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2001 VW Jetta 1.9L TDI *HELP*

Messages
288
Likes
19
Location
Ex-Michigander, now Elizabeth Colorado
Thread starter #1
I need help fellas. I recently purchased an 01 TDI with 214k on it as a beater car to drive to work and stack miles up on. Well I put about 5k miles on it when the oil dummy light came on. I thought maybe with higher miles it was eating a bit and didnt think much of it until I went to add some. It took almost 4 quarts. I was semi alarmed and decided I would be watching it closely.

Well i continued driving and at some point while accelerating up a hill it began making a loud clicking noise and smoking, I hit the clutch and the motor ran away with itself. I just grabbed the key and turned it off asap. it revved up pretty high but I was on it real quick and shut it down. Good cloud of smoke. My first thought was that the motor had gone, but i didnt really know. I was in spot where i really didnt have many options. I started it back up and it appeared to run normal like nothing happened. I continued driving and checked the oil at the next stop and it was about 2-3 quarts low again. I added more and just continued to run the ol girl. The whole episode of the loud clicking and revving out when i hit the clutch began happening more often. Usually when I was leaving a stop sign or intersection, and when I got into higher RPMs where the turbo would spool and I would shift.

Again I was in a bad spot and when I could I took off and drove it up over the pass in the mountains and back down into Denver. It really didnt act up at all until I got back down into 'city' driving and was hitting red lights. It seemed if i could keep it in the lower RPMs and drive it easy, the car would act perfectly normal.

I parked it when I got home and started to research TDI's. I really now very little about the motor specifically other than it being just a little diesel. pulled the engine cap off with it running and it blows enough air out of the valve cover there that I blows a paper towel right out of my hand. Best I can figure is that I lost compression (guess) and I'm getting enough blow by that its consuming oil and also running off with with itself when its getting enough. It doesn't leak oil really to speak of at all when its parked. No considerable smoke when running normally, some on start up but never caused me much concern.

I found a new motor already with 140k and kinda want to buy it and spice it up a little and tune it and drop it back in with some transmission upgrades.... but I want to trouble shoot this thing correctly first before i buy a new long block.

SO can anyone here chime in on this with thoughts and things I should start checking? The turbo is supposedly new around 200k and I have not checked yet to see if the oil seals in it are leaking. Thanks in advance....
 

Will L.

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,326
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7,745
Location
Boulder City Nv
#2
Sucking oil and trying to run away. Be careful, it just might happen. Of course depending on what insurance you have on it...No umm

Open oil fill and start it looking for MASSIVE blow by. If not you need to look post turbo and see if tuebo seals are feeding it the oil. Might just need a couple hundo redoing the turbo instead of engine.

Idk these engines, but if there is any place else it can suck oil like if oil passes through intake manifold or anything like that.
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
Messages
8,609
Likes
3,277
Location
AZ
#3
Safety First. Get AAA, Good Sam, or other roadside assistance like through your auto insurance or cell phone. Even CL has some low buck towing services and USE IT! There is NO EXCUSE, NONE, to endanger your and other's lives by attempting to drive a diesel engine that is attempting to run away. Death is the easy way out. You may survive mangled and in severe pain the rest of your life along with other innocent dead bodies piled up. Runaway till it blows up causes loss of power brakes and steering if it doesn't catch fire or injure you when it does let go. Do not start this engine again without repairing it because your luck may run out. Get a lotto ticket because you have been extremely lucky so far.

You should also seriously re-consider attempting to push a high mile s#it box through bad areas like this especially with the extreme grades and altitudes of The Rockies. You are correct a winter storm where the car breaks down is a survival situation. Yeah, don't take this S#it Box to places you have little options of towing, rescue, etc. New modern vehicles have a hard enough time outside the Denver area in the Rocky Mountains.

