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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 September 20th, 2002, 17:16   #1
detroitdieselwannabe
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Default VW Castrol Syntec

Ok, I went to my local dealership in Beaverton, OR to inquire the cost for a 5k oil change. Would you believe they quoted me 103.00. So, this service advisor gave me this b.s. dealermade pamphlet which includes three other 'checks' on the car. I told them, "no thanks," But, while I was there, I inquired about the oil used---Castrol Syntec. I asked them if this was a diesel rated oil, and they could not answer that question. So, I call a local VW/Audi specialist and talk to the owner, who is a former VW dealership mechanic. He told me that this Castrol Syntec Oil is made specifically for VW TDI engines and can only be purchased at the dealer for 8 bucks/quart. He says it is designed for the TDI, tested on the TDI, and meets ALL OF VW's requirements, and he recommends using it. I only wish I knew that before I read all of these posts poo--pooing the Castrol product. I hope many of you aren't under the impression (like I was-thanks to several on this site) that the Syntec you think the dealer uses is what can be found at Wal-Mart or Kragen. It cannot. So, anyone wanna buy 1 gallon of Shell Rotella T Synthetic from me? I'll be using the product specifically made for my engine.
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Old September 20th, 2002, 18:31   #2
dqa
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Fuel Economy: 52/45/38
Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

Check the API service on the bottle. As I recall, the Castrol is rated CF, while the owner's manual recommends CG or above. Of course, it may be that the VW version is higher than CF; if so let us know.

Regardless, I personally don't see any reason to pay $100 for an oil that may have been state of the art 4 years ago, when instead I can get the Rotella, 2 API service levels higher, for $13.

On the other hand, people on this board can be fanatics. You're not likely to do too much damage by using an oil not up to the recommended API service rating. Especially in the short term. So whatever floats your boat.
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Old September 20th, 2002, 19:23   #3
Westfalia
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

For what its worth, I recently contacted Castrol about their oil for the TDI and this was their response:

Thank you for contacting Castrol regarding the appropriate oil for your
Volkswagen diesel.

VW of America has specified that Syntec 5W-40 be used in all warranty repairs and free
maintenance of 1996 and beyond TD-I models. Therefore, Castrol Syntec 5W-40, which has an
API SJ/CF rating, has been formulated exclusively for VW and Audi to meet Volkswagen TD-I
engine warranty requirements, including testing in TD-I engines. At this time, it is only available at VW and Audi dealerships.

Syntec 5W-40 exceeds all car and light truck manufacturer's warranty requirements for the
protection of gasoline, diesel and turbocharged engines where API CF is recommended. Castrol
Syntec 5W-40 exceeds the engine protection requirements including Volkswagen 502 00, 505 00
and European ACEA A3 and B4. At this time, this grade is the only one that meets all of the
required VW specs.
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Old September 20th, 2002, 20:38   #4
dqa
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

Thanks for writing that letter. I was about to do the same tonight, to get in writing what they had told me by phone several months back.
Quote:
this grade is the only one that meets all of the required VW specs
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">By grade are they referring to their particular product, or a class of oils?

And take note of "required VW specs" rather than "recommended VW specs."

I would also like to apologize for misrepresenting the owner's manual. Mine (99.5) recommends CF or CG. In my Bentley manual (99,00) the recommendation is CD or higher. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
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Old September 20th, 2002, 21:14   #5
TEXAS_TDI
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

Go ahead and pay $8 a quart for inferior CF rated Castrol oil. I'll stick to my superior $5 a quart Amsoil CI-4 oil that also meets VW 505 standards. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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Old September 20th, 2002, 21:31   #6
itsmejerry
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

FWIW-- I've gone through the great oil debate.. I posted on another auto board for years. I've used Castrol Conventional 20/50 in a Non-TDI 89 Jetta. Because of Vw's reccommendation. That car lasted 623,000 miles on it's original unrebuilt engine. It only quit when I totaled it in a wreck.
Now, they're reccomending a Castrol Syntec product for their TDI's. Fine. I'll use it. Why? Because no one has proven to me (with more miles) that their oil is better. I figure with the $$ I'm saving on fuel, that I can splurge on oil. Like I've said to those who poo-poo on my belief in Castrol, Show me a car that has as many miles or more, with the same kind of lubrication system, that's been run on Amsoil, Rotella, etc, etc, and I'll switch.. I said that on other message boards, and no one could. The Amsoil guys posted Amsoil hype, uh.. research on how diesel semis ran for over a million miles on their oil w/o changing it. .. I shot that down by reminding them that semi's have a huge oil capacity and that the filter is a submerged one in a basket in an oil bath. and Semi's throw, burn or use more oil than a diesel engine car. Dont believe me?? We've all been to enough truck stops to see those guys in semis pour a gallon of so of Rotella into thier trucks. Often enough to keep a couple of gallons onboard while they travel. The Amsoil guys may claim that semis can go for a hundred thousand miles w/o an oil change, but then I remind them that they dont "change" the oil, they replace it on a regular basis. Again.. Show me a car that has more than 625,000 on it, and i'll switch, but until then, it's Castrol Syntec for me. (at $8 a quart.) (*600,000 miles cant be wrong.)
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Old September 21st, 2002, 07:21   #7
smokin'
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

