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#1 2024-03-09 17:15:33

roopid
Member
From: Kendal
Registered: 2024-02-25
Posts: 34

Oil leaks, crankcase breathers, emissions, and catch cans

My Mk 2 1.6 drips oil. It's clearly leaking at the top of the cylinder head. It also sometimes smokes on startup, but not for a few weeks if I take off and wash out the intercooler with Jizer.

tl;dr It's filling up with oil from the crankcase breather, until oil at the bottom is high enough to get carried up into the inlet manifold by airflow.

I'm guessing it's got some blow-by and perhaps I'll get a spare engine from a breaker's yard in future.

But for now I'm looking at the leaks and smoke. The turbo inlet is wet with oil from the crankcase breather, so I'll guess the turbo itself is probably OK. I've ordered a new plastic cam cover with filler cap and its own oil separator, which isn't working (spits oil along with fumes).

Has anyone had experience with the separator getting clogged with gunge, maybe? If it's not clogged, I'll need a catch can to stop crankcase breather oil from reaching the intercooler, I guess.
I daren't take the old one off until the new one arrives, with a new gasket :-)

But are any catch cans, or Oil Air Separators, OK for an MOT test?

And emissions: When idling, the exhaust smells of NOx. (Easy to recognise--I studied chemistry and it's acrid, easily smelled from the driver's seat if the wind is blowing that way. Not nice, and smells similar to nitric acid, because that's what NOx turns to when it hits the water in our nose, throat and lungs).

So that says to me I have good compression, as NOx forms mainly at high temperatures and pressures.

So I'm guessing the EGR is stuck closed (or blanked off), but can anyone confirm? I've never had trouble with a jammed or blocked EGR valve (lucky me) so I don't know for sure.

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#2 2024-03-13 13:50:51

roopid
Member
From: Kendal
Registered: 2024-02-25
Posts: 34

Re: Oil leaks, crankcase breathers, emissions, and catch cans

It's breathing a lot less oil since I replaced the cam cover/separator. I may hack the old one to bits (a mucky job!) to see whether it's clogged with sludge.

Roops

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#3 2024-03-14 09:12:18

AlvyLad
Member
Registered: 2021-06-11
Posts: 387

Re: Oil leaks, crankcase breathers, emissions, and catch cans

Not gleiing over it, but all of it sounds 1 to 1 as what 1.6'es are like in those vans in accordance to mechanic. neutral

Not just the engine (firstly head weeps, then cracks, then bottom end goes in sticking inserts to a crank-shaft, spins inside the block), then EGR goes, then turbos blow, never mind cheap and nasty injectors in-between... and then you  should count yourself lucky if manual gear box lasts more than 100K, never mind clutch (double fly wheel type) that alone is going to set you near a grand + £400+ labour.

Happens they last, but having looked for one (MK2) intensively, found those "for parts or repairs" 1.6 tenfold of the 2.0's and those aren't known to last well either.

On a positive, indeed it sounds like EGR malfunction, could be in combination with MAF sensor, only removing-cleaning fitting it back might give you a a clue if they work or not, but considering the labour costs, might as well replace them from the start.

Last edited by AlvyLad (2024-03-14 09:35:47)

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#4 2024-03-14 10:50:49

roopid
Member
From: Kendal
Registered: 2024-02-25
Posts: 34

Re: Oil leaks, crankcase breathers, emissions, and catch cans

DPFs with bad monitoring seems to be the big problem, with everything from the 2000s. PSA, Ford, Toyota, everything.

The DPF may be what killed an old Peugeot 207 I had years ago--no DPF/emissions warning light, until yellow driving home. Normal response would be drive it gently to a garage, but it was dead before I'd finished the 10 miles home.

I can't decide whether
1) exhaust back pressure prevented the low pressure oil feed reaching the turbo and killed it, or whether
2) the gauze in the (early) turbo oil feed pipe was partly clogged by black sludge (previous owner skipped a few oil changes), and then the turbo wore and leaked oil that burned and clogged the DPF.

Either way, DPF clogged solid PLUS a dead turbo just before MOT and tax time killed the car.

What gets me is the sludgy oil. Why would anyone skip oil changes for so long that it starts solidifying? Mine wasn't the worst I've seen. Another failure mode is black sludge in an oilway loosened by flushing oil/Slick 50 or bad luck, that blocks a bearing feed hole, then the bearing runs (melts) and seizes.

Oil is the life blood.

About the number of failures your mechanic friend sees--remember that the HDi/TDCi 1.6 is in almost everything. I buy half my bits from the Ford dealer (I tell them it's a Focus) because it's nearer than Citroën.

This time I took all my risks up front, before I rely on the van too much. Oil change, flushing oil, oil change, flushing oil, oil change. Oh, and I cleaned the head while I replaced the cam cover/breather setup. With luck, any sludge I loosened will either cause a failure in the next few weeks (before I rely on the van much) or dissolve away for good in the clean oil.

I just have to change the turbo oil feed pipe for the later version, and trace that oil drip :-)

Roops

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#5 2024-03-14 10:59:21

roopid
Member
From: Kendal
Registered: 2024-02-25
Posts: 34

Re: Oil leaks, crankcase breathers, emissions, and catch cans

What's the failure like for the 2-part flywheel/DMF then?

Do you lose drive, or does it just sound like spanners in a washing machine? :-)

Roops

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