DIY engine oil change instructions for VW Jetta, Golf, Sportwagen TDI, and Audi A3 TDI

(10,000 miles or as needed, 4.3 liters/4.5 quarts)
Difficulty: 2/5
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This article shows how to change the engine oil on your 8p generation (2010-2013) Audi A3 TDI and VW Golf TDI, and Jetta TDI or Sportwagen TDI with the 2.0L CBEA/CJAA engine.  The oil change interval is 10,000 miles.

The most common mistake by the dealer is to overfill the engine oil so check the level afterwards.  Many thanks to fahrenheit351 for donating most of the pictures and procedure.  He won a writeup contest for this contribution and so can you.  See this post for more details.

Your engine is a common rail engine, see 1000q: direct injection vs. pumpe duse vs. common rail for more details.  It should use VW/Audi spec 507.00 engine oil only for common rail engines at least for warranty purposes.  Keep all your engine oil change receipts as well.  See the TSB below for a list of approved engine oils.  DO NOT trust the dealer to comply with this requirement!  Dealer techs are busy and often make mistakes!  The number of TDI coming through the dealer garage is small compared to the number of gassers and many dealers have made this mistake in the past!  Always check with the exact tech working on your car which oil he is using.  Also check the engine oil level to make sure they didn't overfill it because this is a common complaint.

2009 Jetta TDI and 2010-2012 Audi A3 TDI have the CBEA engine.  2010 and newer Jetta, Golf, and wagons have the CJAA engine.  The most noticeable difference is in the oil pump/balance shaft and 2 piece DPF/NOx catalyst.  See this forum thread for more details. The CBEA takes 4.0L of oil and the CJAA takes 4.3L of oil. Just check the level as you're filling and it should be fine.

This is a relatively new spec oil so the best place to find it is from the dealer or an online wholesaler.  I suggest sticking to the factory specification oil at least for warranty purposes.  Some common oils that are VW/Audi 507.00 spec are Castrol SLX Professional LL03, Motul specific VW 507.00, Total Quartz Ineo 5w30 507.00, and Mobil 1 ESP Formula 5W-30.  507 engine oil also maximizes the lifespan of the DPF, the diesel particulate filter.  See 1000q: DPF FAQ for details on this system.  The part numbers for VW 507.00 oil are:
VW# g v52 195 a1 (g v52 195 a1) for .5 liter
VW# gvw 052 195 m2 (gvw 052 195 m2) for 1 liter
VW# gvw 052 195 m4 (gvw 052 195 m4)for 5 liters

To the right is the TSB which lists engine oils approved by VW/Audi - right click, save as or click to view (scroll down to the bottom for 507.00 oils that should be used on your Audi A3 TDI)

There are 2 different engine oil filter types, pictured below.  Supposedly, the meyle/VW filter is made by Purflux and has an accordion element and the mann filter is made by hummel has a straight element.  Both came stock on brand new cars.  These filters are also used in the VW R32 Golf and Audi TT V6.  

Parts (click links to check current prices)

For Audi A3: T15, T20, and T30 torx for the splash shield under the engine
For Jetta/Golf: T25 and T30 torx
19mm socket for oil pan drain plug
32mm or 1 1/4" socket for the oil filter housing cap (may need 3/8-1/4" adapter)
3/8 extension or 1/2" extension with u-joint
torque wrench (see 1000q: torque wrench FAQ for tips on brand and use)

507.00 engine oil: 4.0-4.3 liters / 4.5 quarts Pentosin 5w30 507.00
1 engine oil filter VW/Audi# 071 115 562 c, from kermatdi

Here is TDI Hoo's review of the Assenmacher oil funnel (click to enlarge gallery)
tdi oil funneljetta tdi oil funneljsw tdi oil funnelvw tdi oil funnelVW JSW oil change

Oil change Procedure CBEA or CJAA engine

With the car off, apply the parking brake, and safely and securely raise the car as described in your factory service manual.  Make sure the car is safe and secure before getting under the car.   See 1000q: wood blocks for details on wood blocks I use on my car.

