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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 17th, 2006, 22:36   #1
GoFaster
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Default "What oil do I use?" READ FIRST BEFORE ASKING

Lately, there have been countless threads asking again and again, "What oil should I use". Please don't ask it again! Read this first. For what it's worth, there is not much here which is not in your owner's manual, but somehow nobody ever seems to read those ...

This question has to be answered in three parts, because there are three different "families" of VW TDI engines. The critical factor is whether your engine uses the older "rotary distributor pump" mechanical injection system, or the "pumpe-duse" or short-form "P-D" fuel injection system, or the new for 2009 "common-rail" fuel injection system. If you don't know, and you are in North America, it's easy to figure out: all TDI engines 2009 and later are "common-rail", all TDI engines sold here for 2004 through 2008 model years are "pumpe-duse", and all TDI engines sold here for 2003 and prior model years are not (they are "distributor pump"). There were no 2007 or 2008 Jetta TDI's but I am including those years in the list to make allowance for the Touareg. The Touareg's V10 is P-D no matter what model year.

If you are elsewhere in the world, it's more complicated because the P-D engines were phased in starting in 2000 and the common-rail engines were phased in starting in 2008 for VW-brand vehicles (Audi started earlier). If your 4-cylinder engine had an original horsepower rating of 90 or 110 then it is "distributor pump". If it was 100, 115, 130, 140 (*), 150, or 170 (*), then it is "pumpe-duse" (or in the case of (*) it could be common-rail). If it is 2.0 litre displacement rather than 1.9, then it is "pumpe-duse" or (*) common-rail regardless of power level. You can also tell the "distributor-pump" engine by the external injector pump driven by the timing belt on the front of the engine.

If you still cannot figure it out then assume it is a P-D. The oils suitable for a P-D are also suitable for the older models. The reverse is NOT true.

Okay, with that out of the way, here goes.

PART ONE: For engines that are NOT "pumpe-duse" or "common-rail". This is for the older-design mechanical rotary distributor pump engines.

You must use a synthetic engine oil, recommended viscosity 5w40 although 0w40 is also permissible (and in the case that the oil meets specifically one of the VW 505.xx standards then the viscosity does not matter, it could be different), AND in the fine print on the bottle that lists what standards that the oil conforms to, it must list either VW 505.00, ACEA B3, ACEA B4, API CJ-4, CI-4, API CH-4, or API CG-4. (Note: "Either" means ANY ONE OF, not necessarily all of them. For example, if it's VW 505.00 but doesn't list the others, that's fine, because VW 505.00 is "one" of the standards listed and you only need "one".) But do NOT assume that any synthetic oil will meet these standards. READ THE BOTTLE. For example, most versions of Mobil 1 do NOT meet these standards (they are meant for gasoline engines). Also, any oil that is suitable for a P-D is fine for a distributor-pump engine.

Many "European car" synthetic oils meet these requirements. So does Mobil Delvac 1 5w40, Shell Rotella Synthetic 5w40 or 0w40, PetroCanada Duron Synthetic 5w40 (can be special ordered at any PetroCanada OilChangers location in Canada), Castrol Syntec 5w40 European-car formulation, and quite a few others. IF IN DOUBT, READ THE LABEL.

The VW part number for the oil most commonly used at the dealers is ZVW-352-540S = Castrol Syntec 5W-40 (VW 505.00 rated, suitable for non-PD TDI engines; not suitable for PD TDI engines). If they use the PD oil (see below) that's OK.

PART TWO: "Pumpe-duse" engines.

VW requires that you must use an engine oil that explicitly states that it conforms to VW 505.01 (and in some cases oils that meet 506.01 or 507.00 but which also cover the 505.01 specification). NOTHING ELSE. Common choices are Castrol 5w40 TXT 505.01 (do NOT confuse this with the regular European-car formulation of Syntec 5w40, it is not the same), Elf Excellium VW 505.01 (has since been renamed to a Total brand), Motul 6100 VW 505.01, Motul Specific 505.01, Valvoline SynPower Synthetic European formulation 5w40 (available through UAP/NAPA), and there are others. ALL such oils prominently state VW 505.01 printed on the bottle. If it doesn't have that, it is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Explanatory note: Lately, a number of folks have been doing their research, and have been getting good oil-analysis results with a number of very carefully chosen oils that are not "officially" approved by VW. Mobil 1 TDT (Turbo Diesel Truck) CJ-4 is one of them, and this one is fairly readily available. This will of course not help you if you try to make a warranty claim. If it's under warranty, see paragraph above if you want VW to even consider covering it.

