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Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? #4442516
06/27/17 05:11 AM
06/27/17 05:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
pilot1226 Offline OP
pilot1226  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
Hi,

I have a 2011 Subaru Outback, 2.5i (the EJ series engine) with CVT. It is a naturally aspirated engine, the H4 "Boxer" style.

I am changing from predominantly conventional oil to a high-mileage synthetic going forward, primarily for the additives to help condition all the seals. The Boxer engine is notorious for Head Gasket issues, which is partially because of the design of the engine and gravity.

From the sticky:

So, when you ask for advice, tell us about your car! The more details, the better. Here are the essential points:

1. What kind of vehicle you have
2011 Subaru Outback, 2.5i, CVT, Limited trim, about 78k miles.

2. What your owner's manual says -- not just viscosity, but certifications (look for acronyms like API SM, ILSAC GF-4, etc.) and change intervals as well
Subaru says the OCI is 7500 miles for "normal" or 3750 for "severe"; severe driving is defined as repeated short trips, stop and go, excessive idling (basically, any urban); rough, muddy, salty, dusty, cold conditions; any towing. Oil Viscosity is 5w30, synthetic recommended but not required

From the manual: Recommended grade and viscosity CAUTION Use only engine oil with the recommended grade and viscosity.
Oil grade: – ILSAC GF-4 or GF-5, which can be identified with the ILSAC certification mark (Starburst mark) – or API classification SN or SM with the words “ENERGY CONSERVING” These recommended oil grades can be identified by looking for either or both of the following marks displayed on the oil container. ILSAC Certification Mark (Starburst Mark) API Service label 1) Indicates the oil quality by API designations 2) Indicates the SAE oil viscosity grade 3) Indicates that the oil has fuel saving capabilities In choosing an oil, you want the proper quality and viscosity, as well as one that will add to fuel economy. The following table lists the recommended viscosities and applicable temperatures. When adding oil, different brands may be used together as long as they are the
same API classification and SAE viscosity as those recommended by SUBARU. SAE viscosity number and applicable temperature *: 5W-30 is recommended. Engine oil viscosity (thickness) affects fuel economy. Oils of lower viscosity provide better fuel economy. However, in hot weather, oil of higher viscosity is required to properly lubricate the engine. Information Provided by: & Recommended grade and
viscosity under severe driving conditions If the vehicle is used in desert areas, in areas with very high temperatures, or used for heavy-duty applications such as towing a trailer, use of oil with the following grade and viscosities is recommended. API Classification SN or SM: SAE viscosity No.: 30, 40, 10W-50, 20W-40, 20W-50 & Synthetic oil You can use synthetic engine oil that meets the same requirements given for conventional engine oil. When using synthetic oil, you must use oil of the same classification, viscosity and grade shown in this Owner’s Manual, and must follow the oil and filter changing intervals


3. Where you live
Northern NJ; summer/seasonal trips to shore areas in central and southern NJ in summer.

4. How you drive (easy? hard? fast? slow?)
Like an old man. Very easy. I seldom let the tach exceed 2 1/2k rpm unless it's an emergency. I don't jackrabbit start or slam on my brakes to stop.

5. What your daily drive is like (short trips? long trips? city? highway?)
It's 11 miles from my house to work. Typically I will drive the "toll-free" road through a city (Newark), lots of lights and traffic, especially in the afternoons and evenings. Of this 11 mile stretch, about half is a 55 mph highway, the rest is urban (around 35-40mph, but again, lots of traffic). My car isn't the vacation car anymore, but when I seasonally go to the shore areas I'll be driving on the Parkway, which is 55-65mph. I don't speed much, I will usually do max +5 mph and use Cruise Control.

6. Whether your car has any known problems
No known issues at this time. The car burns zero oil over the typical 3000-3750 OCI. A quick visual inspect shows no leaks from the engine; all fluid levels appear to be at appropriate levels.

