('09-'13) 30 wt. Oil in the FB-Your Results (merged thread) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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30 wt. Oil in the FB-Your Results (merged thread)

I thought I would start a new thread for those FB owners that decide to boldly "Go where no man/woman has gone before." Many realize that some FB engines use an excessive amount of oil. Perhaps there are those that will throw caution to the wind and try a heavier oil..... Subaru recommendations not withstanding.

Those that go this rout would hopefully share their experiences with respect to mileage and oil consumption. Obviously oil analysis would be great. Of course Subaru will not endorce this idea and let no one here think I am saying it is a great idea. But If I owned an FB I would certainly go this route.

The thread where this thread comes from is here
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...ml#post2156865

It was getting off track (my fault) so I thought I would correct the issue. I would hope this thread does not become argumentative. We understand it goes against Subaru's recomendations. But it is the consumer's right to do as he pleases..warranty considerations not withstanding.


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Last edited by adc; 08-10-2013 at 04:44 AM.
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post #2 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to repost this bc it is what led to this new thread:

Quote:
I am surprised folks here have not tried to see what occurs by say doing a mix of 20wt and 30 wt or really going to 30 wt. Subaru will never be able to figure out that you used a thicker oil.....bc if the engine fails the oil will also have failed and post disaster viscosity will be meaningless.

it has been proven when vehicles started with 20 wt oil (around 2001) that engines would not last as long. Origionally the EPA demanded I believe a 150K durability test. Ford was not able to reach that value and the results were that the durability was pushed back to (*I believe 125K miles). So why would you run with a 20 wt oil that is guaranteed to lower engine durability?

I have given this a bit of thought and have reversed my opinion. I previously felt that 20 wt oil was not a problem. Well for some engines (including Subaru FB IMHO) durability and apparantly normal operation is adversely affected.

So my recommendation [disclaiomer: do so at your own risk] would be to go with a 50/50 mixture of 20wt and 30 wt.

I am a mechanical engineer with a fair amount of lubrication experience. I have participated in equipment troubleshooting as a maintenance supervisor for 30 years in a power plant. I have spoken to oil industry tech reps. In addition I have done numerous oil analysis on my personal vehicles. I have mixed many different brands of oils and have also mixed diferent visocities of different brands. I have never seen any problems.

But again..do so at your own risk. You are doing what Subaru would not recommend. However if you read the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act..my intrepretation is that if your actions result in damage to the vehicle its your dime. My personal opinion though is that it won't and Subaru can not prove it did (The burdon of proff technically is on them)



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post #3 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 12:59 PM
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Question

I don't think the reply link above is exactly what you had in mind. May I correct it for you by posting a link to the specific post?

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post #4 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by crewzer View Post
I don't think the reply link above is exactly what you had in mind. May I correct it for you by posting a link to the specific post?

Thanks,
Jim / crewzer
I think this is it..thanks Jim
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...ml#post2156865

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post #5 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:06 PM
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This is a pretty good idea to get an idea at least if using the heavier weight oil does make a difference.

Personally my '14 Forester with the 2.5i motor does not use any oil, at least not yet (5500 miles). So I cannot contribute to this poll.

I would have to assume though that the heavier weight oil will contribute to loss of miles per gallon. Subaru says to use 0W-20oil for a reason, not only for maximum lubrication, but also to attain maximum miles per gallon. How much of a loss of MPG is anyone's guess at this point.

So you have to weigh both issues, using a heavier weight oil to avoid oil consumption, but use more gas to do this.

Still though, it's worth a try.
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post #6 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tonyford View Post
I would have to assume though that the heavier weight oil will contribute to loss of miles per gallon. Subaru says to use 0W-20oil for a reason, not only for maximum lubrication, but also to attain maximum miles per gallon. How much of a loss of MPG is anyone's guess at this point.
The estimate when the 20Wt came out was 2% better mileage

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post #7 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:39 PM
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I'm sure alot of people will be following this thread as well as the excessive oil consumption thread. But I really think there is a mechanical/design problem with the FB engine not the weight/grade/viscosity of the oil. If the 0W-20 oil was the sole cause of excessive oil consumption then every owner of a Forester who has a FB engine would be complaining. But that is not the case. Some are experiencing excessive oil consumption and others are not. Quality control/inconsistent tolerances in engine manufacture? Anybody else agree with me?
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post #8 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by X-Mode View Post
I'm sure alot of people will be following this thread as well as the excessive oil consumption thread. But I really think there is a mechanical/design problem with the FB engine not the weight/grade/viscosity of the oil. If the 0W-20 oil was the sole cause of excessive oil consumption then every owner of a Forester who has a FB engine would be complaining. But that is not the case. Some are experiencing excessive oil consumption and others are not. Quality control/inconsistent tolerances in engine manufacture? Anybody else agree with me?
^^ Agree

But, until Subaru resolves the problem or admits to the problem, it doesn't hurt to find out if using a heavier weight oil will at least reduce the amount of consumption if not stop it all together. No one is saying to use a 20W-50 oil in the vehicle, just going to bump up the weight a tad.

