Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 115 Posts

·
Registered
2010 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning to do some trailer towing in my 2010 2.5 cvt OUTBACK. I'm thinking of going to Shell Rotella synthetic 5W-40 to have a more durable oil for the heavy duty application of trailer towing as well as good cold weather starts which are important here in the FROZEN TUNDRA of Wisconsin. Anyone have any experience, insight or other suggestions? I'm also interested in oil filter recommendations.
 

·
I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
·
12,301 Posts
That is a very stout oil.

Currently there is no aftermarket oil filter that meets Subaru's bypass spec of 23 PSI. However, Purolater's PureONE line is closest at 18 PSI I think.
 

·
Registered
2011 Outback 3.6R Limited--Sky Blue Metallic
Joined
·
766 Posts
An oil with that wide a viscosity range has had a lot of "viscosity index improver" chemicals added to it. More VII chemicals per qt means less actual oil.

In other words, this type of oil is not as good a lubricant as an oil with a narrower range of viscosities. I would suggest that you use 5W-30 instead of 5W-40.
 

·
Premium Member
2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
Joined
·
4,946 Posts
I ride dual sport motorcycles, and myself, and most of the people I ride with use Rotella non-synthetic (15w40) exclusively in our bikes with very good result. Given how hard we ride, and the temperatures and RPM ranges these bikes see, that is a pretty good testament. So I imagine the synthetic is that much better.
 

·
Registered
2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i-Auto. 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT Premium, Cypress Green
Joined
·
550 Posts
Stick with the Subaru OEM filter due to the bypass psi.

The Rotella oil you mention is very highly regarded on bobistheoilguy.com.
It's also very highly regarded by Subaru turbo people across many Suby forums.
The manual lists 5W30, 10W30, 10W40 as alternate oils and lists many others as optional for severe use (straight 30, 40, 20W40 and 20W50).
Subaru is probably one of the most liberal in current oil recommendations.
Although 5W40 is not specifically mentioned my thoughts are that the bottom figure of 5W is recommended and the top figure of 40 is also.
VII technology has come a long way since the 1970's. 5W30 and 10W40 used to be considered bad because of the "stretch" mentioned above but both are now recommended oil weights again due to technological improvements.

And last...aahh. There is no right answer on oil threads. Your research is what counts.
 

·
Registered
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2CRDi
Joined
·
859 Posts
Trailer towing doesn't need any change to oil specification.

In colder climates, lower viscosity is usually recommended.

5W-30 is ok up to 30C (86F) ambient.
 

·
Registered
99 Outback Limited, KN Filter, tow hitch, black tint, Hella 500s, DIY clear corners
Joined
·
53 Posts
Granted I have a 99 with 152K on it now but, I used that exact oil on my last change. (Was using Mobile 5000 10W40 conventional) First time I have tried synthetics, but I noticed a dramitic improvement in the valve noise and how smooth the engine runs and idles. BTW I drive it around 1000 miles a week so after 19 months and 72K miles I know the car very well.

My main reson for the change was to try to get the most life out of the oil as possable. My plan is to run it 7500 miles, change the filter and top off the oil, then go another 7500 miles. I will keep an eye on it and see how it looks along the way. After 24 days and 3800 miles I am impressed so far.

My main complaint was when I got home and noticed that it was a 4 qt jug and not 5 qts like the Mobile 1.

Not sure if this will help you or not but that's my 2cents.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 3.6R (5EAT)
Joined
·
492 Posts
HDNVALLEY said:
I'm thinking of going to Shell Rotella synthetic 5W-40 to have a more durable oil for the heavy duty application of trailer towing
Actually, the Rotella oil isn't necessarily more "durable" than your garden-variety motor oils. Rotella is a high-detergent oil made for diesel engines, since diesel fuel has more impurities in it than gasoline.

Won't hurt your gasoline engine to use it though... but don't expect any grand benefit from it either.
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
REASONS FOR 5w-40

The benefits I'm looking for are related to the towing I'll do. That is, to protect my engine, a higher viscosity and a synthetic oil that will resist breakdown from more severe useage than standard driving. Because I live in the FROZEN TUNDRA of Wisconsin I also need an oil with good cold starting properties. It sounds like the 5W-40 Shell Rotella will meet these criteria and not cause any unwanted problems. I'm open to any suggestions for a better choice.
 

