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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The manual for my Audi (2003 A4 Avant 3.0) specifies a number of requirements that my motor oil should meet (ACEA A2 or A3, API Service SJ). As I understand it, this should be an all-synthetic oil. However, the dealers in my area (San Jose, CA) use blended or conventional motor oil. I've talked to the Audi Customer Service people, and they tell me that they can't force the dealers to use any particular oil, they can only make recommendations. My car is under warranty (first service is due), so I'd like to have them put the appropriate oil in my car and I'd rather not pay extra for it.
My questions:
* Do I need to meet either or both of the ACEA A2/A3 and API SJ specifications?
* Can anyone recommend specific motor oils?
* Has anyone had any luck in forcing a dealership to use synthetic oils? Or conversely, am I asking too much -- are there conventional oils which meet the Audi specifications?
My apologies if this question has been discussed before; I did a brief search and didn't notice any obvious matches.
 

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I've been using Amsoil on my '02 A4 1.8T. Converted it over as soon as I could b/c that little hamster gets hot during the long summers around here. Car doesn't burn a drop of oil, of coure it has only 29k on it.
In terms of "forcing" a dealership to use synthetic you can do one of two things.
A. ask them to use synthetic which they'll charge you for.
B. Bring in your own oil and have them use it. Make sure you have the service writer note on the order that you have brought your own oil. I actually get my empty's back from the dealership I use and any unused bottles are returned.
Hope that helps.
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (EnquiringMind)

I Just did this on my 3.0 last month...... I actually did the oil change myself though since I didn't want Audi doing it for me.

I switched to Mobil1 synthetic. The factory fill oil is 0w30. I replaced it with Mobil1 0w40, it complies with all of the specifications, and is not that expensive. You need 6.6 quarts, so you'll have to buy 7 quarts. For me it cost right around $30.
So, if you want the dealership to do this, just bring them 7 quarts of Mobil1 0w40 and ask them to use it.
- Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I just dropped my A4 off at service w/ 7 quarts of Mobil 1 5W-30. It doesn't meet A2/A3, but it's better than what they were going to put in. For next service I'll look around for either the Mobil 1 0W-40, or perhaps the Castrol synthetic 5W-30 (both of which meet ACEA A2/A3).
It still burns me up that the "included" maintenance doesn't include a decent motor oil, but there's not much to be done about it.
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (EnquiringMind)

Quote, originally posted by EnquiringMind »
* Do I need to meet either or both of the ACEA A2/A3 and API SJ specifications?

The owner's manual is somewhat vague on that, but I'd say, if you can find an oil that meets both, use that. Also, API SJ is an older specification, superceeded by SL. ACEA is a European spec; API is a US-spec. The ACEA is more stringent as far as I know, so I'd rather use an oil that meets the ACEA spec, even if it doesn't meet the API spec than vice versa. Some European oil manufacturers just don't feel like paying to have their oils certified by API, but are still good oils.
Quote »
* Can anyone recommend specific motor oils?

Mobil 1 0w-40 meets all the above specs. You can safely use that in your engine.
Quote »
* Has anyone had any luck in forcing a dealership to use synthetic oils? Or conversely, am I asking too much -- are there conventional oils which meet the Audi specifications?

This has always been a sore point with AoA for me. Audi fills the engine at the factory with synthetic oil, but then the dealer switches you back to dino and tells you to run it for 10K miles.
They just find a cheap dino oil (like Castrol GTX), which meets API SJ/SL cert. and that's what they use. My dealership in Virginia used to use Castrol 15w-40 - besides not being synthetic, that's even too thick for running during winter, IMO.
No Audi dealer in Europe uses mineral oils anymore. They all use high quality synthetics, but of course maintenance on Audis in Europe is not free, and a bottle (1 liter or 1 quart) of quality synthetic oil costs about $15.
Your only options are those that David listed above. I used to bring my own synthetic oil with me when going in for these "free" maintenance visits. I also do oil changes in-between (every 5K miles), because 10K miles is too long for a hard-driven turbocharged engine, IMO. The NA engine should be OK though.
Also, don't give your dealer too much oil because most of them are dumb enough to put it all in and overfill your engine. If it requires 6.6 quarts, give them EXACTLY that, not 6, not 7.

Cheers,



Modified by Quattro Pete at 2:05 PM 3-4-2004
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? ([email protected])

Quote, originally posted by [email protected] »
So, if you want the dealership to do this, just bring them 7 quarts of Mobil1 0w40 and ask them to use it.
- Anthony

I would bring them 6.5 quarts instead of 7. That way you ensure that they don't use all 7 and overfill your car and you can top it off yourself. I brought in 4 quarts for my 1.8T ONCE and it required 3.7. The dealer put all 4 quarts in
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (quickautotech)

I prefer Amsoil and their filter...I drive about 187 miles per day when training and the right oil makes all the difference. I tried Mobile 1 the first time but think Amsoil works better. I also use their oil in my sailboat. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (SAC_Audi)

I couldn't help but notice that Mobil 1 5W-30 doesn't meet the A2/A3 specification. how important is it for the oil we use to meet those specifications. I currently own a 2003 Audi A4 1.8T and will be going for my first oil change soon....
How does Mobil 1 compare to the synthetic oil offered by Castrol? Any info would be appreciated.
PJStyles
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (EnquiringMind)

AMSOIL BABY, all the way. 10w30 Turbo oil and filter every 12,500 or 6 months whichever comes first. Out performs all other brands! go here and see: http//www.amsoil.com
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (EnquiringMind)