Here are the two links from a Subaru shop out on the west coast regarding the Head Gasket issues and why the Boxer is prone to issues:

https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-problems-explained/

https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gaskets-problems-explained-part-ii/



Having run conventional (mostly) oil for the last 75k, I am anticipating that there will be a lot of "cleaning" from the Mobil 1 High Mileage I purchased (promotion, substantial rebate) about a month ago. I was thinking about doing my first oil change with the M1HM around the 3750 mark, and then looking to go to a 5000 OCI from there on out. I use the OEM Subaru Oil Filters with a new crush washer every time.

My question is primarily about the OCI. Does this sound like a good OCI, or should I consider staying in the 3000's to help avoid HG issues (and if I do 3000 OCI, maybe I should change to a synthetic blend for HM rather than the full synthetic HM). I am anticipating switching to the Pennzoil HM synthetic assuming there are no promotions the next time I purchase.

I can also vary my driving habits, somewhat. If you feel that the urban stop and go city crawl is being exceptionally damaging to my engine, I can take a toll road (Turnpike or Parkway) home, which would probably cost me around $2-3 in tolls, and take about 20 miles, with about 18-19 of them being highway (60mph). Obviously I'd get better fuel economy on highway too, so it's not about the tolls or distance, more about the wear and tear on the engine.

I could also mix it up, and do city in and highway home, vice versa, depending on my work schedule. I understand that the engines need to get "hot" in order to do a lot of the things related to the PCV and for the oil to really do what it's designed to do, so I was thinking that running highway at 60-65mph (somewhere around 2-2.5k rpm) for 15-20 minutes might be helpful.

Thanks for your opinions and suggestions! Looking to make this car last for a long time (though I hate the idea of the disposable "timing belt" every 100k. I wish the car had the chains, which the 2013+ FB series engine has)

Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442522
06/27/17 05:35 AM
06/27/17 05:35 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,802
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,802
Crawfordville FL
5k would be conservative based on your driving. Consider a 10w-30 HM oil. My brothers subies love thicker oil. If you aren't going to run out to 7-8K I would stay with conventional or a blend, keep some money in your pocket. If you go with a blend, MaxLife in the red bottle is an excellent oil.

The M1 should be good out to 7-8K or more. UOA at 6k and see what you have.


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 181 miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442579
06/27/17 07:13 AM
06/27/17 07:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 65
York, Pa
fozzdesy2001 Offline
fozzdesy2001  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 65
York, Pa
I have used Pennzoil high mileage 10-40 in my Subaru in the past and will again for my NA engines now that Rotella T6 formula has changed. I also agree that Subarus like thicker oil.


2001 Subaru Forester S
Replaced with a 2006 Forester

2004 Subaru Forester XT
Death by deer. Replaced with 2003 Impreza Outback Sport (beater)
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: fozzdesy2001] #4442608
06/27/17 07:52 AM
06/27/17 07:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
Originally Posted By: fozzdesy2001
I have used Pennzoil high mileage 10-40 in my Subaru in the past and will again for my NA engines now that Rotella T6 formula has changed. I also agree that Subarus like thicker oil.

There is no evidence at all Subarus "like" thicker oil.
Emotions rule here, I know.
Engineers know better. Subaru recommends 5w30, SN GF-5, which means HTHS=3.0. Sure if you're towing or doing something like that you could go to a slightly higher HTHS, but with synthetic even that is not needed.

Using an HM oil is probably a good idea in a 2011 model. Seals might really use that extra seal conditioner. Any name-brand full syn HM 5w30 at walmart or amazon would do the trick.

Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: oil_film_movies] #4442636
06/27/17 08:36 AM
06/27/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,742
North Carolina
FutureDoc Offline
FutureDoc  Offline
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,742
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: oil_film_movies
Originally Posted By: fozzdesy2001
I have used Pennzoil high mileage 10-40 in my Subaru in the past and will again for my NA engines now that Rotella T6 formula has changed. I also agree that Subarus like thicker oil.

There is no evidence at all Subarus "like" thicker oil.
Emotions rule here, I know.
Engineers know better. Subaru recommends 5w30, SN GF-5, which means HTHS=3.0. Sure if you're towing or doing something like that you could go to a slightly higher HTHS, but with synthetic even that is not needed.

Using an HM oil is probably a good idea in a 2011 model. Seals might really use that extra seal conditioner. Any name-brand full syn HM 5w30 at walmart or amazon would do the trick.