Watch the bottles, or hoses, that they use to actually fill your car. Some places use bulk 10w-30 for everything that comes in. If I was going to pay $103 for an oil change I'd be right there to make sure it was done right, and that they used their special $8/qt oil. If, by chance, they just happen to be out of stock and tried to use regular Syntec.... [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
Don't trust anybody at the stealership, they want you to buy a new one in four-five years.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 07:57   #8
BKmetz
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

The special TDI approved Castrol Syntec the dealer sells is a good oil. The general feeling here is that it is very overpriced for what it is, hydrogenized group III base stock Vs PAO/ester blend base stock (Mobil/Delvac-1) or 100% ester base stock (Amsoil).

The group IV (PAO) base stocks and group V (ester) base stocks cost a lot more money to make. This is why Castrol changed its Syntec formula to use group III oils instead of group IV & V. Castrol cut its costs and is keeping the price right up there with the traditional synthetic products from Mobil & Amsoil.

The VW dealer sells its special TDI rated Castrol Syntec for around $8/quart or $32/gallon, plus tax. Mobil's Delvac-1 usually sells between $20 to $27 per gallon, depending on your source. There are several dozen Amsoil guys on the forum that will give a great deal on Amsoil. Most will easily beat the $8/quart price the VW dealer is selling the special Castrol Syntec for.

Most people use the VW supplied Castrol Syntech during the free oil changes, then switch to Delvac-1 or Amsoil after. The Castrol Syntec you buy at Walmart/K-Mart/Autozone is NOT the same oil as the VW dealer is selling.

Here is a good article on which oils most TDI owners use:

http://www.tdiclub.com/TDIFAQ/TDiFAQ-4.html

Another thing to remember about our TDI engines, we have EGR systems that dump HUGE amounts of soot back into the engine and back into the motor oil. This puts a huge burden on the oil to keep that soot dispersed. That is why most TDI owners here use a full synthetic diesel oil. One cannot compare a TDI to VW's older IDI diesel engines. The TDI engine abuses oil much more than the old IDI engines. Even non-diesel rated full synthetic oils are quite spent by 5000 miles because of the soot loading the TDI engine places on the oil. Several memebers were using Mobil-1 and quit after oil analysis. Lots of TDI owners here are going 10,000 miles or more between oil changes with full synthetic diesel rated oil.

The engine technology has changed, the demands on the oil have changed too.

Brian, 97 Passat TDI
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Old September 21st, 2002, 10:05   #9
DEZLBOY
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

Quote:
Originally posted by BKmetz:
. The Castrol Syntec you buy at Walmart/K-Mart/Autozone is NOT the same oil as the VW dealer is selling.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I think (?) I bought a quart at local Pepboys (or similar auto store) which said in small print it met the VW 505 spec. Maybe it was from the dealer...don't really remember.

Quote:
Lots of TDI owners here are going 10,000 miles or more between oil changes with full synthetic diesel rated oil.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm going 10K using the VW Castrol. Is that too long on this oil? (oil fanatics...please don't answer! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] )

I think for next change, I will learn to do myself with a topsider sucker outer. Can't be that hard. Just unscrew filter housing, suck, replace filter and gasket (?). Done...?
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Old September 21st, 2002, 13:37   #10
nuke
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

I get one more free oil change on my 2001, so I've been running the free VW/Syntec oil.

Either use the dealer's Syntec 5w-40 specially formulated for the VW TDI, or bring your own Delvac 1, Amsoil or Shell Rotella T synthetic.

There's nothing wrong with the dealer oil other than it being expensive, there's no reason it should last 10K between changes since VW went through the effort of getting made for them.

If I were paying for it, I'd bring my own gallon of Delvac 1 and ask them to use the whole gallon and don't top off.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 23:23   #11
AutoDiesel
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

Quote:
Originally posted by ProjektZwoTDI:
Go ahead and pay $8 a quart for inferior CF rated Castrol oil. I'll stick to my superior $5 a quart Amsoil CI-4 oil that also meets VW 505 standards. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">The special blend that is sold at the dealers does meet VW 505 specs. The Castrol sold at typical retail outlet doesn't. The closest retail Castrol Syntec is their 5w-50 that meets ACEA B3-98 specs. And that still meets one of the minimum specs. in the owners manual. I don't bow down to API gods! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] At $4.99 qt, it is still not cost effective.
You are correct though in the fact the dealer Castrol is not worth $8/bucks a quart!

[ September 22, 2002, 00:55: Message edited by: AutoDiesel ]
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 00:51   #12
AutoDiesel
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Default Re: VW Castrol Syntec

I guess it's time for bed. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

[ September 22, 2002, 00:53: Message edited by: AutoDiesel ]
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