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vw jetta oil consumption

ali64ali64 Posts: 1
edited March 9 in Volkswagen
I have a 2000 jetta that is consuming oil. I am worried that this is not normal. I'm putting oil in about every 1000-1500 miles. The dealer gave me part of a technical service bulletin specifically regarding oil consumption...I'm worried he left out the pages saying my consumption is abnormal. They say this is normal and that the car has no leak. I see other people are having this problem too. This is bizarre. Should I sell? Should I buy an extended warranty? Or is this car defective and a lemon? My heat sensor has already been replaced and so has my glove compartment door. Is there a mechanic out there who knows whether or not this could be "normal" as vw is contending?
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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    Yes, it could be "in the normal range"....in other words, on the low end of normal. And the engine could run for years and years consuming that amount of oil.

    If your consumption drops under the "low normal range", or is even HEADED THAT WAY, month by month, then you HAVE a problem. But it is perfectly conceivable and quite okay to be using a quart every 1500 miles. Many very VERY expensive cars use oil, and some are even designed to do so. In fact, using some oil is a good thing. VW will absolutely not replace or repair an engine using a quart every 1,500 miles, and neither would I if I were them.

    What I'd suggest is a few hopefully helpful things:

    One, get the "lemon" idea out of your head. There is no such thing as a "lemon", that is, a TOTALLY bad car, no matter who or what government agency tells you. Sure, there are cars with defects, and some with REALLY BAD defects, but no car is made ALL BAD. This is impossible. So forget "lemon" and substitute "potential problem?" with a question mark. That is what you are dealing with.

    Second, now that we have you out of negative thinking (which is only using your own mind to ruin your relationship to all those you can help you), I'd like to suggest that you CAREFULLY and accurately monitor your oil consumption by mileage, being sure to check the oil level in the same parking place and with the engine sufficiently cool (i.e., let all the oil drain back into the pan). Write down these readings (say once every 500 miles) and keep this record.

    Third, be sure that your "concern" over the oil consumption is written down on a dealer repair order, with date and mileage, SO THAT in case you have a claim later on, you have a record of this complaint. This may help you considerably in an after-warranty adjustment of some sort.

    Last of all, when anyone says "lemon" to you, put your finger in your ears; otherwise, you will completely spoil your experience with this very nice car. A Warranty and a good technician and a good dealer can handle any car problem. Scream "lemon" at them and they won't do anything for you but make you suffer, sue and jump up and down. Give the car and the dealer a chance before you jump to too many conclusions, okay?

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  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Unfortunately, to CYA all manufacturers place the phrase "oil consumption up to a quart in 1000 miles is considered normal" I would never consider that normal! However, like the host says you need to accurately monitor your consumption before discussing with a dealer.

    As to lemons, well my lemon law states that bringing the vehicle back to the dealer "three" times for the same problem (and after the third time it remain not repaired) qualifies it as a "lemon" and subject to refund or replacement. As to irritating the dealer by discussing it. Well, upon my second visit to my Buick dealer (1,500 miles on the car and still leaking oil) I placed a copy of my state's lemon law on the dash.

    the leak does not exist anymore!!!!!!
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    The only thing I would add is to be especially careful with documentation of maintenance activities, especially oil changes. If you think the extended warranty will add to your peace of mind, go for it. Folks will tell you that this warranty is a waste of money. But hey, statistically insurance is designed to make money for the seller. Some win, some lose. I bought it. Now I know what my costs will be over the next 7 years.

    Later,
    Al
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    All that bringing a car back to the dealer three times for the same problem PROVES is that the dealer can't fix the problem...doesn't mean the car was a lemon. In fact, these "buybacks" are often fixed up (finally!) and resold without incident. If I were a dealer and I totally ignored you three times, then that makes any car you drive a lemon according to the lemon laws.

    But really, many expensive cars use oil (Porsches, Ferraris) and of course race cars are built "loose" and use some oil. It isn't "abnormal" to burn oil as long as it is not excessive. And a quart every 1,500 miles, or even 1,000 miles (if it stabilizes there) isn't abnormal. It's on the low side of normal, true, but doesn't mean there's a "defect".

    What it IS...is inconvenient, because then you have to check it.

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  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    well, I agree except if your dealer cannot fix the problem in three tries something smells like a lemon there and I would dump the car if I had the chance rather then deal with idiots!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    A classic case of the wisdom of shopping for service as well as price, I think, when you buy a new car.

    My dad was a roving field engineer for a prestige automaker, and he never failed to fix a client's car, sooner or later. Of course, his company went out of business.....hmmmm........

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  • kholden1kholden1 Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Jetta and I've had the same problem. The car consumees oil! I have read that this occurs normally in volkswagons, but it still seems pretty odd to me. Even the guys at the dealership (complete idiots that they are) tell me that it's normal. I'd say on average I have to replace oil every 1000 miles.

