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VW Jetta Basic Maintenance Questions (Oil changes, fluids, etc.)

darrellglendarrellglen Posts: 1
edited June 2015 in Volkswagen
Every time I change my oil the seal on oil filter leaks. A bubble forms in the seal and sprays oil everywhere. I have to loosen the filter and the screw it back to stop the leak. Sometimes I have to do this 2-3 times before the leak stops. What am I doing wrong?

See also: When should you change your oil?


  • I don't know - but if you have a link or some pics of how to change the oil and oil filter, i'll do it this weekend on my 2006 TDI Jetta and see if i can figure out why a leak would occur... I'm about 900 miles overdue on an oil change and the dealer is a 30 minute drive away, don't wanna go way over there even though it would be a free oil change.
  • Howdy.

    I'd like to do my own oil changes on my wifes' 06 Jetta TDI, but don't know where to start. I have always changed the oil on my trucks and my wifes' Denali (which we traded in for the jetta) because it's about 1/3 of the price compared to the dealer or the local jiffy lube. However, i'm new with deisels, and especially doing oil changes on a car with a deisel. Is there a website or pictures showing what needs to be done, and what FRAM (or other store part brand) oil filter will definitely work with the oil change? I'm going to be using Castrol synthetic - the kind that the manual calls for. Also, is there a fuel filter or "water trap" that needs to be changed? how often? etc.... Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • Are you lubing the o-ring with oil before installing it
  • Hello,

    This is my first car, ever.

    I am taking my car for a service check tomorrow but, I just had to run this by some people.

    When I purchased my car in July 2006 it already at 23,330 miles on it. To date I drove it approx. 2,620 miles.

    I started checking my dipstick a week ago because I was told around 3,000, you have to bring in for oil change, fluids, etc.

    My dipstick was dry.

    I called a different service place and the VW lady told me that the dipstick was tricky and that i needed to bring it in, since I may still have oil in there. She went on to tell me not to take it to a midas, pep boys because it is a european car and they won't know how to take care of it. When I ask to make an appt. the next one was a week and a half away! I asked what type of oil and she said 10w30

    To make a long story short, I took to a pep boys after I purchased the oil and they stated to their knowledge and by computer I was to have 5w30, 10w30 was too heavy. After checking the engine they stated that there was no oil. I put 2 bottles of oil in the engine.

    Now, from what I read in the manual, no warning light comes on for low oil and my engine was not making any type of noises, stallings or anything, but, How can oil disappear from an engine? People are saying that oil does not disappear only gets dirty? I do not see any leaks from where I parked recently or ever.

    Any thoughts? :surprise:
  • If nothing else, AVOID the quick lube places at all costs! They use cheap oil and filters that do not meet Volkswagen specifications. These quick lube places do not realize that you have to change the washer on a VW's oil drain plug every other oil change as well. I own three VWs, and as long as I live and breathe, they will never darken the doors of any quick-lube establishment...

    I would take it to either the dealership, or a private mechanic who specializes in VWs. Since you have a 2.0L engine, 5w30 sounds about right. Using the VW factory oil filter (usually manufactured by MANN) is a must, not only because of their robust construction, but also the role they play as an integral part in regulating and maintaining the proper engine oil pressure.

    As an added bonus, the VW factory oil filter has two steel ball-bearing check valves - a bypass valve and an anti-drainback valve. The bypass valve is used in regulating the oil pressure and the anti-drainback valve is used to keep dirty oil from flowing back into the engine when you turn off the ignition.

    The bypass valve and anti-drainback valves on the cheaper aftermarket filters are usually made of rubber, which doesn't last very long and does a lousy job at regulating engine oil pressure.

    As far as the low oil is concerned, the engine probably hasn't been broken in properly yet. As soon as you get the car serviced, I would start taking it out on the highway for a good run every now and then, and check the oil periodically (especially during fillups at the gas station) and make sure you keep a couple of extra quarts of oil in the trunk as an insurance policy until the engine has been properly broken in.

    As far as oil changes go, you should change your oil at least every 3,500 miles if the majority of your drives are in the city (stop and go). If the majority of your drives are on the highway, then the oil should be changed every 5,000 miles (since you have the 2.0 engine, your oil change interval may be in the area of 7,000-10,000 miles - I would check with your local dealer just to be on the safe side)...

  • Thanks for the info. I have an appt. tomorrow with the service dealer...let you know what he says. Checked the oil today....still in there and no leaks when I moved the car...but you did hit a point though, since I had her I only took her on I-95 about 3-4 maybe since I had her. I usually drive in the city.

