Once AVS always AVS?


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Apr 6, 2004
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My car is on AVS but will it always be? I keep hearing about people on long life service etc and using different oils but is the just the choice of the owner or does it change after a certain milage?
i take it that its just an option, but from what i gather on the AVS, they use a better grade of oil for lasting longer.
if it started out on AVS, then it will continue on AVS for the rest of its life. In other words it won't suddenly switch to conventional interval servicing.

You can however switch to standard intervals at any time by recoding the ecu.
On an AVS capable vehicle (around 00/01 onwards) the dealer can change the service indicator to be either AVS or normal interval.
AVS only benefits certain types of driving (usually lower mileage) and can actually work out more expensive in some cases. If your car is turbocharged I would never trust longlife oil. I have just had my A4 Avant put back on normal 10k/20k service intervals as I do 25k+ mileage a year. For the slim chance it'll save you £100 p.a. is it really worth risking the health of your engine? Total gimmick IMO.
what andymac has said is spot on in my opinion, something worth adding is when I had my engine problems, the first question I was asked by a number of the tuning companies and garages I spoke to was is it on AVS? I don't think any oil is meant to last nearly 20,000 miles especially in a turbo'd car.

ps, my S3 is not and will probably having an oil change even more frequently from now on.
I only do around 7k a year. Would I still be better off switching to fixed intervals?

If I wanted to switch, would I simply go to the dealer and ask them to do it?
I think if I only did 7k a year I'd be a much wealthier chap - /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif

but anyway I think I would get it serviced every 12months or maybe every 10k miles, just my opinion though, I'm sure others will be along.
Its hard to tell where the truth lies on AVS.....i take the line that it cannot be desirable for a performance car (certainly S class) to de driven up to 19k miles on the same oil.......

.......However given that most customers probably do not drive their audis day in day out in a hard fashion, then I see no reason in principle why the engine self diagnosing when it thinks the oil needs replacing cannot be done successfully as long as the technology functions how it should.

I certainly have faith in the VAG engineer's and the likes of Castrol's ability to be able to work together to produce an oil and sensing arrangement that accomodates the different ways in which use of an engine can affect the ability of the oil to do its job. I do not see it necessarily as a money saving feature, but if the tech works like it should, then your average (non car technology literate) audi driver can have faith that they are replacing oil when it DOES need replacing, not slavishly at 10k intervals.

My understanding is that AVS was introduced (on the A3 8L) at the start of MY01 ie, Aug/Sept 2000 at least for petrol engined A3s...certainly 1.9PD units didn't follow until MY02

My understanding of the tech is as follows.

There was an excellent article in audi driver magazine back in 2002 about exactly how the variable servicing setup worked. I haven't got the mag with me at the mo...but it goes along the lines of monitoring the frequency, duration, engine temps of your usage and it also monitors the state of the oil. The clever bit with this is how it uses an heated element in the engine which if i recall correctly is heated to a set temp and then left to cool while monitoring it's rate of heat loss. In the ECU is a map of how quickly the element should dissipate its heat, ie, rate of change....against a given oil viscosity. Obviouisly as oil ages it breaks down and this therefore affects its ability to dissipate heat....when the oil has aged to the extent that the oil engineers believe its no longer doing a sufficient job than the map is designed to flag this up along with the other parameters that contribute towards an overall view of how hard the oil's life has been.

So in principle, i would say i'm for AVS...However if i want a PERFORMANCE car like an S3, i just prefer to sleep safer at night knowing that replacing the oil more often will obviously be beneficial to the long term health of a hard used engine. There are tales around of AVS cars whose oil comes out as thick sludge come 19k miles.....i personally have not witnessed this and if the tech does work like it should, I see no reason why it should be like sludge....certainly Foolish does not agree with those who talk about sludge like AVS cars.....not that i'm saying Foolish is an authority , but since he works as an Audi Tech his opinion certainly does carry some weight for me.

