oil change: 5K or 10K

Has your glovebox door broken?

  • Change the oil??? Why deprive yourself the opportunity to get a new engine?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Every 5K miles. Bad things will likely happen so just pay the extra money.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4

pastvast

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Location
Toledo area, Ohio
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
My husband and I are seeking your opinions regarding when the oil on our '03 Jetta should get changed. I say every 10K miles, he says every 5K miles- and both of us cite what we've read on this forum. So... which is it??

The Jetta gets ~2K miles on it per month. 75% of the miles are on the highway. I'm not a drive it like you stole it driver.

My husband has read on this forum that it's much better to change the oil every 5K miles because doing so is cheap insurance and some folks have had bad things happen when they waited until the recommended 10K miles. While I've got no problem with the concept of cheap insurance, I do have a problem with paying for things that don't need doing!! In my opinion, we pay for the premium oil so that we can go 10K miles (which is even the VW approved interval). And besides, I've read the posts of some of this site's TDI gurus state that oil gets changed every 10K miles.

TDI gurus... help solve this mechanical and marital dilemma.

Thanks all!!
 

BleachedBora

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Location
Gresham, Oregon
TDI
'81 DMC-12, '12 Audi TT 418 hp/383 tq, '08 GL320 CDI 275 hp/448 wtq - '81 Caddy ALH, '04 Golf BEW 2" Lift, '85 HMMWV
Uhm--why not every 15k? Anything less than 10k you are wasting oil, time and money. We've had people do 20k changes with Delvac, test the oil, and everything is fine. Get out of your head the stupid American view of 3k changes...we put Delvac in the TDI and the Rodeo, and change both at 10k. The Porsche is rated at 15k changes from the factory--with $8/quart Redline oil. (Oh, and the TDI has PP520s AND RCIII--are you making stints up to 1600+ on your EGT's? Doubt it.

Cheers,
-BB
Trust us, you're fine...
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
I'd be shocked if any of the "certified" TDI-Club Gurus would recommend oil changes for a VE engine at less than 10,000 mile intervals - unless there's a compelling reason to do so (sandstorms in desert country, very low milage - in which case you should change it once a year, etc.)

PD's are as yet a somewhat unknown quantity in this regard...

Yuri.
 

BrianM

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Location
Warm Springs, GA
TDI
2001 GLS 5-speed, Loaded
Never less than 10k, and I'm working my way up to 20k (which is about every 6 months ~ I don't like going more than a year on one oil change). No sense in changing any earlier unless you Really like wasting natural resources for jollies.
 

jcheroske

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Location
CA
Uhm--why not every 15k? Anything less than 10k you are wasting oil, time and money. We've had people do 20k changes with Delvac, test the oil, and everything is fine.
As is alluded to here, there is another paradigm for oil changes. It goes something like: use the best oil you possibly can, use the best oil filters you can, use bypass filtration if you can, and use oil testing to monitor the status of your oil. Early on, maybe test every 5000 miles. Then when you get a feel for how the car degrades oil, maybe test every 10000 miles. In the long run this scheme should hopefully cost less, provide the car with the best possible oil quality and create less waste oil.

What say you, oil gurus? Is this at all on the mark?
 

BleachedBora

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Location
Gresham, Oregon
TDI
'81 DMC-12, '12 Audi TT 418 hp/383 tq, '08 GL320 CDI 275 hp/448 wtq - '81 Caddy ALH, '04 Golf BEW 2" Lift, '85 HMMWV
Hmm--for the most part--but no need to test at 5k. IF you are using OEM filters (or something else that's quality--OEM suffices though), and IF you are using a quality synthetic oil (e.g. Delvac/Truck & SUV, Amsoil, Rotella, whatever...) then no need to worry or test at 5k OR 10k. If you want to go "extended" at 15k or 20k changes, then do your testing--otherwise, put it in and drive it!
It's really that simple.
-BB
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
My '02 just passed 100K with 10K changes after the first 10,000 miles. Zero oil consumption, runs better than ever. I've used Castrol Syntec for most of its life, Rotella a couple of times, and now have Mobil 1 Truck & SUV in it.

My car is chipped, and I drive it pretty hard.

