2017 Audi A4: VW 502 vs. 504 oil

Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
14
I own a 2017 Audi A4 Quattro 2.0T CYMC. The placard under the hood says to use 502 or 504 oil. I believe my car was released during VW/Audi's transition to 504 oil. Audi has since switched from recommending 502/504 oil in 17-18 models to 504 only in 2019+ models, with no engine differences. The past several oil changes I've used Castrol Edge 0w-40, a full saps oil that seems to be highly regarded on here.

However, it is out of stock both online and in-store at Wal-Mart, which is where I usually have purchased a 5 quart jug for $20-30. I saw a couple other threads indicating a possible formulation change, which may be the reason it is out of stock ATM.

This led me down a rabbit-hole I've been down before... whether I should keep using 502, or switch to 504, and what the pros and cons are of each. My understanding is that all new Audis post-2019 use 504 spec oil, and if I brought it to the dealer they would probably use 504 for an oil change on my 2017. However, many sources say that although 504 is a newer specification, it isn't inherently better, as it was a lower saps oil first designed primarily for the EU market. It was said a few years ago that it may not be suitable for the North American market due to high sulfur content in our gasoline. Not sure if that is still the case, and it is hard to find any concrete information on this. VAG must think 504 is is now acceptable to use here, but it still begs the question of whether or not it is a better choice than the many readily-available and highly regarded 502 spec oils.

I always do 5k OCIs and use top-tier (Costco) gasoline. Carbon deposits are a concern (as is the case for any DI turbocharged VW engine).

I'm sure like many of us I am over-thinking this, and I'm not faithful to either specification - just want what's best for my car. Any advice is much appreciated!
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
2,434
Location
Vancouver
Sulfur content of fuel was lowered here, which is why Audi was able to switch the recommendation. That started Jan '17 and was completed in 2019 I believe.

There is pretty much no reason to use 502 anymore. I suppose it may be better suited to track use, but even that is a bit of a stretch. 504 is cleaner, less cbu, same protection, there is pretty much no downside.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
2,056
Location
Texas
With 5k oci's wear concerns in a stock 2.0t with a 40 grade oil is almost non existent. Yeah 502/505 is high saps and 504/507 is low saps but low saps oils protect just fine especially if it's thicker and changed frequently. If I'm not mistaken vw/audi, mercedes, and bmw have basically made all of their lower tier standard cars run on their spec of 0w-20. I personally wouldn't worry about it at all. Any reputable 0/5w-40 with 5k intervals will do just fine.
 

mcio

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
14
So it sounds like both 502 and 504 are perfectly suitable at this time due to lower sulfur fuel that's now available, and additionally 504 may offer benefits over 502. Is there a particular brand of 504 spec oil that people prefer?

Was looking at Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30 which carries the VW 504 approval. AutoZone offers a 5 quart jug for $34 - more than I usually pay for Castrol 0w-40 502 spec, but not prohibitively so, and readily available.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
2,434
Location
Vancouver
So it sounds like both 502 and 504 are perfectly suitable at this time due to lower sulfur fuel that's now available, and additionally 504 may offer benefits over 502. Is there a particular brand of 504 spec oil that people prefer?

Was looking at Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30 which carries the VW 504 approval. AutoZone offers a 5 quart jug for $34 - more than I usually pay for Castrol 0w-40 502 spec, but not prohibitively so, and readily available.

Excellent oil
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
2,056
Location
Texas
So it sounds like both 502 and 504 are perfectly suitable at this time due to lower sulfur fuel that's now available, and additionally 504 may offer benefits over 502. Is there a particular brand of 504 spec oil that people prefer?

Was looking at Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30 which carries the VW 504 approval. AutoZone offers a 5 quart jug for $34 - more than I usually pay for Castrol 0w-40 502 spec, but not prohibitively so, and readily available.
First off does your engine burn oil? if it doesn't burn oil than truthfully it doesn't matter which one you use. if it burns some then low saps would be preferable. But maybe we're overlooking something that would make the concern moot.

