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Hello! First Post!

978 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Somerset Max
Hi there, just wanted to say hi, and i am looking forward to learning about my 2012 Outback 3.6R Limited. So far, the 22 miles ive put on it have been..well...not enough to really know anything.

For those of you that have more miles, is there anything to be expected? When do we lose that awesome "new car smell"?
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The new car smell will linger for a few weeks or a few months, depending on weather conditions in your area and depending on how often you open the windows.

Anyway--the best thing that you can look forward to with your 3.6R is truly impressive acceleration when you need it, coupled with surprisingly good gas mileage when you are doing more leisurely driving. I consistently get 23 mpg in local driving, and long highway trips yield 27-29 mpg. When I compare this to other cars that I have owned, the gas mileage is either comparable or superior, and the amount of passing power is undoubtedly superior.

Since you are in the "break-in" stage with your car, you should read what the Owner's Manual has to say on the issue, but don't misinterpret what it says to mean that you need to completely "baby" the engine. If you want your piston rings to seat properly (in other words, to reduce oil consumption), you need to do some...brisk acceleration...every few days, after the engine has warmed up.

By "brisk" acceleration, I don't mean flooring the gas pedal when you take off from a trafffic light. Instead, I mean really giving it a lot of gas when you are accelerating on the entrance ramp to an expressway. In addition to getting you up to the speed of highway traffic more rapidly (which is far safer than just loafing along), this burst of acceleration from...let's say...40 mph to 65 or 70 mph is good for the engine because of the way that it causes the piston rings to seat properly.

And, in fact, unless you look at the speedometer, you might not realize when you are already at 70 mph or so, due to the fact that the 3.6R engine never needs to rev very high in order to do its work. The quietness of the engine makes it seem like you are not accelerating that fast, even though you are. In other words, it is like a very quiet rocket on the expressway entrance ramp.

People who insist on driving like their grandmother continually during the early stages of their new car ownership are almost always the ones who complain about their engine consuming too much oil later on. However, those--like me--who do what I described above, will find that their engine consumes minimal oil throughout its life.

Just for the record, my engine consumed close to a full qt before the first oil change at 3k miles. Then, in the next 4k miles or so, it consumed about 1/2 qt of oil. The oil consumption continued to decrease steadily as the miles added up, to the point where there was no oil consumption at all by the time that I reached 15k miles.

Also--I strongly advise you to use higher tire inflation pressures than are listed on the label on the driver's door jamb. After considerable experimentation, I found the "sweet spot" to be 36 lbs in the front tires, and 34 lbs in the rear (4 lbs over the recommended pressures). These higher pressures will give you better handling on curves and--believe it or not--actually improve the ride quality.

I predict that you will love the 3.6R Limited's incredibly quiet cabin, luxurious ride quality, comfortable seats, great A/C, and awesome acceleration.
Enjoy the car!
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Thanks for the responses.

Now the big question before i discover the "search feature", what octane do you use?
Nothing but regular.

My previous Outback, a 2001 3.0 H-6 VDC, required premium gas, but the newer design 3.6 engine requires regular and you have nothing to gain by using gasoline of a higher octane. Ergo--save your money by not using premium gas.

Incidentally, the reason why the earlier H-6 engine required premium gas was that the coolant passages adjacent to the rear cylinders did not get as much coolant flow as the passages for the other cylinders. The result was higher combustion chamber temps for the two rearmost cylinders, and that made damaging engine knock possible--hence the premium gas requirement to prevent engine damage.

Since then, the engineers at Fuji Heavy Industries have apparently learned a few more things about engine design, and as a result the newer 3.6 engine does very well on a steady diet of regular gas.

To return to the topic of oil consumption, I suggest checking the oil at least once a week until you have some idea of how much oil it may be consuming in the early stages of break-in. I suggest that you keep a qt or two of 5w-30 oil in the garage, and that you top-off the oil once it drops by 1/2 a qt.
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