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2014 subaru forester
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2014 Forester specs calls for 0W-20 synthetic oil but I suspect my dealer is using conventional 5W-30 oil. So far I had 3 oil changes and everytime the service advisor mentions 5W-30 but quickly corrects himself when I question it. The sticker inside for next oil change always uses 5000 miles interval instead of 7500 miles. How can I tell if I got the right oil? Would the use of 5W30 cause any harm to the engine? Would it affect MPG?
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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325 Posts
I wouldn't think it would cause any harm unless you let it go way too long between changes. It will probably effect your fuel mileage because apparently the whole reason they spec 0W-20 in the first place is to improve fuel mileage. While the oil change interval for the 2014 model year 2.5L was 7,500 miles that has been reduced to 6,000 miles for the identical 2015 model year 2.5L Foresters mainly because of the excessive oil usage these engines have been experiencing. I've been doing my own oil changes every 5,000 miles just to be on the safe side and since the only way to know that it's being done right is to do it yourself. I have been using 0W-20 synthetics and so far seem to be experiencing less usage with Royal Purple than I did with Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. I do have a bunch of conventional 5W-30 laying around though and I may try an experiment with it at some point.
 

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2014 subaru forester
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply. Interestingly that we got 30 mpg at 70-75 mph before the first oil change. Since then the best we've seen is 27 mpg at 70-75 mph. Do you think that the mpg will go back up if I make sure to get 0W-20 at the next oil change?
 

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2012 Forester X 5 MT
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881 Posts
At highway speeds, wind resistance is what (mostly) determines MPG. The weight of oil doesn't have much effect. Cold dry winter air has more resistance than warm humid summer air.

At constant lower speeds (back roads etc) there will be a slight difference - but not much.
 

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2015 Forester, base 2.5i CVT
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87 Posts
Thank you for your reply. Interestingly that we got 30 mpg at 70-75 mph before the first oil change. Since then the best we've seen is 27 mpg at 70-75 mph. Do you think that the mpg will go back up if I make sure to get 0W-20 at the next oil change?

I had same experience back in October, 2014 when my mileage was about 4,500 miles for first free multipoint inspection including free oil change at dealership. After this oil change, my mpg dropped down to about 25 mph, before it was about 28~29 mph. I don't have evidence that they used 5w-30 but I am guessing. Now with 0w-20 mobil1 (that I changed myself) shows about 29~30 mph average (Now I have oil consumption issue though, dipstick shows that car is sucking up half an inch in a week...another headache after engine starting issue due to weak battery and rust)
 

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2006 forester xt
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52 Posts
maybe mpg will suffer a slight bit with 5w30. but you don't want to buy new crank bearings because of thin oil.
 

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2014 subaru forester
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I definitely like to find out whether switching to 0W-20 makes a difference in mpg. I suppose to make sure that I got 0W20, I'll have to do the oil change myself.
 

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2010 Forester Active 2.0X MT 2x5 - MT with Dual Range reduction
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1,245 Posts
I had same experience back in October, 2014 when my mileage was about 4,500 miles for first free multipoint inspection including free oil change at dealership. After this oil change, my mpg dropped down to about 25 mph, before it was about 28~29 mph. I don't have evidence that they used 5w-30 but I am guessing. Now with 0w-20 mobil1 (that I changed myself) shows about 29~30 mph average (Now I have oil consumption issue though, dipstick shows that car is sucking up half an inch in a week...another headache after engine starting issue due to weak battery and rust)
It would be very interesting, if your oil consumption issue disappeares - perhaps partly - using again 5W30 or even 10W30.
Both viscosities are allowed for European Foresters.

Or has it ever been tested by another driver experiencing the oil consumption issue to change to the two named oil viscosities and the oil consumption decreased?
 

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2015 Forester, base 2.5i CVT
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87 Posts
It would be very interesting, if your oil consumption issue disappeares - perhaps partly - using again 5W30 or even 10W30.
Both viscosities are allowed for European Foresters.

Or has it ever been tested by another driver experiencing the oil consumption issue to change to the two named oil viscosities and the oil consumption decreased?
I don't know how much different viscosity will help oil consumption issue but according to some comments in oil site, heavier viscosity should improve oil consumption issue. That's all I know. Personally, I used only 0w-20on my forester 2015 but haven't used 10W-30 or 5W-30 yet.
 

