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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the UK and drive a 2 month old Audi Q5 2.0tdi, I've already put 3,000 miles on this and tend to commute 100 miles to work and back at least 3 times a week. I can't believe that the onboard computer still says that I am 16,000 miles away from an oil change. I frequently listen to American radio, over there they change their oil every 3,000 miles and they do not have the same hold ups about cars with high mileage. For example, a Honda with 120,000 miles will be viewed as "good for another 120,000 miles". In the UK we seem to have a cap at 100,000 and see it as a risk.

America has these "jiffy-lubes" where you pop your car in for a quick oil change whilst you're at Walmart etc, we do not have anything like this, I think they use cheaper oil in their day to day cars, probably as oil costs are cheap and therefore they swap it more frequently.

I thought I'd dig further and look on the Audi USA website, afterall an old Honda with 120,000 on the clock can't really be compared to a new Audi given that new cars and better oils could in fact require less frequent servicing. Audi USA recommend an oil change after the first 5,000 miles across the range of all of their cars! How can this possibly be the case, if I bought a Q5 here it wouldn't need its oil changed until 10,000 miles min and 20,000 max. Even the new USA diesel Audi models are recommended an oil change at 5k. What's going on? Here is the link to the Audi website:

http://microsites.audiusa.com/ngw/11/media/downloads/pdfs/us/scheduled_maintenance/ScheduledMaintFlipChart_2012.pdf

According to this, after the first 5k oil change Audi recommend an oil change every 10k miles in all of their cars (if you look at the columns), how come it's nearly 20,000 in the UK, it's the same car afterall.

Audi USA also do a 4 year warranty as standard, in the UK it's 3.

I plan to keep my Q5 for as long as I can, I love the car and I'm aiming for 200k out of it, I've made the decision to get the oil changed at 5,000 miles and then every 10k miles after that in line with Audi USA quidance not Audi UK.
 
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Very very good question.

In Aus, the oil change intervals sound similar to the UK except that I don't think they do the variable distance but just stick to a fixed distance (I think it's 15k or 20k km). The distance at which a car is considered "warn out" (as promoted by the media) is 100,000km so we are even worse off than yourselves - how ridiculous!

I have a BMW 135i which has the variable service intervals. It has the first oil change scheduled for 25,000km
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi @CrustyNoodle - thanks for your reply, how crazy that after around 60,000 miles the cars would be considered end of life! The BMW oil change interval @ 25km sounds similar to the Audi although mine would be at 19,000 miles at time of first change.

I'm waiting for the reaction when I book it in at Audi for an oil change at 5,000 miles, I'm also going to call Audi UK on Monday to see what the difference is between USA and UK advice on servicing an Audi, just doesn't seem right to me.
 

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I don't quite know why the North Americans seem to get treated very differently from the rest of the world, just look at the prices they pay for their Q5s - I'm quite sure the RoW is subsidising them.

In NA, the Q5s that suffered the water pump failures (V6's) had their warranty extended - not so in Australia!
 

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You also have to consider the cost of the oil which I'm sure will be much cheaper in the US. I know in the scheme of things it is a small price to pay to maintain a £30-45K plus motor in good condition, but these things do contribute to the overall annual running costs.

I know in an ideal world you would change the oil every six month or 5K miles but such schedules do become cost prohibitive. In fact this was the recommended schedule for my Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland which could be indicative of the US motor manufacturers attitude to fuel/oil costs. Maybe Audi USA think their customers are used to it!

My S5, granted it was a 4.2 V8, took 9 litres of high grade oil at £18/litre. Add a filter, new drain plug, labour, etc. and you end up with a bill for an 'oil change only' service of £300+. With prices like this you can't blame owners for following the service schedules laid down by Audi or their cars on board systems rather than voluntarily book their cars in ahead of schedule.

Kramer - if you go to Audi for the 5K oil change and find the cost high, would you consider going elsewhere and would this impact on your warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ref: "Kramer - if you go to Audi for the 5K oil change and find the cost high, would you consider going elsewhere and would this impact on your warranty?"

