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86 VW Scirroco Oil Weight

I will be buying a 86 VW Scirroco that has had the motor and Tranny completely rebuilt. My question is this, the guy that rebuilt it says to run 20w 50 motor oil in it. That just seems a bit heavy to me? If anyone has any input I would greatly appreciate it as to if that’s right or if I should change to a 10w 40 or what.

Do not buy this vehicle. This guy is a complete hack and he no doubt botched both rebuilds due to a lack of technical understanding. There is a very specific place for 20W50 and it is not in this vehicle!

The transmission will be the first to go, though.

When you say the motor and transmission were rebuilt by this guy, what does this mean to you?

Does it mean that you’ll get lots of trouble free life from the engine and transmission?

Or does it mean that you’ll likely be having frequent problems with those components?

Unless you know the skills of the re-builder and how thoroughly and properly they rebuilt it, I’d be concerned about the latter. Especially if you’ll be relying on this 24 year old car for daily transportation, or if maintenance costs are a concern to you.

I see nothing but trouble (expensive) if you buy this car. Agree with above 2 posts about the “rebuilder”. The only place to use 20W50 oil in this car would be South Florida or Hawaii.

He may have done such a sloppy job rebuilding that it needs 20W50 to keep the rings from passing all the oil.

Sign displayed in an automotive repair shop:

“If I wanted to rebuild junk I would work in a Junk Yard.”

This has the 16v DOHC 1.8, had the same motor in a Jetta GLI 16v I loved and owned. In the summer it recommends 20w50 and winter/year round in lower temps 15w40.

Don’t listen to the posters here, the rebuilder is knowledgable. I would maybe post over on as motor oil has come a long way since the mid 1980’s.

I would say that it depends on the type of driving and the climate more than anything else.
If you live in a hot area such as the desert southwest and especially if your driving habits are not stop and go then 20/50 is fine in the summer.

The big questions I would ask of you are these.
How much is this guy wanting for the car?
Are parts and machine shop receipts available to verify any of this?

The word “rebuild” is one of those words that can be absolutely beaten to death and can mean any one of a number of things; only one is correct and all of the others can mean iffy or junk.

What kind of shape is the rest of the car? How much does he want for the car? Personally . . . I’d use 20w50 in the warm months and 10w40 in the cold months . . . but you probably should check what was required originally (andrew j seems to have this info) but why discount this rebuilder sight-unseen? Maybe he know what he’s talking about. Did you (OP) check him out? Anybody you know who has used any of his rebuilds? Receipts for shop work and parts? Engine rebuilding can mean a lot of things to a lot of folks, depends on time, money and expertise. Rocketman

Guess I should have been more specific about the re build. The guy that did the rebuild has been working on VW’s since he was 16. He is now in his late 50’s. He has a masters degree in engineering and this car was just a project for him that he spent 2 plus years on in his spare time rebuilding. I am actually buying the car from his neighbor, a good friend of mine who bought it for his son’s 16th b-day. Unfortunately his son cannot and has no desire to learn to drive a stick shift. That is the only reason he offered to sell it to me.