Oil Changes and Engine Longevity

I know that opinions on oil changes boarder on religion, but here goes anyway.
I have a 2001 Audi A4 1.8T. My daily commute is 170 miles. I want the make
this car last for a lot of miles. I would like to get 300,000 to 400,000 miles if I can.
Right now I am changing oil twice as often as specified in the owners manual (5000 miles instead of 10000 miles). Would I gain much by changing it 3 times as often (every 3333 miles)?
Also, the owners manual specifies to use 0W-30 oil, or 5W-30 oil if the other cannot be found. On the other hand, my Bentley's repair manual has a table of oil weights and temperatures, much like the one in the owner's manual for my '93 VW Passat, and my (now gone) '81 diesel Rabbit (Golf). So should I go with the owner's manual or with Bentley's? Was the owner's manual recommendation put in there for us stupid 'Merkins?
Don Borowski
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If you're using good quality synthetic, changing it every 3K miles is a waste of money and big disservice to the environment, but that's just MHO. Assuming those 170 commute miles are mainly easy highway miles, I'd probably do 10K mile changes, because at this rate, you must be accumulating miles quite fast. I do 5K mile changes on my '01 A4 1.8T, but that's because right now it takes me a year to get to 5K.

Seeing many used oil analyses of different oils in the VAG 1.8T engine, I'd say this engine does well with any grade, incl. 0w-30 (German Castrol Syntec, Amsoil), 5w-30 (Mobil1, Redline), 0w-40 (Mobil1), or 5w-40 (Redline).
I'm running 0w-40 in mine right now, but I'll be going back to 0w-30 at my next oil change.
Cheers,
Pete
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less the oil deteriorates. Also non-mineral oils keep their lubricating task far longer than any mineral oils. Our Automobile club -the motorway assistance dep- did a test some years ago, with these modern oils and checked the lub.cap. after 100.000 Kms which came out as 100%. Audi's are known to last the distance you describe and even (much) more without engines rebuild.
Ronald
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hey bro, i would not put to much stock in what audi recommends. for example i called my local dealer and asked them about service intervals on the timing belt and fuel filter. they told me the timing belt service is recommended at around 80 to 90k, and they "never change the fuel filter unless it is leaking etc" thats sounds crazy to me. my 99 a4 1.8t will not see 60k without the timing belt service and i plan on changing the fuel filter now, just turned 40k. and then in 15-20k intervals. as for your oil if your running synthetic i would say you could be safe to change it at 8k intervals but change the filter every 4k since you are doing mostly highway driving imo. do you run any oil additives? i use "lucas" they make a great oil ,fuel,trans, and pwr steering additives. im from n.e. pa all our local parts shops carry it but i dont know if it is a available nationwide. their oil treatment rocks all the mechanics i know swear by it. check it out.
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Dunno about that Lucas stuff:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/images/lucas/lucas.htm
Take it as you wish.
Personally I do not see a need for using any oil additives, and even the owner's manual is strictly against it.
I do agree with you about the TB interval though. For 2001, they've actually extended the interval to 120K miles. Strangely, for the European models the interval is much shorter - 90K km I believe. In any case, I'll be doing mine when I hit 60K miles.
Cheers,
Pete
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X-no-archive: yes

I just had all the drive belts changed at just over 60K miles (which is the recommend interval here in the UK). I was just going to have the timing belt change but they recommended having all drive belts changed simply because it didnt cost any more except for the parts.
Not sure that I'd feel comfortable leaving it to 120K miles though.
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On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 10:22:54 -0800, "dave smith"

Fuels are so good today, I just don't see the need for a fuel filter replacement at normal intervals. As long as you purchase quality gasoline, you can easily go 90,000 miles on a fuel filter.

