What's the lowest quality oil you'd run in a turbo?

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64
Location
Texas
I've got a VW Passat with a 1.8t that is also chipped. I'm currently running Redline 5W40 and have 2/3 of a case left so I'm good for a while. My plans is to stick with Redline but... I've been thinking about the hypothetical question, what is the minimum oil you'd run in this engine (in Texas)? While some dino's have shown great results as far as wear, I have concerns about how it stands up to high heat no matter how short the OCI. Schaeffer's has a blend the looks good. Rotella T synthetic is a choice. Mobil 1 10W30 can be bought at Sam's for ~$4/quart as I recall. Mix in 1 quart of 15W50 might be a good mix for this car. With some TLC (cool down before turning off), I guess even a good dino with short intervals would be fine. Lemme know what y'all think, Matt
 
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450
Location
Louisville, KY
In texas? In sumemr certainly Mobil 1 15w-50. In winter maybe M 1 0w-40 or GC. But in Texas M1 15w-50 should be good all year around. Another summer oil thats usable is Valvoline SynPower 20w-50, if its performance as a 5w-40 in thwe VW/Audi 1.8 turbo are indicative, on how it would perform as a 20w-50. Fred... [Smile]
 
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699
Location
Texas
I've used Castrol 20w-50 before, Chevron Supreme 20w-50, Mobil 20w-50, SuperTech 20w-50, and Mobil 1 15w-50. All worked to the best of their abilities. I've found Schaeffer 15w-40 is awfully good stuff as well. For the turbo, I'd stick to a synthetic or a great blend.
 
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9,448
Location
USA
You know Redline makes an oil that is designed for diesels. I do not think that the 5W40 is intended for diesel applications. Note that I am not saying that it can not be used only that their diesel specific 15W40 might provide better service life.
 
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232
Location
Aviation Capital
Here's a question? Why not sample your oil and extend it to a safe limit. Your running a group 5 polyolester basestock. This stuff should give you excellent extended drain intervals. And should give your engine all the protection it will need even turbocharged. And the best part is you have piece of mind oil sampling & trend analysis is one of the most accurate and for your application may even give you resale value. My 2 cents [Cool]
 
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425
A HDEO 15w-40 diesel oil would be fine for this car if it did not see below 25 degrees. People forget that most over-the-road trucking is turbo diesel run on HDEO DINO. Syntec Blend 10w-40 is ACEA A3 rated and would be fine at 2x a year changes. Both are about $2. Chevron Supreme 10w-40 says Turbo Approved on the label, $1. Personally, GC 0w-30 and BC 5w-40 are obvious choices because they were made for your car. BC even says "Made for VW" on the FRONT label and is now widely available for <$5. [ January 06, 2004, 12:07 AM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
 
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171
Location
Chicago
Why not stick with the Redline 5W 40? Or if you want a ACEA A3/VW approved oil go with the Valvoline Synpower 5W 40 at Napa for $4.49 per quart. I've been running it my 99' Passat 1.8T for over 100,000 chipped miles. My UOL was posted a couple of weeks ago.
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
Let me phrase it another way ... What's the cheapest rope you'd use to go Bungie jumping? [Eek!] Seriously though, I'd use something that meets the performance requirements of the VW 502/505 specifications. If you do that, the basestock won't matter ....The VW 502/505 specifications are very demanding and few oils meet them. For example, the VW "T-4" high temp test that is part of the VW 502 spec runs for 248 hours with no makeup oil allowed. Compare that to the API "SL" spec, which only requires an 80 hour test and allows makeup oil to be added. There are specific limits for viscosity increase and the TBN at the end of the test. The Mobil 1, 10w-30 works fine in this engine and is probably the lowest quality stuff I'd run, but my perspective is different than most folks about what constitutes "low quality". [Wink] Yes, I know that technically the M1, 10w-30 does not meet VW 502/505.... Tooslick [ February 15, 2004, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: rugerman1 ]
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,000
Location
Guelph, Ontario
Matt, I know you mentioned this as being a hypothetical question here, but I'd just like to add that in a turbo engine like this, if you were truly trying to save money on oil changes, the better way to go would be to buy a premium synthetic and do longer intervals, as opposed to running the cheapest oil you can get away with, and shortening the intervals. In other words, I'd feel much safer doing 15k oil changes with a high quality synthetic in a turbo, compared to 2-3k oil changes with a cheap dino oil, and your costs would be the same or less with the synthetic (especially when you factor in the cost of oil filters)
 

