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VW Rabbit Basic Maintenance Questions

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.



  • gogirlgogogirlgo 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 Posts: 70,442
    Salesman vs. owner's manual?

    Go with the manual..


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  • gogirlgogogirlgo 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 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.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott 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 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 most, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of a quart.
  • dc_driverdc_driver 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 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 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 Posts: 1,636
    Volkswagen Rabbit oil changes
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • btw I've got an 06 Rabbit 2.5 tiptronic in case that helps
  • Oil change procedure is discussed in the web site forum with photographs. See
  • Oil change procedure is discussed in the web site forum with photographs. See
  • eldainoeldaino 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 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 Posts: 70,442
    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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 1,618
    i would just get some armor all wipes.
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