VW Beetle Forum banner

2003 Beetle turbo oil in intake manifold and baseline engine maintenance on a new to me car

634 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Giddo Beetle
I just got this car a few days ago. 165,000 miles on her. MT.

A buddy helped me with changing oil and air filter, both were disgustingly dirty. The air filter was dated 2005. Probably the first and only actual service it got at a dealership. Poor car. A lot of people just don't take care of the things they own.

Checked other fluids and found everything to be in order. Coolant mix was a bit off, but the coolant was in very good shape. Sealed brake fluid system - hmmmm. Changed spark plugs. Still getting a bit of hesitation which seems fuel related, but could be turbo related I suppose.

During the process we found just a tiny bit of oil inside the intake manifold. My buddy said uh oh, could be a failing turbo. I googled and yes it could be, but it also could be other things as well.

Or, maybe it's not really much of an issue at all. We decided to Sea Foam the intake manifold and then drive the car for a hundred miles or so and then have another look inside the manifold to see if there is oil.

Any insights into this by those of you who have experience with this kind of issue would be much appreciated.

She got four new tires yesterday, re-installed the original headlights (eyes), and we're putting in a new stereo. She'll be getting fully detailed soon.

She's my wife's car, and she has been given the name "Poppy".

Greg

Volkswagen new beetle Car Wheel Tire Vehicle
See less See more
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
I would start with a scan for trouble codes; a older 1.8T will have residual oil in the intercooler tubes (normal). The oil, tends to collect there and some ends up in the intake. The pcv system tends to get old, pcv get stuck, hoses leak and cause problems with oil collecting, pressure in the crankcase rises, oil seems everywhere, etc.

You can undo the intercooler pipe; drain any residual oil and see how much there is.

A bad turbo, tends to get noisy, bearing play making oil go out the exhaust and the hot sides of the castings are known to crack, reducing boost levels. You can remove the turbo inlet pipe; then inspect the impeller for too much play, damage to the impeller, impeller binding, etc. At 165k, eventually they wear out or have cracked castings; replacement is the typical route with bad castings or some have had them rebuilt, the cartridge replaced, etc.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
I would start with scan for trouble codes; a older 1.8T will have residual oil in in the intercooler tubes (normal). The oil, tends to collect there and some ends up in the intake. The pcv system tends to get old, pcv get stuck, hoses leak and cause problems with oil collecting, pressure in the crankcase rises, etc.

You can undo the intercooler pipe; drain any residual oil and see how much there is.

A bad turbo tends to get noisy, bearing play making oil go out the exhaust and the hot sides of the castings are known to crack, reducing boost levels. You can remove the turbo inlet pipe; then inspect the impeller for too much play, damage to the impeller, impeller binding, etc. At 165k, eventually they wear out or have cracked castings; replacement is the typical rout with bad castings or some have had the rebuilt, the cartridge replaced etc.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thank you for the information. That is really helpful. My buddy made it sound like the replacement or repair costs for a bad turbo was so high that it would be more than I paid for the car! Which was $3,500.

What is a roundabout cost for replacing the turbo?

Greg
If you have a hesitation in the boost; there are a number of boost control valves that tend to wear out and affect the boost response (n75, diverter valve, hockey puck, vacuum jet pump etc.). At 165k and over 20+ years of neglect; expect a wide range of things need tested, gone through, parts replaced, etc. to get a older 1.8T to perform in top form. The plugs, air filter, oil changed, Seafoam treatment ; are good first steps, to get the car running well.

Do a full scan, post up any codes you find, tell us more about the hesitation issue and we can go from there.
OEM Borg Warner replacement K03!turbo; typically in $7-$800 range:

Audi VW Turbocharger - Borg Warner 06A145713F

Beetle, Golf, Jetta, TT, TT Quattro

K03


Rebuilding $3-$500 range and Chinese aftermarket less then oem Borg Warner but not recommended.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks again. Big help. I will post back here with an update.

Greg

Sky Cloud Plant Tree Natural landscape

Sky Plant Cloud Natural landscape Road surface

Tree Road surface Asphalt Plant Natural landscape
See less See more
3
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Replacing a turbo is not that bad, while I only have experience with 1.9 diesel turbos I just pulled and cleaned the turbo on my daughters Jetta last weekend. I do it from underneath and I remove the passenger side axle for easier access. I have removed, cleaned and\or replaced a 1.9 turbo several times with the engine still in the car. If it needs replacing the last place you want to go turbo shopping is eBay or amazon for cheap chinese junk.
Another thing to add to this discussion, since it seems the car hasn't been well maintained in the past - timing belt/water pump service, ASAP! Unless you have a history on it, I would be hesitant to drive the car much until you get that swapped out.
Another thing to add to this discussion, since it seems the car hasn't been well maintained in the past - timing belt/water pump service, ASAP! Unless you have a history on it, I would be hesitant to drive the car much until you get that swapped out.
Yeah, I have no service history for the car.

Is there a way to determine the life left on the belt or if it has been changed recently?

Can someone tell me what the estimated cost would be for timing belt at a good indy shop? Full boat - water pump, tensioners, seals etc...

Thanks,
Greg
Unless you have a record, there is no way to know. Belt could look fine, but there are also other components in the system which can cause failure like the water pump or the tensioner. You can look at the belt and see what it looks like - if its cracked, etc. then its definitely in need of replacement. But without records, it really is hard to say. Its an interference engine so you'll have at least bent valves if the belt fails.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
The belt is like a light bulb they look good till the don't work. As smiley says change the belt and everything it touches. Do not buy a chinese kit off of ebay, amazon or even rockauto for that matter.
Congrats,

Nice looking ride ... my only suggestion is to drain the fluid in the Transmisson, Coolant and Brakes, both are easy and are worth every penny. The intake manifold issue is a no brainer, if you really are worried - - buy some carb cleaner and carfully clean everything in and around it you can ... then check a week later. Pretty sure your good.

#1 - - If the oil was as bad as you describe, I would make sure to purchase from this moment in time to whenever to use full synthetic motor oil - these days its only a couple of dollars more. the next change should be at 3K or less and the oil hot ... obviously change the filter as well ... if after 3K it is still dark black .. I would continue till the oil at 3K is simply a dark brown. 5W30 or (0W30 if you can find it) I believe is recommended and are good cleaners as well

#2 - - You mention the coolant, if the person who owned the car didn't take care of the oil or air filter ... s/he surely weren't paying attention to the coolant. Its inexpensive, a bit of a pain but if you have a 2005 and were now in 2023, you have coolant that is going on 18 years of service. Zerox G40

This other suggestion, belt and codes are an excellent, belts are cheap, I would just go buy a new one and keep the old one in your trunk. .
See less See more
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top