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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what all you other V6 Passat users use. I was thinking of just going with the normal 5W-30. Is synthetic really worth it? Thanks for the info.
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (cram51)

I think in the long term it is. It provides better protection at start up than regular oil. I change my own oil so I feel better letting it go for 8000 miles before changing it. You will also get slightly better gas mileage because of the lower friction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Synthetic oil or not? (kellera6)

Yea, sounds like synthetic is worth it. Sometimes it is extremely cold here in the winter and we go immediately after starting (well, I got her to wait atleast 30 seconds before driving off). Better gas mileage from synthetic? That would make it even more worth it. I know you said it is minimal, but it helps. Thanks for the info.
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (cram51)

No. Waste of money in Illinois.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Synthetic oil or not? (Saintor)

Really? You think so. I'm up for saving cash. How much more a quart is synthetic anyway?
 

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It's not a waste of money if you actually follow the extended drain intervals indicated by companies such as Amsoil, et. al.
I have been changing my oil every 10k miles, using Amsoil, with a filter change and top-off in-between.
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (cram51)

Quote, originally posted by cram51 »
How much more a quart is synthetic anyway?


All of the synthetics I've seen are around $5/quart. Most of the dino oil I've seen is less than $2/quart.
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (cram51)

Synthetic is the way to go. It lasts longer, protects better, and doesn't cost a whole lot more than conventional dino oil. Oil is cheap compared to everything else you need to pay for when you own and maintain a car.
 

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Re: (Max Rebo)

Quote, originally posted by Max Rebo »
It's not a waste of money if you actually follow the extended drain intervals indicated by companies such as Amsoil, et. al.
I have been changing my oil every 10k miles, using Amsoil, with a filter change and top-off in-between.

To answer another poster's question on price: I just bought Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 at $4.29/Qt at NAPA last night.
As a PSA, I'd like to point out that following Max Rebo's advice on a 10K OCI will, in fact, give your dealer ammunition to void your warranty. That change interval exceeds the manual's recommendation of 5,000 miles.
There have been people here and on Clubb5 who have had difficulties with VW dealers when they couldn't produce receipts for the 5,000 mile change interval.
If you are under warranty yet, and wish to minimize possible future issues, I'd say you need to stay within the constraints of the recommended service.
I'm not saying that the AMsoil can't handle that interval (I have no idea either way). I'm just saying that the dealer can hassle you later. If you are out of warranty - hey, do whatever floats your boat!
End of Public Service Announcement b5.5
 

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Re: (Altair 4)

Personaly, I discount the warentee.
I think synthetic is good stuff.
Is it worth the money?
I dont know, not many people wear out an engine these days.
I suppose regular oil is fine in the V6, 5w30 in winter, 10w40 in
the summer, and I doubt you would see any change in engine life.
Synthetic pays off if you have a turbo, or let the oil go longer
than you should, as it does not break down as quickly as dino
oil.
Generaly speaking, synthetic is good in the winter, where really cold
starts need a thinner oil splashing around quickly.
Its also good in the extreme heat of the summer, where it
does not break down, but if you change the oil every 5000 miles,
I doubt it makes any difference in how long the engine lasts.
How many people expect to get 200,000 miles plus out of an engine?
Most people are sick of the car by that amount of miles....
Brett
2003 GLX (potensen 5w40 synthetic oil in it)
 

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Re: (Brett1)

The dealer cannot void your warranty for using synthetic oil or going for extended drain intervals, unless they can scientifically prove without a doubt that the oil you are using directly led to the failure in question. If you use Amsoil, and the oil damages something (never happened though), Amsoil will cover your repairs under their own warranty.
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (cram51)

