View Full Version : Why you shouldn't use amsoil.

Hipster Lawrence
03-01-2012, 03:42 AM
Amsoil says their oil meets Volkswagen 505 spec for the diesels. http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/afl.aspx. Amsoil does their own testing I've heard it said they don't have oem certifications because it's too costly.

Car is a 2006 vw Jetta TDI with just over 100k. Car has been maintained religiously. Never missed an oil change and has always used the amsoil in the link. The car is immaculate other than this:

Cam that runs one of the fuel injectors.
Lifter worn completely through.
Worn out cam bearing
What the cam lobes should look like
What 3 out of 8 look like.

For me this in enough to recommend against using amsoil in anything. And I'll refuse to put it in a TDI VW.

03-01-2012, 04:09 AM
I refuse to believe that is Amsoil's fault.

Hipster Lawrence
03-01-2012, 04:13 AM
Why? What else caused it?

Eric Barrera
03-01-2012, 04:25 AM
Holy Shit.

This Is why I refuse to ever own a VW.

03-01-2012, 04:33 AM
The fact that its a VW? I dunno. I kind of have a hard time thinking its Amsoil that did that also. I have a hard time thinking the cheapest dino oil on the planet would do that only after 100k miles unless there was a manufacturing tolerance issue or something to that effect.

Im sorry Larry. I know you know your shit. But I also know there can be more to something than what you see. Are all the cams screwed up like that? I wonder what youd see if you pulled the oil pan and checked a bearing.

Hipster Lawrence
03-01-2012, 04:57 AM
It's a common issue with the TDIs using oil that doesn't meet the engineering spec. The amsoil doesn't meet the spec. Yes it's a VW issue but not when using the proper oil.

The cam lobes are very thin and the valve springs are super stiff. There is a ton of pressure on the lobes and it requires a specific oil.

A TDI would grenade before 50k if you used Dino oil.

There were no symptoms by the way. Car was running fine. The owner went to some TDI meet up and a vw guru type who was reflashing his ecu to delete EGR told him to get the cam checked. Not sure if he saw something in the data stream or what.

03-01-2012, 07:23 AM
My Celica cams look GREAT.

The Captain
03-01-2012, 06:23 PM
Mobil Delvac diesel oil FTW.

03-01-2012, 09:23 PM
any of the 04 - ~07ish TDIs use the PD injectors that are cam driven, and need to run a very specific type of oil to prevent this kind of damage. Any of the earlier TDIs (like my '03) use a single, timing belt driven, electronically controlled injector pump (basically like a tractor with electronic control of the pump voume and advance), and the very new ones use common rail with a high pressure electric pump. If you have a PD motor, you NEED to use the VW certified oil - the rest of them, any API CJ or higher rated synthetic oil will work.

There are lots of oils that can cause this exact problem with the PD motors, Rotella T6, Mobil 1, etc. etc.

I doubt he saw the problem using the VCDS - probably an offhand comment about using Amsoil (or any other non VW approved oil) in a PD car made him mention that checking the cams would be a good idea. At least this is fixable without tearing the whole engine down.

Hipster Lawrence
03-01-2012, 10:27 PM
Doesn't even need a head. He got lucky.

03-01-2012, 11:02 PM
Yeah - split cam bearings FTW. Just needs a new cam, bearings, lifters, and seal it back up. Easy.

03-01-2012, 11:42 PM
So based on what you guys just said about the various oils, there is a list of GOOD oils in there that you shouldnt run in a VW, but I wouldnt hesitate to run Amsoil in my Toyota engine. Not for a second. So just further proof that it IS VWs issue. So what Im saying is on a Toyota messageboard, you shouldnt tell Toyota owners to not run Amsoil.

03-01-2012, 11:50 PM
Well they just did.

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Hipster Lawrence
03-02-2012, 02:20 AM
Maybe you should maybe you shouldn't. How can you trust oil that comes from a company that advertises their oil as meeting the 505 spec when it obviously does not? What does that say about the company? They claim their oil meets all kind of oem specifications when it is not certified by a single one that I know of other than the antiquated SAE API certifications.

The only thing you can go on is amsoil's word that their oil is good and meets the specs they say it does. And obviously their word is suspect. At least when it comes to the 5w40 euro oil.

Fwiw Luni I'm pretty sure your German castrol meets the 505 spec and costs less than the amsoil. As does the 0w40 m1 that I run in my 20v. (Edit: I was wrong neither one do)

That's not getting into the whole pyramid scheme thing.

The Captain
03-02-2012, 02:51 AM
Astroglide. Zero friction.

Hipster Lawrence
03-02-2012, 03:52 AM
Just don't get the gel. That stuff sucks.

03-02-2012, 04:05 AM
Redline oil.

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03-02-2012, 04:28 AM
Okay -- let see if I'm understanding this clearly, the problem's not that Amsoil isn't a good oil. It's that it's not the oil it's advertised to be, and therefore cannot be trusted when those specifications matter.

It would be akin to using the wrong sparkplugs because the manufacturer mislabelled them.

Hipster Lawrence
03-02-2012, 04:47 AM
It's not mislabeling it's intentally misleading. "good oil" isn't good enough for modern engines. And it's not just vw. This is just an extreme example of what is to come. Even GM has a very specific oil that their new engines require.

Use whatever you want in your 20 year old Toyota it'll be fine. But if you have any engine built in the last 10 years use oil that is certified by the manufacturer.

03-02-2012, 08:45 PM
I try not to buy cars that require anything above and beyond the newest set of API certifications.

And yes, this is more of a case of Amsoil misrepresenting their product, as opposed to having an inferior product.

Me? I use 15W50 castrol or mobil 1 synthetic in the Supra, and change it every 5000 km. But it is a nice days only car that sees track use and other bouts of spirited driving.