Failed 2.5 VW vacuum pump

Today we learn how to replace the vacuum pump on 2.5l VW engines. When the 2.5l vacuum pump fails it will cause an engine oil leak. This oil leak can be mistaken for a rear main seal leak. This DIY will apply to the Jetta, Rabbit, Beetle, Passat and Jetta SportWagen with automatic transmissions.

Show resources:

 

Disclaimer:
This is not technically a by the book repair. You really need to watch the entire video before attempting this repair.

Tools needed for this DIY:

  • Ratchet
  • Extentions
  • T30 Torx
  • T25 Torx
  • Hose clamp pliers
  • 10mm socket
  • 12mm socket
  • 13mm socket
  • Torque wrench
  • flat blade screw driver
  • magnetic tray
  • prybar
  • brake cleaner
  • shop towels

Trouble viewing? Watch “Replacing VW 2.5l Vacuum Pump ~ The Easy Way” on YouTube.

As always I love to hear your thoughts. Please post them in the comments section below. If you have an idea for a show you can email me, or use the contact me form! Don’t forget to follow me at:

10 replies
  1. Aamer
    Aamer says:

    Hi, I just finished the job but it is a fail. For now.
    As soon as I started the car, loads of oil just coated my floor, in addition to many warning lights on my panel.

    Is there anything that you recommend, I check? Here are 3 things that did not go as planned: The rubber seal (inside the pump) came loose, so I put that back inside. The small 10mm bolt next to the pump, I could not get it to fit the wireloom and bracket, so I did not attach it. I did not torque the t30 screws – I used my judgement with a ratchet.

    Will appreciate any advice. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Randal
    Randal says:

    Great videos on the 2.5L vacuum pump “how a failure” and “repair the easy way.” The easy way video is for a manual transmission engine, correct? You mention in the failure video that an automatic requires transmission moving or removal.

    I have an automatic Rabbit 2.5L. Perhaps this is why the estimate from my local dealer is $807. Seems high for a part that is about $270 [Deutsche auto parts] and maybe 1-1.5 hour repair time.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the excellent explanations.

    Reply
  3. Robert Hatchett
    Robert Hatchett says:

    I have a 2011 Jetta 2.5 that’s leaking oil from the vacuum pump but its leaking at brake booster . My question is will gaskets stop the oil leak? or do they make something for the booster I can replace? or worst case do I have to replace the whole pump ? Thanks keep up the good work

    Reply
  4. Jeffrey Linz
    Jeffrey Linz says:

    Great writeup! Did this yesterday, no more leak. BUT, the screws where I made the witness marks near the shift selector! One broke inside the hole when tightening it back up. So, now I have one screw and the nut on the post tightened down. Seems secure so planning on leaving it that way as remiving the broken screw entails removing the big coolant hose, using drill and extractor, etc. Anyone know what will happen if this is not secure enough? Winky shifting? Want to know so I can decide when and if to go back in and fish out the broken screw.

    Reply
  5. Michael
    Michael says:

    December 2020
    Just did this repair on a 2009 Rabbit but with a manual transmission. It’s already a pretty easy repair for anyone who’s done some car repairs before (and only moderately challenging for newbies). And it’s MUCH easier with an automatic transmission since you don’t have to remove the pump cover or pivot the pump over and around the shift selector.

    Basically, you’ll skip most of what’s mentioned from about 5:00 to 12:00 if you have a 2.5L manual transmission. (But you should watch that section anyway just for context, knowing you don’t need to remove the pump cover or work it around the selector).

    You *do* have to put the car in the right gear to get better access to the T30 bolt that’s at approximately 4 o’clock. (I think 5th gear ended up giving me the best access..easier to figure that out if you have a friend who can change the gears for you).

    I had some getting the brake booster hose off, so I left that on until I had unbolted the three T30 bolts. It was easy to swivel off the booster hose once the pump was free.

    Also, make sure to pull the bracket (in the 11 o’clock bolt area) out of the way once the T30s are removed otherwise it’ll *seem* like you missed a bolt or something. It’s just the bracket preventing the pump from pulling out.

    Maybe put an old rag under the pump when unbolting it–it might catch the bolts if you drop them and save you some time and frustration. I wasted probably a good 30 minutes fishing out one of the T30s, the 10mm bracket bolt, and one of the battery mount bolts. :/

    Other than that the video is spot on for a manual. Make sure the little rectangular part in the new pump is lined up as close as possible to fit the slot where the pump goes. If not you won’t be able to get the seat the pump. Be careful not to bend the thin metal gasket while mounting the new pump, too.

    As mentioned in the video, it takes some trial and error getting the torque wrench in the right position to tighten the T30s, simply because space is kind of tight around there. I used a variety of sockets and extensions, including a 3 inch and 6 inch extension, and a longer T30 drill bit (attached to the socket adapter). Thinner is better (don’t expect to squeeze a 3/8 inch socket extension in there, especially when tightening….get a 1/4 inch extension!).
    Though I didn’t *need* a 1/4 inch ratchet it could have been easier to fit into some places when loosening the bolts. (I used a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter, and the 1/4 inch extensions after that).

    You’ll need a torque wrench that reads 10 NM. I found a 1/4 inch torque wrench on Amazon that worked well. The 3/8 inch torque wrench didn’t go as low as 10 NM and, being larger, would have been much harder to fit into those tight spaces.

    Other tools that were handy: a headlamp, a lantern or some other light source (Charles uses one in the video–I used a camping lantern for lack of a shop light), and one of those mirrors on a telescoping stick to see the bolts that were underneath (and to look for the bolts I dropped).

    So far, so good…no leaks after a test drive. The dealer wanted $1,800 (!!!) for this repair here in the San Francisco bay area, claiming that even though it was an automatic, they had to put it into “service position” to access the vacuum pump. Maybe that’s technically the “proper” way but since you don’t have to remove the pump cover for the manual I kind of think that’s BS. If I can do this in a few hours an actual mechanic could do this in maybe one…even my local mechanic (who worked for VW for years) wanted $850, though I’m not sure he knew my car was a manual.

    Either way, it’s a pretty easy repair if you’ve got a manual 2.5L, and only moderately harder (based on the video) if you have an automatic.

    Oh, note that in his youtube video the water pump link that’s currently listed is NOT the right one. It’s for a 2.0L engine, not 2.5.

    Reply

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