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Super Moderator
2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at the OE recommendations made in the owners manual for engines in other countries outside of NA. I could and have tried to look up the info on oil manufacturer sites but that's just a recommendation, although most likely based on what's in the OM. Still, it's a PITA trying to access the info with this method and that's where I'm hoping the members can help. I'm primarily looking to see what different viscosities are recommended for the same engine in other parts of the world.

Can members who reply list their country, engine size, model year and the suitable viscosities listed in the OM?
 

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'20 Outback Onyx XT AGM/'04 Forester XT
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Not an owner’s manual per se, but Subaru Japan’s web site lists the various oils available at dealerships. In each section it shows which car that viscosity is recommended for.

 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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UK. 2011 2.5 5w30 is recommended, manual lists 0w30 to 15w40 as suitable, depending on ambient temperature.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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Australian spec 2019 Outback & Liberty 2.5i & 3.6R engine oils:

The Subaru Liberty & Outback Owner’s Manual A2550AE-A Issued November 2018 states to always use the Subaru engine oil (see attached image below). This oil is Castrol Edge Professional 0W20 for the 2.5i & Castrol Edge Professional A3 5W30 for the 3.6R, & is listed under 'Oil Selector > Castrol Trade Oil Selector’ on the Castrol Australia website. See here.

The same Owner’s Manual mentions that alternative oils can be used if the approved engine oil isn’t available (see attached image below). For the 2.5i engine it can be 0W20, 5W30 or 5W40 with 0W20 being recommended. And for the 3.6R engine it can be 5W30 or 5W40 with 5W30 being recommended.

Australian spec 2016 Outback & Liberty 2.5i & 3.6R engine oils (& 2013 SJ Forester):

The wording for 2019 Outback & Liberty alternative oils has changed slightly from what was shown in my previous Subaru 2016 Outback/Liberty Owner’s Manual. While I don’t have a copy of that now I can remember it was the same as was listed in the 2013 Subaru Forester Owner’s Manual for the SJ Forester (see attached image below taken from the Australian pdf version). The oil for the Outback/Liberty 3.6R engine being the same as for the SJ Foz XT FA20DIT engine.

It mentions that if the Subaru 0W20 approved engine is unavailable for the 2.5i engine, 0W20 is recommended but 5W30 or 5W40 may be used if replenishment is needed. And for the FA20DIT in the XT, if the Subaru 5W30 approved engine is unavailable, 5W30 is recommended but 5W40 may be used if replenishment is needed.

Some time ago I asked a Castrol Technical Advisor what was the difference between the above Castrol Edge Professional A3 5W30 engine oil & the Castrol Edge Titanium 5W30 A3/B4 that I could buy off the shelf, & he said very little, the Professional has a tint colouring & is made available for workshops.

2019-OB_engine-oil.jpg 2019-OB_alternative-engine-oil_2.5NA.jpg 2019-OB_alernative-engine-oil_3.6NA.jpg
2019 Outback & Liberty.
(1). Engine Oil. (2). 2.5i alternative oil. (3). 3.6R alternative oil.

MY13-Forester_engine-oil.jpg MY13-Forester_alternative-engine-oil-2.5NA.jpg MY13-Forester_alternative-engine-oil-FA20DIT.jpg
2013 SJ Forester.
(1). Engine Oil. (2). 2.5i alternative oil. (3). FA20DIT alternative oil.
 

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2021 Outback Limited 2.5L - 🍦The Ice Cream Man🍦
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Not an owner’s manual per se, but Subaru Japan’s web site lists the various oils available at dealerships. In each section it shows which car that viscosity is recommended for.

This is fascinating, just the descriptions of the oils translated from Japanese into English. It pretty much states that 0w-30, 5w-30, and 5w-40 oils can be used in any Subaru engine. Also 0w-20 oils are only to be used in compatible engines and the focus is specifically on environmentalist type reasons. I think this lends a lot of credibility to the notion that the usage of light viscosity oils is part of a means to an end to comply with things like CAFE standards.

