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Old 07-25-2008, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Caring for Subaru Turbocharged Engines

This article was published in the Summer 2008 issue of Subaru Drive Magazine. It's a good basic summary of how a turbocharged engine works and an overview of maintenance requirements for new turbo owners, or those who are considering the purchase of an XT:

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Caring for Subaru Turbocharged Engines

PROTECT YOUR TURBOCHARGED SUBARU VEHICLE WITH THESE RECOMMENDED BASIC OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE GUIDELINES.


New Subaru vehicles are thoroughly checked for quality and craftsmanship. Safety, performance, and dependability are given top priority, making the vehicles easy to operate and maintain.

The following information updates factory recommendations for the care and maintenance of new Subaru turbocharged vehicles.

THE TURBOCHARGER
The turbocharger, commonly called a “turbo,” is operated by the energy contained in the exhaust gas. The exhaust gas spins a turbine inside the turbocharger at an extremely high speed (more than 100,000 rpm). That compresses the air/fuel mixture into the cylinders, which creates higher power output.

Because of the turbine’s rotational speed and the high temperature of the exhaust gas driving the turbo, proper cooling is needed to maintain durability. Engine oil plays a major role in lubricating and cooling the turbo, so following recommended oil change guidelines is important.

The Subaru Genuine Oil Filter, available at your Subaru dealer, is the only filter that Subaru has tested to meet requirements for filtration and flow.

ENGINE OIL AND OIL FILTER
Proper turbocharger lubrication requires high-quality engine oil. Some oil cannot provide enough lubrication performance or durability when used in turbocharged engines. Poor-quality oil or oil not designed for turbo engines may cause damage to the turbocharger and other engine components. Consequently, it is critical to follow Subaru vehicle owner’s and service manuals for recommended oil grade and viscosity.

A second key component of the lubrication system is the oil filter. The Subaru Genuine Oil Filter, available at your Subaru dealer, is the only filter that Subaru has tested to meet requirements for filtration and flow. Aftermarket oil filters may have different filtration performance and relief-valve opening pressures, which could affect filter and engine operation. Subaru Genuine Oil Filters help ensure optimum engine and turbocharger performance.

ENGINE OIL AND OIL FILTER REPLACEMENT INTERVAL
Due to heat generated by the turbocharger and carbon deposits contained in exhaust gas, the oil in a turbocharged engine will deteriorate faster than the oil in a naturally aspirated engine. Therefore, special care should be taken to use the proper grade oil and to monitor oil deterioration.

Under normal driving conditions, the recommended oil and oil filter change interval for turbo vehicles is every 3,750 miles or four months, whichever comes first.

However, for vehicles driven in conditions beyond normal, such as racing conditions, the oil and oil filter may require more frequent changes.

RACING-TYPE DRIVING
Racing-type engine stress doesn’t only occur on the track. Racing-type driving takes place when the drivetrain, suspension, and other vehicle components are used at near peak capacity. Any driving where the engine speed is kept high – either by using lower gears at higher speeds or by employing engine braking – is considered racing-type driving.

Important: A “track day” or autocross event requires an oil and oil filter change immediately before and immediately after the event. Make sure to check other engine fluid levels as well.

ENGINE OIL LEVEL
Check the oil dipstick periodically to make sure the oil level is within proper range, which keeps the turbocharger properly lubricated and cooled. More frequent level checks are necessary especially when utilizing engine braking, because this increases the engine’s demand for lubrication.

Important: Allowing the engine oil level to drop by more than one quart may cause oil starvation, oil pump cavitation, and bearing damage. Over time, the cumulative effect will cause turbocharger and engine failure.

OIL CHANGES
Carbon deposits produced by a turbocharged engine can accumulate at the bottom of the oil pan. When changing the oil, always drain the oil through the oil drain plug hole on the oil pan. A vacuum draining device could leave carbon deposits in the oil pan and potentially contaminate the new oil.

FUEL REQUIREMENTS
Turbocharged Subaru engines are designed to operate on premium unleaded gasoline – 91-octane AKI or higher. This is essential for maximizing performance and is required for preventing possible engine damage.

MODIFICATIONS
Engine modifications such as, but not limited to, adding a boost pressure controller, using a non-genuine aftermarket air intake or exhaust system, changing the air bypass valve, “chipping,” etc., may negatively affect the warranty. Your Subaru dealer offers a line of Subaru Performance Tuning™ parts, which are designed and tested to Subaru standards and do not void the warranty.

YEARS OF DRIVING
With proper care as outlined above and in Subaru owner’s and service manuals, new Subaru vehicles will provide owners many years of driving enjoyment.


Driving Tips
  • Do not rev the engine or accelerate past half throttle immediately after start-up. Oil requires time to heat up for full flow, and high-rpm driving with a cold engine can damage the turbocharger.
  • After highway driving or high-load driving, allow the engine to cool by idling for at least 30 seconds before turning off the ignition.
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Subaru Australia recommends oil changes every 12 500km under normal operating conditions. That's more than double the 3750 miles in the above article. It worries me a bit when I read something like this.

At 60 000km my XT hasn't used any oil but I wonder if I'm doing some harm in the long term?

It only gets serviced at a Subaru dealership and I rarely lift the hood in between services - maybe twice.
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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IMO the interval changed in the US mainly because of the STI engine failures due to oil starvation. No checking between 7500 mile changes = disaster. With no trackdays my '04 XT would be a 1/2 qt. low every 2K miles.

Check your severe use interval. I'm sure it's 3750 as well.

Either that or we just drive our cars harder over here...
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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UK interval was 7,500miles back in 1999, its more than that now, but then synthetic is specified, what is specified in the US.

The Latest VAG turbo's are good for about 20,000 miles per change.

