VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Leif
Is there any evidence for or against long life service intervals ie 20,000 miles for a modern petrol engine such as the one in my Polo?

My understanding is they were created to satisfy fleet owners, many of which flog cars when two years old, and others have high annual mileage. These people probably don’t keep a car beyond 100,000 miles or six years, possibly less. Car manufacturers probably do not care once the car is six years old, their legal obligations are by then discharged.
VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Big John

The evidence for me is very much against long life service intervals. My Superb has been set to 10,000 mile intervals but the oil already looks rather dark when due for a service even at this lower interval limit.

As you mention these were created to satisfy fleet owners, however on balance oil technology has improved over the years.

If you have a newish car you can ask for the car to be set to 10,000 mile/annual

Edited by Big John on 23/02/2019 at 09:39

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - badbusdriver

In theory, if the car is used mostly on motorway or main road journeys where it is under low stress and covering higher miles, a 20k service interval should be fine. But if that isn't the kind of running you do, as i'm guessing would be the case for most Polo owners, i don't think it would be a good idea. Most of the wear and tear of an engine is through short urban journeys, lots of stopping and starting.

The PSA 1.6 turbo diesel has a bit of a reputation for failure's. I looked into this myself as i had been looking to buy a van with this motor. What i found was that, in the main, the problem stems from service intervals being too long (combined with the fact that it is critical to use the correct oil). If more realistic service intervals are used, and of course,the correct oil, going by what i have read and been told, they are largely trouble free. Doesn't really help if buying 2nd hand though, not without a very detailed service history!.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - skidpan

In theory, if the car is used mostly on motorway or main road journeys where it is under low stress and covering higher miles, a 20k service interval should be fine.

Agree with that but the money savings from long intervals on VAG cars are minimal (if any), the only saving is the time taken avoiding a garage visit. At our local Skoda emporium the 20,000 mile/2 year variable service on a Superb is £279. Our Superb goes in next week for its 2nd fixed interval service and the cost for the first 2 services will have been £279, exactly the same.

Our Seat Leon, Skoda Superb and Fabia have all been set to fixed servicing when purchased. We probably do about 8,000 miles a year in each car.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Avant

I think the best compromise is the one that Volvo favours - one year or 18,000 miles, whichever is the sooner.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Engineer Andy

Even if long service intervals are fine by a manufacture (and recommended), it's only worth considering it if you buy a car when brand new then dispose of it when the warranty runs out. If, like me, you hang onto them for well past the 6 year mark (when manufacturers in theory have no liability for design/manufacturing problems), then I'd rather stick with the lower mileage service intervals of between 10k - 12.5k miles or 1 year, whichever comes the soonest.

If I did nearly all short trips from cold, then I'd be getting the oil+filter changed every 6 months. The problem comes when (as some people [myself included] do) you change jobs or home and the mileage changes dramatically, either or both diatnce covered for each trip, trip frequency and the overall mileage per year.

When I bought my Mazda3 back in early 2006, I could've bought essentially the same car with the PSA 1.6 diesel engine instead of the petrol (the diesel TS was the same price as the petrol TS2 on Motorpoint). I was umming and ahhing about which to buy, as I'd recently changed jobs and would be doing 10k miles alone just in commuting, plus business mileage (meeting, site visits, etc) and private mileage (especially the long drive to the West Country for my annual holiday), estimated to be overall about 15k - 18k miles (possibly more). The diesel would've been suitable at the time, but my next job was local and I could walk to work. Jobs since then have required a train commute as well.

Would I have kept the car or changed it each time I changed jobs had I bought the diesel - probably not, unless its famed unreliability when used for short trips had kicked in expensively. I may have opted for getting it serviced, at least the oil changed and the EGR/DPF check every 6 months for the short trip/low mileage driving pattern. I am just glad I luckily made the right choice in buying the petrol version.

