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    Thread: 2011 No-Charge Maintenance: When are the oil changes?

    1. Junior Member
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      09-16-2011 12:28 PM #1
      So in July, we bought a new 2011 Routan SE which includes the "no-charge" Carefree Maintenance for the first 36,000 miles.

      At 2,000 miles we took it in for the "2,000 Mile Courtesy Check" where they went over the vehicle and fixed a couple of minor things (loose antenna and loose rear door interior light).

      Well this week, VW mailed me a notification telling me that is time for my "no-charge 4,000 mile Carefree Maintance." So I called the service department to ask what is done at the 4,000 mile service and they said "Nothing, if you already came in for your 2,000 Mile Courtesy Check."

      So I asked them, when is my first oil due and they said "8,000 miles." I thought is was supposed to be 6,000 miles between oil changes.

      So what should be done at 4,000 miles and when should I get my first oil change (under the no-chare Carefree Maintenance program)?

    2. Member JETwagen's Avatar
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      09-16-2011 01:23 PM #2
      Talk to your service department. I was told by my local dealer either when the "change oil" display comes on or 6k miles from last change, whichever comes first. Did they perhaps change your oil at the 2k checkup and that's why they told you 8k miles?
      I drive a wagon... even if you beat me, can you brag about it?
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    3. 09-16-2011 01:33 PM #3
      Does anyone have the service intervals for this van? (60k timing belt? Etc) I just bought a used one and am drinking through the firehose right now. It probably would be a good idea to put this in the FAQ if someone has it.

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      09-16-2011 02:07 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by JETwagen View Post
      Talk to your service department. I was told by my local dealer either when the "change oil" display comes on or 6k miles from last change, whichever comes first. Did they perhaps change your oil at the 2k checkup and that's why they told you 8k miles?
      I did talk to them ... that was the source of the confusion. They did not change the oil at the 2K check-up.

      I was thinking oil change at 6K, but when "she" said "8K" that threw me for a loop.

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      09-16-2011 02:15 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ryder View Post
      I did talk to them ... that was the source of the confusion. They did not change the oil at the 2K check-up.

      I was thinking oil change at 6K, but when "she" said "8K" that threw me for a loop.
      2011 3.6VVT engines have an 8K oil change interval or 6 months, the older 3.8L and 4.0L had a 6K change. Follow the oil change reminder on your start up when you get the extra ding and you gauge cluster says "Change Oil".

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      09-16-2011 03:18 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by TheSpatulaOfLove View Post
      Does anyone have the service intervals for this van? (60k timing belt? Etc) I just bought a used one and am drinking through the firehose right now. It probably would be a good idea to put this in the FAQ if someone has it.
      What year and motor? The 3.6L Pentastar engine on the '11 and '12 MY has 4 chains, I believe. The 3.8L is a pushrod so should have a short timing chain. The 4.0L has a timing belt which has 102k mile interval.

      Most of the service interval information is included in your manual. I'd check there for OCI, coolant flush, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc.

    7. 09-16-2011 05:36 PM #7
      Our change oil light came on at about 3500 miles. Brought it into the dealer and all they did is reset it claiming first oil change is at 6K. I called VW to verify and they old me 8K miles.

    8. Member
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      09-16-2011 05:51 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by rmilchman View Post
      Our change oil light came on at about 3500 miles. Brought it into the dealer and all they did is reset it claiming first oil change is at 6K. I called VW to verify and they old me 8K miles.
      What does the manual say? Given some of the things I've heard from VWoA and VW dealerships, I wouldn't fully trust what they told you. Some vehicles have a break-in oil from the factory and the first OCI is much shorter than regular OCIs, so it wouldn't surprise me if the first OCI was closer to half of normal. If it were me, I'd probably pay to have the first one done at 3500-4000 miles. $30 bucks on a $25-$40k vehicle isn't a whole lot of money in the grand scheme of things.

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      09-16-2011 06:10 PM #9
      Just looked at the 2012 DGC manual (free online - novel concept) and it says nothing about the first OCI being different than regular OCI. It says to change the oil at the sooner of 8k miles, 6 months, or within 500 miles of when the "change oil" light illuminates.

      I dunno, if it were me I'd probably still spend the $30 to have the first one changed at 4k miles. Brand new engine with virgin metal likely to have more contaminants suspended in the oil, would be my line of thought.

    10. Member JETwagen's Avatar
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      09-16-2011 06:51 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by 58kafer View Post
      2011 3.6VVT engines have an 8K oil change interval or 6 months, the older 3.8L and 4.0L had a 6K change. Follow the oil change reminder on your start up when you get the extra ding and you gauge cluster says "Change Oil".
      Wasn't aware of this, do you know if it is based on conventional oil or synthetic? My dealership put conventional oil in my '10 4.0L because synthetic was not required by the manufacturer (thus not paid for by VWoA), maybe the 3.6L gets synthetic?
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    11. Junior Member
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      09-16-2011 08:16 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by rmilchman View Post
      Our change oil light came on at about 3500 miles. Brought it into the dealer and all they did is reset it claiming first oil change is at 6K. I called VW to verify and they old me 8K miles.
      Last week my change oil light came on at 3600 miles and VW changed the oil with no charge. They told us that a maintenance bulletin came out which tells them to change the oil no matter what the mileage is if the change oil light comes on. It's due to the new pentastar v6 being "smarter" and tells them that it needs an oil change. Has anyone heard of this maintenance bulletin?
      Last edited by NCrsx; 09-16-2011 at 09:10 PM.