Guess this helps explain why the USA, with 1/20 of the worlds population, consumes about 28% of the worlds oil, nothing much seems to be done anywhere to reduce energy/oil consumption!

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have done my oil change every 5000km ...
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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sounds like a commercial for Subaru Brand Oil filters.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My dealer insisted that I instal a turbo cooler when I bought my Forester. They said it was necessary and I had to pay for it. If it was/is necessary shouldn't it come as a standard feature with the vehicle? Some mechanics have told me a cooler is not necessary, others utter dire warnings of engine damage etc if I dont have a cooler installed. I cant find out what Subaru has to say about this. Anyone knows for sure?
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Ramchand View Post
My dealer insisted that I instal a turbo cooler when I bought my Forester. They said it was necessary and I had to pay for it. If it was/is necessary shouldn't it come as a standard feature with the vehicle? Some mechanics have told me a cooler is not necessary, others utter dire warnings of engine damage etc if I dont have a cooler installed. I cant find out what Subaru has to say about this. Anyone knows for sure?
I am no expert by any means on this but from what I have learned here it is not necessary but highly recommended especially if you are gonna push your FOZ regularly. Under normal driving conditions you will be fine without it but adding the cooler will keep the oil temp to the Turbo down which is a good thing. Not really sure why the dealer insisted about adding the cooler other than to make more $$$. I was not even offered the option of adding it to mine, from the dealer, and my dealer has been into racing Subbies for many years and most of the crew are very knowledgeable about Subaru's and what to do to them. Case in point.......when I did inquire about adding performance I was told to start with suspension first!
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Ramchand View Post
My dealer insisted that I instal a turbo cooler when I bought my Forester. They said it was necessary and I had to pay for it. If it was/is necessary shouldn't it come as a standard feature with the vehicle? Some mechanics have told me a cooler is not necessary, others utter dire warnings of engine damage etc if I dont have a cooler installed. I cant find out what Subaru has to say about this. Anyone knows for sure?
If what you are referring to is the Turbo Timer, then the dealer is making a recommendation that will protect your engine while they are themselves also making some money... a 'win-win' as they call it.

The facts as I understand it are that the high RPM turbo is better preserved by the lubrication afforded while the engine idles after aggressive driving. Were the engine to be immediately shut down, then the turbo would be spooling down without the benefit of the oil circulated by the running engine. Considiering the cost of replacing a turbo, then the timer is really a small cost.

So what you DO NEED is to keep the engine running at idle for a period after you have been running hard. Your manual will actually state this under the driving procedure section. For this however, you do NOT NEED a Turbo Timer, which is why it is not supplied with the vehicle. The Timer simply is a convenience that allows you to remove your key and walk away while the engine runs and shuts down on it own.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Or alternatively, you could chill your driving for the last few miles of the journey to let your oil cool the turbo down rather than annoying your neighbours late at night while your engine runs for half a minute or whatever after you have pulled into the drive. I agree with SoobieDoo about the "win win" but I think he is being generous, most main dealers are money grabbing sh.theads who in fairness to many of them, are being bent over by the manufacturer. If the turbo timer were an issue, it would surely be offered as an optional extra as opposed to ambushing the customer. The advice given by HOT09s dealer sounds good and keeps the owner inside the warranty. I reckon if you want to get into mods, get a s/h Foz because there seem to be a lot of fairly old cars out there pulling some very impressive figures. There are a few 97s out there with serious mods and really, the changes between the 97 and the 2008 Foresters are not as huge as other manufactures would have made in 10 years or so. The Subaru boxer engine and the cars they put it in are damn good designs and lets not forget, Subarus parent company Fuji make planes and ships as well as other heavy industrial stuff. Out of the box, the Forester was a really good car to start with and for the most part has just got better. This however doesn't necassarily reflect on the dealers, whatever marque they represent.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Turbo 'cooler' Issue

So here's what we have...."warm your engine up before you drive". Why...because cold oil viscosity is waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy too thick to provide proper lubrication----10psi/1000rpm is a good rule of thumb. Now that you've warmed up your engine some joker wants to put an oil cooler on the car. That's just great. No temperature controller, no thermostat,.....just a big fat cooler to undo what you've just done.....isn't that nice..

I am responsible for a lot of equipment that have specific lube oil skids and having oversized coolers is NOT the way to go.

Subaru engineers are pretty smart. If this vehicle needed a cooler for its intended service, it'd have one.

Be very leery of listening to the advice of a salesperson unless they have some serious racing experience AND can provide data. Don't take my word for it either....research, research, research. Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I picked-up a 2010 Forester XT today. My first Forester and first Turbo. The salesman informed me that I could use a lower octane gas and the computer would compensate for the difference... Any opinions?
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philinbos View Post
I picked-up a 2010 Forester XT today. My first Forester and first Turbo. The salesman informed me that I could use a lower octane gas and the computer would compensate for the difference... Any opinions?
Look here: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...t-turbo-71053/
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I seem to remember reading somewhere that some turbo charged engines have a unique lubricating system that stores some oil under pressure while the engine is running, and for a period of time supplies lubrication to the turbo after the engine is shut off. This is supposed to prevent the oil turning to carbon in the hot turbocharger. Does Subaru have something like this?
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eafenyes View Post
I seem to remember reading somewhere that some turbo charged engines have a unique lubricating system that stores some oil under pressure while the engine is running, and for a period of time supplies lubrication to the turbo after the engine is shut off. This is supposed to prevent the oil turning to carbon in the hot turbocharger. Does Subaru have something like this?
I think you're referring to the coolant system's capabilities to cool down the turbo after the engine is shut off. See here: http://www.scoobymods.com/turbo-cool...88.html?t=2388
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