Castrol Syntec 5W40 | 3781 mi | 2015 VW GTI 2.0

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Dyson oil analysis from first two oil changes of 2015 VW GTI 2.0 liter gasoline turbo engine, DSG transmission, APR stage 1 ECU software, APR carbon fiber cold air intake. Posted with permission. Miles/time on 1st oil (factory fill, maybe Castrol Syntec 5W-40): 2889 mi / 6 weeks Miles/time on 2nd oil (Castrol Syntec 5W-40): 3781 mi / 3 months Current oil in use: Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-30 Driving style and ambient environment: Sporty but car is never raced or tracked. City/hwy/trip length: 30% hwy, 70% city, average trip length about 10 miles. Location: U.S. Southeast. General comments by analyst: - Factory fill (allegedly Castrol Syntec 5W-40) doesn't have characteristics consistent with that type. - In general numbers are OK, but key lubricating qualities were depleted and oil needed changing at 2,889 miles. - 2nd oil change (Castrol Syntec 5W-40): Fuel dilution is key issue. Suggest trying different oil (various ones discussed), re-sample in 3,000 mi. Concern about deposit build-up over longer periods.
 
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Was the 2nd oil dealer changed? It looks like a 5W30. I run Syntec 5W40 in my car and the stuff is supposed to be considerably thicker.
 

joema

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Yes 2nd oil was dealer changed. They claimed Syntec 5W40; I have no idea what they really used. The manual says either 5W30 or 5W40 is OK. From this point on I'm supplying my own oil whether changed at the dealer or an independent shop.
 
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With 3.4% fuel there's no way it was a 30 weight that went in. I suspect a 40 weight that got beat up. Good numbers though. Stick with a 40 weight if the fuel can't be controlled.
 
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Joe Thanks very much for posting. I purchased a new Jetta 1.8T for my daughter in June, so am particularly interested in your results. I can tell you the factory and dealer use Castrol Professional OE 5W-40, which is avail at the dealer, but not auto parts stores. IMO the Pennzoil you are using DOES NOT meet the VW 502 specs which is required for warranty. Hope to see continued improvement in your results Steve
 

joema

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Originally Posted By: steve20
...IMO the Pennzoil you are using DOES NOT meet the VW 502 specs which is required for warranty...
I believe you are correct. I think Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Euro meet VW 502/504, but Ultra Platinum does not. I thought the 1st two were being phased out, so decided to try Ultra Platinum. I'm having UOA done about every 3-4,000 mi, so it's an experiment.
 
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1. Currently you are not using appropriate oil for your car. 2. Castrol 5W40 is known as bad oil. 3. Go to Wal Mart and get either M1 0W40 or Castrol 0W40
 
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Originally Posted By: edyvw
1. Currently you are not using appropriate oil for your car. 2. Castrol 5W40 is known as bad oil. 3. Go to Wal Mart and get either M1 0W40 or Castrol 0W40
Can you help me understand statement #2? M-1 0-40 while meeting the 502 spec, is not the the weight required per the owner's manual. Got to be either a 5-30 or 5-40 meeting 502 & another 50X I can't remember off the top of my head
 
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If it is supposed to meet 502 (and/or another spec) and does, then grade is irrelevant.
Originally Posted By: steve20
M-1 0-40 while meeting the 502 spec, is not the the weight required per the owner's manual. Got to be either a 5-30 or 5-40 meeting 502 & another 50X I can't remember off the top of my head
 
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Originally Posted By: kschachn
If it is supposed to meet 502 (and/or another spec) and does, then grade is irrelevant.
Originally Posted By: steve20
M-1 0-40 while meeting the 502 spec, is not the the weight required per the owner's manual. Got to be either a 5-30 or 5-40 meeting 502 & another 50X I can't remember off the top of my head
can you point me to some documentation stating grade is irrelevant? Why even put 5-30 5-40 in the manual then?
 
