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I have a 2011 subaru outback 2.5 premium with 39,779 miles on it. I bought the car with 25,000 miles on it and have had it for a year and a half. I change the oil every 3000 miles, usually a bit early around the 2,500 mile mark. I change it with valvoline synthetic since I have owned it and before i bought it it was serviced with the same stuff. I have had all of my oil after every single oil change I have done with it at my local mechanic come out completely black. I'm not sure what to do since Subaru doesn't have any idea whats going on and my local mechanic is scratching his head as well. Any ideas or thoughts?
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Color does not mean much anything regarding oil.

Some oils darker faster than others.

You're wasting good syn oil at that short of an interval.
 
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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Color means nothing in terms of protection. Diesel oil turns black right away but is still doing the job thousands of miles later.

I agree with the mod that you're wasting good syn oil with early changes. 2.5k miles on dyno oil is a waste and on syn it's criminal. Run it for at least 5k and sleep well when you do.
 

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Agree with the others. 2500 mile oil changes on synthetic oil is a total waste of money.

Why do you change so frequently?
 

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synthetic will keep 'varnish' in solution/suspension better than non-synth. and often looks dark.

could be a little cleaning going on if prev. owner didn't run synth, or abused the engine with no oil change at all.


you could also send an oil sample to Blackstone labs. (you might enjoy reading about engine oil at www.bobistheoilguy.com )
 

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2018 Outback Lim 2.5
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2018 Outback, 0-20 mobil1, used mobil 1 in all of my other vehicles, typically I would change the oil at 5k intervals, the oil would be very light colored between changes. On the Subaru, noticed at 4k the oil was very dark, why the difference? Thx
 

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2001 Subaru Outback LL Bean, 3.0 H6
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I've ran 7k oil changes or 1 years running synthetic for decades. I realize that's on the high end but I put on 30k a year typically. I've owned 3 subarus. A 96 Impreza that last I heard had 300k on it several years ago and was still going, a 01 impeza RS, and my current 01 ll bean. It currently is at 270k. The oil is always dark yet I never have any engine issues. Use good oil, if you drive city miles I could see changing faster. 2500 I think is a little too quick. My two cents.
 

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I was also concerned with the color of oil on my 3.6R w/ 45K. I run the Subaru Syn Oil & oem filter from dealer (5W30) and almost immediately after oil change it was very dark. I talked to dealer about this and they felt it was normal due to oil which is not drained completely from the engine and is diluting the new oil. I sent a sample in to the lab and they said there wasn't anything wrong with the oil, BTW, the oil had (50) miles on it, oil is changed at factory 6K intervals.

That all said, I'm not entirely convinced the oil should be this dark, this early on. I used a regular paper filter and Syn oil on my motorcycle for several years and oil would stay clean "looking" until about 1200 miles and this was a air cooled single which typically run warm and are hard on oil. I decided to try a Fine Stainless mesh filter and was alarmed after only (200) miles to see the oil turn very dark. I pulled the filter and put a oem one back in and things are back to normal.

My question is; why isn't the stock Subaru filter keeping the oil clean looking for at least a couple thousand miles?
 

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I was also concerned with the color of oil on my 3.6R w/ 45K. I run the Subaru Syn Oil & oem filter from dealer (5W30) and almost immediately after oil change it was very dark. I talked to dealer about this and they felt it was normal due to oil which is not drained completely from the engine and is diluting the new oil. I sent a sample in to the lab and they said there wasn't anything wrong with the oil, BTW, the oil had (50) miles on it, oil is changed at factory 6K intervals.

That all said, I'm not entirely convinced the oil should be this dark, this early on. I used a regular paper filter and Syn oil on my motorcycle for several years and oil would stay clean "looking" until about 1200 miles and this was a air cooled single which typically run warm and are hard on oil. I decided to try a Fine Stainless mesh filter and was alarmed after only (200) miles to see the oil turn very dark. I pulled the filter and put a oem one back in and things are back to normal.

My question is; why isn't the stock Subaru filter keeping the oil clean looking for at least a couple thousand miles?
Color is irrelevant to protection. It means nothing, nada and zilch. Don't go OCD over the color.

Let me give you a couple of things to ponder. Royal Purple oil is purple color when you pour it out. Shortly thereafter under use it loses that color. Is it defective at that point or spent? No it isn't.