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      09-17-2011 01:13 AM #12
      It holds 6 quarts of conventional. Check the rating on the fill cap. I think it's a new oil that's engineered to give better fuel economy and have extended change intervals. GF5 rating I think. It may even cost close to synthetic oil. But if you switch to synthetic you still need to make sure it meets the correct rating.

    13. 09-18-2011 12:07 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Zambee500 View Post
      What year and motor? The 3.6L Pentastar engine on the '11 and '12 MY has 4 chains, I believe. The 3.8L is a pushrod so should have a short timing chain. The 4.0L has a timing belt which has 102k mile interval.

      Most of the service interval information is included in your manual. I'd check there for OCI, coolant flush, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc.

      I have a 2010 3.8 (I believe). I just bought it 'Previously enjoyed', and didn't get a user manual - thus I turn to smart people on Vortex!

      I'm not being a smart ass here - I'm very happy with the wealth of knowledge found on this forum already...Just hungering for more!


      I know earlier Chryco minivans were plagued with trans issues, specifically because of fluid intervals being overlooked. I need this van to last me awhile, and I really don't want any big surprises. That's why I was asking for the interval information, hopefully in FAQ form so others may benefit.

      Thanks for the quick response about the timing belt/chains.

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      09-18-2011 12:40 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by TheSpatulaOfLove View Post
      I have a 2010 3.8 (I believe). I just bought it 'Previously enjoyed', and didn't get a user manual - thus I turn to smart people on Vortex!

      I'm not being a smart ass here - I'm very happy with the wealth of knowledge found on this forum already...Just hungering for more!


      I know earlier Chryco minivans were plagued with trans issues, specifically because of fluid intervals being overlooked. I need this van to last me awhile, and I really don't want any big surprises. That's why I was asking for the interval information, hopefully in FAQ form so others may benefit.

      Thanks for the quick response about the timing belt/chains.


      If you would like a copy of the paper manual that goes in the glove box PM me your email address, I have it scanned in to my PC in PDF form. It's for a 2010, but covers the 3.8 and 4.0 it looks like. Although it looks like we missed page 70 that is for the maintence schedule, but that can be scanned in before I would email you.

    15. Junior Member
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      09-18-2011 10:21 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ryder View Post
      So in July, we bought a new 2011 Routan SE which includes the "no-charge" Carefree Maintenance for the first 36,000 miles.

      At 2,000 miles we took it in for the "2,000 Mile Courtesy Check" where they went over the vehicle and fixed a couple of minor things (loose antenna and loose rear door interior light).

      Well this week, VW mailed me a notification telling me that is time for my "no-charge 4,000 mile Carefree Maintance." So I called the service department to ask what is done at the 4,000 mile service and they said "Nothing, if you already came in for your 2,000 Mile Courtesy Check."

      So I asked them, when is my first oil due and they said "8,000 miles." I thought is was supposed to be 6,000 miles between oil changes.

      So what should be done at 4,000 miles and when should I get my first oil change (under the no-chare Carefree Maintenance program)?
      Well, the mystery is over. At 3,500 miles, the CHANGE OIL notification just started coming on.

    16. Junior Member
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      09-19-2011 02:18 AM #16
      The oil change intervals on the 2011 Routan with the 3.6 liter engine is 8,000 miles. I too received the 4,000 mile card, and I too was told conflicting stories before I talked to a dealer that knew the facts.

      Our 2011 "Change Oil" came on around 3,800 miles, and Volkswagen did a free oil change.

      I believe what was stated above - no more than 8,000 miles, but if the change oil comes on before then, Volkswagen will cover it.

    17. Junior Member
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      09-19-2011 12:52 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by NCrsx View Post
      Last week my change oil light came on at 3600 miles and VW changed the oil with no charge. They told us that a maintenance bulletin came out which tells them to change the oil no matter what the mileage is if the change oil light comes on. It's due to the new pentastar v6 being "smarter" and tells them that it needs an oil change. Has anyone heard of this maintenance bulletin?
      Mine came on at 3,500 miles.

      Does anyone know the number of the maintenance bulletin?

      I am going in on Thursday (this week) for an oil change and the dealer says that I will have to pay for it: $65 per oil change!!! It will probably be less, as I will be taking in my own Mobil 1 Synthetic. But $65??? After the "no charge" maintenance runs out, I don't think that I will be visiting the dealer for oil changes.

      My 2009 Saturn includes free oil changes for life (dealer promotion, not GM).

    18. Junior Member
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      09-22-2011 09:39 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ryder View Post
      ... the dealer says that I will have to pay for it: $65 per oil change!!! It will probably be less, as I will be taking in my own Mobil 1 Synthetic. But $65??? After the "no charge" maintenance runs out, I don't think that I will be visiting the dealer for oil changes.
      Well, I went in today with 3,658 miles on the odometer expecting to pay for an unscheduled oil change. They performed a 6,000 mile service (oil change and tire rotation) for no charge (warranty). Weird.

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