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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! Thought I'd share my experience of my recent breakdown as I'm still flabbergasted that a water pump failure can result in needing a new engine or at least a very expensive strip down and repair.

After driving my T5 2.5 Diesel (AXD engine) for 60,000 trouble free miles I recently broke down on the M62 (with 166,000 miles on the clock) after a slight judder followed by a flashing, beeping oil indicator light. I staggered on for about a mile (mistake!) as I was very close to service station and wanted to get off the motorway if possible.

After just making it into the service station car park before the engine gave out I quickly established there was no coolant left and added some water to establish if there was a leak - the water disappeared and after a quick internet search I discovered that a faulty water pump might be the cause whereby a faulty unit can allow coolant to flow directly into the engine sump.

Unfortunately, it seems that the mile or so over which I drove the van to get to the service station allowed water to get into the engine. The water caused a hydraulic lock as the pistons tried to compress it and the resulting pressure bent the con rods (at least).

My advice to anyone owning a van with this type of engine (R5 engine with camshaft and ancillaries driven directly by gears) is as follows:

1. If you notice any leaks which could be oil, water or a mixture of oil and water, check if the leak is coming from the water pump. If it is do not drive the van until you get the water pump replaced. I believe there are 2 seals in the pump, one engine side and one coolant side, when either is faulty a hole in a void in between the seals will allow the fluid to leak out (so revealing that the water pump seals are failing).

I had noticed a leak over the previous couple of weeks but failed to make the connection to the water pump.

2. If your van has done a lot of miles replace the water pump. Should I ever get my van on the road again I will replace the water pump after the next 80K miles.

3. If you get a sudden problem where the oil indicator light starts flashing stop the van immediately it might save you a fortune.

As things stand it looks like my best option is a scrap / re manufactured engine. I've had mixed advice regarding re-manufactured engines in particular for this type of engine, as the aluminium block prevents re-boring the cylinder bores without using liners (the aluminium alloy bores are plasma treated not lined) ...and it's apparently tricky to remove and replace the cylinder head and maintain original camshaft gear clearances?!

Any feedback on any of the above will be much appreciated, in particular if anyone feels they can recommend a re-manufactured engine supplier please let me know. I'm looking at Engines.OD.com but no idea who actually supplies this company with re-manufactured engines.

Finally, I wrote to VW asking if it might be prudent to include a specific note in service schedules to check for leaking water pump and due the the very severe consequences of failure even consider making the water pump a serviceable item. They tell me they have passed this request onto their technical team. I won't hold my breath whilst waiting for an answer :)
 

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For a rebuilt engine I think the only reputable place for these VWs is http://vwenginerecon.co.uk/

I've not heard of anywhere else offering quality rebuilds and you do hear of people getting ripped off frequently.

Re the comments on rebuilding - 1 the repair liners are made by Mahle so they should be very good quality. 2. Timing and setting the cam gears need a special tool but we're not talking about a flux capacitor. They are off the shelf tools and reputable independent garages do have access to genuine factory tools if they are signed up with the local VW dealers on support contracts.
 

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What colour was the warning light? Red is stop immediately.
I think there is an orange low level indicator as well. Which is just a check and not so severe a warning.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks a lot for the feedback, I'll have a look at the website if its a recon engine I need to go for. In the meantime I've decided to collect my van from the current garage and have a thorough check of the engine myself. The bit about bent conrods is yet to be absolutely confirmed I need to see this myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah it was a red flashing light, in retrospect I should've just pulled onto the hard shoulder but in the dark and rain with the services less than a mile away... maybe a bad decision!
 

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Recently replaced my AXD after injector failure destroyed my piston in cylinder 1, ruined the bore. Bought my engine from Hayes engines in Dudley Birmingham, great service and so far no issues. Can't recommend them highly enough.
 

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Is the 2.5 the one without the camBelt?

I only ask as my t5 1.9 has a cambelt & therefore gets the waterpump changed too as a precaution every 4 years... Maybe a lot of 2.5 owners are risking the waterpump failure because of this?
 

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I'm still on my original pump at 206k T:
 

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We're just at 104k. I was considering changing the pump as a precaution but it has no recommended interval and it's a 2007 van so wasn't sure if it was really needed.
 

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If the correct oil is used these should be fine. I belive its the seal that can seep water to the block.

That's a sore one mate, I hope you get it sorted soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Recently replaced my AXD after injector failure destroyed my piston in cylinder 1, ruined the bore. Bought my engine from Hayes engines in Dudley Birmingham, great service and so far no issues. Can't recommend them highly enough.
Thanks for the heads up. I gave them a call and it looks like a good option - was yours a reconditioned engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks - it looks like I'll go for a re-manufactured engine. I'll be keeping a close eye on any suspicious leaks...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If I were you I would just check the water pump if you notice any leaks under the engine - I first noticed a leak a couple of months ago so I would have had a warning if I'd made the connection to the water pump.
 

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Yes, mine was remanufactured, by far the better option, did a lot of research, Hayes replace everything, main/big end bearings, pistons, con rods, valves, guides, stem seals. Basically they strip the whole thing back and replace everything, oil pump, water pump, cam, followers, the lot. There a great company to deal with he knows his PD engines inside out, I bought a new set of injectors as well from Rake at project power, cost me around £3500 all in with all the new seals from TPS too, I also replaced the seals on the fuel rail, all coolant seals, filter housing seal, power steering seals. Every seal changed. Came to £178 from TPS and £90 for 10 litres of 506.01.

It's running like a dream now, I also uprated intercooler to forge to bring intake temps down and protect the engine a bit.
 

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Yes, mine was remanufactured, by far the better option, did a lot of research, Hayes replace everything, main/big end bearings, pistons, con rods, valves, guides, stem seals. Basically they strip the whole thing back and replace everything, oil pump, water pump, cam, followers, the lot. There a great company to deal with he knows his PD engines inside out, I bought a new set of injectors as well from Rake at project power, cost me around £3500 all in with all the new seals from TPS too, I also replaced the seals on the fuel rail, all coolant seals, filter housing seal, power steering seals. Every seal changed. Came to £178 from TPS and £90 for 10 litres of 506.01.

It's running like a dream now, I also uprated intercooler to forge to bring intake temps down and protect the engine a bit.
3.5k does seem very good value if the engine lasts as a new unit from TPS is now around 5.5-6k.
 

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I'm very impressed, new engine looked like factory new, quality of workmanship spot on, 2 year or 24,000 warranty, could change the engine 3 times and still be cheaper than TPS when you add the VAT in
 

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Did anyone look into using plastic impellers instead of metal? Interns of the water pump on these 2.5 engines.
mice just bought a 2.5 T5 2005, no history of water pump and mileage at 140k. I think il change it but VW want £925 for the work as apparently you’ll need to change coolant and oil at same time. If there’s a common issue with the supplied VW water pump then has anyone explored other variants? I.e plastic impellers.
 
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