VW 2.8L Question

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OK, another question, this time on the VW 2.8L used in the B5 Passats. My dad's noticed that the B5 consumes a fair amount of oil, up to a quart per 1,000 miles, in mixed driving. He's always followed the 5k OCIs per the book, using conventional 5w30. He's noticed that Castrol GTX (which the local shop uses) seems not to boil off during the first 3k (compared with other oils that burned off almost from the start). The boil off is raising some concerns about sludge or varnish. He's thinking of trying Auto RX (or a similar product) before the next oil change. I suggested perhaps just having the local shop add a quart of GC or M1 to the next oil change, or perhaps just switching entirely to synthetic. The 2.8Ls didn't get the "sludge letters" but apparently on VW's site they recommend VW 502.00 for all their engines now, even the non-sludgers. He seems a little reluctant to switch to synthetic after using conventional for over 60K. Any opinions as to either idea? There's not much on the GC forum on this topic from what I can tell by searching.
 
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My '96 Audi A4 (B5 platform) has the same 2.8 V6 12 valve engine. My '96 US manual specifically states that 5W-30 (mineral) oil is to be avoided. It mentions in the consumer information section that VW 500.00 or VW 501.01 (now obsolete spec) should be used. I realize the manual is not very clear on the issue. At you milegae, my 12v needed about 1/4qt added ebtween 10k mile oil change intervals. The 12v engine wants 5W-40, 10W-40, 15W-40, 15W-50, 20W-50, or 10W-60 oil. You can absolutely use a synthetic oil, but your oil consumption may be lower with a mineral oil like DELO 400. Apart from any VW 500 or VW 502 rated oil, you could use M1 5W-40 and see how oil comsumption with that oil compares to the 5W-30. Another good option is Castrol Syntec 5W-50, which works very well in the 12v engine. I used that oil with excellent results for over 100k miles. I used ARX in my engine and would love to hear out it works out in your engine.
 

akuska

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It's actually the 30 valve V6, not the 12 valve (it has the "5 valve" logo on it). I imagine it is a similar engine, though? 190hp, 90% angle, longitudinally mounted (thus not a "VR6" like on the 1999 Jettas. The VW manuals back then were absolutely unclear, which is why they lost a lot of loyalty when the 1.8Ts started sludging and VW tried to blame owners. I was using 40wt oils mostly in my 1.8T (10w40 dino is what the dealer put in prior to the sludge letters coming out), but on the 2.8L they were putting in 5w30. Thanks for the advice. What about M1 0w40 compared to 5w40. The former has the VW 502.00 spec.
 
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For some reason I thought this was a pre-'97 Passat. The 30v (or 5v) engine is a totally different beast than the simple 12v engine. M1 0W-40 may work well in the 30v, I simply don't know. I tried it in my 12v and oil consumption was about 50% higher and the engine sounded very noisy at hot idle. If the VW 502 spec is important to you, you may want to consider Castrol 5W-40 or one of the various VW 502-approved Motul or Elf oils. I'd start out with a 5W-40 oil, which is the preferred viscosity in most moden VW engines, and go from there.
 
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I just checked main bearing, rod bearing and ring clearances, and they're all the same for the 12v and 30v engines. Valve stem-to-guide clearances are tighter in the 30v, especially in the exhaust valves (0.031" vs 0.051"). The 30v engine has two cam chains and they are likely hard on the oil. Again, I would start with a 5W-40 and go from there. Relatively high oil consumption wouldn't surprise me, especially in a 30v. My 12v needed basically no oil until about 70k miles. Valve shaft seals and guides simply begin to leak with age and wear.
 

JAG

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Good info. Mori. akuska, I think I'd try the standard Auto-RX procedure before changing to synthetic. I've read enough success stories that I'm convinced of its worth; you can read them and decide for yourself. I'm afraid that if you switched to synthetic right away, oil consumption would get worse and stay worse as it cleaned the engine but didn't swell/condition the seals. That happened to my fiance's Civic when I switched it to Mobil 1 at 75k miles after using only mineral oils...it took a couple intervals of the Mobil 1 for it to do its evil deed. Another alternative for you might be to switch to synthetic right away but use the maintenance dose of Auto-RX to condition the seals, but I think doing the full procedure would be best.
 

dB

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I have a 2000 A4 with the same 30V 2.8L. I've been using M1 0W-40 for the last 30k miles or so. Early on it seemed to use a fair amount of oil, but now with 50k on it, it only uses maybe a quart during my 8k/1yr OCI. My owner's manual says to use 5W-40, and only use 5W-30 if you can't find 5W-40. Once I got through the free maintenance period (~20k miles), I switched to Synpower 5w40, but soon switched to M1, when I found out about all this group 3 vs. group 4 stuff. Actually, M1 0W-40 was harder to get initially. I had to go to a Mercedes-Benz dealership the first time to get the M1. The 30V holds 6 quarts and has a larger filter. This is probably why we didn't get the sludge letter.
 
