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Long-life oil changes

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by paddy, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    There have been a few threads this holiday about long life service intervals, costs and what they involve so I thought I would make a few points.

    This is just a personal opinion but if you plan to keep the car i wouldn’t even consider Audi long life oil or service intervals.

    Last year when i had all the trouble with my engine I was called into Audi’s to discuss the problem and the cost which was mounting up alarmingly at £1400 a day. I had a meeting with the service manager and the chief Tech to try and work out a way forward given we still hadn’t diagnosed the problem and the bill was fast heading for £4k. The tech told me that my engine was very badly coked up in the oil ways and surfaces in the lower engine and heavily varnished in the upper hotter areas. This was either due to poor quality oil or i had been thrashing the engine relentlessly and had cooked it. I explained that the car did a 10 mile commute in Surrey each day where you are lucky to get above 40mph and all the oil changes had been carried out by Audi to the schedule. At this time the car had only done 38k miles and it was the worst case of varnished oil/engine he had seen. He basically said they were going to see this more and more often with the Castrol long life oils and it was a problem they never had with years of using Mobil 1.
    Eventually the fault with my engine was diagnosed as a stretched timing chain, a item that should have lasted the life of the engine but fail at less than 40k miles. Several other guys here were having a similar problem and an article was found in German detailing the problem in a engineers report with pictures showing how the oil had burnt soot black and coked on at crankshaft level and had set into a honey gold varnish higher up where the heat of the cylinders had cooked the oil. Several problems arose from this including a molecular change of some steel components including timing chain and tensioners etc and a loss of lube properties in the Castrol oil. The article is in PDF form so I cant copy the pictures but you can see them on this link.

    http://www.a3quattro.de/pdf/Bericht_VR6_3-2_Kettentrieb_onlineVers.pdf

    Its 13mb so give it a minute to load.
    Note the end shot of the engine on page 55
    The crud build up at 60klm on page 78 using Castrol.

    Note the final comment which is a recommendation to use Mobil1 which takes us back to the advice of the Audi tech. Personally I think Audi are storing up huge problems for the future with Castrol and given it cost £30 and they charge £100 its difficult to see why they gave up with Mobil1 except that Mobile1 is more expensive so their profit margin would be less. You get what you pay for and as someone who is an engineer and has built and raced motorcycle engines I never skimp on oil or tyres period.

    Some of you will see this as Paddy just moaning about Audi again which is fair enough but don’t forget after looking at this PDF Audi UK do not except liability for a problem here !
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  2. BigBird
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    BigBird Lost in music...

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    Thanks for the heads up - worrying stuff. I'd always selected Castrol over Mobil but not for any technical reason.

    Might be time for a reassessment...:readit:
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  3. CHRIS555
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    CHRIS555 DOPE with added OCD

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    Thanks for the thread mate - I don't see it as a paddy at all but some genuinely worthwhile knowledge and information.

    I must admit I was unsure about the service schedule and oils - I tend to drive relatively smoothly but use the throttle more to grip the corners and islands more than maybe other people, so therefore holding revs against traction and I have been concerned about the oil usage although I have annual services so I think I am going to swap to Mobil and look at 6monthly changes.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
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  4. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    Thanks for an interesting post!

    I have a question. Would you buy a 30 month old VW 1.9Tdi (105) that had done 35,000 miles with no servicing if the price was right (£3500 under retail!) ?
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  5. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    I don't see this as "huge" problem as many owners still have annual oil changes and keep their cars a relatively short time compared with the cars life but i do see it as a totally un-necessary risk and avoidable for a small outlay. Remember the long life service is a selling point to new owners who will probably sell withing the 3 year guarantee and most Audi approved used cars are under 40k miles so long life services will not really impact on Audi mainstream customers.
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  6. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    Thanks Paddy, the VW I acquired cheap for a family member with VW approved warranty so even if there are problems hopefully they will get sorted. I just fail to see how anyone would want to drive a car for 35,000 miles without a service though. A school teacher apparently so she should have been used to regular Inspections!!!
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  7. Batt284
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    Batt284 Member

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    Personally I do not have any way to know whether this is correct or not so I am happy to be cautious, but if this is true it reflects very badly on VAG engines IMO. The Japenese manufacturers have virtually no warranty claims against their engines and are less fussy about the types of oil that should be used.
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  8. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    Not a problem for me personally as I get rid when they reach 3 years old anyway so anything that happens before that is covered under the warranty.
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  9. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    My feeling is the biggest threat to an engine in normal use is ware either from metal to metal contact or dirty oil with for example carbon deposits in it. One of the major problems with long life oil changes is that people therefore change the filter less.We all know how quickly new oil goes black as it washes the crud off the inside of the engine, we see that change over a week or two but it continues for up to two years on a LL service schedule, its not just about keeping viscosity and lube qualities in the oil, its about keeping that oil clean as well. Once the oil becomes a medium for carrying minute metal particles and carbon round the engine it makes no difference how good the oil is.
    People here are happy to spend £00's on induction kits and argue the toss about air filters but who looks for the best quality oil filters ??
    A good quality fully synthetic oil and annual oil and filter change will cost you less than a tank of petrol if you do it yourself. Its difficult to see any good reason to run a LL service schedule.
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  10. Anders3404
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    Anders3404 New Member

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    Audi Denmark recommends Shell Helix oil. Probably due to general availabilty
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  11. dan77
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    dan77 dan77

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    ive just bought my 2.0tdi and thats on long life service schedule, i want to do an inbetween oil change soon as its about half way between services, is mobil1 5w30 the best stuff to go for?
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  12. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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