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It's a 502 rating, that is I guess what I was worried about.
It's fine, I run 502 in my '18. A bit about the approvals....502 is an older approval and in 2018 it was still what was called for. It's a "full SAPS" oil made when fuels here in the U.S. had higher sulfur content. Now with lower sulfur content fuels, 504 is ok to use and is fully reverse-compatible with 502. The 3.6 VR has run on 502 for many years...it will be ok to use this....your engine and mine are exactly the same and I've been running 502/xW40 oils for 5 years....I could easily run the oil you are or the newer 504s with no issue.
 

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Just changed mine today. 5W40/502.00 Liquimoly Leichtlauf High Tech. Going forward for you if you want to stick with what VW recommends - an 0W/5W-30 504 approval is what to run. There are several choices...Mobil 1 ESP 0W30 is one common one. Liquimoly makes one that you can buy with a complete kit from FCP Euro.

VW Oil Change Kit (0W30) - Liqui Moly KIT-00267 | FCP Euro

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I'm not sure why one would spend $80 on an oil and filter when with any kind of discount (military, AARP, Sr Discount) you can get the dealer to do it for right at $100. What am I missing?
I believe with that kit you can "warrenty" the oil and filter and get free changes. I'm not certain tho. I use Mobil 1 and a Wix filter and its about half that cost.
For those who do their own Atlas oil change, have you drilled a drain plug and filter access in that bottom engine cover rather than remove and reinstall that thing?
No, you get used to removing it. If you wanted to you could leave a few screws out, but there isn't a good way to make holes without the oil making a mess every time it's drained, IMO.
 

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I'm not sure why one would spend $80 on an oil and filter when with any kind of discount (military, AARP, Sr Discount) you can get the dealer to do it for right at $100. What am I missing?
B/c I return it for a full refund each time. B/c my time has a value vs. dropping off/picking up/waiting and of course, I know it's done correctly when I DIY. So one outlay of $70 for the Liquimoly kit or whatever they are now at FCP Euro then the rest are free so all-in my cost is much lower than buying M1 at Walmart etc. Dealer change with a tire rotation for me used to be $118. Just have a look at FCP Euro's site, their Lifetime Replacement, and google it. I use pirateship.com for my return shipping, it's not a whole lot and I combine with all my other crap I sent back for my 2 other VWs. If that's all too much of a pain in the ass, just grab whatever Euro approval oil at Walmart, should be about $45.

Here is my video on the subject:

 

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B/c I return it for a full refund each time. B/c my time has a value vs. dropping off/picking up/waiting and of course, I know it's done correctly when I DIY. So one outlay of $70 for the Liquimoly kit or whatever they are now at FCP Euro then the rest are free so all-in my cost is much lower than buying M1 at Walmart etc. Dealer change with a tire rotation for me used to be $118. Just have a look at FCP Euro's site, their Lifetime Replacement, and google it. I use pirateship.com for my return shipping, it's not a whole lot and I combine with all my other crap I sent back for my 2 other VWs. If that's all too much of a pain in the ass, just grab whatever Euro approval oil at Walmart, should be about $45.

Here is my video on the subject:

I don't see "lifetime replacement" on the FCP site. And with one VW, I'm not sure shipping costs and time it takes is worth it. And how do you send oil back?
 

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I don't see "lifetime replacement" on the FCP site. And with one VW, I'm not sure shipping costs and time it takes is worth it. And how do you send oil back?
Did you watch the video above your post? Even at $20 shipining it's still cheaper than anything else once you have bought the first one. I use pirateship.com now for all my return shipping...v. inexpensive. I shipped a box of stuff back from VA and it was $29 for a 40 pound box worth $325 in store credit.

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