Oil Change - How often for an old car

How often should my son change the oil on his 25 plus year old Golf? What kind of oil should he use?

Does he not have the owners manual ? Of not then a web search will find a free one to download.

If it was mine I would just use 10W30 and change every 5000 miles or 6 months . Of course I assume this is a gas engine without a Turbo Charger


5w30 preferably synthetic every 7500 miles under normal service, at least twice a year.

How much oil does it burn and/or leak? How much is the car being driven?

If it isn’t losing much oil, I might use a cheap store brand synthetic oil and change it every 5,000 miles. If it’s losing a lot of oil, I’d use cheap store brand conventional oil and change it every 3,000 miles.

Synthetic on a 25 year old vehicle of unknown mileage ? Seriously !

Seriously, that’s the VW recommendation. Age or mileage doesn’t enter into it. Either the OP’s son wants to take care of his car or he doesn’t.

This vehicle requires engine oil that meets VW 502 specifications, (synthetic oil).

The mileage isn’t unknown, it is displayed on the dash.

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I dunno but on a 25 year old car, seems to me they were talking 10-30 and 3000 mile changes. In fact that more things change the more they stay the same, I was reading an article on direct injection and the problems with soot. One of the recommendations in addition to the new oil spec was to change oil at the severe service period of 3000 miles. So they go to direct injection and find the soot causes cylinder damage and a way to cope with it is to change oil more frequently to get the soot out of the oil. Unintended consequences raises it’s ugly head again.

Interesting. I thought the 502 spec, 5w40 full synthetic, was just for engines with turbos and AFAIK the vehicle in question is a non-turbo.

First question is how many miles per year do you put on. I average 8k miles per year and do a spring and fall, but that is me. My oil life monitor has never gone off to recommend an oil change.

When did he buy it? Last week? Change the oil.

I looked up the wrong year, VW 502.00 oil standards began in 1997, for all engines.

Good to know. I guesstimated 1995 since the car is roughly 25 years old. It could easily be a 1997 for all we know since the OP didn’t specify a model year.

The source I found lists 502 for all Golfs '93 and newer, including the 2.5L non-turbo engine.

Thanks. My source said 5w30, preferably synthetic, for a '95 so I went with that.