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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeking suggestions for dealing with old oil that will not drain from a TDI that I am putting back into service after not being used for several years. I've looked on these forums and elsewhere online for discussions of this condition and have come up with nothing quite like this. Here are the details.

My 2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI 2.0 (CBEA/CJAA engine) with automatic transmission has sat unused for 4 years. It ran fine prior to parking it. I am getting it ready to put back into use and am doing the initial work myself. I am an occasional do-it-myself maintenance person, but for most service I take my cars to a good local shop. My first objective is to get the car started without doing any harm.

My thinking is that before the first restart of the engine I ought to change the oil, change the battery, check the appearance and levels of the other fluids, search for and remove any debris (nests, leaves, etc.) in the engine compartment, siphon out the old fuel and put in fresh diesel, and lubricate the cylinder walls some how.

With the battery replaced, the engine compartment cleared of debris (no nests), and the air filter replaced, I moved on to the oil change, which is where I hit an unexpected snag. Less than half a cup (4 oz or about 120 ml) of oil flowed out of the oil pan drain hole.

Here are the oil change steps I've taken so far. First checking the oil level, the dip stick showed oil to be present but low--probably about a quart (liter) low. Next, I freed up the oil filter (3-foot lever arm required to loosen filter compartment cap). The filter had caked-on thick oil. I also opened the oil fill cap and saw that at the bottom of the filler neck is a film of thick, black oil. I unscrewed the drain plug with a basin in position to catch the oil, but no oil flowed out. Hoping a slug of thick oil might be right at the exit clogging the drain, I inserted a wire and wiggled it around, which did dislodge about 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of thick, black oil, but no more.

I am concerned that using an engine flush product with some new oil could cause problems, spreading the existing gunk around and clogging various small oil pathways. At the end of the flushing process, small particles may be left behind that could circulate and create future problems. With that concern, I could remove the oil pan and clean it and the exposed areas manually, including removing and cleaning the oil pick-up assembly. I'm guessing that would remove most of the oil and sludge.

Would that be adequate? Or, should other parts be exposed for cleaning too, such as removing the valve cover to clean all parts exposed there?

Given the gummy film present in the oil filler neck, I realize that the upper parts of the engine where oil can pool (no idea how numerous those might be) probably also have oil sludge too. Opening up the valve cover in this engine looks to be quite a bit more involved than removing the oil pan. If that is called for, I'll probably resign from this job and let my local shop take over.

Once I get this oil change addressed, I'd like to lubricate the cylinder walls. Could that be done by removing the glow plugs and sending a mist of diesel fuel into each chamber when the piston is near the bottom of the stroke (as indicated by a bamboo bbq spear or similar indicator)?

I appreciate those who've read this full post and welcome insights any of you may have on my no-flow-oil snag, suggestions for overcoming this snag, and other recommissioning ideas I have not mentioned. Thanks for helping me get this car back on the road.
 

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You could always drop the pan which would let you look into the issue directly. I wouldn't risk running it with excess sludge or slime. If the oil feed to the turbo is blocked or gets blocked it will ruin the turbo in only a handful of seconds. Pulling the valve cover and feed line to the turbo may be good too if after pulling the pan you confirm junk, slime or sludge. Removing the pan and cover would at least allow you to clean out what you have access to before running it with fresh oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for reading and the advice. Dropping the pan is within my level of comfort. I will do that. It's helpful to find videos online (youtube) showing that for this engine. I have not found similar demos for taking off the valve cover. It looks much more involved, with several hard lines blocking access to the bolts as well as the cover not just attaching to a single plane. It's a more complex shape than the cover on the ALH engine, for instance.

Is valve cover removal difficult to do correctly if one's never done it before and not seen it demonstrated?

If anyone can offer a link to instructions with pictures or video online for removing the valve cover on the TDI 2.0 common rail engine, that'd be a big help.

Thanks.
 

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Is this by chance a WVO? (ran on waste vegetable oil) I don't think I would worry too much about the valve cover yet. Maybe poke through that drain hole some with a hanger etc and see if you can get the oil drained out. That will make it easier pulling the pan down without yourself taking an oil bath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No WVO. I always put synthetic oil that met VW 507 spec, usually Mobil 1 ESP. However, since I did not personally do the last oil change, it is possible that an incorrect oil was used in error by the service shop that did the job (not a quick change joint, but a local repair shop that work on both diesels and gasoline vehicles).
 

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I should have clarified WVO and biodiesel are alternate fuels used by some. When those fuels get past the pistons and into the engine oil they usually turn it into muck from water and other contaminates that are in them especially WVO. However, if you have always owned the car that would eliminate that possibility. An owner before you could have used it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We've owned the 2010 TDI since 2014 and used it daily for 4 years prior to parking it. In that time I avoided all 10% biodiesel blends, which is the normal offering in the Chicago area. I made special trips to the nearest seller of pure diesel, filled up the car as well as three 20 liter jerry cans I dedicated to diesel storage. Doing that I was able to keep it on a pure diesel diet exclusively. I took this precaution due to opinions I found online that these common rail engines were more finicky about the fuel than earlier TDI designs.

I am hoping to have the time this weekend to do the oil pan operation. Thanks for engaging with me on this.
 