You can use any 30 to 40 grade euro oil. I highly doubt even PP euro l 5w-30 would be harmful. But you can get Castrol and Quaker state 5w-40 which both carry the order but still good 502 spec for $24-25 on walamart.com. If you engine burns a bit then I'd go low saps for emissions equipment.



m1 0w-40 is known to be really high saps
 

mcio

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
14
First off does your engine burn oil? if it doesn't burn oil than truthfully it doesn't matter which one you use. if it burns some then low saps would be preferable. But maybe we're overlooking something that would make the concern moot.

You can use any 30 to 40 grade euro oil. I highly doubt even PP euro l 5w-30 would be harmful. But you can get Castrol and Quaker state 5w-40 which both carry the order but still good 502 spec for $24-25 on walamart.com. If you engine burns a bit then I'd go low saps for emissions equipment.



m1 0w-40 is known to be really high saps

50,000 miles, never burned a drop. That said I've never pushed it past 5k OCIs.

I should clarify that Castrol 0w-40 is still available on Amazon for $28 shipped. I will either go that route, or switch to a 504 spec oil if there are benefits in doing so, such as equating to less CBU.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Messages
1,181
Location
Huntington WV
So it sounds like both 502 and 504 are perfectly suitable at this time due to lower sulfur fuel that's now available, and additionally 504 may offer benefits over 502. Is there a particular brand of 504 spec oil that people prefer?

Was looking at Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30 which carries the VW 504 approval. AutoZone offers a 5 quart jug for $34 - more than I usually pay for Castrol 0w-40 502 spec, but not prohibitively so, and readily available.
I had a 2017 A4 and usually used Castrol Edge 0w-40 on 5k oci. Sold it at 94k miles for the Cross Sport which I run the Mobil1 ESP 0w30 in. Both are fine oils. The A4 never showed oil usage as obdeleven showed it was never below 96 percent or so full.
 

mcio

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
14
I had a 2017 A4 and usually used Castrol Edge 0w-40 on 5k oci. Sold it at 94k miles for the Cross Sport which I run the Mobil1 ESP 0w30 in. Both are fine oils. The A4 never showed oil usage as obdeleven showed it was never below 96 percent or so full.

That is great to hear. Slightly off-topic but may I ask why you sold the A4?
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
2,056
Location
Texas
50,000 miles, never burned a drop. That said I've never pushed it past 5k OCIs.

I should clarify that Castrol 0w-40 is still available on Amazon for $28 shipped. I will either go that route, or switch to a 504 spec oil if there are benefits in doing so, such as equating to less CBU.
If it doesn't burn a drop it really doesn't matter. I'd continue to use whatever suitable oil whether it's 502 or 504. I'd buy the cheapest one available and continue to change frequently to be on the safe side as these german engines don't seem to like it when you go for extended drains. But it not burning a drop means it likes what you're doing so keep it up.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Messages
1,181
Location
Huntington WV
That is great to hear. Slightly off-topic but may I ask why you sold the A4?
Wife decided she wanted an SUV and I stumbled onto a great deal 12k off sticker on a left over 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport SE with tech and no sunroof in March of 2021. It was left over due to delays in getting a steering knuckle recall part in so it set in the show room the whole time.
I didn't really want to part with the A4 as outside of a water pump and thermostat replacement under warranty at 49k miles and a left front wheel bearing at 90k miles due to a pothole encounter it never gave me any problems. I did all the maintenance myself. 2 DSG fluid changes every 40k, plugs at 60k (they still looked new) and a pre-emptive oil separator changed at 70k to protect the rear main seal. The wheel bearing was a cake job and I figured out how to do it without the Audi recommended removing the entire steering knucle and didn't have to remove the axle either.
20210108_145751.jpg

And the oil separator was easy too, just had to remove number 3 and 4 coil packs top end was clean as a pin at 70k miles
20200528_172345.jpg


20200528_172317.jpg


Checking the timing chain stretch with obdeleven at 70k miles showed the chain was still well with 50 % of the allowed stretch before you had to worry about it. It was a great car and the Quattro was great in the snow also.
 
