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    Thread: Conspiracy theories with VW and oil change intervals

    1. 09-06-2009 03:01 PM #1
      Can someone please give me a good reason why the oil change intervals for our vehicles are at 10k miles? The oil is obviously not good enough to make it that long as proven by vortex members with UOAs and very apparent visual signs. I used to work for a VW dealership and we'd get 1.8t's all day long with clogged oil pickup tubes from gunk. These customers were faithful to their service schedules and always had their booklets stamped at out dealership.

      I think it's naive to assume that VW hasn't done their research on this topic while building the engines. Their teams of engineers they have MUST know about this issue, as it's been happening for over 10 years on their turbo engines. with 1.8t it was sludge in the crankcase, with ours it's on the back of the valves. With either engine, the oil is well past its useful service life at 10k miles, or even 5k with most oils.

      Knowing these facts, why would they

      1-insisting on 10k oil change intervals
      2- not certifying some of the best synthetic oils in the world
      3- Not letting you buy a warranty past 75k miles??

      Someone out there give me a good reason that this is the way it is. I don't see it.


    2. Senior Member
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      09-07-2009 01:35 AM #2
      Quote, originally posted by Var »
      Can someone please give me a good reason why the oil change intervals for our vehicles are at 10k miles? The oil is obviously not good enough to make it that long as proven by vortex members with UOAs and very apparent visual signs. I used to work for a VW dealership and we'd get 1.8t's all day long with clogged oil pickup tubes from gunk. These customers were faithful to their service schedules and always had their booklets stamped at out dealership.

      Ummm, conspiracy theories? Not when you look at the facts.

      1. In the US, the oil change interval for 1.8L turbo engines (and Passat V6 engines) was every 5,000 miles. The 2.0L, TDI, and VR6 engines had oil change intervals of 10,000 miles after the first two oil changes at 5,000 and 10,000 miles.

      2. The oil specification (for all engines) printed in the owner's manual was 5W-40, which only comes in synthetic in the US. 5W-30 was to be used only if 5W-40 was not available, and 5W-40 was available at VW dealers since mid-1999. But forum threads before 2004 (when the oil sludge / VW 502.00 rated oil letters etc. came out) indicated that most owners and dealers used conventional 5W-30 oil.

      If anything, VW must have underestimated the ability of owners and dealers to read and follow instructions printed in owner's manuals, resulting in the use of conventional oil that did not meet the specifications for the engines. For the 1.8L turbo engine, particular in the longitudinal mount version with the smaller oil pan in the Passat, this resulted in accelerated sludging.


    3. 09-07-2009 06:09 PM #3
      With synthetic in my 2.0T Passat, I change oil every 5000 miles. With conventional in my 2.0 Beetle, I change oil every 3000 miles. I don't care what owners manuals say. Just as with those supposed 100,000 mile spark plugs, no way. I do it every 30K or so. They would melt into the block at 100K! Sorry, but I'm old school.

    4. Member Doedrums's Avatar
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      09-07-2009 06:34 PM #4
      I ran my Corrado to 177k on 10k mile oil changes. I'm doing the same with my R32. The Beetle gets changes every 5k just like the manual says. Modern synthetic oil will last to 10k.
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    5. Member bluesbrothers's Avatar
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      09-07-2009 08:38 PM #5
      oil changes are cheaper than engines. ill stick with 3500 to 4000 miles for my oil changes, even with the expensive synthetic.
      People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. -Calvin

    6. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      09-08-2009 12:00 AM #6
      Most European manufacturers have ~10,000 mile oil changes in Europe, with no problems. So-called long-life oil gets even changed less often, at 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

      As mentioned before, in the US the problem is that many people don't use the correct oil, or haven't in the past. For the DI turbo engines and for the TDIs, it is absolutely necessary to use the correct oil: not just any synthetic (even if highly rated for other applications) will do it, for a number of reasons. Oil can get diluted by gasoline, Diesel, or bio-Diesel, direct injection makes a huge difference, and so do the turbos and catalytic converters. The wrong oil in a TDI can easily destroy the DPF.

      I know of a number of people who tested their oil for the 2.0 TSI engine, and it was still acceptable after about 8,000 miles or so.

      Of course, if you race, drive track events, generally drive like a lunatic, often in hot weather, often with cold starts, often very short distances, often stop-and-go, in the mountains, in the desert or other dusty areas, etc. - that would be considered severe usage, and requires more frequent oil changes according to the user manual, such as e.g. every 5,000 miles.

      It is quite likely that 50% or more of owners fall into that category for one reason or another, or for multiple reasons, but just ignore that fact.