Actually, there is. A lot of the EJ motors specified in the manual that 5w30 10w30 or 10w40 was acceptable do "getting heavier" is fine. Some phase 1 EJ owners chased some piston-slap issues with HEDO. I use 10w30 and 10w40 HEDO when I got it for about a $1/qt.

On the other hand, there are a few of us old "hyper-miling" EJ owners who went with 5w20 without any noticeable issues. I did this for long highway trips sometimes.

As for the OP, look at a lot of the UOA (used oil analysis) for EJ subarus. The common thread is that they are really REALLY easy on oil so a 7,500 interval with conventional is not unheard. I really used "whatever was on the clearance rack" for my EJ Subaru and I sold it to a coworker at 212K and they are about 250K now. Oil brand/type is not important for that engine but the oil filer is critical. Memorize "57055". This is the Napa Gold filter code for the filter with the correct high bypass spec and is the best for the cost. It is a better media than the Suabru filter too. You can also go with Wix 7055 or the cheaper Napa select (27055). Avoid Tearolators as I had back-toback filter failures.

Replacing the timing belt is easy... replacing the CV axles/boots and tie-rods can be the hard ones with winter-salt use. Did the timing belt in about 1/3 of the time compare to a CV boot (yeah, that was a chore).


'15 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 - Havoline 5w-30 & OEM
'14 Subaru Outback 2.5 - NAPA 0w-20 & Wix
'01 Toyota MR2 Spyder - Havoline 5w-30 & Wix
'82 Chevy C10
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: FutureDoc] #4442647
06/27/17 08:57 AM
06/27/17 08:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
pilot1226 Offline OP
pilot1226  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
Originally Posted By: SilverFusion2010
5k would be conservative based on your driving. Consider a 10w-30 HM oil. My brothers subies love thicker oil. If you aren't going to run out to 7-8K I would stay with conventional or a blend, keep some money in your pocket. If you go with a blend, MaxLife in the red bottle is an excellent oil.

The M1 should be good out to 7-8K or more. UOA at 6k and see what you have.


Yeah, I figured the oil would be good in the long term, I'm more concerned about the "detergent" effect of using M1 in an engine that has been primarily lubricated with conventional. I'm sure there will be a lot of cleaning/varnish etc. I don't really want that held in suspension in the oil (see above with the Head Gasket links) because I don't want to corrode the HG's any faster than they have to be.

Yes, I was considering finding a HM blend going forward, the main reason I went with the M1HM is that they had a really good promotion at the time and I think it ended up costing me about $10-11 per 5 qt. containers.

My concern isn't the oil's ability to lubricate over a longer OCI - it's more about the ability of the filter to, well, filter the particulates that I'm sure it will be bombarded with over the first or second oil changes with M1.

I live in the northeast, so I might be a little concerned with using a thicker oil than specifications recommend, especially in the winter. See note below, questions on using 0w40...


Originally Posted By: fozzdesy2001
I have used Pennzoil high mileage 10-40 in my Subaru in the past and will again for my NA engines now that Rotella T6 formula has changed. I also agree that Subarus like thicker oil.


Thanks. I don't think I want to do 10w40 as that is a thicker specification than originally called for at startup. I think optimally I might look to get feedback on using something like a Pennzoil or Mobil 1 0w40 - something that basically would provide the cold lubrication in accordance with Subaru's specs (they recommend a 5w30, so a 0w40 "should" provide quicker and better protection at startup during the winter, since it has a lower pour point right?)

I know that the 40 weight would have more resistance and possibly a negative effect on fuel economy as well. It seems as though the Mobil 1 is regarded on the "lower end" of the 30 weight in the 5w30 I'm going to use, so maybe it would be more prudent to use the 0w40 as the 40 weight would be on the "thin" side once it was at temperature (and maybe shear a little?)

Using 0w40 in an engine that uses 5w30 shouldn't have any negative effects, correct? Since the 5w30 is inside of the larger encompassing of what 5w30 covers?

Thanks for your responses.


