Driving along in my automobile, my baby beside me at the wheel… BEEP! What? A low oil light appears and creates an unexpected interruption of my cruising down the freeway. When driving a modified car, you can usually expect an array of lights or a cacophony of warning beeps, but in a stock car?
If you have ever owned a VW or Audi and experienced the mystery of vanishing oil roughly 4,000 miles after an oil change then you know exactly what I’m talking about. While some cars have an indicator that flashes on the display, other drivers are simply surprised when they go to check their oil and find it a quart low. As I also often wonder about my money, where does all this black gold go?
Part of the problem lies within VW/Audi’s ineffective positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system. It’s a problem, yes, but we need it to prevent fuel vapors and other noxious gases from being released into the environment as pollutants. With every combustion cycle, a small amount of unburned fuel vapors escape past the piston rings into the crankcase. While the fuel vapors travel through the crankcase ventilation system, they mix with condensation, oil and other exhaust gases. The PCV is the prison guard that relieves the pressure and reroutes the wayward vapors into the intake manifold and back into the combustion chamber to be burned up.
The VW/Audi problem is twofold: a poorly designed PCV system and a valve that is prone to leaking.
On my 2.0 TFSI, the OEM PCV system has two outlets: one that exits out the front of the valve cover towards the intake manifold and another that points towards the turbo inlet. Under optimal conditions, the PCV system should perform two tasks: separate the oil from blow-by gases and route the remaining gas mixture into the intake system to be incinerated.
When the engine is operating under vacuum the PCV valve should route blow-by gases directly into the intake manifold, and when under boost the valve should shut the intake port and reroute blow-by gases to the non-pressurized rear port.
Even when the PCV valve is working correctly the crankcase ventilation system allows excessive amounts of oil to enter the intake manifold, which gums up the intake valves and coats the intercooler system—which ultimately reduces efficiency. And worse yet, when the PCV valve doesn’t completely seal it’s like having a massive boost leak.
For more than a decade, this pesky PCV has been the subject of Technical Service Bulletins and redesigned multiple times, but yet still leaves VW/Audi engineers scratching their heads and drivers carrying extra quarts of oil in their trunks. Like every other problem the OE manufacturers can’t solve, we have to turn to the aftermarket for the ultimate solution.
Clean Catch by Black Forest Industries (BFI) is the ultimate solution for the problematic OEM PCV system. At the heart of BFI’s innovation is the Clean Catch oil separator can that features an internal V-shaped baffle to maximize surface area for increased deposition of condensed vapor, without sacrificing the flow requirements of the OEM system. The VAGPORT connection system has a precision CNC machined PCV port adapter that eliminates the problematic OEM PCV valve and a braided hose with machined fittings to ensure an easy hook up. While the long-term benefits of the BFI Clean Catch are obvious, the short-term results were surprising on my K04-equipped A3. The A3 was quicker; power delivery was smoother, especially in the high rpms; throttle response was increased and a whistle that’d been annoying me for years magically disappeared. $429
Black Forest Industries