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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I know that there are loads of threads which cover this topic but I can't (be rsed) reply to them all so I thought I'd just post my experience here instead, hopefully this will be of some use/interest to some of you who (like me) have been utterly bamboozled by the question of which engine oil to use in your van. Just to clarify, I have a 2003 2.5TDI 88BHP 65KW AJT engine. It has been modded as per Project Power (new injectors, intercooler, remap etc.) but I haven’t taken that into consideration when deciding which oil to use; just gone on original spec.

I went down to TPS to get some oil to do a change. Despite the fact that the sticker in my engine bay reads ‘use 506 spec oil’, and I’m on a Time and Distance service plan (9300miles or one year, whichever comes first) they sold me Quantum Longlife III 5W30. Cost aside, on the container it had ‘504 507 VW spec’ and ‘suitable for vehicles on Longlife service schedule’. The TPS bloke said that my required oil had been superceded by the Quantum Longife II. I thought I’d check on the forum and a day later I’m not bloody happy and a bit confused. Nobody seems to know!

I had a look elsewhere online and came up with some VW 0800 helpline numbers. They’re all out of commission. Brilliant. So I carried on looking and came across the TPS official technical helpline. The blurb tries to put you off calling it, telling you that you may only call it if you have an up-to-date trained technical team with you and a load of technical data and information to hand. Balls to that - I gave ‘em a ring. Ha, you get through to an automated message telling you to log onto to www.blahblah.com to get the technical data you need to proceed. I waited for other options and almost immediately got through to a real person. Somebody actually competent and technically trained!

I told him I needed to know which engine oil to use and all he asked me for was my chassis number (the WV...... one stamped on the chassis in front of the windscreen and also printed in the manual). I gave him that and also told him that there was a sticker in my engine bay specifying 506.00 spec oil. He said that by default the van came out of the factory set to a Longlife service schedule. This particular schedule requires a 506.00 spec oil. This was correct at the time of manufacture (2003). Since then, the 506 spec has been superceded by the 506.01 spec.

So, 506.01 spec oil is the CORRECT oil to use for MY van (2003, 2.5TDI AJT 88BHP/65kw) IF it were following a Longlife service schedule. Within that 506.01 specification there may be one or two variants in terms of the viscosity (ie. 0W30 or 5W30) but both ARE compatible. Which one you choose is dependent on age, usage and your own preference.

BUT, my van is not set to Longlife. Apparently, there is the option to re-set to a Time and Distance (1 year/9300 miles) schedule and this is indeed what my van has been following since it had it’s delivery inspection way back in 2003. So, I asked him what the correct oil is for my van. He said that at the time of manufacture it was 505.00 spec oil. This was the correct oil for my van on a Time and Distance service schedule. Since the time of manufacture however, the 505.00 spec oil has been superceded by the 505.01 spec oil. SO, currently, I could be using either a 505.00 OR a 505.01 spec oil. He also said that “both 5W40 and 10W40 oils are compatible” but the choice of which to use is mine. I asked him where he got his info from and he said that it was the current data sheet from VW commercial, provided to TPS by VW directly. Can’t argue with that!

To summarise: My van – 2003 2.5TDI, 88BHP/65kw, AJT on a Time and Distance Service Schedule should be using VW approved 505.00 or 505.01 spec engine oils (either 5W40 or 10W40). I checked and Quantum Synta 10W-40 semi-synthetic 500.00 and 505.00 (5l for £17.94 inc VAT) and Quantum Platinum 5W-40 fully synthetic 502.00, 505.00 and 505.01 (5l for £25.14 inc VAT) both fit the bill. I’m going back to TPS to swap it now! Dunno for which though...hmmm...the cheapest?

I don’t know anything about any different model Transporters. Here’s the number to call if you want to speak to the same guys that I did, just make sure you have your chassis number to hand: 0844 826 7871.

All the best!T:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think that's correct, I believe that PD engines are in post 2006 Transporters and so not in the T4.

As for which service plan you're on, just have a look in your service schedule (part of your manual). Check the intervals between services - if they're a year apart or 9300 miles (could actually be 10,000 miles as apparently there's a 700 mile accepted window) then it's Time and Distance and not Longlife. I think Longlife oil changes happen every 2 years...?

Incidentally, I just went back to TPS and exchanged my oil. They were fine about it and despite the bloke saying "But that's the best oil you can get" he gave me the refund (£24!!) and the Quantum Synta 10W40 501.00 500.00. Good price too - £8.99 for 5l at the moment!

If I remember rightly, the Synta was what the guys in T4SRUS in Swansea told me to use. I told them it wasn't, sorry dudes, you were right and I was wrong!
 

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I endorse what you have written mintyjim, good summary. Like you, I went through all this stuff when I bought my '01 with ACV
engine. My van also has the 506.00 sticker & yet mine is also not set to longlife.
When I enquired at my dealer they said that they use the latest spec oil but it isn't necessarily needed on the older models.
I use a semi synthetic Valvoline 15W-40[hotter climate here] that meets VW501.01/505.00. that costs a fraction of the later spec.
As you have found, the the 507 spec. oil is very expensive but is very important on the PD engines in the T5 models. I also own a Mk5 TDI Golf with the PD engine but without the particle filter & have just bought 20 litres [not available in 5 litres] of Castrol & I paid $382 trade.Ouch.
 

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i too have put in the semi 10w 40 from tps (vw 505) as it was on bulk offer a while ago but before i was getting oil from ecp triple r ,my service intervals seem to com eup on dasj every 7000 or so ....
now issue i have is were now well over the 300k mark and when cold all is good but since changing to tps oil when warm and revving over 2000 rpm sound like a sewing machine!!! it rattles like mad-
leave it to cool and its sweet again.
dipping the dipstick when warm and the oils like water ....
im now considering another oil change for something a little thicker as 50mph on motorway takes forever /
i will be seeking advise from trusted mechanic next week hopefully
and fingers crossed its not actually mechanical fault.
 

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ive just bought 5w30 for mine but its on a yearly service plan , does it really matter using longh life and changing it after a year only?
 

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For 505 01 spec it's a 6000 miles or 6 month interval. The longlife 507 00 spec goes for 9000 miles or 1 year intervals.

505 01 spec is normally 10w 40 part synth and 507 00 spec is normally 5w 30.


I based the 507 00 interval on half the pd tdi interval for that oil (2 years 18k miles) which is what they done for the 505 01 on a t4. Normally 1 year 12k miles on a pd 1,9 tdi but 6 months 6000 miles on a t4 tdi.

Hope that makes sense I:.
 

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ive just bought 5w30 for mine but its on a yearly service plan , does it really matter using longh life and changing it after a year only?
your doing the right thing only leaving it in for a year, the 2 year 50000 km interval for that oil is a load of bollix used to sell cars and vans.
 
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