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My 2003 Jetta is consuming oil

kristinewkristinew Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
I have a 2003 Jetta with about 8800 miles on it. It keeps consuming oil. It strange because it seems to use oil at the drop of a hat. The dealer told me to have the oil changed every 5,000 miles. (I was a bit skeptical about this) It seems that my car cannot go that long because it uses a quart of oil in between. It seems to do it at about 3,500 to 4,000 miles. I have brought it back to the dealer who told me that it is normal for the car to use oil in between. Anyone have advice.
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Comments

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    with oil consumption in the 1.8, 1.8T and 2.0 engines.

    They are the only manufacturer selling in the US that says "using a quart every 1,000 miles is normal", when most others say a quart in 2,000-3,000 is normal.

    Push the issue.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    A quart every 3,500 miles is fine, as long as it stays constant. Nothing wrong with using a bit of oil. You won't get anywhere with VW with oil consumption at that level, but you can record the matter on a repair order at the dealer, with the mileage and date, and then, if the oil consumption starts increasing over time, you have a record of prior concern while still in warranty.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I didn't even notice the 3,500-4,000 mile on quart consumption rate - actually very good for a VW.
  • mreggballmreggball Posts: 1
    My 2000 Jetta 2.0 burned oil - about a quart every 4000 miles. It also had water in the engine - the sign of water is a yellowish substance that forms under the oil fill cap. VW signed off saying it was normal. Now I have a 2003 1.8T - no signs of oil consumption yet.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    is condensation - no real biggie - and a quart every 4k is good!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    So far my 2002 Jetta w/2.0 is running fine. The engine has not used one ounce of oil. Other than my dash and rear door mid speaker rattle (which is killing me BTW), my engine is great. I really want to bring my car to the dealer to have them work on the rattles, but I know they will create more in the process. Also, since this is a lease, I will give it back eventually anyways.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    WD-40, silicone spray, a pair of visegrips and matchbook covers work very well on dash rattles, but you need to buy a friend lunch so he listen for the rattles and locate them. Make sure he keeps his seat belt on when he does this.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    so he can move it around where he thinks the rattle or squeak is and when he's on top of it, he'll know by listening with the hose up to his ear.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I have been killing myself the past couple of weeks trying to locate the dash rattle. The first one I had(which I think has disappeared) was located on the center dash vent. When I heard the rattle I would put my finger on the vent and it stopped. Now, the rattle is coming in from the inside the dash. I think when the VW Tech's took my dash out they probably broke a clip or something or possibly just loosened something. I have pushed on every area of my dash and the noise still persists. It also seems like it is getting worse. if this continues, I will be forced to bring it in again. We'll see though.

    Mr Shiftright: What exactly do you do with the WD40/silocone spray. I will try anything at this point.
  • moose29moose29 Posts: 2
    What weight oil are you using in your jetta and is it the 2.0 engine? Also isnt it funny how VW. says this engine can go 10,000 miles between oil changes?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 849
    BMW uses indicador when the oil is supposed to be changed. 12000 miles is not unheard of.

    Krzys
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    My Wife's Tahoe has an oil indicator.....
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 849
    When does indicator show oil change is required on Tahoe ? How many miles ?

    Krzys
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    So far the oil change indicator usually comes on between 5-6K miles. It depends on the kind of driving you do and when the oil light will come on. The owners manual states that if the light does not come on within a period of 1 yr, the oil needs to be changed regradless.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I use silicone spray as a temporary silencer up under the dash, on any two abraiding surfaces. If the noise goes away temporarily, I know where to start tightening. Better for squeaks than rattles of course.

