Motorcraft 5w-20? 2.0 VW Jetta and 2.2L Ecotec.....

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Jan 16, 2004
Mobile, AL

I've been reading all the recent posts on the MC oils. Picked up the bottle a few times at WalMart and then set it back down. My only reservation is about trying the 5w-20 instead of using the 5w-30 that is recommended for both engines listed in the subject line. (Been using Castrol GTX 5w-30 in both).

Question: If the thinking is that this particular oil is 'almost' a 30 weight, would it be okay to try in these engines? IS it 'almost' a 30 weight? Would YOU try it??!!! Better oil than the Castrol????

Any and all opinions/assitance welcome!!!!


p.s. Live on the gulf coast and make lots of short trips in both vehicles. 3k OCI on both. 140k on the Jetta and 55k on the Saturn.
I wouldn't do it. The engines Ford and Honda recommend using 5w20 have undergone testing with that oil. Besides, the fuel economy gain from 5w30 to 5w20 would be minor at best, not worth the possible wear increase. Our 2.2 Ecotec Cavalier runs great with Havoline 5w30 and gets over 30 mpg with a mix of driving. If you want to try the Motorcraft use 5w30, it appears to be a blend of group 2 or 2+ and a little group 3.
Okay, would it be anyone's opinion that the MC 5w-30 is a better oil than the GTX I've been using?

The one other choice I've been considering is the 5w-40 Rotella T. Any thoughts on that?

I would try to stick to an oil weight that is recommended in the owner's manual. If 5W-30 is what they recommend, then stick with that. 5W-40 oil is thicker, which may actually worsen gas mileage.

I don't think either brand oil is significantly superior to the other. Up until recently, I've only had Castrol GTX in my car (5W-30), it's still going with 128k on the odometer, and oil consumption is at a minimum (if at all)... I've never had to add any oil between changes (every 3750 miles).
5W-20 in a VW?
VW actually recommends 5w40 in the 2.0 engine, so it would not be wise to go to a 5w20. They also recommend the oil passes the VW 50x.x specs too (can't remember exactly which one) and 5w20 doesn't pass it.
I too wouldn't recommend trying the 5w-20 in the VW. Like Patman said, go with the recommended viscosity as stated in the owners manual or at the very least, stick with what you've been using all along.

If there are no problems with either vehicle (none were mentioned) then it sure seems whatever you've been doing is working. Why change now?
As everybody knows I'm a proponent of 5W-20 oils
. But only where they are rcommended! Use what the owner's manual recommends. Just curious, does the Jetta burn/use any measurable amount of oil? Those 2.0L VW are noted for major oil usuage. And if your's doesn't I wouldn't change oils or OCI's.

Given the responses so far, is anyone inclined to suggest the Motorcraft 5W-30 over the Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40?

Keep in mind that both of my vehicles see lots of short trips. The VW is my daily driver and I have about an 8 mile trip to work and back. Wife's car with the Ecotec 2.2 engine makes it up to Wal-Mart (2 miles) several times a week as well as some other errand related driving.

Thanks to everyone for their replies!!!



Forgot to answer your question about consumption in the VW. No, the car doesn't use an appreciable amount of oil between changes. Less than half a quart, I'd say. Part of my (faulty?) logic here was that I've got a lot of varhishing under the valve cover. Wondered if the Rotella would help slow that down or not. I didn't get the car until it had 123k miles and have no idea how it was maintained (or not!) before.

ahh jetttas. i remember after i saw oil stains all on the valvoline filter i decided to start doin her '02 2.0l oil myself insted of the usual valvoline instant oil change, not to mention saving a lot of $$.

so on vw vortex i saw people using 5w-30 without problems.. so i decided to try mobil 1 5w-30.. bad move. it was consuming a lot of oil, so i researched and found the piston ring problem.. and that oil did not look or smell good.. it looked pretty beat up.. i dont know if the blowby was really messing it up or possibly other factors..

but after that i started goin to vw and getting cases of their syntec 5w-40 ($6.50 a bottle
) and suprisingly the car does not consume nearly as much oil as it had before..which was a lot..and the bad smells and all that are gone.. i might experiment with other oils but id definetly recommend syntec 5w-40.. even though its a bit pricy
Fortunately for me, I was spared the 'oil-consumption issue' of the later Jettas. Mine is a 99.5 model - the first of the current body style. Runs great other than an annoying exhaust leak. That goes away once it's warm, so I guess I can't complain too much. Only paid $4450 for the car, so I suppose that I SHOULD be happy!

I wouldn't run 5W-20 in the VW 2.0, it might consume oil with that. Doesn't the manual say that it should meet one or more of the following: API SJ, VW 50x, ACEA A2 or A3. Also says that if you can't find 5W-40 or 5W-30 you can use any oil for your climate. I'm running Chevron 5W-30 conventional in my 02 VW Jetta 2.0 and works good, doesn't consume too much(~less than 1 quart per 2000 miles). I used to use a synthetic 5W-40 and 5W-30, but those consumed a bit more than conventional. Oil problems supposed to be solved by 02. Planning to switch to 15W-40 Chevron Delo or Castrol RX. Guess a good general rule is not to move down than the recommended grades.

The one other choice I've been considering is the 5w-40 Rotella T. Any thoughts on that

I think that would be a great choice. I believe Walmart usually has Rotella T 5W-40 on sale for about $13.00 per gallon.
By way of a marriage into our family I picked up another vehicle to maintain; a 1998 VW Jetta with a 2.0L 4cyl. Same engine as Flash's Jetta. When I first looked at the engine I took the oil fill cap off and wow it looked like all kinds of crud was caked on the bottom of the cap and indside the fill hole. On my 99 taurus the metal inside the fill hole is spotless and a nice shiny silver. This was a shocker for me to see on a car (Jetta) with 65,000 miles. The manual does call for a 5W-40 that meets the A2 or A3 specs or if the 5-40 is not available use a 5W-30.

Seems to me that on this car with this engine a heavy oil or a high quality syn is going to provide better results. I know that she has been using 5W-30 dino at 4,500 mile OCIs and this does not seem to have created a clean engine. Of course what I am visibly seeing may not mean a lot. Anyone out there have any more experience with the Jetta 2.0L that wants to chime in here?

My 2.0L has the same issue with build up under the valve cover. Been wondering about that one and if the Rotella T Synthetic would help that or not. Still hoping that someone would comment on whether it would help or not.


My 2.0L has the same issue with build up under the valve cover. Been wondering about that one and if the Rotella T Synthetic would help that or not. Still hoping that someone would comment on whether it would help or not.

If you really want a clean engine do an Auto-Rx cleaning and use a conventional 10W-30 or 15W-40 API CI-4/SL engine oil. When you are finished with the Auto-Rx cleaning and rinse cycle then use Rotella T 5W-40.

Since Rotella T 5W-40 has a TBN of 11.5 it should over time remove some of the crud from inside your engine but it will not even come close to cleaning your engine the way Auto-Rx will.

Here is the technical data for Rotella T 5W-40. web page

[ July 16, 2004, 05:43 AM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
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