Personally speaking, paying a bit more for extra servicing (at least this sort of basic one) or on a yearly/10-12.5k miles basis if you really like the car and intend to keep it a long time is, I think, money well spent. Otherwise, there is certainly some argument, especially for petrol-engined cars in some circumstances, for longer intervals if the manufacturer allows that. IF the next owner at 3 years (say) wants to keep it for another 5-10+ years and doesn't check this, then that's their problem (more fool them). I certainly wouldn't buy a second hand car run on a long service interval maintenance regime.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - barney100

My V70D 2008 service book quotes 12500 mile intervals. 10,000 miles is my aim.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Smileyman

I drive a SEAT Toledo (Skoda Rapid clone) with the 1.0 110 engine - I drive about 20k miles a year, a mixture of urban, high speed and cross country driving, I have the car serviced every 9k miles, OK it's a nuisance to have to visit the dealer but my aim is to keep the car long term, well over 100k miles - I'm not interested in saving a few pence in long life servicing as it is not proven to be better for long engine life.

If my motoring profile were to change I'd still want 9k or annual oil changes, I did that with my previous car (Nissan Primera) and that reached over 180k miles

Edited by Smileyman on 23/02/2019 at 17:05

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - concrete

Cannot see the point of extended service intervals for a 1.0 petrol engine mini car. The ESI was designed for high mileage vehicles, usually larger cars with larger engines, mainly diesel which are basically motorway cruisers. My Superb 1.9PD TDi 130 was on ESI and the car computer generally asked for a service at about 19K miles or about every 8 months or so when I was working and travelling a lot. The oil was the important factor, the synthetic oil is expensive by comparison to mineral oil but essential for ESI. I did over 200K in my car and used about 4 litres of top up oil in that time. Not too sure if there was a financial saving but there certainly was a time saving. Horses for courses.

Cheers Concrete

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - SteveLee

There's a double whammy with modern long service intervals set to appease the lease market, oil filters have become more porous (to stop them clogging during extended drain intervals) and modern oil is formulated to suspend particles that make it through the filter in the oil rather than let them sink to create sludge. Wear particles suspended in the oil don't really matter to the plain bearings with their relatively large clearances - but to the timing chains with their tiny running clearances, your high-tech, extended-interval oil is now an effective grinding paste. If you're keeping the car (or intend to) change the oil between services - particularly if your engine has a timing chain.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - cws

I think that's the most succinct and logical answer I've yet read as to why you should change oil at shorter intervals, especially when it comes to chain-driven engines. My C250 is factory-set to intervals of 16000 but I change the oil/filter every 5300miles.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Engineer Andy

I think that's the most succinct and logical answer I've yet read as to why you should change oil at shorter intervals, especially when it comes to chain-driven engines. My C250 is factory-set to intervals of 16000 but I change the oil/filter every 5300miles.

I think that low a mileage is a bit over the top (though it won't do any harm) - I'd go for every 8k miles or 1yr for expensive European luxury cars with chain driven engines like yours if you do lots of short trips from cold, even with a petrol engine. Most sports cars (supercars) will have short service intervals.

The better engineered, robust, more standard Japanese ones - no, just on the manufacturer's schedule at 1 year or 9k - 12.5k (as per the handbook). Never had a problem going that route on mine. We're more likely to have problems with brakes seizing and warped brake discs if the cars aren't used much. I use mine once a week in the depths of winter, once a fortnight in spring/autumn and up to once every three weeks when it;s hot in summer - just as much to keep the battery in good condition as to stop flat spots and to keep the brakes from binding and discs warping.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - John F

I think a small buzzy engine might chew up the oily molecules faster than a large lazy engine. I would use either expensive long life oil every 20,000 miles or cheap stuff every 10,000 miles. The latter makes economic sense for the 6 - 8,000 mile a year car, and it's always been OK for our family cars. No need to change it just because 365 days have gone by since the last change.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Leif
I am not sure what defines a small buzzy and lazy big engines, presumably revs. Surely that’s a function of the gearing. My Up was buzzy, my Polo is lazy. So is the driver, but let’s move on. But if a car works at higher revs, then that would surely mean more wear.

Anyway, this made me think, as these modern three pot jobs are working at high compression ratios, with higher tolerances. Doesn’t that suggest they are more susceptible to the effects of wear from metal particles suspended in oil?
VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - John F
as these modern three pot jobs are working at high compression ratios, with higher tolerances. Doesn’t that suggest they are more susceptible to the effects of wear from metal particles suspended in oil?

