Tdi gelatinous sludge

Posted by: Chugchug

Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 12:11 PM

I recently picked up another project car, anyone want to chime in on causes of this amount of sludge. 2003 Tdi Vw with 148k miles, turbo failed due to clogged supply line go figure! Previouse owner swears he did 10k oil change full synth. The car was only driven in the summer, parked each winter. No information on brand or diesel specific oil, or if it was changed before parking for the winter.







Thanks!

Matt
Posted by: matrass

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 12:14 PM

wow that looks real nasty. nice name btw that is mine also :O)

What are you plans for the car ?



Thanks for the pics
Posted by: Ramblejam

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 12:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Chugchug
anyone want to chime in on causes of this amount of sludge.


He certainly could have been using synthetic, just the wrong oil for the application. This is what happens what you use gas engine oil in a TDI.

Ask him, specifically, what oil he was using.

By chance was this a WVO car?
Posted by: Chugchug

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 12:26 PM

That was my first inclination as well gas oil in diesel. Soot was not suspended in oil, settled out in winter, Previous owner is no longer returning phone calls.

Matt
Posted by: hemitom

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 12:29 PM

Yea , i bet he meant i check the oil every 10k
Posted by: GSCJR

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: hemitom
Yea , i bet he meant i check the oil every 10k


Yup!
Posted by: 05ChevyI5

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 01:35 PM

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to rebuild the world's first super-sludged engine. Matt will be that man. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. tongue2
Posted by: CHARLIEBRONSON21

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: 05ChevyI5
Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to rebuild the world's first super-sludged engine. Matt will be that man. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. tongue2



This. I like this enthusiasm.
Posted by: Doog

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 01:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Chugchug
Previouse owner swears he did 10k oil change full synth.


Yeah sure he did..... liar
Posted by: matrass

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 01:51 PM

Originally Posted By: CHARLIEBRONSON21
Originally Posted By: 05ChevyI5
Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to rebuild the world's first super-sludged engine. Matt will be that man. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. tongue2



This. I like this enthusiasm.



Agreed keep us updated with some pics of the process.
Posted by: simple_gifts

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: 05ChevyI5
Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to rebuild the world's first super-sludged engine. Matt will be that man. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. tongue2


Yes, don't forget the $6,000,000
Posted by: ChiTDI

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 02:55 PM

Ten years of wrong oil, no soot suspension, and long intervals of sitting in the cold for the collection of goo at the bottom of the pan? I'm a believer.
If you rebuild, '03s had a poor alternator history. Be advised.
Posted by: scurvy

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Ramblejam
By chance was this a WVO car?

This was my thought as well.

Usually just using gasser oil on 2003 and earlier TDIs leads to faster cam and crank bearing wear... plenty of those were dis-serviced as the stealership with gasser Syntec 5w30 for many, many years.
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 03:18 PM

10k oci with synth oil?

I am another person in the "not very likely" camp.

Time for a low mileage second hand engine.

You will need to spends massive amounts of money getting that engine back up and running reliably.

The only situation i can see when the previous owner was telling the about the oil changes is if there was significant diesel contamination of the oil which can cause the oil to turn into a thick black vaseline like substance.

But i have only ever seen it in dpf equipped vehicles that have had repeated failed regens and the oil and filter was not changed at the same time as a forced regen.

Only a small number of Citreon and Peugeot vehicles had dpf back in 03 and i don't think many would have got to the US as they were hardly sold in the UK.

Perhaps it was overfueling in some way.

UOA would confirm if it was caused by diesel in the sump.

Which would also mean it will need fuel system problems fixed also.

Good luck with this project
Posted by: 285south

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Chugchug
Previouse owner swears he did 10k oil change full synth.


Previous owner is a LIAR!! He never changed the oil like in 3 years.

I should know, I drove my car's dino oil 8000 miles averaged, sometimes 10K, and one time to like 11.4K

My link to pix of what mine looked like:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3132705#Post3132705
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: 285south
Originally Posted By: Chugchug
Previouse owner swears he did 10k oil change full synth.


