As an independent Audi parts and Audi service garage with over 30 years of hands-on experience, we've seen many mechanical breakdowns on vehicles. Experience has shown that changing your fluids is the single most important preventive maintenance routine you can perform to avoid vehicle breakdowns. Yet, for many Audi owners, this seems to be one of the most neglected areas of maintenance. Thoroughly flushing your fluids at the proper intervals can help your car reach 150,000 miles and beyond!
PAGE DISCLAIMER: The information below is 'General Information' and should be used as a guide. The Audi motor oil information on these pages should not be used as a substitute for what your vehicle owner's manual, factory service manual, or authorized Audi dealer recommendations. Consult your Audi owner's manual for recommendations on the correct type of Audi oil that is to be used for your specific Audi model.
How to Determine What Audi Oil Viscosity Weight to Use in Your Specific Model
To determine what Audi oil viscosity weight to use in your specific model, consult your owner's manual. Using the correct Audi oil viscosity weight for your geographic location, climate conditions, and driving characteristics, assures a decreased chance of mechanical failure while improving fuel economy. If you have lost your owner's manual and are having difficulty determining what type of motor oil to use you may wish to refer to our BLAU® Audi Oil Change Kits, which match the correct Audi oil for your specific model.
How Driving and Environment Conditions May Affect Your Audi Oil Viscosity Weight Choice
Still unsure what type of Audi motor oil viscosity weight to use in your vehicle? Understanding a little history regarding the advancements of motor oils may help you decide.
Before automobile manufacturers began establishing their own oil quality standards (the 1990s), owner's manuals referenced oils per API standards and stressed using the right SAE oil viscosity weight depending on temperate climate. These sanctioning bodies, such as SAE (Society of American Engineers), API (American Petroleum Institute), and ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) were responsible for establishing oil standards for motorized vehicles.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s more demanding standards surrounding environmental carbon reduction, low emissions, and maximizing fuel economy began taking hold. To comply, manufacturers began engineering advanced engines and cutting-edge synthetic motor oil formulations. Advanced oils and related oil viscosity weight began to play a key role in the engine's ability to meet emissions and fuel economy standards. Around this time (the late 2000s) manufacturers began to establish their own unique oil quality standards rather than relying solely on API and ACEA standards to ensure the correct type of oil was being used in their engines.
Lighter synthetic oil viscosity weight oils can reduce internal drag inside the engine resulting in improved efficiencies such as torque, horsepower, fuel mileage, and lower emissions. There is a growing trend for owner manuals on later models equipped with gas engines to reference lighter synthetic oil viscosity weight of 0w20, 0w30, or 5w30.
In the 1990s, car owners needed to be more concerned when using lighter viscosity weight oils in harsher driving conditions (e.g. hot summer conditions) because many motor oils were not fully synthetic or didn't contain necessary additives. This made oil more susceptible to premature breakdown in normal conditions and especially under extreme conditions. Today, however, lighter viscosity weight synthetic motor
oils that meet Audi quality standards are much more advanced and contain all the necessary components to achieve higher fuel mileage, lower emissions, and protect the engine under extreme conditions (i.e. hot summer conditions). Therefore, making sure you are using a higher viscosity weight oil in your car is not as critical today as it was back in the 1990s.
Even with new Audi oil quality standards and the advancements of cutting-edge synthetic Audi oils, choosing the correct oil viscosity weight could be an area of concern if your vehicle is exposed to operating in unique or extreme environmental conditions and/or driving conditions (see chart). Synthetic oils are classified as high-performance by the nature of their unique formulation. However, they do have limitations, and intended use, and the SAE oil viscosity weight classification is part of their limiting factor. As the chart shows, owners who subject their vehicle to extremes may wish to use a slightly higher or lower viscosity weight motor oil depending on the conditions.
Audi Oil Viscosity Weight for TDI Diesel Engines
Different oil viscosity weight rules and specifications are especially critical for diesel engines. The viscosity weight of diesel oil is typically higher than that of gasoline engines (i.e. 5w40, 10w40). Higher viscosity weight oils are needed in many TDI engines due to higher combustion chamber temperatures. Higher combustion temperatures can increase engine "blow by" and oil contamination (unburned diesel fuel), resulting in the dilution of the Audi oil's viscosity weight.
For the newer Audi TDI engines, many advancements have been made in diesel engine designs, tolerances, and engine efficiencies. This allows many of the newer Audi TDI engines to use a thinner oil viscosity weight. The VW 507 00 specification requires a viscosity weight of 5w30 or 0w30 for modern Audi TDI diesel engines.