough. it evaporated.

Still don’t like to see this, always reminds me of head gasket problems, although there is no sign of any oil in the coolant or vice versa. Im not sure if I should be looking for a breather pipe to clear out or whether a good run would clear that as well. The car is under warranty but knowing my local dealer they will charge me for the privilege due to it being down to how I drive the car.

Cheers

Paul

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Does sound like water's mixed with the oil. Blown head gasket? :(

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A blown head gasket can cause that but short journeys will also do it. If going for a longish drive has cleared it then I'd assume that the head gasket is OK.

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A blown head gasket can cause that but short journeys will also do it. If going for a longish drive has cleared it then I'd assume that the head gasket is OK.

I'd agree that it is the short journeys that is casuing this.

Take the car for a long drive each weekend, cars hate short journeys!

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Cheers for the replies guys,

I had similar thoughts, the longish run did help matters and to be honest i did give it a few - what can i call it 'good clear outs' i would have imagined that if i had head gasket problems the sludge to be worse after due to the extra force and pressure etc. But this might not be the case.......

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Its the short jouneys. I use to get it all the time over the past 15 years with all the cars when i worked a similar distance away as you do from work.

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Cheers Snoopy and others,

Besides taking the car for a decent run when i get the chance (good excuse for a blast) is there anything i should do i.e. oil change or any breathers needing cleaned out?

I checked again last night, after being pretty clear from a run on sat, 2 days worth of short trips has brough it back to as it was before. Last night, i checked it as soon as i parked up and it was wild, whitish colour oil around the inside of the filler neck. Left it a few hours and this had disappeared apart from the bottom of the filler cap.

THe cars still under warrenty (exp Feb) so ill probably get it booked in and checked just in case..

Cheers

Paul

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A bit of background:

Last Saturday morning (about 5:30am) I drove my GTI into a flood on my way home from a relative's house. Due to overnight rain the water was deeper than expected and the engine cut out half way across - PANIC!

Whilst sitting the car wondering what to do, a passing Knight in Shining Armour (aka an off-duty London Underground employee) waded into the knee deep water and somehow pushed my car up hill with two passengers on board and the DSG in N until the exhaust was clear of the water level.

After a few minutes the engine restarted and having revved the engine to blow water out of the exhaust we were able to continue. Engine was running rough but was back to normal within a minute or two. A few hours later once light I went and checked around the car and took a look at the oil. I discovered the inside of the filler was covered in a light toffee coloured gunge. I obviously assumed that water had got into the engine and immediately rang all the local VW dealers to try and arrange an emergency oil change.

So two hours later and £100 lighter I had a new oil filter and a freshly filled engine. The service staff at the dealer said that the tech reported the oil didn't look too bad when drained (the car had only been serviced 8 weeks ago) and suggested that the emulsified oil may have been caused by short journeys not heating the engine up sufficiently.

My daily commute is approximately 6 miles each way and can take anything from 12 minutes to 45 minutes depending on traffic, but the engine always reaches operating temperature. I also drive to and from the gym, around 4 miles, several evenings a week. I also drive longer journeys at least once a week including motorways and have driven to Devon recently and to Italy and back in the summer.

Roll forward a week, I have driven my normal commute and avoided puddles and floods completely. Today I checked my oil and once again the filler cap has a toffee coloured gunge on it and around the top of the engine.

I am relieved that this may be a normal side effect of driving in colder weather. Would be interesting to hear if anyone else has a similar experience...?

If this is normal then I may have wasted £100 on an oil & filter change but probably worth it for the peace of mind.

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Your not getting the engine oil fully up to temperature, your reading the water temp guage which only tells you the temp of the water, the oil takes much much longer to reach full operating temperature, at least twice as long as the oil.

That's why your getting the short journey oil probs.

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....

This is a known issue and needs dealing with - It's not a very good sign but isn't terminal.

A lot of us modified Mk5 GTI boyz are running Catch Can systems which filters much of the oil&water sludge out. It can also build up and harden on the valves. The main reason why this happens is that the FSI technology is prone to it and the wretched global warming doom-merchant bureaucrats restrict car manufacturer's PCV systems.

IIRC I get frowned upon if I post a link to another car forum, so I'll PM you where you can find more info.

:)

Edited by RedRobin

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hey guys, please help me! i have got this problem 2 and i duno what to do! i have recently brought my car ( mk 4 golf gti 2.0) and i have got and engine light on and today i filled up my oil and noticed that i have this crappy stuff under cap! im still waiting the the knob to fix the problem of my engine light as its still under warranty but he keeps messing me around! do u think it needs a good run like you say above because i also do alot of short journeys or do you think its the head gasket coz of the enging light? please help me? xxxx:(

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Head gasket is a possibility but short journeys also causes the mayo type stuff. What does the temperature gauge show when you're driving? Has the coolant level dropped?

The engine light could be one of many things, get it plugged into a diagnostic computer and it should tell you.

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