Does Volkswagen Require Synthetic Oil For Their Cars?

A stock photo of someone changing the oil on a car.

Which Volkswagen Models Require Synthetic Oil?

There is quite a lot that helps Volkswagen vehicles stand out from the competition. Eye-catching style and an impressive mix of performance and fuel economy are just the tip of the iceberg. Because of these special elements, VW sedans, SUVs and other vehicle platforms have a very specific set of care and maintenance requirements — including using synthetic motor oil. So, which Volkswagen models require synthetic oil? Our manufacturing partner was an early adopter of synthetic motor oil to meet the needs of its turbocharged engines. In fact, the automaker requires synthetic oil for all of its vehicles built after the 2004 model year. Let’s take a closer look at a few things you might want to know.

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Why Does VW Use Synthetic Oil?

The engine platforms employed by Volkswagen are precisely engineered to deliver the kind of performance and fuel-efficiency they are designed to provide. Most VW vehicle platforms employ turbocharging technology, adding a new wrinkle to their care and maintenance. Because of the way that synthetic oil is designed, it is able to provide better protection across a wide range of temperatures, especially important when a turbocharger is being used. Additionally, synthetic oil is actually cleaner than its conventional counterpart. 

Conventional motor oil is notorious for leaving behind deposits and sludge as it breaks down. That’s why it’s so important oil changes occur on time. Conversely, synthetic oil not only doesn’t break down as quickly, but it can actually function as a detergent, removing those deposits and sludge as it circulates through the engine.

Can You Switch Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil?

Every Volkswagen vehicle built in the last (almost) 20 years calls for the use of synthetic oil. However, what happens if someone makes a mistake and uses conventional motor oil instead? In the short term, it’s probably not a big deal. All motor oil will provide at least some kind of lubrication and other engine protections. However, our service technicians don’t recommend making this a regular practice. Not only could using the wrong motor oil shorten the usable lifespan of a VW engine, but flouting maintenance requirements could void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Additionally, older engines might burn a little oil and require the occasional top-off. Our team recommends using the same oil that is already being used in the engine.

The Fifth Avenue Volkswagen Service Department is here to make taking care of your vehicle as easy as possible. If you have questions, or you need us to take a look at your car, make an appointment with us, today.