·
Registered
2006 Dodge ram 3500 diesel
Joined
·
21 Posts
i use 5w-40 in my truck (06 dodge Cummins) in the winter, the one issue for me with using shell is the smell. the oil has a strange smell to it during the first few miles that eventually goes away. i now use valvoline 5w-40 in the winter, its alittle more per gallon but its also approved by cummins.
 

·
Registered
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2CRDi
Joined
·
859 Posts
Re: REASONS FOR 5w-40

HDNVALLEY said:
The benefits I'm looking for are related to the towing I'll do. That is, to protect my engine, a higher viscosity and a synthetic oil that will resist breakdown from more severe useage than standard driving. Because I live in the FROZEN TUNDRA of Wisconsin I also need an oil with good cold starting properties. It sounds like the 5W-40 Shell Rotella will meet these criteria and not cause any unwanted problems. I'm open to any suggestions for a better choice.
Have a look in your Owner's Manual - it defines "severe" conditions, which includes towing, and details the actions that should be taken - the actions are more frequent renewal of various components/fluids - it makes no mention of using different specification oil.

If the book say to use 5W-30, then use 5W-30.
 

·
Banned
3.6R OB Ltd. (Ordered 2/1/10)
Joined
·
304 Posts
Page 11-17 2010 Outback Manual:

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 SM or SL:
SAE viscosity No.:

30, 40, 10W-50, 20W-40, 20W-50
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
OWNERS MANUAL INFO

I did read my owners manual!!!!! My owners manual clearly lists 5W-40 right alongside 5W-30 as a recommended oil. In a paragraph on the next page covering severe driving conditions, which include towing, it also recommends SAE viscosity no: 30, 40, 10W-50, 20W-40 and 20W-50. As I previously stated, cold weather performance is an important quality where I live. These choices are not the best for the cold temps I sometimes encounter. I'm trying to find the best oil for my OB. I'm planning to do my second change at 7500Mi. and that is when I'll switch to the next oil.
 

·
Premium Member
2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
Joined
·
4,946 Posts
Re: OWNERS MANUAL INFO

HDNVALLEY said:
I did read my owners manual!!!!! My owners manual clearly lists 5W-40 right alongside 5W-30 as a recommended oil. In a paragraph on the next page covering severe driving conditions, which include towing, it also recommends SAE viscosity no: 30, 40, 10W-50, 20W-40 and 20W-50. As I previously stated, cold weather performance is an important quality where I live. These choices are not the best for the cold temps I sometimes encounter. I'm trying to find the best oil for my OB. I'm planning to do my second change at 7500Mi. and that is when I'll switch to the next oil.
I do a lot of towing with my Outback, and have always run Mobil 1 5w30 with no ill effects. Now that I am living in the south, I will switch back to a 10w30. But I think Rotella 5w40 synthetic should perform just as well as anything else synthetic, and cost less than most of the other options. I don't think it will necessarily do any better.
 

·
Banned
3.6R OB Ltd. (Ordered 2/1/10)
Joined
·
304 Posts
Re: OWNERS MANUAL INFO

HDNVALLEY said:
I did read my owners manual!!!!! My owners manual clearly lists 5W-40 right alongside 5W-30 as a recommended oil. In a paragraph on the next page covering severe driving conditions, which include towing, it also recommends SAE viscosity no: 30, 40, 10W-50, 20W-40 and 20W-50. As I previously stated, cold weather performance is an important quality where I live. These choices are not the best for the cold temps I sometimes encounter. I'm trying to find the best oil for my OB. I'm planning to do my second change at 7500Mi. and that is when I'll switch to the next oil.
5W-40: The 5W protects for low temps and the 40 for severe load. The second page gives viscosty, in addtion to those already mentioned. For example, instead of 5W-40 you can go with straight 40.

I drive a diesel and haul in very cold weather and use the 5-40.
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback, 2.5i Premium, 6 speed, PZEV, RalliTEK rear bar, trailer hitch. Also 2001 WRX.
Joined
·
283 Posts
Ruperts Trooper said:
Trailer towing doesn't need any change to oil specification.


The owner's manual recommends a different viscosity range for trailer towing.