Last edited:

mcio

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
14
Wife decided she wanted an SUV and I stumbled onto a great deal 12k off sticker on a left over 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport SE with tech and no sunroof in March of 2021. It was left over due to delays in getting a steering knuckle recall part in so it set in the show room the whole time.
I didn't really want to part with the A4 as outside of a water pump and thermostat replacement under warranty at 49k miles and a left front wheel bearing at 90k miles due to a pothole encounter it never gave me any problems. I did all the maintenance myself. 2 DSG fluid changes every 40k, plugs at 60k (they still looked new) and a pre-emptive oil separator changed at 70k to protect the rear main seal. The wheel bearing was a cake job and I figured out how to do it without the Audi recommended removing the entire steering knucle and didn't have to remove the axle either.
And the oil separator was easy too, just had to remove number 3 and 4 coil packs top end was clean as a pin at 70k miles

Checking the timing chain stretch with obdeleven at 70k miles showed the chain was still well with 50 % of the allowed stretch before you had to worry about it. It was a great car and the Quattro was great in the snow also.

Nice! Your experience is consistent with my own and everything else I’ve read about the B9 generation cars. They seem to be overall pretty reliable apart from the leaky thermostat housing, which continues to be the Achilles heel of this car. I also had my thermostat housing replaced - luckily I knew to keep an eye on it and caught it seeping before warranty end. There have been many high mileage example cars with no signs of premature chain stretch, chain guide issues, failed piston rings, etc., all of which plagued earlier years. If the thermostat is the worst that happens, I'll take it!

I've also checked my timing chain stretch using obdeleven and it reported "Camshaft adpatation intake bank 1, phase position" was at -0.3°. From my research you really only need to start worrying at +/-4°, so I have a ways to go!

My only complaint with this car is that the dual clutch is jerky at times, and it's hard to determine if it is cause for concern or the inherent nature of its design. Getting the DSG fluid changed next week, in fact... hoping that smooths things out. Have thought about a G20 330i as a potential replacement, the B48/58 seems to be a great engine also and I think I’d prefer the ZF 8-speed transmission.

Seems like these last iterations of engines from the Germans are pretty solid. Maybe they finally figured it out… just in time to phase them out in favor of EVs! 🤦‍♂️
 
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
1,743
Location
open range
So it sounds like both 502 and 504 are perfectly suitable at this time due to lower sulfur fuel that's now available, and additionally 504 may offer benefits over 502.

I'd agree with that.


Is there a particular brand of 504 spec oil that people prefer?

Personally I prefer both M1 ESP 5W-30 and Ravenol VMP 5W-30
mainly for their super low Noack if it matters to you.


Was looking at Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30 which carries the VW 504 approval. AutoZone offers a 5 quart jug for $34 - more than I usually pay for Castrol 0w-40 502 spec, but not prohibitively so, and readily available.

Nothing wrong with these. You may like to have a look into the
complete list of VW 502 00 and VW 504 00 approved oils:

 

TiGeo

$50 site donor 2022
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
3,729
Location
Richmond, VA area
I can't any reason to not use the 504 - they will be all xW30 oils and have similar HTHS to the 502s which are almost all xW40. The current fuel in the U.S. is low sulfur hence the 504 recommendation. It seems like 504s are harder to find in general than the 502s when I look. Can always order the oil change kits online at FCP Euro/other Euro vendors where they will have 504 kits in stock.
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
5,002
Location
Parts Unknown
I own a 2017 Audi A4 Quattro 2.0T CYMC. The placard under the hood says to use 502 or 504 oil. I believe my car was released during VW/Audi's transition to 504 oil. Audi has since switched from recommending 502/504 oil in 17-18 models to 504 only in 2019+ models, with no engine differences. The past several oil changes I've used Castrol Edge 0w-40, a full saps oil that seems to be highly regarded on here.

However, it is out of stock both online and in-store at Wal-Mart, which is where I usually have purchased a 5 quart jug for $20-30. I saw a couple other threads indicating a possible formulation change, which may be the reason it is out of stock ATM.

This led me down a rabbit-hole I've been down before... whether I should keep using 502, or switch to 504, and what the pros and cons are of each. My understanding is that all new Audis post-2019 use 504 spec oil, and if I brought it to the dealer they would probably use 504 for an oil change on my 2017. However, many sources say that although 504 is a newer specification, it isn't inherently better, as it was a lower saps oil first designed primarily for the EU market. It was said a few years ago that it may not be suitable for the North American market due to high sulfur content in our gasoline. Not sure if that is still the case, and it is hard to find any concrete information on this. VAG must think 504 is is now acceptable to use here, but it still begs the question of whether or not it is a better choice than the many readily-available and highly regarded 502 spec oils.