    Do you drive your car hard? Faster than 70mph everyday? I've heard these can contribute to oil loss.
  • achong9achong9 Posts: 5
    ali64 you hit the nail on the head. I have a 2000 VW Jetta GLS... I purchased it Sept 99 and I have had several problems one of which is oil comsumption. Back in Nov 2000, my MFI light went on. Since the light is an yellow check engine light I checked the oil. My oil was out of the accepted range. After two sensor replacements and two quarts of oil things were fine... or so I thought. I check the oil every 2,000 miles same issue. I took my car in for a 5,000 service at 33,000 miles. I took it in for two reasons: 1) low oil and 2) vibration in the steering wheel. The service advisor stated I should do an oil consumption test every 1,000 miles. He never made mention of a technical service bulletin. The vibration... Well, there was another technical service bulletin regarding for the Goodyear Eagle LS 195/65/R15. These tires are defective and will be replaced by Volkswagon under 25,000 miles. If you're like me, you're on your own for brand new tires. All in all, Volkswagon doesn't care about their customers. I don't believe oil shrinkage of this magnitude is normal... Can anyone help? Amazing!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    I think you need to be checking your oil a lot more often than every 2,000 miles. That isn't safe for any car. You should check it every fill up. It's a good habit and only takes a minute.

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  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    It is true that almost all of these cars you are talking about use oil. I used to work at Jiffy Lube when I was in college in a relatively up-scale neighborhood. We serviced many Audis and VWs and they all seemed to use more oil on average than any other make that I have seen and I have worked on literally thousands of cars. Jiffy Lube offers free top offs of fluids if you service you car there and it seems that no one really takes advantage unless the have A) An older car or B) a Volkswagen or Audi product (doesn't matter how many miles or how old it is) The dealers you are talking to are right, it is normal for a VW. On the other hand, there are many cars that hardly burn any oil ever. My old Acura Integra had 130,000 miles on it and it STILL didn't use any oil. In my mind, it is not normal to burn a quart every 1000-1500 miles, but if you have a VW or Audi that is the way it is. I really liked the new Jettas and GTIs, but that is one reason why I chose not to get one. How much oil will it use when it has 100,000 miles when it already burns oil brand new?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I owned a 120 hp 4 cyl engine and with 70,000 miles on it drove cross country and back at a steady 70 mph,went 8500 miles and added no oil.The car was a 1994 model.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    There really is no "normal". Manufacturing and design characteristics account for variations. Both Ferrari and Porsche, for instance, use engines that will use some oil. I just don't want people thinking that if their car uses some oil they should panic. That engine could burn a quart every 1,500 miles for the next 200,000 miles. At around 1,000 miles or lower, though, I'd start to be concerned, it's true.

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  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Yeah, Ferraris and Porsches use oil. BUT, they have very high performance engines and the crankcase in those cars holds A LOT of oil, so 1 quart really doesn't matter. VWs on the other hand, really don't have anything special about their engines nowadays, and to me, really have no reason to be burning the amount of oil that they do, especially since they don't hold 9-12 quarts of oil like 911s do. So, IMO, 1 quart out of 4 quarts is too much oil to burn when MOST new cars don't burn any. While the VW dealer may tell you that it is normal for VWs, it is not normal for most other cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    Well, if it's in the manufacturer's specs, then it's normal. Of course, they don't show you the specs when you buy the car, do they?

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  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    I had an 88 Jetta and it didn't use much oil.Not enough to add any. Know other people who own 91 and 96 Jettas. Not aware of their cars using oil.

    The engine hasn't changed that much in 12 to 13 model years. Actually VW engines are very durable.

    Anyone who says that VW doesn't care about their customers is right. I understand what Mr, S is saying. But if my car was using that much oil I wouldn't be happy!
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Thanks, you just proved my point even more. It is true that the engines haven't changed much. So what gives for the cars that DO use oil? There are many, even BRAND NEW ones. So maybe it is NOT normal. If some use oil and some don't, how can VW say that it is normal. If I ever buy a VW, can I tell my salesman that I want one of the VWs that doesn't use oil? ie) one of the "abnormal" VWs since the "normal" VWs use about a 1 quart every 1500 miles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    Actually, NOT using any oil is not necessarily a beneficial thing. Maybe you want some oil up there lubricating the valve stems from the upper cylinder area. Maybe you don't want engine clearances so tight and fine that they cannot withstand an overheat situation.

    Engine design is compromise, and VW engineers may have factored some oil burning into their compromise...perhaps they get more HP/per liter or faster warm up...maybe they were fishing for some advantage.

