Engine oil list for TDI diesel
Approved or acceptable engine oils for VW, Audi, and Porsche TDI engines
VW auto group (VAG) calls for certain oil specs in their diesel engines. VAG owns Audi and Porsche and they use the same or nearly identical diesel engines. The major differences in oil specification are regular diesel engine oil, pumpe duse engine oil, and oil for engines with diesel particulate filters. This page lists the different VAG specs and has the oil list TSB attached. See the FAQ article TDI vs. pumpe duse vs. common rail for some differences in these engines fuel systems. This page focuses on which oil you can use in what engine.
Diesel engine oil uses different additives and is slightly different than most gas engine oils. All modern diesels are turbocharged and diesel engines naturally have more piston blowby than gas engines. The engine oil must be compression ignition rated (CI) so it can stand up to the heat of the turbo and keep combustion byproducts and diesel fuel suspended in the oil. If oil overheats or doesn't have the right additive packages, it can cause excess engine wear. Not using the correct spec engine oil can also affect the engine warranty.
Recommended engine oil change interval on TDI engines and common oil change questions
The recommended oil change interval is 10,000 miles. Trucking companies and other industrial engines use engine oil for 20,000-30,000+ miles but they use engine oil analysis to determine oil change intervals. Because of the large amount of oil they use, oil testing is more economical than changing it early. Passenger cars operate on different duty cycles and it's not economical to do testing on only a few liters, so I recommend just changing it every 10,000 miles. Changing your oil every 3,000 miles does nothing but waste of money and oil. Modern gasoline cars also have recommended oil changes of 5-10,000 miles depending on use and oil type. Although synthetic is more expensive, the longer change interval cuts the number of oil changes, realizing a cost savings.
It is normal for the engine oil to be black, even when just changed. This is normal for a TDI and is perfectly fine. There's a little bit of oil remaining in the engine when you do an oil change and it's enough to turn all of the oil black. For oil change DIY on your TDI engine, search this wiki/FAQ.
myturbodiesel.com recommends KermaTDI for your TDI specific engine oil
Here is the TSB which lists engine oils approved by VW - right click, save as or click to view. Scroll down to see the 501.01, 506.01, or 507.00 oils.
Older TDI engine oil list
Older TDI engines up to 2003 in North America could use more common diesel engine oil. VW 505.00, API CI-4, API CH-4, or API CG-4 all can be used in these engines in addition to pumpe duse approved oils. Listed below are synthetic oils that meet VW certifications in bold. This list is just a recommendation, responsibility for choosing the correct oil is up to you!
Penzoil long life for diesel pickups 15w-40 meets CI-4
Quaker state synthetic 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W30, 10W40, 15W40, CI-4, CH-4 will work, not best choice
Quaker state HDX 15w-40 CI-4
Castrol Syntec 0w-30 (Syntec is okay for direct injection, not okay for pumpe) meets VW 502.00, 505.00, 503.01
Castrol Syntec 5w-40 (5w-50 is not approved) meets VW 502 00 and 505 00
Castrol Syntec 5w-30, 10w-30, 10w-40 will work, but not the best choice.
Castrol GTX diesel meets API CI-4
Mobil Delvac 1 5w-40 meets CI-4
Mobil 0w-40 meets VW 502.00/505.00/503.01
Mobil 1 Turbodiesel truck 5w-40 meets CI-4
Shell Rotella T 15w-40 triple protection meets CI-4
Shell Rotella T 15w-40 multigrade meets CI-4
Shell Rotella T6 15w-40
Shell Rotella T synthetic 5w-40 meets CI-4
Shell Rotella T SB synthetic blend, okay for ......NEEDS FACT CHECKING
PetroCanada Duron synthetic 5w-40
Motul 6100 Synerge 10w-40 meets VW 505.00/500.00
Chevron Delo 400 synthetic meets CI-4
Chevron Delo Multigrade 15w-40 synthetic meets CI-4
Amsoil series 3000 5w-30 Heavy duty diesel meets CI-4, MB 228.1, 228.3, 229.1, recommended oil change of 25,000mi or 1 year, whichever comes first.