Castrol 5w-40 (PCMO):
All SUBARU vehicles can be used
Have a hard drive
For those who are traveling, traveling on
mountain roads, and congested roads
There are many opportunities
/ Worried about oil consumption

Subaru 5w-30:
All SUBARU models can be used
Those who are concerned about fuel consumption Cost performance
For those who want it , worry about using 0W-20

Subaru 0w-20 oils:
0W-20 oil compatible vehicle
Focus on fuel efficiency
・ High environmental awareness
・ Idling For stop cars
・ Those who are concerned about fuel consumption
・ Those who are concerned about exhaust gas
・ High awareness of the environment
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the OM info.

The viscosity recommendations fortify what I'm seeing on other oil manufacturer sites. 0/20 is a compromise on the mileage side while giving protection and x/40 is protection without as much mileage consideration. 5/30 seems to be the balance. If I had a 2.5 or 2.0T I'd run the PP 5/30 for 5k and do a UOA.

Last weekend I changed oil and put in PP Euro 0/40 and right away there were differences from the M1 5/30 AP I drained.

The car idles smoother owing to the higher cSt number, the oil runs about 2 - 4 degrees hotter (197/199 v. 201/203) and the mileage took a hit owing to the higher HTHS level. I'm on my second tank and I'll guestimate that it's a 1ish decrease.

My engine doesn't have notable dilution issues but it does sheer the oil around .9 cSt so using that as a guide, my UOA data suggests that a mid weight 30 stays a light 30 and a light 40 ends up a lighter 40. Based on this, PP 5/30 in the 2.0DIT ought to be an extremely good oil and likely Subie approved. Plain vanilla M1 5/30 too.

The point being that with the wide range of viscosity approved ranges, you have latitude relative to actual results that confirm that multiple viscosities will work
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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I feel even better now for running 5w-40 here in DFW area.

great posts in this thread.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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This is fascinating, just the descriptions of the oils translated from Japanese into English.
That’s very handy information. Thanks.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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I feel even better now for running 5w-40 here in DFW area.
I once owned an SH Forester XT Premium which Subaru recommends 5W30 engine oil for. Quite a while ago I spoke to a Castrol Technical Advisor & a Valvoline Technical Advisor about their oil recommendations.

The comments by the Valvoline Technical Advisor were interesting. He recommended Valvoline Synpower 5W40 over 5W30. When I asked why not the 5W30 that was recommended on Valvoline’s website, he said that was fine for fuel economy & Subaru advise them about oil recommendations. But if I was going to drive the vehicle hard, or in very hot conditions, or drive regularly in steep mountain areas, or regularly tow anything, he would suggest 5W40, & once the engine got to about 80,000kms he would use 5W40 anyway.

I used the Valvoline Synpower 5W40 in that XT for quite a few years & the engine ran beautifully without any issues. I also use that same oil in a friend’s 2003 Foz 2.5i that has about 100,000kms on the clock & that engine runs beautiful & quiet (for a Subaru H4).
 

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I once owned an SH Forester XT Premium which Subaru recommends 5W30 engine oil for. Quite a while ago I spoke to a Castrol Technical Advisor & a Valvoline Technical Advisor about their oil recommendations.

The comments by the Valvoline Technical Advisor were interesting. He recommended Valvoline Synpower 5W40 over 5W30. When I asked why not the 5W30 that was recommended on Valvoline’s website, he said that was fine for fuel economy & Subaru advise them about oil recommendations. But if I was going to drive the vehicle hard, or in very hot conditions, or drive regularly in steep mountain areas, or regularly tow anything, he would suggest 5W40, & once the engine got to about 80,000kms he would use 5W40 anyway.

I used the Valvoline Synpower 5W40 in that XT for quite a few years & the engine ran beautifully without any issues. I also use that same oil in a friend’s 2003 Foz 2.5i that has about 100,000kms on the clock & that engine runs beautiful & quiet (for a Subaru H4).
From what I have read on BITOG and otherwise Valvoline seems to work quite well in Subaru engines. I used their 5w-40 MST oil in a friend's Audi Allroad with good results. There are not many reasonably priced 5w-40 PCMOs available other than Castrol and Valvoline MST, I think both of those are solid choices. If nothing else just go with a 0w-40 like Mobil 1, Castrol, or Valvoline as they are more readily available (Mobil 1 at least), around the same price, and tend to have better cold weather performance without losing hot weather protection. From what I've seen it is a rarity for a 0w-40 to have less approvals than a same brand 5w-40.
 

