Passat 2007 (2.0 engine) Distinguishing problem after Stop Engine low oil pressure light comes on

The engine light and Stop Engine low oil pressure light came on in my 2007 Passat. I had it towed to the dealer where it went through inspection for CPO certification. I purchased and had maint. and repairs completed at the dealership. I am at 84,000m. It is less than two years from date of purchase–however I am 12,000m outside of the limited warranty.

Dealership has said that there is factory based engine failure. To my knowledge, a diagnostic (1 Camshaft Position (Bank 1) Timing over advanced or system performance intermittent) and seeing metal near filter led to the conclusion that I can pay to take apart the engine–but most likely will need to replace the engine.

Outside mechanic has pointed out that the 2.0 engine tends to have some metal in the oil. How much or how big could signal internal damage. Small amounts can be “normal”.

Do you have input on steps that could be taken before taking apart the engine? As it is less than 2 yrs. from purchase of the CPO Passat, do you have any advice for getting support from Volkswagen of America or the dealership?

I’m unfamiliar with the designation “CPO”, however I can tell you that no engine should have visable metal in the oil.

It sounds like the dealership may be aware of a TSB or even a recall about metal chips in the engines and/or the cause of such a failure. Since you’re not the original purchaser, and the factory warranty is expired, you may have a hard time getting VW to offer any relief on the cost, but that should not stop you from trying. You have a diagnostic reporta (apparently) that says it’s a factory based engine failure, which I take to mean that the root cause is design or manufacturing related.

Unfortunately, when you find metal chips in the oil the only thing you an do to determine the damage is disassemble the engine. There’s no way to definitively determine the source of the chips without disassembly and examining the parts.

Your alternative, and I it might even end up being your only option, is a rebuilt engine. If it were me and I wanted to keep the car, I’d start pricing rebuilds.

Sorry, I wish I could be more help.

Thank you for taking the time to comment. CPO stands for "Certified Pre-Owned.
The dealership states that it is factory based. Would you suggest that I have an outside mechanic look at the vehicle for a second opinion?

I have received information from the dealership that does not line up with the info my co-signer received. I was told that the oil pan was not dropped, no sludge in oil.

In the first year of purchase–the engine sounded louder. (I have been asked if it is a diesel-it isn’t) I had it checked by the dealership, no problems were found. There is no record of oil loss or consumption–yet the 2.0 engine is reported to have this problem.

I am trying to figure out if anything was overlooked in the past two years of maint. As you state that visible metal requires that the engine be taken apart, how can I find out if metal was actually found without pan removal?

Thank you for your input,

Seeing visable metal does not require that the engine be taken apart, but finding out why it’s in the oil usually does.

However, you stated that the dealer found metal “near [the] filter”. That could simply be from stripped filter threads. I inferred that since the engine stopped and the dealer suggested basically the same options I did…you could teardown the engine but you might end up needing to replace it anyway…that the dealer found that the shavings were coming from the engine’s insides.

That’s the problem I’m having. There’s just not enough detail here to know what the dealer checked, wxactly what he found, and why he’s suggesting that it was factor caused.

As regards the outside mechanic’s statement, there may be some known problem with these engines that causes metal shavings, and it sounds like the dealer was familiar with that problem, but it is never to be considered “normal” Metal shavings are always an indication of a problem.

Is the engine low on oil?
How often, miles and time wise, do you have the oil changed?
How often do you check the oil level yourself?

reply to the same mountainbike,

Stripped filter threads–thank you for pointing that out. Would the oil pan need to be removed to detect if the chips were came from the inside the engine?

The dealership has not mentioned reports for this. Staying with the dealership could lead to more support from VW. Getting a second opinion from a mechanic could cut off possible support from VW. All of the suggestions from the dealership may only be based on unscrewing the oil cap and a computer diagnostic at the parking spot where I had the car towed to.

OK’s questions need to be answered…

It’s a used car. It’s out of warranty. You are on your own…You might investigate the availability of a good used engine, always a gamble, but a cheap way out…

Reply to ok 4450,
I checked the oil when the low oil pressure light came on. It looked low (below the middle or B range on the dipstick. A friend looked under the car and thought there was oil on the metal.

Dealership says that there is not an oil leak–but I do not know if they looked under the car. My check was done by flashlight so I could have been wrong.

I have the oil changed at the dealership every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. Typically I am several months early as I reach miles before date from dealership. average oil change every 3 months.


Used 2.0 engine will be $5800 from dealer. Still do not know source of metal in oil that dealership found.
I think I could get a used engine from another source for under $4000.

If the engine has had internal failure, and the dealership is correct in thinking that it is factory based–I could have support from VW.

You are correct–I may be on my own. Engine failure at 84,000 is unfortunate.

The only definitive way of determining whether the metal shavings are coming from inside or from stripped threads would be to drop the pan.

Nut my brain is making assumptions and taking wild guesses. I’m assuming that the stalling, the dealer’s comment about the metal shavings, and the dealer’s comment about there having been a factory problem are all connected. Do you have the actual shop order? Does it provide any detail that’s currently missing? There just isn;t enough here to base an accurate assumption.

