('03-'05) what kind of oil should I use? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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what kind of oil should I use?

I saw a few posts on certain oils to be used that are better for the car. Ie. better mpgs..? is this true?

What kind of oil should I run in my 04 turbo? Im going w synthetic. I just got this car. In the shop now,but will be changing oil and checking or changing other fluids and doing a BIG road trip. So I want to be sure its not hard on my car.

I know the manual says 5w30.

FURTHERMORE , should I just check my trans and diff fluid and change if it looks dirty?

I am going to have a shop look over the car before I take off but I want to do some of the work myself.

04 XT in silver (gone, sold but not forgotten)
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:05 AM
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To be honest, as long as it's synthetic, it should be fine. I still change mine every 3000-3500 miles just because I drive it hard, and it lives in a very dusty/dirty environment (not to mention I offroad it a lot).

MORE important than the oil is making sure you are constantly adding oil to it between changes. The turbo motors, depending on climate, driving conditions, etc. can eat a quart or two between changes (sometimes even 2.5 quarts). This will cause more harm than running any specific brand of oil.

As for me, I stay away from Mobil 1 at all costs. Far too many complaints online, as well as I've tried it three times, all of which caused very loud valve-train noise and high oil consumption. Now, I'm running Castrol Edge 5w-50 because it's SUPER hot here (it's been getting around 110 daily for the past month or so. So either Castrol, Valvolene, Pennsoil, Quakerstate, etc. Synthetics.

I run 5w-30 in the Spring. 5w-50 or 10w-40 in the Summer. 5w-30 in the Fall and Winter months.

Trans fluid should be flushed every 30,000 miles or so. Once it's nice and red in color (and looks clean), you should drain it (you only get about 4 of the 12 quarts per drain) and fill it every 15-20,000 miles. The diff fluid is once every 15,000 miles or if you go through deep water where the diffs are submerged in water for any period of time (same goes for the trans fluid).

2004 XT - RIP
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Fox View Post
Trans fluid should be flushed every 30,000 miles or so. Once it's nice and red in color (and looks clean), you should drain it (you only get about 4 of the 12 quarts per drain) and fill it every 15-20,000 miles. The diff fluid is once every 15,000 miles or if you go through deep water where the diffs are submerged in water for any period of time (same goes for the trans fluid).
So every 30k , but if its red, drain it regardless?

I guess Ill change all fluids then.. the car has 94k miles and I just got it. And since im going on a road trip Ill just change all fluids.. ugh..

04 XT in silver (gone, sold but not forgotten)
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 04:28 AM
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I think i read somewhere in the Forum that synthetic oil if used should be introduced when the mileage is low.

Now I'm assuming the your 04 is past low mileage? and dino oil has been used up til now?

Something about seals etc being compromised?

All you oil experts help this owner out.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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I also heard that. But then again I hear it can be done (swapping at high mileage).

My car has 94k miles.

04 XT in silver (gone, sold but not forgotten)
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domindart View Post
I also heard that. But then again I hear it can be done (swapping at high mileage).

My car has 94k miles.
I swapped at over 100K in an old corolla I used to own. Sold the thing at 175K and it was still going strong....no problems whatsoever.

1998 Forester ATF

Keepin It Forever....
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 11:53 PM
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For a turbo Subaru Rotella T6 5w40 is a hard oil to beat for the price.

2003 Outback 2.5 AWP.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 04:50 AM
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You can use syn at any time. Days of syn oil harming seals went out 30 years ago.

The color of the syn oil is no guarantee of the need to change. Its only a dye. Oil analysis is the only way.

If you have not changed ATF at 30K miles you could just do a drain and fill at each of your next 3 or 4 oil changes.