    I had one annoying rattle in my Porsche that turned out to be a 10 mm socket someone dropped in the front cowl during bodywork. I found it only after taking out the windshield.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I hope you mailed that one back to the president of porsche of america with a little love letter ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I still have that socket, too. It is a symbol of what an idiot I am to never, ever give up.
  • kristinewkristinew Posts: 6
    I have no idea what type of oil is being put into my car because the dealership changes the oil. But VW is doing an oil consumption test, whereby I have to bring the car back every 1,000 miles. Well, I brought the car back today (1,000 miles since my last oil change) and the dealer had to add about 6 or 8 ounces of oil. There is also a weird sludge under the oil cap. Have no clue what that is from. Yet everyone is telling me that there is no problem with my car. VW says it is normal for their standards. 5,000 without an oil change, hah, I have already had three oil changes.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    So it seems like you are burning a quart every 4,000 miles then? (8 ounces every 1,000 miles).

    There's nothing wrong with that. That's fine.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    by those of a bunch of old shadetree mechanics, it stinks. "why, back in my salad days, kids, I drove fifty years without adding a drop of oil! they just don't make 'em like my stutz bearcat."

    the sludge is probably the usual glop that builds on short drives, excess moisture from the cylinders, etc. blah blah. it won't kill the car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh, c'mon, old cars burned oil like whale eating krill.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    did I say leak? I meant flowed oil, like a river.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    IF you think about how hot modern engines run, a little bit of oil up there in the upper cylinder isn't a bad idea. I mean, people spend millions of dollars on aftermarket gasoline additives that are essentially doing the same thing, and yet they are upset when their car does it for free.
  • kristinewkristinew Posts: 6
    Do you work for VW????
  • giniminginimin Posts: 4
    I'd be very concerned about that oil leak. I bought my 2001 Jetta brand new and noticed how it consumed oil right away. I told the dealer, he said it was "normal". I've owned the car 2 years now and it still burns thru oil. In fact, the oil light comes on before 3,000 miles is up. My dealer has finally started the every 1,000 mile test. I'm very disappointed that they wait until after warranty to acknowledge that this isn't "normal" anymore.
  • fhohiofhohio Posts: 10
    Our 2001 Jetta with about 18,000 miles burns about a quart of oil every 1,000 miles. We are doing the oil consumption test right now. Seems to be a relatively common problem with the 2 liter engine. Someone mentioned the warranty, our engine warranty is not just two years, but 10 years or 100,000 miles. Engines are covered longer than the bumper to bumper warranty, I believe.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    NO, I don't work for VW, I just know about engines and I'd like to tell you more about them!

    Yeah, a quart every 1,000 miles is troublesome if that's actually what is being consumed.

    But 1/2 pint every 4,000 miles is fine, even beneficial.

    There have indeed been oil consumption problems with some Jetta engines. This is a known issue and relates to rather excessive and obvious consumption.

    The point of the topic is, I think, HOW MUCH oil consumption are we talking about. To use a crude analogy, drinking a quart of water a day is good for you, drinking 4 gallons a day is no good. So it's like that. The issue is not oil-burning per se, but the quantity, and a small quantity of oil burning definitely does not mean a problem is developing for later on in the engine's life. This is a misconception and is cause only for needless worry and complaint.

    If your engine is burning 8 ounces every 4,000 miles, relax your car in fine.
  • kristinewkristinew Posts: 6
    VW was doing an oil consumption test. Since my last oil change it burned 1/2 pint in 1,000 miles. It goes through more than that in 4,000 miles. That's why I'm concerned. A mechanic told me that if it was buring oil you could tell by looking at the spark plugs. Is that true? I'm just afraid that the problem is going to get worse. To me a brand new car shouldn't do this.
  • kristinewkristinew Posts: 6
    Also if I had known that this was a problem with VW's I wouldn't have bought the car.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    The key is the increase in consumption not the Moung of the usage itself. So, a quart in 4000 is fine and it will probably stay that was until well over 100,000 miles. Now if it begins to increase so that it is a quart in 2000 that is cause for concern. Level consumption is fine, increasing is bad
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Exactly, well put!

    Honestly, if I owned a Jetta, I'd keep an eye on it, sure, but I wouldn't regard it as a problem at this point, and it may very well amount to ZILCH during the car's lifetime.

    If $150,000 exotic cars and $1 million dollar race cars can burn oil, I don't see why your Jetta can't burn a little with no great consequence.

