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EURO Synthetic Blend of oil?

I recently purchased a 2007 VW Jetta and took it for its first oil change. I was planning on using the synthetic oil for the change but Firestone informed me that VW recommended the Synthetic EURO blend that was formulated for my car. I was about to acquiesce when he informed me that the oil change wouldn’t be $55 (what I expected) but $94! I was a little taken aback. Have any of you heard of this? Is the synthetic good enough or does the Euro blend make that much of a difference?

VW, BMW, and Mercedes all have their own specification for oil. Kinda nuts to me, but they do. So they were right. As for the cost, I’d call around, find a VW specialist, they may be less. I don’t trust major chains for oil changes.

I have to say that I am impressed with the folks at that Firestone for being aware of this reality, namely that the newer German cars require an insanely expensive motor oil. Kudos to the guys at that Firestone location!

For the benefit of the OP, the reason for the insanely expensive motor oil for German cars is that, in Europe, they use insanely-long oil change intervals–apparently in the interest of “helping the environment”. Don’t quote me on this, but I think that the recommended oil change interval on these cars (in Europe) is something on the order of 15k miles. In order to go that long without doing major damage to the engine, you need an oil that is specially-formulated for those insanely-long intervals.

And, in case the OP is wondering, while the use of that oil will protect the mfr from most engine-related warranty claims, once the warranty is over, the probability of these engines being choked with damaging sludge is very high–regardless of the type of oil. So, my advice is twofold:

During the warranty period, use ONLY the recommended/specified oil
Use “reasonable” oil change intervals–e.g., no longer than 6,000 miles

After the warranty is over, you can probably safely switch to “American-specification” synthetic oil, but you should still be very careful to change the oil every 6 months.

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So what did you do?

The specification you need for your engine is VW Standard 502.00. Don’t just grab any old 5W30 and think that’s what your car takes. The price isn’t really any higher when you consider that the oil change service is done every 10,000 miles. But that also implies the use of a VW oil filter and not the $4.99 kind.

This is not new, this specification oil has been the standard for VW and Audi for at least a dozen years, maybe more.

Having said that, I have a number of customers who, once the warranty period is over, have switched to Mobil1 5W30 with no sludging issues.


I’ll draw fire for saying this, but I think if you stick to a conservative oil change interval the common synthetics will work OK.
I wonder what percentage of second+ owners do maintenance up to spec.

I’ll draw fire for saying this, but I think if you stick to a conservative oil change interval the common synthetics will work OK.

Nah, no fire, I tend to agree with you. I’ve seen VWs that used conventional oil that were serviced conservatively at 3-5,000 mile intervals that went 150,000+ miles.

But why take a chance? The OP is complaining of a price difference of $100/year (a hundred bucks in a YEAR!) for maintenance. I can’t take my wife out for an evening of drinks and dinner for $100.

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To give an update, I went with the Euro Blend vowing to come to this board afterward to see if I made a smart choice or was had. It appears that I made the right decision. This is my first German car and I wasn’t aware that the German manufacturers had their own specifications. I am meticulous about maintenance and following manufacturer recommendations.

I am meticulous about maintenance and following manufacturer recommendations.

Then you should enjoy your Jetta for years to come!

Then you should enjoy your Jetta for years to come!

I plan to. I am completely sold on VW’s so they have a customer for life. Amazing vehicle.

"Synthetic Blend "
One thing. Don’t be taken in by the word Synthetic in front of the word blend. It’s not a full synthetic with synthetic base oils and should be given the respect of regular oils and not a full synthetic. Most other car manufacturers donot extend oil change intervals with blends, only true synthetics. Realize that most of the profit made on new cars is through their maintenance (including other car maintenance providers) . That means they want you to buy oils with larger profit margins. IMHO, no oil is specifically formulated for your car that can’t be duplicated by another traditional Brand. What does the manual say ? Is your warranty void if you use another brand ? If not, you have your answer.

As for the cost, I’d call around, find a VW specialist, they may be less. I don’t trust major chains for oil changes. I agree !

@VDCDriver Yes, the intervals are insanely long. I rented a Vauxhall non turbo in England and the intervals was 20,000 MILES!!! or one year. European oils have a very large additive package and are premium all round. I would not use anything lese, but would change oil twice as often.

If you Jetta is the 2.5L you likely have 6qts of motor oil not the typical 3-5 the $55 oil changes are. So you get charged for the extra quart.

Also a special oil in the brand line they have was acquired for your vehicle costing them a lot from parts delivery likely. I do know Mobil 1 meets special VW spec as does Valvoline synthetic. No special “euro” labeling and likely upcharge.

Good luck. I took my sister for an oil change and she was asking me the same q except more on extra quart charge.

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Yeah, euro cars require special oil…GM requires DEXOS…Ford and Chrysler have proprietary standards of their own, I hear.

The “good ol days” of merely choosing the “API S [whatever] DONUT” seem to be fading fast!

Yeah, euro cars require special oil...GM requires DEXOS.

Most synthetic oils meet the Dexos standard without any change in their formula. The only difference is the licensing fee they pay GM to put the Dexos label on their oil containers. And that cost is passed down to the consumers.

It’s total marketing cr@p.

If warranty is an issue, I’d use exactly what they specify. The euro-spec oils are better. If it’s to satisfy your personal worries, any full-synthetic should be fine as long as you stick to a reasonable oil change interval like 5K-6K miles if you have a turbo.

Mobil-1 is good oil (though my car uses a bit of oil with it), some people swear by Castrol full-synthetic, and by Pennzoil Platinum. I’ve been pleased with Amsoil’s oils, and if you want to spend some money, Royal Purple is highly regarded, though I think it’s an overkill and a waste for most people. If you want to read everything oil-related, is a good site for this.

European cars hve been doing this for years. Cutting edge technology requiring cutting edge maintenance including special additive packages and still, they can’t outlast many American, Toyota, Honda and Nissan components including engines running on American API certifide oils of the correct viscosity and grade recomended by their manufactures. If a European car motor can’t give dependable sevice with an American standard full synthetic oil from a leading manufacturer recomended by other brands, I doubt it can last any longer with it’s own concoctions. Imho, I won’t buy their over priced hype and keep them in the business of building premium priced cars with sub premium performance and longevity. An older Corolla or a Honda with 100 hp per liter without turbocharging could last 200k plus miles on API certifide 5w30 weight oil from the VIP brand, off the shelf cheapo organic oils. They can still using API certified full synthetic oils recomended by the maker for their use.

For years, my oil changes using organic and later a full synthetic have cost between $35 and $45 per with a $20 dollar rebate…At the dealer. Why would I buy a European car that cost four times as much for maintenamce on a motor that historically doesn’t last as long.

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“It’s total marketing cr@p”.

I disagree. It is total garbage, but it is also a good chance for the dealers to make money by luring less knowledgeable owners into the dealer service bays. GM is not alone in this. All the auto manufacturers try to do it.

What I wish is that the industry would get back to some reasonable set of standards. Seems like there’s 3 basic grades (ignoring weight): regular, synthetic, and deluxe synthetic (VW/MB/BMW). Why can’t the industry fix this? Maybe cut it down to two, regular and synthetic?

^I always though that’s what the API was for. Not THEIR fault various MFRs want to get fancy!

Yeah, but it’s such a mess now. Don’t get me started on antifreeze…