GF-3 5W-40 for VW

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Dec 2, 2002
Washington St.
A family member just bought a new VW Passat with the 2.8L V-6 gasoline engine. The manual calls for a GF-3 5W-40 motor oil tht meets VW's 505.01 & 503.01 spec (if I remembered all the numbers correctly). The manual says that 5W-30 can be used only for top-off if the correct 5W-40 oil can't be found.

I can't find data sheets for any oil that meets all those requirements. ConocoPhillip's Kendall and 76, Valvoline, and ChevronTexaco all make a synthetic API-SL 5W-40 gasoline engine oil, but not GF-3. Mobil 1 0W-40 claims to be GF-3, and it'll probably be my choice...if I can find some on a local store shelf. None of these oils lists those particular VW spec. I haven't had a chance to ask the dealership, but I'll bet that they use a cheap 5W-30 and say that it'll be fine. I don't want a diesel 5W-40.

Any ideas about a reasonably easy-to-find oil that meets these specs?

Anyone have a suggestion for a VW forum that's reasonably mature?...not talking lowered GTIs with sewer pipe exhausts here.


[ August 10, 2003, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
I don't think any VW forums will be much help here. There are several of us VW guys roaming around BOBISTHEOILGUY, asking similar questions to yours. I think the best answers will probably come from the super heros, moribundman and geo.

Good luck.

I like clubb5 a lot, but if your questions are oil related stay here. As well meaning and knowledgeable as the VW guys are, they don't know oil like Bob's team.
no direct links please,mark

[ August 10, 2003, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: rugerman1 ]

I'm hardly an oil (or other) super hero, and geo is now the Invisible Man.

I really don't know what to say about the oil requirement of that new Passat. I thought we had recently established that VW/Audi engines DID NOT come prepared for extended drain (Longlife Service) in the US. If they require VW503.01 oil, then they must come with Longlife Service. The M1 0W-40 should work just fine, though, I'd prefer finding a 5W-40 that meets the necessary requirements.
I hope geo's still around. I suspect he got bored with the HTHS discussion.

Next time I go to the VW/Audi/Porsche stealer, I'll ask them if any of the new models come now with Longlife Service. I'll also ask them what oils they carry.
I don't think there is such a thing as a GF-3, 5w-40 oil. Almost all the GF-3 oils I've seen are xw-30 grades. I don't see any problem running a xw-30 in this engine provided it's ACEA A3 or VW 502 rated. It's the same 2.8L engine they have been making for the past few years. As far as off the shelf stuff, the Mobil 1, 0w-40 is probably the closest thing.

I think the Lubemoly 5w-40 may be VW 505.01 rated, which is actually the spec for their new "Pumpe Duese" diesel engine that is supposed to come to the US next year.


Originally posted by TooSlick:
I don't think there is such a thing as a GF-3, 5w-40 oil. Almost all the GF-3 oils I've seen are xw-30 grades.

I had the same feeling about's not restricted to xW-20 & 30 oils by spec, but most 40's won't meet the energy conserving part of the spec. Anyway, I double checked, and the manual does indeed say GF-3 5W-40. Mobil 1 0W-40 does have the GF-3 rating. I agree with you about an ACEA A3 5W-30...I'll be interested in what the dealer says when I get there in a couple of weeks.


What tha..... !?!? This is spooky man! I didn't know there was anybody else from Edmonton on this forum! Where have you been hiding/lurking?

The 0w-40/5w-40 "Euro" synthetics I've seen typically have HT/HS viscosities of 3.5-3.8 Cp. So in essence they aren't much if any thicker than an ACEA A3, rated 30wt. As I recall, the VW 505.01 diesel spec calls for a 5w-40 primarily because this engine tends to shear the oil pretty badly. Most of the other VW/Audi engines in Europe are actually using the thinner ACEA A5 type oils that meet VW 503.0/506.0.

It looks like VW/Audi are finally transitioning from the VW 502/505 spec to VW 503.1/505.01 in their North American engines. The VW 505.01 oils are supposed to be very good, so if you can find one of those I'd certainly consider using it.

