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Eviljohn

Breadvan engine leak

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Eviljohn

Hi polo people. Hope you're all safe and well. 

I have an issue with my mk2 breadvan. Did an oil change 2 days ago, nothing out of the ordinary, took it for a run, about a mile of country lanes, couple miles of motorway and back again, nothing strange there.

Lent it to a mate who needed to get across town for an appointment, apparently it was fine for that. He came to drop it back and the engine temp light was on. I asked how long that had been on and he said just since he left his house. Popped the bonnet, engine oil was all gone. Took him home in my other car, nothing on his driveway. Couldn't see anything on the road between his house and mine. 

I still had fresh oil left over from the oil change so i just filled it back up. It's held it fine since then at same level. 

When i did the oil change, i filled it right up. As the level stayed the same when i refilled it, i thought maybe i had over filled it and it was the cam cover gasket that gone. As i have a spare one on the shed, i thought i'd just change them over and make sure the cam cover hadn't warped too much. 

Emptied the oil out again, as i was doing this, thought i'd just whip the coolant cap off and check the level, (previous owner fitted top fill golf rad so no expansion tank,) couldn't see anything inside so popped a little coolant in. That disappeared so i grabbed a bottle of water, 1.5l, and it took the whole lot! Then i noticed something dripping onto my driveway. Fairly certain it's water/coolant because of the colour but it's running off the oil filter. Is there anywhere above the oil filter that coolant could leak from? Core plug maybe? How would i have lost all the oil AND coolant in one go? I've had the cooling system worked over summer but not had any issues with the parts that were replaced, (heater matrix and both hoses connected to it.)

I have noticed that since this has happened, there's a dry kinda rust coloured reisdue on the lower engine.

Thanks for bearing with me and also for any guidance you may be able to give. 

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Eviljohn

20191108_134832.jpg

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steveo3002

id suggest wiping it down and refill the liquids ....run it up and watch it while its getting up temp the amounts its lost should make it fairly obvious quickly 

 

does it run okay still

 

whats the tailpipe look like?

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Eviljohn

Found it!!! Core plug leak!! Again!!!!!! One obove the oil filter. Would that have leaked the oil as well? 

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steveo3002

no wont leak both 

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Eviljohn

Could the two be connected in any way at all or do i got two different issues that i need to sort out? 

The oil level was bang on the max line after the oil change but there was none in there for sure when the temp gauge was maxed and light came on. The level stayed the same when i refilled it though which lead me to believe it could be cam cover gasket gave out. 

Tail pipe looked as it always does. Nothing in air filter. 

Been running fine lately until i changed the oil.

 

I've had that core plug replaced earlier this year already, and one other blew, (not sure which one,) when it was fired up after that one was done. Is this a sign of a bigger issue that i can get on top of or just a crappy coincidence? 

 

Thanks for guidance so far. 

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nige8021

The core plugs are nothing to do with the oil system, as you have already replaced at least one already, I would take the belt and braces approach and just replace them all, as if you just replace this one it will just find the next weakest one and pop that, it's most likely to been caused by a previous owner not running with decent anti-freeze and the core plugs are cheap steel so tend to rust easy.

 

Is the crankcase breather pipe from the back of the engine clear ?  

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Eviljohn

The one that is currently leaking is the first one i had replaced earlier this year. It had rusted through. 

I'll see if i can get a full set. Are they standard size or all different? 

I haven't checked the crank case breather as yet. Is that the exhaust recirculation pipe? I looked in the air filter, couldn't see any oil or signs there had been any. The mating faces at the bottom of the sump look particularly oily mind. 

Still fancy the cam cover gasket as i know these can be an issue. I have seen small signs of leakage. Spotting and small stains below the gasket. 

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nige8021

You'll have to look through the 7zap site to see if the plugs are all the same part numbers, when you refitted the plug did you put it in with setting gasket paste ? as I was taught to use setting hylomar paste.

 

The crankcase breather is the box on the back of the engine under the inlet manifold, if that is blocked it will pressurise the sump and force the oil out from the weakest point, but with the amount you have lost I would of thought the area would of been drenched in oil 

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steveo3002

if the cam cover dropped the best part of 3ltrs of oil you would see it , thats a massive amount of oil to vanish 

 

its either come out the tailpipe in which case it would still be dripping or its fell out the bottom of the car , should be very obvious if you run it up again

 

expect the worse if its been overheated with no oil in it ...wont have done it alot of good 

Edited by steveo3002

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Yeti

I'm with nige. I'd be suspecting the breather blocked and it spat it out of the dipstick hole. Either that or the oil filter didn't make a good seal when fitted. 

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Eviljohn

After i did the oil change, i took it for a good run. I live about 1.5 miles from the motorway. Went to the next junction and back with no noteable issues. Temp gauge crept up just a little but i was doin 70-75mph so put it down to that, as it only went up to about 3/4. 

