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Thread: Servicing - what would you do?

  1. #1
    scotty76's Avatar
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    Servicing - what would you do?

    I know this is a holy war so apologies in advance.

    In a nutshell my car (new S4) is on long life servicing, Audi's website says it shouldn't be (I do about 4.5k miles a year). Then again I don't do town driving, my commute is A road, dual carriageway then motorway miles. It's just that I only go to the office about twice a week at the moment!

    I asked the dealer. My take on the reply is "most people leave it as is and it probably never becomes an issue as they don't keep the car for long enough".

    Me:

    Servicing your Audi < Servicing and MOT < Owners Area < Audi

    Should my car be on " Fixed inspection service" as I do less than 10k miles?
    Them:

    The choice of service regime is yours – most of our customers prefer the long life schedule but this can be switched over in a couple of minutes if you require?

    Let me know and should you prefer inspection we can switch it over for you
    So should I switch it? What would you do?

    One other possibility occurs to me. Leave it on long life and get my local indie to do an oil and filter change every 12 months. This will get the stamps in the book (or on the computer system as it now seems to be).

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    Yes, a bit of a dilemma! Edit, my car is also an S4.

    As far as I know, VAG only use one "type" of oil at dealerships - ie LongLife, which was conceived for Long Service, ie Variable Servicing.

    I also do not do many miles a year, car is 3 years and 4 months old and total mileage so far is roughly 15.5K - car never gets used for stop/start running or in town driving, though I'd like to change to 12 months servicing.

    So, in its life, my car was serviced by Audi at under 2 years, then given the usual quick look at + oil and hopefully filter prior to being placed on the forecourt when 2 years 6 months old.

    So, what to do:- well if I could buy Castrol Edge Professional LL 3 in 4 or 5 litre containers, I would replace the oil and filter about now, and let the car work out when it wants to go and see Audi for its "large" service.

    On that subject of oil, has anyone found a source of Castrol Edge Professional LL3 in biggish containers? So far, all I've done is to buy Mobil 5W-30 FST- or is that E??(?) to use as top-up and to carry some in the car - but no luck there as car is not using any oil!!

    I'm overdue a brake fluid change, but I'd expect that a tin of VAG fluid and my Gunsons pressure bleeder will sort that out very soon.
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    Well I've mulled it over last night and today and I'm going to switch to annual. Even though the car would be in warranty it just seems like the right thing to do. I mean the website is clear enough "less than 10,000 miles" and that's me. So will switch and take the servicing cost hit.

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    Mines on fixed servicing as I initially thought I'd be doing less than 10000 miles a year, however I've had the car for just over 2 years now and have put nearly 28000 miles on her, however I'm just going to leave it as is. My third service is due next week which is only costing £180 so I'm not even sure it'd save me any money if I changed to long life plus it's getting a regular oil change which can only be a good thing.
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    My car / situation is the same as I do low miles per around 6,000

    Salesman told me my car was on long life and 1st service due 2 years

    Result I thought - save some cash

    Then looked on the Driver info log - when next service due - and it states OIL CHANGE around the 12 months period.

    So to my reckoning, it will have an oil change after 12 months driving which will be relatively inexpensive.

    However, when the 24 month service is due I am led to believe this could be anywhere between £500 to £700 notes gulp !

    That's my reckoning anyway.

    Don't know what the over ruling difference is between long life and regular otherwise though ?
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    I change the oil and filters on my cars every 5k.

    I don't care what Audi say... I don't think long life oil changes are good for modern cars.
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    As above 5k, LongLife oil is superior but the intervals aren't.
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    Once again, does anyone know where to buy Castrol Edge Professional LL 3 5W-30 in sump sized volume?

    I've always in the past, changed oil at 12 months or 8>10K miles, meaning that both our previous VAG cars got an early "self" oil change and changed to fixed period at first official service while still under warranty. After that I've always done my own repairs and servicing and keeping cars for 10>13 years from buying them new.

    What bothers/concerns me now is, the advised oil costs £20 a litre to buy, so will probably cost £25+ a litre when car is serviced, now that is down right dropping your trousers prices seeing as VAG dealers will buy the "fairy dust" special oils in in bulk, at 6 litres sump capacity, that is at least £150 a year/10K for oil. That is okay if our cars need this special oil, remember the OP and I are running S4s and both of us seem to be avoiding "destructive" types of car use - well avoiding the sort of use that causes the oil to degrade quickly.

