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Old 10-30-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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Default Just purchased a new A4! ... Oil change? Break in? Paint protection?

So, I am now the proud owner of a new 2012 A4 (P+, Nav, Adv Key, rear camera, s-line trim), ibis white, light grey leather! I think I got a pretty good deal ($3,085 below sticker, $537 below invoice). I promised my wife I wasn't going to go over $40k on a new car (I kept my promise with $10 to spare!).

So I've got some questions (which I'm sure are asked ad-nauseum on this board).

- After reading through these boards, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get my oil changed every 5,000 miles. Agreed? That's not going to affect my warranty, right? Personally, as an engineer, I cannot fathom changing the oil on a car only once a year, no matter what the manufacturer says.

- How to break in the motor (I want this baby to last me 10+ years, 150,000+ miles)? The sales guy said that when he was over in Germany, the engineers told him to tell new owners to "drive it like you stole it" (i.e. don't hold back). However, I've seen the recommendation on this board to not go over 4,000 rpm in the first 1,000-2,000 miles. Thoughts?

- I did not get sucked into the dealer marked up paint protection plans (clear bra, etc). Should I drop $500-$600 on a 3M teflon protection from an independent shop (I'm concerned about the yellowing, long-term, on a white car, though)? I really think I just need to wash it well and wax every 4-6 months. Collinite 845? How do I check to see if I've got clear coat paint (I'm assuming I do) so that I get the right wash?

Thanks for any inputs!

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Old 10-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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Welcome to the world of Audi. Yes your paint is clear coated, and the advice to drive it like you stole it did not come from an engineer. That came from an engine salesman. There is a lot of high tech in Volkswagen engines, and they are reliable if driven properly. You cannot, however, abuse them. Audi does not care to use a planar honing process when machining the cylinder blocks. They expect the customer to finish the job for them during the first 5,000 miles. You can occasionally go over 4K rpm for brief periods, but keep the rapid WOT acceleration under wraps for the first 1,000 miles. You want the rings to properly seat to avoid excessive oil consumption suffered by many owners.

The break in process depends on the particles sheared off the bearing surfaces to polish the metal to metal contact areas. For this reason you must resist the urge to change the oil before the 5,000 mile mark.

I do hope you got the quattro version as it is much more fun to drive, and gives better handling on or off road. The steering and brakes are some of the best to be had on a production car. Do change your brake fluid with an approved type (avoid racing fluid) every two years from date of production to avoid copper absorption.

You can wash your paint as often as you like, and polish or wax when the feel of the paint surface indicates it is needed. I use NXT wash and polish from Meguiar's. Other brands are just as good, but those that charge three prices are not any better. Avoid any product with snake oil promises and glowing testimonials. Above all, do not use any high alkaline dish soap like Dawn to wash your car. It will not get any cleaner than with car wash soap. There is no need to "strip" old wax to polish or wax your car. P&G who makes Dawn says "Dawn is not recommended for window cleaning, car washing, body wash or washing hair."

If you use the approved oil for your car, like Mobil 1 0W-40, you will not deplete the additive package for the 1 year or 10,000 miles. There is no benefit to changing the oil more often. If you plan to keep the car long term, use Blackstone Labs to analyze your oil. This will give you more "peace of mind" than frequent oil changes. If an engine problem develops, it is better to have an independent lab's results to battle the warranty "police" at Volkswagen.

Think about it this way, the battery is probably good for 5 to 7 years, but you would not change it at 2 years. You would not drive until the tank was half empty, then drain and refill so the gas was "fresh." It is just wasting money to change oil early. We no longer run Dino juice with cheap paper filters, so the extended change interval is justified.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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Default Change Oil At 1,000 Miles?

Although I have a 2012 A5 with the 2.0T engine, I thought that the first oil change after the 1,000 miles break-in period was a good idea. It would seem that there are lots of metal particles floating about from the break-in. Am I wrong?
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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No need to break in the engine. They are ready from the factory.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehj View Post
Although I have a 2012 A5 with the 2.0T engine, I thought that the first oil change after the 1,000 miles break-in period was a good idea. It would seem that there are lots of metal particles floating about from the break-in. Am I wrong?
The first oil change is at 5,000 miles for new Audi vehicles. There are particles in the oil by design. They are shaved off during the first few minutes of operation. The filter catches the largest of them, but the rest circulate polishing the metal to metal surfaces.