I always do 5k OCIs and use top-tier (Costco) gasoline. Carbon deposits are a concern (as is the case for any DI turbocharged VW engine).

I'm sure like many of us I am over-thinking this, and I'm not faithful to either specification - just want what's best for my car. Any advice is much appreciated!
At least you didn't get the A4 Ultra, which runs the Budack cycle, which requires 508.00 oil.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
658
Location
Wisconsin
With 5k oci's wear concerns in a stock 2.0t with a 40 grade oil is almost non existent. Yeah 502/505 is high saps and 504/507 is low saps but low saps oils protect just fine especially if it's thicker and changed frequently. If I'm not mistaken vw/audi, mercedes, and bmw have basically made all of their lower tier standard cars run on their spec of 0w-20. I personally wouldn't worry about it at all. Any reputable 0/5w-40 with 5k intervals will do just fine.

Do any 504 40 weight oils exist? I thought they were all Xw30s. My '18 GTI shows 502/504 under the hood and I do have the thought to use 504 to reduce the possibilities of valve deposits with the DI engine, but I'm leaning towards 0w40 since I do drive the car fairly hard on a regular basis. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've driven the car and not went full throttle at least once, which only happens if I have the whole family in the car(not going full throttle that is). From what I've read I think my driving habits should be good for reducing deposits anyway.
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
5,002
Location
Parts Unknown
Do any 504 40 weight oils exist? I thought they were all Xw30s. My '18 GTI shows 502/504 under the hood and I do have the thought to use 504 to reduce the possibilities of valve deposits with the DI engine, but I'm leaning towards 0w40 since I do drive the car fairly hard on a regular basis. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've driven the car and not went full throttle at least once, which only happens if I have the whole family in the car(not going full throttle that is). From what I've read I think my driving habits should be good for reducing deposits anyway.
Nope. Just 0w30 and 5w30
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
16,285
Location
Colorado Springs
Do any 504 40 weight oils exist? I thought they were all Xw30s. My '18 GTI shows 502/504 under the hood and I do have the thought to use 504 to reduce the possibilities of valve deposits with the DI engine, but I'm leaning towards 0w40 since I do drive the car fairly hard on a regular basis. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've driven the car and not went full throttle at least once, which only happens if I have the whole family in the car(not going full throttle that is). From what I've read I think my driving habits should be good for reducing deposits anyway.
Your driving is not going to do anything to that oil, to say that way. People track GTI with VW504.00/507.00.
If you want piece of mind still, go VW511.00.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
22,905
Location
Upper Midwest
Do any 504 40 weight oils exist? I thought they were all Xw30s. My '18 GTI shows 502/504 under the hood and I do have the thought to use 504 to reduce the possibilities of valve deposits with the DI engine, but I'm leaning towards 0w40 since I do drive the car fairly hard on a regular basis. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've driven the car and not went full throttle at least once, which only happens if I have the whole family in the car(not going full throttle that is). From what I've read I think my driving habits should be good for reducing deposits anyway.
No, the approval specifies only 30-grade oils. But it's rather irrelevant given the HT/HS requirement.
 

TiGeo

$50 site donor 2022
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
3,729
Location
Richmond, VA area
Do any 504 40 weight oils exist? I thought they were all Xw30s. My '18 GTI shows 502/504 under the hood and I do have the thought to use 504 to reduce the possibilities of valve deposits with the DI engine, but I'm leaning towards 0w40 since I do drive the car fairly hard on a regular basis. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've driven the car and not went full throttle at least once, which only happens if I have the whole family in the car(not going full throttle that is). From what I've read I think my driving habits should be good for reducing deposits anyway.
I don't believe the "use low SAPS/504 to reduce valve deposits" has any merit on the gen 3 EA888 engines based on all the pics I've seen (including my own) of intake valves on cars with decent mileage (I was at ~75K) with valves that looked "good" using xW40 502 oils. I think it's more to do with how you drive it than anything and as you've said, you push it. Same with most of the cars whose pics I've seen - folks that drive the cars hard. I don't think I'd also worry about the 30 vs. 40w either as mentioned above w/r to HTHS if you want to use the 504, it's stout oil. Here is a car using 504 at 10K and the valves looked worse than I would have thought.

 
Top