Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
Hello,

I have an Audi A4 2.0 MultiTronic 2001(51). It seems to conume a lot of oil. I need to top it upto 900ml every 1500 miles. The handbook suggests that it is normal for the car to consume upto 0.5 litres every 1000km (625 miles).

I think this is unreasonable because I find that I have no peace fo mind when embarking on long journeys and also the oil required is very expensive (£11 per litre).

Does anyone else have the same issue with this type of car? Any feedback would be welcome.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - daveyjp
How many miles have you done?

My A2 has used about a litre in 7,000 miles, most of it being used between 5 and 6,000 miles, no top ups required since.
It's correct that they may use the oil, but in my experience this should only be when the car is still quite new.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
My Audi A4 has travelled nearly 30,000 miles. I have reported the issue to Audi UK, who say that this is normal. The car uses 0-30 oil which only Castrol make and hence the high price.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Roger Jones
I've just spoken to the independent specialist who services my Golf and MB and also deals with Audi and BMW. He says the consumption is way too high. I also see that there is a 0-30 variant of Mobil 1 mentioned on www.mobil1.com.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Roger Jones
As you can get five and more litres of Mobil 1 for £34 if you change oil at Kwik Fit, £11 a litre is a hell of a price. In what sense is the oil "required"? On the face of it, the consumption also seems excessive, and I certainly didn't see that in my now-departed Audi 100, neither do I see it in my current Golf VR6 and MB E320 Coupé.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
please see comments in my posting above. Thanks for your reply.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - DavidHM
If all you are doing is topping up, you can buy a 5l can from an independent and as long as it meets the specs, no one will be any the wiser and your warranty is intact. This should cost less than £20 no matter what.

I do agree that your oil consumption is excessive; unfortunately, as with a human drink problem, admitting it is half way to finding a solution - and the manufacturer won't do that because it's potentially expensive.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - DavidHM
0W30 is a fairly common engine oil grade. However, I think the issue here is that the car is on variable servicing, which means the oil needs to meet VW 503-00 specifications. Castrol SLX appears to be the only oil in the UK that meets that, although there are others in the US and Germany.

There was another thread on it but it contains quite a lot of inaccurate information about whether or not an engine is a pd.

Skoda dealers also sell this oil, so it may be worth getting a price from them.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Tony N
High oil consumption seems to be a characteristic of running on these engines, its why though go on for so long as it takes a while for the rings to fully bed in. You'll probably find it won't use a drop after 100k (if you've still got it!), not much consolation I know...
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Tony N
High oil consumption seems to be a characteristic of running on
these engines,


running-in I mean...
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Roger Jones
Well, look at this: I've come full circle from a Google search back into the Back Room:

Re: audi a4 2.4 v6 - Honestjohn Tue 7 May 02 13:17

See car by car breakdown. Early examples had an oil consumption problem.

HJ
________________________

Maybe it wasn't confined to the 2.4 V6.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
Clearly the oil consumption is far too high. In my opinion the 'maximum oil consumption' figures printed in handbooks are rather suspect - I think they are in there to protect the manufacturer from warranty claims, rather than being representative of what a modern engine should achieve. With modern metrology and machining the piston/bore should be well matched and oil consumption should quickly settle to negligible levels after a few thousand miles. Back when my dad ran his garage we reckoned that 500 miles per pint (i.e. about half a litre) was indicative of the need for a rebore.
The kind of oil consumption you are talking about is not good for the cat either.
The problem you have is that because the required repair (i.e. a new engine!) is very expensive, Audi will hide behind what they've written in the handbook. I don't see an easy way out for you.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Tony N
Part of the problem is the riduculously thin synthetic oils maufacturers insist on using these days to keep service intervals up. I've always bedded in rebuilt engines with a thick grade oil, something like a 15W50, along those lines, with regular changes to allow the rings to bed-in properly. I maintain what I said earlier though, you'll find these VAG engines that 'need replacing' will burn no oil at all when they've reached six figure mileages, which sadly doesn't help someone with nice new shiny Audi...
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
There is too much mythology about oil. 0W-30 is not ridiculously thin - synthetics of this grade were developed in Germany during the Second World War (for use on the Russian front in winter) and have been used ever since.
Using a thicker oil would *delay* bedding-in since the film thickness in the bore will be greater than with a lighter grade of oil. Running-in oils (when they were used years ago) were always *thinner* than regular oils to speed-up the bedding-in process.
The real advantage of the synthetic over the mineral oil is high temperature stability and the much higher film strength (most minerals around 400psi; most synthetics over 4000psi) - this is a big issue in Pumpe-Duese engines and this is the reason that VW/Audi specify SLX.
When this particular Audi engine reaches 'six figures' not only will it continue to burn oil past the rings, it will also burn a certain amount via the valve-guides. The original problem is symptomatic of poor matching of piston/bore diameters - either due to human error at the factory or to a metrology error in production.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - madf
Do you drive sedately or rev to 4500 rpm?