    Seeing as I've bought the correct Mobil stuff, I'll probably do as I said and perform interim oil changes myself and stick with dealer long life service plan, for as long as I use an Audi dealer.

    Warning, there quite a few people out there that change oil at 6K and use really crap oil, that is not a clever thing to do.

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    I can obviously only speak for myself, but I wouldn't expect anyone that changes their oil frequently to protect their car to use 'crap oil', never met an enthusiast that uses inferior products to be honest, maybe much cheaper than main dealer, of course, but I'm sure it will still be the correct grades.. I know mine is.

    there is no 'need' to use a certain brand... it's the grades that are more important.

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    scotty76's Avatar
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    I thought Castrol Edge was what's recommend? If so I don't know about really big sizes but you can often buy 4 litres on offer in Tesco or Costco.

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    TPS oil bonanza promo.

    About once a month, last time I paid £17+vat for 5L of Quantum LongLife III 5W 30 , 504 00 / 507 00 spec

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    Costco only tend to sell oils for "older" ie, not current cars - for obvious reasons as current cars will tend to get serviced at dealers.

    My issue with Castrol Edge Professional LL 3 5W-30 is, are Castrol and VAG in agreement to only sell small containers of oil via outlets, ie for top-up purposes only, while listing only that oil as the preferred oil on their website, I reckon that the VW owner's area will also list that oil, this time with VW use listed on its labelling.

    I'm just trying to work out what exactly is the difference between the non-professional and professional versions of Castrol Edge LL 3 5W-30.

    It is not the first time that Castrol oils have been sold to the public, originally in only 1 litre containers, remember when VAG launched its PD engines, the only place, originally where top-up containers of correct oil, Castrol something, was Halfords, dealers just did not stock it for retail other than in the special top-up kits.

    Maybe time to go down the Mobil route, which is a pity as I'd always looked on Castrol as a superior product, though Castrol do totally control what the retailer charges.

    For me, this extended discussion is more about owners getting conned, than what is correct for the car, thought I've got no intention of mistreating my car(s), never had done that and don't want to start now.

    From my experience, the belief that someone that changes their oil themselves, often, will only use proper oil, should be correct, but from what I've read over the years on VAG forums, it is very far from the truth! These people are probably "sort of" enthusiasts.
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    I agree about the conned bit... when I purchased my old S4 the owner had stacks of bills for the 1 litre castrol oil... something outrageous like £17 a litre... (or close to that) I never realised that it wasn't sold in larger sizes...

    he was very proud that he spend all that money on the oil... I just found it a bit odd... lol

    I've got 15 litres of brand new stuff sitting for some oil changes tomorrow!!! greedy bar stewards these Audi engines...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazwould View Post
    TPS oil bonanza promo.

    About once a month, last time I paid £17+vat for 5L of Quantum LongLife III 5W 30 , 504 00 / 507 00 spec
    The only issue I have with that is, while I have used Quantum Gold then Platinum in the past for my cars, VAG's aftersales brand is Quantum, but while it sells these oils, it advises the use for Castrol - Quantum's provider of oils is unknown so far.

    Oh, and I've heard my local TPS sends you away if you can not prove you are trade.

    One last thing, I just happened to read this thread a few hours after searching on-line for decent sized containers of the Professional LL 3 5W-30 - so I'm still a bit grumpy after drawing a blank on that score!

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    A quote from "mytyres" website wrt Castrol Edge Professional LL 3 5W-30:-
    Castrol’s microfiltration system provides a extremely pure oil. To be clearly identified as a Castrol EDGE Professional Premium Product the oil is marked with a authentic feature, namely a fluorescent dye which can be seen under bright UV light.

    Maybe consider this if doing your own "interim" oil changes while under Audi warranty.

    Mytyres quote £9.80 a litre for Castrol Edge Professional LL 3 delivered, which means £68.60 for 7litres, compared with Opie Oils prices, excluding any delivery charges, for Fuchs Titan GT1 LL3 £65, Shell Helix Ultra Extra £66.50, Mobil 1 ESP £67, Castrol Edge FST £88.50.

    This probably leaves me regretting jumping in early on and buying Mobil 1 ESP to cater for what I expected to be a highish oil usage, good enough oil but not what Audi reckon their dealers use, or is there any proof that they are all using Castrol products exclusively?

