Can I run a low SAPS oil now?

Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Messages
8
Hello folks,
I have a 2018 VW Golf R with direct injection. The first 30K miles I used Castrol 5W-40 and now I am using 0W-40.
At some point, I might have to worry about intake valve deposits, so can I use a low(er) SAPS oil instead? I don't think they are "backwards compatible" with the VW specs listed on my engine (VW 502 and 504), but then again, my car was made right as the US had new standards for lower sulfur gas.
My understanding is that with the lower SAPS oils, I will have to use a shorter interval like 5000 miles instead of the original specs which "guarantee" 10k.
Also, some of these low(er) SAPS oils claim a 0.8 number, whereas my current Castrol claims 1.3. Does that mean that deposits will only build up 62% slower?
This car is mostly used for short commutes for work, but I read that a long drive can also help "burn off" intake deposits. In that case, what would make a bigger difference - running the low SAPS oil, or purposely going on a long drive once in a while?
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
1,135
Location
UK
VW 504 00 is a lower SAPS specification.

Inlet valve deposits are not a function of SAPS - they are generated from the bulk oil: base oils, polymers and other constituents. There's no way of calculating how much an oil will deposit and there's no guarantee that you will have any deposits at all, or at least not levels that cause problems.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Messages
11
For my 2017 Golf GTI, I have been running Pennzoil Euro L, which is a mid saps LL-04 approved oil. Main motivation was it was 20 bucks at walmart for the 5 quart jugs. Also - valve deposits as you mentioned.
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
4,728
Location
Parts Unknown
VW 504 00 is a lower SAPS specification.

Inlet valve deposits are not a function of SAPS - they are generated from the bulk oil: base oils, polymers and other constituents. There's no way of calculating how much an oil will deposit and there's no guarantee that you will have any deposits at all, or at least not levels that cause problems.
In the VW/Audi FSI patents, they do mention SAPS is a function of the intake valve deposits.

And intake valve deposit test is part of the 504 certification (PV 1481 test)
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
1,540
Location
NC, USA
Hello folks,
This would be your oil for that application. When back in stock, get some: https://www.walmart.com/ip/seort/737859365

1652985051852.jpg 1652985110484.jpg
 
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
1,652
Location
open range
At some point, I might have to worry about intake valve deposits, so can I use a low(er) SAPS oil instead? I don't think they are "backwards compatible" with the VW specs listed on my engine (VW 502 and 504), but then again, my car was made right as the US had new standards for lower sulfur gas.
My understanding is that with the lower SAPS oils, I will have to use a shorter interval like 5000 miles instead of the original specs which "guarantee" 10k.

That's what I said some minutes before to a BMW owner and I think almost the same applies to you:

BMW gasoline engines do use LL-04 for a very long time, probably since mid/late-2000s.
LL-04 (mid SAPS) is supposed to help combat IVD issues in modern DI engines. I only use
LL-04 in all my BMWs and Minis since that time.
The only reason for BMW of America sticking to LL-01 was the increased sulphur content
in the US compared to EU. This is no longer an issue since 2018 as sulphur is now almost
as low as in the EU, Japan etc.. So why didn't BMW change the recommendation in 2018?
I suspect that's simply because at that time they already had LL-17 FE around which helps
with fuel efficiency/cafe standards due to being thinner (0W-20). Hope this helps for some
better understanding.

LL-01 is similar to VW 502 00, both full SAPS
LL-04 is similar to VW 504 00 both mid SAPS (viscosity ranges differ at bit)

No question I'd prefer running VW 504 00 over 502 00. You could also consider VW 511 00
(Porsche C40) if you prefer a 40 and you're able to obtain them (M1 ESP X3 0W-40, Ravenol
RUP 5W-40), but I don't see a relevant advantage compared to VW 504 00.


Also, some of these low(er) SAPS oils claim a 0.8 number, whereas my current Castrol claims 1.3. Does that mean that deposits will only build up 62% slower?

No, sadly not.


This car is mostly used for short commutes for work, but I read that a long drive can also help "burn off" intake deposits.

True.


In that case, what would make a bigger difference - running the low SAPS oil, or purposely going on a long drive once in a while?

Not sure if someone will be able to tell that for certain, but to me extended periods at full operating
temperature with some time spend at elevated heat should help more, maybe even a lot more.
However, how should knowing the answer help you?
.
 

beanbag137

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Messages
8
No question I'd prefer running VW 504 00 over 502 00.


Not sure if someone will be able to tell that for certain, but to me extended periods at full operating
temperature with some time spend at elevated heat should help more, maybe even a lot more.
However, how should knowing the answer help you?
.
Yes, now I see that there are several 504 oils, although availability is spotty. Any reason to choose 0W30 vs 5W30, and factors to differentiate between the different brands? - in terms of minimizing intake deposits.
I called to check yesterday, and a shop near me quoted over $1k to do the valve cleaning, so that kind of affects my decision on how much extra I will try to spend on oil, or taking a long drive on purpose (with $6/gal gas) in order to delay the intake cleaning.
 
Top