Previous owner is a LIAR!! He never changed the oil like in 3 years.

I should know, I drove my car's dino oil 8000 miles averaged, sometimes 10K, and one time to like 11.4K

My link to pix of what mine looked like:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3132705#Post3132705


Was your car petrol or a turbodiesel like the OP?
Posted by: michaelluscher

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 03:27 PM

Eww puke


Someone's not telling the whole story, didn't use diesel oil, or Some internal leak liar
Posted by: Chugchug

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 06:24 PM

This motor is still putting up good compression in all cylinders, Cam shows no excessive wear, will update.
Posted by: Clevy

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 06:45 PM

Its obvious that the owner didn't use properly spec'd oil and very likely shot tripped the vehicle which never got the oil up to operating temp and didn't adjust the interval to compensate for "severe service".
So pure and simple it was neglect.

OP. Even if compression is good you still have to tear the engine apart to inspect everything.
Or risk a weak link taking out the entire engine and all your effort wasted.
At this point is a few more hours really a big deal.
I personally wouldn't risk it. I'd hot tank everything and get everything tested for micro-cracks,because with that kind of sludge we can expect the engine when it was running would have had numerous hot spots the oil was failing to properly cool not to mention an overheat or 2.
Why risk it,you've got it apart anyways.
And yes please update your thread. In interested in your progress.
Good luck breathing new life into it. Got a bigger turbo for it yet?
More boost equals more fun.
Posted by: yonyon

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 07:40 PM

Originally Posted By: bigjl
Originally Posted By: 285south
Originally Posted By: Chugchug
Previouse owner swears he did 10k oil change full synth.


Previous owner is a LIAR!! He never changed the oil like in 3 years.

I should know, I drove my car's dino oil 8000 miles averaged, sometimes 10K, and one time to like 11.4K

My link to pix of what mine looked like:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3132705#Post3132705


Was your car petrol or a turbodiesel like the OP?


I don't mean to speak for 285south, but you can tell pretty easily from the pictures that he has a 4-cylinder spark ignition turbodiesel.
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 08:46 PM

Originally Posted By: yonyon
Originally Posted By: bigjl
Originally Posted By: 285south
Originally Posted By: Chugchug
Previouse owner swears he did 10k oil change full synth.


Previous owner is a LIAR!! He never changed the oil like in 3 years.

I should know, I drove my car's dino oil 8000 miles averaged, sometimes 10K, and one time to like 11.4K

My link to pix of what mine looked like:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3132705#Post3132705


Was your car petrol or a turbodiesel like the OP?


I don't mean to speak for 285south, but you can tell pretty easily from the pictures that he has a 4-cylinder spark ignition turbodiesel.


Didn't read his other thread just checked out the first photo and it looked too clean for a diesel.

What is a spark ignition turbo diesel?

Diesel engines have glow plugs in my experience.
Posted by: scurvy

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/18/14 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Chugchug
This motor is still putting up good compression in all cylinders

That's because the rings are coked solid with sludge. WVO engines often gain compression as their rings get filled up with that fantastic gasket of polymerized vegetable oil.
Posted by: Doug Hillary

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/19/14 12:42 AM

Hi,
Chugchug - The pictures are typical of many Heavy High Speed Diesel engines I've seen in the past that have been poorly serviced. This usually was the result of the using an incorrect specification lubricant and OCIs that were not frequent enough

I've seen it occur quite quickly, even with engines under Warranty in some cases (Fleets), and the Fleet Owner usually blames the lubricant. The engine Manufacturer typically denies Warranty of course after research proves that the lubricant type was incorrect and that Service routines were sloppy with OCIs being spasmodic and usually infrequent
Posted by: yonyon

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/19/14 04:59 AM

Originally Posted By: bigjl

What is a spark ignition turbo diesel?

