Question about 2001 Volkswagen Passat

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Low Oil Pressure indicator on dash board -- VW dealer told it is an oil sludge problem

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  • chughes_powe Jan 04, 2009

    I had my oil changed about a week ago and the STOP low oil pressure light come on after driving the car 20 mins. I'll return to the shop that changed the oil. I'm going to ensure they used 5W40 oil and suggest an engine flush. I pray this is the answer. My daughter has had this car about 4 months and I've already had to replace the heater coil and back rotors.

  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2014

    dealer says sludge

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The cheapest thing to do is replace oil sending unit , it could be faulty ,and give wrong readings .

Posted on Dec 03, 2008

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Intermitent low oil pressure problem


This vehicle as well most other Volkswagens of that era are notorious for oil sludge in the engine. Go to any Vw forum and you will see. You have to get this sludge out or otherwise it contaminates fresh oil and makes it lose its viscosity.

As far as the oil pressure, DO NOT DRIVE WITH NO OIL PRESSURE. If it is making noise from the valve train, there is no pressure. Be very careful running it, you may ruin an internal engine part. If you can idle it until the noise lightens up, then you can drive as long as there is oil pressure.

Mar 22, 2014 | 1992 Volkswagen Cabriolet

1 Answer

Hi In my VW Passat 2002 model with 118K I got oil pressure indicator and stop sign in dashboard. and got off. what I have to do now?


Oh no sorry to hear that. You did the right thing by stopping. If you have the 1.8 turbo engine this happens too often. The oil pressure sending unit could be the problem, but most likely it is the oil pump. This engine has sludge buildup problem & VW is aware of it, so there is hope. VW issued this update awhile back....

Passat owners. 1998 through 2004: VW has just made a warranty extension covering certain oil sludge repairs on these models. It is now covered for 8 years unlimited mileage and will reimburse for repairs made because of this problem. See your local dealer or contact VOA for more information.

Good luck, i hope this helps.

Jul 05, 2011 | 2002 Volkswagen Passat

2 Answers

My car is Volkswagen polo 2001 1.4 automat. After driving 8-10 miles at a low speed(30-40 mile/h) oil pressure warning appear at the dash board. When I push the accelerator the oil pressure warning...


Do not assume that the low oil pressure warning is a false one or that you only have a faulty oil pressure sensor. Your engine may in fact be running with low oil pressure once the oil heats up and thins out. 8-10 miles of running is enough to get the oil hot. It is significant that you only get the low oil pressure warning once the engine oil is warmed up.

If the oil pressure in the engine is low, engine lubrication will be impaired and the engine can be badly damaged so you need to run an engine oil pressure check.

1. How long has it been since you have changed the oil in the engine? If it has not been changed in the past 6 months then change it and change the oil filter at the same time. You must only use the oil specified by VW for that particular engine.

2. When new oil is heated it thins. If it is old and contaminated it will be even thinner when warm. You will get less oil pressure when the oil is thin and hot and more oil pressure when it is thick and cold. Fresh new oil is a little thicker as it has not been diluted with petrol and other contaminants.
Oil pressure also varies with engine speed (RPM). At idle or low engine RPM the oil pressure is lower.

3. OIL PRESSURE CHECK
After the oil is changed the car needs to be run to check if the oil pressure warning still appears. (I suspect that it probably will). If it does appear then an independent oil pressure gauge needs to be connected up to the lubrication system in the car to check the engine oil pressure. This is best done when the engine oil is hot because this is when you are getting the low pressure warning. Any competent mechanic will be able to do this. ( The useless ones will not). The oil pressure can then be properly checked on the gauge at various engine RPM. If there is a low oil pressure reading from the gauge then there could be a problem with the oil pump, the oil pick up or the oil pressure relief valve in the engine.

4. You mentioned that you see the oil pressure warning disappears once you accelerate. I suggest this is only occurring because with an increase in engine speed (higher RPM) the oil pump speed is increasing and the low oil pressure problem is being overcome temporarily. However as soon as the engine RPM drops the oil warning will appear again which means the engine is running with below minimum oil pressure at that RPM.

Even when you get no warning, the oil pressure in the engine could still be running significantly below the optimum level.