I too have doubts about modern small 3 pot turbo longevity. I wish there was some reliable information from people who have done at least 120,000 miles. For comparison, our 1.6 Zetec Focus, (cheapest semi-synthetic 5-30 I could find every 10-12,000m) needed no top-ups between services up to about 50,000 miles. By 100,000 miles it was needing a couple of 500ml top-ups and now at 136,000 it does 3,500miles per litre, give or take <10%. I have no idea what Ford consider tolerable but when we had VWs the handbooks suggested 1 litre per 1000Km was acceptable! IIRC our 240,000m Passat 2.0GL was eventually only doing about 1,500 miles per litre after a lifetime of cheap oil. But seeing most cheaper family cars are scrapped at around half this mileage after a lifetime of short journeys I suppose it's not much of an issue.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Leif
as these modern three pot jobs are working at high compression ratios, with higher tolerances. Doesn’t that suggest they are more susceptible to the effects of wear from metal particles suspended in oil?

I too have doubts about modern small 3 pot turbo longevity. I wish there was some reliable information from people who have done at least 120,000 miles. For comparison, our 1.6 Zetec Focus, (cheapest semi-synthetic 5-30 I could find every 10-12,000m) needed no top-ups between services up to about 50,000 miles. By 100,000 miles it was needing a couple of 500ml top-ups and now at 136,000 it does 3,500miles per litre, give or take <10%. I have no idea what Ford consider tolerable but when we had VWs the handbooks suggested 1 litre per 1000Km was acceptable! IIRC our 240,000m Passat 2.0GL was eventually only doing about 1,500 miles per litre after a lifetime of cheap oil. But seeing most cheaper family cars are scrapped at around half this mileage after a lifetime of short journeys I suppose it's not much of an issue.

I wasn’t questioning the longevity of 3 pot engines per se. Rather I was suggesting they might be more susceptible to damage if run using long service intervals. I ran my VW Up to 130,000 miles and it was fine. There don’t seem to be many reports of issues with these engines apart from Ford Ecoboost due to a design flaw. However, I suppose they might also be more susceptible to damage from ‘enthusiastic’ drivers who like to give it a bit of welly. Fortunately I am not in that category.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Andrew-T

<< I have no idea what Ford consider tolerable but when we had VWs the handbooks suggested 1 litre per 1000Km was acceptable! >>

I remember my 1963 Morris 1100, which I drove around the States and Canada, used to lose oil at a great rate - I don't think it burnt much, it was just poor seals. It reached the point when I was stopping for oil as often as petrol, but since both were literally dirt cheap then, it had to get serious before it was worth fixing the problem.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - nick62

<< I have no idea what Ford consider tolerable but when we had VWs the handbooks suggested 1 litre per 1000Km was acceptable! >>

I remember my 1963 Morris 1100, which I drove around the States and Canada, used to lose oil at a great rate - I don't think it burnt much, it was just poor seals. It reached the point when I was stopping for oil as often as petrol, but since both were literally dirt cheap then, it had to get serious before it was worth fixing the problem.

My first car, a free hand-me-down, which needing lots of welding to get it through its MOT, was an Allegro with the 1.3 A series engine. For the last few months of ownership it used a gallon of engine oil every week (and it didn't leak)!

In its favour, it never failed to start and never got stuck in the snow and that is some achievement when you have a 30 odd mile commute along the A515 to Buxton through the winter.

Edited by nick62 on 02/04/2019 at 13:26

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - CHarkin

I have used the variable service interval for many years and believe it has saved me a fair bit of money and saved me taking a number of days away from work to get my car serviced. Having said that I change the oil every six months myself using the pump it out of the sump method which only takes 10 minutes and costs under £20. Best of both worlds to my mind, plenty of fresh oil and always has full dealer service history. I only do around 7000 miles a year so even for people like me who are obsessive about oil changes its a bit over the top.

VW have a 35 page booklet explaining how it works and its a fairly sophisticated system. The ECU records the number of cold starts, the hours at high oil temperatures, engine load, style of driving along with several other factors. To get the most out of it you need to use the car frequently but not too many cold starts and drive in an economical manner.

A service adviser told me that it was surprising how many customers on the variable service interval came back after 7 or 8 K miles complaining their cars light had come on saying it needed an oil change. All down to the school run and hammering it at every opportunity. So even a fixed 10K service is not enough for some.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Leif

I may well do that myself once the warranty has expired.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - John F

I change the oil every six months myself using the pump it out of the sump method which only takes 10 minutes......