I don't think you can have spark ignition and still have it be a diesel. That's a gas engine.
Posted by: Jim Allen

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/19/14 07:32 AM

I don't often comment when the previous posters have already said it and said it well but I thing the Family Guy pic above sums up my feelings. This is what we call a multi-level object lesson.

If there was any liquid oil left, did you think to take a sample for analysis. It's possible that it would have answered some of your questions. If nothing else, it might have inspired another bout of chorus-hurling. ( : < )

Hang in there!
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/19/14 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: yonyon
Originally Posted By: bigjl

What is a spark ignition turbo diesel?

I don't think you can have spark ignition and still have it be a diesel. That's a gas engine.


I know that.

But you were the one that mentioned it.
Posted by: accent2012

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 02:04 PM

He probably used the basic diesel oil, like the shell or mobil delvac brand, which I don't think meets VW specs, but can still be used but definitely not beyond 5k miles.
Posted by: Ramblejam

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 02:10 PM

Originally Posted By: accent2012
He probably used the basic diesel oil, like the shell or mobil delvac brand, which I don't think meets VW specs, but can still be used but definitely not beyond 5k miles.


Running Rotella or Delvac 15w-40, in and of itself, would not have caused this.

Posted by: 05ChevyI5

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: accent2012
He probably used the basic diesel oil, like the shell or mobil delvac brand, which I don't think meets VW specs, but can still be used but definitely not beyond 5k miles.

A VW needs beetle-juice. Right? grin
Posted by: k1rod

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 07:52 PM

Nope, The owner was either a liar about the OCI or he used gasser oil in the TDI. I have a 2001 VW Jetta TDI with the same engine as you do (ALH). I have changed the oil every 10,000 - 12,000 miles with Mobil 1 TDT or Mobil Delvac 1. I recently looked at the top of the head and it is so clean, it looks like a laboratory experiment. If you still have good compression, you may be able to save it. If not call Aaron over at Bora parts. He had some ALH crate motors for very reasonable money.
Posted by: SilverC6

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 08:58 PM

Clearly neglected.

Guess you will be running straight MMO for a couple of changes......
Posted by: Chugchug

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 10:40 PM

straight mmo? $6,000,000 rebuild? spark ignition turbodiesel?

Keep em rollin,


Matt
Posted by: TrevorS

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/20/14 11:31 PM

On BITOG you have to learn to sift through the bad to get to the good.

In this case, you got a response from Doug Hillary. That is as good as it gets.

Out of all the Euro engines that all need Euro oils, a turbo diesel is going to be the most at risk without a Euro oil.

Even normally aspirated gasoline Euro engines get sludge with non approved oils.
Posted by: Jim Allen

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 08:02 AM

Originally Posted By: TrevorS
On BITOG you have to learn to sift through the bad to get to the good.

In this case, you got a response from Doug Hillary. That is as good as it gets.

Out of all the Euro engines that all need Euro oils, a turbo diesel is going to be the most at risk without a Euro oil.

Even normally aspirated gasoline Euro engines get sludge with non approved oils.


Well said!
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 09:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Chugchug
straight mmo? $6,000,000 rebuild? spark ignition turbodiesel?

Keep em rollin,


Matt


The person that posted about the spark ignition turbo diesel still hasn't answered my question about it.

Other than to possibly try and infer that i said it.

Lol.
Posted by: k1rod

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 12:12 PM

Originally Posted By: TrevorS

Out of all the Euro engines that all need Euro oils, a turbo diesel is going to be the most at risk without a Euro oil.

Even normally aspirated gasoline Euro engines get sludge with non approved oils.


That depends on which engine. The ALH engine that is in the OP's vehicle does not need a Euro oil. It will run fine off of Mobil 1 TDT, Mobil Delvac 1, Shell Rotella T6, Several of Amsoil's offerings and probably a bunch more. It wasn't until 2004.5 when VW tdi's began being produced with BEW (Pump Deuce) engines that these cars started becoming oil fussy. Much of these problems were related to a significant reduction in surface area of the cam lobes necessitating very high film strength oils.
Posted by: TrevorS

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 02:27 PM

^ Great info! Thanks!
Posted by: yonyon

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: bigjl

Other than to possibly try and infer that i said it.


