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Hard to find Volkswagen TDI Oil Leaks

Updated on November 22, 2012

The Volkswagen TDI car has been around for about 10 years. Popular for their 45 MPG on the highway with a 1.9L turbo engine. Available in all diesel models, they do retain value even with high mileage. However, common problems are oil leaks, some small, others larger.

Searching for a small leak is troublesome. The bottom shield beneath the engine catches all the drops and this may not be revealed until the car is on a incline and the oil drips off onto the payment. If some of the small baffles have rips in them, they can collect oil. The best way to locate a less than obvious leak is to degrease the engine, run the engine, and look from the underside.

Small leaks are often hard to locate where the source is. The drip may be down the side, onto a pipe, down the pipe etc. With turbos, less common areas to look for an oil leak are as follows:

  1. The oil inlet on top of the turbo or the oil outlet on the turbo on the bottom. The O-ring often fails and this causes the oil leak usually after the engine has been running and turned off. Oil leaks here while the engine is running usually do not occur because of high pressure.
  2. PVC hose is bad or loose
  3. Vacuum pump O-ring
  4. Oil Cooler O-ring
  5. Rear main seal
  6. Oil leaking out of the intake manifold at the engine head
  7. CCV breather tube


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