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  • achong9achong9 Posts: 5
    This is a great dialogue. Mr. Shifright, you appear to be very knowledgeable. Two cars prior, I drove an 89 Ford Taurus. I checked the oil when leaving for work and I checked the transmission fluid when I got to work. After the Taurus, I had a 97 Toyota Camry. I checked the oil regularly. The level was consistent and I changed the oil every 3,000 miles. It drove like a charm. With VW, they recommend an oil change every 5,000 and I check the oil regularly and rarely is the oil level in the acceptable range. Prior, my family has owned American and Japanese cars. So I am accustom to checking the oil level and not being alarmed. If for VW, losing 1 quart of oil within 1k to 2k miles is acceptable this shouldn't be a huge shock at the dealership. It seems VW knows this is the way there cars are but they don't want to formally admit it because it appears abnormal. Mr. Shiftright, I will take you advice and reccommend to all VW owners, keep a great supply of 10W30 in your car and consistently check the oil. I shake my head because I feel if I don't my engine may seize on me one day and that's not a good feeling and unfornately, it's a feeling I've never had before.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    USING OIL IS NOT BENIFICIAL when you are talking about the amounts that VWs use. Sure, a quarter to a half quart of oil is normal, but like I said, almost all new cars use almost no oil at all. Obviously it is impossible not to use ANY oil, but you have to question a brand new car that uses over a quart of oil every 3000 miles when it only holds about 4 quarts (2.0L vw) Excessive burnt oil by-products are not good for oxygen sensors, exhaust ports, and catalytic converters on gasoline cars. Everybody knows that. My question is: Why does it seem that VW/Audi are unique in burning lots of oil for regular everyday cars. ie) not ferrari, not porsche. Why do they burn so much oil, when almost all other cars don't?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    But we don't know if they all burn lots of oil, or more than Japanese cars, there's no statistical basis for that, and we don't know that burning a quart of oil every 1,500 miles is harmful to an engine. I would certainly consider any studied argument or proof that it is harmful, or peculiar to VW, but in such amounts I can't imagine why it would be. You are talking about a pint of oil for every 30 gallons of fuel, or a gas oil mix of 240 to 1. Compare this to 2 cycle engines, with a mix of 30 or 40 to 1.

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  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I worked in that field for 5 years through part of high school and all the way through college. I know everybody thinks Jiffy Lube is a joke, but I did see a lot there. Before every single oil change, you check the oil to see if it is low. Now, I am not saying that other cars, mainly older cars, don't use oil. But I couldn't believe how many VWs and Audis used oil. They were definately and obviously out of proportion with other cars. You could almost guarantee at least a quart low especially on Audi 2.8L V6s. Audis and VWs also came in for the free fluid checks (top off their oil) way more often than say, Honda or Toyota. I have seen thousands of cars, and checked thousands of cars' oil. Variances in driving style, regular maintenance, etc. can determine if a car uses oil or not, but VWs and Audis seemed to use the most, even if the owner was meticulous about maintaining their car. Not only that, but VW was giving away free oil changes for 20,000 miles or so, and people weren't even taking advantage of that. Why, you ask? Because it could take as long as a month to get your car into the dealer for an oil change. As a result, we did many brand new VW oil changes. I feel like I have a unique perspective on this since I have seen it first hand many, many times. I have also talked to many VW and Audi owners who were concerned about oil consumption and I don't know what to tell them, so I tell them it is normal for their car. I feel bad too because some of those Audis are expensive. By the way, why did you bring up 2 cycle engines and what do they have to do with a 4 cycle? They are designed to use oil and lots of it. They don't have intake and exhaust valves (which would get very gummed up with constant oil burning), or catalytic converters, and I haven't seen any with oxygen sensors either. You think VWs might be two strokes? ;)
  • Folks,

    In all the discussion , twice it has been mentioned that VW doesnt care for its customer. I say thats completely false. I own a VW bug. I bought it when it had 25k miles on it. First week its instrument cluster broke. Since 25k no warrenties. Called VW, they fixed it free of charge. After two months Oxygen sensor and Catalyic converter broke. Called VW, complained whinned, they offer to pay for every thing but I had extended warrenty, it was covered. Next month indicator rely broke, Called VW, concerned , worried, aggrevaited, again they offered a full repair at the dealer free of cost but again covered under extended warranty.

    Though I got many problems in my BUG but every time I called VW they offered me full service free of charge. They do stand by their products and they do care if you talk to them properly.