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2015 Forester
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17 Posts
Reading 5w-30, it's the last number (30) that indicated the thickness of the oil at operational temperatures. When I mention 30 weight I'm talking about 0w-30 or 5w-30 or 10w-30.

5w-30 (Resource Conserving) oil after it shears isn't that much thicker than 20 weight oil. Resource conserving oils are usually on the thin side of 30 weight (cSt in the 10s) to start with and they shear (HTHS 3.1<) because of the friction modifiers put in them. American cars are built to meet CAFE mpg standards.

Motor Oil Viscosity Grades Explained in Layman's Terms

30 weight motor (Not Resource Conserving) oil for European cars is thicker and doesn't shear as much (HTHS 3.5>). If someone is having an oil consumption problem and wants to step up in thickness then German Castor 0w-30, Motul, etc...

I wouldn't worry that your dealer used the right oil. He probably did, and if not 5w-30 (Resource Conserving) is okay. You won't notice a difference on mpg. Most of your friction is in the form of wind resistance.

Subaru backed away from the 7,500 mile oil changes for 2015. The new guidance is 6,000 miles. I don't know why they did this, but I'd change my oil at no more than 6,000 miles. I'm debating 5,000 mile oil change intervals myself. Once my car has some miles on it, I'll send the oil in to Blackstone for analysis. Then I'll decide...

Check your oil level at least every other fill-up with gas. Having oil is most important. LOL
 

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2009 Forester
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We have an '11 Forester at work as a fleet vehicle, with just over 190K miles on the clock as of this week. It's no doubt been beaten like a rented mule since it was bought new.

It had been run on 0W-20 since new, and at around 165K miles it gradually started consuming oil up to a rate of a quart and a half per week. We pull maintenance on Sundays, and the thing couldn't go a whole week without adding oil.

Some of it was leaking at the block-to-head interfaces on both banks, some was being burned. The shop quoted over $3K to pull the engine and replace the seals.

We switched to Mobil-1 High Mileage 5W-20 last Fall and the consumption tapered down to a half quart per week. Still a bit wet at both heads but no puddles in the parking spot. No problems at cold startup with the slightly thicker oil.

As the weather warmed up this Spring, and after reading this forum and elsewhere, the mid-April oil change went to Quaker State Defy 5W-30 synthetic blend. It's put over 2K miles on that fill with no top-off needed. Same driver, same route with only minor deviations.

No engine misbehavior at cold startup...including a few sub-freezing mornings...and no noticeable change in fuel consumption. We get fueling reports from our wholesaler each month, the driver has to enter odometer readings at the pump station.

This vehicle's stellar performance compelled me to get a Forester last month. :)
 

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2012 Forester Auto
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49 Posts
We have an '11 Forester at work as a fleet vehicle, with just over 190K miles on the clock as of this week. It's no doubt been beaten like a rented mule since it was bought new.

It had been run on 0W-20 since new, and at around 165K miles it gradually started consuming oil up to a rate of a quart and a half per week. We pull maintenance on Sundays, and the thing couldn't go a whole week without adding oil.

Some of it was leaking at the block-to-head interfaces on both banks, some was being burned. The shop quoted over $3K to pull the engine and replace the seals.

We switched to Mobil-1 High Mileage 5W-20 last Fall and the consumption tapered down to a half quart per week. Still a bit wet at both heads but no puddles in the parking spot. No problems at cold startup with the slightly thicker oil.

As the weather warmed up this Spring, and after reading this forum and elsewhere, the mid-April oil change went to Quaker State Defy 5W-30 synthetic blend. It's put over 2K miles on that fill with no top-off needed. Same driver, same route with only minor deviations.

No engine misbehavior at cold startup...including a few sub-freezing mornings...and no noticeable change in fuel consumption. We get fueling reports from our wholesaler each month, the driver has to enter odometer readings at the pump station.

This vehicle's stellar performance compelled me to get a Forester last month. :)
Thank you for sharing your experiences with an FB with that many miles! To me anyway, this shows that any weight oil within reason will do the job.

