Interesting Response from AMSOIL

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Sep 23, 2005
Parker, CO
Please note this is NOT a "slam AMSOIL" post.

It took a couple of attempts, but I finally got an answer from AMSOIL to the following question:

Hello - This is the second time I have written about this issue. I wrote a little over a week ago with no response. I am a preferred customer and recently ordered a case of the 5w-40 Euro oil for my 2005 VW Gti 1.8t. I thought the oil was VW 502 approved but on the bottles it says "recommended" but not approved. I would certainly appreciate knowing if it is approved or recommended and what is your stance on VW warranty requirements and the 502 spec. Please contact me. Regards, "JKH"

Here is their response:

Thank you for contacting AMSOIL with your concerns.

In response to your inquiry, Volkswagen (and most other manufacturers) does not make a list of "Approved" motor oils. They simply list recommendations.

Thank you again for the opportunity to respond to your concerns. As always, please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance.


[NAME Removed]
AMSOIL Technical Service

Now this is not the answer I really wanted, but was masterful if you look at what was not said. They took NO position themselves but rather deflected to the auto manufacturer.

I wish I could get something definitive, but it looks like I am stuck, at the moment, using BC 5w-40 ... when I would really like to use AMSOIL 5w-40.

Interesting response.
I'm not too familiar with warranty requirments when it comes to oils as my car doesn't require anything other the a 5w-20 API licensed oil. However, it seems to be a touchy issue with VW and Audi. The response you received from Amsoil was a bit short. They sound like they were frustrated just for asking. IMHO. Does VW have a list like MB of approved oils?
Hmm, so is it really on the "recommended" list...
Does vw have a list that shows what oils meet the recommended specs?
They didn't even answer your whole question, however if you follow the manuals oci, i'm sure your warranty will be fine. I can't see amsoils oil not being recommnded. Maybe Pablo will chime in.
This may sound weasel worded as well - but like it or not - what is more important is YOUR warranty contract, in writing, from VW of America. I don't have that contract. What does it say?

I am not an expert on "lists". I can not say VW has a list of oils you must use. I think Amsoil is correct - the standards may be mandatory but VW only recommends certain "listed" oils.

I can say Amsoil AFL meets VW 502 and I can strongly say that if your car has an oil related failure using AFL 5W-40 doing VW OCI's, Amsoil will easily stand behind you. If you bought the oil from me you can be assured I will stand behind you 110%. In reality, this does not worry me in the least.
Yo Pablo..How far behind him are you going to stand..
That is a very artful non-answer if ever I heard one. Amsoil sounds like a politician spinning the party line at election time.

Originally posted by Pablo:
Depends on his diet. (from a guy named "SKUNKY"

Hahahahaha..well here's my thought..You would have never said that if you weren't 99.99999999% sure that he wouldn't have an oil related problem..if he did..VW would blame the oil..Amsoil would say it was a defective he would call you and ask for a 10k ckeck ..if you write that check your wife will cut you..
What I AM saying if q2bruiser has an engine failure using VW OCI's it will not be the fault of the oil in question. If by some freak the oil is defective - Amsoil will stand behind it. The myth that Amsoil would shirk their warranty is just that, a myth. OTOH, we know how the car manufacturers behave when they have a defect.

Lastly - unlike other Amsoil dealers - I stand behind my customers and will cause holy cain if justice is not done.
Well..OK..Let me tell you about my dear brother..brand new 6.0 GM..used Amsoil and their filter after first oil change..he did 25K 55K the lifters quit lifting...GM said it was the long OCI..Amsoil said it was the lifters..He cried foul..they threw him out of the game with a lighter
I like you Pablo so I'll shut up..
My nephew recently had his Passat wagon 1.8T (sludge monster)
engine light go on while on a trip. It was evidently the "park the car now light". Little or no oil pressure. He had been using Amsoil 0W-30 for a couple years and recently European 5W-40 at change intervals of 6 months and less than 10k miles.
The VW dealer in the Indiana town the car was towed to gave him grief about fixing the engine, VW filter BTW.
The car was/is still in the warranty period also.
As the selling Amsoil dealer I had copies of his reciepts and gave them to him to show the dealer. There was no issue with the
Amsoil being used or the change interval. The dealer was just
being a jerk and VW was not jumping in to resolve the issue.

The issue was resolved mostly because close family
works at VW of America and my nephew is an attorney.

So I would be careful of VW as they are not in good financial
shape and are having a bad time with quality issues now.
I would be sure that the oil you use meets the VW spec.