If the former the rings have not bedded in due to gentle driving. With the 30k mileage you have on the engine, there is no reason not to drive it hard...
madf
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
As it happens, the reason I bought a multi-tronic is to have a more relaxed and easy driving experience and as such, I often leave the gearstick in the 'D' position. Sometimes, I do use the multi-tronic feature and use the + and - options to get out of trouble at roundabouts or when overtaking.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Tony N
Ok ridiculously thin may be a slight exaggeration, but it is significantly less viscous than a 50 grade oil - which is perhaps more relevant to older vehicles.

This car does seem to have particularly high consumption but I've known more than one VW/Audi to use relatively large amounts of oil up to this sort of mileage only to settle down to acceptable levels as more mileage is covered.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - eMBe {P}
you can buy a 5l can from an independent .... . This should cost less than £20 no matter what.>>


Please tell me where? - in the Surrey or W/SW-London area, as I'd like to buy some.
--
Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Malcolm_L
As has been previously mentioned, your consumption will not be
doing your cat any good at all - however this probably won't manifest itself until the first MOT.
Are you a member of any motoring organisation? It might be worthwhile going through them if you are - The handbook figures are probably worst case scenario, i.e. Running in.

General consensus is that bore/ring fit is not right - Audi are obliged to correct this IF this can be proved it left the line with a fault.

However, an engineers report will be required assuming Audi agree to abide by an independent report.

Motoring organisation sounds a good bet first.


You pays your money.............
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - DavidHM
The car is under warranty. Why would it need to be proved that the fault was there when it left the line? Surely they would need to show that any fault developed because of negligence or abuse by the owner.

Also, if Audi does not agree to abide by an independent report, then you would potentially have a claim against them - although the value may be more than the Small Claims track can handle.

The biggest problem is convincing anyone, Audi or a court, that the oil consumption, though on the high side of anything, is not within reasonable tolerances and that even if not, it is necessary to provide a whole new engine rather than, say, 500l of oil.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
I have called Audi's ADT (roadside assistance) more than once when the oil light has lit up. Everytime they have come out to me, they have insisted that there is nothing wrong with the engine and it is just a characteristic of this particular engine to burn more oil doue to its 'runny' consistency which is necessary to preserve the longevity of the engine.

The last time a technician called out to me, he was a bit fed up of being called out regularly and hence agreed to conduct a test by topping the oil to max and sealing the dipstick until the next time the oil light lit up.

After about 1086 miles, the light lit up, I called him out and he had to top up 900ml of oil. He reported this as a problem to Audi UK. Audi UK then asked my local dealer to conduct a similar test but over 800 miles. They have done this and they had to top up 900ml of oil again. This shows that the condition is progressively getting worse.

The Audi dealer has agreed to have my car in for a week when they will open the camshaft and replace the valve seals and piston rings. I am not sure whether this will cure the problem or compound it. Is this the same as re-boring?

Please note that to get to this situation (where an Audi dealer has acknowledged there is a problem) has taken 14 months (ie. from the very first time the oil light lit up in the car) which was 2 months (~2500 miles) after purchase. I purchased the car when it was 7 months old as a so called 'approved' used card from an Audi dealer in Bradford.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Dynamic Dave
By oil light, are you refering to the low oil pressure light, or one connected to your dipstick to inform that your oil level is low? It's not going to do the engine any good if it is the low oil pressure light that comes on.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
I mean the one connected to the dipstick to inform that the oil level is low.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
Well, it sounds like you've done well to get to this point.