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The manufacturer's specification dictates the chemical and mechanical requirements of the oil. The grade as specified in the manual generally represents the available grades at the time of publication. If you seek out VW's approved oil list, you will very likely find oils on that list that meet the specification but are not of a grade shown in the owner's manual. Even so, an oil not on the list but meeting the specification is still acceptable by definition. The lists are not always completely inclusive of all available brands. http://www.oilspecifications.org/articles/vw_motor_oil_specifications_explained.php Generally a minimum HTHS is given, along with oxidation resistance and other properties. If you look around enough I'm sure you can find details. It's just the same with other manufacturers such as BMW. Besides, oil grades are ranges anyway. A specific specification will determine the required viscosity irrespective of an assigned grade.
Originally Posted By: steve20
can you point me to some documentation stating grade is irrelevant? Why even put 5-30 5-40 in the manual then?
 
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Originally Posted By: steve20
Originally Posted By: edyvw
1. Currently you are not using appropriate oil for your car. 2. Castrol 5W40 is known as bad oil. 3. Go to Wal Mart and get either M1 0W40 or Castrol 0W40
Can you help me understand statement #2? M-1 0-40 while meeting the 502 spec, is not the the weight required per the owner's manual. Got to be either a 5-30 or 5-40 meeting 502 & another 50X I can't remember off the top of my head
While Castrol 5W40 meets VW 502.00 it does not meet MB 229.5, only MB 229.3. There are big implications because of that. NOACK of 5W40 Castrol is 13%, while oil that meets MB 229.5 MUST have NOACK below 10% in order to meet that spec. NOACK of M1 0W40 is 8.7%, Castrol 0W40 is 9.1%. Also, MB 229.5 is MOST stringent spec when it comes to Full-SAPS oils for gasoline engines. It is very tough on how much deposits it can leave in the engine, which os of OUTMOST importance for VW 2.0TSI engine that has problem with deposits on intake but especially on exhaust valves. Difference between 5W40 and 0W40 is in cold start. 0W40 will provide better cold start while providing same "thickness" at operating temp. Also, M1 has stronger HTHS then Castrol 5W40 which is more important then whether oil is 5W30 or 5W40 or 0W40. I did UOA of M1 0W40 and turned out extremely shear stable. After 5K it went from 13.5cst to 13.3cst.
 
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Originally Posted By: edyvw
Originally Posted By: steve20
Originally Posted By: edyvw
1. Currently you are not using appropriate oil for your car. 2. Castrol 5W40 is known as bad oil. 3. Go to Wal Mart and get either M1 0W40 or Castrol 0W40
Can you help me understand statement #2? M-1 0-40 while meeting the 502 spec, is not the the weight required per the owner's manual. Got to be either a 5-30 or 5-40 meeting 502 & another 50X I can't remember off the top of my head
While Castrol 5W40 meets VW 502.00 it does not meet MB 229.5, only MB 229.3. There are big implications because of that. NOACK of 5W40 Castrol is 13%, while oil that meets MB 229.5 MUST have NOACK below 10% in order to meet that spec. NOACK of M1 0W40 is 8.7%, Castrol 0W40 is 9.1%. Also, MB 229.5 is MOST stringent spec when it comes to Full-SAPS oils for gasoline engines. It is very tough on how much deposits it can leave in the engine, which os of OUTMOST importance for VW 2.0TSI engine that has problem with deposits on intake but especially on exhaust valves. Difference between 5W40 and 0W40 is in cold start. 0W40 will provide better cold start while providing same "thickness" at operating temp. Also, M1 has stronger HTHS then Castrol 5W40 which is more important then whether oil is 5W30 or 5W40 or 0W40. I did UOA of M1 0W40 and turned out extremely shear stable. After 5K it went from 13.5cst to 13.3cst.
Even then, I think the term "bad oil" is a bit harsh. Based on these points, it's simply not as good as the other options available.
 