I think any good quality synthetic in the proper viscosity range is a good idea. I've used Mobil 1 in my BMW motorcycle for about 100K miles with no issues except that it is getting hard to find. It comes in some interesting ranges including 0w-40, 15w-50, and the more common ranges. The 0w-40 was part of a winter run up to the arctic circle last year that should replicate your frozen tundra environment, they got down to 40 below F and had no lubrication issues, and they were driving heavy duty trucks pulling trailers. Lots of people are happy with Rotella in the MC community as well. Synthetics are nice as they tend to stay in viscosity much much better then the non-synthetics.


And there is a strong religious aspect to motor oils that I don't want to invoke here ;-)
 

·
Registered
2009 Outback SE, Seacrest Green
Joined
·
27 Posts
Compare the specs

Look up the product info for RT 5w-40 and PP 5-30. Compare the specs for cold cranking, cold pumping and 40 degree viscosity. Most 40 weights are going to be pretty thick in the cold compared to the recommended 5w-30.

Then think about how you are going to tow. If all day every day then you might need some extra protection. If you are talking about a utility trailer or such that you hook up once in a while, then you'll have to weigh cold starts against that.

A heavier weight oil does not necessarily mean you are getting better protection. The Rotella will likely do just fine, but it is not required for the situation and there are better weight oils for cold start.

I use a PL14460 filter on my '08 and '09 2.5's.
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback, 2.5i Premium, 6 speed, PZEV, RalliTEK rear bar, trailer hitch. Also 2001 WRX.
Joined
·
283 Posts
FWIW, I had the experience of having a bottle of 20w-50 non-synthetic in my garage which I needed to add to my motorbike...this was the first winter and I hadn't switched to synthetic yet. That oil was good and cold and it took forever to get that quart of oil out, it was as thick as the proverbial molasses in January. The 15w-50 synthetic oil pours like water in similar conditions. That tells me that synthetic is really what you want for cold weather starts.


Mobil 1 has an online oil selector tool that you might want to play with to give you some ideas. For example, I put in 2010 Outback in sub-0 F temps, and it comes back with:

Current Vehicle:
Year: 2010
Make: Subaru
Model: Outback
Engine Type: 4cyl. 2.5Liter Naturally Aspirated



Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-30
Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-30 fully synthetic motor oil is designed for today's longer service intervals. It provides guaranteed performance and protection for 15,000 miles or one year. Mobil 1 Extended Performance products with the Advanced SuperSyn System contain extra performance additives to help deliver outstanding engine protection.

Mobil 1 High Mileage 5W-30
A fully synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1 High Mileage 5W-30 is designed especially for higher mileage engines where conventional oil has been used. It reduces the sludge and deposits that conventional oils can leave behind.

Mobil 1 5W-30
A fully synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1 5W-30 with SuperSyn Technology, is the approved and the first choice of many premium car manufacturers, including Corvette.

Mobil 1 0W-30 Advanced Fuel Economy
For improved fuel economy, consider using Mobil 1 0W-30 Advanced Fuel Economy which is engineered to deliver outstanding engine protection and to offer improved fuel economy in vehicles where SAE 0W-30, 5W-30 or 10W-30 oil is recommended.

Mobil 1 Truck & SUV 5W-30
A fully synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1 Truck & SUV 5W-30 is engineered for gasoline engines in hard-working trucks, vans, SUVs and recreational vehicles.

Mobil Clean 7500 5W-30
Mobil Clean 7500 5W-30 is a synthetic blend motor oil designed to exceed engine warranty requirements. It delivers guaranteed performance and protection for up to 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Mobil Clean 7500 has 18 percent more cleaning agents than Mobil Clean 5000 to keep your engine cleaner longer.

Mobil Clean High Mileage 5W-30
Mobil Clean High Mileage 5W-30, a conventional motor oil, is designed for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles. It delivers proven protection of critical engine parts from lubricant-related failure for 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. Mobil Clean High Mileage includes seal conditioner to help prevent leaks in high mileage engines.

Mobil Clean 5000 5W-30
Mobil Clean 5000 5W-30 is a conventional motor oil that delivers proven protection of critical engine parts from lubricant-related failure for 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. It is designed to exceed most engine warranty requirements.
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the Mobil info. I've basically decided to use a synthetic oil. I'm looking at Brand and viscosity now.

Bill
 
1 - 20 of 115 Posts
Top