It is detrimental to change the oil prior to the 5,000 mile mark. (Or 1 year when the additive package in the oil is assumed depleted.)

Cars that are not broken in according to the manual instructions may not enjoy the highest fuel economy, and consume oil greater than 1 liter in 1,200 miles.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
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No need to break in the engine. They are ready from the factory.
Mercedes, true, Audi, false. Read the manual carefully, it contains break-in instructions.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Moviela View Post
Mercedes, true, Audi, false. Read the manual carefully, it contains break-in instructions.
Good call. Just checked the manual. It definitely says to not exceed 2/3rds of max engine speed (so, around 4,000 rpm) for the first 600-1,000 miles.

I have no intention of changing the oil prior to the first 5,000 mile mark. I was just reading (and thinking to myself) that it might be better to change the oil at 10k, 20k, 30k etc instead of waiting for the 15k, 25k, 35k etc service.

And yes, of course it is a quattro
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:19 AM   #8
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Great looking car! I got the 5 spokes as well and they look great with the car's lines.

There has been some anecdotal evidence that driving a bit more aggressively during break in helps oil consumption. I still followed the guidelines in the manual though tried not to stay at constant rpm for very long. After 1000 miles the manual does say you can gradually go to redline, which I did do by manually holding the gear and letting the revs climb - not stomping on the throttle though. No oil consumptions so far and close to 4K miles now.

As for paint protection films I'm a firm believer, especially having seen my 04 Acura's front end after 145k miles. Small price to pay to keep your car looking great. I do a lot of highway driving to work, but for those whose commutes are mostly local roads, the chances to accumulate that road rash is probably less.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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I just bought my wife an A4 and I'm curious about the oil change intervals and I found this thread. Being a BMW owner since early 2002, I'm familiar with the longer recommended oil change intervals--at least longer than the old 3,000 mile recommendation.

Looking at my manual it shows two types of oil change services (Longlife Service and Inspection Service) with VW 503 and VW 504 oil approved for the Longlife Service and VW 502, 503, and 504 approved for the Inspection Service.

I'm guessing these are European service intervals because I only found them on Audi's UK website and they did not appear on Audi's USA site. The USA site has a link to Audi-approved oils and it does not even list the VW 503 as a catagory. Following the link from the Audi USA site the VW 504 approved oils include the Mobil 1 0W-40 that seems to be a popular choice here.

After searching the web I finally found a list of VW 503 oils for the Longlife Service and none of them look very familiar. I'm guessing those oils are not readily available in the US. The UK Audi site also said that the Longlife service contemplated an oil change approximately every 19,000 miles as determined by the onboard computer. I can't imagine going that long between oil changes no matter what kind of oil I used.

A couple of questions. Should we ignore the Longlife Service mentioned in the manual and just use the VW 504 standard oils (i.e. Mobil 1 0W-40) and change the oil every 10k miles or so? I plan to ask the dealer, but does anyone know exactly what kind of oil the dealers use in the US? Based on what I've read here I probably will have to top off the oil in between changes.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:22 PM   #10
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Mobil 1 0W-40 is my choice of the VW 504 oils. My oil test results reveal that I could go 3000 miles more than my 10,000 change interval. I can see no reason to change earlier than the 10,000 mile interval with the approved Mann+Hummel filter.

VW 503 has been superseeded by VW 504. It used an electronic system to indicate change interval that has been shown to be not very accurate in its prediction. We no longer have that system on our cars in the USA.

Many dealers have the Castrol product, however, I have seen mechanics using other non-specified oils. Their additude is "motor oil is motor oil."

I always carry a bottle in the trunk because the car uses too damn much oil.

Oil analysis (like by Blackstone) will tell you when to change your oil. It will give you peace of mind and indicate any abnormal metal wear. Keep in mind that after first run the oil additives will be done after one year no matter how many miles. You must change it at least every 10K or one year for warranty purposes.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:22 PM
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