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Now that winter is approaching, I don't drive my 2000 GLS that much. Maybe once or twice a week to keep things from ceasing up. Anyway, whenever I back out of the garage, I see a tad of oil on the floor directly underneath where the front of the car was parked. It has 84,000 miles. My dad always said that any car over 75K miles will drip a little oil. I change oil (just conventional, no synthetic) every 3000 miles. With 800 miles to go before my next scheduled oil change (which is always done at the VW dealership), I notice the dipstick reads about halfway in the "safe" zone instead of all the way, so I'm losing a bit.

Keep in mind here that I'm a mechanical moron. Thus, these questions may sound dumb, but my aptitude for anything mechanical could be roughly compared to that of a mentally-challenged gerbil. First of all, is it really "normal" for a car with somewhat higher mileage to "drip" a little? I don't ever recall my 1996 2.0 Golf doing this even with 143K miles. Second, I'm obviously leaking from somewhere. Before taking it to VW, what would you guys guess would be the worst possible cause? Pan gasket? Valve cover gasket?

Also, beware of the ad attached to this site that says: Ask a VW Mechanic. 12 are online right now! When you do this, they want you to send them $38 before they answer your question!
 

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Now that winter is approaching, I don't drive my 2000 GLS that much. Maybe once or twice a week to keep things from ceasing up. Anyway, whenever I back out of the garage, I see a tad of oil on the floor directly underneath where the front of the car was parked. It has 84,000 miles. My dad always said that any car over 75K miles will drip a little oil. I change oil (just conventional, no synthetic) every 3000 miles. With 800 miles to go before my next scheduled oil change (which is always done at the VW dealership), I notice the dipstick reads about halfway in the "safe" zone instead of all the way, so I'm losing a bit.

Keep in mind here that I'm a mechanical moron. Thus, these questions may sound dumb, but my aptitude for anything mechanical could be roughly compared to that of a mentally-challenged gerbil. First of all, is it really "normal" for a car with somewhat higher mileage to "drip" a little? I don't ever recall my 1996 2.0 Golf doing this even with 143K miles. Second, I'm obviously leaking from somewhere. Before taking it to VW, what would you guys guess would be the worst possible cause? Pan gasket? Valve cover gasket?

Also, beware of the ad attached to this site that says: Ask a VW Mechanic. 12 are online right now! When you do this, they want you to send them $38 before they answer your question!
It is a fee for service ad. The 2.0l is notorious for oil consumption. It is fine as long as the oil is between the hash marks on the dipstick. No it is not normal for ALL vehicles of 75k miles to drip oil. Mine has 210k miles and does not drip a drop. i would not worry much about the leak, just as teh VW tech to take a look next time it is in for service. Before spending a bunch of money to repair it right then, get on teh forum and let us know what tehy say, you will probably be able to save quite a bit of money.
 

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I’m somewhat taken aback that your Dealership would use conventional oil. I’m not even aware of a conventional oil that meets VW Specs. Perhaps they are using syn and you’re not even aware of it. They must love you, 3k mile oil and filter changes. I’m actually surprised the Tech is not seeing, and informing your Service Advisor of your slight leak or leaks.

As to those leaks, normal? Probably, But I don’t consider oil leakage at any mileage to be acceptable. There are many things that could be leaking, head gasket, oil pan, could even be something as simple as the drain plug seal. You’re just going to have look around, if the engine is gunked up with oil and crud you may have to do some cleaning.

Are you sure it is even the engine that is leaking. Old VW tranny fluid would have much the same consistency and color as used motor oil. As said, the half quart of oil could be consumption and not leakage, especially as an engine ages, and one using conventional as opposed to syn at that. I’ve read of 1 qt in 3k miles in the early 2.0L right from day one.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've always been told you only need synthetic oil in turbocharged engines (like my Passat). Some people switch to syn once the miles get up there, but it's not a requirement, or so I'm told. As for 3000 mile oil changes, that's my idea. I'm old school and refuse to believe 5000 mile intervals are good for an engine. Even with synthetic in my Passat, I change it every 5000 miles instead of 10,000. My dad always said to change oil twice as often as the manufacturer recommends to get long engine life. He's gone now, but I still go by this wisdom.
 

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I've always been told you only need synthetic oil in turbocharged engines (like my Passat). Some people switch to syn once the miles get up there, but it's not a requirement, or so I'm told. As for 3000 mile oil changes, that's my idea. I'm old school and refuse to believe 5000 mile intervals are good for an engine. Even with synthetic in my Passat, I change it every 5000 miles instead of 10,000. My dad always said to change oil twice as often as the manufacturer recommends to get long engine life. He's gone now, but I still go by this wisdom.
If you want to do oil changes over 3k miles go ahead, but modern oils and engien tolerances do not require it. I run 10k between services on my TDI and my ford f150v6. both vehicles have over 200k miles and run 5w20 syn in the truck and 0w30 in the bug with no ill effects and great mileage. The only thing you need to watch with longer intervals is the tire pressure and condition of the tires overall. The benifits are many, fewer chances for someone to mess up my vehicle, upsell me on uneccessary services, etc.
 

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Ditto that. I'm old skool too, and I respect the teachings of my elders to a point. Lubrication has come so far today, even going way beyond the recommended isn't a problem if it's a quality lubricant and a quality filter. I have run vehicles 20-25k miles between changes, Castrol GTX (not even Syn), and still have them running just fine at 275k and more miles. One was totalled last year at 380k miles (454 BB) that in it's infancy had been run to 3 of 7 quarts (4 to fill it - consumtion). Driver figured out it was low when it wouldn't pull an 8% grade with a trailer. It you read the tests on quality syns they go way beyond 5 or 10k. Currently, of all my vehicles, the Bug's probably got the least miles on the oil at 10k (down almost 1 qt in 10k).

But hey, it is your car and your call! I respect that.
 
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