Just all IMHO, gents
the independent I use has seen some of the 4 year old AVS Audi's coming through now (now out of warranty) and there seems to be a trend of problems associated with them longer term. Can't remember exactly what they said but it was something to do with a build up of something (possibly carbon deposits?) in the engine/turbo.
It's just a false economy when nobody knows what the long term effects are. IMO there's no such thing as long life oil, it defies the laws of physics when you think of the extreme temperatures and the job it has to do.
I also had to force Audi to change the oil @ 1k miles on the only brand new Audi I've ever owned. They wanted to leave it in there until 10k miles, along with all the swarf and filings that must be knocking around in a brand new engine.
It's crazy when an oil change is a 30 min job and costs relatively little.

It's like not rinsing & spitting after a filling at the dentists. "No I think I'll swallow that mercury rich silver please, I paid for it!"
I spoke a while ago with a chemical research engineer for one of the very big engine oil manufacturers, and his response was roughly as follows: there is no oil he was aware of that would maintain it's properties for anything like 18,000 miles(Renault Service interval). even with the advent of the supposed long life oils they will have lost there useful elements long before they are changed.

and like andy said... it's not very expensive for peace of mind!
im keeping my S3 on AVS but am going to start changing the oil myself every 5-8,000 miles as I just saw the oil that came out of it at 34,000 (2nd AVS) and I was not very impressed.
So can I ask the dealer to change the oil but keep it on AVS? If I do this will they still change the oil again (and charge me) when the next AVS comes up (2k to go)?
Yes & yes, just book it in now for the AVS service, there's no point getting the oil changed with 2k to go.
If you only do 7k a year then you're only looking at 1 service a year so your AVS savings are going to be minimal. The other point of AVS was that you spend less time at the dealers each year, but this doesn't work as brake fluid, pads & haldex (on quattros) tend to need doing out of synch with the AVS so you still end up going at least twice a year.
Well the new 7 series BMW has a sealed for life engine which uses the same oil for the whole life of the engine which is said to be upto 200,000 miles.
I didn't know the 7 series was turbocharged?
Oh it isn't.
The Maybach doesn't need servicing until 100k miles.
I think what we're saying is that on smaller turbocharged engines the oil is crucial and has to work a lot harder and any breakdown in its ability to do its job will knacker the turbo very quickly. So for £30 why take the risk?
Larger normally aspirated engines are less fragile.
Are you seriously telling me that Audi are going to allow AVS for the S3, but really know it's not suitable?
Come on, that's not going to happen. Imagine the bad press they'd get.

Also, throughout the 19k between services you will probably burn at least 3 litres of oil, which needs replacing as and when, so there is little chance of all the original oil being in there for the duration.
gek... it doesn't matter one little bit to Audi because they get no come back within the warranty period, then they feed you the /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif I got about we don't know why your engine had failed, it just has - your problem!

I would be interested to see how the 7 series has a sealed engine as I'll repeat again I don't see how oil can still maintain any of it's properties for that length of time.

and what colour is the oil in your S3 when it needs topping up with 3 litres between services? black and thick and useless?
So can I ask the dealer to change the oil but keep it on AVS? If I do this will they still change the oil again (and charge me) when the next AVS comes up (2k to go)?

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if you want to change the oil more often then id either do it youtself or get a local indipendant to do it and just use audi for the stamp. There will be no problem so long as you use a OEM oil filter and it will save you a fortune.
Jesus, if you guys think 20000 is too much between services, I'm in big trouble! My diesel does over 30000 between them!

It was last serviced at 42k, 14 months later it's done 65k, and it's got 7.5k to go!

I have to admit, I've always thought about changing the oil sooner, just to be safe, I would have in every other car I've owned...
Don't worry, its just a simple case of keeping an eye on your oil condition.

If its black and become more viscous due to carbon deposits bulking out your oil then it needs changed regardless of mileage. If its still relatively thin and clear/golden then its still fine.

It depends on how you treat your engine/ car and how its been treated before your ownership.

It is true that turbocharger bearings need thin oil hence the oil spec requirements but as long as your oil is in good condition then it will be fine.
common sense tells you when u check your oil levels every week or 2 weeks etc.. the clearer the oil the better, just wipe the dipstick onto a white cloth and see how transparent the oil is? its soo easy. mine was still pretty clean at its first 20K service, which even i was amased with.

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