(Oil level is correct)
I recently bought an A4 B6 1.8T Q with 36k miles. I have put on about 2500
The oil light 1st came on after driving for about 5 hours with only 1 or 2
short stops. I was going about 80-85 mph when it came on. I pulled over and
the level was about in the middle of the hashes. I topped it off with oil
that was in the trunk from the previous owner (it wasn't synthetic) and
started driving and it came on within a few minutes. I stopped again and
waited a few minutes and then drove another 1.5 hrs at a slower speed with
I then changed the oil myself replacing the Audi filter with another one
from the dealer and filled it with mobile1 5W30 (even though the service
notice on the dash says it's not due for more than 200 days and over 6000
miles). No problems on the return trip and a couple of shorter trips, but
then this weekend it came on again after driving about 5.5 hrs. This time I
was in the mountains at 50 - 60 mph and it would come on for a few seconds
at a time, only when the engine was straining to get up hills.
The engine doesn't seem to be burning any oil.
When I was buying the car I think the previous owner said he had had the oil
pump replaced (I have a terrible memory). I don't know why that didn't raise
any alarms in me, but he is a friend so I wasn't in skeptic mode.
I wish I had removed the oil cap and peeked inside the engine before buying
it, because it is very sludgy in there. I scraped some of the gunk away with
my fingernail and it still shows 1000 miles later. I'm thinking that is the
problem and the oil pump was probably fine.
What kind of sensors turn on the oil light? Level and pressure?
Well, I think you're into the sludge pproblem now - replacing an oil
pump before 36,000 miles isn't the norm, and may indicate that it was
already clogged up.... And you seem to have the classic signs of
sludge. Do a Google search on '1.8t sludge' and read about it.
Unfortunately, I didn't see a remedy (i.e., a way to remove the
sludge). I would ask your friend for all of his receipts for oil
changes; bet he was a little lax.... Or followed Audi's schedule, which
was lax as well....
'04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6
Central NJ USA
Sounds like the sludge issue - a result of Audi dealer using cheap mineral
oil at 10K mile intervals. Take it to the dealer. The car must still be
under warranty, and definitely under the extended "sludge warranty".
Assuming the previous owner stuck to the required maintenance schedule (it
was free, so I'm sure he did), then you should have no problem with AoA
taking care of this. The best thing would be to get a new engine, but I
don't thing AoA allows that. They just clean up the sludge, maybe replace
the oil pump, and start using an oil that meets the VW 502.00 spec. BTW,
the M1 5w-30 you used doesn't meet this spec, but hopefully AoA will not
hold it against you - it's still a good oil. For the future, if you want to
stick with M1, use their 0w-40 grade.
Thanks to everyone for your advice. I took it to Audi yesterday. I'll take
it back on Monday when they can look at it and I can drop it off. At first
they tried to tell me that the previous owner was 1000 miles late on the
first oil change and a few k on the next. I talked to them about the change
in oil, filter and interval spec from the original manual. Near the end of
the conversation the Assistant Service Mgr surprised me by bringing up the
possibility of putting in a new engine depending on the condition of the
engine. Are there any measurements or computer codes that would indicate the
engine needs to be replaced? I'd like to know this so that I can fight for
one if it is warranted.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why many syn 5w30 oils are in the
spec, but the M1 is not? Is it that the 0w40 spec is better and other brands
don't make 0w40?
Not to my knowledge. I guess if the dealer decides that the amount of work
involved in cleaning up the engine is too much or if they would not be able
to effectively remove all the sludge, then they may choose to put in another
engine, most likely a rebuilt one. If the oil flow was severely restricted,
then your turbo may be damaged as well due to lack of proper lubrication.
Make sure they check that too and replace if needed.
Generally it has to do with how well an oil is formulated to withstand
longer oil change intervals and still stay in grade. Some 5w-30 oils may
have never been tested against that VW spec. Most oils meeting the ACEA A3
spec (european oil agency) also meet the VW 502.00 spec.
Honestly, even though M1 5w-30 doesn't meet the spec on paper, the used oil
analyses of it I've seen after 10K miles in 1.8T engines look better than
those of M1 0w-40. But, just to cover your butt and not give any reason for
AoA to deny warranty, you should choose an oil that does meet that VW spec.
As you've seen from the link provided by Ian S, there are plenty to choose
from. And there are more, which aren't on that list, like Amsoil 5w-40 or
Motul Ester E-tech 0w-40.
I'm running Castrol SLX 0w-30 in my 1.8T. It's known as Castrol Syntec in
the US, but only if it says "Made in Germany" on the back label. If it says
"Made in USA", then it's not the same oil.