There will be significant residue which could turn your fresh oil from translucent honey to opaque brown in no time. It's good to slightly tilt the car so the sump bolt really is at the lowest point, and let it drip for several hours. This results in a small pool of thick brown gravy which would otherwise be left adhering to the internal surfaces of the engine (but probably not in your case after a mere 3,500 miles).

I only do around 7000 miles a year so even for people like me who are obsessive about oil changes its a bit over the top.

It sure is! Although my 1980 TR7 only does a few hundred miles a year, so sometimes changed well under the advised 6,000 miles (there is no annual advisory - that's a recent idea to boost the garage trade, resulting in the development of a widespread delusion that oil 'goes off' after 365 days). Last changed 4,000 miles and six years ago. The oil still looks, smells and feels fine. I might change it this summer.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - CHarkin

Im not sure why some say extended service intervals don't save money, I started to doubt myself so I did a quick check.

https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/owners/servicing/fixed-price-servicing

Going by VW's published fixed price service costs it saves £175 every second year. £175 for minor service at 12 months and £350 at 24 months and its the £350 I have been charged after two years on the variable service interval. At one time the extended service cost a few pounds more than the standard service because it used higher spec oil but thats not the case anymore as they all use the same oil.

A few years ago talking to a Seat dealer who said Seat did not do the variable service, probably because the hardware and software is not installed on them. Not sure about Skoda.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Andrew-T

I'm not sure why some say extended service intervals don't save money,

I believe the thinking is that if you service the car less often you save some money, but you pay more out later if/when the car suffers from lack of maintenance. As usual it is a gamble you are free to take; some owners move their car on before that happens, passing the buck.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - CHarkin

Ah I see now, thanks Andrew-T. So some don't trust the manufacturers to have got this right. Hard to argue against that. Im still in favour of my car being set up for the variable service interval if only for the flexibility of where and when you get the interim oil change done.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - skidpan

Im not sure why some say extended service intervals don't save money, I started to doubt myself so I did a quick check.

Well the maths is quite simple.

On fixed service our Fabia a 2 year service plan is £342 or £19 a month for 18 months.

Alternatively have the car set to extended (variable) intervals and the price for the 2 year service is currently £369 (but that will have risen by next year no doubt)

That is a £27 saving and the car gets fresh oil every 12 months. If (as I expect) the price rises for the extended service the saving will be greater.

When we bought the Superb the 2 year fixed plan cost me £272 (which was included in the 0% finance deal I got). It was serviced approx 4 weeks ago and if it had been on variable servicing the £369 would have applied. By using fixed servicing I have saved £97.

That is why I say extended intervals do not save money.

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - Andrew-T

<< When we bought the Superb the 2 year fixed plan cost me £272 (which was included in the 0% finance deal I got). It was serviced approx 4 weeks ago and if it had been on variable servicing the £369 would have applied. By using fixed servicing I have saved £97. >>

So I would only ask - what's in it for the VAG dealers?

VW Polo 2018 1.0 TSI 95 - Extended service intervals - skidpan

<< When we bought the Superb the 2 year fixed plan cost me £272 (which was included in the 0% finance deal I got). It was serviced approx 4 weeks ago and if it had been on variable servicing the £369 would have applied. By using fixed servicing I have saved £97. >>

So I would only ask - what's in it for the VAG dealers?

Do you really need to ask that?

But if its a serious question its simply the fact that I have added £272 to their income over 2 years of ownership.

Unlike some forum members I do not object to paying for servicing since I accept its necessary to keep the car in tip top condition and keep the warranty intact. I also find out such costs before buying and factor them into the figures when calculating approximate total ownership costs. If I am not happy I do not buy. When Volvo wanted £1300 for 3 services I walked away despite liking the car. Walked away form Hyundai for the same reason and bought a Kia which was the same car with a different badge and 1/2 the servicing costs. Really fancied a Subaru until I discovered they were service every 6 months and the costs over 5 years would be eye watering, seem to remember in the order of £400 a year back in about 1998.

Only total idiots spend large sums of money on what is probably their largest asset after their house and then neglect it. But as we all know there are plenty of total idiots.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car