I've holed my sump. The only silver lining is that I can see everywhere I've driven as the car is leaving a trail. I managed to get a container underneath it and have caught around 1 litre of oil in it so far (been parked about half an hour).

It got me wondering, assuming I was in the middle of nowhere (which I'm not) what options would I have for temporarily sealing the sump for long enough to drive the car a short distance?

The car in question is a 2003 (04 MY) Bora (Mk4 Jetta) diesel so has an alloy sump. (I should add that in this instance I'll be towing it home this evening rather than risk starting the engine again).

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    Depends how big the hole is - have seen a stick hammered in the hole... A split is more challenging.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 13:23
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    Is the sump cast aluminum or stamped metal? What type of hole is there (puncture, gash, crack, or something else)? Nothing a bit of bailing wire and chewing gum can't fix, I'm sure :o) Duct tape anyone? J/K! Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 13:54
  • It's a cast alloy sump bit as it's a sort of semi-theoretical question I guess suggestions for steel sump cars might help too? Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


As per my comment I have seen a stick hammered into the hole...

But another method I have seen is to get the sump face with the hole flat and then use flat washers, a nut & bolt and gaskets with sealer to plug the hole.

Worked well until someone thought it was the drain plug...

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