    Secondly, I supposidly took her to a Midas...they never did any work on her though just a look over. but I will keep that in mind, never knew that she was that "special" !

  • :sick: I have a 2004 VW Jetta and recently the MIL and ESP lights came on and there is this very loud annoying buzzing sound coming from the engine. And to top it all off it isnt starting very well. Sometimes I have to push on the gas so it wont stall out. I have searched high and low and I cant figure it out. Can you please help me?!!!
  • Does anyone know the location of the oil filter on the 2007 Jetta 2.5 BGP? On any searches I find nothing for direction but can find both types of filters to use.

    Also, does the Rotella T 5w40 synthetic oil meet the VW 502 00 standard?

    Thanks for any assistance.
  • I've heard that shutting off the engine at stop lights increases your gas mileage, which makes sense to me, but my question is: does it prematurely wear out the starter or any other parts?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It all really depends on the TIME.

    I would not recommend that practice. In fact, the starting process may actually inject MORE fuel than just idling for a minute.

    Certainly if you are sitting waiting for a slow-moving freight train to go by... turn off the engine.

    To specifically answer your quiestion, I dont think you would see any measurable "wear" either way.

    You would perhaps get more MPG increase by leaving in gear longer as you decellate and push the clutch at the last possible minute. This is because NO FUEL AT ALL is injected while decellerating.

    If you have an automatic xmission, putting into PARK will use less fuel than sitting still in DRIVE.... (the onboard computer compensates for the load when in DRIVE and injects more fuel.)
  • joker55joker55 Posts: 49
    so what type of oil would you recommend? i have been told that my lifters are slightly noisy, and was told to put in 10w30 becasue it is thicker and will coat better, but i notice whenever i start my car after it has been sitting say over night, the lifter noise is apparent but does quiet down after a few minutes
    what i am trying to figure out, during my next oil change, should i put 5w30 instead, to allow the oil to work through the engine faster but would it coat just as good? or should i stick with 10w30 to allow the lifters to be slightly quieter even though it is slightly noisy on start up?

    another quick you have to change your VW filter @ every oil change?

    any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

    thanks in advance
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Noisy hydrolic camfollowers at startup are not uncommon on VW 4 cyl. gas engines. I have actually been able to CURE noisy followers by treating oil with a strong detergent like STP oil treatment or Risoline. Once the crud is removed from the oil-passageways, it seems to help.

    I am not sure how a good cleaning will reduce the oil-draining from the cam followers when engine is off... but it has worked for me.

    BTW: STP oil treatment is VERY thick and will improve your viscosity. Risoline is water-thin and will NOT improve viscosity.

    As for your question about the oilfilter.... VW used to recommend that the filter was replaced every OTHER oilchange... but now they recommend every oilchange. It is cheap insurance to screw a new filter on when changing the oil. I do all my oilchanges FROM UNDER THE HOOD. (3 VWs in family) ... the filter is easilly replaced by reacing down from above. (even in NB [New Beetle])
  • jettagyalgojettagyalgo Posts: 11

    A little while ago I posted on here regarding oil not being in my car. No leaks, no engine light; car was running just the same. As an update, I took it back to the dealership and the guy stated that when I had my car fixed, they must have emptied my oil. He said he checked everything no leaks and he wanted me to come back in a week to see what happens.

    I took it back and he said it was fine. Since then I had my car state/emissions tested, everything was fine and they said the oil was fine. To date I have 28,000 miles on the car, when I bought it last July 2006 it had 22,000 (certified vehicle). Being that my new oil change is not into 31,000 miles and August date, I decided to check the oil for the heck of it.


    In disgust I called back the dealership and they said that the car must be burning the oil and that just put oil in the car an bring it in during the week.

    MY QUESTION IS, after my long update, Does anyone have this problem or did? I took the car to A&S Strauss and I myself put oil in the car. I had a gentlemen at the site take a look to make sure that 2 bottles was okay and not 3. He questioned why it was burning oil and stated that I should not be adding oil to my car.

    I have a 2003 Jetta GLS 2.0 engine automatic.

    Any thoughts?

  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The 2.0L engine requires 4.2 quarts (just over 4 bottles)...

    Also, make sure you use the factory (VW or MANN) oil filter instead of the aftermarket oil filters. The factory (MANN) oil filter (which has a bypass valve and a n anti-drainback valve made of steel - rather than the cheaper rubber that the aftermarket filters use) is a critical part of maintaining the proper engine oil pressure. If the proper oil pressure isn't maintained, your engine will consume oil through the exhaust and the crankcase ventilation system - it's a gradual loss which you won't notice until the next time you check your oil.

