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VW Rabbit Basic Maintenance Questions

jmousseau44jmousseau44 Member Posts: 3
Hey everyone, I'm really confused on the maintenance schedule of my rabbit. My intial dealer told me once at 5K then every 10K. According to a dealer near my work it should be every 5K. It's in the shop right now so I don't have the manual near me but either way I don't understand the lack of consistency regarding this matter. Any advice or stories regarding this would be really appreciated.

Thanks,
Jason
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Comments

  • gogirlgogogirlgo Member Posts: 47
    Not ready for that first oil change, but have a question related to oil changes. The Rabbit uses synthetic oil and manual says every 5000 for an oil change. My salemans recommended 3000. Most of my driving is freeway with some city. With the cost of an oil change at $65. or more, I hesitate to want to change that often, but do want to take good care of my Rabbit. Changing oil myself is not an option for me. I could bring in my own oil as this may save $$. Any thought out there.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,370
    Salesman vs. owner's manual?

    Go with the manual..

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  • gogirlgogogirlgo Member Posts: 47
    Thanks that makes sense. Why would the saleman say 3000? More money for the dealership sure, but how would that profit him? Curious!

    By the way this is a great forum. Nicer people than some other places on the net. Thanks :D
  • jpmccormacjpmccormac Member Posts: 98
    Go with the manual. Salesman probably isn't up to date on newer recommendations for oil change intervals. 3,000 might be fine for the FIRST change, just to be safe on the break in period (not sure what that is on the Rabbit). Here is a link to VW's only approved oils for all newer VW's. ALL are synthetics, by the way.
    http://www.vw.com/vwcom/content/objects/pdf/service_maint/oilchart.pdf
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I believe the manual actually says 5000 mi for the first two and then every 10,000 mi (or 12 mo.). 3000 mi is unecessarily frequent for conventional oil and completely ridiculous for synthetic.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Well, after our first 5000 miles we noticed no oil loss at the first oil change. By the time of the second oil change at 10,000 mi it appeared to have perhaps gone down just a little...at most, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of a quart.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Member Posts: 712
    Hey jeffyscott, how has your reliability been with your VW? I really hope they have improved, I think VW is a great alternative to the Japansese automakers. My 99.5 Jetta was definitely a love hate relationship.. I loved driving the car, loved the performance (VR6), and liked the interior and exterior. Just hated the issues and customer service.
  • morrdbamorrdba Member Posts: 8
    Out of 10 brand new VWs, I've had 1 engine replacement, 1 major head job, a new transmission, transmission cable problem, minor A/C problem and one CV joint problem on a TDI. I'd like to see the list of problems on 10 brand new Japanese cars from 96 to '06......just start asking the owners.....a lot of A/C problems and many automatic transmission problems!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Not much to go on after only 14 months and 12,000 miles. We had one thing that did not seem like much when we brought it in, but turned out to be something that could be considered a pretty significant issue. The transmission was shifting roughly and they replaced something called the "valve body".

    They kept the car for about a week, but gave me a mazda 6 to drive...which I requested because it is a car I am considering. So it worked out good for me having a week long test drive :) . My wife didn't like it since the Jetta is hers and she had to go back to the Windstar.

    I have had nothing but good experiences with 3 different VW dealerships I have dealt with...I guess maybe we are just lucky with the dealers we have in this area, based on what I have read.
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    Volkswagen Rabbit oil changes
  • shacklefordshackleford Member Posts: 3
    I put on very few miles per year. I'm talking less than 5000. Am I supposed to still do my first oil change after only a few months? What if I only have 800 miles on it after 3 months (or whatever the recommended time interval is).

    The obvious answer may be yes. But the reason I ask is I've heard that you have to be careful during the break in period as far as oil and getting the seals and such broken in.

    Also, do these cars come from the factory with synthetic oil? Isn't synthetic suppose to be a bad choice until the car is well broken in? OTOH, I think I may have heard that the newest seal technology has now made this a non-issue (??).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Service interval is 12 mo. or the listed mileage (at least that is what I read in our Jetta manual for the 2.5 engine). So apparently you should do the first oil change after 12 months, if you do not hit 5000 miles by then.
  • shacklefordshackleford Member Posts: 3
    Thanks. 12 months... that's longer than I thought it would be. I haven't received the car yet, that's why I didn't know.
  • ppvalentineppvalentine Member Posts: 9
    My fan doesn't seem to kick on when my engine warms up I'm hoping it is a fuse but i don't have a fuse box diagram can some one help me. could it be the thermostate.
    thanks
    P.
  • brabbit1brabbit1 Member Posts: 2
    What's the deal with the oil cartridge/filter thing. Where is it and how do i change it out as im planning to chnage my oil myself at 5000 miles. I've worked on many cars however am brand new to VW. Thanks everyone.
  • brabbit1brabbit1 Member Posts: 2
    btw I've got an 06 Rabbit 2.5 tiptronic in case that helps
  • fosterokcfosterokc Member Posts: 6
    Oil change procedure is discussed in the VWwortex.com web site forum with photographs. See http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2570457
  • fosterokcfosterokc Member Posts: 6
    Oil change procedure is discussed in the VWwortex.com web site forum with photographs. See http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2570457
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    ok guys here goes. i would post this in the jetta/gti forums but i'm short on time.