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A S let us know what you find, IMO it depends on what type of buildup whether I would use use a flush additive. If it's the flaky hard type I probably would not because little piece could shed off and cause problems. If it is slime I think I might run with seafoam for 10 min or so, drain and repeat. Something along that order.

If this type probably would not
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If like this type probably would
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I vote for removing the oil pan to see what the condition of the oil is before next steps are taken. Try to post a picture here so community can advise better
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Deen and Moonshot. I do intend to first remove the oil pan to see what that reveals. I will take pictures and post them. I am catching up on some things before heading out of town for a bit more than a week. I hope to have time to return to the this job before leaving.
 

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Seeking suggestions for dealing with old oil that will not drain from a TDI that I am putting back into service after not being used for several years. I've looked on these forums and elsewhere online for discussions of this condition and have come up with nothing quite like this. Here are the details.

My 2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI 2.0 (CBEA/CJAA engine) with automatic transmission has sat unused for 4 years. It ran fine prior to parking it. I am getting it ready to put back into use and am doing the initial work myself. I am an occasional do-it-myself maintenance person, but for most service I take my cars to a good local shop. My first objective is to get the car started without doing any harm.

My thinking is that before the first restart of the engine I ought to change the oil, change the battery, check the appearance and levels of the other fluids, search for and remove any debris (nests, leaves, etc.) in the engine compartment, siphon out the old fuel and put in fresh diesel, and lubricate the cylinder walls some how.

With the battery replaced, the engine compartment cleared of debris (no nests), and the air filter replaced, I moved on to the oil change, which is where I hit an unexpected snag. Less than half a cup (4 oz or about 120 ml) of oil flowed out of the oil pan drain hole.

Here are the oil change steps I've taken so far. First checking the oil level, the dip stick showed oil to be present but low--probably about a quart (liter) low. Next, I freed up the oil filter (3-foot lever arm required to loosen filter compartment cap). The filter had caked-on thick oil. I also opened the oil fill cap and saw that at the bottom of the filler neck is a film of thick, black oil. I unscrewed the drain plug with a basin in position to catch the oil, but no oil flowed out. Hoping a slug of thick oil might be right at the exit clogging the drain, I inserted a wire and wiggled it around, which did dislodge about 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of thick, black oil, but no more.

I am concerned that using an engine flush product with some new oil could cause problems, spreading the existing gunk around and clogging various small oil pathways. At the end of the flushing process, small particles may be left behind that could circulate and create future problems. With that concern, I could remove the oil pan and clean it and the exposed areas manually, including removing and cleaning the oil pick-up assembly. I'm guessing that would remove most of the oil and sludge.

Would that be adequate? Or, should other parts be exposed for cleaning too, such as removing the valve cover to clean all parts exposed there?

Given the gummy film present in the oil filler neck, I realize that the upper parts of the engine where oil can pool (no idea how numerous those might be) probably also have oil sludge too. Opening up the valve cover in this engine looks to be quite a bit more involved than removing the oil pan. If that is called for, I'll probably resign from this job and let my local shop take over.

Once I get this oil change addressed, I'd like to lubricate the cylinder walls. Could that be done by removing the glow plugs and sending a mist of diesel fuel into each chamber when the piston is near the bottom of the stroke (as indicated by a bamboo bbq spear or similar indicator)?

I appreciate those who've read this full post and welcome insights any of you may have on my no-flow-oil snag, suggestions for overcoming this snag, and other recommissioning ideas I have not mentioned. Thanks for helping me get this car back on the road.
Hello,

Have you thought about compressed air, either through the oil filler cap or the dipstick tube (or both)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have considered that but know I will still want to remove the oil pan regardless of how much old, thick oil came out by blasting air in. I'd have lingering concern that there was unseen gunk still there.

I'm having trouble removing a couple torx head screws that have to come out to access the oil pan bolts. All the torx head screws that hold the plastic bottom cover came off fine, but there is an additional cover slung under the oil pan. It is a flexible, non-woven fabric. I'm presuming it is a heat shield to prevent heat damage to the plastic belly cover. This fabric is held in place by a push-in clip in the front of the oil pan and with two torx-head screws in the back. Both of those have been difficult to remove. The correct size torx bit fit well into those screws, but all my efforts so far (muscle and wrench, then pb blaster and manual impact driver) have yielded no movement. The screw is soft metal. Consequently, the torx cavity is now fairly well chewed up. I will make one more attempt (with heat, lapping compound on the bit for better grip, and a bit-brace to apply force and little jolts of torque) before moving to another tactic, which will likely be to cut a slot in the head with a rotary tool and then use a slotted tip driver.

It's tough to apply adequate force to those screws while lying on your back. That's why I tried the impact driver after my first attempts with a wrench got nowhere. Nevertheless, I am surprised these are in so tight. There is no sign of corrosion on the heads.
 

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A S sometimes, (if I have enough working space), I take a sharp chisel and with a hammer tap on it to seat the chisel edge into the head in the direction that would rotate it off. This usually works 9 out of 10 times. Also before I do that I smack the top of the head with a punch to send a vibration through the bolt. It also seems to help break the bolt's hold. You likely don't have the space.. . but if you do try that.
 
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