Sorry about that. I have a bad habit of making bad jokes that are so bad you can't tell they're meant to be funny.
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 04:58 PM

Originally Posted By: k1rod
Originally Posted By: TrevorS

Out of all the Euro engines that all need Euro oils, a turbo diesel is going to be the most at risk without a Euro oil.

Even normally aspirated gasoline Euro engines get sludge with non approved oils.


That depends on which engine. The ALH engine that is in the OP's vehicle does not need a Euro oil. It will run fine off of Mobil 1 TDT, Mobil Delvac 1, Shell Rotella T6, Several of Amsoil's offerings and probably a bunch more. It wasn't until 2004.5 when VW tdi's began being produced with BEW (Pump Deuce) engines that these cars started becoming oil fussy. Much of these problems were related to a significant reduction in surface area of the cam lobes necessitating very high film strength oils.


VAG produced PD engine earlier than 2004. A friend on mine had a Ford Galaxy, built in a joint venture with VW and Seat, back in 02 and i am fairly certain they started making the PD engines in 01.
Posted by: SilverC6

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 06:06 PM

Originally Posted By: SilverC6
Clearly neglected.

Guess you will be running straight MMO for a couple of changes......



Meant as a jokey joke.

With a mess like that you either have to laugh or cry......
Posted by: Garak

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/21/14 07:07 PM

Originally Posted By: bigjl
The person that posted about the spark ignition turbo diesel still hasn't answered my question about it.

I'll take a minor stab at it. I actually had read a reference to spark ignition diesel in Popular Mechanics or Car & Driver some time ago. There wasn't much about it, and I have no idea who was puttering around with it, but the notion was that they could reduce compression ratios and affect emissions that way. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.
Posted by: k1rod

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/22/14 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By: bigjl
Originally Posted By: k1rod
Originally Posted By: TrevorS

Out of all the Euro engines that all need Euro oils, a turbo diesel is going to be the most at risk without a Euro oil.

Even normally aspirated gasoline Euro engines get sludge with non approved oils.


That depends on which engine. The ALH engine that is in the OP's vehicle does not need a Euro oil. It will run fine off of Mobil 1 TDT, Mobil Delvac 1, Shell Rotella T6, Several of Amsoil's offerings and probably a bunch more. It wasn't until 2004.5 when VW tdi's began being produced with BEW (Pump Deuce) engines that these cars started becoming oil fussy. Much of these problems were related to a significant reduction in surface area of the cam lobes necessitating very high film strength oils.


VAG produced PD engine earlier than 2004. A friend on mine had a Ford Galaxy, built in a joint venture with VW and Seat, back in 02 and i am fairly certain they started making the PD engines in 01.


VAG probably did produce the PD engines earlier than 2004. But they weren't available here in North America until the 2004 model year.
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/22/14 02:27 PM

That is why i find it strange that the issue with specific PD oils even occurred in NA

As the cam wear problems and need for PD specific oils was already a known issue in Europe.

Many European oil manufacturers labelled products as PD oils.
Posted by: k1rod

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/22/14 03:54 PM

Originally Posted By: bigjl
That is why i find it strange that the issue with specific PD oils even occurred in NA

As the cam wear problems and need for PD specific oils was already a known issue in Europe.

Many European oil manufacturers labelled products as PD oils.