The bit about 0W-30 being 'runny' is a bit of joke, and one I've heard before when high oil consumption rears its head. Let me tell you that I run my wife's Primera 2.0 GTe on a 0W-30 oil and have never had to top-up between services in 30k miles of (often high rpm) driving. The level on the dipstick does not measurably alter over 1000's of miles. There is no reason why it should in a modern car.

The problem with your Audi is most likely poor matching of piston-to-bore. When Audi make blocks and pistons there will be a small tolerance on the diameters - Audi will grade these (say) A, B, C - where A is lightly undersize, B is spot on, and C is slightly oversize. They will then put A pistons with an A block - the aim being to get a piston-to-cylinder wall clearance of about 0.01 - 0.03mm. If A pistons go in a C block then you get excessive clearance.

There are other possibilities, of course. If the engine was overheated for any reason then the pistons tend to 'over expand' in the bore, become 'tight' and that can cause excessive wear and damage. Overheating can happen even on a new car (e.g. fan or thermoswitch fault). Is there any chance you could speak to the owner who had it for the 7 months before you bought it?

Replacing valve stem seals will not help; I doubt new rings will either to be honest. New rings are not the same as reboring.

My suggestion: take it to a professional engine builder (say someone who builds race-car engines) - get them to do a few tests on the engine, e.g. dynamic compression test (where transducer is connected to a pen-chart), leakdown test and boroscope examination of the the bore surface. It might cost a bit, but probably worht it.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
To add to the above - I note that your current oil consumption is about 1 litre per 1000 miles; or 1ml per mile (a teaspoon full per 5 miles!). That IS a high consumption and one that will not be doing your oxy sensor and cat any good at all. Try to get the dealer to formally record this consumption so that when they try to sting you mega-money for a new cat and sensor ( at first MoT, just out of warranty) you've got something to counter with.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
I understand what you are saying. I doubt that contacting the previous owner will help. The car belonged to a manager in the dealership from which I bought the car. I doubt the dealership will admit to anything that could end up with them having to refund any money.

I have already got the car booked in for next week (wb 18/8/03) for the whole week to have the work carried out.

The senior technician at the dealer is confident that the work he is proposing to undertake will cure the problem because he has done this before on another car and it has not come back.

I have also spoken to the ADT (Audi Dedicated Techniciajn - the chap who did the dipstick test) and he too agrees that the proposed work will fix the problem and in any case, when they open up the engine, they should be able to spot anything else that's abnormal.

My plan is as follows:

Now that Audi UK have commissioned this work, essentially, they have admitted that there is a problem. If after the dealer has fixed the problem I am still having trouble with the oil consumption, I shall then take the matter up formally with Audi UK and get What Car magazine's helpline people involved. Hopefully, that will see the matter to a good conclusion. How does that sound like a plan?
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - blondie
I have exactly the same problem with an A4 I bought new in 2001. The oil consumption has been high from the start but within the limits stated in the handbook. I was initially told to expect this as the engine was running in. Around 20000 miles I started to monitor the amount I was using. This has got progressively worse and I am now using 1 litre of oil every 900 miles. I am in the process of having the consumption measured by the Audi dealership. Every dealership I have been to denies any knowledge of an ongoing problem with oil consumption and the A4. I've been given the run-around when it comes to getting them to investigate the problem. I am now nearing the 60,000 miles mark and expiry of the warranty. However I intend to pursue this problem to the finish. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one experiencing this problem. £20000 is too much to spend on a faulty car. Let me know how things progress Shifty.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Vagelis
Hello shifty,

My father-in-law had exactly the same problem with a 16v 1.8 Xantia he bought back in 96. Way too high oil consumption. The same story with Citroen insisting that the consumption was normal, like it's normal to top-up your car's oil every 1000km!

After several attempts and threats of going public through a magazine, they accepted the car for repair, just before the warranty expired!

The findings? Bad piston rings had scratched the cylinder, and oil was coming up through the scratches!

Good thing the car was in warranty, so my FIL didn't have any more problems with them!

Vagelis.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - shifty
Hi Vagelis,

Thanks for your posting. It is very reassuring to know this.
This is exactly why I made my initial posting, ie. to see if someone had already been through a similar experience and to test if the solution being proposed by the dealer has been experienced by anyone else. Sounds like your FIL has been through a similar experience to the one I am going through.