Lent the car to a mate, not famous for being a nutter driver, he drove it across town, did his thing and went home. Had tea with his wife and kid, came to pick me up cuz we had planned to skip  out for a cheeky half. When i got in the car, temp gauge was maxed, light was flashin. He said it was fine across town and back, came on after he left his house. I checked his drive and mine, no sign of oil or coolant. There is a shiny puddle down the road from my house where we pulled in but only maybe a 1/2 litre? I haven't seen the oil actually leak from anywhere, even when i started her up, but it's obviously coming from somewhere. I've been under it before and i don't remember the bottom having THAT much oil on it so sump gasket is more likely now. It's absolutely possible that it's the oil filter or even both. I did smear a small amount of oil on the filter seal, same as i always do. I did it hand tight and then maybe 1/4 turn with a strap wrench. First oil change i ever did myself, i just did it hand tight and i lost all the oil as it wasn't tight enough so i always do just a little tighter. 

I'll check out the exhaust again and also crankcase breather. Won't be fixing it this side of xmas so plenty of time to chase it! 

Do i need to remove steering rack to replace the sump gasket? 

I didn't replace the core plugs. Took it to local garage so not sure about sealant.

Dipstick hole is a bit grubby now you mention it. 

Thanks for guidance guys. 

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steveo3002

no dont touch the rack to replace the sump

 

while the sump gasket may well be leaky...it wont have 3 ltrs of oil out just like that

 

have you looked at the spark plugs

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Yeti

I've just looked at this again. Is that a copper crush washer behind the sump plug? It looks a bit too big and shiny. 

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dvderlm

There should be an o-ring on the dipstick guide tube. If oil doesn't come out the dipstick tube or up into air filter housing due to blocked breather it will come out of that once pressurised

and over the back of block.

 

 

 

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Eviljohn

I lookee at the bottom of the sump pan and to me, it looks like the steering rack goes right across underneath the back of it. Does it just move out of the way if i turn the steering wheel? 

 

I haven't checked the plugs yet. 

 

I got a steel washer instead of a copper one. As far as i could make out, they were the same size, just £1 difference in price at Halfords. Did i do bad? 

 

The dip stick fits pretty snug in the top of the plastic guide. Haven't seen any signs of leakage apart from the guide being a bit grubby. 

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nige8021

The idea of the copper washer is that it will deform to provide a seal between the sump and the drain bolt, a steel washer will not deform (unless you apply serious torque to the bolt and the threads would strip before you managed to get anywhere near that sort of torque) 

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Eviljohn

Just took all 4 ht leads off, tops of plugs are actually pretty clean. 

Didn't have time to take plugs out and check but i will.

Fired her up again, only obvious leak was still the core plug above the oil filter. 

Looked in the dip stick guide again, no signs that 3l of oil came out of that. 

Also checked exhaust with a torch. Still no sign of anything that wasn't already there. 

I will degrease and see if i can spot anything. 

20191111_171431.jpg

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Eviljohn

If the steel washer doesn't compress as a copper one does, could that be where the loss of oil is? If the engine is running, then would the pressure inside it be enough to push the oil past the sump plug?

 

I'll get a copper one to replace the steel.

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zob

You'd see oil visibly leaking past the sump plug if that was at fault. I doubt its your problem but its always good to put in a new copper washer each time you put the sump plug back in - worth getting a bag of them for your toolbox. Get those spark plugs out as soon as you can - their condition will tell you whether oil is entering the combustion chambers or not - post a picture up of the plugs when you get them out if you can.

 

As said higher in the thread check the crank case ventilation pipe / oil separator. Your crankcase needs to vent excess gas pressure (created by 'blow-by' past the pistons), if it can't then it'll force oil out of whatever seal gives way first. There'll be a breather pipe going from the block via a plastic contraption (the oil separator) to your air filer housing. This all needs to be checked for blockage - you can clean the separator by swilling it in a bucket of petrol (its a little labyrinth so will take a while to loosen all the gunk). Number 5 on the image below. If its blocked its likely the pipes attached to it are pretty gunked up too.

 

image.thumb.png.043909c433aea9264a9dde9dbfb766cc.png

 

 

 

 

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Eviljohn

I thought i had a spare, copper new sump washer in my shed but i couldn't find it. As i wasn't sure when i'll get another chance to do the oil change, i nipped to Halfords and picked up another. Only picked up steel one as it was £1 cheaper. I've seen a multi pack of copper ones on ebay. Will pick those up. 

 

I'll get those plugs out as soon as i get chance and get on the crankcase breather. May take me a little while, don't get much spare time at the moment. 

 

How fiddly is it to do core plugs diy? It looks like i may have donked up oil change this time but i have done them okay in the past. 

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