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Tdci Owners Check Your Oil Levels Now


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#1 catch

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:19 AM

As the thread header suggests, there is concern that Diesel Particulate Filter fitted models have a problem that the regeneration process could be contaminating the engine oil. So it is either complete TOSH you must have the correct viscosity oil, and it all apparently goes out of the window. Either that, or because of the dilution of the oil with diesel, your going to suffer engine wear that was not foreseen when the development of DPF engined cars went into mass production. WHICH IS IT?

So it would be interesting to see if TDCi forum owners with DPF equipped cars could report back on this thread regards their engine oil levels.Are they ending up with more oil in their sumps than what they started off at?

Volvo who share engines with Ford are introducing new oil change fill levels and a software update. And better than me repeating second hand, I advise concerned owners visit the Volvo forum thread on the issue, there are some clued up guys over there. It comprises 39 pages of contribution. That's because it is a very active site, having over a thousand viewings and over 250 post on an average day. Suffice to say you will get the gist of the problem, Volvo's tight lipped response, and their on the hoof remedy to over full oil sumps, by reading the first page of the thread.


But just to show an example of the calibre of some of the contributors on the subject, I'll copy post from one contributor.His credentials are as follows

I have been treated the same appalling way by Volvo. Forgive my immodesty. I am a Consulting Engineer. My educational and professional credentials are EurIng, CEng, BSc, PhD, FIMechE, FIOA, MEWI. I have also spent part of my career in the Oil Industry. The Engineering consultancy I ran (now retired) had a worldwide reputation for designing automotive fuel systems, so I have as much if not more so than anyone in Volvo UK.


Anyway here are his first two posts in full: Note his comment on a possible dilution rate of 23.7%

I have presented the posts in bold type for ease of reading, but I consider it better to read said posts on the original thread.The Doc content starts on page six

Can I offer some factual updates related to the issue of diesel fuel leaking in the engine oil please?
But first some a few corrections to some small technical errors in earlier contributions.
When the dealer "reduces the oil to 2/3rds" that is NOT 2/3rds the total volume of oil in the sump (which is 6 litres on the V70 D5). It is 2/3rds of the distance between the MAX and MIN marks on the dipstick. Since the volume between MAX and MIN is 1.5 litres, then level reduction is 0.5 litres but that is starting from MAX.

My level started about 0.6 litres above MAX, so they reduced my level by about 1.1 litres. However, by careful measurement (by photographing the dipstick and measuring the image) I found that Volvo didn't reduce the down to 67% of the Max Min range but to 52%. Incompetent of them!

With my original oil level being 0.6 litre above MAX then the dilution of my lube oil with diesel fuel has been 11.6%. But should it fill again to the original level above MAX, then, as someone else pointed out, this would be a dilution on a dilution. In my case that would mean a dilution rate of around 23.7%.
I have been treated the same appalling way by Volvo. Forgive my immodesty. I am a Consulting Engineer. My educational and professional credentials are EurIng, CEng, BSc, PhD, FIMechE, FIOA, MEWI. I have also spent part of my career in the Oil Industry. The Engineering consultancy I ran (now retired) had a worldwide reputation for designing automotive fuel systems, so I have as much if not more so than anyone in Volvo UK.

I am new to this forum so I will keep this brief in case I overrun some word limit.
The reassurance from Castrol is without foundation. The protestation that Volvo would not risk their reputation by saving a buck is not credible. Remember the Toyota debacle. Castrol is s business partner of Volvo, so they are not independent, indeed they could be said to have a conflict of interest, theirs with our's.

I took a sample of my lube oil and had it analysed by one of the leading authorities in the country. They analyse oil from major industrial plant and the owners of these multi-million pound plant assets trust and act on their recommendations.

Two extracts from the analysts report said:
“Currently viscosity of the oil in use is equivalent to an SAE20 oil, rather than the SAE30 that it should be. This would offer reduced protection from wear and demands attention. ……….
The condition of the oil is unacceptable for continued use. Our recommendation is to rectify the underlying fault and to change the oil before any wear can occur.”
There are also wear particles present.