I do a drain and fill every 10K miles or so.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWDFTW View Post
For a turbo Subaru Rotella T6 5w40 is a hard oil to beat for the price.
Rotella T6 5w40 is seemingly an ideal oil for turbo subarus, despite it being a 40 weight, rather than a 30 weight. It also happens to be cheaper than most other synthetics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Fox View Post
As for me, I stay away from Mobil 1 at all costs. Far too many complaints online, as well as I've tried it three times, all of which caused very loud valve-train noise and high oil consumption.
I wouldn't put Mobil 1 5w30 in my engine if it were free. I'm not even exaggerating.

2005 Obsidian Black Pearl XT w/4eat

Last edited by guroove; 07-11-2011 at 07:25 AM.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Mobil 1 is what my corvette was fed. Said to in the manual.

But anyways

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 09:55 AM
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You are not going to find a 30 grade "real" synthetic from any of the majors anymore - regardless of the outright lie** on the the bottle label - you'll have to mail order for: Redline, Amsoil ATM, Motul 300v, Lucas Racing 10w-30. You have more choices in the 5w-40 specification-rich (vw 502/505) Euro grade: Shell Helix Ultra, Pentosin, Silkolene, Total/Elf, etc; then possibly down the chain a bit, any "For sale in North America Only" and 5w-40 Euro-spec oil should work: Quaker state, Pennzoil, BP-Castrol, etc. and many can be found on clearance for under 4 bucks a qt. lately.++

++ Caution! When you buy "clearance" nobody really knows whats in the bottle and you dont get a bargain if you have to do a VOA on the fluid. For example, I got "line wash" in a Valvoline bottle at a "clearance" years ago. That ended up being a quicker OCI than orginally intended. New oil in (though it smelled like kerosene), start engine, knock-knock-knock-knock, shut down engine, cuss up a storm, buy more oil, change oil, start engine, purrrrrrrrrRRRR. Complete oci after wasting 1/2 day due to incredible "bargain" oil purchase. What a deal!

** "Fully Synthetic" in the US is permitted to be made from crude oil with a percentage of true synthetic stock sometimes addded. So they are syn blends at best.

'12 Honda FIT Sport 5M; '11 Forester X 5M;

Last edited by AlleyCat; 07-12-2011 at 07:14 AM. Reason: 7/12/11 @ 10:14A Clarifications
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domindart View Post
Mobil 1 is what my corvette was fed. Said to in the manual.

But anyways
I put Mobil 1 in my XT for a long time, and I thought it was doing well until it didn't. The stuff with the silver cap I always had consumption issues with, so I switched to the extended performance stuff, which worked great. After switching, I reluctantly let an oil change place put the silver cap stuff in because they were out of the extended performance stuff. After putting 2000 miles of it on a road trip, I found that 3 quarts had been consumed, and I have had oil consumption issues ever since. I do blame the oil, as I didn't abuse the car, and always changed the oil at the appropriate intervals.

2005 Obsidian Black Pearl XT w/4eat
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 10:43 AM
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If you're concerned about switching to synthetic in a high mileage car, go with Mobil1 High Mileage or MaxLife "Full Synthetic". High Mileage oil's have more Anti-Wear additives, more seal conditioners, and a thicker viscosity within the same grade in comparison to a non-HM oil. Having said that, I switched my daughter's 2000 Impreza RS to Pennzoil Platinum yesterday. In any turbo, I would only run a non Energy Conserving synthetic oil. Your manual lists many different viscosities.

Disclaimer: References to "synthetic" in this post refer to any oil made from a Group III and above base stock. Synthetic is a marketing term with no industry definition. :)

-Dennis

2004 PSM FXT
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 06:17 PM
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I did my regular ~3k oil change today using a subie filter from my local dealer and german castrol 0w30. It might just be wishful thinking after doing a $50 DIY oil change, but the car actually felt stronger on my test drive after.

I do need to find a cheaper source though. My local AutoZone charges $8.99/qt, and as best I can tell, they are the only game in town.

Is there a consensus on this oil being more durable? Bluntly, can I maybe eek out ~5k between oil changes on this stuff?
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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$9 a quart??

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