    I was certain that I had read "Mobil 1 ESP" as the oil used at previous service time, though I can't find that comment for the records for my S4 or my daughter's Ibiza - so much for try to do the right thing!!

  18. #17
    scotty76's Avatar
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    Why is the Pro version so different to the Edge FST? Or do you think it's marketing? :-)

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    From my experience of vw and audi dealers they don't stick religiously to Castrol at all. As long as the oil conforms to the vw spec (507?) they can do what they like (they are a franchise after all). I've seen Castrol, Quantum and Mobil listed on the invoice. The dealers will buy in bulk from the cheapest supplier of spec compliant oil. The Castrol reccomendation is probably used from the factory as VAG will get it cheaper by 'advertising' it. Any spec compliant oil will be 'fine' but I suspect that some will meet the minimum spec and others exceed it.
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    Shell and quantum at my VW dealer. Same at my audi dealer. The moment I found out they had put quantum in I had it drained and put shell helix in. Much smoother and my engine seems to prefer it. My oil cap has castrol written on it....but quantum is made by castrol apparantly
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    You drained Quantum Platinum or Quantum LongLife III ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty76 View Post
    Why is the Pro version so different to the Edge FST? Or do you think it's marketing? :-)
    Well, one reasonable guess could be the addition of:- "the oil is marked with a authentic feature, namely a fluorescent dye which can be seen under bright UV light" - now in the situation where a claim is being made on Audi, that would be a very handy tool in the claims department's tool box! I'd guess that while traces of the dye will remain if you refill with, for example Castrol Edge FST, Audi would be able to see this difference.

    For the record, after looking into this, there are two variants of this "special" oil, one with Audi on its label and one with VW on its label, this will be Castrol fulfilling its contact to supply these dealer's workshops with their products exclusively - imagine ending up with your nice shiny Audi getting filled up with the VW variant due to a delivery error - shock/horror!!

    I could be wrong, but so far I think that Seat and Skoda don't go in for this variable servicing - yet, maybe still waiting for Castrol to knock up some labelling for them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ub7rm View Post
    From my experience of vw and audi dealers they don't stick religiously to Castrol at all. As long as the oil conforms to the vw spec (507?) they can do what they like (they are a franchise after all). I've seen Castrol, Quantum and Mobil listed on the invoice. The dealers will buy in bulk from the cheapest supplier of spec compliant oil. The Castrol reccomendation is probably used from the factory as VAG will get it cheaper by 'advertising' it. Any spec compliant oil will be 'fine' but I suspect that some will meet the minimum spec and others exceed it.
    Completely agree, well in as far as what has happened in the past, though I'd doubt if Quantum would be used at bigger dealerships as they would bulk, ie tanker deliveries from the usual Castrol or Mobil, I'd guess that while at engine factories, Fuchs used to get used exclusively, there has been a new contract signed with Castrol and so the cars get labelled up with "Castrol" - even on the filler cap! I'm guessing that this new oil supply contract is "better" and "tighter" than the previous one and Audi/VW must comply with using only Castrol products. It has been said in the past that Castrol are very aggressive with their marketing, ie vendors sell at the correct price and stop getting supplies, the only exception being the goodies that might be given away with the oils.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnythepie View Post
    Shell and quantum at my VW dealer. Same at my audi dealer. The moment I found out they had put quantum in I had it drained and put shell helix in. Much smoother and my engine seems to prefer it. My oil cap has castrol written on it....but quantum is made by castrol apparantly
    I'd think that Quantum is only the VAG aftermarket brand name and the oil they will repackage will depend entirely on who will supply the correct product at the best price, ie not fixed to any one oil company.

    I remember a friend at work. some years ago, having issues with his Ford Orion after a dealer service under warranty, turned out they did not use Ford Motorcraft oil - this is what Ford claim has to be used in the car handbook, dealer had used Mobil, and a non-compliant grade - friend handed over a "gallon" tin of the correct oil bought from same dealership and got them to change the oil and refund him the (inflated) price they had charged him originally - car now ran as it had run before the service and friend had some money back in his pocket - a small triumph for a customer!

    I'd love to think that Quantum is made by Castrol, but that would not necessary mean that it was Edge LL 3 Pro - in fact it just would not be.