    We all know that newer v dubs need to be serivced every 10k. There is an inital 5k service, then its 10k, and then vw states that you go 10k more before your 20k service, then 30k, 40k etc.

    Now here is the problem

    My rabbits computer/maintanece minder is stating that i have a little bit more to go before i need service....like if i'm suppossed to get it done at 15k miles. The dealer told me every 10. The vw manual tells me every ten. Even the driver link on vw's own website has a feature that allows you to punch in your mileage and it tells you when you next service should be.

    I have 13879 on my bunny. Guess what it told me? 20k should be the next one.

    I called the vw dealer i've been going to (the one that said that my 10k would only be 'slightly' more expensive than my 5k and not double like it was, and has also quoted me a bit higher than other vw dealers around here. Well at least the very few that are anyway.) and the guy told me that i can follow vw's advice, or just come in at 15k to get the oil changed. He then said that when my oil pump goes out because of my sludged engine at 80k, vw wont be paying for it (duh) and i will have regretted my decision to do it every 10k.

    He then proceeded to say,'heck, i would bring it in every 3k if i were you, i've seen it all before, trust me!'

    I called the other vw dealer. The service guy told me i shouldn't need to have anything done until 20k and that maybe my computer was not reset properly. He said i could even reset it myself.

    Thoughts? I know i know listen to vw over the dealer...but then why would my rabbit be telling me otherwise? I did notice that on the 10k service, the dealer is suppossed to to an 'adjustment' to the service computer, not a normal reset. Perhaps they failed to do this to make me come back more often?

    Much appreciation to anyone who responds!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,370
    I'd stick with 5K, 10K, 20K.. .if that is what the manual calls for..

    But, I'm not a VW owner.. so, there ya go.. ;)

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  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    i figured much the same...could the dealer that seems to tell me something different every time be the reason my cars computer is asking me to service it now? Maybe they did it on purpose.
  • ppvalentineppvalentine Member Posts: 9
    my 92 cabbie starts choking and stalls after 20 minutes of driving. Ten minutes later it runs fine again. Does anybody know what it might be.
    THANKS
    [email protected]
  • ppvalentineppvalentine Member Posts: 9
    my 92 cabbie starts choking and stalls after 20 minutes of driving. Ten minutes later it runs fine again. Does anybody know what it might be.
    THANKS
    ppvalentineyahoo.com
  • fosterokcfosterokc Member Posts: 6
    I suspect this does not help -- other than confirm the confusion. A long term test of a VW Golf reported in the 12/05 issue of Topgear (a UK Magazine) noted with concern that the car's computer should decide the time for service. The reviewer's colleagues at Topgear and his VW garage agreed -- wait for the computer message. He noted that "it seems like waiting for his dog to tell him when to go to the vet." He was told to look for the message for the 10K service betweeen 11K and 18K.
  • jbaustianjbaustian Member Posts: 78
    To reset the service reminder:

    1. With key off, press and hold the trip reset button.

    2. Turn key to on but do not start.

    3. While still holding trip reset, press the clock minute button. This resets the reminder.
  • jbaustianjbaustian Member Posts: 78
    RE: " A long term test of a VW Golf reported in the 12/05 issue of Topgear (a UK Magazine) noted with concern that the car's computer should decide the time for service. The reviewer's colleagues at Topgear and his VW garage agreed -- wait for the computer message."

    Many VW models sold in Europe have a variable-service regimen, instead of the fixed-service system we have in North America. A sensor monitors the oil and alerts the owner when it is time to change. No VWs sold in North America have this monitor, so all come with an owners' manual that recommends changing at 5k miles, then 10k, then 20k, 30k, 40k, etc.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    The manual has service at 5K, 10K, 20K, 30K,...

    The manual also says maximum 12 mo. interval for service.