5. It is possible that the oil pressure is fine and that the problem is an electrical gremlin as these cars suffer from a variety of electrical faults. However from what you have described I think there is a problem with low oil pressure in the engine and until it is properly checked it is unwise to assume that you are just getting false oil pressure warnings.

I hope this helps.

Dec 13, 2010 | 1999 Volkswagen Golf

1 Answer

Getting a "Low Oil Pressure" message on the dash board.."Turn off engine" any ideas of what the problem might be?


Hi. This issue has several causes, but the oil light indicator is a strong sign of low pressure in the engine. This will cause the engine lubrication rate to drop, thus, producing a illuminated oil light, and erratic Oil pressure readings. The necessary actions are to have a manual oil pressure test ran on this engine, asap. When running a manual oil pressure test, you will discover if the true oil pressure is low, or normal. If the test proves that the oil pressure is, indeed, low, this will confirm that the Oil pump is suspect.

Now, if the true readings given during the manual oil pressure test are indicating that the pressure is normal, this will be the result of a failed sending unit(oil pressure switch).

Jan 11, 2010 | 2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

1 Answer

Oil pressure low


DON'T DRIVE ANOTHER MILE !!!! The 1.8 is known for a sludge buildup in the engine. This is the exact symptem that shows its head. The car HAS to be TOWED to a garage before you cause any further damage. Do a google search, "vw 1.8 sludge", and see what comes up...

Dec 27, 2009 | 2001 Volkswagen Golf

3 Answers

Dash light said; stop, low oil pressure,see service manual. there is oil in it but it's sludge


when did you have the oil changed last??? if the oil is sludge you will have to remove the oil pan, cleanthe screen pickup. i would also recommend removing the valve cover and cleaning the top end, then run a high detergent oil

Nov 22, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Passat

3 Answers

My bronco lost oil pressure when it idles it knocks when i give it gas it doesnt knock.what should i do.


typically loss of oil pressure at idle but ok pressure at higher rpm can indicate worn camshaft bearings or main bearings. small possibilty that oil pump is tired or pickup tube for pump has sludge or debris clogging screen.

Nov 07, 2009 | 1993 Ford Bronco

1 Answer

The oil light comes on at low rpms but goes off when engine reaches 1500 rpm on a 2002 Dodge intrepid


I would get to a Dodge dealer as quickly as possible.

As I recall, these years in the Chrysler products were very prone to a condition called "oil sludging." This can lead to a seized engine, which can lead to a $3,000-4,000 engine replacement. The oil light might indicate low oil pressure, which could be related to plugged oil passages as a consequence of the sludging.

Dodge has paid for replacement engines for a lot of cars from the early 2000's; however, the car owner has to be persistent.

Check Google for "Chrysler engine oil sludging." You will get a real education on the subject.

Oct 11, 2009 | 2002 Dodge Intrepid

3 Answers

Engine oil light is showing on the dash board after switching on


Most important thing you need to do is to establish the actual oil pressure. put a mechanical gauge on the engine and read real oil pressure. If pressure is low (min is 15psi, I prefer to see at least 20 at idle) there is an internal problem...bearings etc. If pressure is good, sending unit has failed...replace it. I would not drive it 'till the oil pressure is verified as being safe. You might get lucky and someone just forgot to plug in the sending unit, but it must be checked!!!
good luck

Apr 03, 2009 | 2002 Toyota Corolla

1 Answer

Oil pressure stop motor


My 2003 1.8L Passat at 62K indicated Oil Pressure, Stop Engine. I had been low on oil for longer than I realized, though the car didn't indicate to me anything. I added a quart 5-40 synthetic as usual, and about 300 miles mid way on a road trip is when the warning lit up!
I had been to the dealer last year and there was a mention of sludge developing in these cars. They suggested I bring it in to remove sludge but life got busy, and it never happened. Evidently this model Passat is notorious for this oil sludge problem.
My Passat needed a new oil pump $800 later half way between destination and home. Luckily I was in a town with a 30 VW mechanic who was very good. The sludge (carbon deposits) had blocked pump pickup. Oil level was good. The computer didn't show anything, but the oil pressure test discovered PSI went down when RPM's went up. Not good.
This problem is very serious as it has ruined engines. I guess I was lucky in the fact that nothing else was damaged. So you may look into this build up. It sounds terribly familiar.

Dec 14, 2008 | 2003 Volkswagen Passat

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