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Worrying TFSI symptoms, water in oil, would like some advice

Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe Apr 24, 2020

  1. Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe

    Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe Registered User

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    Evening guys,

    Had some worrying symptoms from my TFSI the last couple weeks. I noticed the other day when I was checking the oil a considerable amount of emulsion was apparent on the dipstick. I had hoped this was due to condensation building up in the crankcase from not being used for 3 weeks due to the lockdown, so I flushed the oil and replaced it with new. This was last week, so I rechecked it today. This is after 5 miles on this oil. Oh dear...

    [​IMG]

    This was the cleanest it came out, first few times there was a lot more emulsion present
    I am suspecting head gasket here, I have a few extra symtoms that I would like to hear your opinions on.

    1) On cold start, blue smoke can be seen continuously coming from the exhaust for the first 3-5 minutes or so, more apparent when revved. It's quite thick too if you raise the idle to ~2500rpm. Once the car is warm, the blue smoke goes away completely. To me, this sounds like valve stem oil seals or piston rings.

    2) Even when the car is at full operating temp, and has been driven for 30+ minutes, white condensation (note white, NOT blue, so not oil) can be seen continually coming from the exhaust, even on a hot day. To me, this sounds like coolant being burned.

    3) I've noticed the coolant level has decreased the tinyest bit from when I last changed it, perhaps 1cm drop, however thats been over 5-6k miles. Not sure if that's significant enough?

    I wil also add I noticed zero oil in the coolant, it was clean as a whistle.

    Hope you guys can offer some advice, this was really gutting to see today.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  3. Pie-eyedpiper

    Pie-eyedpiper Registered User

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    Have you had an overheat and damaged your head gasket?
    From your symptoms I think you've answered your own question.
     
  4. I'm Just Rob.

    I'm Just Rob. Moderating or something, Staff Member Moderator Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    What is the milage and have you had any other running/performance issues recently.
     
  5. Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe

    Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe Registered User

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    Never overheated, coolant changed regularly, thermostat was sticking on the cool side about 8k ago (running about 80c) so changed it and it always sits at 90c now, never above.

    Runs and drives perfectly, no running issues at all. 127k.
     
  6. Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe

    Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe Registered User

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    The picture taken was after 5 miles on the new oil.
     
  7. I'm Just Rob.

    I'm Just Rob. Moderating or something, Staff Member Moderator Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    The blue smoke on start-up is more likely to be valve stem seals than rings as you say it stops when hot so more likely once the oil residue has burn off any oil that had leaked past the seals had cleared, worn rings would smoke more throughout the engine running and less likely to cause clouds of smoke on startup.

    I had a 2001 v6 Vectra that did the same, leave it for a couple of days and then clouds of smoke on startup for a few mins then cleared.

    you are not loosing much water to be honest based on milage .
     
  8. Donfero

    Donfero Registered User

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    Oil cooler going bad? Check the cooler bottle for oil residue.

    Sent from my Nokia 7 plus using Tapatalk
     
  9. Ricky Burrows

    Ricky Burrows Registered User

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    I had a dirty looking dipstick when the hpfp decided to snap bolts and try to run away from the crankcase so if its any help possibly check everything's tightened up around the hpfp.
     
  10. Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe

    Benjamin Loveridge-Rowe Registered User

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    So my mechanic has come back to me, they have run a head gasket test and it has come back completely fine. Considering I've hardly noticed a drop in coolant in 8k miles, I'm now wondering if it is head gasket. Compression test has come back good too. Now thinking oil cooler or PCV issues, what else could there be doing it?
     
  11. Ricky Burrows

    Ricky Burrows Registered User

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    more than likely the oil cooler
     
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  13. Ricky Burrows

    Ricky Burrows Registered User

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    oil cooler failing is very similar symptoms to head gasket so id take a look at that.
     
  14. i3oricua

    i3oricua Registered User

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    More likely a PCV issue or valve stem seals. If you had a bad head gasket then you get some performance issue and high likely see your coolant turning colors or getting cloudy. Are your drives very short? That doesn't help if they are which you could be getting carbon build up and not making things better. Any other symptoms at idle besides smoke?

    At the end of the day, you'd almost be better off with it being just a head gasket because valve stem seals requires you to replace the head gasket anyways but now you might have to get the valve stems seals replaced too.

    If you have a mechanic you go to ask them to do a compression test and leak down test to isolate if the valve stem seals are bad. If they know what they're doing, which most do, then they should be able to tell you something.

    You said they did a head gasket test, what does that consist of? What were your compression test numbers? The key thing with compression is that they be even or very close to even across the cylinders.
     
  15. Sygh2k

    Sygh2k Active Member Gold Supporter

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    I think this is right the oil cooler fail would generally show oil in water as opposed to water in oil, as the oil pressure is greater than water pressure in system​
     
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  16. I'm Just Rob.

    I'm Just Rob. Moderating or something, Staff Member Moderator Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    These engines do not like being used on short local trips etc, they just don't get upto sufficient operating temp to burn off any condensation etc , carbon build up becomes a big problem aswell.
    They need regular driving for a decent few miles to get nice and hot, short local trips and long service intervals kills these engines.

    If you can't take it for a long run then do a few short runs but keep it in a lower gear to get things running nice and hot sooner, 3k is when the engine goes into what could be described as cleaning mode and it helps burn off carbon and other nasty stuff.

    just my input .:icon thumright:
     
  17. Ricky Burrows

    Ricky Burrows Registered User

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    That's true, I just re read the title I was thinking oil in the water, common thing on the Mrs Zafira a lot of people mistake oil cooler failure for head gasket.
     
  18. i3oricua

    i3oricua Registered User

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    Interesting. I've never heard of the oil cooler failure so I don't know the symptoms. Be interesting if that's what it is.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Ricky Burrows

    Ricky Burrows Registered User

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    Never heard of it failing on the Audi but going off my Mrs Zafira B its a common fault the oil cooler often has symptoms that are similar to head gasket but a decent mechanic will easily identify its the cooler as the coolant mixes with oil in the coolant reservoir in most cases and sometimes bubbles out the top but as sygh2k said this instance its the opposite way round with water in the oil so I dout it would be the cooler, either way hopefully its not anything drastically bad...
     
  20. Donfero

    Donfero Registered User

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    Oil cooler failure is so common on Audi's, I remember when i worked at the dealer they were like oil change!!

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  21. Ricky Burrows

    Ricky Burrows Registered User

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    Well I guess you always see the worst parts of an Audi otherwise they wouldn't be there being worked on lol
     
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