VW switching to 0W oils?

AntonLargiader

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Location
Charlottesville, VA
TDI
'98 Jetta, '03 Jetta wagon
I went to the dealership get some of the 5W40 that I always get and the parts guy told me that VW was changing everything over to 0W rather than 5W. So 0W40 rather than 5W40. I have seen a similar thing happen in BMW motorcycles and it probably has more to do with convenience than engineering. The parts guy said they still had 5W in a Porsche oil, about the same cost. The 0W30 they had was Castrol and one of the others (0W40 or the Porsche oil) was Mobil One.

Thing is, he actually sold me 0W30 rather than 0W40 so I guess I need to go back anyway (this is for an ALH). He might have pulled up my sister's record instead of mine; her Jetta uses 5W30. Same last name.

Same experience for those of you who use dealerships? 5W oils going away?
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Creston, bc
TDI
2003 alh tdi 5 speed
Maybe. Check the specs on the oil. If it says 505.00 then it should be fine. I think there are 5w30 and 0w30 oils that meet 505 spec for the alh. I could be wrong. I always buy my oil in 5w40 from walmart. They haven't stopped making 5w40 but maybe there's a reason why they have stopped at the vw dealer? Not sure. I wouldn't even buy oil from the dealer
 

TDItrucker2

Member
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Location
Warsaw, Indiana
TDI
2014 Jetta CJAA - 157K
I refused to use 0W anything in my 2014 TDI. I'm using 5W-30 Liqui Moly Longlife 3. Just make sure it says 507.00, or whatever your motor requires. I go on eBay and look for it. With tax, a five quart jug cost me around $55 including tax.
 

paul_cat

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2001
Location
Bowie, MD
TDI
2001 Golf TDI [ALH]
from a 2007 posting here...

PART ONE:

For engines that are NOT "pumpe-duse" or "common-rail". This is for the older-design mechanical rotary distributor pump engines. ie, ALH

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 CK-4, CJ-4, CI-4, CH-4, or 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 PD [below] is fine for a distributor-pump engine too [ALH]

Many "European car" synthetic oils meet these requirements. So does Mobil Delvac 1 5w40, Shell Rotella Synthetic 5w40 or 0w40 [aka T6], 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.

do not use anything that is not FULL SYNTHETIC, turbo heat requires FULL SYNTHETIC.

VW Part num: ZVW-352-540S "Castrol Syntec 5W-40"

-------

PART TWO:

for PD engines --- it must state VW 505.01, NOTHING ELSE!!! 5W-40 again

can be found, but you may need to look hard [in 2007]. That .01 makes a big diff!!
it must be certified by VW, "Meets or Exceeds" on the label is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!
beware Amsoil, they won't pay for certification so it only says "meets or exceeds".

Out of warranty and it's up to you of course...

VW Part Num: G-052-167-A2 "Castrol TXT 505.01"

-------

PART THREE:

for Common Rail --- it must state VW 507.00, NOTHING ELSE!! 5w-40 or 0w-40

a very "new" oil [in 2007], hard to find, may have to go to VW dealer directly.

VW Part Num: GVW-052-195-M2 no major lable equiv yet [as of 2007; in 2021 there are several].

And I Will Add: 507.00 is NOT a suitable substitute for 505.01 that .01 is VERY SPECIAL, the PD needs
extra cam lobe protections.

=======

So, 14 years ago they were saying 0W is "ok".

FWIW I'll stick with Walmart's Shell T6 5W-40 for my ALH, about $20.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
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Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
VW has parted ways with Castrol and now Mobil is providing their VW branded products. They've consolidated PNs to 0w30 oil they now stock. It's labeled 504.00 507.00 but those certs are reverse compatible. So technically it's OK for your ALH.

I wouldn't use it. I'd get 505.00 5w40 from another source. And good luck finding T6; if you're lucky you might find a Walmart with a few bottles left. They're having production issues because of limited additive availability.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I would not use any Xw30 oils in any VAG engine with flat tappet type cam followers, period. I would always run the thickest viscosity that meets the requirement that the engine was sold with. So in the case of the VE TDI, that is 505.00 5w40, and the PD TDI it is 505.01 5w40. Most all of the 505.01 oils that I know of are also 505.00 (and 502.00, which is the most common spec for the VAG gas engines up until just recently).