Yes, synthetic is worth it for the following reasons:
1. Keeps your engine cleaner. Less likely to sludge and varnish through VI breakdown so that when your car hits 100,000 miles or so, it will likely burn less oil and run better.
2. You can double your drain interval. While I am not a fan of Amsoil type extended drains (15 to 25k), I don't want to pay for an oil change every 3k miles either. Unless you do your own oil change, you will save money with synthetic because you can change your oil every 5 or 6k rather than every 3k at ~$30 a pop.
3. Your owners manual requires that the oil you use is either ACEA A3 or meets a VW 50X spec. As far as I know, only synthetic oils (and some blends) meet these specs. These specs essentially require a HTHS rating of 3.5 or higher and no dino I know of meets that (in laymen's terms, the higher the HTHS, the better your engine is "protected"). The following oils meet the ACEA A3
-Mobil 1 0w-40 and 15w-50
-Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 and 20w-50
- Castrol Syntec 10w-40, 5w-50 and 0w-30 (the German version of 0w-30 NOT the U.S. version).
- Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic 5w-30 and 10w-30.
- Castrol Syntec Blend 10w-40.
I personally use the Maxlife Synthetic 10w-30 and drain every 5k. This oil meets ACEA A3, has an HTHS of 3.6 and is also recommended for cars requiring VW50x. Not only that, you can buy it off the shelf at Walmart. I also prefer it over the other oils I listed because it has a lower viscosity spread (10-30) and therefore has fewer VI improvers and is less susceptable to VI breakdown. I don't like the large spread oils (e.g. 5w-40 and 0w-40) because they do shear down to a 30 weight which means you might get some varnishing and ring sticking over the long run.
 

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I agree with VWconvert's
If you want to choose the best oil for an engine and a type of operation it isn't as simple as brand name, viscosity syn vs conventional anymore,
Look at factory approvals, regional temperatures and driving patterns, the actual blend and additive package of the oils, and used oil analysis to determine the best oil and oil change interval.

I might use a Redline 5W-20, Mobil1 0W-20, or Motorcraft 5W-20 in a new Honda.
In a high output german engine I'd probably run Mobil 0W-40, Redline 5W-40, or other syn or syn blend oils that had the highest Factory approvals in addition to API, ILSAC, and ACEA.
Then I'd read oil threads, Virgin Oil Analysis, and Used Oil Analysis data from sites like:
http://theoildrop.server101.co...m;f=1
http://theoildrop.server101.co...;f=11
http://theoildrop.server101.co...m;f=3
This can be a good place to learn from others and find out good oils and Oil Change Intervals.
------
I don't run long intervals... I stay at or below factory specified intervals for warranty.
I don't buy based only on brand name.
I don't believe that the best or most expensive synthetics are 'always' the best choice .........but I do see some of the best oils coming from Mobil1, Castrol Syntec [Europe], and Redline.
With the new specs and approvals many of the Group II/ III ' blends ' are good value and perform very well with 4000 - 5000 intervals.
The bottom line is that the factory engineering and factory fluids and specs are often one of the best choices.
And, oil specs have helped produce some very well engineered oils.
The industry is moving away from 'minimum ' specs to 'target' specs.... so more additives,, or thicker oil is no longer better.
 

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Re: (ThatWouldBeGreat)

May be this is a better question then the one we are trying to answer right now:
What is the kind of oil the the VW dealers use?
Is it Synthetic or the regular stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Synthetic oil or not? (vwconvert)

According to the service manager at my dealership (just outside St. Louis), my car (a v6 2004) should not deviate from the 5w-40 recommended by VW. As for synthetic or not, he said that is up to me. I asked him what was put in the car when we bought it - he said, unless you specify, they put in normal 5w-40. They will only put on sythetic if you ask specifically when you buy the car.
So, in hearing this and all the input that you nice people have given me, I think I will go with Valvoline sythetic in the winter (cause my girl always just starts the car and goes in the morning - without letting it warm up for more than 10 seconds) and Valvoline synpower in the summer or "warmer" months. I, obviously, don't know much, but is Synpower by Valvoline a blend or something? Part sythetic? Thanks again all. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Oh yea, another question that shows I know nothing. Would it be hard or bad for the engine to be switching between sythetic oil and others throughout the year? Would you all just recommend sticking with one kind instead of flip-flopping like that throughout the year?


