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What makes VW 507 oil so necessary?

58435 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?
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I don't think you'll find anything in writing by VW specifically for what you're asking. 505.01 and 507 are very similar, by 507 is for engines fitted with a DPF. The PDs can use 505.01 or 507, but CRs cannot use 505.01.
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
Other than at your VW dealer or mail order, 507 00 does not seem to be readily-available at our local big box stores (Walmart) and auto parts stores. That inconvenience seems to be the crux of the issue here. I don't think it is a cost issue.
All the VW 507.00 oils I've seen are also ACEA-C3.
But are all 5W-30 ACEA-C3 oils also 507.00?
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?
Well, for one, if you find you need to add a quart of oil, and can't find a place that carries 507.00.

And I shop at Walmart all the time. More likely it's the Porsche and Audi diesel owners who will not shop at Walmart. ;)
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.
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?
Because that is the question/issue raised in Post #1. :)

As an aside, the ACEA classifications in Europe take away all the need for debate that seems incessant in the US.
You've already acknowledged that ACEA classifications do not replace VW's specifications (e.g., 507.00), so they don't take away all the need for debate (or more correctly, understanding).
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.
Well, if you read the thread you will see that some of us are trying to "google it", and reporting and discussing what we've found. No one, so far, has posted a google result that clearly explains what makes 507.00 engine oil "507.00".
And that chart posted a few posts back doesn't really clarify much.
Yes, a "required" Diesel Particle Filter Test that needs to be discussed with VW on a case by case basis, does not really add much understanding.
Unless someone in Wolfsburg who works on VW's Lubricant Engineering team happens to read & reply to this thread, we'll probably never know for sure!
No, there are other folks who understand what makes 507.00 engine oils 507.00 who don't work for VW. It's just no one here has found any article that discusses it.
If the formula for LL03/507 is proprietary (bottle label says "Ingredients: Proprietary"), maybe NDAs prevent other parties from disclosing VW "trade secrets". Even the MSDS for LL03 doesn't say much.
We're not trying to MAKE 507.00 engine oil, so we don't need to know the details of the proprietary contents of any specific oil (and most would probably not understand them if we did know). But it would be helpful to have a qualitative explanation of VW's performance goals in 507.00 to distinguish it from other engine oil specifications. For example, we know that 507.00 requires "low SAPS" to protect the DPF (without knowing the detailed contents that meet this requirement), and so using an oil that does not have low SAPS will probably shorten the life of your DPF ($$).
Why don't you just ask VW in Germany for a simple explanation?
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. ;)
No, they apparently don't know either. Just a bunch of "my X brand 507.00 oil is the best" threads.
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"? ;)
Since you seem to argue somewhat pointlessly with many of the answers you get, it does seem you'd be better served in this case by asking the people who make the car then, perhaps, you can make a useful contribution by telling the rest of us what VW says.
Maybe you and others should go back and review the question that was asked in BenTDI's post #1 that started the thread:

"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?"

Most of the "answers" in this thread do NOT address the original question. Now, I understand that it is easier for folks to talk about what they DO know rather than admit what they do NOT know, or just not talk at all, but that does not get BenTDI's question answered.
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.
And yet, VW still has its "special" 507.00 oil specification, rather than just use ACEA-C3 that the big majority of all vehicles use. Do you think VW does not understand that ACEA-C3 oil is "good enough" for their TDIs?

So, once again, back to the original question that was actually asked in post #1, "why do we need the magical 507 spec. oil?" ;)
BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Opel/Vauxhall (GM), Ford all issue their own specification which is used globally.

The problem with oil "standards" is that API is American with only the viscosity anything like universal, certainly the Service Category, eg SN is ignored elsewhere - and ACEA Classifications, eg C3, are primarily just European.
Well, not always. BMW specifies that my US model 2013 BMW K1300S motorcycle use oil with a classification of "API SL / JASO MA2", JASO MA2 being a Japanese oil classification. No mention of a special BMW specification.

And many oils in the US DO carry an ACEA rating/approval. Mobil 1 5W-30 (non-ESP) has an ACEA A1/B1 rating. Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30 has an ACEA C3/C2 rating, in addition to VW's 504.00/507.00 approval and BMW's Longlife-04 approval. On the other hand, Mobil 1 ESP X1 0W-30 also has an ACEA C3/C2 rating and BMW's Longlife-04 approval, but NOT VW's 504.00/507.00 approval. Both Mobil 1 ESP oils are listed as "low SAPS", but only the 5W-30 has VW's 504.00/507.00 approval (and Porsche's C30 approval). I also noted that the 0W-30 carries API SN approval, but the 5W-30 carries no API approval (but does carry a Porsche C30 approval and some Chrysler and JASO approvals). It seems unlikely that ExxonMobil would pay to perform the tests on the two ESP oils to qualify for the API, ACEA, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and VW approvals, and not list EVERY approval they qualify for or skip the cost of the test(s) that would get them the qualification.

VW 507.00 means the same everywhere on the globe, just as a GM specification, eg LL-B-025 or Dexos 2, means the same everywhere - and similarly for the other brands.
So, back to the original question in post #1, what does 507.00 mean? It's OK if you just say "I don't know".
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Just on the consistency theme, I'm beginning to wonder if that's why VW mandates the 507 spec. They know what 507 is all about and in the case of a warranty claim there becomes less doubt on if the proper oil was used. There are some very low quality oils out there, so I suppose it's much easier to not fill a warranty claim based on improper oil grade as the requirement is set up front.
An excellent question. I don't know if VW's 507.00 specification/approval has a QA/QC component included in it. But, since Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30 does carry 507.00 approval and Mobil 1 ESP X1 0W-30 does not carry 507.00 approval, I am skeptical that QA/QC is the deciding factor.
One of the posts upthread shows that the only viscosity's included in 507.00 are 5W-30 and 0W-20.
Yes, I believe you are remembering MY post, that showed ALL of the oils on VW's 504.00/507.00 list are 5W-30. There were no 0W-20 oils on the list. In my owner's manual, it says if you cannot find a 504.00/507.00 oil, you can add up to 1/2 quart of ACEA A3 oil with a viscosity of 5W-30 or 5W-40. So, it seems clear that VW does not approve of using any 0W oils in their TDI engines.
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