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Old 23rd March 2016, 15:17   #1
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Default VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

My Vento is just over two years old. About 2 months back, while driving the car (at about 80 kmph) I saw the 'Diesel engine pre-glow' symbol flashing, and the car was shuddering (felt like a power delivery issue). I pulled over, called Roadside Assistance and they asked me to drive at 50 kmph, and then wait and watch. Next morning, the issue did not repeat, and I have driven for about 2 months after that at varying speeds with this issue not repeating ever.

Last evening, I tried starting the car, and it did not. On holding the key at ignition for a few seconds, the same 'Diesel engine pre-glow' along with the 'Oil pressure warning' came flashing. Called Roadside Assistance again, and they sent some people today morning to jump-start the battery. When we opened the hood, and checked for oil, there was not a drop of oil inside. Note - the car came back from service about 3 months back. The question is how and where can the oil disappear. Note - there is no leakage anywhere.

They are now arranging for the car to be towed to the service center to check on the possible issues.

Have any of you come across this, please? The car may get serviced, but no one wants a niggling feeling in the back of their mind while hitting the highway for a long drive. Please let me know if this is a precursor to anything serious. Thanks.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 17:28   #2
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Default re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

- Are there any traces of oil at the exhaust or leaks anywhere on the engine bay?
- How many kms has the engine done?
- When you say no oil, does that mean not showing in the dip stick OR the sump itself has gone dry?
- How many kms would you have driven before the first incident and service and till now?

Apart from a leak or oil burning due to wear and tear of engine or turbo, this should never happen.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 22:18   #3
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Default re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Strange that the "low oil indicator" did not throw up an alarm. Or did it?

How many kms have you driven after the last oil change service?

Was the level checked by dip-stick? What do you mean by saying that there was NO oil?

If the oil has indeed vanished without any traces of leak, then it can be a major problem with either TC or the piston seal.

Even if there is visible leak, as the car has been run for some time without oil, it can still be a major problem with the engine.

Sorry.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 22:46   #4
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Default re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

The first thing that you need to confirm is whether there is any damage to the engine i.e to the cylinder, piston, main and cam bearings etc.
And are these going to be covered under warranty since it is VAG serviced.
The above points will indicate the direction in which this thread (and your car repair) will go.
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Old 24th March 2016, 09:10   #5
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Default re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post
.... The question is how and where can the oil disappear. Note - there is no leakage anywhere.

....
There is a chance that your turbo oil seal is shot and the engine was sucking in oil through the intake.

How long has it been since you serviced the car? Well, for ~5 liters of oil to disappear in ~5k kilometers, you will be seeing some amount of white smoke, trough the exhaust.
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Old 24th March 2016, 09:46   #6
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Default re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Thank you for your replies and concern...

@ Jaggu -
------------
Are there any traces of oil at the exhaust or leaks anywhere on the engine bay?

Ans: There is no trace of oil at the exhaust, and no sign of any leak. This was checked by the first set of guys who came from VW Road Assist. I will update you if the Service Center comes back with a different view on this point (it was towed last evening to the Service Center).

How many kms has the engine done?

Ans: The engine has done about 30,000 km.

When you say no oil, does that mean not showing in the dip stick OR the sump itself has
gone dry?

Ans: When you take out the dip stick, clean it with a cloth and reinsert the dip stick - only the very tip of the dip stick shows some traces of oil, and the rest of the length is dry.

How many kms would you have driven before the first incident and service and till now?

Ans: Total km driven before second service ~ 27,000 | km driven between second service and first incident of engine pre-glow ~ 1,500 (totaling to 28,500) | km driven between first incident and the current incident ~ 1,500 (totaling to 30,000 km now).

@ Chethan -
------------
Strange that the "low oil indicator" did not throw up an alarm. Or did it?

Ans: There was absolutely no 'low oil indicator' at any point in time.

How many kms have you driven after the last oil change service?

Ans: Total km driven after the last service is approx. 3,000 km.

Was the level checked by dip-stick? What do you mean by saying that there was NO oil?

Ans: When you take out the dip stick, clean it with a cloth and reinsert the dip stick - only the very tip of the dip stick shows some traces of oil, and the rest of the length is dry.

@ fiestarry -
--------------
The first thing that you need to confirm is whether there is any damage to the engine i.e to the cylinder, piston, main and cam bearings etc. And are these going to be covered under warranty since it is VAG serviced. The above points will indicate the direction in which this thread (and your car repair) will go.

Ans: Yes, awaiting a call from the Service Center and will request them to check on this.

@ dhanushs -
-------------
There is a chance that your turbo oil seal is shot and the engine was sucking in oil through the intake. How long has it been since you serviced the car? Well, for ~5 liters of oil to disappear in ~5k kilometers, you will be seeing some amount of white smoke, trough the exhaust.

