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Old 05-03-2008, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Forester Owner, oil recommendations?

This is my first post and my first Subaru. I am looking for recommendations for which motor oil/ filter to use for my first oil change. The engine is a N/A 4 cylinder. Do I need to use a washer for the oil plug as well? And lastly the manual states that I should not go over 4000 Rpm (which I did) during the break in period, I did not realize this until I got home from the dealership, should I be concerned about this?
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you will be all right. As far as oil, I would recommend getting whatever conventional oil is on sale and swapping the oil out according to the recommended interval - which is 3750 mi for severe driving.

I couldn't tell you about the washer as I use a fumoto valve.
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Those are really good questions that get asked alot. There is a search in most forums that can help also. IMO, go with what your owners manual recommends. In our two subs I use 5W-30 Valvoline conventional, genuine subaru oil filters, and about every 3rd oil change I replace the crush washer. I change oil every 3000 miles - give or take. You'll get 5 different answers from 5 different people so best to follow the book. There is a place online that I get my parts from that run much cheaper than the dealership (just do a serch for cheap subaru parts and find one). I like OEM filters just because, my preference. The crush washers usually seal for a long time as long as you don't overtighten them. The oil, well, I would use synthetic but since I change it often I feel conventional is ok for me.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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^^ I agree, do a search on the forum... not always an easy task, & you'll get a ton of reading material! Every one has their own opinion, mine is below...

I've always used the 3 months or 3000 miles oil change schedule. I figure this is very cheap insurance for long lasting engine. My son is driving my old '95 Neon Sport & it has had "zero" engine related problems!

I use Valvoline MaxLife 5W-30 Synthetic Blend & NAPA ProSelect 21334 oil filters. I also have a Fumoto oil drain valve installed. The last oil change was the first time I used it & it is convenient. The Fumoto reduces the size of the drain opening, so I swear I can pee faster than the oil drains out!

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Old 05-04-2008, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As was said, try a search and you'll get more info than you have time to read.

My personal opinion is to use the genuine subaru oil filters. You may need an oil filter wrench if you don't already have one. I bought the slip over socket type from a local auto parts place. It has a 3/8" square for socket attachment at the bottom. You'll need a socket extension as well.
On to oil. I use conventional for the first couple oil changes, which I change at 2500-3000 miles. Read you manual and just make sure to match the recommended viscosity and rating (i.e. SJ). After a couple oil changes I switch to synthetic. I've always used Mobil 1 (5W-30 in the winter mos - 10W30 in the warm) and had great results never having an internal engine problem with any vehicle i've run it in. That said, there are other good synthetics of course.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I see that many use conventional oils first and may later switch to synthetic, and also use the Subaru filter as well. Any particular reasons for this? I was assuming that some of the higher end filters trapped finer particles thus cleaning the oil more effectively, or do these filter slow the flow rate of the oil too much?

Thanks for the replies, and yes there is much info to wade through, but much of it seems geared to the turbo engine.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I drive an 04, and the owner's manual says that it takes 4.2 quarts to fill it up. I understand that this may not be the case?

I think I read somewhere else that it is actually 4.8 quarts if you do a filter change. I don't understand. No way does that filter hold 0.6 quarts of oil.

I have never been able to get more than about 4.2 quarts in there including a filter change. The correct answer is to let it drain, fill up, run the motor, and actually check the level - which I do. But if I were to put nearly five quarts in there, I think the motor would be grossly overfilled. Can anyone shed some light on this?

I use a slightly larger Wix filter: 51356. I like the construction of Wix filters, and they are just a little more convenient than grabbing one from the dealer. There is probably no advantage to a larger filter, but I find it easier to get on and off and it runs about a buck less at the store. [The Wix filter listed for the Forester is 51365.]
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frjpec View Post
I see that many use conventional oils first and may later switch to synthetic, and also use the Subaru filter as well. Any particular reasons for this?
Subaru's can take 8-15,000 miles to fully break in and some folks would rather just run conventional oil during the break-in. No harm in switching to synthetic earlier, but the oil will usually drop a grade fairly quickly from all of the break-in metals. Some folks also say that the engine will break-in better with a longer run on conventional.

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Originally Posted by spaceballs
I drive an 04, and the owner's manual says that it takes 4.2 quarts to fill it up.
The manual doesn't include the oil filter capacity for the turbo, IIRC. Turbo is actually 4.8 and I believe n/a is 4.2.

