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Old October 21st, 2002, 00:52   #1
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wilmington, NC
Default First Oil Change??

Greetings to all!

I'm the proud owner of a Silver 2002 New Beetle GLS TDI and I've loved every minute of our first week together. This is the first new diesel I've owned(I drove a used 87 golf for 2 trouble free years). The car was one of the last 2002 models on the lot. I got a good deal at 16,250, which was $2200 off the sticker.

My question is simple. When should I have the oil changed the first time? I know the owners manual list the first scheduled oil change at 5000 miles, but I've always thought that your first oil change on any new car should occur at 500-1000 miles.

Also, are there any other items that I should be concerned about during the break-in period other than not over revving the engine?

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Old October 21st, 2002, 01:55   #2
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Default Re: First Oil Change??

Here's my opinion, and it's only that. DO NOT change the oil before 5k miles. The oil that's in there is special oil that allows the engine to break in properly. Even if it isn't, the particulates that collect in the oil (from what I've been told) further help the break-in process by being slightly more abrasive than "clean" oil, so any shavings or pieces that aren't perfectly matched will be, in a way, sanded down to be a better match... you are actually doing harm by removing that oil early, so don't do it.

This is just from what I've heard, but it makes a good bit of sense, in my opinion...
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Old October 21st, 2002, 06:46   #3
Join Date: Dec 2001
Default Re: First Oil Change??

The manual says first oil change at 5000 for a reason. Let the break-in oil do it's job.
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Old October 21st, 2002, 18:56   #4
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wilmington, NC
Default Re: First Oil Change??

Thanks for the quick response...

4500 miles to go!
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Old October 22nd, 2002, 05:35   #5
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Woodbridge VA
TDI(s): 2002 Jetta
Default Re: First Oil Change??

silly rabbit, do whatever you want. Just remember that someone who has researched oil changes ALOT more than you wrote the book.

and you second guess them? DIE! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

5000 is the best. this aint 1940, and there aint gonna be no big ole metal flakes in the oil. in fact, it may take 20,000 or more miles to break the engine in, and some have reported peak compression numbers arent reached until 60,000 miles, meaning the engine isnt FULLY and completely broken in until 60,000 miles. unbelievable? welcome to the 21st century.

[ October 22, 2002, 06:24: Message edited by: car 54 ]
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Old January 26th, 2005, 20:47   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Western New York
TDI(s): _
Default Re: First Oil Change??

damn 5k miles before first oil change. and i thought 1k miles was a long time to wait !
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Old September 24th, 2005, 16:59   #7
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oregon United States
Fuel Economy: 42/34 just 3 tanks
Default Re: First Oil Change??

Another lesson learned. Keep up the good work.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 10:08   #8
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Terre Haute, IN
TDI(s): 2004 Passat
Default a differing opinion re first oil change before 5k

Here's what a senior automotive engineer/six sigma master black belt told
me about an early oil change (more or less):

During break-in, a soft metal layer in the main engine bearings
(the bearing surface consists of several different layers)
"absorbs" any small metal particles the oil filter doesn't catch
due to the machining of the engine parts. This prevents these
particles from continually scoring parts including the crankshaft
*IF* all goes well this process works so there is no need for an
early oil change. *IF* things don't go well - e.g., you have more
than usual particulate in your engine - then the process doesn't necessarily work and you are better off getting new oil.

In his opinion, the benefit of leaving the oil in for the full 5k was
outweighed by the risk that there was a greater than normal level
of particulate. He suggested changing the oil around 1500 miles.
Given the fact that VW's quality control is not great - and thus that
the VW engineers do not possess godlike knowledge of how to build/
break-in vehicles so they last without problems, I went with his

The only way to know for sure which approach is best, pre 5k vs. 5k,
would be to randomly assign a large number of vehicles to each approach and see which engines last longer. This would be very hard to do well
and I doubt it's ever been done.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 10:18   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: san antonio & austin
Fuel Economy: Golf: 54/48/43.5 B4 Passat: 52/48.5/45 B5.5 Passat: 30 mpg mixed

Welcome to Fred's, statguy!