Ans: Will check with the Service Center on your point. It has been about 3 months since the second service of the car, and I have driven about 3,000 kms during this period. There was one episode that I can recollect about a week back, when I accelerated pretty hard in 2nd gear and in the rear view mirror, I caught quite a bit of grey smoke. With the smoke belching out from other vehicles, and with the fine-dust on the road - I wasn't sure whether it was from my car. Now it looks like, it was from mine.

Thanks once again, and I will update you once I hear of something concrete (apart from the regular inane conversations we end up having) from the Service Center.
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Old 24th March 2016, 11:30   #7
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Arrow Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post

When you say no oil, does that mean not showing in the dip stick OR the sump itself has gone dry?

Ans: When you take out the dip stick, clean it with a cloth and reinsert the dip stick - only the very tip of the dip stick shows some traces of oil, and the rest of the length is dry.


Strange that the "low oil indicator" did not throw up an alarm. Or did it?

Ans: There was absolutely no 'low oil indicator' at any point in time.

How many kms have you driven after the last oil change service?

Ans: Total km driven after the last service is approx. 3,000 km.
Looks like the TC oil seal is broken and it is seeping the engine oil in to the combustion chamber. Excessive oil / fuel in the chamber, over a period of time, would have effected glow-plugs.

As the "Oil level indicator" did not throw a warning, I presume that the level has not decreased enough to cause any damage to the engine. Again, I am assuming that the sensor is working, otherwise, you would have got an error.

You should have seen white smoke through the exhaust. That is puzzling.

Also, as this problem started immediately after the third service, I have a doubt if the oil drain plug was properly fixed. But that does not explain the Glow-plug error. Unless it is a multiple / simultaneous / independent problems of both Glow-plug failure and engine oil leakage.

But I have a feeling that the engine parts are intact. All the best!
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Old 24th March 2016, 12:25   #8
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Default Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Best of luck!

I had a somewhat similar experience many years back with my Indica 2000 LEi petrol when I (unfortunately) chose to change my oil filter and engine oil at a roadside petrol pump instead of at the normal service center.

What the fools did is that they did not remove the old rubber seal/gasket from my old oil filter which had somehow come off the filter and was stuck to the sump outlet. They simply screwed on (or tried to) the new oil filter on top of it. As a result the seal was flawed and was leaking oil when the engine was running and the oil was less viscous.

The unfortunate part was the it was leaking when the engine was running and I did not make out any leakage because the car was on the move. Nor did the warning light come on as it had not reached the critical level, I assume.

A few days later (luckily after very limited running) someone behind me in a MLCP pointed out the oil trail! There was no damage at all to my engine and I enjoyed the same smoothness and mileage as before.
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Old 24th March 2016, 12:42   #9
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Default Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post
There was one episode that I can recollect about a week back, when I accelerated pretty hard in 2nd gear and in the rear view mirror, I caught quite a bit of grey smoke. With the smoke belching out from other vehicles, and with the fine-dust on the road - I wasn't sure whether it was from my car. Now it looks like, it was from mine.
TC seal might have failed due to overfilled oil and the consequent excess pressure build up. Oil might have entered combustion chamber and the burnt oil could have screwed up the glow plugs and also leading to improper combustion leading to shuddering and smoking. Eventually all oil might have gone this way. But I wonder why the CEL is not glowing.

I think it would be best for turbo diesel owners to check the oil level once a week and after every service. Excess oil can be more harmful than low engine oil. Maintaining oil level just shy of the MAX or at MAX would be the best. 500ml less than max would not do much harm as 500ml more than max would do.
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Old 25th March 2016, 09:42   #10
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Default Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

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Originally Posted by --gKrish-- View Post
I think it would be best for turbo diesel owners to check the oil level once a week
Would encourage owners of all cars to give the under-bonnet area a check every time you fill up fuel. From our How to keep your car in top shape article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Each time that you tank up, give your under-bonnet area a once over. Check the level of all fluids and also if anything's amiss (loose wires, pipe etc.). Screen the air pressure as well. These small steps go a long way in ensuring your car's top health.
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Old 26th March 2016, 07:24   #11
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Default Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

An interim update -

VW Service Center called up last evening and said there is no oil leak, and there is no problem with the TC / piston seal, and no sign of any problem whatsoever. They have run the diagnostic checks, as well as physical checks.

And in true VW style, they said please come and take your car - we will fill up the oil once again, you can please drive for another 1000 km and we will check how much oil gets consumed... !

I've told them that I will not take the car back till they figure out where to and how, the oil has disappeared, and why the engine oil indicator was not flashing when there was a problem.