    Brake fluid is every 24 months regardless of mileage.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    jeffy scot is right, and if you go into the dealer asking for a 'xk service' you'll be charged alot.

    just ask for an oil change and tire rotation, you'll fare better.
  • shirotorishirotori Member Posts: 51
    Oh, I was transporting some rather long 2x4s that just fit into the car with the front seat down and I didn't think about putting any cloth on the dashboard just above the glove-box where the 2x4s rested against. The effect was that I have a scratched area a little larger than a quarter. Does anyone know of any product that could buff this scratched area out? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    i would just get some armor all wipes.
  • kevin2008kevin2008 Member Posts: 1
    I can't seem to locate our manual for our 2007 Rabbit. What is the recommended oil weight and does it change through seasonal temperatures?
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    too true. your bunny will tell you its time to change the oil at 15k,when in reality you don't have to until 20k.
  • jbaustianjbaustian Member Posts: 78
    I don't have a Rabbit with the 2.5-liter engine, but Volkswagen is shifting away from several different specifications toward the 504.00 spec for gasoline engines and the 507.00 spec for diesels. I don't think there is a big problem if you use something like Mobil 1 0w40, which meets VW 502.00 and 505.00. That engine has a relatively large oil capacity, 6.5 liters/quarts I believe, so the engine will be very gentle on the oil. After the initial oil changes at 5k and 10k miles, with the proper motor oil you should have no worries about going 10k miles between oil changes.

    There are other motor oils that meet 502.00/505.00 but Mobil 1 0w40 is the easiest to find at the usual autoparts stores and at Walmart, etc for around $6/quart. (Some Walmarts sell a 5-quart jug for around $22, a real bargain.)

    There are other motor oils that meet the newest VW 504.00/507.00 spec. I think these are all 5w30 viscosities, and some of the brands that are available in the US are Elf, Motul, and Castrol. Some VW dealership charge $6-7/liter, while others charge nearly $10/liter.

    Considering that it may take more than 6 liters per oil change, it will be worth your while to find an economical source and then stock up. If you search on the Internet for a vendor, some of them offer free shipping if you buy more than a certain amount.

    Final note: DO NOT just pick any cheap motor oil, because you might void the factory warranty. Furthermore, using the wrong oil could lower your vehicle's resale or trade-in value. I know of someone at tdiclub who is thinking about buying a one-ownere 2002 Golf TDI -- the price is extremely attractive but most of the advice he's receiving is to pass unless he's prepared to replace the engine. With a good maintenance history, this 2002 Golf would be worth at least $4k-$5k more -- but the owner decided to cheap out on the motor oil he used. Now nobody wants to take a chance on it.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    Final note: DO NOT just pick any cheap motor oil, because you might void the factory warranty. Furthermore, using the wrong oil could lower your vehicle's resale or trade-in value.

    As a 25+ year VW owner, I concur. I would also advise to make sure you use the VW factory (MANN) oil filter. AVOID those cheap aftermarket filters like the FRAMs and Purolators of the world.

    The factory filters are expensive, but they are for a reason - these filters are not only robust, but they also aid in regulating your engine's oil pressure...
  • imgdocimgdoc Member Posts: 30
    Hello to everyone. I am due for my first oil change at 5000 miles. I was wondering can I change the oil at a place such as Jiffy Lube if it will be cheaper then going to the dealer? Will they know what oil and filter to put? Any advice? Thanks.
  • fosterokcfosterokc Member Posts: 6
    I would not consider Jiffy Lube unless you are confident they are experienced with the current Jetta/Rabbit. This is NOT the simple oil change of the past. If you use someone other than the dealer -- be sure to use a VW approved oil, e.g., Castrol 5-30 synthetic (often hard to find) and an approved oil filter, e.g. Mann.

    If you use the dealer be prepared to spend up to $100.
  • imgdocimgdoc Member Posts: 30
    Thanks for your response! You are right. I should not take a chance. I called the dealer and asked for the price - he said $50-60. I was surprised as I expected higher price. But I will go there and see.
  • fosterokcfosterokc Member Posts: 6
    Sorry I misled you on the price. I checked my records and found that I was charged $53 after using a $10 promotional coupon for the 5K service. The $100 charge related to my 10K service -- which includes an oil/filter change, tire rotation, and a quick check of fluid levels.
  • jbaustianjbaustian Member Posts: 78
    Jiffy Lube (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell) markets mostly Quaker State products. Quaker State is also a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.