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From what I have read on BITOG and otherwise Valvoline seems to work quite well in Subaru engines.
Yes. I'll be changing over to Valvoline Synpower 5W40 when I get a few kms on our current Outback 3.6R.

I don't know why 0W40 isn't listed as an alternative oil to 0W20 for the 2.5i in the Australian Owner's Handbook. I thought that would have been a good alternative.
 

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'20 Outback Onyx XT AGM/'04 Forester XT
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It will be interesting to see what viscosities other markets will allow in the 2.4DIT.

I’m sort of surprised that Subaru is still allowing/recommending high SAPS oils in DI applications. But Subaru is typically slow when it comes to changing oil technology. It took a long time for the Idemitsu oil to switchover to API SN here in N. America.
 

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I noticed 0W30 is being specified as the best all around oil for the Outback outside of North America, does anyone know why?

Subaru Japan shows 0W20 can be used for fuel efficiency, but recommended 0W30 for performance. They even recommend 5W40. I checked and it shows 'all models' including the FA24 / 2.4L Turbo in the Outback.

What am I missing?
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT Ice Silver Metallic
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0W20 is specified for North America primarily to meet "CAFE" (corporate average fuel economy) law and avoid paying graduating penalties for failing to do so. Partially to blame is also the expected range of operating temperatures in various parts of the world.
 
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0W20 is specified for North America primarily to meet "CAFE" (corporate average fuel economy) law and avoid paying graduating penalties for failing to do so. Partially to blame is also the expected range of operating temperatures in various parts of the world.
Yes but it is truly about U.S. EPA emissions regulations above all else, fuel economy improvement is seen as a thrown-in additional benefit. The usage of oil that is not compliant with US vehicle emissions equipment can cause issues like making the car run and perform out of the ordinary, I have experienced this myself and heard from others who have experienced this as well. Not only may the drivetrain function awkwardly but often times a check engine light is triggered.
 

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Yes but it is truly about U.S. EPA emissions regulations above all else, fuel economy improvement is seen as a thrown-in additional benefit. The usage of oil that is not compliant with US vehicle emissions equipment can cause issues like making the car run and perform out of the ordinary, I have experienced this myself and heard from others who have experienced this as well. Not only may the drivetrain function awkwardly but often times a check engine light is triggered.
Have you ever tried 0w-30? I know you're a tad experimental...
 

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'20 Outback Onyx XT AGM/'04 Forester XT
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I noticed 0W30 is being specified as the best all around oil for the Outback outside of North America, does anyone know why?

Subaru Japan shows 0W20 can be used for fuel efficiency, but recommended 0W30 for performance. They even recommend 5W40. I checked and it shows 'all models' including the FA24 / 2.4L Turbo in the Outback.

What am I missing?
And that's no light weight Resource Conserving 0W-30. That's a full SAPS ACEA A3 real deal 0W-30 not designed to shear. 😁
 

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Have you ever tried 0w-30? I know you're a tad experimental...
Nope, the only one I've ever actually seen in person is Mobil 1 AFE 0w-30 and that is not too much different from any of Mobil's 5w30 flavors. Aside from that one, most 0w30 oils are more difficult to come by AND more expensive without having much difference in spec or likely real world performance compared to 5w30 oils. FWIW Ravenol produces a 5w30 that absolutely smokes their 0w30 offerings in about every conceivable way to include cold cranking and cold weather performance making the 0w in their 0w30 irrelevant.

My former 2018 Outback 2.5L did not react well to RGT 5w30 and to date I see no reason to use anything other than 0w20 based on my driving habits and the climate range of the areas I drive in.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BC SL 0w-30 is available at Carquest. I had some great UOAs with it, including my last one from Aug.

That said, I bought cases of it at $5.55 and still would if it could be had at that price but alas, it's now $9.99 and no longer a bargain, especially since you can get Castrol 5w-30 SN A3/B4 in jugs at Wally World sometimes for $20ish.

I'm going to run M1 0w-40 on my next change and likely run it all year since it's everywhere.
 

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Nope, the only one I've ever actually seen in person is Mobil 1 AFE 0w-30 and that is not too much different from any of Mobil's 5w30 flavors.
FWIW, AFE 0w-30 seems to be available at Walmart. I'd give it a try if I didn't have 2 year's of 0w-20 on the shelf already.
Darn rebates... Wonder if the problem with the 5w-30 was the 5 or the 30?
 
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