This is the only documentation I could get from the dealership:
computer diagnostic states:
1 malfunction detected
A camshaft position (bank 1)
Timing over-advanced or system performance

Also, found out that the oil was drained from the vehicle. My cosigner was informed that metal was blocking the opening by the filter, and a screw driver had to be used to move metal out of the way for drainage. While i was told that metal was seen. One person said “a lot” one person said “a piece”

On 04/14/11 (appr. 4months after purchase) I noticed that the car sounded louder. I have this documented in dealership receipts. No problem was found at the time.

These are the details I have so far.

OK being that you A) Purchased a Certified used VW, B) complained of the motor getting louder to the dealer (I hope) in the past, and C) have been getting the car serviced at the dealer ship.

I WOULD 100% GET VW INVOLVED !! PS if you got the car in Jan of 11 then you are still in warranty in time, just not mileage… VW should in this case pick up all or some of the repair. You have nothing to loose but the price of a phone call, so I STRONGLY advise making it.

Allow me to ignore the metal bits for the moment. This engine has a timing belt, scheduled for change at 90,000 miles. You have 84K on it.

It is also an interference engine, meaning that if the T-belt breaks, the valves and pistons can bang together and damage one another. Yup, they can create loose pieces of metal.

Did the shop mention anything about this? Did they check for valve damage (it’s easy to do with a pressure gage)…or even with the valvecovers off)?.

I’m beginning to wonder if your T-belt popped, you sustained damage to your valves and/or pistons, and the shop suggested that this was simply a design weakness from the factory.

If you can get VW to comp you a motor, fine, but I don’t think that’s going to happen…Check a few independent shops for a used engine install for about half what the dealer quoted…

Whoever told you that some metal particles in the oil is a normal situation is way, way offbase.

Being certified may or may not mean anything. If a dealer takes a trade or buys a car auction, sends it to detail for cleanup, and then puts it on the line for sale then who is it exactly that checked the over? Some dealers do thorough inspections; many do not do an inspection at all.

There’s not enough info known to be able to determine what the problem is but comments about cam sensors or excessively advanced timing could point to cam journal surfaces or disentegrating pistons as being a possible cause of metal particles in the oil.

It could be that this engine was damaged by the original owner who discovered this and then bailed out on it leaving the next owner holding the bag.

You can make an appeal to corporate VW for some help. I worked for several VW dealers and have seen VWOA step up at times and good will a repair. In several cases they performed a good will when by all rights they should have refused to do so.

Thank you for the input.


In communication with Volkswagen of North America

  1. first the person I spoke with declined to offer assistance
  2. second I was offered a $500 voucher
    Do you have suggestions for responsiveness? I understand that a letter and receipts proving that I have been a loyal customer and a responsible driver let down by an unanticipated failure can lead to results.
    The fact that the signal to stop engine came on at 84,000, with ample oil in the vehicle, makes this an unusual situation. Sitting on the side of the highway in the dark, with instruction to stop the engine–is far from a safe place to be…Shouldn’t VW look into this to find out why this occurred with this engine so that it doesn’t happen to someone else?

Call VW back, say you are going to get a lawyer involved and see what they say… Remember there job is to NOT spend the companies money… I have worked for two auto manufacturers (GM and KIA), and your case is just about as good as it gets to offer assistance. Purchased CPO, dealer serviced, in warrnty by time out by miles, Complaints about excessive noise logged at the dealerhip in the past and blow off… etc… The dealer should be getting there factory rep involved as well (different guy then from the VW NA office)… Your looking at a $5000 repiar, $500 is a joke… I would not be happy with anything less then 50/50 and even then they should pay more.

Great specifics, gsragtop.

Do you have suggestions for getting support from the dealership and their factory rep?

The CPO program only adds 2 years and 24k miles to the existing factory warranty and unfortunately, you’re outside that boundary already.

If you made a complaint about this problem while the warranty was in effect then it’s possible something could be done (legally or otherwise) IF you can provide documentation about this.
Otherwise, you would have to rely on Good Will and VW has already apparently stated no for an answer.

You might ask for a person to person meeting with the service rep when he makes his round at the dealership. Lay the case out politely and hope for the best.

As to the source of the metal, it would require an engine teardown to determine although an engine oil analysis may provide some insight on it. An analysis that reveals steel particles could point to a piston ring/cylinder wall issue, aluminum pointing to cam journal galding and so on, and various other bi-metal bits could point to crankshaft bearings, etc.

My gut feeling is that the car may have had existing damage when you bought it and no inspection is fool proof because the inspection regimen states the engine will be checked for performance, noises, vibration, etc but that does not provide the whole story about an engine’s health.

Thank you for these leads.
I am working on having a conversation with the fixed operations manager–who I believe is the service rep. No contact #, may try to see if we can set up an appt. as hoping that we are by our phones at the same time is a gamble.

If I remember correctly the dealer had the vehicle for some time before it was sold.

As the vehicle was quiet at purchase, your specifics on the engine check wouldn’t have led to the discovery of a problem.

Pursuing VW with more support from the dealership could help. While budget is a concern–It seems that following through on this would be in their best interest. I just need to prove that.