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Category: Audi
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Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician, L1 Adv Level, Ca Smog License
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Audi 2002: 2002 3.0 Quattro 177,000 quick lube put in Havoline

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2002 3.0 Quattro 177,000 quick lube put in Havoline 5w30 approx 160 miles later engine started pecking then quit running.. got the car started drove approx 5 miles then knocking..
shop says it jumped timming and bent a valve..They think the cam froze then freed up .. top of engine not sludged looks OK.. Vehicle always had 5w40 synthetic.. could the wrong oil cause this problem?? or the high mileage--also if the wrong oil was in the car will it damage the engine??

Hi, welcome to JA

Unfortunately the incorrect oil viscosity did not cause the problem. Using the wrong oil will cause sludging an noises over a period of time, not suddenly. If you have always serviced with the correct oil an in a timely manner, the recent oil service would not have caused it. What can cause what you described is a worn/stretched timing belt, or possibly low oil pressure. If the oil pump was worn or the pickup tube in the oil pan partially plugged from age or sludging it can cause sudden loss of oil pressure which directly and immedialty affects the camshafts, thus causing the cam to jump time. The only possibility from the recent oil change in that the oil level was severely low or the oil filter was incorrect when you got the vehicle back. We see these quite often with oil pressure issues and timing belt failures.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm An Insurance Adjuster --the claim I have is the one stated .. I was an auto Mech for 8 years I could not see how this could happen .. The 3.0 is by what I have been told is from the factory to only have synthetic oil -- is that true ? and also suppose the oil was in the car until the next oil change would that have hurt anything ??

Below is an excerpt from the factory manual on oil types and viscosity. The 3.0L does not require a synthetic. The 1.8 L was deemed sludge-prone and therefore required synthetic, after build. We have had numerous customers choose non-synthetic blends for the 3.0 with no collateral affect. It is the change interval that is key. If the customer is not changing the oil on a timely manner, that is what starts the decline. With the tight tolerances and the VVT oil ports the size of pinholes, you have oil pressure loss whenever oil level runs low or age and abuse causes sludging. Sludging does not need to be on the top end only, it can be localized as well. Running 5w30 non-synthetic for one or more oil service intervals is completely fine. As a normal practice on VW and Audi, our shop only uses 5w40 VW spec oil on all services, to guarantee longetivity. We urge all our customer's to return sooner than the recommended intervals as we often see low oil levels at the normal service times.Now the question is, did the engine jump time and bend a valve due to a worn timing belt, or did the cam seize due to loss of oil pressure. If th cam indeed froze, the bearing cap(s) will show sign of scoring...if not, the timing belt just jumped and all the engine needs is a valve job. If the cam bearings (especially the rear) show scoring, it's safe to install an engine or rebuild. Hope this can help shed some light on the subject.

Oil Type

A - High lubricity multi-grade oils, specification VW 500 00
The date given after the VW specification must be not earlier than 10.91.

All Temperatures SAE 5W-30 / 5W-40 / 10W-30 / 10W-40

B - Multi-grade oils, specification VW 501 01
The date given after the VW specification must be not earlier than 10.91.

All Temperatures SAE 5W-50 / 10W-50 / 10W-60
15°C to -30°C SAE 5W-30 / 5W-40
15°C to -15°C SAE 10W-30 / 10W-40
-15°C to 40°C and above SAE 15W-40 / 15W-50 / 20W-40 / 20W-50

Multi-grade oils, specification API-SJ, API-SL, API-SM
Only use these grades of oil if the approved grades are not available.

Different types of oil may be mixed if necessary when topping off.

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