The Best Oil For Your New Subaru Engine And How To Get The Longest Life
The most critical part of ensuring your new Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, WRX /STI or BRZ engine will be reliable for years to come is to remain vigilant on the oil changes. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine and the least expensive maintenance you can do to keep your Subaru running well. The three Cs and main functions of your engine’s oil are to Cushion (lubricates), Clean (removes contaminants), and to keep your Subaru Boxer engine Cool.
How often should I change my engine oil?
Subaru recommends getting your first oil change at 6 months and not more than 6,000 miles. However, it’s a good idea to change it at 3,000-4,000 miles since the engine will have just come through the initial break-in period (3,000 miles). Especially since a new engine will experience slightly more wear during this time.
Regular maintenance is the key
After your first oil change, Subaru says you should change it every 6,000 miles using synthetic oil. But this is if you drive in "normal" conditions. Driving habits and conditions will affect how often you should change your oil.
What are the extreme driving conditions?
Driving patterns such as frequent engine braking (downshifting the transmission in order to decelerate the vehicle), engine operation at sustained high rpm (sustained highway driving or driving in mountainous terrain), frequent acceleration and deceleration (stop-and-go freeway traffic) Severe thermal conditions (extreme heat or cold), and idling for extended periods of time (frequent and sustained remote engine-start operation).
Extreme conditions require more frequent oil changes
If your vehicle has any of these extreme driving conditions you will need to change your oil more frequently. We would recommend changing it every 4,000-5,000 especially if you have more than one of the extremes above.
What oil should I use?
If your Subaru is a 2011 or newer Forester, a 2012 or newer Impreza, or a 2013 or newer Outback, Legacy, Crosstrek, Ascent, or BRZ, it is required to use synthetic oil. Subaru recommends using Genuine Subaru oil and 0W-20 viscosity in all of these engines, designed for improved fuel economy and increased power. 5W-30 is formulated for the turbocharged engine in the WRX and WRX STI, which runs at higher temperatures. It has increased protection against breakdown, and superior lubrication for optimal fuel economy.
Why does my Subaru engine use oil between changes?
Because many manufacturers are now using these “skinny” zero weight synthetic oils to squeeze out tiny improvements in fuel economy, you may experience some oil consumption between oil changes. It’s a good idea to check the oil level in your vehicle often, about once a month if you drive an average of 12,000 miles year.
Check the oil level often
If your driving patterns involve any extreme conditions, you will likely experience some oil consumption and need to “top off” your oil between oil changes. Don’t let your Subaru engine go below the bottom dot on your dipstick, or your engine can overheat and you will experience premature engine wear or engine failure.
The best way to ensure your new Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, Impreza, WRX /STI or BRZ engine will be reliable for years to come is to remain vigilant on the oil changes.
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Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!
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