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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I foolishly bought the service deal with my car and they had been using 100% synthetic oil as per the work orders/receipts, but last time the dealer serviced engine with synthetic BLEND oil. I checked the manual and it says synthetic, which to me usually means 100% synthetic, not blend. I know 100% synthetic is superior, but is the blend ok? I also feel like I'm getting ripped off.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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I wouldn't accept that especially when the owners manual is specific about using full-synthetic except for top off purposes. When you query the dealer, be prepared for the dealer to say it was a paperwork error and the shop actually used full synthetic.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Nothing wrong with a synthetic blend, if it meets your engine requirements. :confused:

We use a Valvoline MaxLife synthetic blend in our '95 Neon Sport. In our Foresters, we use Valvoline SYNPower, full synthetic & it's more expensive.

These are the best prices I could find at the time of purchase:

• Valvoline MaxLife synthetic blend, 5W-30, 5 quarts = $17
• Valvoline SYNPower full synthetic, 5W-30, 5 quarts = $25

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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Honestly its not a problem. There is no standard for syn or non syn. Consider that 100% synthetic could be Group III, Group IV, or group V. True synthetics are group IV or V. In other counties Group III is not a synthetic. But in the U.S. most 100% syn oils are group III. And there is virtually no difference between Group III syn and Group II+ (non syn)

Readers digest: don't worry about it. But I would insist they use 100% syn none the less.
 

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2016 Subaru Forester CVT
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43 Posts
I'm thinking your car requires 0w-20 oil like my '16. Not sure whether any 0w-20 is a blend. Probably fine assuming they used 5w-20 or 5w-30. Issue is you probably paid for a full synthetic change and received a less expensive blend oil instead. At the very least, if you can, go to a different dealer or indie garage if you can on the next go round. Best of all, do it yourself next time if at all possible.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium CVT
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370 Posts
I wouldn't worry about the synthetic blend oil. If it really bothers you change the oil at 3000 or 5000 miles and insist they use full synthetic next time.

StanF
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Premium 6-speed manual
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177 Posts
If the viscosity is correct and the additive package meets Subaru's specifications your are OK. Fully synthetic base stocks are considered better, but it is the viscosity and the API, ACEA, et. specs. that matter. Unlike Subaru, at this time at least, for VW/Audi, BMW and others using only fully synthetic motor oil at the right viscosity range and with the specific approved additive package is very crucial to the health and well being of their motors regardless of what the chattering masses think on most enthusist's forums, for those respective brands, say.

I have been a long time VW/Audi owner and not just any oil will do, Fortunately VW/Audi have approved over 100 brands of motor worldwide that meet their Oil Quality Standards which vary between gasoline and diesel motors and some times the engine range itself. With 10k plus oil changes using only Castrol motor oil that is specifically approved by VW/Audi has never been a problem for me.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't accept that especially when the owners manual is specific about using full-synthetic except for top off purposes. When you query the dealer, be prepared for the dealer to say it was a paperwork error and the shop actually used full synthetic.
Agreed and as you said (and I simultaneously thought lol), they called back and claimed that's just a paperwork oopsy, they have no synthetic blend anywhere in house.

I'm thinking your car requires 0w-20 oil like my '16. Not sure whether any 0w-20 is a blend. Probably fine assuming they used 5w-20 or 5w-30. Issue is you probably paid for a full synthetic change and received a less expensive blend oil instead.
Yes my 2015 requires 0w-20 synthetic as per manual. When I looked about a year ago, the blends were hard to find at parts shops in our area. Yes, I paid for synthetic.

I wouldn't worry about the synthetic blend oil. If it really bothers you change the oil at 3000 or 5000 miles and insist they use full synthetic next time.
Ya, kinda what I'm doing. I try not to go past 5000 miles per oil change anyways.

Will be using independent shop(s) and/or doing it myself.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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I wouldn't worry about the synthetic blend oil. If it really bothers you change the oil at 3000 or 5000 miles and insist they use full synthetic next time.

StanF

I WOULD worry about it. 0W-20 synthetic blend has been out for a while. It is *not* specified as acceptable in our engines.

Go get your oil changed again. Somewhere that will use 0W-20 full synthetic, API type "SN".
 

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2002 Forester automatic
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I WOULD worry about it. 0W-20 synthetic blend has been out for a while. It is *not* specified as acceptable in our engines.

