My engine blew-up in my '04 A8L. I used Mobil One the entire time. In May of '08 the service manager told me that Audi of America informed the dealer they will not warrant any engine that does not use Castrol 5w-30 synthetic. This is what they used in the replacement engine on my A8 and the R8.
That's an interesting story but I suspect there may have been more to it than just oil. Porsche recommends and uses Mobil 1 0W40 in all 2009 cars.
I'll need to figure that out soon with 500 miles and no oil required yet...
Look closely at the oil filler cap. It says "Castrol recommended" in English and German right on the cap, and the letters are molded in. The USA sticker nearby says "Use only oil meeting VW Spec 502 00. Most are Synthetic." So, I use the Castrol 5W-40 Syntec (USA), as only this viscosity grade of Castrol Syntec has the proper approval shown on the label.
I'm sure there are differences in oil branding in other markets, so check with your dealer if you are outside the USA. Why tempt the Fates?
Any Audi dealer who says there is only one "approved" oil is ignorant and stupid.
We had a thread on this last year and I posted a link to the VW approved oil list. Unfortunately, the link is down and althought I have a 15 page PDF file, it is too big to post.
In essence there are two types of oil you can use. One if your car is on a fixed service interval and one for the variable service interval.
Your dealer is half right on "Mobil 1". Unfortunately, it comes in a variety of grades and viscosities all marketed under the general product range "Mobil 1". Some meet the long life spec for variable service, others do not. For fixed service, "Mobil 1 0W40" is approved to 502 000 and acceptable. For long life service, use "Mobil 1 ESP formula".
Here is a cut-and-paste of VW approved 504 00 and 507 00 long life oils for variable service interval. I have not bothered listing the lower spec 502 000 (fixed service) oils.
Engine oils which currently meet VW Oil Quality Standard VW 504 00 /507 00
Please note: Not all oils listed may be available in North America
First, I meant that 5W-40 is the only approved viscosity grade of Castrol Syntec, not that it was the only approved brand of oil. Sorry for the confusion, I'll try to be more precise in my wording next time. So, please chill with the ignorant and stupid comments, even though not directed directly at me - after all, we are all friends here .
Regional Differences again; no fixed vs. variable service interval is offered in the USA. I challenge you to find most (or any?) of the oils you listed in the USA. However, Castrol Syntec 5W-40 is readily available here at the corner Autozone. It has the VW approval prominently on the front of the label. And, as I pointed out, the USA car requires 502 00. While 507 00 may exceed it, do I know this? No. Did the dealer say it was the ONLY approved oil? No. Do I want to make things up as I go? No. Do I want to preserve my warranty? Yes. So, do I take my dealer's advice, given in a spirit of cooperation? Yes. Am I in Europe? No. If you are, then please ignore this, your rules are obviously different.
Castrol Syntec 5W-40 as recommended by my dealer. Not that it's the best, but for warranty. I plan on having my oil analyzed by my lab when it comes time for an oil change. Go ahead... ask me... i dare ya!
Man, I am SO sorry! darkmatter is correct, in USA the most commonly available approved oil is Castrol Syntec 5W-40!!! I went back and corrected my previous posts as I had been stating the wrong viscosity. I just went out to the garage and looked at the bottle to be sure!
And again the disclaimer that this may only be true in USA.
My comment was adressed to the ignorant and stupid DEALER who told mngolfer1 that Castrol was the ONLY permitted oil ! As an Audi dealer, he should have a copy of VW's circular on oils, and should know how to service the product he sells.....
LightninHopkins: Unfortunately not. It is not just the weight/viscosity of the oil. Some oils are synthetic, some semi-synthetic. The synthetic oils have the longest life and best resistance to degrading/breaking down at higher temperatures. It can also be a question of lubricity, where the synthetic oils act as a better lubricant - less friction - than purely "natural" crude oil based lubricants.
thanks for the feedback on the oil differences. I was pretty sure there are differences, but didn't know how much the differences are.
Also, with my engine misfiring, massive loss of power, breaks squeaking, gears not engaging, "kibbles and bits" smell from AC unit since day one, rear-end suspension noise, 10th quart of oil at 7K miles, and the dealer saying this is all normal, I guess I seem to have lost a little interest in the car
This is a timely topic for me. The low oil light came on just this morning. I found an auto-downloading TSB by typing "VW 504 00" into Google. This TSB is the most recent I've seen, as it specifically relates to North America and 2009 models. Note that the list differs a bit from another posted earlier in this thread.
The document includes some contradictions, repititions and other oddities, so I'm not sure how trustworthy it is. I've italicized some of these. I'd feel better if I found one on VW or Audi letterhead.