Modified by cram51 at 11:20 AM 5-23-2004
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (cram51)

Quote, originally posted by cram51 »
According to the service manager at my dealership (just outside St. Louis), my car (a v6 2004) should not deviate from the 5w-40 recommended by VW. As for synthetic or not, he said that is up to me. I asked him what was put in the car when we bought it - he said, unless you specify, they put in normal 5w-40. They will only put on sythetic if you ask specifically when you buy the car.
So, in hearing this and all the input that you nice people have given me, I think I will go with Valvoline sythetic in the winter (cause my girl always just starts the car and goes in the morning - without letting it warm up for more than 10 seconds) and Valvoline synpower in the summer or "warmer" months. I, obviously, don't know much, but is Synpower by Valvoline a blend or something? Part sythetic? Thanks again all. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Oh yea, another question that shows I know nothing. Would it be hard or bad for the engine to be switching between sythetic oil and others throughout the year? Would you all just recommend sticking with one kind instead of flip-flopping like that throughout the year?


Sounds like your service advisor doesn't know much about oil. There is no "normal" 5w-40 at least not in the States. So if they are indeed putting in 5w-40, then they are putting in synthetic. If they are not putting in synthetic, then they are not putting in 5w-40. Contradictions all over the place. Most VW dealers use 10w-30 Castrol GTX and will only use synthetic if you ask them (and pay extra) in which case they will put in Castrol Syntec 5w-40 if you are lucky. Another problem with your advisor's statment is why shouldn't you "deviate from 5w-40" when 5w-40 is a *recommendation* and not a *requirement*? Tell him to read the owner's manual more carefully. The 5w-40 grade is a recommendation only. The requirements are ACEA A2 or A3 or one of the VW 50x specs. This is what you shouldn't deviate from, not the grade.
You can switch oils but I generally prefer to stay with one type because you get less additive package clash. But that is just me being ultra anal.
BTW, if you are going to use a Valvoline Synthetic, I'd use the Maxlife Synthetic, not the Synpower. The Maxlife is engineered to meet more specs (ACEA A3 and VW 50x). The only Synpower that meets these specs is the 5w-40 and you have to hunt it down at Napa. Oh yeah, the 20w-50 also meets ACEA A3, but it is too thick IMO. With the Maxlife, you can buy the big 5 quart jugs at Walmart and save $$$.


Modified by vwconvert at 12:37 PM 5-23-2004
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Synthetic oil or not? (vwconvert)

Quote, originally posted by vwconvert »
Yes, synthetic is worth it for the following reasons:
3. Your owners manual requires that the oil you use is either ACEA A3 or meets a VW 50X spec. As far as I know, only synthetic oils (and some blends) meet these specs. These specs essentially require a HTHS rating of 3.5 or higher and no dino I know of meets that (in laymen's terms, the higher the HTHS, the better your engine is "protected"). The following oils meet the ACEA A3
-Mobil 1 0w-40 and 15w-50
-Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 and 20w-50
- Castrol Syntec 10w-40, 5w-50 and 0w-30 (the German version of 0w-30 NOT the U.S. version).
- Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic 5w-30 and 10w-30.
- Castrol Syntec Blend 10w-40.
I personally use the Maxlife Synthetic 10w-30 and drain every 5k. This oil meets ACEA A3, has an HTHS of 3.6 and is also recommended for cars requiring VW50x. Not only that, you can buy it off the shelf at Walmart. I also prefer it over the other oils I listed because it has a lower viscosity spread (10-30) and therefore has fewer VI improvers and is less susceptable to VI breakdown. I don't like the large spread oils (e.g. 5w-40 and 0w-40) because they do shear down to a 30 weight which means you might get some varnishing and ring sticking over the long run.

Where could I find that Valvoline Synpower 5w-40? I checked Wal-Mart and couldn't find it. I bet I got to go to an autozone or Napa Autoparts place. All the oils at Wal-Mart (at mine atleast) do not meet ACEA A3 requirements.
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (ThatWouldBeGreat)

Maybe it's just me but the 5w-40 is hard to find, I can barely find it online and I can't find it anywhere in stores (Napa, Auto Zone, Auto Parts America).
Does anyone have any links?
Thanks
 

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Re: Synthetic oil or not? (ThatWouldBeGreat)

Quote, originally posted by ThatWouldBeGreat »
This was the correct # .... Valvoline Synthetic 5w40 Napa Part #966

How much are they charging a quart?
 
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