Don't worry about it. Enjoy going six months without an oil change. It's like the longer distance version of the 700 mile fuel range.
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
Since we have all sufficiently spoken, you and your husband should now turn to dicussing the proper way to "break-in a TDI engine". Dicuss: Drive it like you stole it OR baby it.
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
Since we have all sufficiently spoken, you and your husband should now turn to dicussing the proper way to "break-in a TDI engine". Dicuss: Drive it like you stole it OR baby it.
No - this shouldn't be up for discussion. Drive it like you stole it. It will seat the rings better, and keep the intake cleaner. And be more fun.
 

bluegraphite

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Location
NH
TDI
JettaWgn5spd 2005 bluegraphite; 2000 Jetta TDI GLS
I'm a 5K believer - partly 'cuz my PD is still under warranty. One factor not mentioned above is that diesel is not as volatile as gasoline, so any diesel fuel vapor that blows by the rings stays in the crankcase and doesn't evaporate like gasoline. Diesel doesn't have great lubricity and may even reduce the tendency of the motor oil to cling to the cylinder walls, increasing the wear during cold starts. If you want to save some bucks, buy the proper spec oil and learn how to change it yourself so you save on the labor. At my local dealership's rate, I'd be spending something close to $10 per 1000 miles for the oilchanges. Doing it myself, it'd be about half that. If I get 300K out of my engine over the next few years, I figure it's worth it.
 

Bob_Fout

Oil Wanker
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Location
Indiana
TDI
2003 Jetta - Alaska Green (sold) / 2015 GTI 2.0T
Why then does VW recommend 10K oil changes? Don't you think they thought of that? After all, they design and make the engine.
 

dlai

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Location
The Insane Asylum Known As CA
TDI
2005 Passat, Stonehenge Gray, 2002 Black Golf 5M
It's your car of course, but I think it's a total waste of money. With the new oils like 506 and 507, along with 505.01, 10k or more is easy. 5K? Heck, just do an oil analysis at 5k and see for yourself. I'm running 507 in mine, changed at 10k and I'm planning on doing an oil analysis when my car hits 20k, and will probably do the next oil change when the car hits 25k...
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
12' RAM 2500 QC,LB. 2019 Cherokee 2.0T
I say 10K for the higher mileage driver. I've seen a few oil tests on cars that do 3K or so every 6 months and that's all 10 min drives. They were near needing a change due to real low TBN. But a lot of testers won't test TBN any longer. YMMV.
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
My husband has read on this forum that it's much better to change the oil every 5K miles because doing so is cheap insurance and some folks have had bad things happen when they waited until the recommended 10K miles.
Some people have claimed that a 5k mile OCI is better, but their arguments are not persuasive.

As for "bad things" happening because someone waited til 10k miles... I'm not familiar with a single incident of an engine problem which was blamed on the owner following the guidelines in the manual. Using the wrong oil, yes, that can wreck an engine. But using the right oil and changing it every 10k miles, no.
 

mjnusn

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Location
Tennessee
TDI
Golf, 2002, Reflex Silver
Or just get free syn oil changes every 5k at the dealer for the life of the vehicle. I got lucky with that. I do check the oil frequently and if it was my own money I would change it when it needed to be. As stated before, use the best products possible and check the oil and test it. My oil appears to be in great shape when I take it in every 5k, but its free, so why not. The answer to when it needs to changed can only be found with testing. The old feeling the oil between the fingers may not be enough at 10k. Does anyone know of a test kit available to us regular people?
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
Just think, when you go for 5k changes instead of 10k, you are using twice the resources and your car is at the dealers twice as much, just waiting for them to break something!

Do what your owner's manual says. After the first 2 5k OCIs, change the oil every 10k.

-J
 

GotDiesel?

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 11, 2000
Location
Pacific NW
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
"I'm a 5K believer - partly 'cuz my PD is still under warranty."

Read your manual. After 10K miles on the clock, you only need to do it every 10K to keep your warranty coverage intact.
 

DMJWilliams

Active member
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
TDI
'04 SEAT Ibiza FR TDI PD130
Why then does VW recommend 10K oil changes? Don't you think they thought of that? After all, they design and make the engine.
But alas, these decisions are never made by the design engineers alone. A longer service interval is perceived as being a good selling point for a car, so the marketing department will be keen to stretch the interval. You can bet that the specified service interval is a compromise between a variety of competing influences within VW.

So my opinion, for what it's worth, is that you shouldn't discount the idea of doing more frequent oil changes just because it says 10K in the book. And by the same token, you should also consider doing less frequent changes - at least once your warranty is expired.