Go get your oil changed again. Somewhere that will use 0W-20 full synthetic, API type "SN".

Immediately stop driving your car, and get it towed to the nearest oil refinery. Have them remove your oil pan to rid it of any traces of the blended oil. Replace it with 150% virgin full synthetic oil installed at exactly 145.6 degrees. Change it every 15 minutes to be on the safe side.

Why do guys get so stupid and anal about oil?
 

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2016 2.5i Premium CVT
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I WOULD worry about it. 0W-20 synthetic blend has been out for a while. It is *not* specified as acceptable in our engines.

Go get your oil changed again. Somewhere that will use 0W-20 full synthetic, API type "SN".
Actually, you can use full dino oil as long as it is "SN" or "GF-5" rated. My owners manual states on page 11-13 the following:

NOTE
Synthetic oil of the grade and viscosity noted in chapter 12 is the recommended engine oil for optimum engine performance. Conventional oil may be
used if synthetic oil is unavailable.

I believe the OP stated that the dealer did the oil change with the syn blend oil, so there is no way that Subaru could deny a warranty claim because of the oil that was used.

StanF
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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475 Posts
Unfortunately, dealer oil change packages are never a good deal for the consumer.

My guess is they are just dumping on a blended bulk 5w-30. Cheapest option for them. Your oil change probably costs them $7 total with the filter.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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504 Posts
For my "free" dealership oil changes, I bring oil and filter. They "bring" the labor.

When the service advisor asked the tech about my oil and filter choice, he was told that what I bring is the best money can buy.

For a few extra dollars you too can be assured of a real Group IV oil.

Remember the threads regarding adding an air/oil separator? Why it is critical to keep the valves clean? Well, use the newest SN+ full Group IV synthetic oil and this issue goes away.

The best synthetic Group IV oils don't coke the way lesser oils so easily do. Any petroleum oil will coke and turn to sludge when subjected to want manufacturers call Severe Duty use.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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Actually, you can use full dino oil as long as it is "SN" or "GF-5" rated. My owners manual states on page 11-13 the following:

NOTE
Synthetic oil of the grade and viscosity noted in chapter 12 is the recommended engine oil for optimum engine performance. Conventional oil may be
used if synthetic oil is unavailable.
StanF
But your manual (section 12-5) also states: "If 0W-20 synthetic oil is not available, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment I needed but should be changed to 0W-20 synthetic oil at the next oil change."

So Subaru is saying that it is OK to use conventional oil in a top-off situation but not for a complete oil change.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Premium 6-speed manual
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How does one determine if a particular oil is Group IV? Is it on the label?
Some helpful hints:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_oil

https://www.pca.org/news/2015-11-02/synthetic-word-relates-motor-oil

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a12007368/what-makes-synthetic-oil-better/

Though not a concern of mine, I have yet to find information from major motor oil suppliers that publicly state the specific base stocks they use and I don't use the specialty brands no matter how loyal the following. If I was in Europe, I might switch to one of some German brands of motor oil, in lieu of Castrol, that are found everywhere there, but that can only be found from enthusiast suppliers here.



In my view Subaru oil standards are less sophisticated than Volkswagen and Audi's for example, where their requirements are very specific, laid out in TSBs, and where they have over 100 brands of oil that have been approved worldwide, if the specific VW Oil Quality Standard(s) are listed on the bottle. Most approved oils cover at least two VW Oil Quality Standards, but not always. VW Oil Quality Standards vary according to engine type, fuel, maintenance schedule, and sales market.

Be it conventional oil or so called fully synthetic, as long as the SAE Viscosity rating and other standards that Subaru call for are found on the bottle then you are good. I have used Castrol forever.

I have three different types of Castrol for the cars I currently have. One for my 2018 VW Alltrack, one for my wife's 2009 MINI that was intended for our oldest daughter (she originally wanted a MINI), and one for the 2010 Forester that I just got for my oldest daughter as her first car she has ever owned, now that she is a post undergrad.


Folks on VW /Audi forums spend hours, days, weeks, and lot more time than that, debating about and second guessing VW / Audi Engineers over the need for VW Oil Quality Standards when they should just pick the brand they like from the long list of oils on the TSBs and be done with it.

Beer, however, is another matter.....
 
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