Audi A4 Quattro oil use...consensus?

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Jan 18, 2003
I will be changing my oil in my 2001 Audi A4 (2.8L V6) in late February '04 and wondered if there was an oil people wanted to test for a UOA?

From the link below, you will see when I ran Mobil 1 5W30 for 10,000 miles (Audi's recommended interval), it was not good. And to think they use Castrol GTX conventional oil for the 10K interval

At this time I am running Mobil 1 0W40 and am going to drain it at a 5,000 mile interval (35,000 miles on car).

Since I am already changing the oil, I am willing to try just about any oil that is commercially available and will pay for the Blackstone analysis when done. I will be running the oil 5,000 miles until my next Audi service scheduled interval at 40,000 miles.

BTW, I drive 80 miles a day to work (about 50 highway and 30 stop-n-go) and live in Colorado, so it doesn't take me long to get to 5,000 miles.

I have found this forum to be quite informative and was wondering if there was an oil you all have wanted to see an UOA on?

Let me know.

[ January 01, 2004, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: Curtis Newton ]
How about a 5/40 group III ?

Or the ACEA A3 Valvoline Durablend 10/40 ? It's 9 bucks for 5 quarts at Walmarts sometimes and the 10/30 Durablend is some stay in grade stuff !
How about the new Quaker State 5w30 synthetic? If you can find it, it's the one that is supposed A3 rated.
How about the new Quaker State 5w30 synthetic?

I think I saw it at Wal-Mart when I was there the other day. They also had the Pennzoil 5W30 SUV formula (synthetic blend type).
How about a 5/40 group III ?

I have been looking for those, but haven't seen any readily available.
I am not sure 5w-30 is the recommended oil for your car. My manual for the same engine in 1998 warn against driving at excessive speed and temps on 5w-30. That being said, a ACEA A3 oil is the intended oil, a 30 weight only qualifies if it is quite heavy. M1 0w-40 is a quite suitable oil for your car. You did not mention consumption, I imagine at least 1 quart is used in your 5000 miles interval, M1 0w-40 will be better, but not the best, imo. I have owned 4 A4s and 12 Audis total, plus my best friend owns a Bosch Service Center and holds a competition race licence. He is well-known as he works for Garett in a specialized capacity beyond what nearly anyone in the USA can do, ftr. He uses 15w-40 Castrol RX is all customer cars and Syntec 5w-50 in turbo cars. I am just giving the backround, but believe me, no way is 5w-30 the oil for these car unless it is Redline or some Amsoil product. I use GC in mine 30v car every 6 months, it cut consumption (and thus deposits) in half over 5w-40 Valvoline SynPower. The SynPower cut consumption in half again over Mobil Drive Clean and was better than the one jug of M1 5w-30 I had to use up in my V6 before I knew what good oil was. Use the 0w-30 GC, it is factory fill in newer cars. Use the M1 0w-40 because it is good too. Just do not use dino oil. Syntec Blend in 10w-40 meets the ACEA A3 spec that your car really needs (regardless of what USA manual says)! My oci is every 6 months up to the max miles I can imagine in that time period, like 9000+ miles. I am intrested in seeing UOAs of either Syntec Blend or my new pet oil, Castrol GTX Hi-Mi, Syntec 5w-50 or AMERICAN 'ol Yeller 0w-30.

[ January 01, 2004, 10:37 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
Use an oil that meets VW 502.00, or any A3 rated oil. Don't use 5W-30 in your 30v, especially not dino oil.

A few oils to consider:

Pentosynth 5W-40
Lubro Moly 5W-40
Unocal 76 Pure Synthtic 5W-40
Quaker State 5W-50
Castrol Syntec 5W-50
Castrol 0W-30 (The German stuff, says A3, VW 502.00 on the bottle)
Red Line 5W-40
Interesting comments. Thanks for the feedback.

1) Not that this is right or wrong, but the dealer uses Castrol GTX 5W30 conventional oil as part of the "free" service for the first 50,000 miles in the USA. When the dealership service was collocated with the Mercedes Benz dealer, they used Mobil Drive Clean.

2) I have yet to find the German Castrol at AutoZone everyone talks about. I found the 0W30, but have yet to find the one that says "Made in Germany".

3) Regarding consumption, about a quart of oil is used with 0W40 in a 5K interval. I have always been a Toyota guy and am surprised at the oil consumption in the A4.

4) I am "renting" or "leasing" the A4 and plan on turning it in at lease end (August 2005) on an Infinity G35 All-Wheel Drive, so I figure as long as the dealership uses Castrol 5W30 and 10,000 mile intervals, conventional oil must be okay (at least short-term).

I would be willing to use any of those oils listed, but they certainly aren't easy to find. So, I guess what I am saying is, I think the car would be a great test-bed for an oil that we haven't seen many UOA's on!
I just re-read the owner's manual, it says:

"The following terms must appear singly or in combination on the oil container:
-- API Service SJ
-- ACAE A2 or ACEA A3

The engine oil which was first put into your engine has viscosity grade of 0W30. If engine oil viscosity grade is not available, you can also use SAE 5W30 or SAE 5W40."

