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I have been doing some reading on the "correct oil" for an air-cooled engine. A lot of people are suggesting a 5w-40 through 20w-40 for a VW. I have been running 20W-50 for a few years now (Brad Penn).

I know my car runs rich but I have burned a lot of oil since last I looked and didn't know if my choice of oil was part of the issue. My oil level has never been as low as it was in the whole time I have owned it. So, two questions:

Should I stick with the 20W-50? It gets hotter here in MD than people realize but I don't generally drive or start the car if it's lower than 50*.

Next, I am going to be doing the wife's Thing as well. I thought about doing 10W-40 based on what I read and wanted to know your thoughts. I feel as though using Brad Penn in her car is a waste when I can buy a good, but less than Brad Penn oil to meet the need. I also have to find out how much goes in.



Thoughts?

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The Thing will take 2.5 quarts or so.

Your Spyder has an aux oil cooler, yes? 5-6 quarts probably with 1.5 quart sump extension.

I recommend Valvoline VR1 20W50 for both cars. It's reasonably priced, has Zinc and Phosphorus(which both cars desperately NEED) and is available everywhere: AdvanceZonePepO'reillyWallymart.

Last edited by DannyP
@DannyP posted:

The Thing will take 2.5 quarts or so.

Your Spyder has an aux oil cooler, yes? 5-6 quarts probably with 1.5 quart sump extension.

I recommend Valvoline VR1 20W50 for both cars. It's reasonably priced, has Zinc and Phosphorus(which both cars desperately NEED) and is available everywhere: AdvanceZonePepO'reillyWallymart.

It doesn't have an aux cooler. I want to say my car takes just under 4 quarts but I have that somewhere.

I'll try the VR1. It's just oil and oil is oil, right @Lane Anderson

Chris, I also used 20W50 VR1, for the reasons Danny mentioned.

I'm not sure how you quantify:   "My oil level has never been as low as it was in the whole time I have owned it"  Does that mean the level has dropped off the end of the dipsick in 500 miles, or it is a 1/2 quart low (in the middle between the two lines) in 2000 miles?.

If the latter, it might not be a concern.  You might find (as have many, including myself) that if you have a 2+ liter engine and you fill to more than half way between the two marks on the dipsick, any oil above that point will seemingly 'disappear'.  Basically, it gets 'blown-out' by 2 liters trying to breath in a 1.3 liter crankcase space.  There are a number of things to do that can work-around this, but nothing I did ever changed the fact that if I filled more than half between the marks, it wouldn't be long before the engine self-adjusted the oil level to half between the marks.  Once there, it stayed there between oil changes (3000 mi or one year).

My suggestion:  Fill to half way between the two marks on the dipstick, and keep an eye on it.  If it stays there, then you know what to do from now on.

On the other hand:  If it drops to the bottom line on the dipstick in short order, then it is time to get mechanical with a compression test and cylinder leak-down test.  Those tests indicate the health of your piston rings and valve seals (that relate to oil burning). 

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