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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, my NBC has a slow leak of some sort, and I don't know enough about cars to identify the fluid. At first I thought it was oil, but after searching the forums here it's my understanding it's not nearly black enough to be oil. It's coming from near the center of the engine, a little towards the passenger side. Yesterday I put a piece of aluminum foil under the car to catch one of the drips and this morning I had what you see in the pictures. I also circled the general area where it came from.

Any help would be appreciated.

Simon
 

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5/23/10 <3
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x2 on oil. When was it changed last? Also, just because its dripping from there, doesn't mean that's where your leak is. It may be collecting there but you need to look around to see where the leak is actually from.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The oil was changed very recently. It's only been driven about 50 mi since the last change. Though the puddle on the garage floor after it sat for 3 months with unchanged oil was pretty much the same color (comparing what I saw in the garage to the image of the yellow beetle on these forums with the pitch black oil slick in the driveway is why I decided it wasn't oil)

I'll look around for the source of he leak tonight.

Thanks.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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You can always compare the color/texture of your oil by pulling out the dipstick and checking that. If you want you can even go so far as to drip some off the dipstick onto the aluminum foil next to your leak droppings :).
 

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The oil was changed very recently. It's only been driven about 50 mi since the last change. Though the puddle on the garage floor after it sat for 3 months with unchanged oil was pretty much the same color (comparing what I saw in the garage to the image of the yellow beetle on these forums with the pitch black oil slick in the driveway is why I decided it wasn't oil)

I'll look around for the source of he leak tonight.

Thanks.
It's definitely oil. Especially since you just got it changed. The oil still looks very fresh. To trace the leak you may need to take that skid plate off. Where did you get the oil changed? The New Beetle has an Aluminum Oil Pan and if some Local Yocal overtightens the drain plug you can very easily end up with a slow leak from the drain hole area.
If it was a dealer they should now better. Also most people ignore the fact that the Oil drain plug should be replaced every single time the oil is changed. It comes with a new ONE TIME USE Crush washer that isn't reusable. Of course most generic Oil change places don't know this and just tighten that old Oil drain plug so tight that it strips. Then you end up replacing the Oil Pan or live with an annoying drip.
I just recently switched to this little gem:
Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > Search > Fumoto > ES#2208993 Oil Drain Valve With Adapter - F106N

Once that is installed you never ever have to worry about an overanxious Minimum Wage dweeb overtightening your drain plug.
It's a very secure valve and you can drain the oil with just a lift and twist. No need to remove the Oil plug or to replace it ever. ;)
 

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I'd vote for oil too. Take a look if the oil consumption is higher than normal. And you can catch another drop after 3000-5000 miles while the oil gets darker.
 

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I'm wary of those fumoto valves. I was at stock ride height with the skid plate (plastic one but it was still there) and I hit something in the road. Ripped a hole in my oil pan when it hit the plug and ripped it out from there (as in, no more drain plug and a pretty darn big hole in my oil pan). That valve just sticks too far out for me to feel comfortable...
 

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Only three oils, Engine, trans, and steering pump.
The transmission and steering pump are over on the driver side.
So I'd go with Engine oil based on the picture.
And as clean as it looks I'd guess the drain plug, any higher on the engine (valve cover) and it gets pretty dirty as it slides down.
IF it was truly a big leak I would expect most of it would blow back on the floor board, your picture doesn't show much of that.
I've had both a cracked oil pan, and a stripped drain plug that displayed the symptoms you show.
 

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I'm wary of those fumoto valves. I was at stock ride height with the skid plate (plastic one but it was still there) and I hit something in the road. Ripped a hole in my oil pan when it hit the plug and ripped it out from there (as in, no more drain plug and a pretty darn big hole in my oil pan). That valve just sticks too far out for me to feel comfortable...
That's what you get for going 4 Wheelin' in your Beetle :D

I don't think it is sticking out too far. I heard of others running over a branch in the road and ripping the oil pan so I think it can happen with the valve or without it. I think the oil pan is way too flimsy and the skid plate on the coupe is a joke. I may invest in a Hybrid pan if I ever have any issues with my oil pan. But so far so good. ;)
 

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I was driving on a heavily traveled paved road :p With how easy it happened, I would just never risk it. Those drain plugs don't stick out very far. I had run over things previously that I definitely felt but didn't do a thing. Its just not for me.
 

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I was driving on a heavily traveled paved road :p With how easy it happened, I would just never risk it. Those drain plugs don't stick out very far. I had run over things previously that I definitely felt but didn't do a thing. Its just not for me.

Well I have to say NBs have a too low clearance. When I do work I can feel that. I can easily slide my 2ton hydraulic jack(not floor jack) under my '94 sable with still 1.5inch clearance left. For my friend's Mazda6 I can slide it to position with he lifts the corner a little bit. But on the NB I have to use a scissor jack to jack it up 2-3inch then use this jack. I think the low clearance is the main reason it's often injured. My '94 sable doesn't have anything under the engine but I never got it hurt.
 

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4" ground clearance but never had any problems jacking the car up. My GTI has the same clearance. Our mk1 is even lower (its on coilovers)...that car we need to use our racing jack because the regular jack we have won't fit under it.

I will say in the 7 years of having VWs, my incident was the only one *knock on wood*. Driving a car with less clearance also made me very aware of the terrain I was driving on, which I don't think is a bad thing.
 

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4" ground clearance but never had any problems jacking the car up. My GTI has the same clearance. Our mk1 is even lower (its on coilovers)...that car we need to use our racing jack because the regular jack we have won't fit under it.

I will say in the 7 years of having VWs, my incident was the only one *knock on wood*. Driving a car with less clearance also made me very aware of the terrain I was driving on, which I don't think is a bad thing.

Actually when I enter/exit from a shopping center some ramps are really bad that the bumper got contact with ground....I noticed the clearance problem of my NB with this experience....My wife's friend is a new lady driver and she ran her '99 onto a curb and cut the oil pan....When last time I was moving I ran my '94 sable directly onto the curb with no problem while that curb is higher than the low end of the bumper on my NB..

In my mind driving a car with low clearance is very dependent on the road you select. The CVS parking lot in front of my home has an exit ramp very bad that half of the cars have their bumper contact ground when exiting. If I drive the NB I won't select any bad road. One time I drove in a town and it was raining hard causing collected water on road I tried to run into the water but it was too threatening so I turned back.
 
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