Also consider that if you wanted to look at the typical characteristics of oil from various oil company websites, you'll see that some are considered clear and others are amber. German Castrol was bright green. This is on virgin oil. Color means nothing.

Dealer is blowing smoke up ur keester when he says leftover oil is responsible. He is wrong. He doesn't know.

Spend the $28 to have Blackstone analyze your oil. It should put your mind at ease.

Different or better filters won't change the color. If I drink a grape or orange should I be concerned if I don't wee purple or orange?

And don't use the micro mesh filters. They don't work when you consider most every other filter. They do have one remarkable attribute hardly any other filter does - you will have a lighter wallet.
 
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What he said :iam:

Laughing at oneself and with others is good for the Soul!
 

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2011 2.5L Premium All Weather 6 speed Manual transmission
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I believe modern motor oil is not just lubricant, but also has a bunch of detergent chemicals in it to keep your engine parts cleaner. So just like when your washer drains - you're not concerned that the suds come out dirty, same thing with your motor oil. It gets dark and that means it's working.

Changing your oil so frequently is not just a waste of your money - it's also very ecologically irresponsible. That wasted motor oil has to go somewhere! I dont think that's what Subaru stands for! :) :)
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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Changing your oil so frequently is not just a waste of your money - it's also very ecologically irresponsible. That wasted motor oil has to go somewhere! I dont think that's what Subaru stands for! :) :)
Eh, these days just about all waste oil gets recycled or re-used in some manner so that isn't really a concern. Nobody is saving the planet with increased oil change intervals. Change it however often makes you feel comfortable personally and can afford.
 

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I believe modern motor oil is not just lubricant, but also has a bunch of detergent chemicals in it to keep your engine parts cleaner. So just like when your washer drains - you're not concerned that the suds come out dirty, same thing with your motor oil. It gets dark and that means it's working.



Changing your oil so frequently is not just a waste of your money - it's also very ecologically irresponsible. That wasted motor oil has to go somewhere! I dont think that's what Subaru stands for! :) :)
Buy a bicycle!

Laughing at oneself and with others is good for the Soul!
 

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I was also concerned with the color of oil on my 3.6R w/ 45K. I run the Subaru Syn Oil & oem filter from dealer (5W30) and almost immediately after oil change it was very dark. I talked to dealer about this and they felt it was normal due to oil which is not drained completely from the engine and is diluting the new oil. I sent a sample in to the lab and they said there wasn't anything wrong with the oil, BTW, the oil had (50) miles on it, oil is changed at factory 6K intervals.

That all said, I'm not entirely convinced the oil should be this dark, this early on. I used a regular paper filter and Syn oil on my motorcycle for several years and oil would stay clean "looking" until about 1200 miles and this was a air cooled single which typically run warm and are hard on oil. I decided to try a Fine Stainless mesh filter and was alarmed after only (200) miles to see the oil turn very dark. I pulled the filter and put a oem one back in and things are back to normal.

My question is; why isn't the stock Subaru filter keeping the oil clean looking for at least a couple thousand miles?

Because it doesn't work that way.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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I'm not sure how many times or ways it can be stated that oil color has absolutely no bearing on oil life or abilities. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Negative.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Could you elaborate? What doesn't work what way?
He's saying that the color of your oil, regardless of what filter you use, is not in any way shape or form tied into how well the oil is working.

I'm not sure why your so smitten with the color issue. Filters don't magically, after a couple of thousand miles, invoke some sort of catalyst that turns the oil dark.

Just not sure what you want people to say since it's already been said on multiple occasions. Manufacturers of oil don't guarantee, hint or are fixated on the color of the oil throughout the service life. They are focused on oil performance and not color. It's just that diabolical.
 

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A comment on too-frequent oil-changes:

Folks who actually have their oil TESTED have reported that the "wear indicators" actually INCREASE for the initial several thousand miles after oil-change.... then the "wear indicators" settle out and stabilize to a lower count.

The folks who know how to interpret these findings tell us that this means there is MORE engine-wear initially after an oil-change before settling out. We might read this to mean too-frequent oil-changes contributes to MORE engine-wear.

To me, this is another reason to NOT change engine-oil too frequently.
 
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