('14+) Break In / Synthetic / First oil change - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Break In / Synthetic / First oil change

Item 1:
So, the dealer told me that there was no 'break-in' period needed on my new 2017 FOZ.
Said hit the road at 65-75 all day long... just don't use cruise control until you hit 1000 miles.
I'm old school... I typically run various speeds not exceeding 55 for the first 1000 miles.
Thoughts.?

Item 2:
Synthetic oil... wow really?... on a new car?
I was under the impression that you really don't want to use synthetic until a car has like 65,000 miles on it.
I suppose I've been out of the loop - you guys cool with Synthetic right out of the gate?

Item 3:
First oil change... ok so here I go showing my age again.
Back in the day we would change the oil at 500 miles, 1000 miles, and then 3000-5000 miles.
Reason being we wanted all the machine shop shavings OUT of that engine as soon as possible.
Is this still a true story?

ps: This forum is FANTASTIC and I feel like I'm yapping with cool people - thanks all for being part of this.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 10:15 AM
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1. All new motors do require some degree of seating piston rings, mating surfaces etc. IMO modern machining has greatly reduced tolerances and things are built better than they ever have been. That said the break in procedure still has value and will ensure a long life and reduces chances of burning oil.

2. Motors still break in with synthetic, it can just take a bit longer. Most performance engines now use either a full synthetic or synthetic blend - i am a believer that this has as much to do with extended intervals as it does with actual performance. With smaller hotter running motors and turbos we are asking more from motors than we have in the past, HP per liter has greatly increased - with engines working harder the need the best fluids.

3. I am the same way. I change the oil at 1000, than 3000 than regular interval. It is not required, plenty of cars out there over 200k where the owner just got in from day 1 and performed regular oil changes without a issue. It is more something that certainly makes us car guys feel better but offers such a nominal difference it can not be measured with real world results in modern vehicles.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:05 AM
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1 - There is a section in the manual about the break-in. Check out the manual and it will spell out the first 1k miles. I always go by it and never had any issues.


2 - Yes. There is no issue with full syn right off the bat.


3 - I am old school and do a break-in change @ 1k. I like to work on my vehicles so this gives me a change to see that all it ok from the start. What ever the manufacturer suggests for oil changes, I cut it in half and go by that. Basicaly, I use the severe schedule for oil changes. This routine is not for everyone, but I like to work on the vehicles - kind of like a hobby. Find a routine/schedule that works for you and go for it.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:53 AM
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One thing to keep in mind about synthetic oil is that you don't want to change to/from dino oil suddenly, at least go for 2-3 semi-synthetic oil changes before changing full one way or the other. And, yes, synthetic is better in all ways except price.

Also, don't change your oil early on the first change, do it exactly on time - there's zinc and molybdenum added to the oil to help break in your rings and other small parts.

The reason for not switching suddenly is microfractures - as your metal fatigues, microscopic fractures are created in the crystal structure of the metals. Since dino oil uses pour point depressants and other additives (since a 5W30 starts usually as a straight 20 or straight 30 weight oil), those fill in the cracks. Synthentic oil doesn't need these, and when you change suddenly it will pull them out and your motor will start burning oil, particularly on an older motor. Synthetics actually have metal conditioners that have to work in to the metals, and because they are actually made as a variable weight from scratch, they have different molecular chain lengths that work their way in to the parts. At the end of driving 20k+ miles on full synthetic, the parts are actually lubricates from inside of the structure of the metal, so for cold starts or in an oil starvation situation you still have some lubrication.

Overall, synthetic is better, and if you keep using it over the long term it helps your motor last a very, very long time.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jec6613 View Post
One thing to keep in mind about synthetic oil is that you don't want to change to/from dino oil suddenly, at least go for 2-3 semi-synthetic oil changes before changing full one way or the other. And, yes, synthetic is better in all ways except price.

Also, don't change your oil early on the first change, do it exactly on time - there's zinc and molybdenum added to the oil to help break in your rings and other small parts.

The reason for not switching suddenly is microfractures - as your metal fatigues, microscopic fractures are created in the crystal structure of the metals. Since dino oil uses pour point depressants and other additives (since a 5W30 starts usually as a straight 20 or straight 30 weight oil), those fill in the cracks. Synthentic oil doesn't need these, and when you change suddenly it will pull them out and your motor will start burning oil, particularly on an older motor. Synthetics actually have metal conditioners that have to work in to the metals, and because they are actually made as a variable weight from scratch, they have different molecular chain lengths that work their way in to the parts. At the end of driving 20k+ miles on full synthetic, the parts are actually lubricates from inside of the structure of the metal, so for cold starts or in an oil starvation situation you still have some lubrication.

