Correct amount/type of oil for Outback 3.0 L H6 2003? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Correct amount/type of oil for Outback 3.0 L H6 2003?

Our excellent regular mechanic wrote 5 ¾ Qt on the black plastic engine cover of our 2003 VDC 3.0 L H6 Outback, 105,466 miles. And I've heard Subaru engines have a reputation for running hot and being hard on oil. After going in for a good deal on a Groupon oil change at a local lube place, the technician put in only 5 ½ quarts - 5 qt 5w30, 1/2 qt 5w20 – is this OK? The technician said that the bit of 5W20 was helpful for cutting the heavier 5W30 and spreading it throughout the engine. 1) Was he right about this? And 2) Should I add another ¼ quart of 5W30 or another oil?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 05:56 PM
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I don't think mixing two different viscocitiy ratings is recommended by Subaru or oil vendors. Not sure why a shop is recommending that. Perhaps they just had a half quart already open and wanted to use it up rather than crack open another 5w30. anyway I woudln't worrya bout it. A half quart of another oil isn't a big deal.

The 5.5 vs 5.75 fill isn't particualrly relevant. What is relevant is the reading on the dipstick. If the level reads between low and high, you're fine. Adding another 8 ounces of oil is probably fine if the level is towards the lower end of the dipstick, otherwise don't bother. Just make sure to check your oil level at each and EVERY gas fillup. Monitoring the oil level is the best insurance policy you can get for your engine.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 08:18 PM
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I was under the impression the H6 took nearly either 6 or 7 quarts of oil with a filter change. What's your owner's manual say and where is it reading on the dipstick?

2003 Outback wagon: "Kaylee". 144,000 and counting.
Basics: Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W30, PureOne oil filter, Fram air filter, Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF, Mobil 1 75W90, Michelin Primacy MXV4.
Mods: 2004 Forester XT shift knob, Fumoto oil drain valve, Phillips VisionPlus low beams, Phillips HIR1 high beam upgrade, Nokya Hyper Yellow 2500K fog lights.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:37 PM
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The '01 to '04 EZ30D H6 takes 5.9 quarts. When I do the oil change on the '02, I just put all 6 in.

I use Castrol 5w30 and a NAPA Gold 1334 filter.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 02:17 PM
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Takes about six quarts. Based on your location I"d run 10w30 or 10w40 in it. You don't want to skimp on oil quantity, quality, or change interval, because of your timing chain tensioners.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 03:01 PM
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It takes 6 quarts of Mobil1 5W30, with a new Subaru filter and a new crush ring washer. No other combination is any good........... :-)
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Manual and dealer recommendation; Brand of oil matter?

OK the original manual calls for 5.6 quarts for our engine. Spoke with a service guy at a local Subaru dealer who seemed to have a clue, and he also confirmed 5.6 qts for our model, but noted that the engine has a 6.6 max capacity. He also said that 5W30 covers you from -22F to 95F and was best for our SF Bay Area all year, even if you head up to Tahoe snow country occasionally in winter. For consistently hotter climates like parts of Arizona or Texas, he said you might want to consider 10W40 or 10W30 for the summer months.

Given the higher capacity of the engine, is it beneficial to top off a little higher than 5.6 quarts, or would this interfere with the oil spreading around efficiently to all parts?

Are there brands of oil that offer significantly better quality than others?
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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manual recommendation and max engine oil capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWDFTW View Post
I was under the impression the H6 took nearly either 6 or 7 quarts of oil with a filter change. What's your owner's manual say and where is it reading on the dipstick?
Our manual and local dealer confirmed that our engine takes 5.6 qts, but the dealer noted the engine has a 6.6 qt capacity. Worth adding more than 5.6 qts?
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Our weather; Synthetic or Dino best?

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Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
Takes about six quarts. Based on your location I"d run 10w30 or 10w40 in it. You don't want to skimp on oil quantity, quality, or change interval, because of your timing chain tensioners.
Service tech at local Subaru dealer recommended 5W30 all year for our location.

Our typical winter temps are 50-60F daytime, 32-36 night. Summer daytime can range from 75F to 102F, night around 50-60F. Note that we get about 3-4 weeks of very hot sunny days every summer (90-102F). I'd say our weather is quite moderate, but not very warm.

A member at USMB Subaru forums, the3rsss, recommended 0W30 synthetic over 5W30 for the following reason:

"I believe soa calls for 5w30 for that engine. Remember, the second number(30) is the weight or flowability of the oil at OPERATING temp, approx 210 degrees. this never changes from alaska to texas, once an engine warms up they ALL run at about 210 deg. The first number(5) is the cold start weight. 5 is kinda of an all around middle of the road number. In a warm climate you could use a 10w30, moderate 5w30 and cold 5 or 0w30. Dont mess with the 30 unless your engine is well worn. Now synthetics.....a 10w30 synthetic will flow as well as a 5w30 dino oil cold. Synthetics flow much better at all temps. Your in a warm climate. I would use 0w30 with a quality (not fram) filter. The top of the line purolator (i think its puregard) has a bypass valve opening that is as close to a stock filter as you can get. If you want more info go to www.bobistheoilguy.com or the petroleum quality institute www.pqiamerica.com"

Would synthetic offer that much more protection and performance benefit given our weather, and how much more expensive is it?
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 06:52 PM
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All Xw30 oils thin out to a viscosity of ~10 (which is what you want) at engine operating temperature, ie 100C or 212F. All modern cars, regardless of external temperature will get to and stay at this temperature once warmed up. The difference between oils is a that a 10w30 is going to be thicker when the engine is cold than a 5w30 and a 0w30. This is not something you want as when the engine oil is thicker the viscosity is too high and it does not provide the lubrication you need at start up and this leads to engine wear. 90% of engine wear occurs at start up.

A 0W30 synthetic will be in the range of low 60's viscosity at 100 degrees F. A good 5W30 will be mid 60's and a good 10w30 will be high 60's. All three at operationing temp will thin to ~10.

Ideally you should be running 0W30...if you can afford it...LOL

The only reason to run a 10w40 is if you have sufficient engine wear that you cannot maintain enough oil pressure to properly lubricate your engine. A 10w40 thins out to a viscosity of ~14 at 212, but has a viscosity of 105 at 100 degree's F....that is thick.
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