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Originally Posted By: rhhsiao
Originally Posted By: edyvw
Originally Posted By: steve20
Originally Posted By: edyvw
1. Currently you are not using appropriate oil for your car. 2. Castrol 5W40 is known as bad oil. 3. Go to Wal Mart and get either M1 0W40 or Castrol 0W40
Can you help me understand statement #2? M-1 0-40 while meeting the 502 spec, is not the the weight required per the owner's manual. Got to be either a 5-30 or 5-40 meeting 502 & another 50X I can't remember off the top of my head
While Castrol 5W40 meets VW 502.00 it does not meet MB 229.5, only MB 229.3. There are big implications because of that. NOACK of 5W40 Castrol is 13%, while oil that meets MB 229.5 MUST have NOACK below 10% in order to meet that spec. NOACK of M1 0W40 is 8.7%, Castrol 0W40 is 9.1%. Also, MB 229.5 is MOST stringent spec when it comes to Full-SAPS oils for gasoline engines. It is very tough on how much deposits it can leave in the engine, which os of OUTMOST importance for VW 2.0TSI engine that has problem with deposits on intake but especially on exhaust valves. Difference between 5W40 and 0W40 is in cold start. 0W40 will provide better cold start while providing same "thickness" at operating temp. Also, M1 has stronger HTHS then Castrol 5W40 which is more important then whether oil is 5W30 or 5W40 or 0W40. I did UOA of M1 0W40 and turned out extremely shear stable. After 5K it went from 13.5cst to 13.3cst.
Even then, I think the term "bad oil" is a bit harsh. Based on these points, it's simply not as good as the other options available.
I genuinely think it is bad, and here is why: 1. All VW's with TSI engine that were maintained in VW dealerships ALWAYS develop carbon build up. Is it exact science? No. However, considering NOACK, shear stability of that oil and the fact it is not meeting MB 229.5, I think that oil is like fuel on the fire. 2. I used that oil in Passat 1.8T for several oil changes. After 4K I could hear hydro lifters starting to knock. I then used M1 0W40 for several oil changes, pushing to 8K, never had that noise, but did not like cold start of that oil. Finally settled to 0W30 GC, and I was always pushing that oil to 8K, never any noise, excellent cold starts etc. So you can argue whether is it just OK, or not, I think it is just bad product. You cannot even find that 5W40 in Europe, which tells me that it is sub-standard product that is ONLY made for this market in NJ. Average American driver does not ask what kind of oil goes in the car. In EU that is much harder to do.
 
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Originally Posted By: edyvw
I genuinely think it is bad, and here is why: 1. All VW's with TSI engine that were maintained in VW dealerships ALWAYS develop carbon build up. Is it exact science? No. However, considering NOACK, shear stability of that oil and the fact it is not meeting MB 229.5, I think that oil is like fuel on the fire. 2. I used that oil in Passat 1.8T for several oil changes. After 4K I could hear hydro lifters starting to knock. I then used M1 0W40 for several oil changes, pushing to 8K, never had that noise, but did not like cold start of that oil. Finally settled to 0W30 GC, and I was always pushing that oil to 8K, never any noise, excellent cold starts etc. So you can argue whether is it just OK, or not, I think it is just bad product. You cannot even find that 5W40 in Europe, which tells me that it is sub-standard product that is ONLY made for this market in NJ. Average American driver does not ask what kind of oil goes in the car. In EU that is much harder to do.
Thanks for the info. Definitely appreciate the thorough response of personal experience.
 
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Is the Synetc they use at VW dealers the exact same kind you pick up at the store? It seems like there are couple versions of the product as well. Syntec (SL) was discontinued and it's called Edge with STP (SM). In the US I see there is an SN rated Edge with STP that I haven't seen in Canada. It's a fairly thick oil. Is it even possible it got that beat up in only 3k miles?
 
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I'm using the Castrol Syntec 5-40, but a 5K interval. Between the 1.8T fuel dilution and possible shearing in the turbo I think 10k miles is just too long.
 
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Originally Posted By: camrydriver111
Is the Synetc they use at VW dealers the exact same kind you pick up at the store? It seems like there are couple versions of the product as well. Syntec (SL) was discontinued and it's called Edge with STP (SM). In the US I see there is an SN rated Edge with STP that I haven't seen in Canada. It's a fairly thick oil. Is it even possible it got that beat up in only 3k miles?
It is, if the product is not good, and this Castrol is not. Having M1 0W40 and Castrol 0W40 in Wal-Mart that is running around $25-26 for 5qt jug, it is really no brainer what to use.
 
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Originally Posted By: camrydriver111
Is it even possible it got that beat up in only 3k miles?
Absolutely! My car sheared RP 20W50 to a 10W40 within 3200 miles.
 
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