Originally Posted By: FutureDoc
As for the OP, look at a lot of the UOA (used oil analysis) for EJ subarus. The common thread is that they are really REALLY easy on oil so a 7,500 interval with conventional is not unheard. I really used "whatever was on the clearance rack" for my EJ Subaru and I sold it to a coworker at 212K and they are about 250K now. Oil brand/type is not important for that engine but the oil filer is critical. Memorize "57055". This is the Napa Gold filter code for the filter with the correct high bypass spec and is the best for the cost. It is a better media than the Suabru filter too. You can also go with Wix 7055 or the cheaper Napa select (27055). Avoid Tearolators as I had back-toback filter failures.

Replacing the timing belt is easy... replacing the CV axles/boots and tie-rods can be the hard ones with winter-salt use. Did the timing belt in about 1/3 of the time compare to a CV boot (yeah, that was a chore).




Haha, the t-belt seems like a bear. I don't want to be responsible for screwing that up and destroying the engine.

You're saying the aftermarket Napa Gold or Wix filters would allow me to run a 7500 interval under "city/urban" driving that I described above without having solvency/corrosion issues with HM Synthetic? I was wondering if using a 0w40 non-HM version (since M1/Penn don't make a 0w40 in HM) would give me more protection... lower pour point when it's cold, more protection when hotter (though more resistance).

What are the consequences of using a lower weight (0) at startup compared to the 5? Are there any other consequences other than the potential for lower fuel economy from using a higher weight (40) at temperature compared to the 30?


Pilot, Subaru Ambassador
http://subaruoutback.org Forums
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442682
06/27/17 09:44 AM
06/27/17 09:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,600
Huntington Beach, CA
tenderloin Offline
tenderloin  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,600
Huntington Beach, CA
We have a 2007 2.5i Impreza still hanging around after 170,000+ miles that my three sons used at university. No problems at all. Uses very little if any oil between 5,000 mi OCI's. Always change out the coolant as specified and ALWAYS keep the Subaru Cooling System Conditioner as well.

Now on to the oil..As with all my vehicles the Subie has had about every brand made that has been on sale. Here in So Cal if I had to choose just one as far as overall sound/noise/smooth/mpg (small positive differences were apparent with some 5W-30's)would be Havoline 5-10W30 HM. BTW less than half of the time were Subaru "correct by-pass" oil filters used.

Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: tenderloin] #4442684
06/27/17 09:49 AM
06/27/17 09:49 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
pilot1226 Offline OP
pilot1226  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
Originally Posted By: tenderloin
We have a 2007 2.5i Impreza still hanging around after 170,000+ miles that my three sons used at university. No problems at all. Uses very little if any oil between 5,000 mi OCI's. Always change out the coolant as specified and ALWAYS keep the Subaru Cooling System Conditioner as well.

Now on to the oil..As with all my vehicles the Subie has had about every brand made that has been on sale. Here in So Cal if I had to choose just one as far as overall sound/noise/smooth/mpg (small positive differences were apparent with some 5W-30's)would be Havoline 10W30 HM. BTW less than half of the time were Subaru "correct by-pass" oil filters used.


Thanks for the reply. The conditioner isn't something I need to touch until I do a drain and fill after 12 years with the super coolant, right?


Pilot, Subaru Ambassador
http://subaruoutback.org Forums
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442687
06/27/17 09:53 AM
06/27/17 09:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,600
Huntington Beach, CA
tenderloin Offline
tenderloin  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,600
Huntington Beach, CA
The older Subies used a different coolant..I believe it was supposed to be changed at 30,000 miles..The new stuff goes a long way. Enjoy your new vehicle

Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442689
06/27/17 09:53 AM
06/27/17 09:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
TheKracken Offline
TheKracken  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
I would use a 0w40 for a subaru, that or a 5w40 HDEO like Rotella T6. Way too many people have had success with these oils in the subaru motors to not run it....mind you, I am a thin oil guy who runns thinner oils than spec'd


2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
97 Toy T100 4x4: amsoil 0w20 242k Miles
04 Toy Sienna awd: Pennzoil 0w20 281k Miles
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442694
06/27/17 09:56 AM
06/27/17 09:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
TheKracken Offline
TheKracken  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
Also A HM oil is far fron needed for your engine. A 40 weight will work great. If a HM oil is desired I recommend pennzoil plat HM oil or M1HM oil


2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
97 Toy T100 4x4: amsoil 0w20 242k Miles
04 Toy Sienna awd: Pennzoil 0w20 281k Miles
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442705
06/27/17 10:25 AM
06/27/17 10:25 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,283
N.H, U.S.A.
ARCOgraphite Offline
ARCOgraphite  Offline
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,283
N.H, U.S.A.
Mobil 1 and Subaru do not go together.