The VW part number for the oil most commonly used is G-052-167-A2 = Castrol TXT 505.01 (VW 505.01 rated, suitable for PD TDI engines; also VW 505.00 rated and suitable for non-PD TDI engines).

PART THREE: "Common-rail" engines.

You must use an engine oil that explicitly states that it conforms to VW 507.00. NOTHING ELSE. These engines are too new for anyone to have experimented long-term with substitutes ... and in this case, the effect on the emission control components has to be considered. The VW part number for what is normally used at the dealer is GVW-052-195-M2.

Due to the limited number of VW diesels in North America, these oils are typically available only at VW dealers and parts vendors that specialize in VW cars. Other parts vendors might be able to special order it, so ask. To forestall another question, this is NOT a "monopoly". Engine oil vendors outside of VW dealers are perfectly free to market oils that meet VW's standards. The fact that not many have chosen to do so is THEIR fault, not VW's.

Beware the "meets or exceeds" game. The oil has to be certified to these standards by VW themselves. Amsoil is one notable oil brand which does not pay for such certification. They produce an oil which states VW 505.01 on the bottle, but it is not on VW's list of certified oils. That doesn't mean it's a bad product ... it just means that if something bad happens, there is a possibility that VW isn't going to warranty it (on the grounds that you did not use one of VW's certified oils), and if that happens, you are going to have a battle on your hands. It is BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THIS THREAD to explore the fine points of VW 505.01 certification, the subject has been beaten to death elsewhere with no end in sight, this thread merely serves to make you aware of the situation. If you want to research this, search the forums - there is already a ton of discussion on this and I'm not going to tolerate any further discussion of it in this thread.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I USE SOMETHING ELSE?

If the oil is not meant for diesel engines, it won't survive the high-soot environment. Oil meant for diesel engines is formulated to deal with the soot.

If you use a non-synthetic oil, it doesn't withstand high temperatures as well as synthetic oil. There are two areas of concern, the turbocharger, and the upper piston rings. There have been cases reported where upper piston rings were sticking due to oil breakdown, causing high piston ring and cylinder wall wear. There have been cases where turbochargers coked up their oil feed line and grenaded as a result.

If you use an oil that doesn't meet VW 505.01 in a P-D, expect high camshaft and lifter wear in the long term. MOBIL 1 (Gasoline engine oil) IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. (Some people have been reporting good oil-analysis results using Mobil 1 TDT even though it doesn't carry the VW approval.) These engines have unusually high contact pressures between the camshaft and lifters due to the narrow cam lobes forced by the space taken up by the P-D injector mechanism. It is NOT a safe assumption that an oil suitable for large truck engines which also have unit injectors will work in a VW P-D TDI.

If you use an oil that doesn't meet VW 507.00 in a common-rail engine, there is a risk that the additive package in the oil will be incompatible with the (very expensive) emission control system - and it's not only the emission control system at risk. These engines deliberately squirt an extra shot of fuel into the cylinder on the exhaust stroke to heat up the catalytic converter in order to "regenerate". A portion of this fuel will end up on the cylinder walls, be scraped up by the piston rings, and end up in the crankcase, where it will dilute the engine oil. The engine oil must be designed to tolerate a certain amount of fuel dilution on these engines.
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Brian P.
formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue

Last edited by GoFaster; March 5th, 2011 at 16:58.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 08:17   #2
GoFaster
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Default

I am going to do everything I can to keep this thread relevant. If there are any off-post discussions or arguments, those posts are history, so don't even think about it. If someone posts a correction that is valid I'll either leave the post there or edit the original post if that post was in error.
__________________
Brian P.
formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue

Last edited by GoFaster; December 13th, 2006 at 11:47.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 13:39   #3
GoFaster
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Default

I want to leave this thread open. If someone wants to post in this thread about BIG easy-to-find places where one can obtain various 505.01, 506.01, 507.00 oils in particular (e.g. on-line stores or vendors, large retail chains, etc) then I'm OK with that. (But we don't need to hear about the tiny retail outlet in Williams Lake BC, or wherever you happen to live, that happens to have one bottle on the shelf, because knowing that doesn't do any good to 99.99% of the people reading this.)