    Here is a list of Quaker State motor oils that meet the VW502.00 spec. Each Jiffy Lube should have at least one of these:

    Quaker State Q European Engine Ultra SAE 5W-30
    Quaker State Quaker State European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30
    Quaker State Quaker State Full Synthetic European Formula SAE 5W-40
    Quaker State Quaker State Full synthetic European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30

    If you go to Jiffy Lube, ask to see the oil container before agreeing to have them change your oil. In other words, before you pay them a cent, make sure they will be using the right oil. If they don't have the right oil in stock, have them give you a call when they get it.
  • imgdocimgdoc Member Posts: 30
    Thanks! Very useful info.
    I just went to the dealer and had the oil changed for $60 incl tax. I think JL will charge about the same for synthetic. And how about the filter? What are the odds they will have VW approved filter?
  • jbaustianjbaustian Member Posts: 78
    I would not personally go to Jiffy Lube for an oil change. For that matter, I would not go to a dealership. I've done 20+ oil changes on my Golf, using a Pela 6000 topside extractor, so I never have to unscrew the drain plug. It's quick and easy.

    The oil specs for my TDI are different than for the Mk5 Rabbit. But I think you can find a proper motor oil (5 quarts/liters) and a suitable oil filter for around $40. If you do the job yourself, then you know absolutely that the proper oil was used.

    My point regarding Jiffy Lube is this: unlike other quick-lube outlets, JL should stock the right oil for your Rabbit and for my Golf TDI. That is not a guarantee that they actually stock it, or that they would actually use it. Nor is it a guarantee that they will do the job right -- their workers make little more than the minimum wage, and are pressured to work quickly so they can start on the next car.
  • sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    Had a problem with them years ago using the wrong filter and have never returned...nor will I! I'd personally go to the dealer or find a good indie mechanic who will do the job right and have access to the proper equipment needed. And with my incident with JL, they wouldn't admit their mistake without giving me a hard time eventhough I had the paperwork to prove that only they had worked on the car since the previous oil swap.
    Just a personal opinion though, but I'd stay away from JL!

    The Sandman :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    If you do the job yourself, then you know absolutely that the proper oil was used.

    Perhaps, but VW does not know that you did it right or on time. If you have the dealer do it you know you should have no worries with regard to warranty coverage, should there be a problem.
  • jbaustianjbaustian Member Posts: 78
    Just keep good records. Make photocopies of your oil and filter receipts. Document dates and mileage. If you are really nervous, buy the oil and filter from your VW dealership.

    If you have an engine problem and the dealer wants to challenge your maintenance record, draw an oil sample and have it tested. A used-oil test costs about $20-25. If the used-oil test shows the oil is good, then it didn't contribute to engine damage.

    I can understand why owners get nervous, they hear horror stories. But here's another horror story: a 20k-mile service performed at a dealership is $300-400. You can do it yourself for less than $100. And you can do everything is around 60-90 minutes. How much is your time worth? More than $200/hour?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    a 20k-mile service performed at a dealership is $300-400.

    Excluding the brake fluid change that is time related, ours (on Jetta) was about $200 and would have been less if I'd have said "do X, Y, Z" (which is my normal habit), instead of taking the 20K package. IIRC, 20K requires only an oil change, tire rotation, and cabin filter, plus some "inspect and/or check" items.

    The only 20K things that might affect vehicle warranty would be oil change and perhaps the inspections.
  • colloquorcolloquor Member Posts: 482
    I concur with jbaustian . . . just keep excellent records. I would be willing to bet that an owner with mechanical aptitude will do the job better than the dealership. How many times have all us returned from a dealership with oil everywhere in the engine compartment, loose nuts, et. al. Frankly, I do all of the work on my car, unless it's absolutely something the dealer must do. I stay clear of them, as they've created more problems for me. Remember, dealerships generally don't used certified techs for oil changes . . . most often, it's a part-time high school co-op employee, or some other non-tech employee.
  • bbrown1bbrown1 Member Posts: 3
    I agree as well. I have always done my own oil changes (I'm looking into a top side extractor) The dealer is a rip-off using fear to charge whatever they want, Jiffy Lube is IMO one of the top 3 most horrible companies in the U.S., an indie mech. is fine but to find a good one with time is a hassle.. I have only been commended on how well my car was maintained when it has been in for warranty work. Keep good records and motor on!
  • rabbitdriverrabbitdriver Member Posts: 8
    I've had my oil changed at a dealer, more than one dealer, and both give me an invoice for 7 liters of oil. Is that right? Once, I checked the oil right after and it was over the full mark, so I got the dealer to take some out (even after they said that is was no problemo, contradicting the owner's manual, which states that too much oil can damage the engine).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    It takes about 6 quarts/liters, not 7.
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
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