Not that anyone here cares (besides me), but the newest VAG cars (which for us, means all spark-ignited) call for the 508.00 spec oil, which is a 0w20. It would seem VAG finally caved to what others already have, and decided to use this very thin oil to squeak out an extra .0004% fuel economy and reduced emissions at cold start. Although I have no idea how they expect these engines that often have a nasty habit of high oil consumption to survive long with even higher oil consumption brought on by even thinner oil, let alone the reduced catalyst effectiveness caused by it. But, like so many nonsensical things like stop/start, it probably looks good enough on paper to get a rubber stamp of approval but in the real world proves to be far from it.

I've stated this here before, and it is worth repeating: the manufacturers have regressed in longevity and durability in favor of low cost and "cleaner" regulatory burdens brought on by gov't agenda makers. When the 8yr/80k mile emissions compliance warranty went away a few years ago, it was because the manufacturers pushed back. Why? Because they KNEW that the new emissions hurdles were going to make the vehicles more fragile and more expensive to keep on the road long term, so in turn for agreeing to meet these new standards, they got to bow out of standing behind them making it very far. That really should have been a wake up call, but it went largely unnoticed by the consumers who have mostly been duped into the hype of "more power, more infotainment, more bigger wheels, and more ways to not pay attention behind the wheel!"

Meanwhile, we (people in the service industry like me) repeatedly see the fruits of this thinking every day in our shop. Every. Single. DAY. Ford Ecoboost 4 cyl engines blowing geysers of coolant steam out the exhaust, Nissan CVTs that can't make it past 100k miles, Honda and Toyota and Hyundai/Kia with VVT gears coming apart and trashing the engines, Mazda's "Skyactiv" nonsense washing the oil down to a running black swill and sending it right out the tailpipe (seriously, I've had multiple 2.5L engines in here that will empty the crankcase in 2000 miles!), and don't get me started on these piece of crap Subarus....

I think back to some of the pattern failures we saw back in the late '80s and through the '90s and early '00s, and there was really nothing that I can remember as being THIS bad and widespread besides the early Chrysler evaporator cores after the switch to R134a (which, by the way, is being replaced with R1234yf and is ALREADY proving to be problematic... GM can't make a condenser to last on the big trucks to save their soul!). And nothing was SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE. The price to not only buy these newer cars is clearly outpacing any normal peon's income, but the price to keep them on the road when these uber-expensive things go wrong is just beyond nuts. These junk-assed GM 6L80E transmissions that die left and right are now in the neighborhood of $4500 to replace! Sure, the old 4L60E was no great king of durability, but at least you could do one for usually under $2k, and it didn't take two hours' worth of fighting with GM's net link to get the software loaded (all the new GM transmissions that have the TCM integral inside come BLANK.... idiots....).

Maybe I'm just getting old... but I remember a day when you could buy a new vehicle for under $15k, drive it and maintain it properly, and not be at all surprised when it rolled 200,000 miles and NOTHING major broke.
 

Zak99b5

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Location
Albany NY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI
Amen.

My 6L80E sh!t the bed, just under $5k to repair (not even a full rebuild). At least my VLOM and the DOD system hasn't had any issues. Oh and real world, that Suburban gets me almost identical FE as my '01 with the 4L60E did (16 vs. 15 mpg). I want to just sell it and replace it with a '90s square body. But I'll have to get one from down south, since I live in the rust belt.

I'm sure the emissions from building all the crap (twice because it needs to be replaced) on cars now outpaces the tailpipe emissions saved by having it on.

I will say, the Subaru EJ22 I had in my Vanagon was a great motor though. Of course, from the 90s.
 

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
Good post, oilhammer. A coworker just bought a '16 Jetta Sport with 90K on it. It replaces a 340K mile ALH Jetta. I drove the car and it's nice, but your comments about 1.8T failures kept popping into my mind.

I agree on using the highest viscosity oil available that has the correct certification. I'm doing a service on IBW this weekend, and am using Total Quartz Energy 5w40, which I've been using for the better part of 20 years. A customer called me the other day concerned about putting the dealer recommended 0w30 in his OM648. I told him it's the same car as it was 15 years ago when assembled, why would he switch oils? I think he was convinced.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
I would not use any Xw30 oils in any VAG engine with flat tappet type cam followers, period. I would always run the thickest viscosity that meets the requirement that the engine was sold with. So in the case of the VE TDI, that is 505.00 5w40, and the PD TDI it is 505.01 5w40. Most all of the 505.01 oils that I know of are also 505.00 (and 502.00, which is the most common spec for the VAG gas engines up until just recently).

