Club Touareg Forum banner

What makes VW 507 oil so necessary?

58232 Views 195 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  jeffnhiscars
I can't help but to think, if our vehicles-3.0 TDI motors-are so special, so expensive and so exclusive, why do we need the magical VW 507 spec. oil? What is it in our motors that makes them so seemingly magical that they need this oil we can't just by at Vatozone, Advanced Auto, Walmart, etc. and have to pay about $10 a quart for?
1 - 20 of 196 Posts
Europe has used ever higher specification oils for a long time, several decades - so even brands that define oil "simply" by API viscosity and ACEA grade are expensive for modern engines because they're very high quality and permit exceptionally long OCI, up to 30,000 miles in a few cases, that's right 48,000 km.

VW seem to specify oil differently, or perhaps it's secretly, so the specific VW Approval needs to be adhered to.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
507 oil is designed to protect the DPF and cat, and to improve fuel economy. Mercedes has a similar standard, I think with less emphasis on fuel economy so 5w40 oils are allowed.

API 5W-30 / ACEA-C3 is used as generic specification on non-VWs to protect the cat, DPF and improve economy so 507 will be similar - BUT - if it doesn't list 507 among it's Approvals, don't use it.
Low SAPS (low sulfated ash, phosphorus-sulfur)

Diesel Particulate Filters : Comma Oil & Chemicals Ltd.
It's a requirement when a car is fitted with a DPF to use ultra-low sulphate diesel and low SAPs oil, otherwise the sulphur destroys the DPF - crude oil's sulphur content varies greatly according to oilfield.
507.00 is the best of all

it is low ash for the protection of DPF Catalytic converters and urea after treatment systems
it is fully synthetic for long life - extended drain intervals lowers running costs
it has additives that carry soot in suspension - you don't want that stuff clogging up in one place
it has anti corrosive additives - the sulphur in diesel makes it's way past the rings as blowby and acidifies the oil
it has high shear protection for the bearings and cam rollers
it has detergents to clean your engine
it has additives to stop foaming which is bad for oil pressure
it is viscosity stable to ensure proper protection at various temperatures and cold start

There is more to oil than you think. It's a fancy car with an expensive engine. Relatively 507.00 is dirt cheap. Use it!
Most modern diesel engines require all those properties, well defined in ACEA-C3 which most 507.00 oils will also meet.
I don't think most people are complaining about the cost of VW 507 00. The complaints seem to be more about the availability, especially if you don't live near a VW dealer. I live 12 miles from my VW dealer, and they charge me $9.91 per quart, so I don't have either complaint.

Most questions, and certainly mine, have to do with what is technically different about 507 00 engine oil compared to other high-quality synthetic oils (and I guess also the difference between 507 00 and 504 00, although the VW Technical Bulletin indicates that the Pumpe-Duse engines can use 507 00, and the Mobil 1 web page indicates that Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30 meets both 504 00 and 507 00). From the Mobil 1 product web page, low SAPS seems to be the difference for 507 00.
It's not just low SAPs - some low SAPs oils meeting ACEA-C3, which is specifically for low SAPs oils, don't meet VW 507.00 or any other VW specification.

Engine oil is notoriously expensive in the UK but now that new diesels sold in the last 5 years have DPFs, there's a good choice of ACEA-C3 which has brought the price down - many of them also meeting VW 507.00
Well, then what IS different about the 507 00 specs relative to other ACEA-C3 oils? Mobil 1 ESP X1 0W-30 also meets ACEA-C3 (and C2), and has low SAPS, and meets Mercedes and BMW diesel requirements, but does not meet VW 507 00. If you don't know, then just say you don't know.
I do know it's not JUST low SAPs - that's all I was saying.

Within the UK market, no oil meeting VW 507.00 has 0W viscosity, 5W being the lowest.
Everything I've read on the subject seems to be along these lines -- there may be other motor oils that meet the 507 spec but they haven't been submitted to VW for certification. Likewise with the MB spec.

Since there aren't many VW diesels on the road in the US, there isn't much reason to spend the money to gain the certification except for the two biggies (Mobil and Castrol) who sell worldwide.

I can find the Motul stuff at a couple local auto parts stores, but it's under the counter in a glass case like it's some kind of top-shelf scotch or something. I think it's like $12/liter. Never bought it because the Castrol LL03 is so cheap at the dealer.
Amsoil, Mobil, Motul, RedLine and Valvoline are sold in the UK VW / Volkswagen 507.00 5w30 Fully Synthetic Car Engine Oil as well as European and Middle East brands.

US versions may be different - but may also just be different certification, they may not have the ACEA grade required for Europe.

Customers can only go by the certification in their own market as differences can be subtle between markets, eg Synthetic Oil in Germany doesn't include the hydro-cracked quasi-synthetic that the rest of Europe and RoW call Fully Synthetic - it's a matter of legal systems and definitions.
Different country, different brand - but a number of Hyundai dealers in the UK failed to use low SAPs ACEA-C3 oil on diesels when DPFs were introduced and it took a 2 year campaign on a Hyundai forum and many interventions from Hyundai UK to get their dealer network fully educated. I've heard of similar situations on a few other brands.

Of course, dealers buy oil in large drums not the small retail containers we all buy and wrongly tend to adopt the attitude of "one size fits all".
So we'll mark you down as an "I don't know". :)
Aren't we all?

Why is 5W-30 "necessary" within the 507.00 spec - in many other engines 0W-30 is better during cold weather start-up - is it something specific in 507.00 that oil companies can't (yet) make in a 0W-30?
Well, then this oil must be even more special. lolz.