AndyH is easy to find, and a supporter of these forums, if you want to buy Amsoil on-line in the USA :-)

If you are in Canada, and you want to mail-order Elf oil, here's one place http://www.h2sport.com/products.php?productid=206 and here's a place that sells several different brands http://www.precisiontuning.ca/catalo...x.php?cPath=43 BUT make sure you read the specification charts before you pick what you want. (For example, Elf excellium DID is suitable for P-D and Elf excellium LDX is not.)
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formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue
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Old December 10th, 2006, 14:45   #4
GoFaster
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Default Thread Cleanup

Okay folks, the intent of this thread is NOT to have the never-ending Amsoil discussion (it will continue elsewhere), but rather to give newbies informantion on where to purchase oils that meet their car's requirements, to the best of our abilities to interpret that.

All of the bantering has not changed my view of the validity of the original post. In my view, the point concerning "approved and certified and on VW's official list" versus "meets or exceeds" needs to remain in there but it needs to be CONCISE, not spread out over three pages. I think the original post adequately addresses this, but if someone wants to make a better suggestion of how to do this (50 WORDS OR LESS) fire away below. If I like your wording in place of mine, I'll include it.

I am NOT going to entertain completely avoiding the issue (Sorry Amsoil proponents) but I also don't want to scare people away unnecessarily. The situation "is what it is", Amsoil says it meets 505.01 but it's not on VW's official approved list. THAT'S THE TRUTH as far as I know it, and the interpretation of that HAS NOT BEEN DECIDED IN A COURT OF LAW.

I've done a major clean-up on this thread, leaving only posts that include relevant discussion, and I've edited those to only include the heart of the matter. I have left in a VERY small number of selected posts which illustrate the views of Amsoil vendors and counterpoints to those views, but THAT'S IT for the Amsoil wars in this thread. They are DONE. Have the discussion elsewhere. If the newbies that this thread is aimed at are sufficiently interested, they are free to search the forums.

I am NOT going to tolerate any "pros and cons" discussion of ANY given product. It will be deleted without question and without discussion. The only stuff I won't delete from now on are constructive posts, on the order of "If you want to purchase product X, then place Y sells the stuff."
__________________
Brian P.
formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue

Last edited by GoFaster; December 13th, 2006 at 12:02.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 18:06   #5
mparker326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyH
Fantastic! Yes - other specs are allowed for 2003 and earlier cars - as are other viscosities. Info from my '97 is posted above. In some model year, the temperature chart stopped showing up in the owners manual but remained in the service manual.

Can you scan your owners manual and/or service manual for your '02 and '05?
From my 2005 - Engine Sticker plus OM pages. No viscosity chart.




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Old December 14th, 2006, 13:14   #6
SuburbanTDI
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A list of oils certified as VW505.01 is available here:

http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/529/Aud..._Oil_Chart.pdf

Last edited by GoFaster; December 15th, 2006 at 09:23.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 10:24   #7
GoFaster
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The Amsoil wars with regards to 505.01 are ending in this thread. There is sufficient information in this thread for someone to figure out what they need to do. I will summarize.

If you use an oil that is on VW's list of VW 505.01 certified oils (a link to which was posted earlier - and don't confuse them with the 502.00 oils which are also separately listed in that same document!!) then VW can not use "you used the wrong oil" as an excuse to deny warranty coverage if you have a claim. They can claim that the oil "failed", but that is a situation in which VW would recover costs from the oil supplier. You did your due diligence, the failure was on account of someone else. This is a very different legal situation from "you used the wrong oil".

If you want to use an oil that claims 505.01 but is not on VW's list of certified oils and you are concerned about warranty coverage, then there are two courses of action. One of them is to go to the oil manufacturer and obtain a copy of their declaration of conformity or certification documents. The other one is to point-blank ask VW customer care about the specific oil that you want to use ... and remember that if you are really concerned about whether this will stand up in court then you really need a signed piece of paper, not a telephone conversation. There is sufficient information in this thread to allow someone to figure out their course of action.
__________________
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formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue
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