    Remember, too, the harder you drive the more you will burn. I can make any car burn some oil if I push it hard enough.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    I have owned 4 VW/Audi cars in my lifetime. They each consumed approximately one quart of oil every 3,000 miles. I assume that this is your first (and possibly your last) VW because your prior cars probably required no oil to be added between oil changes. My last VW I sold with 100,000 miles on it. It used the same 1 qt/3000 miles from the beginning until I sold it.

    I currently own a 2001 Beetle with a 2.0 engine, 5 speed manual, with about 45k miles. I found that the oil consumption dropped substantially when I started using 5W-40 oil. My Beetle uses 1 qt per 5000 miles. I have been using Texaco Havoline Synthetic 5W-40 oil.

    I am very curious to know what oil is being used in your car during the oil consumption test. If they are using 5W-40 oil, then the car may have lower oil consumption than when you had 5W-30 (I am assuming) oil.

    Anyways, if you look at adding oil to the car as a problem, you will be unhappy with the car and you will suffer. Consider the checking of the motor oil as part of the VW ownership experience; a bonding time if you will. If you do not want to look at it like that, then you have two choices I can see; you either continue feeling angry and hurt about having this car, or you sell it and get something else. I suspect that your car will not be consuming enough oil for VW to rebuild the engine with new piston rings, but I definitely could be wrong.

    If you complain enough and high enough in the corporation, you may get the engine rebuilt.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if you expect a high-performance engine to have enhanced lubrication in the cylinders and heads, and that presence of extra oil causes some to be burned, ain't a problem. if you expect a beater 1953 ford you are barely able to beat the handicap carts in (because you always wanted to drive a mosquito-fogger in summer) to burn oil, you will be rewarded. if you expect to have no loss of any consumable fluid in a vehicle design that allows for some, hoo boy, are you in for a surprise.

    if VW says you are within limits after the consumption test, and the consumption of oil doesn't change, congratulations, you have a VW. concentrate on enjoying the ride, secure in the knowledge that all those white-coated engineers in the ads meant it to be, and nobody is dying because of it.
  • My wife's 99 Jetta had an annoying rattle in the dash that seemed to come from the light switch area. This occured most at around-town driving speed. My wife mentioned that her friend, who recently purchased a Cabrio, has exactly the same rattle.

    I started poking around and, quite by accident found the source. The rattle comes from the door of the fuse panel. You have to open the passenger door to get at this but the fix it super easy. Take some electrical tape and just tape the edges of the door to the car body. Rattle fixed!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I had the same rattle and same fix.
  • giniminginimin Posts: 4
    We are 400mi into our oil consumption test and the car has burned 1/2 a quart of oil!! We'll see if Volkswagon holds up to thier warranty. I chose to get the oil changed elswhere for fear VW might put some heavier oil in to hinder the test. When we brought it in they wanted to change the oil just as I thought and told me that we should have brought it there for some technical mumbo jumbo..... they said that Jiffy Lube makes mistakes..fooey, I smell a rat.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Hmmm...that's not good, 1/2 quart in 400 miles.

    Well, I can see them wanting to change the oil; in fact, they could legitimately demand this, I think. If they are paying the bill, they get to set the parameters of the test. Seems fair enough.

    Heavier oil won't hinder the test. Once the oil heats up, it's pretty much all the same.

    If merely adding heavy oil could subsantially alter oil consumption, this would be a ready solution for people--but it isn't, so.....
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "they said that Jiffy Lube makes mistakes"

    LMAO!!! And they don't make mistakes?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    but I was in error.

    dealers are like that, too, when they aren't lying ;)
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    people bad mouth their competitors like that. I worked at Jiffy Lube for 4 years and I'm confident that I am more knowledgeable than most of the dipsticks they have doing oil changes at dealerships. If anyone ever came to my store when I was working they could be sure that their car was going to be serviced right. It's not like that at all Jiffy Lubes, but it's not like that at all dealerships either. I never bad mouthed competitors because it only comes back to bite you in the [non-permissible content removed].