Remove the lower engine cover/black plastic splash shield.  I am told that the Audi A3 has 1x T15 torx screw at the front, 8x T20 torx screws along the sides, and 3x T30 torx screws at the rear.  On the Jetta/Golf, there's 1x T25 screw at the front, 4x T25 along each side, and 3x T30 along the rear.

Slide the cover back towards the rear of the car to remove the plastic splash shield.  It likes to go on/off at a certain angle to avoid catching.

Remove the top engine cover by pulling it straight up and off.  It's held by rubber snaps - the locations are highlighted below.  The VW engine cover is the same except it has a VW symbol.

Here is where the rubber ball snaps were.  The location of the oil filter housing cap is shown with a red dot below.

Use a 3/8 extension and 32mm or 1 1/4" socket to loosen the filter cap.  A 1/2" extension will not fit through the gap and won't work without a u-joint.  Have some paper towels handy to prevent drips during filter removal. 

Lift up the oil filter slightly so that most of the oil will drain out of the housing and off the filter.   Put the oil filter back down and let it sit unscrewed for a while to drip dry some more.

Remove the filter first because this type of filter housing has a release which lets oil drain out of the housing and into the oil pan.  Removing the filter first opens the button which drains oil out of the housing.  When the oil filter is in place, the release is closed.  This ensures that the filter is full of engine oil and not air on cold engine starts.  If you want to get the little bit of oil that will still be sitting in the oil filter housing out, use a vacuum hand pump or turkey baster to suck it out.  

Separate the old filter from the oil filter cap.  There are some snaps that hold it on and can be seen in the other pictures.

If the plastic tip sticking out of the filter breaks off, get it out.

Remove the 19mm oil drain plug and let the oil drain.  Your local auto parts store should have a used oil collection.  Do not empty used oil into the ground because it is extremely polluting.  Your local garage and most auto parts stores have free engine oil disposal.  Do not dump old engine oil onto the ground or into the water!  If you can't find a dump for used coolant/antifreeze, engine oil, gear oil, or other car fluids, can search for a local waste disposal.

Replace the large o-ring on the filter cap and small o-ring at the tip of the cap thing.  Wet them with clean engine oil before installation to prevent them from getting pinched.  

Replace oil drain plug and torque to 22 ft lbs (30NM).  Remember that the oil pan is aluminum, do not over tighten it!

Fill the oil filter housing with engine oil and replace the filter cap.  You have to wait until after putting the filter back or else the button will be open and all the oil will just drain into the oil pan.  Torque the cap to a maximum of 18 ft lbs (25NM).  Don't over tighten it because the o-ring will do its job.

Refill with oil.  First add 4 liters/quarts and check the level.  Add more oil as necessary until it is near just below the max mark on the dipstick.  The CBEA takes 4.0L of oil and the CJAA takes 4.3L of oil.

Double check the oil drain plug and oil filler cap or leaks.  The rest of installation is the reverse of removal

Start the engine and let it idle for 30 sec-1 minute while you inspect for any leaks, strange noises, or warning lights on the dashboard.

If some engine oil spilled onto your driveway, first wipe it up with towels.  Then pour some driveway spill absorber or basic kitty litter on the spill.  Step and grind the litter into a dust and let it sit to absorb the stain.  When the dust is wet, sweep it up and dispose. 

Do you have any other tips for changing the engine oil on an Audi A3 TDI or see an error?  Please comment here:

Here is a video explaining this in more detail

TDILow3 made an oil extractor storage sleeve using some PVC piping to keep the tubing clean. Here is a .pdf showing the project:

Above the car method of changing the engine oil

You can also suck the engine oil out through the dipstick.  The factory approved method is by using an oil extractor but I prefer to get under the car because the oil drains out much faster and it lets you inspect the stuff underneath the car.

You can find a good oil extraction pump from Pela.  I bought a generic one from harbor freight and it didn't work at all because the tubing collapses.  I would avoid using a small mity-vac type hand pump because oil is pretty thick and it'll take forever to pump it out.  The dipstick is also slightly smaller than in earlier TDI and it may be a tight fit.

To extract the engine oil out the top, insert the oil extractor through the dipstick and suck the oil out.  If the engine is warm the oil will flow much easier.  The rest of the procedure is the same.  Below is a video demonstrating the procedure on an older car, the video is provided to give you an idea of how it works.