I use the European 5w-40 in the wife's Beetle 1.8T and it seems
to like it fine.

While I am not sure what the actual issue was with the above
Passat engine I would be suprised if it was sludging because of
the oil he was using and the interval he changed it.
I will try to find out actually what was the problem with it.

Originally posted by q2bruiser:

....In response to your inquiry, Volkswagen (and most other manufacturers) does not make a list of "Approved" motor oils. They simply list recommendations.

...Interesting response.


I have GOT to learn how to read. I could have sworn the word "approval" was on VW's recommended oils list:

Lot of great thoughts here. Like I said before, this has nothing to do with AMSOIL being a good oil. I have a case of the 5w-40 Euro in the garage and it what I would really like to use. But, what if I am having a little fun one day and throw some gas at the little K03 turbo in the 1.8t and as the tach swings thru 5k I spin a main bearing. I can just the the nightmare now. Tow her to the shop and the service writer asks for receipts ... which I have. They say, what's this AMSOIL stuff? Is it 502 approved? I say: Well, yes, no, maybe, I guess, you see I cannot get a straight answer out of AMSOIL sir. It says recommended for those engines requiring 502 spec, blah, blah, blah. Everyone on here knows it would have nothing to do with the oil. I change every 3k or so and keep good records. But I do not have the money to litigate, pay for a car that is sitting in the shop, while VAG and any oil manufacturer points fingers at each other about a broken engine.

Yes, this is all hypothetical but it happens and no company, including both VAG and AMSOIL wants to drop $7k+ on a new engine and guess who would be stuck in the middle. Me.

I might try the GC 0w-30 as it is 502 approved but the Gti manual states 5w-40 or if it is not available 5w-30 ... either of which have to be 502 approved. I could also try the M1 0w-40 but their oils, while a great oil, are a little thin for my taste. However, with all this being said I did call VAG Customer Care one day and ask them about AMSOIL 5w-40 and they said I should be "fine". Don't know what that means. I don't like not fully understanding what someone means ... especially when money is on the line. WIll probably play it safe and lust after other oils.

Unless your going to run extended drains, use the Amsoil and don't worry about it. Engines rarely fail due to oil and the Amsoil is more then up to the task in your car. I understand your concerns, but I don't think it's an issue.

Originally posted by Pablo:
wayne - how is this list called out in your VW owner's manual?

It isn't. It just says to use a VW approved 5w40, or 5w30 if 5w40 is not available. The following is exactly what my 2000 VW GTI manual lists regarding VW "required" oil specs.:

To assure that the oil you use is of the highest quality required by your car the following terms must appear on the oil container singly or in combination with other designations:

Gasoline engine
- VW 502 00 or VW500 00 or VW501 01
- ACEA A2 or ACEA A3

I have always interpreted the above to mean that to maintain a VW warranty, the oil MUST meet at least one of the specs from each line. For example, it would have to meet VW502 00 & A2 & API SJ.

To further confuse it, ANY oil that meets any of the VW5XX XX standards would, by default, also meet the last two (A2 or A3 & SJ).

So, to conclude, many oils might meet the ACEA A2/A3 & API SJ specs, but they still would not be of acceptable quality as far as VW is concerned, because they do not ALSO carry the VW5XX XX approval.

p.s. My VW is out of warranty, so VWoA can take their 502.00 approved oil list & wipe up a mess with it for all I care.
Has Amsoil submitted their oil for testing to the 502 spec, and did it pass? If the oil was not tested, or formulated with previously tested and approved ingredients, then it is not 502 approved.

As Amsoil says, "AMSOIL Synthetic 5W-40 European Motor Oil is recommended by Amsoil for applications specifying the following:

* API SL, CI-4, CF
* ACEA A3/B3
* BMW LL-01/98
* Daimler Chrysler 229.3, 229.1
* Opel Long Life Service Fill GM-LL-A-025
* Opel Diesel Service ill GM-LL-B-025
* Porsche
* Volvo
* Saab
* Volkswagen 501.01, 502.00, 505.00"
comment above mine

And, "AMSOIL Synthetic 5W-40 European Motor Oil surpasses the most demanding European oil specifications." Surpasses in Amsoil's testing, maybe not tested to VW's spec.

I like Amsoil products. I do not like the way they skirt the actual approval issue. In some cases, Amsoil chooses to formulate products that clearly do not meet the specs, such as the phosphorus content, and then claim that they do not test solely because of the cost of testing.

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