    I refuse to use aftermarket filters on any of my 3 VWs - and that strategy has paid dividends. My 1997 Jetta has over 216,000 miles and doesn't consume any oil.

  • jettagyalgojettagyalgo Posts: 11

    Not being smart..just asking are you sure 4? The last time I put 2 in and the specialist at pep boys said that it was enough....

    Today I brought 3 at AS Strauss...The VW service guy told me to get 5w 30 and put it in. I put in two and then went in to the service area to check...on the cap it stated not to over the mark. I wanted to put in 3 but he said that would have been too much. At that point he showed me where the oil should be and said it was perfect.

    He suggested that I check the oil every morning to make sure its not burn out.

    I am trying to get an appointment on Wednesday with the VW guys. Since it is my first car...I don't want to mess around with it and I am trying to learn what everything I am going to look up "air filter". I had an oil change in April and my next schedule oil change/check is in August or 31,000 miles. right now I have 28,000 and I don't drive much. The guy at AS Strauss stated if I did not go in...I would just have to add oil every so often. This is getting to be stupid...I don't know why the VW services guy did not get it the first 2 times around....

    Sorry, if I ask ridiculous questions, just trying to learn as fast as I can.

    Thanks for any help! :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Two quarts was likely enough because there were probably 2 quarts still remaining. If you truely had no oil at all the engine would be destroyed very quickly. When you say there was no oil it was probably just so low that the level was below the bottom of the dipstick.

    Sounds like good advice from the VW service guy. Check the oil with the dipstick every day, so you can see how fast it is being consumed. Once you have a good idea of this you can probably reduce the frequency of checking.

    Some engines do burn oil. Most manufacturers will claim something like as much as a quart every 1000 miles is acceptable. Anyway, if it does burn oil then the thing to do, as you have been advised, is add it when it starts getting low so that the level is always kept in the acceptable range on the dipstick.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Not being smart..just asking are you sure 4?

    Yep. I have the factory manuals for Golf/Jetta covering both the Mk3 (1993-1999) and Mk4 (1999-early 2005), and the specifications for the 2.0 engines (Mk3 & Mk4) say 4.2 qts.

    As a matter of fact, having owned VWs for 25 years (including a 1975 Scirocco and 1987 Golf GT), that amount hasn't changed much over the years.

    The 2.0L engine is basically an evolutionary improvement based on a design that dates back to 1973.

    As stated in this thread, you probably had 2 quarts in the engine - which is why the engine was still running...

    When topping of the oil in your engine, make sure the oil level doesn't go above the area where the dipstick bends...
  • jettagyalgojettagyalgo Posts: 11
    600ft and Jeff:

    Thank you very much for the needed advise. I was beginning to think I destroyed my engine :cry: . I have not driven today so I am going to check every morning or every other morning at least.

    Again, many thanks!
  • jettagyalgojettagyalgo Posts: 11

    I remembered something that the service guy told me at AS Strauss. He stated that the VW Jetta was/is manufactured in Europe as well as Mexico. He stated the cars that was mfd. in Mexico had trouble with the motor oil burning too much, etc.

    Has anyone heard of this or know where I can find this information? Dear dear, hope I did not purchase a :lemon:

    thank you.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If you decode the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) , it can tell you a lot about your vehicle.

    However, the VIN will NOT tell you the source of every component in your car. VW is a WORLDWIDE company and components are manufactured all over the world.

    The original window-sticker usually says where the components were sourced from. There is often a copy of that sticker hidden somwhere (like under trunk carpeting)

    I beleive you mentioned that you have a 2003 model year. Most likely, that would have been ASSEMBLED in Mexico.... using parts built elsewhere. (Engine, Xmission... etc)

    Also... are you suggesting that consuming some oil means your car is a lemon???? Where did you get that idea from? As long as you check your oil EVERY time you fill with gas, you will be OK. My daughters 2001 Gulf consumes oil and she carries a case of oil in the trunk to top off when it is low.