    Naveed
  • achong9achong9 Posts: 5
    Thanks again for the info. I think everyone has valid points. This is the main reason why I am working with this dealership wil the oil consumption test (every 1,000 miles or a quart of oil lost) I must got to the dealership). As for VW service, in my particular case, it has not been good. First, when I has a stress fracture in my windshield the dealership I purchased the car from said I caused the crack. I complained to the CARES center they never followed up. I went to another dealership, they fixed it under warranty after I requested their field specialist inspect it. This took approximately a week to complete. When my MFI indicator went out, the CARES center said it wasn't serious take it to the dealership. The dealership I purchased it from said I would have to wait 1 1/2 weeks to get into the shop. I went to another dealership they looked at it and supposedly reapaired it (I looked at the test results). After 40 miles, the light came on again. Back to the dealership. The Service Advisor has an attitude. They had to keep my car for two days. I vented and it took a Mazda Service Advisor to obtain a loaner car for me (a 00' Subaru Outback). My ABS became disengaged in a snow storm of which I slipped and slided down the street. These are just a few issues. In all instances except one, the CARES center followed up with my CARES ticket. In two cases, the Service Manager at Heritage and the Service Advisor at Russel no longer work there due to customer complaints. I realize this may be specific to me or specific to the Baltimore Area. I don't want to malign certain dealerships. But when dealing with the National VW CARES center, they don't seem to care, they barely if ever follow up. Naveed, I'm glad your experience has been good. Just for instance, my tires were recalled in a technical bulletin in which Goodyear nor VW notified me of though I serviced the car at 5K, 10K, 15K, 20K, 25K, 30K and 35K. Since I have more than 25K miles, I'm responsible for replacing my tires and the stem, mounting and balancing for them. The CARES center said it's no longer covered though the problem existed before 25K. So for me, VW hasn't been that great.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    The analogy to two-stroke was meant to suggest that the amount of oil burned in 1,500 could not possibly foul up a catalytic converter or 02 sensor in a 240 to 1 dilution. In fact, many of the additives you see marketed today are in fact an upper cylinder lubricant (oil) meant to achieve this level of oil mix into the gasoline. Whether they are really needed in modern engines is debatable, but I'd personally add as much upper cylinder lube in my car as you'd be willing to send me for free. I see no harm in this at all.

    Thanks for the feedback from Jiffy Lube....it is interesting, but not really solid data, as you have no control group or valid sampling. This is what we call anecdotal evidence, which might be good enough to support a good statistical model but can't substitute for one.

    All this is NOT to say that perhaps there really is a problem with VW engines. I just think the issue is not at all proved by the oil cosumption levels of a quart every 1,500 miles, nor is it proved by a few unfortunate folks who post greater oil consumption here on these boards. There are a LOT of VWs out there, and we don't know what they are all doing.

    I'd say that if something like 5-10% of all new VWs burned a quart of oil every 1,000 miles or less, I'd call that a maufacturing defect. Less percentage than that, or at 1,500 miles a quart on up, and it's more like the variation you'd expect in any manufacturing process. That's my opinion, anyway.

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  • lspanglerlspangler Posts: 102
    I have a friend who works at GM powertrain. In testing engines, they are usually more concerned about the the engines that use no oil at all. He says that 1 quart every 3,000 miles is considered normal and that is the reason why manufacturers are shying away from extended drain intervals. People never check thier oil
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    there are many VWs out there. I just found it interesting that I came across this message board and it seems to mesh with my own experience. I know that every single VW owner doesn't post here, but it is interesting that there is a topic specifically for "VW oil consumption" Also, there must be quite a bit of variance in the manufacturing process when some use 1.5 quarts of oil, and some don't use any. I find that really strange. If I bought a brand new Honda and it did this, I would be very worried, but it is supposed to be normal on VWs? Are there any other boards similiar to this about a different make? NaveedRahim, does your car burn oil? What a coincidence that your Catalytic converter and O2 sensor failed prematurely
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    I wouldn't jump to such conclusions based on what you read here. All that does is upset owners who then will worry needlessly when their engines use some oil, which is normal.

    What you need to worry about is if, by careful monitoring, you notice your oil consumption going down and down, and finally approaching the manufacturer's lower limits. If it's just consistently burning a quart every 1,500 miles, you don't have a problem, period, either with the engine or the catalytic or anything else. It's the *rate* of burning mile after mile that you need to pay attention to. It should not keep dropping.

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  • mdecampsmdecamps Posts: 115
    My wife and I bought a brand new 2001 VW Jetta TDI last year. It now has 9,000 miles and doesn't use a DROP of oil! The oil now has 4,000 since the last change and is still at the same point on the dipstick as it was the day it was changed! I'm not saying that some don't burn oil, but I just wanted the voice of a happy VW owner to be heard.

    Mark
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    The diesels don't use oil and some gas engines do.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,009
    The oil consumption issue is actually a lot more complex than just noting these complaints.

    For instance, think of all the variables:

    Is the car driven regularly at high speed or high rpm? (will burn more oil)
    Is the car driven only for short trips? (oil dilution and evaporation)
    Is the engine overfilled or underfilled?
    Is the level being checked properly or read properly each time?
    Are there possible leaks?

    Any of the above will affect the oil consumption--"Your results may vary".

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