As long as you use the recommended oil and Audi filter you can take it anywhere for a service or oil change without it affecting the warranty - however I took my A5 for an oil service at Kwik-Fit a few years ago and they left fixing screws off the bottom tray and were generally hopeless at removing the old filter and they made a real mess, this was a lease car but as I have bought the Q5 I will only ever be taking it to my local Audi. Q5 oil changes are around £130 I believe. That being said I am considering a new A8, the dealers are offering £10k contribution and 4.5% APR, if I can get a v.good trade in on my current Q5 I'd be tempted to order one for March "12" plate delivery.
 

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Bored of the q5 already?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No I love the Q5 and I can't wait for the snow. It's just the A8 is such a great deal at the moment - I also hear that the new Q7 will be 650lb lighter and possibly have a 2.5 tdi engine - this is another option which could be a possibility. Should I be keeping the Q5 I'll be getting the oil changed in January though and I'll be potting a call into Audi UK tomorrow to get their take on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found a company that will analyse oil and I'm having a sample of my oil tested. The Q5 has covered. 8000 miles, mix of motorway and city driving. I'll be really interested to see whether a new car really should go up to 18k miles on the same oil. The company tests for traces of soot, metal and any other bad stuff and they tell you whether the oil is still working as it should and when you should change it. For £30 it's good piece of mind and it will finally put an answer to my question. Results to follow next week
 

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Definitely interested in your findings mate as we got our cars at a similar time and have covered a similar mileage..
 

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I suspect the difference here is the quality of the oil used. I doubt Walmart is putting in the synthetic stuff. If its commonplace in the US to put cheap oil in on every street corner, the differences make sense.
 

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Oil changes, these have been set up and monitored by a differential pressure switch across the oil filter. Yes in an ideal world the car will meet the high milage before oil change because of constant good mileage during operation and operating temperatures to get rid of the moisture and deposits that can be removed with an engine operating at the correct working temperature. However a car that does school runs and small runs to the shop the oil will become dirtier and therefor require to be changed sooner as the operating temperature of the oil cannot get rid of the deposits.
SOOT will never damage an engine it will only make the oil black, hence the manufacture of the oil filter allow the soot to pass through and "trap"the other harmful deposits ie carbon from poor combustion, if soot was to be "trapped"the oil filter will have to be changed sooner. These engines will never pass metal unless some one runs bad fuel, allows water into the oil, wrong type of oil, and neglects the cooling system. The oil type also reflects in the fuel emissions and fuel econimie, hence the requirment for the regulations, also the enviromental issue of disposing of the waste products, also look into manufacturing costs. Europe has tough emission and enviroment control hence the high mileage and specification of the oils which relates to cost. As mentioned in America it is cheaper to change the oil, lower grade, fuel costs unles you are in California.
The big picture also is clean air, if you are on 'dusty roads"the engine will take that dust in pass through the combustion process and may leave some in the oil, but we are looking at microns here again relating to oil changes being sooner than other countries,
Dont waste your cash on oil sampling unless you require to look for something specific as you will just get the standard inspection results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Small amounts of metal come off the engine when it's being broken in. This is why Audi USA change at 5000 miles for first service.

The type of oil is the same for UK and USA so cost should not be a deciding factor in the manufacturer specifying intervals.

The computer sets the service interval in the first 200 miles of driving, if your habits change afterwards the computer doesn't seem to take this into effect and you could be leaving it too long before changing the oil.

The test will tell me how much life my oil has left, I'm betting a few thousand miles and yet the computer says 12,000 miles more.

Changing the oil for my own peace of mind would cost £160 each time, the one off sample is £30 so I can't see how this is a waste of money.

My respected independent mechanic has advised me to change every 12,000 miles and says that 18,000 is too far.

There is so much debate about this on other forums it will be good to find out the truth and what's best for my car.
 
