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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 November 15th, 2017, 20:03   #1
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Portland, Maine
Fuel Economy: 47.5
Default Winter oil viscosity

I know this topic might already have been beaten to death on previous threads, but I cant find anything for my situation.
I'm here in Maine with a mk3 tdi and am wondering what viscosity oil to use? I daily drive the car 100+ miles, and honestly I don't go easy on her(I am a very spirited young driver). Also, I have no idea what is in it right now, just bought the car. Should I do an oil change before the season starts?
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Old November 15th, 2017, 20:25   #2
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Congratulations on your purchase. I am certain you will be pleased with it. I would change the oil. Who knows what the previous owner has in there.

Read this. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=158788

Use a cj4/ck4 rated 5w/40. If you have a preferred brand, use that, or pick a brand if you do not have a preferred brand. Guys around here like Mobil 1 tdt, shell rotella t6, Delo, schaeffers, Amsoil Deo, the list goes on. Change every 10k miles. Your engine and turbo will be happy.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 09:13   #3
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Location: Mid MI
Fuel Economy: 47'ish

You are close enough to Canada that you may be able to get Rotella T6 in the 0-40 weight.

It is harder to find in most parts of the US, but it may be worth a look in your area.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 10:27   #4
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Location: maine

I've never been able to find the Rotella 0w-40 in Maine, but did score some in Austin Tx last winter. I have easily found Mobil1 European Car 0w-40 up here. It has something like a CF diesel rating.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 14:57   #5
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Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now


brand is unimportant
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Old November 16th, 2017, 15:59   #6
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Fuel Economy: 50/45/37

I'd stick with 5w40.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 16:05   #7
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Location: Denver (ex MN)
Fuel Economy: 35 to 50

I just put Rotella T6 0w40 in my 03. I use the 5w40 version in the warmer months.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 12:57   #8
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If you were doing mostly short trips in cold weather, you'd see some benefit by going to a thinner, 0w-30/5w-30/0w-40 grade in cold weather. In this case you'd only really notice an improvement in cold starts and more engine responsiveness during the warm up phase.

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Old December 1st, 2017, 17:10   #9
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Location: Osakis, Minnesota
TDI(s): 02 ASV
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Even on a performance-oriented TDI w/ high hp I would run a 0w-40 oil.

I run 0w-40 in mine in Minnesota winter. A TDI takes forever to warm up in the winter. You need an oil to have decent flow right away.

Even a 0w-40 will pour very slowly at below 0F temps. Stick to the lighter weight Group IV or V synthetics
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Old December 1st, 2017, 19:27   #10
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Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now

never knew you were in MN too, lots of us up here with nuttier tdis

convert over to iso or any other temperature independent measure of viscosity and 0w (at 32F where the winter number is tested) is still many times more viscous than SAE50 at 212F

meaning, it's just got a slightly flatter viscosity/temp curve

it's never thinner than when it's at the "hot" viscosity rating (well, when it's even hotter the flatter curve means 0w40 might be thicker than 15w40 when it's hotter than 212F where they rate the "40" in the number)

Last edited by [486]; December 1st, 2017 at 19:32.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 21:34   #11
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nobleboro, Maine
Fuel Economy: And the miles just keep ticking away

I tried the 0W-40 oil once and the valve train was so loud I drained and refilled with 5W-40. It gets very cold here at times and I've had no issues starting my B4's whenever it's -10 to -20F for weeks at a time. I've started it at -35F unaided when camping overnight in the White Mountains as well.

Stick with Rotella T6 5W-40, it's a little thinner than other 5W-40 oils and my go-to winter oil for the same engine you have. Wal-Mart has it for less than $20 a gallon as well. I also prefer the larger 940/25 oil filter. Yes, definitely do an oil change, and if the maintenance history us unknown, change the tranny fluid as well.

I can give the car a once-over and help with some light maintenance if you want, I'm only an hour north of you.
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Last edited by Abacus; December 1st, 2017 at 21:38.
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Old December 2nd, 2017, 15:50   #12
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Location: Kansas City KS

I use 5w40 ( usually 505.00 / 505.01, depending what my mechanic puts in) all year round in my ALH NB.

My 2015 Golf gets only 507.00
2000 Red NB TDI, 350,000+ miles
Now 5 speed manual and onto 500,000 miles + !
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Old December 7th, 2017, 09:53   #13
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Fuel Economy: Who cares? It's a DIESEL! Great fuel economy comes as a bonus!

IIRC, a 5W-40 oil such as Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck (TDT) or Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 oil flows down to -65F, so no issue in Maine during the winter. A 5W-40 oil is what's required for summer use so just use the 5W-40 oil year round.

Don't worry about the old oil appearing totally black during an oil change. Newbie diesel owners often freak out when they look at the oil for the first time. It's 100% normal and nothing to worry about. The new oil will appear totally black within a minute of running following an oil change, often before the engine is started again. Diesels push soot into the oil and TDIs are no exception. The newer CR TDIs take longer to blacken the oil because they run so incredibly clean but they too will blacken the oil. The soot is too small for the oil filter to catch it and a diesel rated oil controls soot by keeping it safely suspended in the oil where it does no harm. A small amount of old oil remains in the engine during the oil change and this is enough to turn the new oil totally black in no time at all. The oil appearing black simply means the oil is doing its job and it SHOULD appear black. The time to worry is if and when the oil appears anything other than totally black.

Stick to a 10k mile change interval by the book. The 10k mile interval has been verified through laboratory oil analysis to be perfectly fine and well on the conservative side. Your 100+ miles/day driving regime is just like my 100+ miles/day driving and is easy on oil. And driving it like you stole it and for long periods (not short trips) are the best thing for it.

Good luck and Welcome to TDIclub.
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Last edited by n1das; December 8th, 2017 at 17:06.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 08:11   #14
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Google stephensservice.com out of Sacramento, Link to diesel engine failures. He talks of problems with the 3.0 Mercedes. But if you read through the whole article, he speaks of the make up and needs of diesel engines as it pertains to motor oil and why. I found it very informative, I would like to hear opinions on it.
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