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VW Rabbit Basic Maintenance Questions



  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 Posts: 3,855
    It takes about 6 quarts/liters, not 7.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
  • Hello all,

    I have a 98 VW Rabbit GLS. The temperature gauge reads normal temp. However the red temp idicator light has bee flashing. I just had the oil changed and the coolant was topped off and the flashing red light stopped. I had been driving for about an hour and the light started flashing once again. On top of that the check engine light is on. Any insight on this issue. Just wondering if the temp light could be affecting the check engine light. Maybe I need a new thermostat?


  • I'm getting very close to 30,000 miles with my 2007 Rabbit and am wondering if there any of you out there who have already surpassed that milestone. Did you have the 30,000 maintenance done? How much did it cost you? Did you not have some of the things not done in order to cut costs? Thanks in advance.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think the 30K maintenance is the same as 10K. The big one for VW is at 40K mi.
  • Just wondering where most of you buy replacement parts for your Rabbits. I need to replace the windshield wipers and am wondering if it I can get the correct wipers at a general auto parts store, or if it's better to buy online or from the dealership. Thanks
  • beans7beans7 Posts: 5
    did you go in for your 30,000 mile service yet? i'm wondering what you ended up doing. i actually had the same question as you. i am due this week for the service and i am thinking of just getting the oil change, tire rotation and air filter. i have not replaced the air filter yet, that was recommended at 20,000.
  • Hi All,
    I have a 2008 (2.5 5 Cyl) Rabbit, wondering how often I should replace the coolant?

    I'm getting close to 7k miles.

    Thank you

    P.S. Please let me know if I should go back to the manual :) I just don't have it in front of my right now. Thanks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    You're worried about the coolant after 7,000 miles? Geez, you don't even need to change the oil yet and have tens of thousands of miles and years to go before you need worry about the coolant.

    Best regards,
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think he has even longer than that, I believe it is a lifetime coolant and there is no coolant change in the maintenance schedule.
  • Thanks for your helo guys! it's just that I couldn't find any information.

    Appreciate it!
  • I got an oil change at the required 10,000 miles mark and now the light is going off at 15k to get the oil changed (it even counted the number of miles I had left to the 15k mark). Does anyone know if the VW Rabbit's are programmed to go off every 5k instead of the 10k? Or does it simply mean that for some reason I've got dirty oil, etc. that needs to be changed?

    I'm new to VW and find it strange that the manual is contradicting what my car is telling me :confuse:
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