Ive owned over EIGHT subarus ( lost count actually).
KNow that the Later EJ's are GREAT motors and probably the EASIEST on oil of any motor out there. That term easy has been thrown about a lot, but in this case ( EJ253) it's valid.

Id just stick with whatever is the Mobil clean 5000 equivalent or Formula Shell. You can Substitute 1 qt 10w40 grade (of same brand/line) for the balance of the 5w30 to give the oil a Summer boost if you like. My old Ej with a MT liked this.

LoneRanger on here has a nice EJ forester and he has tried many oils; he can give you a heads up on what works and what doesn't.
Wife is into our 3rd FB engine Subie already!


2014 Nissan Rogue S CVT, OC#10 47272mi-QSUD10W30+5w20 Toughguard Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#2 ?? mi-SOA/Idemitsu 0w20 + SOA Filter
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4442708
06/27/17 10:29 AM
06/27/17 10:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,742
North Carolina
FutureDoc Offline
FutureDoc  Offline
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,742
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: pilot1226
Originally Posted By: FutureDoc
As for the OP, look at a lot of the UOA (used oil analysis) for EJ subarus. The common thread is that they are really REALLY easy on oil so a 7,500 interval with conventional is not unheard. I really used "whatever was on the clearance rack" for my EJ Subaru and I sold it to a coworker at 212K and they are about 250K now. Oil brand/type is not important for that engine but the oil filer is critical. Memorize "57055". This is the Napa Gold filter code for the filter with the correct high bypass spec and is the best for the cost. It is a better media than the Suabru filter too. You can also go with Wix 7055 or the cheaper Napa select (27055). Avoid Tearolators as I had back-toback filter failures.

Replacing the timing belt is easy... replacing the CV axles/boots and tie-rods can be the hard ones with winter-salt use. Did the timing belt in about 1/3 of the time compare to a CV boot (yeah, that was a chore).



Haha, the t-belt seems like a bear. I don't want to be responsible for screwing that up and destroying the engine.

You're saying the aftermarket Napa Gold or Wix filters would allow me to run a 7500 interval under "city/urban" driving that I described above without having solvency/corrosion issues with HM Synthetic? I was wondering if using a 0w40 non-HM version (since M1/Penn don't make a 0w40 in HM) would give me more protection... lower pour point when it's cold, more protection when hotter (though more resistance).

What are the consequences of using a lower weight (0) at startup compared to the 5? Are there any other consequences other than the potential for lower fuel economy from using a higher weight (40) at temperature compared to the 30?


The timing belt was "easy" from my perspective. It is all about being slow and careful. Took me (a non-mechanic) about 4 hours total. However, I totally get it of you don't want the worry/hassle.

Yeah, the Napa/Wix filters are often the best option for a Subaru if you want the high bypass spec. The Subaru/Honeywell filters have a lower beta ratio from what I can find.

For us around here (western nc), "city/urban" is a lot easier than mountain driving. You just do not see the same problematic UOA for EJ motors as you do in other vehicles or compared to the FB. Mountain climbing/towing is where you see more oil-related issues especially with the FB motors. You are more likely going to see suspension related items in city driving. Considering a lot of Subie owners tend to be near mountains, if there was an issue with it being hard on oil during prolonged climbing, we would know (like we know with the FB liking to 'sip' 0w20). The phase II headgasket issues were likely more prominent for those mountain users (harder strain on the cooling system).