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Old 09-17-2009, 04:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am approaching 3000 miles and first oil change. I plan to use K & N oil filter (more expensive) and Castrol Syntec 10W30. I have had oil analysis done every change on cars I have owned in last 10 years. I used to change my Dodge diesel every 3,000 miles and the oil analysis folks said I was wasting money. They gradually increased me up to 9,000 miles between changes. Saves a lot of money on the 11 qt. engine, and wear rates did not increase. I think today's oils are much better than they used to be.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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They gradually increased me up to 9,000 miles between changes. .
You will find yhou can go 10K miles with the 'X'. Its very easy on oil.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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*shudder* I can't even imagine going 10,000 miles between oil changes. I don't care WHAT UOAs show, that's just too long. That's almost a year of driving!

I change every 3k, 4k MAX, and I always use synthetic.
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Oil change interval on some vehicles is 25'000km's (ie my E46 BMW). Mind you I don't let mine go that long either but I don't think the manufacturor pics a random number out of the sky.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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*shudder* I can't even imagine going 10,000 miles between oil changes. I don't care WHAT UOAs show, that's just too long. That's almost a year of driving!

I change every 3k, 4k MAX, and I always use synthetic.
I totally agree! Changing the engine oil is one of the easiest DIY items that will extend the life of the engine, so way try to save money there? Extending your oil & filter change interval could actually cost you more money in the long run.

Our '95 Neon Sport was purchased new & the oil & filter every 3000K miles or 6 months, which ever comes first. The engine is running perfectly & I can't remember the last time required any shop work. I'm using this same routine for my '07 & my son's '03 Forester.

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Old 11-27-2009, 06:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
Our '95 Neon Sport was purchased new & the oil & filter every 3000K miles or 6 months, which ever comes first. The engine is running perfectly & I can't remember the last time required any shop work. ...
Never blew the head gasket on that thing, eh? I thought surely they've all failed by now. A '95 Neon Sport was my first brand new car. I was 24 in '94 when I bought it. It was a 5-speed red 4-door with the surf board rear spoiler. I was damn proud of that car. But by 30K miles, the car really started to feel like it was falling apart...and I was never abusive to it. While I never had the dreaded head gasket problem with it (why would I after only 30K), I did have numerous fuel pump failures that would leave me stranded every time. I also had exhaust and engine mount problems. Finally, I got into a fender bender with it. Got it fixed via insurance and promptly traded it in.

Since I'm here, I might as well dispense my opinion on the oil-change thing... Use the cheapest oil available that meets the car's owner's manual's requirements for weight and class (look at that "starburst" symbol on the bottle). The logic being, like gasolines, all dino oils are basically the same. And change it no more or less frequently than recommended in that owner's manual. If it's a turbo, go with synthetic. If it's an N/A, there's no justifiable reason in the world to use anything other than good old dino oil (again, unless the manual says otherwise). Some people frown upon certain filters (Fram). As long as it gets changed every time, any brand of filter will do. Some people change the washer every time, others never change it, yet others are somewhere in between. It's real simple; if you notice a slight leak, change it. If not, keep reusing it 'til it does...you may never really need to change it. If you do go synthetic, you're not absolved of the requirement to change it just as frequently as you would dino oil. After all, it's still picking up the same corrosive and potentially abrasive contaminants!

Finally, be mindful of cold starts. More specifically, how you drive the car while the engine is warming up. My rule of thumb is, pretend there is an egg between your right foot and the gas pedal, and you're trying not to break it, by stepping too hard or too quickly... Once it warms up, of course, drive it normally.

You may have many problems with a car over the course of it's life, but if you follow these rules, engine wear will likely never be one of them.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ellcapitan View Post
... Some people change the washer every time, others never change it, yet others are somewhere in between. It's real simple; if you notice a slight leak, change it. If not, keep reusing it 'til it does...
It's a matter of tightening that old washer until the leak stops.

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... The crush washers usually seal for a long time as long as you don't overtighten them...
Crush washers are single-use, designed to seal by crushing under the proper torque. By collapsing, they seal without excessive torque. If they are properly collapsed, they should not be used again because excess torque will be required on the plug to make the solid(ified) washer seal.

Subaru crush washers are PN 11126AA000 and cost $.62 each. Ten of them will last you 37,500 miles. There is no economic need to see how many times a crushed-flat washer can be tightened enough to stop a leak.

That is not to say that I do not reuse washers. The Toyota washers for my Scion xB are solid aluminum with a coating on each face. They do not crush or even deform, and the coating remains intact. I have new washers on hand, but see no difference between a new and a used washer, so I reuse the washer.

Last edited by vintage42; 11-27-2009 at 08:02 AM.
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