Castrol develops new engine oil for Volkswagen Group | ET Auto
That new oil is 0W-20 - good for fuel economy - the sceptics will says it's "too thin".
Well, if nobody knows the differences (whether in writing by VW or not), then nobody knows. In that case, it seems like a good idea to use the oil specification that VW requires for one's specific engine.
Has anyone in this thread suggested doing anything differently?

VW specify 507.00 for my Touareg - that'll what it'll get.
Well, that second-guessing VW seems to be the underlying issue in Post #1, and we frequently see folks grumbling about the hard to find 507 00 oil (i.e., you can't just run down to your local Walmart or auto parts store). I suspect there are folks tempted to use a non-507 00 synthetic 5W-30 oil (even a "diesel" oil) that is easier to find and seems to be the same.
Is it really hard to find 507.00 in the US?

It's available at sensible prices (for the UK!) at Asda, Walmart's subsidiary here in the UK and even cheaper on UK-ebay
Yes. Only a few select parts stores carry it; Pep Boys and Napa that I know of. Isn't really stocked anywhere else.

If you look at the proportion of diesels to gasoline cars in the U.S. vs U.K., I'm fairly certain U.K. has A LOT more diesels than we do.
In Europe, the concept of different oil for diesel and petrol/gasoline is disappearing - the ACEA-A grades for petrol/gasoline and ACEA-B grades for diesel have been more or less superceded by the ACEA-C grades which cover both - it's part of the continuous process to unify the emission limits for petrol/gasoline and petrol, at least for cars.

All the VW 507.00 oils I've seen are also ACEA-C3.
But are all 5W-30 ACEA-C3 oils also 507.00?
No, definitely not!

Some are, some aren't - but of course we don't know which ones aren't simply because the maker didn't pay for the VW certification and which ones aren't because they don't comply.
Gents, what is argued about here? I won't risk using oil not rated VW507 in my rig, neither do I know the one who wants to do that. Besides, a person who drives a diesel Touareg will not shop for oil at Walmart simply out of self-respect. Perhaps VW 507 oil is not that common in the US as “regular” synthetic oil and it costs a few dollars more, but what is the big deal about this inconvenience?
You speak for yourself! We regularly shop at Asda, Walmart's UK subsidiary and I have no problem buying oil there - of course it has to be the right grade and specification, probably the cheapest place in the UK for Castrol and Mobil 507.00 - I can get it even cheaper elsewhere though, lesser brand but still 507.00.
Then what is your point about Europe and ACEA-C grades? What you are looking for is 507.00.
My point was that since all 507.00 seems to be ACEA-C3, it's not a diesel specific oil - it's suitable for both some diesels and some petrol/gasoline hence the "C" designation.

I know I need 507.00 - as I think does everyone else.
But the point, or issue, that started this thread is what is magic about 507.00 engine oil, and not gasoline vs. diesel engine oils, or ACEA-C vs. A and B engine oils. In the U.S. we do have engine oils that are labeled as "diesel" engine oils, probably even some 5W-30 oils. I'm not sure that "everyone" who owns a TDI knows THAT they need 507.00 specifically, or WHY they need 507.00 specifically.
WHY? Do we need to know?

As an aside, the ACEA classifications in Europe take away all the need for debate that seems incessant in the US.

All I ever need to know about an engine oil is the car makers approval code for the handful of brands who define it that way (generally BMW, Mercedes-Benz and VW Group) or API viscosity and ACEA grade for any other car brand.

I don't care whether an oil is mineral, part-synthetic, semi-synthetic, fully synthetic or real synthetic which seems to dominate US website discussions about oil - if it meets the car makers requirement, that's all I need. I do understand that oil chemists needs to know a lot more - but the consumer doesn't.
I love these threads very entertaining......... but cant help wonder why those who seek the magic look it up for themselves ?
google it and ye shall find.
Do you trust everything you can find on the internet? If not, how do you tell the difference.

On the internet there's no "fact" that doesn't also have the exact opposite "proved" on the internet
I thought the purpose of forums like this is for people to pose questions that they have, and then have other forum members provide them with any answers or information that they have. You know, sharing knowledge. The original poster asked why our engines need the "magical" 507.00 engine oil that we cannot get at our local auto parts or big box stores. Although some of us have attempted to discuss what is the "magic" about 507.00, most of the posts have dealt with side issues like 507.00 oil is not that expensive, don't put anything but 507.00 in your engine, or how you can get 507.00 at your VW dealer or online ordering.

So what we need to do is just send all of our questions to VW HQ in Germany? Sorry, my bad. ;)
IMO, there's nothing special about 507.00, just a very particular specification, like many others these days.

What's "special" is the lack of distribution of the oil in the US, in comparison to other parts of the world - but probably in proportion to the % sales of VW Group diesels in the US, much lower than in Europe.
Well, we know that one thing "special" about 507.00 is low SAPS to protect the DPF. Any other basis for your "IMO"? ;)
Most oils in Europe are low SAPS now anyway - DPFs have been mandatory on diesels, around 50% of the market, since 2009 and fitted to many models for nearly a decade before that - and the concept here of different oils for diesel and petrol/gasoline has all but disappeared so the reality is that the big majority of all vehicles, diesel or petrol, use ACEA-C3 which is low SAPS.

Low SAPS oil may be special in the US, but not in Europe.
1 - 20 of 196 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.