My fleet runs mostly 7,500 on conventional (mostly Fords and Chryslers). No engine related issues. Most conventional oils are good for that range in non-GDI or Turbo vehicles. The EJ, being as easy as it is on a oil, I would expect a HM synthetic to go 15,000K without a blink and maybe push 20K in a EJ. The Wix would probably do 15K that but it will be stretching the oil filter to the brink. I (personally) would not chase the 0w40 unless you had a tuned WRX (and are using the oil to make up for less-than-stellar use). There is nothing really extreme with the engine's use so you likely do not need any of the added "perks" that synthetics normally offer. Remember, "Synthetic" only offers more protection in the "extreme" areas (cold, heat, use). If you were tracking it, living in northern Canada, or out in the desert for some baja offroading, then yeah a 0w40 might be useful. NJ "urban' does not really qualify for that use.

The higher weight of oil, the lower the fuel economy. I have run 5w20 in a 200,000 mile EJ and I could not tell the difference nor did it burn oil. I don't recommend that as a normal practice but I know EJ folks that go that direction. So that is a "it can be done at your own risk" type of decision.

Here is the trick, you oil filter is actually going to determine the OCI more than the oil. Conventional 5w30 will be fine for 7,500 and there will be little to no benefit for a highend synthetic if you are not going to push the interval. I would keep the Wix to 7,500 (though mine are in good shape still at that mileage) and therefor default towards a conventional or maybe a synblend if you want to feel warm-and-fuzzy.

However, if you are fluid concerned.... look to keep the 4EAT tranny in good working order. Valvoine Maxlife ATF is good for that tranny and then I would also keep some quality gear oil in both diffs fresh.


'15 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 - Havoline 5w-30 & OEM
'14 Subaru Outback 2.5 - NAPA 0w-20 & Wix
'01 Toyota MR2 Spyder - Havoline 5w-30 & Wix
'82 Chevy C10
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: FutureDoc] #4442941
06/27/17 02:46 PM
06/27/17 02:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
pilot1226 Offline OP
pilot1226  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 32
NJ
Originally Posted By: FutureDoc
Originally Posted By: pilot1226
Originally Posted By: FutureDoc
As for the OP, look at a lot of the UOA (used oil analysis) for EJ subarus. The common thread is that they are really REALLY easy on oil so a 7,500 interval with conventional is not unheard. I really used "whatever was on the clearance rack" for my EJ Subaru and I sold it to a coworker at 212K and they are about 250K now. Oil brand/type is not important for that engine but the oil filer is critical. Memorize "57055". This is the Napa Gold filter code for the filter with the correct high bypass spec and is the best for the cost. It is a better media than the Suabru filter too. You can also go with Wix 7055 or the cheaper Napa select (27055). Avoid Tearolators as I had back-toback filter failures.

Replacing the timing belt is easy... replacing the CV axles/boots and tie-rods can be the hard ones with winter-salt use. Did the timing belt in about 1/3 of the time compare to a CV boot (yeah, that was a chore).



Haha, the t-belt seems like a bear. I don't want to be responsible for screwing that up and destroying the engine.

You're saying the aftermarket Napa Gold or Wix filters would allow me to run a 7500 interval under "city/urban" driving that I described above without having solvency/corrosion issues with HM Synthetic? I was wondering if using a 0w40 non-HM version (since M1/Penn don't make a 0w40 in HM) would give me more protection... lower pour point when it's cold, more protection when hotter (though more resistance).

What are the consequences of using a lower weight (0) at startup compared to the 5? Are there any other consequences other than the potential for lower fuel economy from using a higher weight (40) at temperature compared to the 30?


The timing belt was "easy" from my perspective. It is all about being slow and careful. Took me (a non-mechanic) about 4 hours total. However, I totally get it of you don't want the worry/hassle.

Yeah, the Napa/Wix filters are often the best option for a Subaru if you want the high bypass spec. The Subaru/Honeywell filters have a lower beta ratio from what I can find.

For us around here (western nc), "city/urban" is a lot easier than mountain driving. You just do not see the same problematic UOA for EJ motors as you do in other vehicles or compared to the FB. Mountain climbing/towing is where you see more oil-related issues especially with the FB motors. You are more likely going to see suspension related items in city driving. Considering a lot of Subie owners tend to be near mountains, if there was an issue with it being hard on oil during prolonged climbing, we would know (like we know with the FB liking to 'sip' 0w20). The phase II headgasket issues were likely more prominent for those mountain users (harder strain on the cooling system).