So their diagnosis:
"Oil lamp coming on. Performed oil pressure test. Veh had sufficient PSI.
Ran veh & found oil level sensor inop intermit after veh gets hot. Replaced
oil level sensor & changed oil. Oil was dirty & need replacing along with
new filter." (Mileage: 39937)
Oil had been changed 1900 miles / 2 weeks before. A malfunctioning sensor
seems inconsistent with what happened as described in the quoted text below.
They didn't do anything to clean the engine.
They want me to come back in 2,000 miles for my 40K service and another oil
Sounds like the run around to me.
Records indicate the following related to oil (Audi dealer service except
11610 miles --- 10K service (oil change)18769 miles --- Audi service but no
24081 miles --- 20K service (oil change, 12471 miles since last) OIL PUMP
Oil light had come on
(2004 Aug - AUDI Oil sludge letter)
34535 miles --- 30K service (oil change, 10454 miles since last)
Oil light had come on
38081 miles --- I changed oil
Oil light had come on
39940 miles --- Oil change. Replaced oil level sensor
Oil light had come on
Any more advice?
If this is the 1.8T engine the 'coking' issue can involve more than just the oil
pump that the dealer replaced.
Probably should replace the oil lines to the turbo and be sure that the updated
heat shield in installed.
Be sure to use the larger recommended updated oil filter from Audi.
Use the correct oil that was in the 'coking' advisory letter. Mobile One 0W40
and others are on the list. These oils can withstand the higher temperatures of
the 1.8T without coking.
Art M wrote:
If what you see is a foamy tan looking goo you might have a problem with the
head gasket leaking coolant into the oil. If so that it a big issue that needs
to be corrected by pulling the head and replacing the gasket.
There are conditions where condensation from short drives combined with cooler
ambient temperatures can cause this goo and the only thing it needs is to just
drive a longer trip allowing the system to warm for a longer period of time to
evaporate the moisture.
I don't think so. It's black and tar-like, currently about a mm thick, but
more gunk in the corners that I can see such as on the plastic oil
deflector. When I changed the oil about 2000 miles ago I scraped some of it
away with my fingernail to reveal shiny metal. That mark and the metal is
still visible so not much new sludge, but plenty that was already there.
Not yet, but I've driven it less than 100 miles since then, and both
episodes happened after 5 hours of driving with only one or two brief stops.
Hell, I just looked in the manual and saw that the oil level indicator light
has the word MIN printed with the oil can icon. The indicator light I had
was for oil PRESSURE just as I thought and as the symptoms indicated. I'm
thinking of installing one of those after-market dial pressure gauges so
that I can get a better idea of how bad the problem is, but I don't want it
to look jury-rigged.
Anyone have any advice on how to be a squeaky wheel and actually get some
beneficial service done to it?
I would recommend that you attempt to duplicate the conditions under which
the oil light previously appeared and see if it comes back on. The problem
is if you don't get the oil light to come back on, you won't have much of a
case to argue. Your oil pressure switch is on the oil filter bracket and
from what I can see in the manual, you remove the switch and then install
the appropriate fitting with tubing to your oil pressure gauge. With engine
warmed up, Bentley manual says you should get more than 14.5 psi at idle and
more than 72.5 psi at 3000 RPM. Haynes says at least 29 psi at 2000 RPM. It
is also possible that the recent oil changes have removed some of the gunk.
If the light doesn't come back on and your oil pressure measures OK, then I
would use one of the recommended synthetics http://tinyurl.com/82xga in a
5W-40 formulation (not xW30) and do several oil changes over the next 10,000
IMHO this would not be a car I'd be looking at keeping for the long term.
Because Audi stupidly increased the oil change interval and allowed
continued use of dino-oil, there was no longer any safety factor to protect
the owner who went slightly over the maintenance interval. Because of that,
your engine has been essentially abused in its early life and the resulting
excessive wear on internal engine components has probably shortened their
Audi dealer is pushing for frequent oil changes to gradually remove the
sludge. You would think they would at least clean the valve cover and oil
pan to eliminate a large portion of the sludge so that the filter wouldn't
clog as quickly. Assuming it does clean up and then I have an engine failure
within the 8yr warranty extension, do I still have a case? I think I'm going
to send in that reimbursement card included in the letter for the oil change
that I had to myself just so they have a record of my complaint about the
sludge. Nowhere in the service records is the sludge problem mentioned. This
even though the oil pump was replaced before 25k and there have been
complaints about the oil light coming on at every service visit from that
Thanks for the advice.
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