I think the problem here was multifaceted. When the PD engine was introduced to the NA market, the supply chain for PD specific oils was pretty thin. Because it was so thin, these oils were very expensive (at least for the NA market) and somewhat difficult to find. Secondly, despite all the experience in the Euro market, the cam problem was not well understood here. And finally, the previous ALH 505.00 oil spec could be, and often was ignored and high quality but non spec oils were used in their place...successfully. This lead many people (VW dealerships included) to incorrectly conclude that the 505.01 spec could be ignored as well. Eventually most people figured it out but not before thousands of cam lobes ended up as a powder in the oil pan.
Posted by: scurvy

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/22/14 05:55 PM

Originally Posted By: k1rod
The ALH engine that is in the OP's vehicle does not need a Euro oil. It will run fine off of Mobil 1 TDT, Mobil Delvac 1, Shell Rotella T6, Several of Amsoil's offerings and probably a bunch more. It wasn't until 2004.5 when VW tdi's began being produced with BEW (Pump Deuce) engines that these cars started becoming oil fussy. Much of these problems were related to a significant reduction in surface area of the cam lobes necessitating very high film strength oils.


All the North American Pumpe-Deuse engines (BEW, BHW, BRM) run beautifully long lives on all the oils you listed above, and I would add Schaefer 9000 to that list since we're naming brands. It's only when the owners start running VW-spec 5w30 507.00 oils that they munch up their camshafts, lifters & cam bearings.
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/23/14 06:57 PM

I can add that everyone i know that has a VW, Seat, Skoda or Ford with a PD engine has ran it on 5w40.
Posted by: Dieselsrule

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 01/26/14 08:53 AM

Years ago when I was a ASE Certified mechanic at car dealerships I seen several engines sludged this bad and worst. It comes from running the engine oil to long, even the correct oil will give up if run long enough. Most of them came in complaining the oil light flickered.
If they were running and not knocking to bad or not locked up we took the oil pan and valve cover off and cleaned them with a brush and parts washer solvent, spray can carb cleaner, kerosene,etc. ( doesn't matter at this point). Make sure you clean the oil pick up screen good.
Then we put it together with fresh oil and filter, run it 10 miles and changed the oil & filter again and they ran fine.
In the OP case I would do the above plus buy a used turbo at a salvage yard and run it.
I've seen turbos ruined from lack of oil changes but the engine was fine after a good turbo was installed and the lines cleaned. Good Luck and let us know how this turns out.
Posted by: Provi

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/23/14 10:59 AM



This was at about 95k miles when I had to change the oil pan on my 02 ALH Summer 2013.



Posted by: michaelluscher

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/24/14 06:39 AM

Any updates on how this panned out?
Posted by: Clevy

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/24/14 06:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Provi


This was at about 95k miles when I had to change the oil pan on my 02 ALH Summer 2013.





Those pictures are interesting to say the least. It's almost like the oil turned to tar and left a coating of it only on some surfaces but not others.
I'm not sure how that's even possible. I would think the entire surface under the valve cover would be coated but it's not.
Interesting to say the least.
Posted by: leroyd92

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/24/14 07:31 AM

I know this is completely besides the point since you already had a engine failure. But, my shop teacher I had in high school was given a diesel rv, I good running fixeruppper. The only terrible thing about it was the engine was horrible inside, and looked almost a touch similar to this if not worse.

He drained the oil, added diesel to the crank case, and let it idle for 5minutes, did this 6times, all while the motor was warmed up. The diesel came out black as can be, the inside of the motor was really clean. He let it drain overnight and added oil. Sold it a month later. A year later, it came back to be serviced, the inside of the motor was spotless. So many of my friends have done this to there desert trucks with similar results. Its a bummer you had a failure due to PO neglect =(
Posted by: accent2012

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/24/14 10:43 AM

Does that TDI have a gear driven oil pump or chain? If chain, I would check the chain tensioners for wear.
Posted by: LoneRanger

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/24/14 02:28 PM

The previous owner needs to be biach slapped a good one. Do that to an engine... ...WTH is wrong with him? When my wife had a TDi (2005 Beetle) I changed religiously first using the dealer recommended Castrol TXT 505.01 5W40, then a couple intervals on the "new" Castrol 5W30 "Professional OE" 505.01 when dealer no longer carried the TXT, and then to Rotella T6 5W40 after warranty expired. Never felt quite right about the 5W30 505.01 stuff but the dealer said it's what VW went to. Sold the car in 2012 after scheduled timing belt replacement and some other 100K mile service items were completed and new owner was going to keep it on Rotella T6.

