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2021 Outback Onyx XT Turbo, Autumn Green
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings from Rhode Island! Bought a 2021 Outback Onyx 2.4 turbo last October. Only have 1700 miles on it. I was thinking about changing the oil but it seems like a waste. Oil is clean but its a year old. Opinions on whether I should change it soon or wait until spring? Thanks!!
 

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2020 Onyx
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14,401 Posts
Change the oil every 6 months or 6000 miles whichever comes first. If you leave old oil in the car, even with low miles, it can cause problems.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Just to expand on the reasoning, it really depends on your driving habits, and the maintenance schedule is designed generically to cover different scenarios.

If you drive 100 miles each time, 17 times, your oil is probably good.

If you drive 10 miles each time, 170 times, your oil is probably bad.

Short trips, idling, cold starts, contaminate the oil with fuel, water, and soot.
 

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On all new cars I change the oil at 500. Did this recently on my new Camry and sent it to the lab just for kicks. Obviously all the metals were super high and it was very beneficial to get all the crap out of your brand new engine. When oil changes are nearing $100, an initial break in oil change drives up cost of ownership and increased maintenance events.
 

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2016 2.5i Limited, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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You can not look at used motor oil and conclude it is still good.
You can look at used motor oil and conclude it is bad.
Understand the difference.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Not changing the oil could effect the ease of claiming warranty if you ever had an engine failure. ( Not likely but it could.) I'd do it at least yearly with that kind of mileage.

That said, we have a handicap access van ( here in MA) that generally see's 3-4 K mi/year. I change that oil once yearly every fall even though it's out of warranty. It's likely overkill but cheap insurance .
 

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2021 XT Touring Popular package #2 OEM Hitch
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On all new cars I change the oil at 500. Did this recently on my new Camry and sent it to the lab just for kicks. Obviously all the metals were super high and it was very beneficial to get all the crap out of your brand new engine. When oil changes are nearing $100, an initial break in oil change drives up cost of ownership and increased maintenance events.
Still way lower then the cost of a motor. Its pay a little now or a lot later is how i look at it. Tank of gas is going to be near 100 too soon.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Reminder that the schedule under severe service calls for 3 month 3000 mile oil changes whichever comes first:
Severe driving conditions usually involve one or many of the following factors on a regular basis:
  • Stop-and-go or city driving (not me)
  • Trips of under 10 miles (me)
  • Dusty driving conditions (not me)
  • Extremely cold weather (not me)
  • Idling for long periods of time (not me)
  • Carrying a heavy load or towing a trailer (not me)
My trips are almost always under 10 miles, so I ought to be changing my oil every 3 months, but I'm taking a risk and changing once every 6 months, even though I've only driven 2400 miles in that time period. I'm having a hard time doing oil changes 4x a year at 1200 miles each but technically that's what my owner's manual says I should do. Maybe I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

Changing oil every 6 months and 850 miles does seem ridiculous, but since the annual cost of doing an oil change twice a year isn't a burden, I would do it anyways especially if the majority of your 850 miles are of the severe service variety.

My miles per year are going to drop dramatically and I'll probably also end up doing less than 1000 miles in 6 months but will still do 6 month oil changes. Subaru used to specify shorter oil change intervals on their turbo motors, but they decided to simplify it and put the turbo and naturally aspirated motors on the same schedule using the same oil.

In my mind, a turbo motor is much more sensitive to neglect than a naturally aspirated one, and is harder on the oil to begin with, so even if someone could get away with extended oil change intervals in the naturally aspirated model, in the turbo I wouldn't risk it, especially during the warranty period. I document all of my oil changes on the MySubaru app since I do my own oil changes - documentation is key just in case.

Since you've ordered oil and filters, I guess you're also going to do your own oil change for the first time on this car. I started a thread a while ago that might be helpful:

 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Oil color means nothing in terms of how good or bad, spent or serviceable oil is.

There are some generalities that offer guidance but aren't definitive without a UOA.

Short trips where the oil doesn't get up to sustained temps to burn off water, dilution and other cooties isn't going to be good oil in 10k miles. 10k of freeway? Cake and you can even add funfetti to it.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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BTW, it's worth keeping a small maintenance notebook in the car to record date and mileage oil changes, wiper blade replacements, tire rotations, waxing, filter chages......... anything really. It's a good reference when your trying to remember what was done when ( especially on little used vehicles) It's also a great sales tool when you decide to eventually sell the car. A well maintained car sells itself.
 

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2021 Outback Limited 2.5L - 🍦The Ice Cream Man🍦
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Here's why you should change it, fuel dilution in the oil. If you don't know what that is you should find out and also know that the engine in your car has a lot of problematic concerns with fuel dilution no matter what circumstances you drive under.
 

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2021 Outback Onyx XT Turbo, Autumn Green
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
BTW, it's worth keeping a small maintenance notebook in the car to record date and mileage oil changes, wiper blade replacements, tire rotations, waxing, filter chages......... anything really. It's a good reference when your trying to remember what was done when ( especially on little used vehicles) It's also a great sales tool when you decide to eventually sell the car. A well maintained car sells itself.
I keep a Excel spreadsheet with all my vehicles maintenance records, procedure, date, mileage and special notes. Great quick reference.
 

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2021 Outback Onyx XT Turbo, Autumn Green
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On a side note, I have a Dodge Challenger with the 325HP V6 (I drive a long way to the office). I've been using an oil extractor as the oil filter is on the top of the engine like the Outback. Anyone else do this on their Outback? I'll crawl under there but using the extractor is so convenient.

Takes about 30 mins to extract 6 qts. from the Challenger. No biggie as I crack open a beer and wait. Did it the regular way the first time but with the front splitter I have to use low profile ramps. There's a crazy plastic under protector which is painful to remove so I don't have to deal with that anymore.

Any opinions on the oil extraction method are welcome. Thanks!
 

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2020 Onyx
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Someone else does the dipstick oil extraction method as well - can't remember who, but some people say it's hard to get the hose to go all the way down so they needed to use an extra small tube. Worth giving it a try.
 
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I used a manual vacuum-type oil extractor on a Toyota Inline 4 for many years and it worked well. It made for fast and clean, crouchless DIY oil changes.

Went that route after the drain pan developed stripped threads & leak (probably from quickie lube place using an impact wrench on the plug). Economical solution was to use a permanent sealing plug from J.C. Whitney, and thus only topside oil extraction could be used. Upside of that experience: taught me to never use quickie lube places anymore.

I have read, however, that oil extractors don't work well with Subaru boxer engines. Too sharp a bend for the plastic tube.
 

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2016 2.5i Limited, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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On a side note, I have a Dodge Challenger with the 325HP V6 (I drive a long way to the office). I've been using an oil extractor as the oil filter is on the top of the engine like the Outback. Anyone else do this on their Outback? I'll crawl under there but using the extractor is so convenient.

Takes about 30 mins to extract 6 qts. from the Challenger. No biggie as I crack open a beer and wait. Did it the regular way the first time but with the front splitter I have to use low profile ramps. There's a crazy plastic under protector which is painful to remove so I don't have to deal with that anymore.

Any opinions on the oil extraction method are welcome. Thanks!
To Mercedes-Benz's credit they run the dipstick tube all the way to the bottom of the crankcase pan. No need to insert a tube, just affix the extractor to the dipstick tube and it will suck it all out reliably the same every time. Am assured Subaru does not run the dipstick tube very far into the engine.

As for my Subaru, a Fumoto valve and about 8" of 1/2" vinyl hose gets the job done. The hose is cheap enough can throw it away after every use and cut a new length, but I don't see any point.
 
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