Overall, synthetic is better, and if you keep using it over the long term it helps your motor last a very, very long time.
First, there is NO issue with switching from synthetic to dino and back as often as you like. You do not need to transition through semi-synthetic oil! I never heard of this before. I would need to see some actual scientific research to validate this claim.

Second, the constitution of factory oil is open for discussion. Does anyone know for sure that Subaru uses a special oil at the factory? The manual recommends the first oil change at 6k miles, but it doesn't say anything about special oil filled at the factory.

Finally, the bit about microfractures sound very questionable. Synthetics are better at coating the outside if metal parts and offer better lubrication properties. But, lubricating from "inside" the metal? I would have to see references for this too.

Be careful about what you read on the internet (including my comments!).

StanF
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 12:41 PM
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Yes on syntheric, yes on no issues switching back and fourth -- but why? Yes on just driving it, but varying load. Not a fan of easy break-ins.

I used to do the early first change too, but last 2 cars.. TSX I did around 5K, and the current Golf at 6,700.

Stan

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Last edited by stan_t; 06-04-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 01:12 PM
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Do whatever you want as long as you have oil in it it will be fine, syn, non syn, you can mix them, change back and forth etc. Changing early will prove nothing. A used oil analysis after a 1000 miles on is downright ugly. You don't ecven want to do it. I have done mega oil analysises. Have gone over 10K miles with excellent results. I bought a new chev Spark and had dealer change it at 5500 miles. Will do second change at 12000. I wqill do an oil analysis at 20 k miles.

Yea..go by the manual,

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of good info - thanks for the responses -
As Abe Lincoln once said... Everything on the Internet is true... so I'll stick by Honest Abe's thoughts there.

Looks like I have some reading up to do.

Just for the record I'll either go 100% synthetic for the life or 100% dino.
Since initial oil is synthetic... I'll follow that path.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8675309 View Post
Just for the record I'll either go 100% synthetic for the life or 100% dino.
Since initial oil is synthetic... I'll follow that path.
And that is actually the Requirement (synthetic) so you really have no choice.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 05:30 PM
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Many cars with full syn as factory fill, subie included

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8675309 View Post
or 100% dino.
.
Dino sludges too easy. VVT will go on strike, PIston rings would be NLFTW, dogs and cats would live together, MAss hysteria
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 07:28 PM
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Break-in with synthetic isn't an issue, most new cars come with it now. Forget non-synthetic, is it even available at 0w-20 weight? Do check oil level often, my TSX did burn about a quart in 4 to 5 K, from very beginning. No big deal, just top it off.

Stan

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 06:37 PM
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1. Just find an oil that you like and stick with it. The owner's manual recommends synthetic oil and 0w 20 weight oil.

2. Take it easy during the first 1000 miles. Drive it like you would normally drive on a daily basis.

3. Go with the recommended oil change interval. More importantly check the oil level on a regular basis. Be consistent. Park your car in the same place every time and check it the same way every time. I like to check my oil level in the morning after the car has been sitting all night in the engine is cold.

StanF
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 02:43 PM
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I'll be doing what I did in my 1997 4 Runner :).

Our new 2017 2.5i will be topped up, as needed, with SUBARU 0-20 synthetic. I'll do this until it hits about 2000 miles. Just enough to let the oil & filter collect all the metal shavings of a new engine, and not turn into grinding paste :).

At about 2000 miles? We'll head to the DEALER. FACTORY Oil filter, but I'm bringing 6 Qts of Mobile 1 full synthetic, 0-20. This has ALL the certifications required in the owner's manual.

Our 1997 4 Runner (on Mobile 1 5-30 full synthetic) ran for 20 years with a perfect engine. MI Rust killed it :). 20 years is pretty fair :).

MY approach will be to anticipate how long, really, the new engine should be run to maximize debris collection while minimizing long term damage. 6000 miles to the first oil change? Sorry - yeah, right. NOT doing that. This is STILL a machine. It STILL has minor engine flaws that will "adjust" during the break in period. I will STILL have steel particles running around during break in - some of which are a GOOD thing, as I'm basically sanding down the new parts.

Key? Sand enough. Don't sand too long :).
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 04:10 PM
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I Just enough to let the oil & filter collect all the metal shavings of a new engine, and not turn into grinding paste :).
Maybe 40 years ago..not any more.

Be careful what you wish for.
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