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Bought a new-to-me 2009 Passat wagon last Friday. I got it from a non-VW dealership. It was in great shape and only had 14150 miles on it so I took the plunge.

After perusing this forum, both before and after the purchase, I became concerned that the last oil change might not have been with synthetic. The service sticker in the car hinted that the oil was changed when the dealership took the vehicle in on trade, at 14115 miles, back in late July. I called their service department and asked what oil they used and got "we use 10w-30 in everything". I asked if they used synthetic..."no".

I stopped driving it as soon as I found out. I went out last night to try and find oil and filter. I couldn't find a filter anywhere, but did get the Mobil 1 0w-40 at Walmart. Got the filter from VW this morning and changed the oil after work. What a piece of cake oil change! I was worried after reading some of the DIY stuff, but I didn't even have to take off the engine cover as the hose that needed to be moved out of the way in the DIY has been re-routed around the filter instead of over it. Way easier to change the oil on this car than any other I've owned. All filters should point up in my opinion.

My question (at long last): will driving 385 miles on conventional oil mess anything up long term?

Thanks for this great forum!
Eric
 

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You're ok I don't think any damage was done. Some people driving fsi engines with 1-2 quarts less oil that it should be (oil consumption). Having little different oil no big deal....
 

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You Should be Fine

As for damage, I seriously doubt it. I'm of the suspicion that VWs (and other rides) mostly don't even need synthetic oil for proper wear protection in the very short term....but they certainly DO need synthetic to achieve such protection over the extended oil change intervals that manufacturers desire. Conventional base oils can thin out from shearing caused by severe metal-against-metal mechanical pressures, and the 4% - 15% (by content) of viscosity improvers in those oils are especially vulnerable to shearing and thinning. The thinned-out oil provides less protection and is ultimately more susceptible to sludge formation. Synthetic oils are much more shear-resistant and therefore less susceptible to these problems. It takes time for a conventional oil to shear out and cause excess wear or sludge in "synthetic oil" engine. How long that takes is certainly open to debate. Conventional oils can certainly be compromised in high-stress engines over just a few thousand miles -- there's plenty of evidence of that. But I seriously doubt that substantial shearing happened over just a few hundred miles in your engine. Therefore, no damage. At least that's my opinion, submitted after extensive consultations with my very wise dog. ;-)
 

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just outta curiosity, how much was the mobil1 0-40
i saw it at my local walmart for 22 bucks for 5 qts for full synthetic last week!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
$22 would have been nice...

I paid $6.47/qt plus an Alabama $.05/qt "oil fee". It is still $2/qt cheaper than at the auto parts stores. They didn't have any of the 5 quart jugs of the 0W-40.

Eric
 

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Dang. Im gonna pick alot of the oil up while its cheep. 22$ for a 5+ qt jug is super cheep for mobil 1 10-40 full synthetic high mileage oil....
 

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Another member just announced he reached 400,000 miles on his Passat, 164,000 miles of which were run using conventional Castrol oil! Only later did he switch to synthetic. But don't push your luck. It's best to get the conventional oil out of there.
 
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