So how long is a long life service?

18 stoner

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Feb 3, 2008
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As title really, just wanting to ask what you guys think I should expect.

Reason is I have had my 2005 3.0tdi Quattro serviced at main dealer and they told me it should be between 14 & 18,000 miles and upto 2 years when the computer has set itself based on recent driving.

It was serviced a few weeks back now, and today I looked on the MMI to see what mileage it had set on and its saying due in 7600 miles! Date is showing 663 days however, but it seems a lot sooner on the mileage than I was told or, even expected.

I realise the computer will set on driving style and the car doesnt do long distances every day, but has been away on holiday a couple of times during the setting period and covered a reasonable mileage in that time.

Is it possible the car was not "set" with a long life service, or have I been slightly misled with the expectancy of mileage to nextservice?

Many thanks in advance, Pete.
The previous owner of my car had it set to longlife service - he only did 27,000 miles in 5 years, meaning that it only got serviced once by Audi (at 19,500 miles) before he sold it to me (although he had the oil changed at 27,000 and the MOT servicing had also been carried out by Audi).

On the advice of Star Performance (Kirkcaldy) I now have it set to 10,000 miles or annually, which ever comes first. It's since been serviced regularly and I think this is probably a good idea!

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the problem with long life if you just do short journeys it will only go 1 year anyway. I had my S6 on long life and the oil was twice as much and the car would always say within 1 year that it needed a service. If you do long drives on motorways then long life is good and it will go beyond 12 months.
Get your dealer to check if it has been set to fixed service instead of variable. Had this on my car and once changed it's doing about 14-15,000 miles (or a year in my case) between services.
Get it off the Longlife asap, it should be called Shortlife as the engine life's will be much shorter if you're daft enough to service it every 2 years and 30k !
Get it off the Longlife asap, it should be called Shortlife as the engine life's will be much shorter if you're daft enough to service it every 2 years and 30k !

^^^^^^ this. its a marketing gimmick.
the more oil changes the engine has the better. FACT!

if you take apart any engine with 100k on it thats had oil changes every 5k. and then an engine thats been on longlife servicing and had maybe 3 services in that time. the difference is plain to see!!
the 5k serviced engine will be clean as a whistle inside. even when you change the oil at 5k the oil still looks clean!
longlife car will have heavy carbon deposites. these deposites keep the engine oil dirty even after a change. as these deposites get worse the carbon falls off swimming round with oil blocking up the oil filter. wearing the pump out. worse still, the oil filter has a bypass valve in it, once the filters so full of crap the oil cant pass thru it, the bypass valve gets forced open allowing oil thru unfiltered! the crap in the oil then gets pumped around the engine into the bearing and lifters.

get it off longlife.

10k or 12 months whatever comes first. a quality fully synthetic.
learn how to do it yourself!
pull the top cover off the engine. youll see a black plastic cap on top of the engine with a 36mm nut on top. undo this and remove. the oil filter pulls off the cap.
jack the car and support on stands.
bob the undertray off.
buy one of these.
Heavy Duty 6 ltr Oil Drainer Tetro-Plas Oil Draining Can | eBay
if you have a posh driveway buy a thin shhet of plywood!
Plywood Sheet 6mm DIY Ply 1220mm x 1220mm x 5.5mm | eBay
lay it under the car to catch any drips.
undo the sump plug (19mm spanner/6mm allen key) and drop the oil.
when there is just a drip, stick the plug back in. and torque to 35nm.
refit the under tray.
let the car down to the floor.
put the new filter and "o" ring in/on the plastic cap. and re-fit it. torque to 20nm.
stick 5l litres of oil in it. start it up for 10 seconds.
leave for 10 minutes and check the level on the dip stick. top up as required. leaving 5 minutes inbetween topping up and checking it. aim for halfway between min and max on the dip stick.
bob the top cover back on.

you should be able to do this in 45 mins, once youve done it a couple of times.
the oil change is the most important bit of a service. the filter is well under a tenner and 5l of oil is about £30. you pay the dealer what £100 for an oil service? £60 labour???? for 45mins of your time?
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My 2006 a4 has just been serviced and it shows something like 8500 miles or 700 days to next service, it is meant to be on a long life service, well it will be until the free servicing ends. Most of its mileage is motorway, Telford to Oxford on Sunday night and the return journey on a Friday. The car is not caned, so what is needed to get the longer, or even annual servicing mileage out of a long life service car?
My car was also low mileage when I got it, so does the first year or so of driving set the computer for the following years?
when the car is set for longlife the ecu's take into account the style of driving, mileages and journey times to estimate and put the service light on. despite common knowledge, they dont have an oil dirtiness sensor in the sump!!
while this variable servicing sounds a good idea basing it on useage etc, it really isn't. from what ive seen from stripping these engines theres a stark difference in engine condition.

it now says 8500 or 700 days?? from my previous experience, the ecu's are predicting when the next service will be needed based on previous useage..... you might find if your using the car gently and mostly motorway miles the displayed mileage and time might actually extend themselves. ofcourse this is the bull****.

annual/10000 servicing is just that. a count down, if you will.

theres an old 1999 a6 "afn" 1.9tdi that comes into our place. 312k on it the last time it came in. serviced on the dot every 10k (every 3-4 months usually). apart from servicing and cambelts (ive personally changed it 3 times!!). its halfway thru its second service book!!!
the engines never been in bits. you work out why!!
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Personally I don't like the idea of leaving oil 2 years, its so simple to change DIY. Before my current car (A6 allroad 2.5TDI V6) I had a disesel mondeo which i changed oil every 6,000 miles/6 months - got rid of it in perfect mechanical condition aged 15 & 168,000miles.

I still do the servicing on my allroad, its not that hard, buy a copy of ELSA (audi workshop manual) off ebay and just do what it says, useful to have fault code reader as well. I have set my service to 10,000 miles (non-longlife). Servicing is not much more than oil change, filters every 2 years or so & lots of checking the normal stuff (wheels, suspension, brakes etc). Belt change only every 70,000/5 years. Due to its height off the road its easier than the old mondeo for oil changes! do still use axel stands though for extra safety. May as well do what you can yourself to save up for the biggies!!! (just had to have new gearbox fitted so feeling sore at the moment).
We go on a lot of forums and we see a lot about the problems of longlife servicing, especially in diesels. Most German cars have a longlife option, but we advise people away from it if they want to keep the car for a while. Sludge build ups are causing problems in cars from about 5 years old, it seems to happen quickest with cars that have a lot of shorter trips and are serviced with a basic oil option (even if it meets the longlife spec, to be honest, you want the oil to exceed the spec).

All the manufacturer wants to do is get the car through the warranty period as cheaply as possible and to make the servicing costs look good to company buyers. After the warranty is up, a few problems are good, it means someone is likely to go into the dealership for repairs. As long as the car lasts long enough that it doesn't make the brand look unreliable, there is no harm in there being some major (expensive) issues.

If you want to keep hold of the car for a while or look after it as best as you can and service it annually. If you aren't overly worried about the car, but don't want it to go wrong, use a longlife schedule, just use a decent oil.