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If you put in 4.5 liters, and end up with nothing on the stick in 40 miles, you have a leak.
Not hard to find a leak.
You refill, start the engine, and watch.

But the way, I always use 20w50, and not the 0w20 they suggest.
 

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Point of order... VW recommended/recommends 5W-40, but required/requires oils with the VW 502.00 specification.

The oil that OP used is 5W-40.

The Mobil1 European Car Formula (meeting the VW 502.00 spec) I've used for both of our Mk5's for 14 years now is 0W-40. Not a hint of oil usage between changes.

But then we've always lived in the Norther Tier -- Maryland, Ohio, and now Colorado.

Where do you live?
Oil is oil and we all know why VW changed their oil specs.
It is because the thinner oil VW has switched to recommending, allows them to claim high gasoline mileage.
And that has cause premature failure of any place the oil is not under pressure, like chain slippers, camshaft lobes, etc.
The best way is to use better oil than VW is recommending, which is thicker viscosity, not 502.00 spec.
They are NOT recommending the best oil at all, but the oil with the highest mileage rating capability.
Nothing in the hardware has changed, so there is no good new reason for the new oil spec.
 

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Idiot reply!
You may not be familiar, but "bedazzled" refers to when bearing wear has started to leave little metal particles in the oil filter.
It is not an "idiot" reply.

In fact, it is very important that if the bearings are starting to wear, you immediately rebuild the engine with new bearings.
That way you avoid the expensive crankshaft re-grinding.
If the oil filter is "bedazzled" with bearing metal particles, stop driving it immediately.
It saves at least $500 to stop before you wear the crank.
 

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Well respectfully, we don't all know why. Are you referring to 502.00 as the "new oil spec"? As of 2005?

Please understand, what you're saying makes sense. If you understand more about this stuff than I do (which wouldn't be tough to do), by all means make your own choice. I mean that.

But for us lay-people, I think sticking with the recommended spec is the best choice.



Again not to put too-fine a point on it, but the Mobil1 ECF I've used for almost a decade and a half is 0W-40. :)
No, I am saying that if you reduce the viscosity, then you have to increase the slipperiness of the oil.
That should be obvious.
If the viscosity is higher, then the thickness of any oil film will be greater.
And for a thinner film to not allow damage, is has to be slipperier.
And obviously thicker oils is cheaper, more reliable, and allows for more frequent changing, so is cleaner.

The mistaken rabbit hole VW is going down is more obvious is you look at the newer VW recommendations.
{...
Recommended Oil Viscosity: SAE 0W20 Recommended Oil Change Interval: 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever occurs first, only with VW 508 00 spec More Information
...}

The point is going thinner but with more expensive slippery agents, is a very expensive and dangerous route.
For example, the 2.5 used to never have chain slipper problems with the older oil specs.
With thinner viscosities, not they do.
 
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