VW Jetta and synthetic oil

This is in reference to the lady that called about the VW Jetta and wether she need to contiue to use synthetic oi.

You might check into VW requirements on oil. I seem to remember they had problems with sludge built-up blocking the oil sump and changed the oil specs to synthetic only.

If you own a VW, you want the best oil money can buy for that car. One of the current specs is a 0W40 synthetic; it is synthetic because you cannot make such an oil with normal mineral base stock oil.

Volkswagens sludge up for several reasons, the main one being owners not changing oil often enough, the other is the engine design. The factory does not help the situation by recommending 10,000 mile drain intervals.

Mobil 1 makes an oil that meets Volkswagen and other European specs. It is synthetic and had lots of additives to fight sludging.

In short, owning a VW means you don’t just drive into any service station to get your oil changed. You go to one that has VW approved oil (it will say so on the bottle), and change oil twice as often as the owner’s manual calls for. That will avoid any sludging.

Thought I would point out, if the Jetta has a 1.8T engine, synthetic is a must have. The turbo in that engine can run very hot if driven hard, synthetic can run hotter without cooking and turning to sludge, as opposed to regular oil. I have a 1.8T in an Audi, and the general consensus seems to be that synthetic changed at an interval at less than 5,000 miles should be done. Also, the biggest oil filter available should be used to help keep the oil cool. It is also important with that engine to let the engine idle for 1-3 minutes if the car is driven very hard, to allow oil to circulate and cool the turbo. However, if the engine is the 2.0 or a non turbo engine, synthetic isnt as critical, but might still be recommended.

“You might check into VW requirements on oil.” You ALWAYS should check the manufacturers oil requirements for oil and make sure any oil use use meets or exceeds them.

It is also good to remember that oils can not be simply rated by some scale. Different cars require different things from their oil. The best oil for your Honda may be a poor oil from my VW and the right oil for my VW might be wrong for your Honda.

It is sort of like ordering a Coke for me and a beer for you. I hate beer, if you are not driving, beer may be best for you.

One must consider the fact that the mfg is in business to make money and the majority of products are designed to last for the warranty period plus a little. Dealing strictly with the issue of lubrication, the most important thing is use QUALITY CONSUMABLES! Don’t go looking for the “cheapest”, go looking for the “best”. Amsoil has been the leader in automotive synthetic lubricants for decades and were one of the first companies to produce a “full synthetic” oil. Yes, that’s right, a modified mineral oil can qualify as “synthetic” when in reality it is not (that’s what happens when you let politicians stick thier noses into things best left to be policed by private industry). Thus, the first thing is to find a “full synthetic” product. Then you’re going to match the full synthetic oil to the operational conditions of the vehicle as well as to the environmental operating conditions. While it is easy to suggest 0w40, that may in fact be a bad choice for the application because a straight-weight 30, 40 or 50 may provide sufficient start-up lubrication without giving up protection on the top-end as all multi-viscosity lubricants do - lubricant must be matched to the specific application and the lubricant mfg is the one who knows their product best (and often times knows the vehicle mfg product better than the vehicle mfg does)

Oil filters are NOT created equal either. While a filter may “meet” a vehicle/engine mfg spec, those spec’s are loosely applied and are worth about as much as printing them on used toilet paper. Certain filters, like the orange ones, have managed to “meet” engine mfg’s spec’s for years despite the fact the cardboard disc would fail allowing oil to bypass the filter element and many times the filter failure resulted in engine failure. Go with a known good quality filter such as Luberfiner, Baldwin or Donaldson and let the “cheap” ones rot on the store shelf rather than wrecking your engine.

The absolute most important thing is check the oil level. Even if you run cheap crap oil and a cheap crap filter, running low on oil is still far worse than running on junk. Filter changes are very important especially with synthetic oils. The synthetics can work wonders and last a lot longer than any conventional oil but all is wasted if you faile to change the filter! If the mfg calls for a 10k or 15k change interval, at a minimum, you should be changing the filter every 5k and topping the oil off accordingly. In city/short trip driving, the filter should be changed every 3k miles. Sure, the oil will easily last 10-15k miles but ONLY if sufficiently filtered!

Currently there are no non-synthetic oils for my 2003 Jetta VE.

Synthetic proponents, a challenge: Show me the performance requirements which a motor oil must meet to be sold as “synthetic”. Hint: there are none. A motor oil must only be manufactured using processes accepted to the marketing industry as synthetic manufacturing processes.

I think there ought to be advanced performance certifications required of premium motor oil, but in general we don’t have any. GM has a few useful supplemental motor oil standards, but “synthetic” is not a motor oil performance specification.

That’s because car companies are in the business of selling new cars and replacement parts and synthetic causes things to not wear out as quickly and thus reduces profits from sales of cars/parts.

Show me the performance requirements which a motor oil must meet to be sold as “synthetic”.

I have no idea about that, but I can tell you that for many if not all the current VW cars, VW has published specifications. They are usually identified by 7##.# Like 701.2, numbers and the only oils that meet those specifications are marketed as synthetic.

So I offer you this challenge.  Can you find an oil that meets the current recommendations from VW for their current models that is not marketed as a synthetic?