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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new PASSAT owner ('99 GL) and would like to know if anyone has strong opinions about the best oil to use. The car is a 5-speed 1.8T with about 30K miles. I live in North Carolina (current temps are in the 70's, but we should be in the 30's to 50's for the next few months). I do mostly highway driving. In the past, I have used mostly synthetics (Mobil1 et al).
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Brimster)

Hi there fellow NC'er

I just had my first oil change, and I had them use Mobil1 5w30. Mobil1's pretty much regarded as one of the best oils you can get - you can also try 0w30, 5w40 (though Mobil doesn't make one), or 0w40, though the zero weight oils aren't as much of a necessity down here I don't think, since it doesn't really get *that* cold in the winter.
Just as an aside, I saw a 5w50 oil the other day in Pep Boys (I believe it was Valvoline SynPower). Anyone use this? That's a pretty sweet range too, like the 0w40. I'd never seen (or heard of anyone using) that before, so I didn't get it though.
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Brimster)

If you want to stick with the non-synthetics and change your oil every 3k or so, Castrol will treat you fine (and save you a few $s as well.)
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Hansi)

You don't save that much. Mobil 1 every 5000 has worked well for me-140,000 miles on the Camry. If I changed with a good 'natural' oil every 3k, I would spend pretty much the same or more over the life. Plan on doing Mobil 1 with the variant when it shows up!
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Hansi)

There's no good reason not to use a synthetic oil (such as Mobil-1) -- especially with a turbo. Spending $20 for oil on your $20,000 automobile is trivial.
Me, I use Mobil-1 5W30 all year in my 1.8T. I've considered a 0W during the winter, but with a turbo I have reservations. Besides, I just plug in the oil pan heater once it gets below zero outside...
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Brimster)

I use Red Line fully synthetic 5W-30 and I can't tell you how much I love it. It has noticibally changed the overall smoothness of the engine (1.8T). The type of oil you use also depends on your climate and how many miles you have on your Passat. The dealer warned me not to switch to fully synthetic until after at least 10k miles to allow a full break in of the engine...so take heed to my advice if that's not the case. Go ahead and do your homework, but in my opinion...Red Line is outstanding. Mobil 1 is also a very good product. And allow me to relate..it took me about a 3 weeks to finally decide on Red Line....so I know about the headache of trying to decide. Good luck


[Modified by indigofast, 10:11 AM 12-2-2001]
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (indigofast)

I'm using Amsoil 5w30 now and I like it a lot. But I put it in when I installed my Stage 3, so the effect of the new turbo overwhelmed any effect of the oil. It is amazingly 'clean' stuff compared to most oils I've seen, and it appears to be in excellent shape despite some recent abuse.
I am thinking of buying some Redline for my next oil change, but I got the Amsoil from the factory store for about $5/quart vs the $8/quart for Redline.
-Ian
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (sbachmeier)

It's all a matter of personal perspective. I'll stick with the recommendations of a family member who spent many decades working for Wolfsburg. If synthetic oil was critical, the factory would mandate it in the owners manual. Bottom line... the two most important things you can do is change your oil (yes, the synthetics can go a few thousand extra miles) and transmission fluid (every two years) religiously.
Another issue... it's applicable on my Volvo (turbo). Not sure if it applies here (the Variant is so new I haven't even checked). Make sure that the oil cooler for the turbo is drained as well. Otherwise, you're just mixing new and used oil. Many of the chains (Pep Boys, etc.) aren't even aware of this.
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Hansi)

How about this...
Red Line 5W-30 changed every 10,000 miles. I use the new Mann synthetic element long life filter W719/30. I've had oil analysis performed at oil change time. This takes all the guess work out of calculating a proper change interval. After 10K, the analysis indicated I could probably double the interval with no loss of protection(still changing the filter at 10K,however). BTW, Red Line is made from polyol ester basestocks-turbojet aviation stuff.
Oil and oil filters have come a long, long way in the last 10 years as have engines. More frequent changes are simply a waste of resources.
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (dhamilton)

But consider this... why do Toyota (engines are very reliable) owners who follow the factory's recommended 7.5k oil changes encounter the well-documented sludge problems while those that change more frequently don't.
Also, oil lubcricates moving metal parts. If you get shavings in the oil, it's irrelevant if it's synthetic or non-synthetic. Frequent and regular changes will alleviate this.
 

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Re: Oil Recommendations (Hansi)

That's why I recommend oil analysis for folks who like long drain intervals. Sludge usually results from a combination of dino oil and short trips. Poor maintenance habits like not frequently checking PCVs can also contribute. I've never encountered a sludged-up motor that was on a diet of synthetic oil...
As to the "shavings", most dino oils' film strength is unlikely to be better than 500psi. Synthetic oils are usually around 3000psi. That means oil doesn't get squeezed out of the bearings and rings when the car is shut off. No metal to metal contact= no metal shavings generated.
As a last line of defense, that new Mann synthetic media filter is designed around long drain intervals. Jurgen Engelmaier, an engineer at Mann, sent me an e-mail and said that those new filters were capable of 30,000 kilometers before they go into bypass.
Also, conventional oils can begin to coke-up at around 500F. Upper cylinder areas often see temps of over 600F and the turbo bearings even higher. The much higher flash points of synthetic oil make it especially important when dealing with turbos. Even more so with chipped ones.
 
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