2000 miles on M1 10W-30 & it's turning brown.

Not open for further replies.
Jul 6, 2003
Boise, ID
I recently purchased a 99 VW Passat with the 1.8T engine. It has 55K miles. I changed the oil to Mobil 1 10W30. With about 2000 miles on it, the oil is pretty brown - not dark, but getting there. Is this the oil cleaning old deposits out of the engine, or is the oil getting "coked" in the turbo bearings? The turbo is water cooled, and I try to practice good hot shutdown techniques. How long will it (the oil, not the car) last before I need to change it? Tom
If your engine calls for a 40 or 50 weight and you are using a non-A3 30 weight, then your answer is the latter one. Switch to a proper/different grade oil and you will see a difference in how the oil looks after 3k...it's not really the cleaning...(unless car was abused)
when you changed, there was some old still left in the engine. The Mobil 1 will also do some cleaning. Keep in mind that if one had to change based on color, the owner of a diesel would be changing about every 15 minutes.
Hmmm, then I detract. Must be different for diesel engines...didn't realize this is what you had...but, doesnt't "diesel-specific" oil stay cleaner eg. Delvac 1 longer than gasoline-spec oil eg. M-1??
Most likely its just the oil doing its job. It has nothing to do with Mobil 1 not being a "quality" oil. Mobil 1 is factory fill in Mercedez Benz, Aston Martin, all Porches and Corvette/Vipers. If it is good enough for them, I'm sure it can run in a VW. [Wink]
Oil turns creamy when it has significant amounts of water, or coolant, in it. Oil turns brown on its was to turning black, which is normal. 10w30 sounds a bit heavy for the 1.8t, I think 5w30 would be a better choice - what does your owners manual say?
Okay, to bring everyone up to speed. It is not a diesel (I had a GMC diesel for 10 years - I know what black oil looks like in one of those soot generators [Big Grin] ). I beleive that Mobil 1 is a great oil. The owners manual calls for a 5W-40, which Mobil does not offer. I have 10W-30 in it. I bought 0W-40 Mobil today, and will change sometime in the next week. I was wondering if the brown color was engine cleaning going on, or if it was turbo cooking. TOm
My 81,000 mile old, 1999 Passat, 1.8T has always used an A3 oil (Syntec 5w50, A3-98). The oil has routinely changed colour between 1,000 and 2,000 km. So, I wouldn't worry about it. I am currently using Mobil 1 15w50 SS, which is also A3 rated and it is changing colour at the same rate as the Syntec. Based on what I've read on this site I'm not sure I'd worry about using a w30 oil either, the next fill in this car will probably be German Syntec 0w30.
Not open for further replies.