Car Problem Reports

Volkswagen Passat Oil Leaks From Camshaft Chain Tensioner and Valve Cover Gaskets

Volkswagen Passat Problem
125 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Engines Affected: 1.8L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 2.0L 4 Cylinder, 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 2.8L V6, 3.6L V6

Average Mileage: 97,853 mi (32,000 mi - 227,800 mi)


Engine oil leaks are common from the valve cover gaskets and camshaft chain tensioner gasket.

  • , , 2.8L V6, 90,000 mi

    My car was losing oil. The European car mechanics I was taking it to couldn't figure out how I was losing the oil. The interior of the car started to smell of burning oil. The mechanics were still unable to tell me what was wrong, but were willing to charge me $2000 to try and fix it. I decided not to go back to that garage ever again, and instead, fix the car myself, even though I have no background in car repair.

    After searching the web for "burning oil smell Passat 2003 V6", I saw that the valve cover gasket and cam tensioner seals were the prime candidate for the cause of the problem. It took me 10 minutes of investigation, to see that my engine was leaking oil, from those locations. I plan to buy the valve cover gasket & cam tensioner seal kit from, and tackle the job myself.

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  • , , 1.8L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 148,000 mi

    very common problem, i replaced mine and replaced/cleaned the entire pcv system as a blocked pcv system can cause blown gaskets.
    when i replaced my valve cover gasket i didnt put ant gasket sealer in the corners etc and its now leaking again less than 15000 miles later, time to do it right by following the write up on

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  • , , 2.8L V6, 92,000 mi

    I can smell the oil thru the vents till car fully warmed up
    seems to loose 1/2 quart every two weeks very little leaks and reaches the ground under the car or when im driving and engine is fully wared up

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  • , , 1.8L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 94,000 mi

    Notified by Miramar San Diego VW dealer that oil is leaking from the back of my engine cylinder head onto the exhaust. Seems like the same issue.

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  • , , 2.8L V6, 120,000 mi

    valve cover gaskets just changed and now leaking oil all over and now need to have cam shift seals replaced

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  • , , 2.8L V6, 160,000 mi

    Develop small leak around cam shaft tensioner. Could smell burning oil after car first started and was warmed up, then smell went away. Used a stop leak additive to oil and it fixed it self after 6 weeks or so.

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  • , , 2.8L V6, 70,000 mi

    Same problem about a year ago - cam plugs, valve cover gaskets, rear axle seals,.. Finally I gave the dealership carte blanche and told them to replace everything that is or could leak and do the 110,000 service ($3,400,) and the burning oil smell never stopped. They said they'd forgotten to clean the top of the engine. They cleaned it and it still continued. I went back a few times. Still denial. Finally I went to another repair shop and they found BOTH cam plugs leaking. A day later the leak stopped. I think the dealership forgot to replace them and thought I'd just go away. Ha Ha Ha.

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  • , , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 49,600 mi

    not fixed leaking oil no solution at this moment

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  • , , 1.8L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 108,500 mi

    Engine light came on - was told by dealer that there was no oil pressure in the engine because of leaks in a few places and valve cover gasket

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  • , , 2.8L V6, 227,800 mi

    Had a crack in my oil pan and was losing oil; a $500 repair bill! Patched the crack and added oil when needed (I neglected my car). Car was acting poorly and replaced both catalytic converters, ABS, Oxygen Sensors, Oil Pan and Oil Cooler. Started the Passat and it sounded great! Within 2 miles I started to smell burning and saw smoke from passenger side engine. Waited 4 days to see if smell would stop and it continued. Called mechanic, showed him the car and 3 Valve Cover Gaskets (VCG) are leaking. After reading online posts and the neglect placed on my Passat, I plan to replace the PCV System prior to any Valve Cover Gaskets. Anyone have any luck with Auto-RX or other similar type engine products to eliminate the VCG from leaking oil?

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