It all depends what sort of driving you do. If your car is lucky enough to spend its life doing nice long journeys at high speed then you probably don't need to change the oil every 10K... 15K or 20K will probably be fine. But if your car has to put up with doing short journeys all the time, then changing the oil every 5K may be a very good idea.

I don't accept that it's a "waste of time" either - just how long does it take to stick a Pela down your dipstick tube? And the argument that it's a waste of resources is not a strong argument either - the 4 litres of oil is a teardrop in the ocean compared to the amount of diesel you're burning.

pastvast says she does mostly highway driving, so 10K oil changes will be fine. But some people's cars do have a tougher life than that.
 

pastvast

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Location
Toledo area, Ohio
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
Thank you all! I wasn't expecting so much response in such little time! I now get to do a "I'm right" happy dance :)

I don't drive it like I stole it, because I'm paying over $3/gallon for diesel... and it's not even winter yet. Therefore, I feel the need to squeek every mile I possibly can (while remaining safe on the highway) out of each gallon!!
 

WeekendWrench

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Chicago, IL
TDI
B5.5 passat variant
Kinda reminds me of HP toner cartridges for laser printers. Yes..toner cartridges. The photo sensitive drum is the big expense item and controls the ultimate print quality (the greenish thing that peeks out). They are designed for anywhere from 3-8x the lifespan of the amount of toner. Toner runs out--but the drum is still good (that is how alot of remanufacturers 'rebuild' them).

I'm sure that we could all find 'someone' who would eat up oil to the point of no protection within 3-4k miles. But this is at one statistical end. The majority, though, would have enough protection left in the oil at 10k mi. to still be 'safe'. Manufacturers also put some headroom in the oil so it end up being +/- 5% or 10% (variance on the odometer, not near an oil change location, etc.). There are some who can even safely squeak out 15k+ (with testing, long distance highway). But for the majority of us, enjoy the 10k OCI and call it good unless you are (mechanically) abusive to the car by only driving it from one end of the parking lot to the other day after day.
 

Drivbiwire

Zehntes Jahr der Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 1998
Location
Boise, Idaho
TDI
2013 Passat TDI, Newmar Ventana 8.3L ISC 3945, 2016 E250 BT, 2000 Jetta TDI
One factor not mentioned above is that diesel is not as volatile as gasoline, so any diesel fuel vapor that blows by the rings stays in the crankcase and doesn't evaporate like gasoline.
WHOA! STOP RIGHT THERE! First of all there is NO DIESEL VAPOR in a diesel engine. First off you just demonstrated by that post you have no clue how diesel combustion works and that you are confusing diesel with gasoline. In a diesel there is ABSOLUTELY no way diesel fuel can come in contact with the cylinder much less the rings. Once the air is fully compressed the fuel is injected into the piston bowl where combustion completely occurs within 1-3 miliseconds, after that its just the expanding gasses trying to relieve the energy released from combustion. The only by-products are soot at this point that was unable to bond with oxygen molecules and are leftovers for the catalytic converter to burn off.

In a gasoline engine raw fuel always comes in contact with the cylinders but NEVER in a diesel!


Diesel doesn't have great lubricity and may even reduce the tendency of the motor oil to cling to the cylinder walls, increasing the wear during cold starts.[/
Are you making this up as you go along? Because again fuel cannot come in contact with the cylinder walls. During cold starts the first piston that hits the compression stroke ignites on the first pulse partly due to the very hot glow plug that helps to ensure the ignition of the atomized fuel in the commbustion bowl within the piston. Diesels do not require multiple revolutions to generate airflow which draws in fuel instead the air that is already in the cylinder is utilized therefore once that first compression stroke hits TDC only then is fuel injected and subsequently ignited thanks in part to the heat of compression as well as the 2,0000F glow plug.

If you want to save some bucks, buy the proper spec oil and learn how to change it yourself so you save on the labor. At my local dealership's rate, I'd be spending something close to $10 per 1000 miles for the oilchanges. Doing it myself, it'd be about half that. If I get 300K out of my engine over the next few years, I figure it's worth it.
Good advice, finally. But even at dealer rates changing the oil every 10K the cost per mile is still reasonable ($10 per 1,000 miles is not too far fetched).

Switch over to one of VW's long drain certified oils such as 506.01 and install the oil sensor and you can reap the benefits of the VW engineered oil monitoring system that can allow you upwards of 30,000+ safe miles for your engine between oil changes, THAT my friend is true savings!

As always, verify your extended service intervals the first time you attempt them by using oil analysis unless using a VW approved oil in conjunction with the oil sump monitoring system.