I just don't get how some folks can neglect their machines so callously.
Posted by: leroyd92

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/24/14 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
The previous owner needs to be biach slapped a good one. Do that to an engine... ...WTH is wrong with him? When my wife had a TDi (2005 Beetle) I changed religiously first using the dealer recommended Castrol TXT 505.01 5W40, then a couple intervals on the "new" Castrol 5W30 "Professional OE" 505.01 when dealer no longer carried the TXT, and then to Rotella T6 5W40 after warranty expired. Never felt quite right about the 5W30 505.01 stuff but the dealer said it's what VW went to. Sold the car in 2012 after scheduled timing belt replacement and some other 100K mile service items were completed and new owner was going to keep it on Rotella T6.

I just don't get how some folks can neglect their machines so callously.



I couldn't agree more... even my beater vehicles or those that don't get lots of use get love.... I just don't understand how people mistreat something they pay $$$$$$$$ for...........
Posted by: Cubey

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/25/14 08:39 PM

Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
I just don't get how some folks can neglect their machines so callously.


People with more money than they know how to handle.
Posted by: artificialist

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/25/14 09:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Cubey
Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
I just don't get how some folks can neglect their machines so callously.


People with more money than they know how to handle.

I often find the opposite is true. They finance the most expensive car the bank or dealer will allow, and in order to pay back the debt, that same person will do anything to avoid maintaining that car.

It really annoys me.
Posted by: jrustles

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/26/14 12:40 AM

That's some grody stuff there. Does the engine warm up properly?
Posted by: Thermo1223

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/26/14 03:24 PM

Looks like a WVO or BioD car that got neglected...more than likely WVO.
Posted by: drolds

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/27/14 09:25 AM

I do a somewhat regular servicing of VW TDIs for folks. The keys to VW TDI maintenance are: use only a 505.01 synthetic diesel oil( 507 oils for 2009 & up) ALWAYS use a bottle of engine flush for 10 minutes before draining old oil at every oil change.
I would not run the engine for more than 30 seconds w/ the diesel fuel in the crankcase. But, if its effective, well have at it. One other reason for the sludge is that the EGR may be crudded up beyond the point of redemption. On the engine pictured, the EGR definitely needs replaced or deleted. Non-spec oils will shorten EGR life on a TDI. The service manuals state that if the EGR is plugged more than 1/3, replace the EGR valve instead of cleaning it. Pulling the intake and cleaning it would also be a good idea too.

Dr. Olds
Posted by: Thermo1223

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 02/27/14 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By: drolds
I do a somewhat regular servicing of VW TDIs for folks. The keys to VW TDI maintenance are: use only a 505.01 synthetic diesel oil( 507 oils for 2009 & up) ALWAYS use a bottle of engine flush for 10 minutes before draining old oil at every oil change.
I would not run the engine for more than 30 seconds w/ the diesel fuel in the crankcase. But, if its effective, well have at it. One other reason for the sludge is that the EGR may be crudded up beyond the point of redemption. On the engine pictured, the EGR definitely needs replaced or deleted. Non-spec oils will shorten EGR life on a TDI. The service manuals state that if the EGR is plugged more than 1/3, replace the EGR valve instead of cleaning it. Pulling the intake and cleaning it would also be a good idea too.

Dr. Olds


This is just bad info.

ALH Use 505.00 or equivalent 5w40 synthetic diesel oil
BEW/BRM/BHW Use 505.01 approved oil only.
Anything past 2009 use 507.00 approved oil only.

There is absolutely no need for any engine flush unless trying to save a neglected engine and even at that you risk plugging the oil pickup.

Do not use engine flushes it is not a "key" to maintenance. It is stupid and wrong.

That engine had 1 of 2 possible lives. It was either run with WVO(Greasecar for one) and it is a know fact WVO will cause engine oil polymerization which requires more frequent changes. It was run with the wrong oil all together at at extended intervals as well. The car was abused.