    It doesn't matter where you take your car, there is always going to be the chance that something will get screwed up. Dealerships want you to believe that some super knowledgeable and experienced master technician is going to be doing the oil change on your car. Wrong! It's going to be the same kind of punk kid that works at Jiffy Lube, etc. and he/she is capable of making the same mistakes that someone who doesn't work at a dealership would make.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    they just want to have complete control over the process since the end result may be that they have to pony up for a new engine...it is probably a safe bet that in this one instance, it would not be that "punk kid" making that oil change! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "they just want to have complete control over the process since the end result may be that they have to pony up for a new engine"

    That's understandable. I do my own oil changes though and where you take your car to do an oil change shouldn't affect the outcome of the oil consumption test. If it were me, I wouldn't let the dealer change my oil. I'd still do it myself and they'd still do the oil consumption test, because they still have to regardless of where the car is serviced. You don't need to get your oil changes at the dealer in order to have warranty work performed, even if the warranty work concerns oil consumption.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I wouldn't allow it if I were the dealer. If I'm billing the factory for an engine, I want to be damn sure they are going to pay me for it, and I'm going to want complete control of the testing process.

    I'm totally on the dealer's side on this one (rare but it happens!)

    Think of going to your own boss and asking him to pay off a big bill based on the customer's test results unsupervised by your company.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "I wouldn't allow it if I were the dealer."

    You have to allow it. There is nothing that says the dealer needs to change the oil in order for a warranty to be honored. If it were me, I'd still want to change my own oil. I don't see how there's anything wrong with that. The dealer can still do a consumption test. It's pretty simple, you bring your car in and it's full on the dipstick and a technician verifies this, then you start the consumption test. If the dealer is really paranoid, they can put some tamper seal on the drain plug.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    not an oil change. the dealer is probably not using the Alemite oil nozzle, he's measuring oil into a ml or ounce calibrated container and drooling a little in at a time until the dipstick is repeatedly at the "add no more" line, then marking down the amount of added oil and the mileage run. this is part of the protocol for the VW-mandated change/no-change engine test, and it's not valid unless run that way.

    in fact, if I was writing the rules, I'd have a monitoring logger clipped to the OBD-II port to insure the engine is not being spiked to the redline, where extra oil usage would occur.

    you can have your sainted grandmother changing oil and filter, as long as it's done with the right grade and API spec and an equivalent filter is used, and those records are documentable in case of a warranty claim. fair-trade laws say that.

    nobody says VW has to have seventeen folks they don't know at various times they don't know look at something and decide that VW has to pony up five grand in profits to put a warranty engine in a car. that's their guarantee, their rules, and I don't have much of a problem with that.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    In that case then, fine. If it's not an oil change and is considered a "diagnostic" test, then I wouldn't care......but if I had to pay for an oil change in order to get the "diagnostic" test, I'd tell them to take a hike.

    I was under the impression that the dealer was going to charge that person for an oil change and that was the only way that VW would perform their oil consumption test.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    then the manufacturer has every right to control the testing circumstances.

    You could always ask Jiffy Lube to replace your engine, but I'm thinking they'd say "no".

    I'm a former service manager and my guys have conducted several oil consumption tests. The way we've done is to change the oil, photographing or drawing the oil dipstick after adding oil. Additionally, a small paint mark is placed on the oil pan drain plug and oil filter, to ensure tampering would be noticed.

    When the oil is checked, we know EXACTLY where WE started, not where the vehicle owner or the invoice from Jiffy Lube SAYS we started. If I'm going to ask the manufacturer to pony up for an engine ($2-8K), I should have my ducks in a row.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Right, but the dealer shouldn't charge the customer for an oil change that is a result of an oil consumption test. Since I do my own oil changes, if a dealer insisted on changing the oil themselves in order to perform an oil consumption test, I would not pay for the oil change.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I don't think the dealer has to change the oil, just top it up and then do whatever secret things are necessary to thwart tampering.

    Of course, the owner could just suck some oil out the dipstick, but...presuming good faith on all sides, the dealer should be allowed to verify that the test starts accurately.
This discussion has been closed.