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HELP! White gunk on oil cap and power loss!!!

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by W14FEN, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    Hi Guys,
    I have an S3 2002, 75k miles. Rencently serviced and cam belt done 1000k ago by Audi.

    I only do 6 miles a day back and fourth to work. The car hasnt been on a decent run for weeks.

    I've posted up here a few days back about my car lossing power/drive in 3rd/4th/5th/6th gear when flooring it, the revs seem to increase and then it would hesitate. Thought it was the clutch at first as it felt like a slip. I've disconnected the MAF and the problem was still there. So ruled that out.

    Ok, that was 4 days ago. Am waiting to take it to a VAG specialist next weds. However...

    The car seemed groggy today when I went to work and there seems to be even less power than before. I looked under the bonnet and the engine seemed to be ticky quite loudly inline with the revs increasing.

    I turned her off and looked at the oil cap, white gunk on the underneath of the cap!!!!! I couldnt see any oil in there either!

    Obviously very worried, I looked in the coolant and that all seems fine, no oil contamination and decent. The dipstick oil seemed a little chocolatey, but maybe I am being paranoid.

    No engine warning lights or anything.

    Realy worried, are we talking head gasket here, or coil packs?
    #1
  2. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    headgasket
    #2
  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    White gunk normally means head gasket - are you getting any steam from the exhaust once the engines warmed up?
    6 miles a day is really hard on any car, as it never gets a chance to actually reach operating temp, so the mechanicals will fail much earlier than a high mileage motorway vehicle
    #3
  4. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    Also, how much are we talking for either of these problems?
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  5. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    Yeah i've noticed, a bit of extra exhaust fumes. But not loads though.

    If it is the head gasket, how much will this cost? And how long does it take to fix? It'll be at the garage for 2 days b4 they close for xmas! argh!

    Also should I not drive the car until next weds when i take it in?

    Thanks guys
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  6. HTC
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    HTC Active Member

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    I would say that it isn't the head gasket.

    If you only drive 6 miles to work the engine hasn't had a chance to warm up, especially with the recent cold weather. Condensation has formed causing the white gunk which in the motor trade is know as mayonaise.

    Go for a long spirited run and then recheck the oil cap.
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  7. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    The build up of white/yellowy cream is just on the cap and around the opening. I looked down into hole and theres no sign of any gunk in there. The engine is still warm at the mo, should i be seing oil in there???

    The oil is low on the dipstick when i checked, I checked the oil level about 2-3 weeks ago and it was ok.

    Any more thoughts, going out of my mind here!
    #7
  8. abdus
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    abdus Top Gear

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    any oil in the coolant bottle?

    might be just condensation
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  9. Ian W
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    Ian W Active Member

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    I'd take it for a good run and check it again, then get a bike / train / runaround for the journey to work lol
    #9
  10. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    No there's no oil in the coolant bottle. Not that I can see anyway.

    There did seem to be a few water drips on the underneath of the cap, as well as the yellow gunk. Theres only gunk on the bit of the cap that actually sits over the hole, not in the screw bit or outer edges of the cap. There's no gunk down inside the oil hole, all looks ok in there.

    Should I clean the cap, and see if it builds up again?

    What do you think guys?
    #10
  11. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    I've read coil packs going can cause power loss and ticking noises from engine, is this a possibility? And maybe the yellowy gunk is just condensation from my short journeys. Car barely hits 90 degress before I'm home.

    I've got it booked in for next weds, but wanna give them a heads up and sort my head out!
    #11
  12. mbs3
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    mbs3 Member

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    I had a simaler problem with mine , but i was loosing loads of coolant, i also had white gunk on the cap, but not in the actaul oil. Mine turned out to be blown head gasket and a cracked head with bent valves in cylinder number 1. Is it misfiring badly? mine was!

    It seems more and more 1.8ts are cracking there cylinder heads wjth a few miles on them! Might need the head taking off for inspection.
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  13. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    It hasn't noticeably misfired, although when I got home the exhaust noise did sound a little rougher and a bit poppy.

    Also the power seemed less.

    Mine isn't using any coolant, so thats good.

    Should I not drive it until I take it in next week?
    #13
  14. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    I would not drive it bud, might be doing more damage, get it checked out as soon as possible! Goodluck.
    #14
  15. danotto
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    danotto VAG HUNTER

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    i would say head gasket or condensation,if it was head gasket it would overheat pretty quickly
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  16. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    The temperature is always consistently 90 degress, with the needle 12 o'clock. So no worries there at all.

    I think it's probably just condensation, due to the cold short journeys I do. I mean it hasnt been for a decent journey over say 20miles in about 3 weeks.

    It's the power loss in the high gears that makes me wonder if they are related in anyway.

    Guess it's hitch a lift time until next wednesday!
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  17. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    100% with HTC, i'd say its unlikely to be the headgasket. Mayo on the cap is quite normal for cars that are regularly driven short distances.

    my money's on coilpack(s). Have you got anybody near who can vag-com it and save you some £?
    #17
  18. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    Thanks for the reply MadVW.

    What are the classic symptoms when coil packs go? I'll see if they tick the boxes.

    Anyone got VAGcom around the cardiff south wales area?
    I would really appreciate it.
    #18
  19. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    Whey ones on the way out you can get a misfire at high revs, when ones shot, you get a beetle sounding car.

    best bet is to VAG-COM and look for misfilres being reported on a cylinder.
    #19
  20. W14FEN
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    W14FEN Member

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    update:

    i cleaned off the white/yellow gunk and did 300 miles today. At the end of the journey it hadn't come back at all. So head gasket seems fine!

    Must have been short journeys and condensation as many people suggested here, so thanks!

    I also had a slipping clutch, which i first thought was power loss, amazingly that has also cleared up during this journey! Amazing what a long run out can do for an S3 it seems!

    Thanks all for your help.
    #20

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