    There was once a thread in a VAG forum really just about identifying the correct, as used at factory oil, then finding how to get it at the best price. This ended up with the company being identified as being Fuchs, from there folk went on the Fuchs website and found the correct variant of oil for their car, then finding out that GSF was the best place to buy it. So far so good, then someone found out that one of the national motor factors sold oils that were Fuchs, but rebranded - a lot cheaper! I ended up accidently asking (don't ask how) Fuchs UK if "A" oil was the same as their "B" oil - they did not answer that for the obvious reason, ie it would have a different additive package - so entirely different oil. (have just used that oil in wife's car - well it is almost at 100K !)

    I think that my point here all along has been to find out how to buy the correct oil at a sensible price, I always try to buy the correct product at the best price, not buy a cheaper product at an inflated price for it.

    I'm very close to ordering up maybe 10 litres of Edge Pro from "mytyres" and getting an Audi filter and doing an interim oil service!
    Last edited by rum4mo; 15th June 2014 at 09:45.

  25. #24
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    So this is what's in the boot of my brand new S4, collected Monday. The dealer gave me this for topups...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazwould View Post
    You drained Quantum Platinum or Quantum LongLife III ?
    Quantum longlife.Much happier with shell.I change my oil every 5k or so in any case.Just seems to run better on it.
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  27. #26
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    As said above Castrol Edge 4l 5W-30 & 5W-40 and others standard price £30 at Costco, sometimes on offer £24
    I never got a free bottle of oil in my Dynamik when i bought it new, However i got free Audi Valve caps, rubber mats etc..
    I use Castrol Edge 5W-30 FST nothing else and get it changed and serviced every 12 months/10,000 miles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnythepie View Post
    Quantum longlife.Much happier with shell.I change my oil every 5k or so in any case.Just seems to run better on it.
    What's the viscosity and spec of the Shell Helix, as Scotty's ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazwould View Post
    What's the viscosity and spec of the Shell Helix, as Scotty's ?
    <br>
    <br>
    Well it says 5W-30 on the container - TICK, and the term "Professional" - TICK, and as the bottle was supplied by an Audi dealer, we MUST assume that it complies with the correct VAG spec! So, that leaves the question - "where does not leave the idea that Audi and VW have signed an exclusive contract with Castrol" ????? So we the simple owners, try to do what Audi says we must do to full fill our agreement to the warranty term, and Audi dealers make it look like they can do what they like. One rule for them and one rule for us - it is the way of the world??<br>
    <br>
    Edit, it is 504.00/507.00 VAG compliant - that is written on the bottle.<br><br>Second Edit, Shell does not list Helix Ultra AV-L 5W-30 as their "value" oil for Audi S4 with CAKA 2009&gt;2012! (for fixed servicing of variable servicing). Might be okay for S4 2012> though, didn't check.
    Last edited by rum4mo; 15th June 2014 at 21:18.

  30. #29
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    It's a minefield isn't it? *sigh*

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty76 View Post
    It's a minefield isn't it? *sigh*
    I didn't even get a free top-up pack / bottle!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty76 View Post
    It's a minefield isn't it? *sigh*
    I've now had a read through all my service bumf and discovered that in 09/12, my S4 had its first service at the supplying dealer, and was refilled with Mobil 1 ! At its pre-sale service in 06/13 it had an oil+filter change and a pollen filter change, no info on oil used as there was obviously no bill.

    So, unless I can find out any more pointers that mean I would be better using Castrol Edge Professional LL3 5W-30, I will stick to my original idea of using Mobil 1 - one good reason might be that if I have a "just out of warranty" engine problem, it might be good to present it filled with the Castrol Edge Professional LL3 5W-30 complete with its marker dye!

    I'd still reckon that anyone who is considering doing their own interim oil service and using the dealer for doing the variable service visit, to keep the service record "intact", ie leave the car set for variable but change the oil+filter at "half time" - maybe 9 months, should use one of these "Professional" oils, either Castrol or Shell.

    One thing to remember about these "special" oils, they only get sold in litre containers, this is something that Europe has wanted for years to stop silly people dumping used oils down their drain at home, the quantity of "missing" engine within developed Europe is claimed to be mind boggling! One other way to look at this is, any way they can, the motor trade with try to close down DIYers.
    Last edited by rum4mo; 16th June 2014 at 22:01.

 

 

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