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Audi answer on synthetic

Well Guys, this settles the synthethic vs Audi argument, perhaps. I amsitting
next to a VW engineer, Peter Blobel on a flight to Frankfurt, and I have put
the BIG Q...why not synthetics? Here is the answer: VAG, Audi and Porsche do
some chemical testing on the viability of all chemicals associated with their
vehicles, but have to eliminate all products that are not in general
distribution. In both the US and also in Europe, they are always battling with
pre conceived ideas on the part of owners, and the complete lack of experience
in car ownership amongst many of their consumers.

For example with the development of the new middle class in South Africa, has
come a new set of VAG and Audi customers. None of these people have really
owned cars. Some believe that you need to change the oil when you fill up with
gas!  Others think that as long as the oil can be seen when you dip, then you
have enough! And still others think that oil grades are all the same, just like
gas, except that the faster you want to go, the higher the number. So Octane 93
and SAE 50 go hand in hand as do 85 & 5. As for reading the handbook, they do
as even some do in the US, they just dont believe it or understand it.

Anyway for reasons like this, Audi does not recommend esoteric products, or
products which cannot be generally obtained and stocked by all dealers. Since 
synthetics have not proven to VAG that they offer meaningfully better
protection inside 100K miles or 200K kms, this product is not getting much
attention at the production test level. Peter says that he knows that the
racing teams use various synthetic cocktails but this has little meaning in the
production world. However while they dont recommend stuff, they will not
discourage customers doing the testing for them. However to date (he says) he
has not seen any reasonable test results from any customer other than some of
the race teams.