EGR will not cause sludge like this, period. Diesel engines turn the oil black just from combustion gases alone. Non-spec fuel and over fueling will shorten EGR and engine oil life. This was caused by neglect and possibly WVO use.

The reason EGR & intake clogging was such an issue before was because of LSD. I'll admit ULSD didn't solve it completely but it made great strides it not causing the intake to be completely blocked.

EGR can be cleaned unless it is broken mechanically it just may be easier and less time consuming to replace. The same can be said for the intake.

Go to TDIClub.com and read before you kill an engine by using flushing agents.
Posted by: Provi

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 04/12/14 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Clevy
Originally Posted By: Provi


This was at about 95k miles when I had to change the oil pan on my 02 ALH Summer 2013.





Those pictures are interesting to say the least. It's almost like the oil turned to tar and left a coating of it only on some surfaces but not others.
I'm not sure how that's even possible. I would think the entire surface under the valve cover would be coated but it's not.
Interesting to say the least.


The splash shield is black plastic so that may look like tar?

Here is the oil that was just sampled after the change.

Originally Posted By: accent2012
Does that TDI have a gear driven oil pump or chain? If chain, I would check the chain tensioners for wear.


It is.
Posted by: ironman_gq

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 05/06/14 09:50 AM

I'm going to say WVO. I know of one guy who decided to do a WVO conversion on a Duramax, worked OK till he went to leave one day and had 0 oil pressure, the whole oil pan looked just like yours, black jello.
Posted by: BruceM

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 05/25/14 04:46 PM

I've seen that on engines sith improper wvo systems. If the engine isnt up to full opersting temp and the oil isnt hot you get incomplete combustion and engine oil contamination with wvo. I've been running wvo I my 2000 Ford superduty for 6 years now and 50k +/- miles, and havent had a single problem other than wvo fuel pumps not lasting. One rule on wvo is you shorten your OCI specifically because WVO and diesel motor oils don't play well.

I have a theroy its the zinc in the hedo as I have watched zinc coated galvinzed pipe parts grow a gelatinous coating of wvo in a day. Hot wvo and galvinized pipe (or a galvinized drum) dont mix well. Iirc hdeo's are one of the last remainung high zinc engine oils ouut there.
Posted by: yvon_la

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 05/25/14 05:03 PM

lets assume previous owner did right!the next thing that could have happened is temperature got up and turbo cooked the oil and this is what happened ,bottom line!make sure to let turbo cool
Posted by: Hohn

Re: Tdi gelatinous sludge - 06/17/14 12:36 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceM
I've seen that on engines sith improper wvo systems. If the engine isnt up to full opersting temp and the oil isnt hot you get incomplete combustion and engine oil contamination with wvo. I've been running wvo I my 2000 Ford superduty for 6 years now and 50k +/- miles, and havent had a single problem other than wvo fuel pumps not lasting. One rule on wvo is you shorten your OCI specifically because WVO and diesel motor oils don't play well.

I have a theroy its the zinc in the hedo as I have watched zinc coated galvinzed pipe parts grow a gelatinous coating of wvo in a day. Hot wvo and galvinized pipe (or a galvinized drum) dont mix well. Iirc hdeo's are one of the last remainung high zinc engine oils ouut there.


While WVO is almost certain to cause as you describe, even B20 I suspect could do this given enough extended operation on B20 (RME or DME) in cold temperatures and long drain intervals.

With lots of short trips in cold temps, blowby would be excessive. Combining high blowby of fatty acid methyl esters with a higher-zinc diesel oil COULD explain the goo that is on display here.


As for turbo causing this, not a chance. The turbo bearings would be shot LONG before this amount of sludge could accumulate. Failing to cool down turbo is actually one of the things you can rule out. Turbo cool down periods are for turbos-- and nothing else.

I work in product development at Cummins, but I can only speculate here as we do not do lengthy testing on B20 or biofuels in general-- I've never seen that kind of goo in field test or test cell engine.

H