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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm having an issue with my turbo performance, before my first oil change, and now after my 2nd (yes 2nd) 5K oil change. Read on for the details... This seems kind of screwy to me, and I'm wondering if something is wrong with my turbo.

I have a 2003 Passat 1.8T (automatic) purchased June 2003 (live in Chicago). I drive mostly on weekends, and not that much, so I'm just now at 5K (April 2004).

I thought I noticed this past winter at about 4K miles it seemed like the turbo would not kick in like when it was newer. At the time it seemed to be weather-related (in warmer winter weather it seemed better than in colder weather) but I wasn't sure. In all cases, this behavior is after I've let the engine warm up.

Now in hindsight after my first oil change(s) and warmer weather I know something was/is different, but now it's confusing...

Before I noticed this, if I accelerated when the engine was at, say, 1800-2200rpms, the car would stay in the same gear, kick in the turbo, and accelerate nicely. I'd hear the "whoosh" from the turbo. Very fun to drive this way, which is why I like the 1.8T.

After I noticed this, if I accelerated when at 1800-2200rpm, the car would instead downshift a gear, and I could hear no "whoosh". Eventually power would kick in around 2400-3800rpm, but it was definitely not the same "pin you to your seat" I got when I knew the turbo was kicking in. Not as fun to drive either, obviously. Once in a while I'd *hear* the turbo at the higher rpms (but not really *feel* it), but hearing it depended on other ambient noise I think.

So now I get my oil changed at 5K. I go to the dealer, when I get there, they say they've never heard of 5w-40 (as the manual says) and they use 5w-30. I argue with them about what's supposed to be used according to the owner's manual, and reluctantly have them use the 5w-30 (not sure if it's dino or synth).

After this, I notice the car runs like new. Turbo kicks in like it did before at 1800-2200rpms, hear the whoosh, etc. It's fun to drive again.

I come home bothered by the 5w-30 oil change. After reading many posts about oils (in this forum and others), I'm convinced I should be using 5w-40 instead. So I call around, find a dealer which says they have it, and go there. They change it with Mobil 1 5w-40 synth.

Now the car drives just like before I had the oil changed the first time; I.E. with 5w-40 it now downshifts at lower 1800-2200rpm instead of the turbo kicking in.

Wierd... Should I go back to 5w-30 oil and enjoy driving again, or do I have some issue with the turbo? Why would it kick in normally with 5w-30 and not with 5w-40?

This is in 70-85 degree weather, by the way, and I figured I'd need the 40 weight for the summer. Yet the turbo worked fine on the way to change oil from 5w-30 to 5w-40. After changing to 5w-40 I noticed the difference immediately.

Any suggestions on what I should do would be appreciated.
 

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Although there seems to be a correlation, I doubt that there really is. The more likely possibility is the tiptronic. You might want to consider looking at the Tip Chip from GIAC. Details here: http://www.awe-tuning.com

I'm sure some Tip owners will relate their experiences.

Best of luck.

Kenny
 

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I have used both 5W-30 and 5W-40. When the dealer says there no such thing as 5-40 they are obviously lying but 5-30 is perfectly fine, your manual should have a supplement that indicates that. Where did you get Mobil 1 5-40, that is truck oil and does not carry the VW certification.

Are you able to make the turbo spool up while accelerating from a stop? That's a good indication of if the turbo is functioning correctly. Otherwise, while driving, depending on your speed, the turbo may or may not spool and maybe it is spooling and you don't hear it.
 

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I use Mobil 1 0w-40. My turbo likes it. Took 2 oil changes before I noticed a difference. Also Mobil 1 in 5w 40 is a truck oil. Its specs don't meet Volkswagen requirments. I am sure it won't cause any problems but I wouldn't want to mess with your warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the responses everyone.

I finally found that supplement to the manual that says 5w-30 is OK. I'm almost wishing now I had left well enough alone after the 1st change with the 5w-30, and wishing I had never started reading about this on the web. I don't know if that 1st oil met VWs specs either though. Ignorance would have been bliss I guess.

Sounds like I should be getting that Mobil1 5w-40 out of there. I got it at the 2nd dealer (2nd oil change) though, but only when I insisted they put in 5w-40 and not 5w-30.

I didn't realize there was that much difference in oils of the same weight; and I can't for the life of me figure out why NO dealer in the Chicago area (out of 5 I called) carries anything but "bulk oil" which may or may not meet VW's specifications. And for the dealer that even carried the Mobil1 5w-40; that makes no sense at all since they service only VWs.

I'll probably buy my own oil and take try to find a dealer that will change it for me.

A question regarding that, however. Does it say on the bottle/can what specs it meets? I've been trying to find the specs on the web and some specs are easier to find than others.

Thanks again.
 
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