Last edited by tonyford; 08-09-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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post #9 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyford View Post
^^ Agree

But, until Subaru resolves the problem or admits to the problem, it doesn't hurt to find out if using a heavier weight oil will at least reduce the amount of consumption if not stop it all together. No one is say to use a 20W-50 oil in the vehicle, just going to bump up the weight a tad.
^^Agree
The sad part about this whole mess is that this engine has been out since 2011 and it is now 2014. Obviously Subaru knows that some people are complaining about excessive oil consumption-how long does it take their engineers to figure out a solution? Even if Subaru wouldn't come out and admit they had a problem, you would have thought they would have resolved it quietly by now. Not impressed!
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post #10 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by X-Mode View Post
Quality control/inconsistent tolerances in engine manufacture? Anybody else agree with me?
Cannot agree with quality control issues and inconsistencies. It would show in other areas. Inconsistency in different batches of parts made in different places -- maybe.

I suggested this before -- make a list of cars that do/do not have oil consumption issues and sort it by build date. This should show patterns. My guess is it will not.

If my car consumed oil, I would try oils of different brand but same weight first, then if that failed I'd try a heavier weight.. but I doubt it would help if there was infact a problem with rings, etc. It WOULD help if the oil you ran before was not up to the task.

I still say problem is due to easy breakin. But I don't have a car with FB engine that does/does not consume oil, so I have no proof either way.

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post #11 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 10:52 PM
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It would be nice to know if the FA and FB20 engines have the same problem. The FB25 is a long stroke engine and the FB20 is square. I do suspect it will require a major redesign to solve...Maybe even a new block cast. The Subaru engineers know exactly what the problem is and since it is not fixed yet....It is at least somewhat major. It shows up in such a small number that they have basically blown it off for now. I am 90% certain that it is a piston/ring/cylinder design flaw and oil is getting past the ring pack on a small number of engines. Another problem downstream is that the oil additives are going to poison the catalytic converter over time...It is cheaper for Subaru to change a cat than replace the engine. I suspect Subaru is working on a DI version of the FB25 for the very near future. Maybe the fix will come then. Honda (R18, 2.4L Earth Dreams) and Toyota (2.5L) have designed off-center cranks to help mitigate forces in the piston/ring pack/cylinder area. I don't know if the FB engines have this design.

Never "baby" a new engine! and never change the factory fill oil early! It is important to seat the piston rings immediately when engine is brand new. Most engines are pre-seated at the factory now but you really don't know for sure. Load the engine right from the dealer lot for the first 50 miles or so...Meaning - climb a hill in 6th gear or similar keeping RPM under 4000. High RPM "Lugging" the engine produces cylinder pressure that pushes the ring pack against the cylinder. Failure to achieve proper ring seating in the first moments of an engine life can result in using oil for its entire life! Seating rings properly also makes the engine stronger at lower RPM and adds to engine smoothness and longevity. If you baby the engine from the start, you can have a oil drinking weakling forever :)

It would also be good to know if the engine used oil from the very start or if it developed a "drinking problem" after 1000s of miles. If the engine isn't using oil after the first change, then I doubt it will ever use oil.

Last edited by JoD; 08-09-2013 at 11:02 PM.
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post #12 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoD View Post
It would be nice to know if the FA and FB20 .
What is an FA engine? Do you mean FB25?

And probably this discussion should go here
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle.../index122.html
since we are talking about using 30 wt oil in the FB

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post #13 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 06:25 AM
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Subaru BRZ uses the FA series engine.
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post #14 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 07:19 AM
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Exclamation

And the BRZ's "OK" oil consumption spec is up to 1.1 U.S. qt. per 600 miles = 1 U.S. qt. per 545 miles:
Quote:
● If your vehicle consumes more than 1.1 qt. (1.0 L, 0.9 Imp. qt.) every 600 miles (1000 km), contact your SUBARU dealer.
Ref: 2013 BRZ OM Version D, page 297


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post #15 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoD View Post
Never "baby" a new engine! and never change the factory fill oil early! It is important to seat the piston rings immediately when engine is brand new. Most engines are pre-seated at the factory now but you really don't know for sure. Load the engine right from the dealer lot for the first 50 miles or so...Meaning - climb a hill in 6th gear or similar keeping RPM under 4000. High RPM "Lugging" the engine produces cylinder pressure that pushes the ring pack against the cylinder. Failure to achieve proper ring seating in the first moments of an engine life can result in using oil for its entire life! Seating rings properly also makes the engine stronger at lower RPM and adds to engine smoothness and longevity. If you baby the engine from the start, you can have a oil drinking weakling forever :)

It would also be good to know if the engine used oil from the very start or if it developed a "drinking problem" after 1000s of miles. If the engine isn't using oil after the first change, then I doubt it will ever use oil.
There are many threads on the best way to break-in a new engine. FWIW, I babied mine and gently increased RPM's until well over 1,000 miles. I also changed the factory fill at 1,000 miles. It's what I've done with every new car I've owned. My FB25 is at 40,000 miles and I don't have any obvious oil consumption.

James
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