DB
 

Drivbiwire

Zehntes Jahr der Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 1998
Location
Boise, Idaho
TDI
2013 Passat TDI, Newmar Ventana 8.3L ISC 3945, 2016 E250 BT, 2000 Jetta TDI
Or just get free syn oil changes every 5k at the dealer for the life of the vehicle. I got lucky with that. I do check the oil frequently and if it was my own money I would change it when it needed to be. As stated before, use the best products possible and check the oil and test it. My oil appears to be in great shape when I take it in every 5k, but its free, so why not. The answer to when it needs to changed can only be found with testing. The old feeling the oil between the fingers may not be enough at 10k. Does anyone know of a test kit available to us regular people?
Dealers do not provide synthetic oil changes for free at the dealerships!!! The oil they use for these services are in fact bulk oil 5w30 Castrol NON-SYNTHETIC which DOES NOT MEET ANY TDI SPECIFICATION FOR ANY MODEL OR ANY YEAR PRODUCED INCLUDING THE OLDER VW IDI DIESELS!

If you think you are getting "Free" synthetic oil changes you had better be requesting the empty oil containers, only TDI approved oils come in containers NOT BULK 55 gallon drums!. Verify that the oils used have the 505.01 specification otherwise VW will void your warranty when your engine eats the $3,000 cam and rockers to bits. By the way since it's your responsibility the dealer will not honor the warranty...good luck with that one.

Nothing is free, if it sounds too good to be true it is!

DB
 

NorthernMage

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Victoria, BC
TDI
2012 Jetta TDI, 6MT, Platinum Grey
I would put in the best oil possible and change it every 10K, if you are putting on 2K a month then you are already changing it more than twice a year. I tend to do my oil changes yearly, if I don't reach 10K, in the fall so I have nice fresh oil for the winter season which is when I need it to flow smoothly. I am tempted to use the Esso XD3 Full Synthetic 0W40 CI-4 oil next change to see how well it works.
 

WisTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2004
Location
Wisconsin
TDI
none now; formerly had an '03 Jetta GLS
If you're really concerned about this, an oil analysis should be performed at 5000 miles to determine how the oil is holding up. It doesn't cost that much and would give you objective information to make an informed decision.
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
oil change every 5K or 10K -> Only in America !!

past, review what the rest of the diesel auto world is doing. I don't see any 3k or 5k mile oil drain intervals.

Refer to the rightmost column for standard oil drain intervals:












10k mile intervals are your basic short interval since we're still running on hi sulfur diesel. This can change if ULSD ever shows up.
 

Drivbiwire

Zehntes Jahr der Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 1998
Location
Boise, Idaho
TDI
2013 Passat TDI, Newmar Ventana 8.3L ISC 3945, 2016 E250 BT, 2000 Jetta TDI
Re: oil change every 5K or 10K -> Only in America !!

FYI the intervals are in miles not kilometers...

DB
 

DMJWilliams

Active member
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
TDI
'04 SEAT Ibiza FR TDI PD130
I don't drive it like I stole it, because I'm paying over $3/gallon for diesel
You're lucky! I pay about £3.80 per gallon(US) for diesel - that's more than double your price. But I still drive it like a car thief.
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
oil change every 5K or 10K -> Only in America !!

Yes, thanks for pointing that out, DBW. Those are indeed miles, not kms.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
oil change every 5K or 10K -> Only in America !!

DD, where do you keep this stuff?

The dealership where I bought my wagon used to send me letters suggesting a 5K 'supplemental' oil change. Supplements the dealer's revenue, that's what. And I always had to request synthetic or they used bulk whatever.

I was using 7,500 change intervals with my Diesel Rabbit in 1980. A friend of my Dad's had access to synthetic for diesels, a pretty unusual thing in those days. Since then I have used synthetic in my diesels and followed the manufacturer's change intervals. I always thought that was a bit of overkill, but it was easier for me than getting the oil analyzed.

Relax. Follow the owner's manual. No one can void your warranty for that.
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
oil change every 5K or 10K -> Only in America !!

DD, where do you keep this stuff?
Just take a quik peak at any issue of Diesel Car...it's right there, it's all public info. I like dealing with the facts and leaving the emotion-based arguments for the others


I'm trying to make the point that certain folks are mired in 3 decade old information that is entirely invalid. There have been great advances in terms of euro technology pertaining to diesel cars and lubricants! All of us are reaping those benefits today.
 
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