Not that anyone here cares (besides me), but the newest VAG cars (which for us, means all spark-ignited) call for the 508.00 spec oil, which is a 0w20. It would seem VAG finally caved to what others already have, and decided to use this very thin oil to squeak out an extra .0004% fuel economy and reduced emissions at cold start. Although I have no idea how they expect these engines that often have a nasty habit of high oil consumption to survive long with even higher oil consumption brought on by even thinner oil, let alone the reduced catalyst effectiveness caused by it. But, like so many nonsensical things like stop/start, it probably looks good enough on paper to get a rubber stamp of approval but in the real world proves to be far from it.

I've stated this here before, and it is worth repeating: the manufacturers have regressed in longevity and durability in favor of low cost and "cleaner" regulatory burdens brought on by gov't agenda makers. When the 8yr/80k mile emissions compliance warranty went away a few years ago, it was because the manufacturers pushed back. Why? Because they KNEW that the new emissions hurdles were going to make the vehicles more fragile and more expensive to keep on the road long term, so in turn for agreeing to meet these new standards, they got to bow out of standing behind them making it very far. That really should have been a wake up call, but it went largely unnoticed by the consumers who have mostly been duped into the hype of "more power, more infotainment, more bigger wheels, and more ways to not pay attention behind the wheel!"

Meanwhile, we (people in the service industry like me) repeatedly see the fruits of this thinking every day in our shop. Every. Single. DAY. Ford Ecoboost 4 cyl engines blowing geysers of coolant steam out the exhaust, Nissan CVTs that can't make it past 100k miles, Honda and Toyota and Hyundai/Kia with VVT gears coming apart and trashing the engines, Mazda's "Skyactiv" nonsense washing the oil down to a running black swill and sending it right out the tailpipe (seriously, I've had multiple 2.5L engines in here that will empty the crankcase in 2000 miles!), and don't get me started on these piece of crap Subarus....

I think back to some of the pattern failures we saw back in the late '80s and through the '90s and early '00s, and there was really nothing that I can remember as being THIS bad and widespread besides the early Chrysler evaporator cores after the switch to R134a (which, by the way, is being replaced with R1234yf and is ALREADY proving to be problematic... GM can't make a condenser to last on the big trucks to save their soul!). And nothing was SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE. The price to not only buy these newer cars is clearly outpacing any normal peon's income, but the price to keep them on the road when these uber-expensive things go wrong is just beyond nuts. These junk-assed GM 6L80E transmissions that die left and right are now in the neighborhood of $4500 to replace! Sure, the old 4L60E was no great king of durability, but at least you could do one for usually under $2k, and it didn't take two hours' worth of fighting with GM's net link to get the software loaded (all the new GM transmissions that have the TCM integral inside come BLANK.... idiots....).

Maybe I'm just getting old... but I remember a day when you could buy a new vehicle for under $15k, drive it and maintain it properly, and not be at all surprised when it rolled 200,000 miles and NOTHING major broke.
I don't remember by who, but this is the way it was put to me. The government has a point system for auto manufacturers to work with to meet the "Government's" efficiency standards (which translates to a narrow focus and void of common sense as it pertains to the consumers well being. And probably actual long-term results also). So there is a point system threshold and countless miniscule increments of steps to achieve that. Low friction by use of low viscosity being one of them.
So, that is how I view the push for zero viscosity oils, useful for the manufacturers bottom line only. I was fortunate to work on Trucks, not cars, but that industry has also become inflicted with unnecessary convoluted technology you mentioned that is expensive in so many ways, time consuming to troubleshoot, and causing a lot of downtime and overhead. It's hard to visualize where all this is going, but I seldom miss it.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
The funny thing about the SkyActiv engines is that I've got one and so does my g/f. She a 2.0L, me a 2.5L (hers is a 3, mine is a 6.) Mine has 225,000 miles on the clock and consumes about half-a-quart between changes on 7,500 mile intervals, and when I've sent the used out for analysis the wear metals come back near-zero. We're both on the factory clutch (yes, MTXs.)