Interesting first post. I don't know if it makes a huge difference between a 1500 mile change and 5000 mile, but I don't doubt VW engineering. I commend you on using the search function before posting. I take it you came across other discussions on this subject?

Find one with commentary by Drivbiwire or SUNRG. Good explanations of what happens during the break-in period and how modern synthetic oils change during use.
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Last edited by tditom; June 30th, 2006 at 06:27.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 21:11   #10
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Southwest Louisiana
Fuel Economy: 51.2/41.8/33.4

Pssst! Hey Guys! The original post was in 2002. I hope the first oil change done many miles/years ago.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 02:33   #11
Fortuna Wolf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wilmington, NC
Fuel Economy: 36 mix

sshhh, I wanna see this thread pop up again in 2008.
2002 Jetta Sedan ALH-01M: 2 um Cat FF, Wingnut-3 CCV filter, polyurethane fuel lines, 5 brake light mod, Ventectomy, Polysiloxane vacuum tubing, Pioneer DEH-3800MP w/ KFC-1389ie, Panzer Plate, EGT+Boost+Oil Temp Gauges, Boost Valve, KERMA Line Pressure Mod, LED Lighting, HC-12a refrigerant, Optima 75/35 AGM, .187 nozzles, Hawk HPS pads.
Coming Soon: ESP retrofit, Custom Greasecar.

Wish List: Tow Bar, DSG or CVT transmission, or even a 5 speed manual. To hit 42+ mpg

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Old February 18th, 2008, 00:16   #12
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Fuel Economy: 35 mpg

Man, I have been searching for the post put up in 2002, but I cannot find it to save my life. I can't spend that much time looking. My a$$ is getting tired from sitting this long. Can somebody help me out finding it? No, this thread is not dead yet....
AirAssault Apache/longbow mech. TDI infant.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:21   #13
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Patterson N.Y.
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i have read this thread and have to say i disagree with the reasons listed for long break in period. firstly some manufacturers used to in the day use a non-detergent oil for break ins. the reason an engine needs to break in is for the piston rings to polish the crosshatch honing cylinder walls and etch its own machined irregularities, making a micro goove in the wall to match rings. during break in period the reason rpm is recomended to stay low is due to excesive heat and friction of rings and piston skirts create on walls.thats why some engines must be changed at low interval first time, oil has lost its viscosity from heat. race engines have no break in period due to polished cylinder walls accomplished by cork honing after a much finer honing stone. now back to diesels. diesels have a thicker oil and a much higher detergent than gas motor engines. detergent that suspends dirt that gets filtered. the reason the breakin period is so long is due to the amount of oil quenching that the cylinders get. it takes longer for the piston rings to seat on walls. the proof is in the longivity of diesels to its gas counterpart. run a thicker high detergent oil in a gas engine and see how the cylinder walls hold up better. synthetic oils have a better lubrication quality than conventional oil, thats the reason for thinner grades. thinner grades coat less causing a dry start up. but flow faster in cold helping lubrication faster. not an expert here, just a knowledged mechanic/engine builder
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Old November 4th, 2008, 12:41   #14
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: WA state

I have a new 2009 VW Jetta TDI sedan and this question is even more so an issue for me. The '09 edition instructs us to wait for 10,000 miles before getting the oil changed. I have been following Drivbiwire's break in procedures to needless to say I haven't been exactly gentle on the engine. I am at about 4,100 miles and just want to get it set in my head exactly when I will perform my first oil change. So 10k everbody???
- '09 Jetta TDI Sedan, Blue Graphite Metallic, manual trans., sunroof, Protection Pkg., iPod adapter (LAME)
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Old November 4th, 2008, 12:48   #15
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Reston, VA
Fuel Economy: 54/43/38

the '09 is a different animal and requires a different oil (507). If the manual says 10k, i'd go with it. But if you want to do one at 5k then 10k and 10k thereafter, I would not argue with you.
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