How Often Should I Change Oil for My Volkswagen Passat (Frequency)

How Often Should I Change Oil for My Volkswagen Passat

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend how often should you change oil for your Volkswagen Passat or what is the oil change frequency? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

No matter who you talk to, they’ll surely know that car oil has to be changed at some point. After all, oil changes are one of the most common services a car owner can request.

Yet, you’d be surprised by just how few people know when to change their vehicle’s oil.

So, how often should I change oil for my Volkswagen Passat? Depending on your Volkswagen Passat’s model year, get the oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Older vehicles may need more frequent oil changes but, by keeping the oil fresh, your engine will last longer and you’ll avoid more expensive repairs. Additionally, if your engine gives off tell-tale signs of bad oil, don’t hesitate to get it changed.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about how oil affects your engine and, by the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly when to get it changed and how to diagnose oil-related problems.

When Should I Change the Oil in My Volkswagen Passat?

The answer depends on a few different factors. First, consider your vehicle’s age. Older Passats require more frequent oil changes than newer models because their engines are less efficient.

If you’re currently driving a VW Passat made after 2009, you should be able to drive for 10,000 miles on a single oil change. For older vehicles, get it changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

In general, older vehicles require more maintenance because they’ve endured more wear and tear over the years. Keeping your engine well oiled will help prevent more serious problems and extend the life of your vehicle.

But age isn’t the only contributing factor. Also, consider what type of oil you use and how you drive.

Although it’s not built for off-roading, if you regularly take your Passat on dirt roads, you could be shortening your vehicle’s oil life.

More dust in the engine requires more oil to keep things lubricated, meaning that you’ll use up your oil much more quickly.

The same goes for speeding. If you regularly drive fast, you’ll use more oil to keep your engine running smoothly.

If any of these factors apply to you, get your oil checked and changed more regularly.

Read also: How Long Does An Oil Change Take At A Dealership? (Best Tips!)

Why Do Cars Need Oil Changes?

For some people, it’s easy to confuse oil with gasoline—they’re both petroleum products used in cars. Your car isn’t burning oil, though.

Instead, oil acts as a lubricant to keep the intricate metal parts in your engine from rubbing together, creating friction, and breaking.

Over time, though, the oil becomes thick and gunky after filling with carbon particles leftover from combustion.

As the engine starts to run low on clean oil, it can seize up and even start burning dirty oil. At this point, you’ll start to see and feel signs that your engine needs a check-up.

Ideally, though, you should always aim to change your oil before it gets to this point. If you leave your engine to run on bad oil, it can permanently damage the mechanics.

Read also: How Long Does Motorcraft Synthetic Blend Oil Last (How Many Miles)

What Happens if I Don’t Change My VW Passat’s Oil?

If you keep putting off your vehicle’s oil change, it will eventually lead to some pretty dire consequences.

Here’s what you can expect if you don’t get it changed soon:

  • A check engine light – Your car will give you a warning sign as soon as it needs an oil change. This indicates that your engine is running low on clean oil and bad things are coming. You’ll recognize the symbol by the small oil can that looks like Aladdin’s lamp.
  • Poor fuel efficiency – A well-lubricated engine runs smoothly and, thereby, doesn’t need as much fuel to work. As your engine starts to run out of oil, though, it will need more gasoline to keep running and you’ll notice the difference in your fuel economy.
  • Overheating – Combustion engines work by creating small, controlled explosions under pressure. These explosions propel pistons that transfer energy into your wheel block. Throughout this process, though, countless metal parts rub together to move the energy throughout your Passat. Oil helps keep those parts moving without creating excess heat. As your engine runs out of oil though, it will begin overheating.
  • Corrosion – Oil not only lubricates your engine, it also helps protect it from the countless corrosive chemicals released during combustion. The chemicals become trapped in the oil before they can corrode your engine’s internal mechanics.
  • Smoke and Clunking – If you leave your engine without clean oil for too long, the oil will start to burn and release a pungent bluish-grey smoke from your exhaust pipe. You’ll also feel shakiness throughout the engine as if it were clunking within the car.

If you notice any of these problems, take your Passat in for an oil change as soon as possible.

Read also: Can I Dispose of Used Motor Oil at Walmart?

What Type of Oil Does a Volkswagen Passat Use?

As we said earlier, the type of oil you use can influence how regularly you change your oil. For your Volkswagen Passat, we recommend using a fully synthetic oil such as 5W-30, 0W-40, or 5W-40.

We also recommend switching out your oil filter when you get the oil changed.

Compared to conventional motors oils, your engine will run more smoothly with a synthetic product and you won’t have to change the oil as frequently.

Although you’ll spend more on synthetic oils, you won’t have to pay for a change as often so, in the long run, you’ll actually save more money.

A VW Passat requires anywhere from 5 to 8 quarts of oil, depending on the size of your engine. If you’re driving a 4-cylinder Passat, you’ll need less oil than if you own a 6-cylinder vehicle.

Speak with your mechanic to find out how much oil you’ll need.


If you own a Volkswagen Passat that’s older than 2009, you should get the oil changed at least every 5,000 miles.

For newer models, you should be able to drive at least 10,000 miles before getting it changed.

Keep an eye out for possible signs that your engine is running low and take it in for a check-up if you sense that it needs new oil.

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Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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