I hope I get this problem resolved too.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
I agree that scratched bores will cause high oil consumption - the snag is that the remedy for scratched bores is a new engine! Replacing the piston rings will not help remedy bore damage.
Let us know the outcome, Shifty.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - eMBe {P}
I have just posted the following in another thread (in error!)
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=4951&m...6

Audi now claim that some of their engines can go without an oil service up to 24 months/30,000miles if you use Castrol SLX long-life 2. And you get better fuel economy! Is HJ's advice up to date with this tchnology?
www.audi.co.uk/customer/servicingoption.jsp

>>>.... There is no predetermined mileage for a service. Depending on how you drive, the interval will be up to 19,000 miles /24 months for petrol engines, up to 22,000 miles/24 months for the V6 TDI diesel and up to 30,000 miles/24 months for 3 and 4 cylinder TDI diesel engines. .....
.... Important ? Special Oil Requirements
To benefit from the new technology and Audi Variable Service Intervals, newly developed Long Life oils such as Castrol SLX OW30 Long Life 2 must be used (please refer to owners handbook). They have been specially formulated for Audi and are a new generation of ultra high-grade synthetic oils designed to withstand ageing and high loads without deterioration. Using ordinary high quality multigrade oil will not cause any engine damage but it will defeat the object of the new technology and cause a service to be needed at 10,000 miles. In addition, compared with conventional oils, Long Life oils gives exceptional levels of engine protection, are kinder to the environment and deliver fuel savings. In recent tests carried out on vehicles in Germany SLX Long Life 2 resulted in a fuel saving of 2.72%. .... >>>>

--
Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
In the 1980's I was working for the old AE group at their 'advanced research centre' and we had test engines doing 100k miles on their original fill of oil.
Nowadays (using centripetal oil filter technology) there is no reason why a car can't do 100k on its original factory fill. I'm wondering who will be the first to do this.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - eMBe {P}
>> at their 'advanced research centre' and we had test engines doing 100k miles on their original fill of oil.
Nowadays (using centripetal oil filter technology) there is no reason why a car can't do 100k on its original factory fill.
I'm wondering who will be the first to do this.


Didn't the Cadillac Seville specify 100,000 miles for a service?
--
Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - eMBe {P}
David HM : I would welcome a reply to my post timed at 14.43 further up above, please.

Aprilia: Is the GM-SJ fully synth comparable to Castrol-SLX?

--
Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
Just been in the workshop putting a new waterpump on a Merc. By chance looked at the GM oildrum and its actually SL-spec (so better than SJ).

No, its not directly comparable to SLX - SLX was primarily developed for the 'Pumpe-Duese' equipped engines and has a higher flim strength. For most non-Pumpe-Duese engines the GM oil would be more than adequate though. There are very few road-going cars that really stress a modern synthetic.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Roger Jones
I met someone who owned a Caddy on a 100k major service interval. He didn't miss a single "lube job" every six months. Frequent lube jobs are a widespread habit in the States; it's cheap and easy, so people tend to do it.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
The US lubricant companies have managed to keep the '3000-mile' oil change myth alive and well. A car running in (more severe) European conditions gets a 20k change interval - in the US it gets 3k !
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aretas
Shifty,

I have a car identical to yours. It uses no oil at all.

Mike H
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - jud
my neighbour has this 2l A4 it gobbles oil even now with high miles up, he waits while the oil level light comes on then top it up, he's not well pleased.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - GIM
I am just wondering how many of these cars with high oil consumption have been run in on fully synthetic oil from new.

Piston powered aircraft/helicopters owners were strongly discouraged from using fully synthetic oil for the first 50 hours as the wear rates were so low the rings would not bed in properly.

To quote an aviation article,.....'The word from the people who
make the rings - don't try to break the engine in on synthetics or you'll have trouble getting the rings to seal'.

I wonder how relevant this is to modern day cars.
Audi A4 (New 2001 model) Oil Consumption - Aprilia
I think these cars are factory filled with a synthetic meeting VW503 spec.
The 'running in' issue is not so relevant these days because most cars are factory-filled with synthetic and the bore is honed to take account of that.
 

Value my car