      Aung San Suu Kyi

    7. 09-08-2009 02:00 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by feels_road »
      Most European manufacturers have ~10,000 mile oil changes in Europe, with no problems. So-called long-life oil gets even changed less often, at 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

      As mentioned before, in the US the problem is that many people don't use the correct oil, or haven't in the past. For the DI turbo engines and for the TDIs, it is absolutely necessary to use the correct oil: not just any synthetic (even if highly rated for other applications) will do it, for a number of reasons. Oil can get diluted by gasoline, Diesel, or bio-Diesel, direct injection makes a huge difference, and so do the turbos and catalytic converters. The wrong oil in a TDI can easily destroy the DPF.

      I know of a number of people who tested their oil for the 2.0 TSI engine, and it was still acceptable after about 8,000 miles or so.

      Of course, if you race, drive track events, generally drive like a lunatic, often in hot weather, often with cold starts, often very short distances, often stop-and-go, in the mountains, in the desert or other dusty areas, etc. - that would be considered severe usage, and requires more frequent oil changes according to the user manual, such as e.g. every 5,000 miles.

      It is quite likely that 50% or more of owners fall into that category for one reason or another, or for multiple reasons, but just ignore that fact.

      True, but what about the good little sheep that take their cars to the dealership and follow the intervals. And what's up with the weakeauce extended warranty? 75k miles should be standard, not extended.


    8. 09-08-2009 07:48 PM #8
      what weak sauce extended warranty are you talking about?
      the factory warranty is 3/36 b2b, 5/60 powertrain, and 8/80 federal emmisions....and as stated previously, using the correct oil you can easily go 10k between changes. as a matter of fact i have never seen a "sludge" motor that had proper maintenance with the correct oil at the correct interval, NEVER. that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but I have never heard of a case. Don't think for a minute VW didn't do extensive testing before setting the intervals. They have alot riding on this too.

    9. Senior Member
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      09-09-2009 12:43 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by Var »
      True, but what about the good little sheep that take their cars to the dealership and follow the intervals.

      With the 1.8L turbo engine, the problem was that, before 2004, many VW dealers did not use the correct oil either (5W-40 was specified in owner's manuals, and was available to VW dealers under VW part number ZVW-352-540S since 1999). In threads back then about "what oil do you use?", there were many responses like "my VW dealer uses conventional 5W-30 unless I ask for synthetic".

      In 2004, VW issued letters to owners and TSBs to dealers that basically said "use VW 502.00 rated oil only". This was in response to the 1.8L turbo oil sludge fiasco.


    10. Member rocconut's Avatar
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      09-09-2009 03:59 PM #10
      I just changed my oil and filter on my 2004 wagon with the BEW engine. It is at 91000 miles. On the last oil change 3000 miles earlier I didn't have a filter wrench so I opted to just change the oil. When I removed the filter this time after running roughly 6000 miles it looked really gunky. I can't imagine running a TDI to 10,000 miles. Crazy.

    11. Member JohnTT's Avatar
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      09-10-2009 10:52 AM #11
      Please **READ** your owner's manual.


    12. Member Doedrums's Avatar
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      09-10-2009 11:45 AM #12
      Quote, originally posted by JohnTT »
      Please **READ** your owner's manual.

      What?! You think that the folks who designed the car know anything about oil life? No wai!!

      And if love remains, though everything is lost, we will pay the price but will not count the cost. -Neil Peart
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    13. Member Eric D's Avatar
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      09-10-2009 02:39 PM #13
      Based on your title.

      http://fossil.energy.gov/about....html

      Now how about that Clean Coal Obama talks about.

      The original Dub and Dubber.
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    14. 09-10-2009 07:45 PM #14
      Wait..you think a mutli billion dollar corporation would be dishonest to make extra money? No WAII!!!

    15. 09-10-2009 09:45 PM #15
      What extra money did they make? They extended the warranty for 10 years and unlimited mileage, repaired cars that were clearly not maintained, and generally bent over backwards for people with "sludge" concerns. Now I know some people didn't get a pass for missing maintenance records, but I personally saw several get FREE engines, turbos, and the works. How any of this translates to VW making dirty money, you have to explain to me.

    16. Member Doedrums's Avatar
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      09-11-2009 09:01 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by Var »
      Wait..you think a mutli billion dollar corporation would be dishonest to make extra money? No WAII!!!