As an Audi Technician I strongly recommend that you use a full synthetic oil in your 1.8T. My personal suggestion is Mobil One 5w-30. Change it every 3-5K, depending on how much city driving you do. I have seen plenty of oil-coking in the 1.8T engines and as a result, clogged oil pumps. Most of these cases are when the customer uses conventional oil and only changes it every 10K when it is free to them.
If you care about your car and want it to live a long, healthy life I would follow my recommendations. You can always bring in your oil and the tech will use it instead of their oil and there should be no additional charge to do so.
I also recommend that you keep your tires inflated to 34-36 psi (check it once every couple weeks) and rotate your tires every 5K miles. It really does make a difference in tire life. Wait till you see what your tires will cost to replace.
Additionally the information given to you earlier about synthetic coming in your car from the factory is incorrect. They put regular oil in the engine from the factory untill build dates of Nov. 2003. The 1.8T's from that point on DO come with Synthetic from the factory and are easily distinguished from the others by their much larger oil filter. I have yet to change oil on one of these cars.
Oops, I am a dumbass. I just re-read your post and realized you have a 3.0. In your case, you can use conventional oil if you like or use a full synthetic. Synthetic is obviously better but not mandatory as your motor doesn't get nearly as hot as with the turbo motors. You need 6.8 quarts either way you go.


Modified by Audiquattroluv2 at 9:04 AM 3-6-2004
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (Audiquattroluv2)

Quote, originally posted by Audiquattroluv2 »
Additionally the information given to you earlier about synthetic coming in your car from the factory is incorrect.

Unless we see some substantiation/proof, it is hard to believe one way or the other. There has been much talk on this subject, and everyone you ask, either at the dealer or at AoA will tell you something different on this subject.
However, what I do know is that Audi/VW has had a long-standing relationship with Castrol in Europe, and they've been using their oils for factory fills. I believe the factory fill for the A4 has been Castrol SLX 0w-30 for quite a while now. They also suggest this oil for most Audis in Europe.
Additionally, the owner's manual of my '01 A4 states "Your car came with 0w-30 oil from the factory." Most, if not all, 0w-30 oils are synthetics, or at least synthetic blends.
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (Audiquattroluv2)

Quote, originally posted by Audiquattroluv2 »
As an Audi Technician I strongly recommend that you use a full synthetic oil in your 1.8T. My personal suggestion is Mobil One 5w-30. Change it every 3-5K, depending on how much city driving you do. I have seen plenty of oil-coking in the 1.8T engines and as a result, clogged oil pumps. Most of these cases are when the customer uses conventional oil and only changes it every 10K when it is free to them.

Mobile 1 5-30 doesn't meet VW's minimum specifications. Mobil 1 0-40 does as does the German Castrol 0-30. Multiple oil analysis's on these oil show that they are in great shape at 5k oil changes and since they meet the extended oil change interval requirements of VW - can go 10k between changes with a stock filter. Changing your oil at 3k miles is a waste of money and resources.
Quote »
I also recommend that you keep your tires inflated to 34-36 psi (check it once every couple weeks) and rotate your tires every 5K miles. It really does make a difference in tire life. Wait till you see what your tires will cost to replace.

Rotating at 5k is a good idea, and rotating and balancing is even better.
Quote »
Additionally the information given to you earlier about synthetic coming in your car from the factory is incorrect. They put regular oil in the engine from the factory untill build dates of Nov. 2003. The 1.8T's from that point on DO come with Synthetic from the factory and are easily distinguished from the others by their much larger oil filter. I have yet to change oil on one of these cars.

What larger filter are you talking about? They are still using the 561B filter on the 1.8T's. I've owned a 99 1.8T AEB engine, a 2000 1.8T ATC engine and now a 04 A4 1.8T engine and ALL have used the 561B filter.
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? ([email protected])

Quote, originally posted by [email protected] »
Mobile 1 5-30 doesn't meet VW's minimum specifications.

Actually, despite not being VW-certified, M1 5w-30 does as well or even better than M1 0w-40 in the 1.8T engine. Here are two 10K mile UOAs from the same car, one with M1 5w-30 and one with M1 0w-40:
http://theoildrop.server101.co...00000
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? (Quattro Pete)

Quote, originally posted by Quattro Pete »
Actually, despite not being VW-certified, M1 5w-30 does as well or even better than M1 0w-40 in the 1.8T engine. Here are two 10K mile UOAs from the same car, one with M1 5w-30 and one with M1 0w-40:
http://theoildrop.server101.co...00000

Interesting that the 0-40 didn't perform as well, as some other tests have proven otherwise. As others have said in that thread it could be due to fuel contamination. I used 5-30 in both my previous 1.8T's until the 0-40 came along. I don't think the difference is that substantial other than if there is ever a warranty problem - I can at least say that the oil that I used met all specifications.
 

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I switched to Mobil1 5w-30 shortly after purchasing my 99.5 1.8T and I haven't had any problems, as a matter of fact my cold-weather starts noticeably improved and oil temperatures seem to be consistently lower during normal operating conditions.
Any recommendations as to which weight I should switch to for summer weather? Cheers, PJ (WMP)
 

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Re: Audi A4 Oil Change: What Oil to Use? ([email protected])

Quote, originally posted by [email protected] »
I can at least say that the oil that I used met all specifications.

I wish Audi dealers in the US would also adopt this way of thinking.

FYI, here's another M1 5w-30/0w-40 comparo:
http://theoildrop.server101.co...00000
Pretty close, I think, despite M1 0w-40's tendency to thin out quite a bit.
 
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