By the way, I was just looking at the Quaker State specs and their full synthetic oil meets the ACAE A3 spec.

[ January 01, 2004, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: Curtis Newton ]
I would like Amsoil 5w/30 s3,000 oil for about 7,500 miles or more.
Curtis, you need a Europen oil in your European car. That is why you see oil usage. ACEA-spec is the only way to go. Sure dealers use 5w-30 and it get recommended here for CAFE mpg reasons, but your car gets better oil at home in Germany, guaranteed. Check around AutoZone for the GC, sometimes it is in the beack area or rear of the display rack Just ask them to order some more 0w-30 Syntec and the GC will come in a week. 5w-30 dino is for low-revver American cars, 5w-30 Mobil 1 is for Japanese cars, GC or M1 0w-40 is for Euro cars. The 0w-30 mentioned in your manual as factory-fill is GC, aka Castrol SLX.

[ January 01, 2004, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
Dino vs. synthetic in an A4 -- well, use of Dino instead of synthetic is the difference between lease and ownership. An A4 OWNER would always use a VW 502 approved synthetic and ignore the extended drain interval recommended by Audi unless they could get some of the new improved extended drain Castrol SLX. I have vowed to never purchase a used vehicle that was on lease.
I have vowed to never purchase a used vehicle that was on lease

I gotta agree with you on that one. I am still shocked with Audi's 10K service interval. I even talked with the service manager about it and my driving pattern. He said the 10K interval is fine. I voiced my concern about long-term reliability, but they haven't had any issues (yet I would assume).

Our 1988 Camry (just recently sold to sister-in-law) is about to surpass (or just did) 300,000 miles. This is regular oil changes (every 4-5K) with Pennzoil and Toyota OEM filters. So, I do know the value of oil changes.

[ January 02, 2004, 01:19 AM: Message edited by: Curtis Newton ]

Audi says you can use an A2 or A3 rated oil in your engine. I would NOT use an A2 rated oil, which is what's used for extended drain in Euro-spec (differently equipped with flexible service interval display etc) Audi engines. For best engine protection use a A3 rated oil, and forget about API designations altogether. The latter spec is not on European engineers' mind when designing engines.

10k mile oil changes are perfectly fine with my '96 12v, which specifies 7.5k intervals. However, I do use synthetic (Group III or IV) oil.

If you have trouble finding any of the previously mentioned oils, Mobil M1 0W-40 will work fine in your motor, and so will Castrol Syntec 5W-50.

[ January 02, 2004, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: moribundman ]
Okay, I went to two AutoZone's had the red label Castrol 0W30 made in USA (i.e. did not meet ACAE A3 standard)....the second had the red label Castrol 0W30 made in Germany.

I didn't go with the Quaker State Advanced Synthetic oil because it said it met "ACAE 3-98", I wasn't sure what the "98 part meant".

The Castrol just said it met ACAE 3 (and VW spec), so I picked up 6 quarts and will be replacing the Mobil 1 0W40 that is currently in the vehicle.

Down the road when I run the UOA on Castrol 0W30, it will have about 6500 miles on it.
Will let you know when it happens.

Thanks again for all of your help.

[ January 02, 2004, 04:26 PM: Message edited by: Curtis Newton ]
Red-label 0w-30 made in USA is a rare item, lucky you dodged that bullet! Sounds like you got enough of the German stuff, good job. Changing that oil anytime before 6000 miles would be a waste. I use it for 6 months up to 9000 miles and will do a UOA someday.
Check out B6 forum, we are always talking oil there.

ps the -98 means 1998 A.D.

[ January 03, 2004, 01:45 AM: Message edited by: TSoA ]

I was at Napa Auto, and they had the Castrol Syntec 5W40; it is made in Belgium.

Great oil, good ... bad?


Originally posted by geeeman:

I was at Napa Auto, and they had the Castrol Syntec 5W40; it is made in Belgium.

Great oil, good ... bad?


This is the stuff which is generally only found in VW dealers. It's supposed to be half decent, but I'd love to see more UOAs on this stuff to be sure. I believe it's a thin 40wt around 13cst.

How much did it cost?
For any of you out there running this 5w40 Syntec, do you have plans to do a UOA on it? I'd be very interested in seeing how it performs. I like the fact that it's a thinner 40wt oil, it would probably do very well in a lot of engines.

My conversation with the Napa guy went like this:

"How much is the 5W40 syntec...?"
Napa guy says "Sorry, we don't carry that weight..."

I show him the bottle...he says "Where did you find THAT?"

I say " Ummm...on the motor oil shelf..."

He checks his computer...and says "I have no idea where that came from or how much it is...its not even on the computer."

So apparently you can look at it, but not buy it!
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