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Mini oil crisis

Asked by Daniel Stutt

I HAVE a 1999 2.8-litre VW Synchro Passat that uses a lot of oil. I have had it since new and had it serviced regularly by VW. As far as I can tell it has been doing this since new. A VW dealer told me it was using 250ml/1000km and this was within specification. They pointed out the manual can use up to 1 litre/1000km. Is it normal for a modern car to use so much oil, especially one that needs servicing every 15,000 km?

Answered by CarsGuide

13 Jan 2006 Graham Smith

ALL engines use oil. It's the rate at which they use oil that can cause concern. VW engines have a reputation for using oil. There have been warranty claims from people running their engine low on oil and causing serious engine failure. They assumed modern engines don't use oil so didn't check the level. At 250ml/1000km I wouldn't be concerned, but I would be if it were using 1 litre/1000km. The point about the 15,000km service intervals is a good one. At the rate of 250ml/1000km your engine will consume almost four litres of oil between oil changes, which is close to a full engine fill. At 1 litre/1000km you would go through 15 litres between oil changes. Makes you wonder why you'd bother changing the oil.

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