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Kramer,
Fair comment your car you do what you want.
I have been involved with diesel/natural gas, well gas, methane gas/petrol/HFO engines for 34+ years running oil samples, metal detectors. Engine manufacturing and build is very reliable with no or little metal particles being found with normal inspection.
Engine break in
I also have witness tested engines during build, load test to 110% within the first 2 hours of their life, engineering tolerences now a days dont require break in periods.
I will put money on the fact the oil they are using will have very little anti wear properties to allow piston ring and bore wear to enable faster rig/bore contact. We used this many years back to prevent oil consumption and changed out at 10000KM on truck engines.
Ford had the same issue in the late 80"s with their diesel engines.
 

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Kramer,
Engine break in
I also have witness tested engines during build, load test to 110% within the first 2 hours of their life, engineering tolerences now a days dont require break in periods.
I will put money on the fact the oil they are using will have very little anti wear properties to allow piston ring and bore wear to enable faster rig/bore contact. We used this many years back to prevent oil consumption and changed out at 10000KM on truck engines.
Ford had the same issue in the late 80"s with their diesel engines.
When building engines for performance some manufacturers of piston rings advise no oil or assembly lube in the bores; those first few seconds before the oil gets around is enough to bed in the rings/bores of course the rest of the engine is lubed, for the reason given by Kramer I would never run a new engine on Fully synthetic oil given the choice.

I can even remember an old issue of a car mag in the 60s explaining how a mini engine was run in its first 3 lap race with metal polish in the oil ...
 

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Just awaiting delivery of my 1st q5 so although im not an owner yet, i will be soon :)

im a diagnostic technician dealing with Audi and most other manufactures daily so thought id share my thoughts on oil changes.
i will be changing my oil after the 1st 5000 and then will continue to change it every 10000 at least ! I will only use the correct grade of low ash oil, will be ignoring the service indicators recommendations and wouldn't trust kwik fit to change a bulb :) Although i carry out work for most of the main dealers aswell and wouldnt trust many of them either.

Oil tests aren't a bad idea at all , i recently had some tests carried out on a few "budget" oils supplied by the big aftermarket suppliers. None of them passed quality tests and some didnt even meet the grades they were meant to be. I use this to prove to my customers that you get what you pay for and quality really does matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got the package in the post last night from these guys: http://www.theoillab.co.uk/, they provided me with a tube, a syringe, a plastic container and tube shaped self addressed package to return "my sample" in. It came with a form and I said I had done 8k miles on the oil and wanted to know how much life it had left and when I should do an oil change.

I took off the engine cover today and located where the dip stick would be if it had one, removed the small cap and fed the tube 90% of the way in and used the syringe to extract about 50ml of oil. All packaged up now and sent to the lab so should hear back early next week with the results.
 
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Got the package in the post last night from these guys: http://www.theoillab.co.uk/, they provided me with a tube, a syringe, a plastic container and tube shaped self addressed package to return "my sample" in. It came with a form and I said I had done 8k miles on the oil and wanted to know how much life it had left and when I should do an oil change. I took off the engine cover today and located where the dip stick would be if it had one, removed the small cap and fed the tube 90% of the way in and used the syringe to extract about 50ml of oil. All packaged up now and sent to the lab so should hear back early next week with the results.
Sounds a bit like a scene from CSI
 

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Interesting reading on this link from Audi and VW

www.volkspage.net/technik/ssp/ssp/SSP_224.pdf
 

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Got the package in the post last night from these guys: http://www.theoillab.co.uk/, they provided me with a tube, a syringe, a plastic container and tube shaped self addressed package to return "my sample" in. It came with a form and I said I had done 8k miles on the oil and wanted to know how much life it had left and when I should do an oil change.

I took off the engine cover today and located where the dip stick would be if it had one, removed the small cap and fed the tube 90% of the way in and used the syringe to extract about 50ml of oil. All packaged up now and sent to the lab so should hear back early next week with the results.
Nice find.
 
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