I will be sending the findings of the oil analysis to my dealer tomorrow to put them and Volvo on notice that they are now responsible for the integrity of my engine, because they are now in possession of ‘material knowledge’ about this problem. If they choose to continue to ignore me (or us) then legal damages would ensue if the engine is damaged.
There is more to tell but I will stop there in case my message is too large and fails to be accepted. WATCH THIS SPACE.
The Doc


Is it possible to post .jpg files here?
If so then I can share with you guys
(a) images of the oil analysis report,
(B) show you how a way in which you can measure the oil level accurately and
© images of extracts from the owners handbook to turn Volvo's information back on themselves.
This information exhorts us to use only the specified super duper grade of oil for fear of dire consequences for our engines but Volvo allow themselves to turn this super duper oil into a diesel and lube oil cocktail, assuring us that this will not be a problem.
For the record the identification spec' of the oil is:
"CASTROL 0W/30 SLX Professional Longtec Volvo Cars A5/B5 - Full Synthetic
18,000 miles between services."
I checked the Castrol website about this fantastic "18,000 mile between services lube oil product" and it says nothing about the benefits to be derived from it being diluted 10% to 20% with diesel fuel oil.

The Technical Manager in Castrol has said:

"I can understand your concern regarding your Volvo, however, it is
common for there to be dilution of the engine oil with diesel fuel to
quite high levels, [HE DIDN'T DEFINE WHAT A HIGH LEVEL WAS] especially in modern diesel engines fitted with diesel particulate filters, and modern oils are designed to cope with this.

It very much depends on the engine design as to what is a safe level of
diesel dilution, some engines can be sensitive to 10%, whereas we've
seen others running quite happily with 20% and even more on our test
beds. If Volvo feel that diesel dilution resulting in a 5mm increase in
oil level is safe, then that judgement will be based on their knowledge
of their engines from hundreds of hours of development testing, so you
can take some comfort from that. It would not be in their interest to
benefit from a short term cost saving by not changing the oil, compared
to the reputational damage if any number of these vehicles subsequently
suffer from premature failure.

I hope this answers your query, please contact us again if you require
any further information."

I am doing a dissecting analysis of this gentleman's response to my enquiry. But I also believe a similar answer was given to an enquiry by the Forum.
The Castrol Tech Manager says: "If Volvo feel that diesel dilution resulting in a 5mm increase in oil level is safe, ..... blah blah blah." The problem with his analysis is that the increase in level is not 5mm but it was 24.7mm above MAX.
The reduction in level to 67% on the dip stick is a distance on the dip stick of 28.9mm, so what faith can we place in his judgement now he has made that simple and fundamental mistake?
It is interesting that he is confident that Volvo will have made their "It's OK lads" statement based on hundreds of hours of development testing ....". If that is the case then what is Volvo's "Date of Knowledge" of this problem? The date of knowledge is the date from which all liability and damages are calculated.

The man from Castrol goes on to say:
"It would not be in their interest to benefit from a short term cost saving by not changing the oil, compared to the reputational damage if any number of these vehicles subsequently suffer from premature failure."
A short term benefit implies a small amount of money but if these all the particular vehicles worldwide had to have their oil changed every 1500 miles then this would be a galactic sum of money. However, you need to remember that Castrol = BP and Volvo = Ford.

The inability of BP to properly evaluate !Removed!-ups and resolved is now legendary considering the disaster that is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.
Why Ford, the owners of Volvo?
Put this link into your browser and see how big business deals with their reputation. http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Ford_Pinto
Ford calculated it was cheaper to pay out when people died than to pay for a redesign. Never mind the moral issues, it is only money. Until the courts issued punitive damages. I have great faith in Courts to get these guys sorted all they need is the evidence. That is where you and I come into the equation.
The Doc



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#2 catch

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:49 PM

apparently it has something to do with ordinary diesel containing around 5 to 7% of biodiesel in it.Theory is during forced regeneration cycle, as against during passive regeneration [engine running hot enough to burn off soot deposits in the DPF]some of the extra diesel squirted in to the engine, gets past the piston rings and ends up diluting the engine oil. At 20% dilution of the lubricating oil, the lubricating values of the oil falls out of the permitted range that the oil in question was evaluated at, as being needed to protect your engine. Opinion has it that the biodiesel component does not burn off completely in the combustion process.

And in a few cases it has been reported that when the sump is overfilled with this dilute oil/fuel mixture it can find it's way into the combustion parts of the engine. Causing it to maintain or increase the speed of the vehicle even with your foot removed from the accelerator.

So in regard to engine wear and possible "self fuelling" this could cost the auto industry millions in compensation claims So no wonder the industry are not admitting there is a problem..............


And in the mean time Volvo has introduced a double whammy solution to the problem

1. is at service under fill with oil, allowing for 0.5lt of diesel to contaminate the lubricating oil, when oil on the dip stick reads MAX, above Max and the dilution is greater.
2. Software upgrade it restrict the amount of extra fuelling during forced regeneration.

