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I've been reading about camshaft wear and lubrication, seems to be a polarizing topic. There is a lot of talk about different oil additives like ZDDP. I have never added anything to my engine oil, and wonder if this is necessary? I'm going to replace my camshaft and lifters soon and would like them to last as long as possible. Are additives the real thing or expensive snake oils? Which ones? :dunno
The mechanic that recently worked on the car recommended one of those bypass oil filter units, any thoughts? Would these finer filters remove the additives before they could do any good?
Thanks, Tom
 

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Camshaft wear seems to apply more to the earlier pumpe duse engines. I don't know enough nor do I think anyone knows 100%, but there were supposedly soft camshafts. The small contact area due to space constraints and the high pressure of the pumpe duse injector may have made it worse or caused it.

Either way, use the correct oil and just use oil. Oil has all the additives in it that you need. Your 2003 is not pumpe duse (PD) and doesn't need the pumpe duse oils. Here is a references to a few engine oils that can be used on the VW and which spec it meets: http://myturbodiesel.com/1000q/engine_oil_reference_list.htm

IMO, oil bypass makes a difference but seeing how stock cars could last past 400,000 miles, it's up to you. Most people ask about engine break in, while it does make a difference, how many TDI engines are thrown out due to worn rings (assuming proper maintenance and no other catastrophic issues)? If you are using veg oil and grease, maybe.
 

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I read another thread about ZDDP but I also am a fan of just using oil. I'm sure there is a difference but then you have to worry about burning any additive, the additional lifetime cost, whatever. IMO, there were some early camshaft wearing but if you want your car to run like new for 400,000 miles, you have to accept that some parts get worn out. The chain drive for the oil pump also gets worn out. And yes you hear about some original owners who have gotten over 300,000 miles so I think you can't discount original owners,
 

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Thing is, most car owner's don't keep their car that long. What reasonable maintenance to you isn't reasonable maintenance to others. I can only speak for myself - regular engine oil changes is all I do. I've used Marvel Mystery oil on an Audi that had some sludge. It's normal to see some "splooge" on the inside of the oil cap since they get some condensation there. But this one had some buildup beyond that so some additive was put in to at least try to flush it out as much as possible without further repair expense.
 

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ZDDP is one of the stop-gaps for the stop gap BEW/BRM engines, with their unit injectors and poor cam setup.

The API has reformulated the oil specs, reducing Zinc additives (like ZDDP) by 50% last year. In certain engines, most specific, flat tappet engines, there has been noted an accelerated wear rate from the loss of one of the largest flat tappet maufacturers. Second string manufacturers have filled the gap, but I believe, poorly.

The worst VW offenders for tappet wear are the PD engines. In their case particularly, several TDI'ers I know are attempting to re-engineer some of the problems associated with that motor.

One good step is to use the best oil you can find. Additives have their place. I approve of ZDDP as an additive and Torco as a engine builder's prelube. Although the oils API have changed, ones like Mobile 1 Truck and SUV and Rotella T 5-40 are excellent choices for the ALH/AHU engine. The later PD's, I have selected Elf Excellium 5-40, Motul or Pentosin as top picks. You can't be too careful with the PD's.
 
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