They are doing a second round of check once again today. What agony!
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Old 29th March 2016, 17:28   #12
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Hi!

What about the glow-plug warning? Do you still see white smoke through the exhaust? Any update?

If there is no other problem, you can as well take it back and "observe" it for some time. But, document it properly with the help of remarks on the delivery / feedback notes.

Guy who filled oil during service, would have done some basic mistake. IMHO, it looks like we have to do a PDI after every maintenance service!
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Old 29th March 2016, 18:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post
An interim update -

VW Service Center called up last evening and said there is no oil leak, and there is no problem with the TC / piston seal, and no sign of any problem whatsoever. They have run the diagnostic checks, as well as physical checks.

And in true VW style, they said please come and take your car - we will fill up the oil once again, you can please drive for another 1000 km and we will check how much oil gets consumed... !

I've told them that I will not take the car back till they figure out where to and how, the oil has disappeared, and why the engine oil indicator was not flashing when there was a problem.

They are doing a second round of check once again today. What agony!
Did you check the engine oil after your last service? Can you share the amount billed for the last service?
Engine oil consumption in this engine is very inconsistent! Atleast for our car, it increased after second service ( it was supposed to decrease) and now after third service, the oil level hasn't budged a bit!! (That's after 3k kms)




Quote:
Originally Posted by Chethan B G View Post
Guy who filled oil during service, would have done some basic mistake. IMHO, it looks like we have to do a PDI after every maintenance service!
Sadly yes. We have to check! Be it any brand.
For our vento's last service, they overfilled the engine oil ( over the maximum permissible level in the dipstick). It happens to be a common practice in Kerala. They drained the excess after a long argument.
For our previous i20, there was no coolant in the tank when we went to collect the car after service.
Humans err!
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Old 31st March 2016, 23:33   #14
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Default Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

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Originally Posted by Chethan B G View Post
Hi!

What about the glow-plug warning? Do you still see white smoke through the exhaust? Any update?

If there is no other problem, you can as well take it back and "observe" it for some time. But, document it properly with the help of remarks on the delivery / feedback notes.

Guy who filled oil during service, would have done some basic mistake. IMHO, it looks like we have to do a PDI after every maintenance service!
Completed multiple discussions with the Service Center over the last couple of days, some of them - not so pleasant, and got the car back home this evening. In a nutshell, and sometimes the end results could be surprising:

1. The initial diagnosis the VW Service Center did not throw up any issue. But after some insistence that they double-check, they figured out that the fuel pump had got damaged. Why this did not come up the first time is known to God alone. I have taken extended warranty, and they got a new fuel pump in place. This, the Service Center says has been the cause for the car not starting. And by the way, there was another Vento with exactly the same problem in the Service Center. The person drove to Bangalore from Chennai, stopped his car at his destination, and it refused to start.

2. Now to the oily part... 4.5 ltrs was filled in the December service, and the car had run about 3000 km. If we consider an average of 250 ml per 1000 km of running - we should be down to 3.75 ltrs. Apparently, and I repeat 'apparently' - the car still had 3.5 ltrs of oil left, according to the Service Center. Why did the dip-stick show no oil when we checked initially - one reason could have been that the engine was cranked up a few times before the check, the other could be that the dip stick was not inserted properly. The other theory is that someone forgot to fill in oil when it went for service in December, and the oil ran out, and now the guys have sheepishly and surreptitiously filled in some oil. Which of these is true - I can't say for sure. I've decided to give a benefit of doubt to the Service Center guys, and have some faith in them.

The Service Center has topped up the oil to 4.5 ltrs by adding 1 ltr today, and took some photographs, and Odo reading. The idea now is to run it for 500 km, go back, and check on the consumption. If it shows a higher than normal (and giving some additional allowances to the traffic situ we face in Bangalore) - then we dig deeper.

All of it is now documented with them, and with a photocopy for me. End of it all, driving back the Vento home kind of made it up, for all the pain gone through. The engine is a beautiful and responsive one, and it felt good to get behind the wheel. I hope it stops here.
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Old 31st March 2016, 23:36   #15
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Default Re: VW Vento TDi - Engine problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
Did you check the engine oil after your last service? Can you share the amount billed for the last service?
Engine oil consumption in this engine is very inconsistent! Atleast for our car, it increased after second service ( it was supposed to decrease) and now after third service, the oil level hasn't budged a bit!! (That's after 3k kms)

Sadly yes. We have to check! Be it any brand.
For our vento's last service, they overfilled the engine oil ( over the maximum permissible level in the dipstick). It happens to be a common practice in Kerala. They drained the excess after a long argument.
For our previous i20, there was no coolant in the tank when we went to collect the car after service.
Humans err!
Sadly, no check done after the last service in December. Some of these things, we learn by experience.
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