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2018 Subaru Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

A quick question for you knowledgeable folks out there. I own a 2018 Forester XT, and just had my second oil change.

I noticed that on my first oil change (which happened about 2,000 miles in) the dealer put 0W-20 Synthetic oil in my car, instead of the recommended 5W-30 Synthetic, which is called for my the manual. And so I've been driving all Summer and Fall on the wrong oil for about six months. I only noticed this because for my second oil change which just took place, the dealer ended up putting the correct oil in my car, and I was wondering why the difference and went back to check the manual, which alerted me to the correct oil requirements.

I drive pretty carefully, and I don't really stress the car in any way, but then again, I do mostly city driving, and most of my trips are short (under 5 miles) and so I do believe that Subaru calls the type of driving that I do, "extreme driving."

Should I have any cause for concern? Or should I just think of this as a learning opportunity to keep an eye on the dealer from here on out?

Thanks 'y'all!
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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359 Posts
Make sure the dealer puts the error in writing. The FA20DIT engine has a few quirks about it, and could be quite finicky. I personally had my engine rod knock, and it wasn’t Cobb tuned or anything ( it probably because I drove through a muddy puddle, rod knocked happened 3 days later).

I would advise, make sure you 100% covered in case something goes wrong.

Your manual says, using the wrong oil “will” lead to problems.


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2018 Subaru Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback guys!

I assume the issue is already sort of "documented" as the dealer invoice for the first oil change clearly states that they put in the 0W-20 syn oil (when it should have been the 5W-30 for my Turbo). I guess the dealer can always claim the invoice was an error, but then again its right there on the paper, so can't really argue with that.

At this point, as I just had my second oil change, there's no way to verify what really went into the engine, so we have to go by is what's on the dealer invoice.

Do you think I should bring up the issue with them now (six months after the fact) and get them to put something for me in writing?

Thanks again!
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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359 Posts
Yes, absolutely, for your sake. My dealer wrote something along the lines “wrong oil was placed in customers vehicle. This will lead to problems according to the Vehicles owner manual.”

If something happens, you want to be covered.

Here’s my repair list btw, this list could have been related to the mud puddle, might have been related to the wrong oil, who knows:


-Engine surges and loses power while accelerating
-Rod knock- short block replaced. After short block replacement I never had my engine surge and lose power again.
-Turbo replaced - too much play in the impellar
-CVT seal replaced due to seeping - proactive repair
-Violent surging due to a lean engine code - valve out of spec. Engine taken apart to fix

Although Subaru might be issuing a massive recall on FB and FA engines failing, according to some news sources, they haven’t yet. So best to cover your booty, get the error put in writing and that the error “will” cause problems according to the owners manual.



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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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Btw, I love my FXT. Subaru’s initial quality isn’t the best. But I’m confident in their engineering and long term reliability.




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2018 Subaru Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice!

I love my XT and would hate to have anything happen to it, especially by the dealer - that would drive me nuts.

If anyone else has any advice or thoughts, I would appreciate it!
 

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2015 Forester XT
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37 Posts
Although Subaru might be issuing a massive recall on FB and FA engines failing, according to some news sources, they haven’t yet. So best to cover your booty, get the error put in writing and that the error “will” cause problems according to the owners manual.

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What recall are you referring to?
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring CVT
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@MidAtlanticGuy
If it gonna make you feel better FA24DIT (Ascent engine) uses 0W-20 and it is based on FA20DIT, but mostly tuned to run better on regular fuel.
I would still document everything, just in case...
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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Sorry, let me try to find that article


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Ah ok!



From what I read, this was the valve spring issue and didn't touch the fa20dit, only the NA fa20.


Yeah, I’m sure I had the valve spring issue. That involved taking my engine apart to replace then valve spring.

My FXT is running like a dream now, better than ever, I love it!


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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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Whatever document you have from the 'wrong oil oil change' is adequate for documenting the error.

But you won't have any oil related damage, your trips are short and the oil is not overheated for long hi rpm performance. That you got your oil changed initially at 2000 miles, and later noticed the oil viscosity discrepancy, means you are in the top fraction of car owners for maintenance care; I'd offer to buy your old car when you upgrade.:smile2:
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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I doubt you have any cause for concern, since Subaru's synthetic 5W-30 is pretty shear-prone, anyway. HOWEVER, I would not accept this in the future. If you get a ticket or receipt that shows 0W-20 used, have them fix it.

5W-30 is what's spec'd and 5W-30 is what should be used.

G'day & Welcome aboard!

I wouldn't worry; Subaru are recommending 0W-20 for some engines anyway ;-)
What documentation do you have that Subaru is OK'ing 0W-20 in ANY FA20DIT. Did I miss something as important as this???

Or, by "some engines", do you mean some engines other than the FA20DIT?

@MidAtlanticGuy
If it gonna make you feel better FA24DIT (Ascent engine) uses 0W-20 and it is based on FA20DIT, but mostly tuned to run better on regular fuel.
I would still document everything, just in case...
That's like when a movie is based on a true story. The FA24DIT isn't, so far as I know, simply a bored-out FA20DIT - it's a new engine design. I would find it very odd if they were so similar, and the FA20DIT was simply left specifying 5W-30, because they were too lazy or didn't want to spend the money to change the owner's manuals from previous FA20DIT-installed manuals.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,583 Posts
Wouldn't worry about it.
Don't do an oil analysis before 10K miles.
 

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2015 Forester XT
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37 Posts
Yeah, I’m sure I had the valve spring issue. That involved taking my engine apart to replace then valve spring.

My FXT is running like a dream now, better than ever, I love it!


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I'm really curious, because I also have a 2015 XT.

Everywhere I look, it says that only 2013-2014 models were affected by the recall.
 
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