So you could end up with a engine prematurely wearing out due to poor lubrication. And DPF's failing to remove the soot and failing............but look on the bright side your MPG should improve slightly :ph34r:

I must state they are saying only certain cars are affected at the moment, some S40' owners amongst others [shared engine with Focus] are being called in for the software fix.

#3 catch

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:49 PM

given that Volvo and Ford share engines, I amazed that no forum TDCi owners have passed comment on this thread. I would have expected some sort of interest.....

My oils spot on, on max mark after service, thereabouts or a tad lower just prior to the following service. Or hey, my oil level is always way over Max mark come the next service.

But nope NADA.................Volvo forum just short of 400 contributions to the thread, yet over on bling your motor OP is talking to himself :rolleyes:

#4 RCJ

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:19 PM

is this allTDCi's i.e. Focus, Fiesta....

#5 catch

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:10 PM

is this allTDCi's i.e. Focus, Fiesta....


Well that is what I'm trying to establish, if there is indeed a problem with oil levels with Ford offerings of DPF fitted cars. But that means TDCi owners actually getting of their asses and dipping their sumps, and reporting back. And or checking fill levels after Ford dealers do oil changes.

Me I'm not effected as I run a petrol fuelled car, so if this thread dies on it's !Removed! it's no skin of my nose. But I'm sure as hell, if I were a Ford TDCi owner I'd want to know if Ford vehicles were affected. I mean besides possible deterioration of power due to engine wear, engine failures, possible self fuelling of the engine, even possible loss of resale values.

The consequences of this could be bank breaking for manufactures, so none are being open about it. Volvo have not got a solution to the actual contamination of the lubricating oil, they are simply reducing the oil levels at services to accommodate the diesel that is contaminating the lubricating oil. One Mazda-6 owner reported on the Volvo forum his vehicle "self fuelled" it's self, because with an over full sump the lube oil /diesel mix found its way into the combustion chambers and self fuelled the engine even with his foot of the accelerator. He stated a test on the sump contents revealed 62% contamination in his case. He has refused to drive the car for a year and is in dispute with Mazda. [another Ford owned and engine sharing company]

Like I say if we have some input from TDCi owners we will find out if any are experiencing this rising oil level issue. I ran a 54 plate Volvo S40 2.0D SE fitted with a DPF for nine months, I sold it with 63K on the clock. I will say I never experienced any DPF problems, or any rising oil issues in all that time. But obviously other Volvo owners are having issues, and Volvo have done a recall on 20 odd thousand motors, for the oil level reduction and a software update, but other than that they are being tight lipped.

#6 RCJ

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:13 PM

ill check me mums tomz, at some point

#7 catch

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:21 PM

ill check me mums tomz, at some point


Good lad

Here is what one Focus owner said on another thread discussing fuel economy, but what got me interested was his comments about oil levels. Hence I started this thread, because I knew there where issues on other forums regards it.

I have driven my 50k, 2006 1.6 tdci estate very economically over a period of about 8 months and no matter how careful with the throttle I am, I can only achieve 39-43 mpg, including a couple of motorway trips where I did occasionaly hit 80-85mph. I have spent days hardly touching the throttle, and am a little dissappointed with this aspect of the car, everything else has impressed me for a 1.6 diesel and apart from having to get the passenger to apply the handbrake and the satnav/radio that picks the channels for your whether you like it or not, i really like the car and actually enjoy driving it (i should get out more !). One strange thing though, each time I do an oil change, every 5/6 months, there is more fluid than I put in ! I suspected this after the first service, so for the past two oil changes I have made sure of the reading and amount of oil going in. Is there anyway that diesel (or anything else) can be getting into my oil, maybe coming past the pistons, sounds crazy,but over a period of 6 months or so, the reading on the stick is past the end of the plastic and I made a point of not filling it to the max last time. Any ideas anyone ? (havent been to a garage as car drives perfect, doesnt smoke, seems to have enough power etc)

Adam


Funny thing is I posted a link to this thread after raising concerns on that thread, yet he has not made any further input on this or the other thread. Funny that considering he asked if anyone had any ideas.....now't as !Removed! as folk as they say :rolleyes:

Hawker an ex TDCi owner told me in a PM tonight [ don't think he will mind me sharing this with the board]

I actually drained some oil out of my focus as it was about 8mm above the max level. I blamed the CarShop from where I bought it for overfilling it with oil at their service, which they denied. One of the problems I had was that the injector seals went, and I thought it may have been related to too much pressure in the engine due to there being to much oil, hence the reason I drained it, but also by judging on other Mazda 6 problems I've read about, it could well have been the DPF all along.