AMSOIL Synthetic 5W-40 Premium Diesel Oil (DEO) meets CI-4, MB 228.3
AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-40 High performance meets CI-4
Redline 15w-40 diesel synthetic meets CI-4
ELF SOLARIS LLX 5W-30 meets VW 504.00/507.00
ELF EVOLUTION CRV 0W-30 synthetic meets 503.00/506.00/506.01
ELF EXCELLIUM 0W-40 synthetic meets VW 500.00/505.00
ELF EXCELLIUM DID 5W-40 synthetic meets 500.00/505.00/505.01
ELF EXCELLIUM LDX 5W-40 synthetic meets 502.00/505.00 MB p.229.3
ELF EXCELLIUM LDX 0W-30 synthetic meets 503.01/502.00/505.00 MB p.229.3
ELF EXCELLIUM FULL-TECH 0W30 synthetic meets 502.00 / 505.00 MB PAGE 229.5
ELF EXCELLIUM 5w-30 synthetic, MB specific MB p.229.5 VW 500.00, 505.00 MB p.229.1
ELF COMPETITION ST 15W-50 semi synthetic VW 500.00 (level)/505.00 MB p.229.1
ELF COMPETITION STI 10W-40 semi synthetic VW 500.00 (level)/505.00 MB p.229.1
ELF TURBO DIESEL 10W-40 semi synthetic VW 505.00 MB p.229.1
ELF PRESTIGRADE TS 15W-40 non synthetic 501.01/505.00 MB p. 229.1
ELF PRESTIGRADE TS 20W-50 non synthetic VW 501.01/505.00 MB p.229.2
ELF PRESTIGRADE DIESEL 15W-40 non synthetic VW 505.00 MB P. 229.1
Pumpe duse TDI engine oil list
Pumpe duse (PD) engines were sold 2004-2008 in North America and their engine oils will work on earlier engines but not vice versa. PD oil isn't better for an engine which doesn't require it. Linked here is a TSB regarding pumpe duse engine oil: engine oil TSB These oils are generally more expensive and harder to find than non PD approved oils. Pumpe duse engine oil must meet VW oil standards: 505.01, 506.01, or 507.00.
NOTE - The VW Touareg TDI V10 got a DPF filter in 2006. (This note also applies if you have a car outside of North America with a DPF). If your car has a DPF, use the DPF approved engine oils in the next section.
Camshaft wear issues
Despite using VW's oil, many pumpe duse engines have had excess camshaft wear. See 1000q: camshaft inspection and replacement to check for wear or replace worn lobes or bearings. Suspected causes are: incorrect engine oil (even when serviced at the VW dealership), dirty engine oil, soft camshaft lobes (defective construction), narrow lobes vs. older engines (bad design), high pressures on the camshaft lobes (needed in pumpe duse engines), unknown causes, or a combination of all or some of these - see the above camshaft inspection article for more details. In any case, the only engine oil which will qualify for engine warranty coverage is the oil that is approved by VW. Some camshafts have experienced excess wear even with pumpe duse engine oil. Ultimately it's up to you to determine what brand/weight/spec engine oil you want to use. I suggest using heavier weight 5w-40 vs. 5w-30. This will slightly decrease fuel economy to a tiny degree but it's just better at protecting camshafts. Some have suggested zinc additives like ZDDP to cushion the camshaft lobes but excess zinc can damage catalytic converters.
Castrol 5w40 TXT "german oil" synthetic meets VW 505.01 Note: This is NOT syntec 5w40, nowhere on the bottle should it say syntec. VW part# G052167A2 Note: this oil has been superseded with Castrol SLX professional OE 5w30.
ELF SOLARIS LSX 5W30 OEM approval for VW 507 (and VW 504)
ELF EVOLUTION CRV synthetic 0W-30 OEM approval VW 506.01 (and VW 506.00 VW 503.00)
ELF EXCELLIUM DID synthetic 5W-40 synthetic OEM approval VW 505.01 (and VW 505.00 VW 500.00)
Motul Specific 5w-40 OEM approval VW 505.01 505.00 500.00 and FORD WSS M2C 917A
Motul 6100 OEM approval VW 505.01
Anything else that is certified by VW as 505.01, 506.01, or 507.00.
DPF equipped engine and common rail engine oil
All common rail engines sold in North America (2009+) have diesel particulate filters (DPF). They should use only 507 spec engine oil, an ultra low ash engine oil to maximize the DPF lifespan. Using poor quality fuel or anything else that leaves excess ash will cause the DPF to fill up. The DPF can only burn out trapped soot - ash stays until the DPF is removed and cleaned. See 1000q: DPF regeneration and Adblue fluid FAQ for more details.
Castrol SLX Professional LL03
Motul specific VW 507.00
Total Quartz Ineo 5w30 507.00
Mobil 1 ESP Formula 5W-30
The OEM VW part numbers for 5w-30 507.00 engine oil are:
VW# gv52195a1 (g v52 195 a1) for .5 liter
VW# gvw052195m2 (gvw 052 195 m2) for 1 liter
VW# gvw052195m4 (gvw 052 195 m4)for 5 liters