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I am the proud owner of a new 2013 Outback 3.6R Limited with Moonroof/Nav/Eyesight. I've had the car for 4 days and LOVE it so far!! I have a question about the oil change schedule. I will start off by saying that yes, I am a female, and I will be the first to admit I know very little about car engines!! I will be moving to the mountains of NC in about 3 weeks. My driving will be a good mix of highway and city, I will not be towing anything and I don't really consider myself an aggressive driver.

When I purchased the car, the service manager had a little chat with me. He recommended getting the oil changed after the first 1000 miles. From what I've gathered through reading this forum, that doesn't seem necessary so I think I'll wait until 3000 like the manual says. He also told me that I would need to have my oil changed every 3750 because of living in the mountains. I won't be driving up and down hills all day ... almost all of my time will be spent inside the city of Asheville.

When I spoke with the sales guy about the maintenance he said the frequency of my oil changes will depend on my driving habits. He said I could probably get away with changing the oil every 7500, after the initial 3000 mile change, which is what the manual recommends. I won't be driving under "severe conditions" which the manual lists. I know how to check the oil level, but how do I know when to change the oil/filter? Please help me figure this out!! How often should I get my oil changed? Thanks!!
 

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You can never go wrong by following the manual. First oil change after 3000 and whatever the manual says after that. If you're using synthetic, you can probably go beyond every 7500 miles. Personally I think it's good practice to do though at a minimum.
 

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Follow the manual but even the oil tests I've had done show the oil is still doing it's job at 7500 miles and beyond. I drive a lot of city driving but even then these engines are easy on oil life.

I do have the 2.5L but when it comes to oil life these cars are very similar.
 

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Owner's manual is law, this is what you need for warranty.

Service departments have their own schedules. Ignore them if they conflict or dramatically change the OM schedule.
 

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I am going to toss a noob question,
I just bought the 2.5i ob and as far as the oil filters concern
is hand tightening good enough ? I fear if I get it on too tight it might be a
pain to remove later on.
 

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I'm going against the grain here but i agree with the service manager. True according to the book you can go 7500 miles before the first change. However, i work with many of the Auto Motive machining plants. i can tell you that the manufactures do clean the machined castings as well as you can but that doesn't mean there aren't a few metal chips floating somewhere in the oil gallery system in the engine. In normal driving the engine gets shaken around a bit and with oil flowing thru, you can move any left over metal chips around. I know I keep a car longer than most (150-200K) and few bucks now may or may not make a difference but what the heck. Its just money.
 

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I'd use a full synthetic like Mobil 1 or Pennzoil Ultra and change every 7500 miles. A 0w-30 will give you the best performance in cold weather and a small fuel savings from reduced "intra-fluid" friction (or viscous drag, if you prefer), during the warmup phase. You can use a 0w-30 synthetic to replace the more common 5w-30/10w-30 grades.

The OEM Subaru oil filter will last at least as long as the oil, so no worries there.

TS
 

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I do lots and lots of oil analysis, just as I believe TooSlick does. My experience, and also data from a wide array of vehicles and fleets, is that draining factory-fill oil as soon as you get home is useful/best. Nevertheless, whether an individual owner will see benefit from that during the period they own the car is questionable/variable.

My present Subie is an '05 Turbo Baja. It CANNOT go 7500 miles without seeing significantly increased wear from fuel dilution and related effects that only an oil drain will fix, EXCEPT when using Renewable Lubes' 5W40HD. That fluid will let me run longer, but it's not about being 'synthetic,' it's about that particular fluid's almost-magical ability to resist fuel dilution, and to resist it's ill effects on the fluid itself.

All that said, I drain oil at 5,000 miles because it's easy to remember and with the fluids I use my analyses support that change interval.

...as far as the oil filters concern
is hand tightening good enough ?
With aftermarket filters like Purolator, Wix, Amsoil, etc, probably yes. The filters will come with instructions as to what fraction of a turn you must tighten it after the gasket first makes contact. Most people can tighten sufficiently by hand.

If the filter you use has an o-ring instead of a flat gasket, you're best served with a torque wrench.
 
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