What's the deal with "long life oil"?

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Jun 2, 2003
According to VW/Audi, "long life oil" (VW 503 00/VW 503 01) must be used only in approved motors. VW/Audi claim the high temperature viscosity of these "long life oils" is considerably lower than that of other oil (VW 500 00/VW 502 00). They also claim that these oils will fail to lubricate properly at high oil temperatures and high RPM in motors that are not approved for those "long life oils." My questions: 1. Which oils are actually "long life oils" in the US? 2. Does anyone know what the difference between VW 500 00 and VW 502 00 is? 3. I'm using M1 0W-40, which fulfills VW 502.00 (See question # 2) and VW 503.01 (long life oil). Since this oil is rated as both, a "long life oil," but also as a "regular" (for lack of a better term) oil, there is no danger for my motor, which was not made for "long life oil," right?
Older Vw/Audi engines require VW 502/505 spec oils, with a high temp/high shear viscosity of at least 3.5 Cp @ 150C. The newer Vw 503.00/506.00 longlife oils have HT/HS of 2.9-3.4 Cp and are primarily 0w-30 grades. The newer VW/Audi engines that use these thinner oils have roller type lifters to reduce the loads between the cam lobes and valvetrain. To complicate things even more, the gas/diesel "pumpe duese" types engines require oils with HT/HS of at least 3.5 Cp as well. These VW 503.01/505.01 oils are primarily 0w-40/5w-40 grades. It is this latter classification that the M1, 0w-40 fits into. TooSlick [ June 25, 2003, 08:25 AM: Message edited by: TooSlick ]
TooSlick, this would mean that, going by the required HT/HS of at least 3.5 Cp, 0W-40 would indeed be correct for my '96 2.8 12v Audi engine. It's funny, when I use the Oil Finder on the Mobil site, they don't list any oil for my car. For the newer 2.8 30v they say 0W-40 or 15W-50 may work. Yuk, I did find that info on that German site. I went to a German car forum to find out more about the oil those guys use, but they are only interested in lowering their cars. [Roll Eyes]
Originally posted by moribundman: ... I went to a German car forum to find out more about the oil those guys use, but they are only interested in lowering their cars. [Roll Eyes]
Those guys! Don't they know they also need a fart-can exhaust before they don't have to worry about their oil?? Jeez! Tell'em to get with the program! [Dummy!] So if you're already using an oil which meets the specs, what's up? Are you looking to experiment with viscosities? Or try out different additive packages? Is something going on with the oil that you don't like?
Yes, I am concerned about a few things. My manual requires me to use VW 500.00. I'm using M1 0W-40, which fulfills VW 502.00, VW 505.00, and VW 503.01. Comparing oil spec sheets (A link to which was posted in my "VW oil specification" thread), it seems that the VW 500.00 spec requires better high shear resistence than the new VW 503.00 (The spec sheet doesn't show the even newer 503.01). There is also something in the VW 500.00 requirements regarding "piston cleanliness/wear," which I do not see mentioned in the VW 503.00 specs. I'm just being really anal here, without knowing enough about the subject, but I'm tryig to find out more. For crying out loud, my engine has 125k miles on the clock, and it's running like new. I doubt I'm not "feeding" it right. [Razz]
You might considering using BMW High Performance Synthetic, it meets A3/B3 and BMW Longlife-01, which is roughly equiv. to the VW spec.
Well, I tried a quick web search for the VW 500.00 spec, but all I got was a lot of Euro sites selling Euro oil (which, even if I was looking to buy, wouldn't do me a whole lotta good here in NA). I did notice that all of the oils meeting this spec were ACEA A3/B3, & most were xW-40s. Your comments about better HT/HS & piston cleanliness/wear made me think of two options to the M1 0W-40. The first was simply to add some percentage of M1 15W-50 to the 0W-40. I'd think anything up to a 50% mix would give you the HT/HS increase you're looking for without grossly impacting the viscosity range. Of course, this doesn't really address the cleanliness/wear issue, so perhaps the more obvious choice is to switch from M1 0W-40 to Delvac 1 5W-40. It's slightly heavier all-around than M1 0W-40, so the HT/HS should be a bit better as well. And, it meets all the piston deposit/wear specs associated with the toughest diesel standards. As a bonus, it would probably go longer than you were comfortable running it in your engine. The drawbacks? It's generally harder to find than either 0W-40 or 15W-50, & it has no manufacturer's gasoline specs attributed to it. FWIW, Saab's OE LL gasoline engine oils tend to have more diesel-oil-style additive pkgs in them. Obviously, they only meet the GM/Saab/Opel LL spec, & I have no idea how that compares to the VW/Audi specs.
In the end it's all probably hogwash. [Razz] I've never seen Delvac here. It's even difficult to find 0W-40, because people loot the store once it's in stock. [Wink] Anyway, I have sent someone who I know in Germany on a mission to find out what Audi really recommends for my engine in the absence of any VW 500.00 spec oil. I should find out either tomorrow or early next week.
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