I called the VW dealer, and they use cheapo 76 bulk 5W-30, not VW505.01, not VW503.01, not ACEA A3-02, not ACEA anything.

Google (new verbs get invented almost daily) for VW 505.01 or VW 503.01 and you won't find a U.S. page from any oil company.

I'll use Schaeffer's ACEA A3 rated #701 5W-30 with a clear conscience.

Texaco's Havoline specs their 5W40 as meeting VW 502.00 and 505.00, ACEA A3/B3. Is 505.01 much different than 505.00?
As a point of interest, Havoline syn 10W30 specs a 258C flash point and only 5% NOACK evap loss, and only 8% for their 5W40.
Must be a pao. Group IIIs could never put down numbers like that.
Or could they?
Ken2, dealers are like that; mine does the same thing - Castrol dino in Audis. It's not their money, eh? VW 503.00 is for low HT/HS; 503.01 is for high HT/HS to meet long-life specs. I've flopped around on this issue, too, as what to use in my 2.7t and concluded high HT/HS was the ticket.

Or, I could be wrong.

The VW 502 spec is based on ACEA A3/B4 but includes testing in the older 2.0L, eight valve engine....

I suspect that VW 503.1 is also based on ACEA A3/B4, but includes testing in one of the modern, multivalve VW/Audi engines. Most likely either the 1.8L, 20 valve turbo or the 2.8L or 3.0L V-6.
VW505.01 spec oil is for "Pumpe Düse" diesel engines, VW505.00 is for other diesel engines.
I don't know what the difference in oil specs is. I'll try to find out.

The HTHS value has nothing to do with if the oil is suitable for Longlife Service or not.

[ August 12, 2003, 05:24 PM: Message edited by: moribundman ]
I would guess that if an oil met Mack's EON-prem plus, API's CI-4,and the usual list published on spec sheets, that oil would likely pass VW's 505.01, but not stated because testing and certifing an oil cost money.
Motor oil sales to VW oners would have to justify the cost of the certification to make the process worthwhile to the oil company.
I wouldn't be surprised if the GF-3 5W-40 503.01 thing(all in one type of oil) ,turned to be a printing error in the manual.As a matter of fact i can't think of anything else

Originally posted by moribundman:

The HTHS value has nothing to do with if the oil is suitable for Longlife Service or not.

What does make an oil suitable for longlife service? Comparing ACEA A1 (ordinary oil) to ACEA A5 ("Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use at extended drain intervals in high performance gasoline engines...."), I see these differences:
1) A5 to stay in grade in the CEC-L-14-A-93 shear stability test. A1 allows some loss of viscosity in xW-30 and xW-40 grades.
2) A5 no more than 13% NOACK volatility vs. 15% for 10W & lower grades of A1.
3) A5 is only allowed 80% as much absolute viscosity increase at 40°C between min and max values during High temperature deposits Ring sticking & Oil thickening test.

Note that ACEA A3 requirements (Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline engines and / or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and / or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer) are the same as A5 except for higher High Temperature/High Shear viscosity and no fuel economy requirement.


[ August 12, 2003, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]

It sounds like the 3 points you list are what make an oil suitable for Longlife Service. These oils must stay in grade and hold up better over time less compared to other oils. That makes sense if an oil change is scheduled only every 30k miles or 2 years. The additive package must be different, I guess?

Cars prepared for Longlife Service come also equipped with superior filters and with a flexible service interval system.

Last time I bought a filter for my '96 Audi at the dealer, they sold me one of their new Longlife Service filters despite the fact that my car is not capable of Longlife Service (Not that this filter would hurt my car...). Looks like Longlife Service is slowly coming to the US market.

Longlife Service has nothing to do with the HTHS requirement, tough. There are engines that, while featuring Longlife Service, require a low HTHS spec oil (for example VW503.00). Then there are engines that feature Longlife Service, but still require a higher HTHS spec oil (for example VW503.01).
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