Oil consumption EPC light

Tiny
TULPA
  • MEMBER
  • 2015 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA
  • 1.8L
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 132,100 MILES
The car has been using a excessive amount of oil, dealer said it's burning oil, possibly the turbo or PCV. I've replaced the PCV. Oil continues to burn. Now the EPC light came on and the car went into limp mode. And I noticed there is a good amount of soot in the tailpipe. Are these problems related or am I having more than one problem?
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Thursday, March 25th, 2021 AT 9:06 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
At this point, I would say they are related but let's start with checking for codes. The reason is, if it is soot then that is normally oil burning on a gas engine. If it were a diesel then we could look at a fuel issue.

However, let's start with codes and then check the oil level. If the oil is low, fill it and let us know what the codes are and we can go from there.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

Once we know what codes are there we can act accordingly. However, the limp mode and EPC light are related but the soot and oil consumption are yet to be determined if it is the same issue but I suspect it will be.
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Thursday, March 25th, 2021 AT 1:24 PM
Tiny
TULPA
  • MEMBER
Okay, so the car wasn't actually in limp mode it was just sputtering. I was going off what my wife described over the phone. So I pulled the plugs, the coil or threaded part of the plugs were all black. Replaced those the car is now running good without any sputtering. However there is a little bit of smoke (white) and water coming out of the exhaust. I just did a combustion leak test and it passed.

There is still soot, I assume that's what it is because it's not wet, coming out. Could it just be clearing out what was already in there?

The two codes are p0301 and p0238.
Cleared the codes, check engine light is off now and hasn't come back on yet.

And the EPC light and traction control light are off as well.
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Friday, March 26th, 2021 AT 2:23 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The P0301 is an intermittent misfire on cylinder 1. The P0238 is a problem with the boost sensor which tells the PCM what to do with timing and fuel when the engine is running under boost. What are your wife's driving habits? Sort of putt around town and not really spirited driving? I would take it out for a good drive, get it up to temperature and drive it as hard as possible for 20 miles or more. Now see how it runs. Oil use could easily cause both of your codes as it will soot up the plugs and the carbon can plug the boost sensor as well.
I suspect it's gat worn turbocharger seals and that is where the oil use is from. The hard run will burn off some of the carbon in the cylinders and possibly clear that out. Now to see if the turbo is the reason for the oil use, remove the air duct that runs from the turbo up to the intake, any oil there? If yes the seals are bad. If that seems dry then you will need to pull the exhaust off the turbocharger outlet, if you find oil there then the seals are bad. In either case a rebuilt or replacement turbocharger should repair the problem. I wouldn't wait to find the issue as oil will poison the converter and then you will get a P0420 code telling you it needs to be replaced as well.
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Saturday, March 27th, 2021 AT 12:48 AM
Tiny
TULPA
  • MEMBER
My replies keep disappearing.

She doesn't drive it hard, but does drive a lot. The soot and smoke have stopped. Ill attempt to get to the turbo today. If it needs replacing I may just go on and trade the car.
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Sunday, March 28th, 2021 AT 7:47 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The soot and smoke could have been from the misfire and the plug swap may have cured that, I'd watch the oil use and see just what it is using, just to keep track of it.
Thanks for using 2CarPros
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Sunday, March 28th, 2021 AT 10:39 AM
Tiny
TULPA
  • MEMBER
So far I've only had enough time to check the inlet hose. The inside of it was dry. Except at the end where it fits into the rubber (boot) I guess that goes into the turbo. Pic included. And there was a little bit of oil inside the part that connects to PCV. She drove it yesterday a little more than 100 miles. Didn't use any oil, drove it not nearly as much today and now it needs oil again.
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Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 AT 6:09 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Oil there isn't a good sign. You could buy one of the cheap endoscope/inspection cameras that plug into a phone and snake it into the turbo housing and see what the turbo looks like, if it's oily then you have the answer. With the mileage it has I would suspect it is due for a new turbo.
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Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
TULPA
  • MEMBER
Well, I snapped this picture when I had the inlet hose off, I guess I need to see farther inside? Would getting a used be okay?
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Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 AT 7:51 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
With that being the inlet side and the earlier image with oil on the other side I think you already have the answer. For a turbocharger I would opt for new or a reman unit. Used is a big shot in the dark as you don't know the actual service history of the car.
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Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 AT 12:48 PM
Tiny
TULPA
  • MEMBER
Okay. Thanks for the help.
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Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 AT 4:00 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Sorry it's not better news, that is one of the big downfalls of turbocharged engines, they will need the turbo serviced or replaced long before the rest of the engine is used up.
Thank you for using 2CarPros.
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Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 AT 5:07 PM

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