I've not had a single problem with mine, and the most-serious problem SHE has had was a busted brake-light switch that disabled basically every doo-dad "driver helper" thing (along with the brake lights) but took about the same 15 minutes to replace that it does on an ALH.

This much I do know; use the wrong oil in any modern engine and you're in trouble fast. PDs like to eat cams, and non-synthetic oils in any modern spark-ignition vehicle is bad news due to the top ring being so close to the fire deck for emissions reasons, turbo or not. Go into one of those "fast lube" places and....

The GM truck commentary is amusing -- and correct. I also own an '02 Suburban. It looks like crap as the sun has blown out the paint, especially on the roof and hood, but I was fortunate and didn't get one of the nice loose-tolerance piston-slap monsters, so the engine is fine. If/when the 4L60E blows I can buy another one for reasonable money. Hell, even on an "emergency" basis (it blows when I'm away from home) it's a $3k job, not a $5k+ one. GM keeps trying to sell me a new replacement for the truck but they're out of their mind; the new one gets perhaps 1mpg better fuel burn but the maintenance and trouble factor goes up by at least double, so.... no thanks. If I wind up putting an engine in this one at some point it'll still be cheaper. Maybe I'll even have it painted...
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
The Skyactiv engines are bad with short trips... Mazda has a TSB about this, actually. The TSB addresses the possibility of a DTC for P0172 'system too rich' because the added fuel dilution in the oil wigs out the mixture control... but plenty dilute the oil bad and still won't set the DTC, simply because there is no oil LEFT that is laden with gasoline to even make a dent in the air/fuel ratio.

So yeah, long trips with fewer heat cycles are not so much an issue. And keep in mind, this phenomenon (oil dilution in DI gas engines) is NOT unique to Mazda, just that they seem to be worse about it than others. Of course, there is no "fix" for this. More just an issue where you need to be an advocate for your own car and monitor the oil quality and level yourself. It doesn't help that a lot of these newer Mazdas use the "flexible" service option in the car yet have no actual oil level sensor or oil quality sensor. It is just based on driving criteria, and clearly is not at all the best option for a lot of people.

The Hyundai/Kia DI I4s are pretty bad too, but they extended the warranty on most of those, so when they blow up, they provide a new engine. And I have to say, they don't really give the owners much grief about it, either. My one cousin's Elantra is on engine #2 before 100k miles, and my other cousin's Forte is on #3 before 100k miles. Both were maintained properly.... they just like to toss the rods off the crank, LOL.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Short trips are Hell on most engines; you have to get it hot enough for the oil to reach operating temperature or eventually accumulation of either fuel or condensation will get you. If you really are a short-trip sort of person, and many people are, an EV is actually the wise choice as an electric motor doesn't care. If they made a $20k (no subsidies, just the price) one with ~150mi range that would be nice and solve the problem for a lot of people, but of course they don't. It gets a lot worse, of course, in the winter months with short trips for obvious reasons.

One of the problems with any common-rail sort of design, whether gas or diesel, is that a leaking injector becomes murderously bad very fast and is often not caught before it does serious (bye-bye engine type) damage.

The number of people who actually pull the dipstick and check oil these days when filling is shockingly low. Then they wonder why their engine just seized.... :)
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Oh, you mentioned EVs.... now our little friend of Greta is gonna come crap all over this thread...

We are a LONG way off from an affordable EV for most people. But, a $50k short range throwaway car may not seem so bad at the rate everything is going. Some of the current offerings make me cringe. There is often a comparison to going from horse-drawn things to motorized vehicles, but right now there would seem an agenda that is akin to someone ~115 years ago coming up with a way to give horses persistent, violent, chronic, and explosive diarrhea, so that advocates of these then-new motorized vehicles could say "SEE!, Our cars don't blow feces all over the streets!" :D
 

kjclow

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Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
I love your examples! I'd be more concerned about being at the reins in that case.

I saw Toyota switching the 0W oils a few years back when my kids were looking at cars. I knew it was more of a shell game to get them to squeak out a few more CAFE points. Glad I didn't fall for it. I do have to wonder what my sil is running in his taco.
 

PakProtector

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
AnnArbor, MI
TDI
Mk.4 and the Cummins-es
Is why I just got a Southern ALH. Not that my BEW Jetta is bad; far from it, but I have its replacement waiting in the wings...LOL Maybe I better buy another for when the ALH is in trouble...heh-heh-heh.

