[Vwdiesel] Well, now we know why the TDI went into runaway...

mark fairlane at springcom.com
Mon Sep 19 11:13:11 EDT 2005

I have FINALLY gotten the 96 TDI Passat into the shop, and am about
halfway into tearing the motor out.  As you may recall, the wife was driving
down a rural road about 2 miles from here, and the engine started racing away.  
She didn't know what to do about it, and just got out of the car and ran away 
as far as she could.  Kids in tow, screaming in fear.  Car ran for some time, 
and finally quit.  She called me on the cell, I got in the truck and came to 
get her.  Just as I began to crest the hill before the car was parked, I saw 
the blue haze in the air, and knew it would be bad.  Everyone but the car was 
in good shape.  I managed to start it and drove it home enveloped in a cloud 
of burnt oil smoke.  It sat in the yard for some time, other projects pushing 
it out of the way, and in the meantime we bought  a 05 Golf TDI to drive 
while hers was out of commision.  
Back to our story.  The car was smoking and coughing as we got it into the 
shop, and shut it off.  I noticed that there was a trail of oil under the 
car, which I traced to the exhaust.  Yes, oil running out of the exhaust.  
Today, I began tearing it apart.  Got it down to the intercooler tubes.  I 
pulled off the top one, then unfastened the bottom ones' retaining bolt, then 
pulled the hose off.  I got a bath.  As in black oil bath.  At least two 
quarts poured out of the intercooler.  That explains the runaway.  What I 
haven't figured out yet, is what caused the intercooler to fill with oil.  
That's next, as I should be able to get the motor out today...
Anyone want to take bets on what it is?  Turbo seal?  Piston ring?  Hole in 

Stay tuned....  

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