As the other poster said, check out bobistheoilguy.com. They have a great section on oil additives, don't believe Lucas (at least the oil additive) did too well.
- -- Curtis Newton snipped-for-privacy@remove-this.akaMail.com http://surf.to/cnewton ICQ: 4899169 Anti-Spam filter in place-- <delete remove-this. to respond to email>
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I would agree. It's the short distances that are likely to make the oil deteriorate quicker.
I used to change the oil & filter on my 90q every 3 months/3000 miles - but it only cost me about 15 to do so and I got to see the state of the of the underneath of the car on a regular basis. I used semi-synthetic Synta (probably Mobil oil) which I bought by the barrel from my Audi dealer.
I changed the fuel filter every year.
I sold it with nearly 140,000 miles on the clock. No engine work had been required other than a change of tappets (lifters) at 105,000 miles. Plus original clutch and exhaust when sold.
My TT coupe was on AVS and I did not change the oil at all in 10,000 miles. My S3 was on fixed servicing (AVS not an option) and I changed the oil every 5000 miles. I had the old oil analysed and it was "still in grade". -- Doug Ramage
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No, I wouldn't bother. Use a good synthetic and top quality oil filter and change both every 5000 - 7500 miles. If you were using non-synthetic oil then a more frequent change would be indicated since you have a turbo. Also important is to check the oil level frequently - these cars seem to have adopted the old and notorious British "external" lubrication system.

I'd follow the manual and again use synthetic. If you are in a cold climate, use the 0W-30 but if you live in a moderate climate, 5W-30 is available more readily I think.

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X-no-archive: yes

Can you explain what you mean by that?
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Oil leaks from various and sundry seals and gaskets. Hence the oil from inside the engine winding up on the engine's external surfaces. My experience with various British cars from the 60's and 70's was remarkably similar except my A4 provides not only a visual alert on the garage floor but a useful olfactory one as well when the leaked oil winds up on a component of the exhaust system. I've just ordered the parts to hopefully deal with the leak but based on what I hear over at audiworld, fixing the leak(s) permanently seems to be a bit of a crap shoot. My 1986 4000 quattro was far less prone to leaks - I don't recall any in 165,000 miles - as was my RX7 prior to that. And of course there's the issue of timing belt replacement which has dropped from 90,000 miles in the owner's manual to 60,000 miles if you believe the horror stories over at Audiworld. And then there's the control arm issue. I also just fixed my sunroof switch which had given the sunroof a mind of its own as to when to open and close. None of these technologies is rocket science and all have around for enough years for Audi to work out the bugs.
I just got my latest Consumer Reports - the annual auto issue. I've never expected to see Audi anywhere near the top for reliability but good grief even those laughing stock Korean makes - Hyundai and Kia - fare better than Audi in new vehicle and three year old vehicle reliability. I suppose I can take solace in the sad state of Mercedes reliability over the past few years. My 98 A4 will be my last Audi for awhile. I've always liked quattro but that feature is no longer unique to Audi. My RX7 was a great car - perhaps it's time to check out the new RX8, a real sports car that can probably hold someone in the back seat as comfortably as my A4 sedan.
Ian
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wrote:

I too have a 2001 1.8T ... daily commute is about 70 miles. I wasn't comfortable with 10k mile oil changes ... I considered using synthetic for the 10k changes, but decided instead to use regular oil and change oil/filter every 5k miles (like you're doing). I have it done at the dealer for $50.
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I have a 2000 A4 2.8Q which is on Audi Variable Servicing regime. This can go upto 19,000 miles on the same oil. The oil is apparently "special" though. What do you all think about AVS.
Richard

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The basic premise is simple - that engine design has moved on in the last five decades (approx 50% of the time that "cars" have been around..)
No more running-in ("break-in" for the USAians, I believe). Superior tolerances. Superior lubrication (in al temperature regimes). Superior fuels.
OTOH, marketing and tradition still live on ;o)
In general, us in the UK and - I'd suspect - mainland Europe do less miles but put greater stress (per mile) on vehicles, engines and - often - drivers than in North America. More corners, less "design everything around cars".
As far as I can see, the oil is in a better/similar condition after 10,000 hard miles in a chipped TT than the (admittedly rather mundane) oil in my old 34bhp Mini, after a princely 6,000 miles (the recommended service interval).
Technology has moved on.
Aside from "resonance" effects (e.g. a particular wear pattern from doing 3/4s of the life of a drivetrain at a given speed, within a few rpm), a /typical/ mostly-highway mileage will tend to reduce wear compared to a more typical European urban/accelerate-decelerate/urban pattern and, hence, the frequency of a required oilchange.
19k5 seems to be typical for a TT 1.8T although (given the digital throttle that seems to be attached to *my* car ;o), can be a lot less. Either way, there's a two-year interval if the mileage isn't met.
--

Hairy One Kenobi

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