On Alfa number 15
AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Re: 147 Variator Question
The normal problem is the oil seal inside the variator, it starts to leak and overnight the oil drains from it. If you use a thinner Fully synthetic such as a 5w or 0w it will probably make the variator drain of oil faster, but if the oil seal was ok it wouldn't happen in the first place.
As the oil seal is leaking, it usually gradually gets worse, and will start to rattle all of the time, and when it does it is unable to hold oil, and as the variator advances cam timing by oil pressure it will stop working.
Using a Fully synthetic on a new variator should increase its life, as the oil is thinner when cold it will be pumped up from the sump faster, reaching the moving parts. This is why the 5w and 0w oils were developed, to give better cold start protection.
You will never be cool driving a Vauxhall.