Author Topic: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !  (Read 28081 times)

Offline BradHarris

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Coming up to a 20,000 mile service, so decided to get a quote from a well known VAG specialist as well as local dealers.
Asked for Long Life oil, as per the perceived wisdom that many on this site advocate.
Said it had already been changed at 10,000 miles, so it wasn't the first service.
Was a bit surprised to see in the response that as a matter of course they will not put long life oil in the cars that they service,
unless explicitly told to do so by the customer, because of many previous problems when using that oil.

So, I phoned up to discuss.
Reason given was that over many years of experience, they have encountered several failures of VAG engines, including the 1.8T and 2.0 FSI,
due to the oil uptake pipe on the suction side of the pump clogging up, obviously a potential engine killer.
They said this usually manifests itself from 8 years - 80,000 miles upwards.
Their experience tells them that it is the long life oil that is the cause of the problem.
Obviously, not many 2.0 TFSI engines have done that mileage, so they haven't come across a problem with it yet, although they have had an A3 2.0 FSI engine with the problem.

So they highly recommend an engine flush to make sure that all gunge is removed then to use a 10W40 oil instead.
Also said that the 5W30 long life oil will take longer to warm up and this in itself doesn't do the engine much good.

I guess the other variable is that the spec of the long life oil (now at mark 3) has changed over the years.
Don't know if that makes any difference ?

They are an outfit that has received a lot of good press on this web site from many frequent and trusted inhabitants, and they are very familiar with highly tuning all variants of the 2.0 TFSI plant, as well as routine servicing.
They didn't want to be named because of potential problems with VAG themselves, so I won't do that.

Anyone else on here heard of similar problems later in a VAG engine's life that could have been put down to use of long life oil ?
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Offline bacillus

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #1 on: 23 November 2008, 16:52 »
Hmm, what 10W-40 oil are they suggesting and is it fully synthetic or semi?

I would have thought that the extensive R&D VW used in order to recommend the use of longlife oil should make the garage's claim suspect.
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Offline Dogbucket

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #2 on: 23 November 2008, 18:15 »
due to the oil uptake pipe on the suction side of the pump clogging up, obviously a potential engine killer.

Unless the actual oil is breaking down and going lumpy (which would be a massive issue), it must be an accumulation of the usual contaminants that build up over time in the engine. Modern oils have very good cleaning properties, but sooner or later it will be unable to keep those contaminants in suspension. I suspect those cars effected have done lots of short low mileage journeys and then maybe compounded the problem by exceeding the max 2 years between longlife services. Not the type of driving longlife servicing is meant for.


Also said that the 5W30 long life oil will take longer to warm up and this in itself doesn't do the engine much good.

my limited knowledge on oil tells me a thinner oil protects on cold startup better as it flows easier.


almost sounds like I know what I am talking about  :laugh:

Offline bobotheclown

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #3 on: 23 November 2008, 18:40 »
it might be a good idea to ask some other dealer's on their views on long life oils and see if there are any consistent issues that come up.

Offline dan_apps

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #4 on: 23 November 2008, 18:42 »
i am going to continue to use the long life until VW say otherwise i think  :undecided:

Offline bacillus

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #5 on: 23 November 2008, 21:06 »
i am going to continue to use the long life until VW say otherwise i think  :undecided:
Or TT...   :wink:
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Offline dan_apps

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #6 on: 24 November 2008, 08:40 »
i am going to continue to use the long life until VW say otherwise i think  :undecided:
Or TT...   :wink:

yeah lol!  :smiley:

Offline mrlapou

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #7 on: 24 November 2008, 09:36 »
Perhaps Long Life Oil (LLO)  does cause a problems if left for 2yrs or +18k miles before a change. But changing oil sooner than that, say half the time would IMHO be better. 

I'll stick with LLO and change very 6~8k miles or 12mths which ever is sooner.

Would have also thought a 5/30 oil will heat up quicker and be 'thinner' and better lube properties than a 10/40 at lower temps. But then again I could be wrong.

In the E46 320D BMW from around 2002 to 2006, it was found infrequent oil change would cause the findings suggested by the independent garage. This would lead to an expensive turbo blow up..  Those who changed their oils sooner never seemed to have a problem.

Offline BradHarris

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #8 on: 24 November 2008, 11:03 »
Yeah, I don't know if I mis-heard or mis-interpreted the bit about the long life oil taking longer to heat up, or if the guy may have made an assumption about the long life 3 oil spec, don't know, but what I wrote didn't make sense !

Think I'll phone a few other VAG specialists to see if there's any correlation with what I was told.
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Offline BradHarris

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Re: Use of long life oil in the GTI - THE opposite viewpoint !
« Reply #9 on: 24 November 2008, 13:18 »
Done some phoning...

3 VAG specialists have never encountered any problems that they could put down to using the long life oil.
But, 1 did say that engines that use it are not as clean as those that don't - when they are stripped and examined - regardless of service interval.
As a matter of course, they use a good quality fully synthetic 5W40 oil,
and recommend 10,000 mile oil change intervals.

So, some correlation with the original response that I got from the well known organization that I spoke to on Friday - the one who many of you have trusted to supply and / or fit engine, exhaust, brake and suspension mods, to re-map your ecu's, to test on their rolling road, but whose recommendation for the most important component of all - you don't trust.

Strange one this, and a bit of a dilemma - how do you distinguish between fact and belief ?

Bit like the two theories of breaking in an engine I suppose, but that's another mass debate...
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