And then there is Lurch...who I think needs more quality time rowing his NV5600.
cheers,
Douglas
 

03TDICommuter

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Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
The Skyactiv engines are bad with short trips... Mazda has a TSB about this, actually. The TSB addresses the possibility of a DTC for P0172 'system too rich' because the added fuel dilution in the oil wigs out the mixture control... but plenty dilute the oil bad and still won't set the DTC, simply because there is no oil LEFT that is laden with gasoline to even make a dent in the air/fuel ratio.
Oh dear. Wife's car is a 2018 Mazda 3 with the 2.5L motor and ALL her driving is short. She does 4K/year vs my 20-25K/year. She should be driving my eGolf
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Oh dear. Wife's car is a 2018 Mazda 3 with the 2.5L motor and ALL her driving is short. She does 4K/year vs my 20-25K/year. She should be driving my eGolf
Watch the oil quality. I'm nowhere near sold on this being the factor some folks say it is, TSB or no TSB. If in doubt run the usual OCI (six months on those cars irrespective of mileage) and send in a sample to see what's up.
 

03TDICommuter

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Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
Watch the oil quality. I'm nowhere near sold on this being the factor some folks say it is, TSB or no TSB. If in doubt run the usual OCI (six months on those cars irrespective of mileage) and send in a sample to see what's up.
I've been bad and doing 1 oil change per year due to her low miles usage. I've been using name brand synthetics, 0w20 or 5w20 depending on what's been on sale.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
I've run Pennzoil 0w20 in mine almost-exclusively since new. No issues and I send in a sample once a year for verification (after the several during the first couple years.) It's about due for another one; the last was at 190k miles; no detected fuel dilution and wear metals were 1/0/3/0/0/0 (Al/Cr/Fe/Cu/Pb/Sn) Viscosity at full interval was right up the middle.
 

03TDICommuter

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
I've run Pennzoil 0w20 in mine almost-exclusively since new. No issues and I send in a sample once a year for verification (after the several during the first couple years.) It's about due for another one; the last was at 190k miles; no detected fuel dilution and wear metals were 1/0/3/0/0/0 (Al/Cr/Fe/Cu/Pb/Sn) Viscosity at full interval was right up the middle.
Good idea about sending in a sample. I'll pull a sample at 6 months and see how it looks.

Dave
 

BuckeyeMan71

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Location
Ohio
TDI
03 Jetta wagon
The funny thing about the SkyActiv engines is that I've got one and so does my g/f. She a 2.0L, me a 2.5L (hers is a 3, mine is a 6.) Mine has 225,000 miles on the clock and consumes about half-a-quart between changes on 7,500 mile intervals, and when I've sent the used out for analysis the wear metals come back near-zero. We're both on the factory clutch (yes, MTXs.)

I've not had a single problem with mine, and the most-serious problem SHE has had was a busted brake-light switch that disabled basically every doo-dad "driver helper" thing (along with the brake lights) but took about the same 15 minutes to replace that it does on an ALH.

This much I do know; use the wrong oil in any modern engine and you're in trouble fast. PDs like to eat cams, and non-synthetic oils in any modern spark-ignition vehicle is bad news due to the top ring being so close to the fire deck for emissions reasons, turbo or not. Go into one of those "fast lube" places and....

The GM truck commentary is amusing -- and correct. I also own an '02 Suburban. It looks like crap as the sun has blown out the paint, especially on the roof and hood, but I was fortunate and didn't get one of the nice loose-tolerance piston-slap monsters, so the engine is fine. If/when the 4L60E blows I can buy another one for reasonable money. Hell, even on an "emergency" basis (it blows when I'm away from home) it's a $3k job, not a $5k+ one. GM keeps trying to sell me a new replacement for the truck but they're out of their mind; the new one gets perhaps 1mpg better fuel burn but the maintenance and trouble factor goes up by at least double, so.... no thanks. If I wind up putting an engine in this one at some point it'll still be cheaper. Maybe I'll even have it painted...
I have my wagen and a 97 gmc with. 6.5l turbo and yes she is a clacker but I get 22mpg and she’s a very peppy ole girl and she only has 83k on her and runs like a champ
 
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