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I use GC in my 30v and it runs great but it uses a little, probably .5 quart in 5k miles. But mine is a 2003 model and I believe has the tighter fitting rings. The early 30v's have lower tension rings, I believe, which a 5w-40 would work better for. I think you will get lower consumption with Castrol or M1 5w-40 than M1 0w-40. The M1 5w-40 actually is closer to a 10w-40.
 

akuska

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Thanks for the help. I think we'll try the Auto-RX and 5w40 route (perhaps BC or the new American Castrol 5w40). Since it's been getting dino oil, I won't get into the whole Group III vs Group IV issue. Either one is better than what's been going in there so far.
 
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i am in the arx rinse phase on that same engine (about 1,000 miles into the 2-3,000 mile rinse phase, with 75,000 miles on the model year 2000 engine). using delvac 15w40 hdeo for the rinse and oil consumption has seemed to drop to zero so far (i compulsively check it almost every evening, it is my wife's daily driver). i am planning on going to gc after the rinse. previously had some consumption similar to your report using valvoline syn 5w40, rotella t 5w40, and mobil1 0w40. i got the car with 45,000 miles so not sure what was used previously. wish i used the arx back then, but was not clued into excellent bitog info.
 
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I have a 2001 (old version) Passat GLX FWD Manual with 94,000 miles. I had been using up to 1 QT per 5000 miles based on my driving and the brew of oil I threw in the crankcase. I posted my experience with AutoRX on this engine a while back. I changed the oil at 90,000 with Pennzoil Platinum 5W30 and have not had to add anything since. I hope I can get through the next 1000 miles before I change without adding. I would think that taking a shot with AutoRX wouldn't hurt and could be beneficial. I will pretty much run anything through my engine as long as it is 0W30, 0W40, 5W30, 5W40, or 10W40 so my results may not (will not?) be at all replicable nor representative of anyone else's experience. Good luck!
 
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I used GC, ARX and a vast selection of oils in my 30v. Once it's cleaned-up w/ arx, dino oils will not burn as fast. 15w-40 would be the ticket. Mobil Delvac 1300S or Delo with the ARX. IN winter a 10w-40 or 5w-40. Skip the 0w-40 imo. GC is the ultimate winter oil for that engine.
 

akuska

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Interesting point, Auto-Union (I take it you owned an Audi?). The dealer put 15w40 in my 1.8T in when I first bought it back in 1998. It seemed like really thick oil to be putting into a modern engine, but perhaps that's another reason I didn't have the sludge issue. After a while, I think he switched to 10w40.
 
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I think a 2:1 blend of HDEO and GC would make a great oil that would crank easy and not be too thick to hurt gas milage. I tried Delvac 1300s for about 2000 miles and really liked the way that it felt, it was smooth like GC and didn't seem to rob power. But I was concerned about warrenty with a 502 oil and changed it back to GC.
 
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1.8t and 2.8 are totally different, oil-wise. Put the 15w-40 in the V6 and be done with it. 10w-40 in winter. ARX that thing.
 
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If that were my VW, I'd use Rotella 15w40 in the summer & Rotella T 5w40 in the winter. Can't go wrong with those oils in the 30V VW V-6.
 
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I second what WW said. I'd use the Auto-RX, then switch to 5W40 Rotella T or 5W40 Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel year-round. If you can get it, Schaeffer's 7000 15W40 pumps well enough at low temps to be safe for usage year-round. It costs about 25% less than the other choices.
 
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I've used both M1 0w-40 and GC in my 99 Passat 2.8l. No consumption with either oil(110k). IMO the motor seems quieter, much quieter on the GC! My UOA came back great on the 0w-40 so go figure. Will be trying some M1 SL 15w50(Non EP)this summer.
 
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