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Fuels & Lubricants Discussion all about Fuels & Lubricants. synthetic oil, conventional oil, brands, change intervals, diesel grades, gelling and such debated items like that. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed. This forum is NOT for the discussion of biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

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Old August 6th, 2017, 08:54   #1
PD Rig
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Wink Oil service life

A friend has a "long distance diesel" that he keeps in his garage most of the time and also has an electric vehicle. He does a lot of short distance trips so he hardly drives his diesel, but when he does it is highway driving. He drives a common rail Passat. I was over at his place yesterday and he told me he changes his oil in his oil every 6 months. I told him that he was nuts and that he would be fine for at least a year between changes. Probably longer. I could understand changing that often if he drove it 5 miles and shut it off all the time. He said he is lucky if he gets 2000 miles between oil changes. At that rate I think he would be safe changing every two years provided the oil does not get too acidic in that time. Seems like a huge waste of oil and time to change it. Thoughts? Links to articles addressing this subject.? Since we are on the subject, could we address vw504/507 oil and cj4. I would assume a cj4 could sit longer In the sump than a 507 oil because the cj4 Tbn numbers are higher than The 507 from what I have seen.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 09:15   #2
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The oil he is putting into his car sat on the shelf for longer than 6months.. once a year would be the fastest he should be changing it IMO..
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Old August 6th, 2017, 09:45   #3
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It is a huge waste of oil. I agree that he would be fine changing it every couple of years. Not only is he wasting time and money, but a 2k mile interval is going to cause far more wear than 10k. He is probably set in his ways though, so I wouldn't try too hard to convince him.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 09:54   #4
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Is there a risk of "too acidic" with synthetic oils? I thought not.

Quality synthetic needs mileage based changes, not time, IIRC. Changing every 2k miles is a waste/rick in so many ways...
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Old August 6th, 2017, 10:52   #5
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I should have phrased too acidic differently as any acidity is bad. What I meant was keeping it in the sump long enough to have the tbn exhausted which should be mileage driven.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 16:25   #6
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Actually I believe that in this case his Diesel falls into the severe service category where more frequent changes are called for. The little old lady only driving to church on Sundays, that's severe service too. If the car was driven every day that would be normal, just sitting there is not.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 16:41   #7
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I don't see his driving pattern as severe duty. Neither does the owners manual consider it severe duty.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 20:40   #8
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Quote:
could we address vw504/507 oil and cj4
I think the owners manual is clear on this. CJ4 is not low ash.

At 4000 miles a year, he could change the oil and oil filter every Nov. or every other Nov. and have less risk of damage caused by dirt ingestion from to many oil changes.

If you want to be concerned for him i would be more concerned about winter body corrosion. With the money saved he could have it waxed every year and detailed.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 21:47   #9
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[QUOTE=James & Son;5313372]I think the owners manual is clear on this. CJ4 is not low ash.

At 4000 miles a year, he could change the oil and oil filter every Nov. or every other Nov. and have less risk of damage caused by dirt ingestion from to many oil changes.

If you want to be concerned for him i would be more concerned about winter body corrosion. With the money saved he could have it waxed every year and detailed

I was not suggesting the use of a cj4 oil.in a stock common rail. My bew is the only tdi in my garage that gets the cj4. The cj4 comment was for my own benefit. Again from what I have seen with the cj4 oils the tbn is higher than the 507 spec oils. I just wanted to throw cj4 into the equation because I have a JD backhoe that does not get a lot of use and from what I have read, changing it every few years is just fine. So I change it about every 3 years. Now the dealer has told me that every year is a must. When I asked them why I was told that is what the manufacturer suggests. I thought a member may be able to make an argument why 1 could stay in the sump longer than the other based only on time. It seems that the consensus in this thread is if you are using a synthetic oil, change it based on its use. Not on the months it has been in the sump
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Old August 7th, 2017, 16:18   #10
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I have common rail and i not using 507 spec oil, i do use full saps . Result ? 2,5 gr ash out of 70 max in my dpf in 65k km (or 40k+ miles ) . Not see why i should use 507 specs .If the engine is not burning oil directly and the oil that you ll use , have low noack ,use full saps and change it at 10k max km (6k miles or so ) .

( For now i use this ... )
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Old August 7th, 2017, 23:32   #11
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I have a few rigs (quads, bikes, rigs in my sig, ect) that are in mint condition but I never drive (don't ask) that sit in a heated garage, I change the oil every 2 years or 5k miles on them mostly because when I do drive them I drive them hard, Nice golden oil= happy engine seals
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Old August 8th, 2017, 05:00   #12
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Volkswagen's on board PM minder sets the time at 372 days. That is longer than six months. Not sure what more you can do aside from pointing this out IN HIS OWN CAR, or in his car's manual.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 06:00   #13
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Changing modern synthetic oil this frequently has nothing to do with the quality of the oil. This is just a holdover from days of yore and the 3K mile oil change. And the fact that this car is only used for distance driving makes the oil condition optimal. I'd not let it go more than 2 years, however (which is the spec on the synthetic oil changes in our standby generator).
The "OCI Syndrome" can manifest itself in some pretty extreme OCD behavior. I used to belong to a local car club, and one guy would use the monthly club meeting as an excuse to change his oil....which invariably had less than 1K miles on it, and hadn't even begun to discolor.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 18:07   #14
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Diesels do not have the Sulfur levels to deal with which is the major reason for acidic formation in the oil. TBN (Total Base Number) is used to determine an oils suitability for changes based on "Duration" vs miles/hours of operation.

In the case of somebody driving low miles, oil change intervals of 2-3 years is absolutely in the realm of reasonable if not IDEAL!

Repetitive oil changes will increase wear, and is causing far more damage to the cam and other parts due to a lack of HP/EP additive formation due to perpetual detergency.

If he has any doubt, do an oil analysis after 2 years, you'll find that the oil is in nearly new condition!

The next biggest factor is whether he is getting the engine up to operating temperature, no amount of oil changes will reduce wear caused by a lack of sustained operating temperature... Installing a hotter thermostat (195F etc) and using a block heater as well as a radiator block to reduce airflow to the cooling system all help get the engine up to operating temperature faster, and burn off residual moisture.

Odd are, if you inspect the cam, he's already showing signs of severe wear and will be in need of a cam...

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Old August 10th, 2017, 16:05   #15
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Lots of short trips would be bad for the oil, and then it would be worth changing it once per year.

If he only drives it on long trips, so the car is at full operating temperature most of the time, I wouldn't hesitate to change based on mileage.

My father in law bought a 2016 Jetta TSI in June of last year. The thing was nagging for an oil change recently and only had 1500 miles on it! He's in his 80's and drives it a couple blocks once a week to the senior's center, or something like that. In that case, I did change the oil because it likely has condensation in it, and maybe some fuel dilution from only running in a cold engine basically all the time. I didn't change the filter though. Just a top-side oil change with an oil extractor. Maybe next year I'll drain it properly and change the filter...when he has 3000 miles on it.
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