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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have recently found that my coolant has a lot of grease looking stuff on the top of the coolant reservoir. It is somewhat similar to light chocolate looking grease.

Temperature is fine. Oil dipstick looks fine. No loss of oil. No loss of coolant. No funny smells coming out of the car. Fans are running as they should be, and almost never stay turned on after turning the car off.

If it is a head gasket leak, would it still be covered under pre-owned certified warranty for VW???

Thanks a lot.
Cheers
 

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Well it sounds like it needs looking into. Typically, fouling of the coolant or the oil or both is a first sign of a head gasket issue. It doesn't take much of either fluid to foul up but it should be checked out.
As far a coverage under a certified warranty, I would say it's a covered item.
 

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If I remember correctly, there was also discussion a while ago about a faulty radiator causing this. The passages somehow cross-flowed, and resulted in the oil and coolant being mixed.

Also, on the R5 diesel (if that's what you have), the oil pump seals have been reported to fail, causing an oil/coolant mixing issue. You may want to check the threads at the bottom of the page in the "Similar Threads" area for more info.

Good luck,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you all for your replies.

I have the 3.2 V6, and VW performed the pressure test and it was ok. I only had about half an inch of oil on the top of the reservoir. They sucked it out and sent me home. Everything was covered though, and they said that they will check it again when i come in for next oil change.

That's all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi all,

well, the oil issue seems to be coming back. I noticed it again, and I do not know what to do anymore, especially if vw keeps on saying that there are no leaks. There must be something wrong.

Does the transmission oil gets cooled off by the same coolant system or no?

I still have warranty on the car, so any suggestions on how i could pressure them to find the problem?

Thanks
 

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Transmission fluid is VERY different look than Engine oil - the contamination you are describing would most likely be engine oil. If you want to know for certain and be able to cry BullS#$t to your dealer - suck some out with a turkey baster and send to an oil-lab to confirm.

However if there is no contention from the dealer about it being oil - then you should very confidently argue the point about the oil and coolant system NOT being interconnected and therefore no cross fluid contamination is accetpable. If they given indications otherwise - ask them to provide you the TSB, or VW Memorandum documenting it...

They are very unlikely to be able to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot for your reply. I also believe that the best option for me is to keep pressuring them to find the problem, because it is just not normal at all to have any kind of oil in the coolant. Some say it may be the oil cooler seal that is faulty......

What would be the color of tranny oil and coolant mixing? Not light chocolate for sure?

Thanks
 

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I had the EXACT same symptoms on my R5. The R5 has a water-to-oil heat exchanger that actually performs two functions: Firstly, it's an oil COOLER, using radiator coolant to cool the engine oil, but it also uses coolant to HEAT the oil quicker during start-up, bringing the engine to operating temperatures sooner.

There's actually a TSB out on the R5 for replacing these coolers as they have a tendancy to fail. During failure, the engine oil gets into the coolant circuit and contaminates it, leaving the chocolaty residue in the expansion tank.

Almost all recent VW engines have this type of oil cooler. Yours is located on the housing that holds the oil filter (where 90% of the 4cyl and VR6 engines' coolers sit). Part No. 038 117 021 B. I'm willing to put money on the fact that that's where your problem lies.

Normally, when these coolers fail (on the R5 anyway) you can't see any leakage from outside. The leak is internal between the oil and coolant channels. Pressure testing also doesn't give conclusive proof.

When this happened to me, I was also very concerned about a head gasket failure. The tech told me, if there's oil in the coolant (your case), it's normally the oil cooler. If there's coolant in the oil (milky oil), it could be a head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for your quick replies.

Much appreciated!

I will head to VW again pretty soon, and will let you know what they decided to do again.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here's an update if anyone wants to know!

They changed the oil cooler and canister, so the problem seems to be resolved. There is still some oil in the tank, but MUCH less than before, so it must be because i did not flush it 5 times :)
 

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HI everyone, bumping an old thread here, but my 3.2 Touareg is currently having the same issue except it is much more severe. It looses about 4 liters of oil in less than 20 minutes of the car running. it keeps mixing with the coolant and results a creamy texture. I read on this forum of an Oil Cooler and have changed that part, but the issue is still the same. Can anyone please help and advice on what the issue could be? The car's temperature is rock solid and idles perfectly. Really cant tell if anything is even wrong. Hope you guys can help me out
 

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It can be many things but 4 liters of oil in less than 20 minutes means its really sucking it down. Its probably head gaskets at that rate. Was the car ever overheated?
 

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It can be many things but 4 liters of oil in less than 20 minutes means its really sucking it down. Its probably head gaskets at that rate.

I fear its the head gasket as well. I read about the water pump causing this issue, but mostly on the diesels. could it be related with the vr6 as well? Also the spark plug wells are dry. Zero external oil leaks as well. even the mech is pretty puzzled. Some say its the PCV valve but im confused on how coolant can relate with that part. Sad day!

Also thank you for your speedy reply!
 

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Has your car ever overheated? Is there corrosion beneath the coolant cap?
 

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HI everyone, bumping an old thread here, but my 3.2 Touareg is currently having the same issue except it is much more severe. It looses about 4 liters of oil in less than 20 minutes of the car running. it keeps mixing with the coolant and results a creamy texture. I read on this forum of an Oil Cooler and have changed that part, but the issue is still the same. Can anyone please help and advice on what the issue could be? The car's temperature is rock solid and idles perfectly. Really cant tell if anything is even wrong. Hope you guys can help me out
Where do the 4 liters of oil go? And how did you measure that? And how can the engine run with a half empty oil system? Please clarify. I’m lost here? If the four liters of oil go into the coolant system it will have to be released out of the coolant system because it’s will be overfilling the system. I don’t get the picture. 4 liters in 20 mn. The oil system uses less than 7 liters !! I’m missing something !


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@TRespect has a good point, what if my theory of your head gasket being bad is correct then the engine is consuming the coolant in the oil. It's possible that the two fluids will mix while also burning it off.

how does your exhaust smell, is it completely neutral or does it have a sweet smell to it, does it smoke or fog at all?
 
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