I'm so glad I have a petrol engine now!



#8 catch

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:36 PM

See where FAME gets you, it can screw your motor up .......Diesel Particulte Filters (DPF) and Rising Oil Levels - The UK Government Demonstrates the Law of Unintended Consequences

Quote part content.

As surely as night follows day, problems occurred. A moment ago, I said that some diesel used in DPF regeneration can dilute the engine oil, but will evaporate away over time. Biodiesel turns out to be less volatile than petrochemical diesel, so it sets up a permanent home in the sump. Over time this causes the engine oil level to steadily rise. In some cases, the oil level has risen so high that it begins to enter the combustion chamber, causing the engine to run on its own oil and an uncommanded increase in engine RPM. In some cases, this increase in RPM has been so severe that it has caused a runaway situation. Here is an account of a Fiat 500 owner on Fiat's own web site, detailing how their engine was completely destroyed by oil contamination

"My husband was driving the car home when it started accelerating and masses of smoke began pouring out of it (filling the cabin too). He pulled into a layby and the engine was over-revving madly - didn't stop even when he pulled the key out of the ignition. It was a very scary experience."

A Volvo C30 owner relates his own tale:

"I had owned my D5 for about eight months before one day it nearly sent me into orbit by itself while accellerating[sic] on the motorway. Basically the oil level had risen so much that oil was pushed somehow into the engine and burnt like fuel. The car went flat out while at the same time billowing blue smoke from the exhaust. Scary to say the least."

Other owners are, through proper maintenance, noticing the problem before it destroys their engine, such as this unfortunate chap who is having to change the oil in his Honda Civic every other month.

...I could go on. My own Volvo V50 is busily filling its sump such that I have to visit the dealer every 4,000 miles or so to have them drain off the excess oil and diesel mixture. What is the environmental impact of all this wasted diesel, extra waste motor oil, trips to the dealer and ruined engines? I bet it's more that the meagre amount saved by adding a bit of FAME to our diesel.

#9 sail2bob

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 07:19 PM

Had my focus TDCi estate for five months (bought from Dad) who told me the oil level was above max then. We've never looked at it until today - it's still over. Think I should get a complete change?

#10 catch

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:21 AM

Had my focus TDCi estate for five months (bought from Dad) who told me the oil level was above max then. We've never looked at it until today - it's still over. Think I should get a complete change?


Well that's a question.....how much over the Max line is it? Is it possible it was overfilled at the last service? Maybe try draining some oil off, say to halfway between Min and Max on dip stick. Then keep your eye on it to see if the level creeps up to the Max make again. If it does then you are definitely getting fuel contamination in your lube oil. That or water, but I think you would know if it was water contamination.

#11 Nicola 88

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 01:23 AM

Not had my car long but when I checked the oil was just a tad over the max line. Will keep an eye on it and report back to see if the level changes.

Thanks for the info!

#12 mazda-campaign

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:42 PM

Hey Guys,

Not sure whats took me so long to find this forum - i have been fighting my case with Mazda for 1 year and 8 months now. One of you actually noted about the guy with the 62% diesel/oil contamination, that's me. I had a engune run-away whilst travelling on a motorway for about 2 hours, so firstly - the DPF would have regenerated.

The below has been taken from another forum (saves me time), its what i have found out too:

"Firstly, a bit of technical background, for those of you who don't already know ... I've spent the best part of the past month trying to understand DPF's and their regeneration process - Google it yourself if you want - basically, the idea of a DPF is it collects the nasty diesel soot, then USES RAW DIESEL FUEL on the EXHAUST STROKE of the engine cycle to burn it off when the filter gets full - that's the regeneration process. Under a "proper" or "normal" DPF design, the diesel fuel is injected by an injector situated in the DPF itself, where an exothermic reaction takes place with the hot exhaust gases, burning off the soot. So, why is Mazda's system then troublesome? Well, like (apparently) VW and MOST other manufacturers, Mazda does not have a fuel injector in the DPF to do this exothermic regeneration process, but rather uses the EXISTING engine cylinder fuel injector (which in a diesel engine here, is a direct injector into the combustion chamber) to do this raw diesel injection on the exhaust stroke - this system is basically ... you guessed it ... cheaper than having a separate injector system for the DPF. The consequence of this is that because the diesel fuel that is injected upstream in the cylinder during the exhaust stroke (before it exits the cylinder and reaches the DPF) is still raw, some of it slips past the piston rings, and into the crankcase. None of this would obviously happen, if diesel wasn't being injected into the cylinder at the exhaust stroke, but rather further downstream into the DPF itself.