txmatt

Thread starter
Messages
64
Location
Texas
Thanks for the input guys. Keep 'em coming if you like. Forgot to mention I'm also running Lube Control in the Redline 5W40. And I am planning on doing a UOA or two to extend the interval. My thoughts had been the same as many of yours: if money becomes an issue, it's probably best to use a very high quality oil and do extended drains than try to skimp on the oil. Gotta keep those turbo bearings and oil supply lines happy. Thanks, Matt
 
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378
Location
West Coast
This is a gasser right?…not the diesel. I ran dino oil in my high-pressure Volvo 2.3 L turbo for 11 years, up to 200,000 miles with no issues. I ran either 10W-30 or 15W-40 Delo/Delvac HDEO oil. While I’m an admitted synthetic snob (my current S70 T5 only sees Amsoil or Castro GC) I believe that many of us for many of our applications are using better oil than is necessary to provide good protection and engine cleanliness. Obviously, the determination of what oil to use is application specific. The Volvo B230FT in my 740 wasn’t terribly hard on oil, even with a 4 L sump. The B5234 T-5 in my S70 doesn't seem to be too hard on it either; however, it has a 6 L sump. I’m not sure how the VW engines are on oil, but based on the few Audi and VW UOA I’ve seen, they don’t seem too bad. Can you imagine what a Toyota V6 would do to oil if it were turbocharged? SCARY! [Freak]
 
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211
Location
Florida Panhandle
quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: You know Redline makes an oil that is designed for diesels. I do not think that the 5W40 is intended for diesel applications. Note that I am not saying that it can not be used only that their diesel specific 15W40 might provide better service life.
What does this have to do w/ anything? The 1.8T is a gas engine; the TDI motor is 1.9 liters. I don't own a 1.8T anymore, but as best I recall the only weight options VW recommends are 5W40 (preferred) and 5W30. VW dealers give you 5W30 dino oil on the freebie-maintenance you get for the first 20K miles... I'd probably use Amsoil 5W40 beyond that.
 

TC

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1,644
Location
California
I suspect this question, while still an excellent one, was much more critical 10-20 years ago when many turbos were non-water cooled. While syn or "diesel" would obviously be a better choice, I would think that one of the better quality conventionals would in no way be detrimental to a modern turbo for non-severe service drivers. (If the owner's manual calls for syn, that's another story.) Note that once-common, specialized "Turbo" oils, with formulas mildly tweeked for turbo-related heat, are no longer considered relevant, perhaps in part due to better base stocks and the like as API ratings progressed over time.
 
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8,756
Location
RI
Big diesel trucks have excellent lubrication and cooling. That engine is pretty small, stressed, turbo'd, and hot. I'd stick with any quality synthetic. Down south, you can't go wrong with the 40wts. Doesn't VW have their own oil recommendations or certs?
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
There are two things that kill turbocharger bearings/seals: 1) Running the engine hard when it's cold 2) The unavoidable heat soak after every shutdown Due to the typical duty cycle for a passenger car, you will have as many of #1 and #2 after 100,000 miles of operation, as you will after 1,000,000 miles of OTR truck operation. George Morrison at AVLube will tell you it's rare for OTR truck turbos to last for 1000k miles with petroleum diesel oils. They easily last this long with Delvac 1 or the Amsoil 15w-40 ....
 
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841
Location
Ohio
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: There are two things that kill turbocharger bearings/seals: 1) Running the engine hard when it's cold 2) The unavoidable heat soak after every shutdown Due to the typical duty cycle for a passenger car, you will have as many of #1 and #2 after 100,000 miles of operation, as you will after 1,000,000 miles of OTR truck operation.
I'd have to agree with this. A typical OTR truck turbo doesn't see the "abuse" that a typical passenger car turbo does. If you plan on trading your car in after 50K or 60K miles you can probably get away with any type of oil, but if you plan to keep the car a long time, I think a high quality synthetic is the way to go. VW engines in general tend to be hot running, and a chipped 1.8T is certainly more stressed than your average engine.
 
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