My fleet runs mostly 7,500 on conventional (mostly Fords and Chryslers). No engine related issues. Most conventional oils are good for that range in non-GDI or Turbo vehicles. The EJ, being as easy as it is on a oil, I would expect a HM synthetic to go 15,000K without a blink and maybe push 20K in a EJ. The Wix would probably do 15K that but it will be stretching the oil filter to the brink. I (personally) would not chase the 0w40 unless you had a tuned WRX (and are using the oil to make up for less-than-stellar use). There is nothing really extreme with the engine's use so you likely do not need any of the added "perks" that synthetics normally offer. Remember, "Synthetic" only offers more protection in the "extreme" areas (cold, heat, use). If you were tracking it, living in northern Canada, or out in the desert for some baja offroading, then yeah a 0w40 might be useful. NJ "urban' does not really qualify for that use.

The higher weight of oil, the lower the fuel economy. I have run 5w20 in a 200,000 mile EJ and I could not tell the difference nor did it burn oil. I don't recommend that as a normal practice but I know EJ folks that go that direction. So that is a "it can be done at your own risk" type of decision.

Here is the trick, you oil filter is actually going to determine the OCI more than the oil. Conventional 5w30 will be fine for 7,500 and there will be little to no benefit for a highend synthetic if you are not going to push the interval. I would keep the Wix to 7,500 (though mine are in good shape still at that mileage) and therefor default towards a conventional or maybe a synblend if you want to feel warm-and-fuzzy.

However, if you are fluid concerned.... look to keep the 4EAT tranny in good working order. Valvoine Maxlife ATF is good for that tranny and then I would also keep some quality gear oil in both diffs fresh.


Thanks for the reply! That was very insightful. My model is the CVT which was introduced in 2010. There is no dipstick. It is very complicated to check and drain and fill. Subaru specifies no replacement interval. I am planning for it along the same time I do the timing belt. Think the OEM filter can make it to 7500? I can do a 7500 interval with the two OEM filters and then switch to wix.


Pilot, Subaru Ambassador
http://subaruoutback.org Forums
Re: Gen4 Subaru Outback, High Mileage Synthetic OCI? [Re: pilot1226] #4443004
06/27/17 04:22 PM
06/27/17 04:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 73
Middle Florida
BufordTJustice Offline
BufordTJustice  Offline
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 73
Middle Florida
Originally Posted By: pilot1226


Thanks for the reply! That was very insightful. My model is the CVT which was introduced in 2010. There is no dipstick. It is very complicated to check and drain and fill. Subaru specifies no replacement interval. I am planning for it along the same time I do the timing belt. Think the OEM filter can make it to 7500? I can do a 7500 interval with the two OEM filters and then switch to wix.


I had a 1999 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.2 EJ for a few years. Ran a Fram Ultra XG3593A filter after trying the Subie brand filter; the Fram Ultra caused the oil to look far cleaner (nad much more translucent) at the end of my oil change intervals. I ran Shell Rotella T6 or Chevron Syn Delo 400 5w-40. The Delo ran smoother, but both oils were notably smoother than any 5w-30 I tried (Pennz Ultra Plat, Castrol EDGE Gold Bottle, Valvoline Maxlife Full Syn, etc.). MPGs were unaffected; engine seemed smoother and quieter on the heavier oils. Also, virtually zero top-up oil was needed.

My current 2011 Outback with 3.6 runs either Pennz Ultra Plat 5w-30 (5quarts + 2 quarts PU 0w-40), Castrol EDGE black bottle 0w-40, or Pennz Euro L 5w-30 to great effect.....same filter (Fram Ultra 3593A). All fills are heavier than std API SN 5w-30.

The 3.6 definitely runs smoother while in traffic with the heavier oils. It's never not smooth, mind you. But it goes from refined engine on straight 5w-30 to turbine-smooth on the heavier fills.

Last edited by BufordTJustice; 06/27/17 04:24 PM.

1999 Porsche 911 Cab 3.4 6-speed -> Mobil Delvac-1 5w-40 ESP (CJ4) -> Fram Ultra XG3675

2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R -> M1 0w-40 FS -> Fram Ultra XG3593A
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