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Turbo, intercooler, oil leaks, and other problems, where should I start?

1976 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  TechnoTrix'd
Hello all!

Let me start at the beginning. I have a 2000 1.8 Liter Turbo Beetle. It has 122,300 miles on it, and it runs, but it's sluggish. It leaks oil and I have to put about 1/2 quart in each week. I took it to the mechanic because it seemed like I had to push the gas pedal down further just to get it to start going. It's also getting like 22 miles to the gallon :(

My mechanic said that the Turbo was bad, the intercooler was cracked (the turbo and the intercooler are where he said most of my leaks were), I needed new valve covers, I needed a new intake, new o2 sensors and something about expensive hoses. My Check engine light will come on, but when I top off the oil it seems to turn off again. Recently, the airbag light came on and the ABS and traction control lights are on, and when I check my oil, it looks like there are bits of something in the oil that sometimes come out on the dipstick. Pretty sure this is all bad stuff.

If I said any of that wrong, it's probably my misinterpretation, because I don't have the sheet of repairs in front of me. Before anyone says anything, this is also a mechanic that I've used for all of my cars, and I trust what he says. I thought about taking it to a dealer to have it diagnosed, but if I spend a few hundred dollars on that, that could be a good chunk of the parts I need to buy.

So here I am starting at square one. I have found some parts at local junk yards with warranties that I'm strongly considering. I want to do the work myself, but I don't know where to start. I also would appreciate any advice you have to verify any of these problems. I'm not sure what I can do to verify that things need to be replaced other than take it apart to look at the parts, but I'm game for doing that. I also hear that I need to change the oil when I replace the turbo.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I've been driving the car - since it's my only way to get to work - adding oil, getting bad gas mileage, and not a lot of power, but I wanted to get into it and try to start fixing things this weekend. I don't know if it would be a good start to drop and clean the oil pan out so it doesn't run this contaminated oil anymore and risk damaging the base engine, or if I just shouldn't worry about that until I fix everything else.

I really just don't know where to start so any advice on what to do or where I could find parts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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First step would to be get the car scanned for codes. If the CEL comes on, there is an issue that is logged. Autozone, etc. can scan the car for free.

Second, unless this mechanic is a VW mechanic, they may not really know what they are talking about. VWs can be finicky and really should be maintained by someone who knows these cars in and out.

Third, are you noticing oil drips? If the engine has oil on it, you need to get it cleaned up and see where exactly the leaks are coming from. At 122k, yes the turbo could be bad, but they tend to last a long time. And a cracked intercooler is not super common AFAIK.

What are you seeing in the oil? Metal flakes? Yellow goop?

If your intercooler and it's tubing coming from the turbo is leaking that would cause it to run sluggage and not seem to be going as you push down on the pedal. clean the throttle valve while you're there I bet it needs it bad if it has never been done. Sounds like you're running too rich (22mpg) because the maf is putting out too much fuel since you are losing some of the air at the intercooler. Clean the diverter valve, recirculating valve and PCV valve.............hope the planets are aligned in your favor TROOPER! LOL :p I wouldn't worry too much about the ABS and air bag light you can deal with those later. I would fix the 22mpg issue. The valve cover is also an easy fix and needs to be done because the spark plugs will get oil on them.
Wow sorry to hear of your troubles. Looks lime you have some good advice to start with though.

Agree that you want to take care of the oil leaks and MPG issues first.

Keep us posted and throw out an additional questions you may have.
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