Oil and Oil Filters
VW Passat

Does a 2002 VW Passat 1.8 really need synthetic oil that costs 65 dollars to change?


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2015-07-16 18:58:46
2015-07-16 18:58:46

What is your definition of "need"??? ...need synthetic to run? no. ...need sythetic for the engine to last 60k miles? no. If you want it to run well (cooler, better mpg, slightly better performance) and last a long time (200k miles +) synthetic is the best choice. easy math - $65 * 2 per year = $130 or reg oil $20 * 5 = $100 its not much more since you can run sythetic for 15-30k mile intervals. Tim I run full synthetic front to back in three of my cars. After several years of using it and telling people about it I now sell it. No, you don't have to buy some from me and I don't care if you use synthetic or not, but your car will last longer and run better.

Yes, absolutely. VW recently updated their oil requirements due to recent 'oil sludge' issues that have been claiming many 1.8t motors at their expense. They have extended the powertrain warranty to cover these as well as both increased the size of the oil filter (in an attempt to increase oil volume) and switched to synthetic.

Use synthetic oil and switch to a 4k change interval using only the factor MANN filters... no K&N, Purolator, Fram or other junk.

Synthetic oil breaks down at a much higher temperature than mineral/petroleum based oils. Say your synthetic (dependant upon brand) breaks down at 450 degrees F, your favorite mineral/petroleum based oil probably degrade around 275 degrees F. Synthetics tend to adhere and stay on surfaces whereas regular oil runs off and pools at the low point. Synthetics also protects better against corrosion and protects an over-heated engine. Every turbine engine in the worlds runs using synthetic oil because it can withstand the high operating temperatures. Now consider how hot an exhaust driven turbo-charger gets. The bearings are the weak point. Considering the replacement cost of turbo-chargers, I'll keep using synthetic in my car! My personal choice is AMSOIL. After the car is off warranty, you only need to change the oil every 25,000 miles using AMSOIL.

Yes, you should use the synthetic oil, for the sludge issues mentioned above. But you don't have to pay dealer prices for the synthetic oil. You can bring your own synthetic oil to the dealership; then they should charge you only for the labor. I bring 5 quarts because the Passat seems to require a bit more than 4.

Two other caveats: 1) Get a full synthetic, not a blend. 2) Check with your owner's manual or dealer to determine the correct viscosity rating of oil, for example 5W-30.


As a personal owner of a 2002 VW Passat 1.8T, you should definitely use synthetic oil. The way the 1.8T engine was designed allows it to reach higher temperatures than regular oil can handle. This does lead to engine sludge. I had to spend $1500 to replace the oil pump at 45K miles. Had I waited even longer, the whole engine would have been destroyed. The synthetic oil is more expensive, but on the Passat, is a must.


Yes. The 1.8T Passat (and Audi A4 models with the same longitudinally-mounted engine) only hold 3.7 quarts of oil. This is less than the transverse mounted 1.8T in the Jetta, Golf/GTI and Audi TT models. The high temperatures caused by the turbocharger will break down a motor oil prematurely, and the smaller quantity in the Passat and A4 has resulted in sludge buildup and catastrophic internal failures. Use only approved oils, do not exceed the manufacturer's change interval, and make it a point to give the turbo a minute or two of cool-down time after spirited or highway driving, which will prevent the oil from "cooking" in the turbocharger's bearings.


I too own a 1.8t Passat, I have used nothing but synthetic since the day I bought the car, it now has 190k and still runs fine... not too many ge to last that long because of the sludge problem, the other must is to run the big bertha oil filter.

A few years back I WAS once the proud owner of a 2000 Passat wagon. The previous owner never used synthetic oil and my Passat was a sludge pot. The engine was ruined. I sold it at a loss a few months later to only recieve a letter from VW offering to replace my engine. My brother-in-law has been a VW tech for over 20 years and owns a Passat wagon with the same engine. while he says you can cheap out on the gas you use, regular instead of premium, you CAN NOT use cheap oil.


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This vehicle requires the use of 100% synthetic oil. Change it at the interval recommended in your owners manual.

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Yes, that's really too long unless you're using a fully synthetic oil.

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if it's shell synthetic than yes, it is. Rumors about nothing is really synthetic unless it's ester oil unofficially came from Amsoil marketing strategy

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