      Yeah, VW makes a ton of money by calling for 10k mile oil changes. They've been doing this in Europe for a long time with no ill effects and I've been doing this with MY OWN CARS since the early 90s. I've never had a engine failure. It actually seems like the body will fall apart long before the engine will fail. Your conspiracy theory is flawed. My former employer had a Chevy work truck with the oil monitor system. It didn't call for a change until about 12k miles on conventional oil. Is that part of a conspiracy as well?

      And if love remains, though everything is lost, we will pay the price but will not count the cost. -Neil Peart
      All hands, abandon ship!! Repeat, all hands abandon ship!!!!!
      I'm addicted to track!
      I'll stop "Hatin'" when YOU stop acting like a jackass.

    17. 09-11-2009 11:17 AM #17
      Well I didn't know they went to unlimited mileage warranties. I've never heard of that. None of my friends with 1.8ts heard of that.

    18. 09-11-2009 07:05 PM #18
      My apologies, the warranty extension is only 8 years UNLIMITED mileage.

      3.70.1.4 Oil Sludge Limited Warranty Extension
      Volkswagen is implementing an extended warranty for "oil sludge" related repairs for 1998 – 2004
      Model Year Volkswagen Passats equipped with 1.8L Turbo engines. Repairs performed within 8
      years, unlimited mileage, from the original in-service date will be covered at 100%. This extended
      warranty is fully transferable to a subsequent owner. This extended warranty does not affect other
      applicable warranty coverage.
      Volkswagen will cover necessary engine repairs if "oil sludge" causes a malfunction in the engine
      where the owner can provide documentation of oil changes in accordance with the published
      maintenance schedule. This extended Warranty only applies to "oil sludge" related repairs for vehicles
      maintained as recommend by Volkswagen.
      This warranty extension does not cover normal wear and tear or engine damage due to improper
      maintenance. Any malfunction not related to engine "oil sludging" remains subject to the normal terms
      of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. If the recommended oil change procedures are not followed, this
      warranty extension may not apply.

      This is a copy and paste directly from the VW warranty policy and procedure manual. There are several items they extend the warranty on all in the name of customer satisfaction. Any of these could be found with a simple Google search. The next time you feel the need to spout off about conspiracies and how the white-man is holding you back, do us all a favor and do a little research.
      Remember.... it is better to remain silent and have everyone think you're a fool, than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt !


      Modified by vwguru714 at 4:15 PM 9-11-2009


    19. Member oRANGEJULIUS's Avatar
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      09-11-2009 08:56 PM #19
      Another thing to think about: a higher mileage oil change interval makes the car more appealing to your average consumer …Just another selling point. If a consumer is comparing 2 cars in the same class for a similar amount of money, you better bet projected maintenance costs will come into play when making a decision…one more way to stay competitive. It helps break the whole German cars = high maintenance stigma most Americans have. I would be willing to bet that oil change interval had more to do with the marketing aspect of things than the actual engineering of the engine. I.E the benefit of being able to say your car is low maintenance (and the potential customers that may draw in) outweighs the percentage of engine failures contributed to oil issues…. In VWs eyes at least. As mentioned, the majority, but not all of the oil issues are due to the use of the wrong oil. Personally, my 1.8t, and 2.0 powered cars receive a Mann filter and fresh synthetic every 5k irregardless of the specified intervals.

    20. Member teutoned's Avatar
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      09-12-2009 04:09 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by Doedrums »
      Yeah, VW makes a ton of money by calling for 10k mile oil changes.

      i can see hans and frans high fiving each other right now and calling us stupid americans!


    21. 09-12-2009 05:48 PM #21
      How many of you bought an extended warranty on your 2.0t? what's the maximum mileage they offer on your warranty. They told me it was 75k. Were they lying to me or is that right?

    22. 09-13-2009 08:02 AM #22
      depends on which warranty company you are talking about.... was an actual VW warranty or an aftermarket service contract sold by the dealer? Sometimes the finance guy, who usually sells the warranty to you, will try to misrepresent his aftermarket warranty as an actual VW warranty. Be careful, take your time and read everything you sign.. and if you feel the least bit hesitant get up and walk out.

    23. 09-13-2009 01:01 PM #23
      i already bought a 7yr/75k extended warranty for 1200 bucks. I can cancel it at any time and they refund you a pro-rated amount. As of right now i can get all my money back.

    24. 09-13-2009 03:19 PM #24
      Sounds like an aftermarket warranty, such as fidelity or US fidelis, VW does not offer anything like this to my knowledge. If it is me in your shoes I get a refund and put the money to work for me, in case I need it for car repairs or anything else. In almost every case an extended warranty is not a good purchase, especially if it is on a new car purchase.

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