CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

VW Passt Oil Change

I understand that VW is recommending that I use synthenic oil which is at a much higher price. What would happen if I don’t??

Assuming this is a brand-new car: you could have a warranty claim possibly denied due to your cheapness. You can purchase synthetic oil on sale at many places; if you do your own oil changes it really won’t cost much more at all. Even if you pay a mechanic to do it (you don’t have to go to the dealer as long as you save your receipts) it’s still not that much more money. Just avoid the quickie-lube places.

You can be penny-wise or pound-foolish. Maybe you should just sell this car and buy a Kia.

First what year Passat and engine? The 1.8T had a tendancy to sludge up due to tiny oil sump and another design flaw. VW covered this flaw in an 8yr/150,000 warranty if you used Synthetic every 5000k miles.

If you decide to forgo synthetic using conventional every 3months/3000 miles it may be fine with mixed driving (highway/city). Extended intervals no or pure city no. If you decide this route and some oil related engine failure happens you may not get covered.

I suggest you use the recommended oil. The engineers at VW didn’t specify synthetic just to cost you a few more dollars, they did it because they believe the engine needs it. If your Passat has the turbocharged engine I would not put anything but synthetic oil in it. If your car is under warranty you may jeopardize your coverage if you don’t use the recommended oil.

Thanks. I will go with your recommendations and stick with the synthetic. I never even thought of the warranty issues. I also understand that I can go longer between oil changes. Oh also, I am not cheap just cautious with my money these days. I’ll keep my VW thank you very much…

Don’t go longer than the recommended oil change interval. The factory interval assumes you are using synthetic.

If this engine is prone to sludge…then stick with synthetic. Synthetic oil handles harsh conditions and resists sludging much better then regular dyno oil. The cost of synthetic is really not that much more. And it’ll save you from destroying your engine.

Read your owner’s manual. Follow the directions and requirements therein. Pay attention to nobody else, including and especially the dealership.

You can’t use just any synthetic oil. VW has special requirements, and you need to look for oil that meets their specifications. Your owners manual will show the applicable VW oil specification for your engine. And, synthetic isn’t “recommended”, it’s required.