By the blowby description you have a cracked/hole in piston, wiped out rings, possible blown head gasket into crankcase. Turbo feeding oil is easy enough to check the intercooler for. The intercooler may be full of oil waiting to run this engine away. With the oil that low you may have wiped out the newer turbo bearings. It's going through oil so fast due to a massive failure you will not be able to reasonably check it.
 
Last edited:

THEFERMANATOR

FRANKENBURBAN
Staff member
Lead Moderator
Messages
9,257
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2,765
Location
ZEPHYRHILLS FL
Staff #4
Your turbo is most likely shot dumping oil into the intake fueling the engine. Check the intake, but I'm willing to wager you'll find oil in the intake downstream of the turbo.
 

Will L.

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,326
Likes
7,745
Location
Boulder City Nv
#5
I love how WW sugar coats everything.
He is right btw- people die from run away diesels. It isn’t like blowing an engine from lack of coolant. They literally hand grenade.

A thought of when the turbo was redone- most likely failure in there. Everyone has to learn it on the first one- maybe yours was their first rebuild?

Semi trucks have the turbo seal go out and sometimes they shoot flames out the exhaust- especially series 60 detroits. It was always funny for me to hear truck driver panic- until I worked at the fuel company and had it happen while I was there and the truck was unloading 9,000 gallons of methonal. A week later I was riding in a truck trying to find a vibration issue when the vibrating turbo let loose! He had 3500 gallons of gasoline at the time.
Yeah, I dont find flaming turbos as funny anymore-
haha<— nervous laughter there.

If you have an inner cooler and it’s filling with oil- yeah thats a dangerous day. Check that out & make sure you don’t. If a guy in shop knew he had it and started the engine- fired on the spot.
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
Messages
8,609
Likes
3,277
Location
AZ
#6
It occurred to me that the OP may not be aware what a diesel engine runaway is and the fact the key won't stop it. My bad. :facepalm:

YouTube is full of runaway diesel videos and the best explode the cooling system after the engine finally stops making even the best wannabe camera operators poop their pants running away.
 
Messages
288
Likes
19
Location
Ex-Michigander, now Elizabeth Colorado
Thread starter #7
Originally I did'nt understand what was going on with the runaway, but I've read up on all of it for the most part. Problem I cant figure is why when I turn my key off, the car turns off immediately. I did park it. I pulled the air intake off and it has a small drip of oil right at the clamp, nothing there really. The tube from the EGR to the catch can has oil in it, but not excessive. I ran out of time there.

I am driving the duramax for now and hope to get some time to investigate the turbo, intercooler, and maybe compression later this week. I will tell say that the 40mpg average I was getting out of that TDI was growing on me!
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
Messages
8,609
Likes
3,277
Location
AZ
#8
Glad you found out about runaways.

Point of View Rant:
When I shop for a vehicle MPG isn't a concern because I have a front row seat to a near fatal accident caused by a drunk Illegal Alien. 42+ surgeries later over years, disfigured, and years on and off work, and now still struggling to stay working in spite of their mangled body. You don't want to even know what I think, after watching them go through this, of our God awful 3rd world healthcare system in the USA because your ears would catch fire from words a Marine Mechanic hardly uses. They are only on THIS side of the grass because they were driving the equivalent of a full size car: a Chevy Lumina. They would have had less injuries with a bigger vehicle. So go 1 Million Miles at 6MPG with $5.00 fuel cost doesn't even come close to the medical bills - the ones not covered by insurance.

Just saying and thats where I say S#it Box... well they just bury you in what's left of it. Everyone in the other 1980's full size van staggered and/or walked away. :wideyed:
 

JayTheCPA

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,713
Likes
1,098
Location
Annapolis, MD
#9
If you get that thing running right, it is a nifty machine.

That sucker will cruise 90 mph easily with all seats loaded, get good mileage, and handle the road well. And before I get flamed, Yes the posted speed limit was actually that high. But it was not in MPH. ;)

Agree with WW that in a battle of machines, the occupants in the bigger beast are more likely to win. But life is a set of competing priorities and sometimes the prospect of economy bubbles to the top . . .
 
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