    BEWARE: The more frequently you LET the oilget too low, the faster it will consume oil. It is FARRRR better to check it regularly and top off when needed. The 2 marks on the dipstick are exactly ONE QUART apart... so it is easy to tell how much it needs.
  • waldorfeduwaldorfedu Posts: 2
    Our family (3 people) own a 85 Vanagon, 05 Elantra and a 97 Kia Sephia. The VW (132,000) is rarely used but runs ok. However, last year I took it in for an oil change and was disgusted the state of the vehicle on return so although I am not really technically minded I am hoping to change the oil myself. I am thinking of purchasing Fumoto Engine Oil Drain Valves for all 3 vehicles (just came across this product) and wondered if anyone has experience of fitting and using same; and also switching to synthetic oil (Castrol Syntec 10/30) for all 3 vehicles. Re VW, also, as vehicle did not come with a manual, any information about potential problems or difficulties (and tips) would be appreciated. Is it necessary to use only recommended oil filter and not generic (e.g. Fram) on VW (or for that matter on other vehicles as well)? Thanks for your help.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    On another forum here (one of the synthetic oil discussions, probably) it has been suggested that synthetic is not a good choice for an infrequently used vehicle. Something about varnish from conventional providing some corrosion protection, IIRC.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Have you considerd an "oil sucker" to change the oil? This is the unit I have (Got on sale for $40)

    With the oil-sucker, I can change the oil on my VW TDI in about 20 minutes... this includes changing the filter and pouring the old oil into 1-gallon containers for recycling. NOT EVEN A DROP is left on my driveway.

    Of-course, the TDI has a drop-in oil-filter element so there is no drippage when it is replaced. A screw-on filter might lose a teaspoon of oil when changed.

    Even the VW shop manual tells the dealerships to use an oil-sucker to change the oil. This saves on the time/effort to remove those 14 little screws that hold on the lower cover.

    The oil-sucker is also good for changing xmission oil, xfer-case oil, differential-lube, power-steering fluid, brake-fluid.... etc etc.
  • waldorfeduwaldorfedu Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. i have never heard of it so please tell me more of your experiences - are there any downsides? Could i use it on all 3 vehicles? as a retired educator i have hundreds of internet pages giving my email and phone number. my non-profit is at and if you can get in touch by email that would be great. thanks for your input - it may be just what i am looking for so please respond.
  • I own a 2000 Jetta GLS standard 4 cylinder engine 70k+ miles. It too consumes oil, always has. Early on, I was told by VW that the engine is designed to do this. A car buff I know concurs - "essentially german engine theory is that burning oil in the process will improve the performance of the pistons, less friction, etc."

    As a general rule, I check my oil no more than every 750 miles - summer more often. This is a good rule. I think my car burns about a 1/2 to 1 quart every 1000 miles depending on heat and how hard I drive.

    I was also told recently that sludge has been an issue on VW engines per VW and they have changed to only synthetic oils. I guess if you plan on keeping your car for a long time, synthetic might be worth the investment. Good luck!
  • joker55joker55 Posts: 49
    i too own a Jetta (1999, automatic, 110k+ miles) i was considering making the swtich from 10w-30 conventional to a 5w-30 synthetic but wasn't too sure on what advantages i am looking at, as you mentioned above that it helps with sludge and we all know that sludge = bad! lol

    is it worth the lil extra $ on oil changes? i've been told i have noisy lifters and was told to put in 10w-30 to help quiet them down, but others are telling me that is completely false and to use a lighter oil so that it flows quicker (makes sense i think) i am nearing my next oil change would like to see what my options are, should i stay with 10w or go down to 5w?, and should i go synthetic or stay conventional?

    if you could lemme know what you think, that would be greatly appreciated

  • jocat54jocat54 Posts: 2
    I use a Pela 650 to change the oil on our 2006 TDI and it works great and fast and hardly any mess. I can't think of any downsides to using these and yes you could use it on all your cars (and lawnmowers ect.) I really like not having to crawl under my vehicles. I marked mine once when changing the oil and the next time I did it the old way (crawling under the car) then poured the oil into the extractor to see if it was getting all the oil out-exactly the same amount.
    There are several brands and types out there for sale, just google for oil extractor.
  • hopeful99hopeful99 Posts: 20
    would like to change fuel filter on 06 jetta tdi. is there anything i should know that i dont know. thanks.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    It really depends on what you already know. :)

    One key is since the system is very fuel efficient, when you do change the filter, you need to either fill it full of fuel (etc) (pre prime, if you will) or vacuum prime the filter once it is partially hooked up to the fuel system supply.
  • hopeful99hopeful99 Posts: 20
    thank you for the fast come back. All i have to do is full with diesel fuel after filter is in place. is there a water septorator? was told there is not on 06. thank for the help.
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