This fuel entering the crankcase past the piston rings is technically known as "fuel dilution" ie. the engine oil gets diluted by fuel.

Another terrible downside of fuel dilution is ... once again you guessed it ... the engine oil deteriorates, causing engine wear. So while DPF is great for the environment (basically it was these regulations that forced DPF's into existence), it's not so good for engine protection ... at least the cheaper versions of DPF."


Whereas i have been fighting this with mazda for this long now, i am now, finally at the stage of an engine inspection which will be carried out by an independent engineer. I am putting all my points across for him to check, no matter what the cost so he can detail in his report that the design of this system is wrong - hopefully it will go for many other drivers facing the same problem with high oil levels due to excess diesel entering into the pan. Its pure WRONG. My aim is to go to court, refuse all Mazda has to offer which have been tempting so far to basically 'Shut up', i am working my bum off before this inspection letting everyone know some more and whether the ones of you who have had similar problems to drop me an email or PM with your issues and experiences.

If i happen to win in court and prove that there is a huge design fault with the DPF systems that causes this oil dilution to occur then i hope for the ones of you that have used money to fix a problem of the manufacturers you can get it back.

Please note, Mazda's response to us that have had these issues mainly comes down to driving styles being wrong, us not checking oil levels, and ignoring warning lights. I must make sure to say that in my cars issue, i have never had any warning lights appear in regards to the DPF or anything that would warn about the engine run-away....The below is quoted from Mazda's head customer service guy:

"I can confirm the vehicles on board diagnostic system does monitor oil dilution and particulate matter, which would lead to warning light illumination"


To conclude this post - at the end of the day the design system is wrong, it should have been recalled & still should. Why would all manufacturers make a new DPF system that uses its own injectors single or duel thats actually placed inside the DPF. This way the car does not use the main injectors/cylinders! what does that mean? No high risk of this diesel coming down the cylinder/injector into the sump from a failed DPF regen or engine wear.

I hope you guys found this useful & if you would like to support me and put your points accross you can do so:

www.mazda-campaign.co.uk/phpbb3
contact@mazda-campaign.co.uk

#13 top banana

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:30 PM

Well, I carried out an oil change 2500 miles ago ( 3 month) guess what.... on oil change was half way between 3/4 and max. Its now on the max level!!!!

#14 catch

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:58 AM

To be honest, on further investigation I think the problem of diesel fuel contamination of the sump oil is related to the later CDPF being used on the 2.0 TDCi engined cars 2008 onwards.

The Mk2/2.5 1.6 engined cars 2005 through to and including the last cars produced in 2011. Are on the old DPF with the eloy's additive. We could do with hearing some feed back from owners of 2.00 TDCi's really. The new Mk3 TDCi Focus 1.6 like the 2.0 will be fitted with the newer CDPF that has been causing that problem of diesel in the engine oil. Well there have been reported problems on Volvo's and Mazda's which coincidently were all sharing diesel engines being either Ford Group owned as in Volvo's case, and Mazda part owned by Ford.

So we really need drivers of the new Mk3 1.6 TDCi to start monitoring their fuel levels. Me I'm running a 1.6 petrol so not a problem, but I may think of buying a second hand Mk3 TDCi when the wife retires and stops doing 1.5 mile cold start town runs in peak time traffic.

I worked out with lower Road Tax and fuel savings, but with similar servicing costs as a petrol engined car. Even on a low annual mileage, I could cut the cost of running a motor on an annual basis by circa 33% [Diesel price premium aside] Which will not be a problem to me buying second hand and considering I'll most likely keep it six years or so.

#15 icehotter

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 07:07 PM

Alright people,

im a complete noob but have serious issue with this oil level thing.

*ford fiesta tdci climate 2005*

Took my car to a ford "specialist" because it would not turn over properly. they repaired it but afterward loads of blue smoke started pouring out of it on the way home.

At gradually increasing revs it was blue, although at quickly applied revs it blew black.

I checked the oil level and it was quarter the way up the stick!!

I drained it completely today and am not sure but think i could get a wiff of deisel from it.

I'm aware of the fuel injector problem with this model so stripped the air filter off today to take a look, the first injector was clean as a whistle from the look of it but the others were dirty especially the third one in (from the left).

Im hoping that after the oil change the exhaust will stop blowing out the black smoke, im going to wait until the morning and check the level before i use the car and again a couple of hours after im done with it for the day.

I'm not sure if my car has the issue you guys are concerned with but any input would be great as im in germany and the biodiesel content in the fuel is higher than usual!

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