Do you happen to recall when the seepage at the block to head interface reared it's head? Is it something you are concerned about or has it stabilized?

Thank you.
 

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2016 Forester XT Premium automatic
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1,072 Posts
From personal experience and from what I have read about the oils,I understand Mobil 1 has a tendency to use or burn more than some other oils.
It dosen't mean its an inferior oil, it just may have the ability to get into spaces that other oils cant! Anyway from what was said by Waypoint the Quaker state
slowed or stopped the oil consumption,thats good info to know. I believe alot of the oil consumption problems on the 2.5i motors could be much reduced by using
a higher viscosity oil such as 5-30 or 10-30. ed
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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2,250 Posts
I've switched to Castrol Edge 5w40 for our 06, 10 and 15 Foresters.

The 06 has 35k on its engine, the 10 has 104,000 and the 15 has 20,000.

Randomly each used 1 qt every 5000. Most of the time the stick never is lower than 1/2 qt.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
 

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2009 Forester
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Thank you for sharing your experiences with an FB with that many miles! To me anyway, this shows that any weight oil within reason will do the job.

Do you happen to recall when the seepage at the block to head interface reared it's head? Is it something you are concerned about or has it stabilized?

Thank you.
The head seepage hit the radar screen at the 165K-mile mark, but could have been doing it prior to then.

This Summer's run of 5W-30 found it needed average 1/2qt per month, best it's been in a long time.

We'll be changing back to Mobil-1 High Mileage 5W-20 next time it's in the shop in preparation for cooler temps ahead. Next year I'm thinking about sticking with Mobil-1 Hi Mile and going with their 5W-30 for Spring-Summer.
 

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2009 Forester
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From personal experience and from what I have read about the oils,I understand Mobil 1 has a tendency to use or burn more than some other oils.
It depends which Mobil-1 flavor you're running, they're not all created equal. I've found that their High Mileage ones and 0W-40 tend to resist burnoff very well.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i ltd.
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KentM - If you want to see what type of oil they're using, go into the Parts department right after you drop the vehicle off.... At my dealer in Milwaukee, the oil, filter and drain plug gasket are all sitting on the counter for the mechanic to grab. Look close at the paperwork with the parts - your name should be listed as the customer. BTW the way, I bought my Forester from the "guys with the white hats" :smile2:
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i Base CVT
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It is interesting that in Japanese Subaru web site, they lists oil from 0w20 to 5w40, as it is in this link below.

however 10w50 in detail, it say except FA, FB, OEM engine. 0w20 oil , they say it is economical oil which make higher gas mileage.
in this web site also has Stars , it seems like 5w30 have better higher temperature protection compare to 0w20. Castrol SLX 5w40 oil has more Stars in High Temperature protection compare to subaru 0w30, and it also have more Stars in quiet operation.

for reference, STARs rating in #1 row High Temperatutre protection, #2 row fuel economy, #3 preventing from inside of engine become dirty, #4 low temperature engine start, #5 exhaust gas cleanliness, #6 smoothness operation.

WEB site of OIL type in Japanese Subaru web site.
SUBARU : ?????? > ??????? > ???????????
 

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2011 forester
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I have a 2011 forester fb25, I burn oil like a 1985 2 stroke KX500, personally; I don't think boxer engine likes to run the zero twenty, it sounds rougher..I think fb25 was designed for 5w30, but emissions were harsher. The 30 runs smoother and less burn. Next time I will try QS defy. My CANADIAN owners manual says I can use 5w30 or 5w40 coventional..*** eh?
 

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2012 2.5 X Touring 4EAT
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I have a 2012 Forester non turbo and I have used several name brand 0w20 engine oils over the years of ownership and all of them burned about 1/2 a litre between 6 monthly oil changes. I have tried 85, 87 and 91 grade gasoline. I have found that Motul 0w20 sn and Shell 91 (with no alcohol content) give me the quietest and smoothest ride with no oil loss. I am a "severe service "driver and do not usually drive more than 250 kilometers in a day but I have recorded 430 k. on 3/4 tank gas and before I recorded 380 k. This was recorded in June 2016. I know winter will be another story. This has taken time to find this workable combination. You might want to try it.
 
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