17 08 02 Sept. 30, 2008 2012855 Supersedes T. B. Group 17 number 08-01 dated Jan. 11, 2008 due to addition of 2009 model year.
Attached are “Worldwide” lists of engine oils which currently meet Volkswagen Oil Quality Standard VW 502 00, VW 505 01 and VW 504 00/507 00.
NOTE: I've removed the 505 oils, as they don't apply
Tip: NOT ALL OILS ON THE ATTACHED LISTS MAY BE AVAILABLE IN NORTH AMERICA. Please refer to the specific Vehicle Owner’s Manual, published Technical Bulletins and Fluid Capacity Charts to select the appropriate oil required for each Volkswagen vehicle.
The sample list below are [edit: includes?] products generally available in the North American market that meet Volkswagen Oil Quality Standard VW 502 00, VW 505 01 and VW 504 00/507 00 specification at the time of this publication.
VW 502 00
Castrol Castrol SLX Professional SAE 5W-30
Castrol Syntec SAE 5W-40
Pennzoil Pennzoil Platinum European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30
Quaker State Q European Engine Ultra SAE 5W-30
Total Total Quartz Ineo MC3 SAE 5W-30
Kendall Motor Oil Kendall GT - 1 Full Synthetic Motor Oil SAE 5W-40
Mobil Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40
Motul Motul 8100 X-cess SAE 5W-40
Pentosin Pento High Performance SAE 5W-40
Elf Excellium NF SAE 5W-40
Total Total Quartz Ineo MC3 SAE 5W-30 [duplicate entry]
Seventy-Six Lubricants 76 Pure Synthetic Motor Oil SAE 5W-40
VW 504 00 / 507 00
Elf Elf Solaris LLX SAE 5W-30
Motul MOTUL Specific 504 00 507 00 SAE 5W-30
Castrol Castrol SLX Professional LL03 SAE 5W-30
Total Total Quartz Ineo 504-507 SAE 5W-30
GREAT! I have a lot of Mobile 1 0W-40 left over from my Porsche...
From the Mobile1 site...
Mobil 1 0W-40 has the following builder approvals:
MB-Approval 229.3 X
MB-Approval 229.5 X
OPEL Long Life Service Fill GM-LL-A-025 X
OPEL Diesel Service Fill GM-LL-B-025 X
BMW LONGLIFE OIL 01 X
VW 502 00 X
VW 505 00 X
PORSCHE Special Oil List X
If you are concerned about the document you have, then send me your email address and I will email you the full 15 page document, on VW letterhead and from the VW Canada website last year (link to site no longer active).
I used only Mobil 1 0w-40w on my '04 A8L engine. It self destructed at 95,000 miles.
Again I say my dealer told me my 12,000 mile warranty on the new engine they provided would only be in effect if I used Castrol synthetic oil. The dealer told me they had a bulletin from Audi AG stating that no warranties would be in honored if this oil was not used. I find this difficult to believe, but this is the information they provided me.
This is typical of every motorhead forum since the dawn of time. The pissing match that goes down every time someone talks oil is the mainstay of every forum. Let's face it, manufacturers need to have some reliable way of knowing that the car was taken care of and run with a reasonable and reliable oil that will keep the engine from imploding. There are many, many, many "certified" car guys out there that always know better than the manufacturer. In the end, they may or may not have a better solution, but the manufacturer has tested the engine with the recommended lubricant and can safely say the parts will work. Of course, there are exceptions to this reliability and no, i don't want hear about all of them but if the mfg says use Castrol Syntec blah-blah-blah, that's what I'm going to use. We'll see how they shake out once I run my 5K oil thru the lab. I'll be happy to post the report once I get it (still a month or so away - the oil change not the lab report).
As a former mfg of motorcycles I fully understand and agree with the concept of mfg recommendations. I've seen what happens when people don't follow the recommendations because "they know better".
Having owned several aircraft with Lycoming engines, I agree that oil analysis can be helpful. However, you need to know what the various parts and pieces of your engine are made of (rings, cylinder linings, bearings, etc.). Aircraft engines are very consistent in their composition due to FAA certification requirements and have acceptable limits of detectable metals in the oil. Additionally, with a new engine, certain indices are expected to be high. The real value comes on repeated analysis to show trends that may be diagnostic. Not sure what you would be looking for with a single analysis at 5k miles - or determine the oil you're using is any better than any other VW 502 00? No disrespect intended, just curious.
I agree, nothing to be gained from a single oil analysis. I'm mostly curious about the break-in content in the 5K oil run, then the consistency from the follow-on analyses. Also, I won't be able to determine oil preferences at all. I'm sticking with Castrol for 2 reasons: I've used it for a long time (in Porsches, etc) and it's the recommendation from the mfg.