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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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After being part of this forum for over 8 years I have read tons on oil change intervals. The dealer where we bought our OB has a 6 month or 8,000 km Change interval for our car. The OEM service manual says every 8 months or 12,000km.

I have seen owners here go as few as 3,000 miles up to the interval given in the service manual. What’s your preference...what’s your advice?

Me? I do mine between ervery 4 and 6,000 km...and that is partially because of my superstitious belief in the link between oil changes and head gasket life... see piece below

The Dirty Truth about Make-Up | Oil Change Debate - CBC Player
 
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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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A question that seems to never end. My take is change the oil at the interval you feel most comfortable with keeping in mind the maintenance schedule. IMO the interval stated by the manufacturers is a best case scenario, generally most of us need to use the severe maintenance schedule instead of the dream one stated by the manufacturer.

Personally I have old cars (200k miles to 500k miles) 99, 2003, 2004. I change mine at 5,000 miles using high mileage synthetic. I do my own oil changes so it costs $25 plus the filter and generally change oil three or four times a year. In my mind it's easy to remember a 5k interval and it makes me feel better changing it at that interval.

That's my opinion and as I expect others will have different opinions and everyone is free to pick what works best for them.
 

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06 3.0R JDM facelift SI Drive-shift paddles. 87 Brumby EA81 (Brat) 4MT D/R
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It's all about type of use / season ie winter / short - urban running every 3 K - 4K miles warmer season /continuous highway running 5K - 6K miles l.
And or 6 monthly - which ever comes first.
I use oil colour / consistency as a guide also.
l ignore the owners manual / service manual recommendations - 10K is too long / late in my opinion / experience.
Oil / filters are CHEAP in the big picture/ longevity etc
Any modern name brand 5 W 30 / 10 W 30 with SN rating is good enough

Sent from my SM-J111M using Tapatalk
 
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I usually reach the calendar time before I reach the mileage. So it is pretty much oil change and tire rotation every six months.
 
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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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Same. I do 6 months or 5000 miles. Almost always is close to the money.

I use M1HM.

I’ve read the gasket theory before. I think the 00’s used to call for a 3/6000 service depending if severe or not. I almost always did 3000.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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There is no one size fits all answer for this.

I look at the materials provided by Subaru for my vehicle, which is 3750 miles severe service or 7500 miles normal service on an API rated SL or newer 5w30 oil and average the two. Change every 5000 miles.

Am I likely being conservative with my changes? Yup. Am I interested in doing multiple UOAs to find out the maximum service of a particular oil and filter combo for a specific vehicle? Nope. Do I think the 3000 mile OCI is throwing away good oil? Almost always.

Oh...I am in the middle of a 10,000 mile oil change in Mal though...6 quarts of Mobil1 0w40 in the sump right now.
 
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IMO the interval stated by the manufacturers is a best case scenario, generally most of us need to use the severe maintenance schedule instead of the dream one stated by the manufacturer.
Now, here's a guy who gets it!!
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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I go 6 months, as I only run 2500 miles in that time interval. But I get my Mobil 1 for about $12/5 quarts after rebate, plus a filter.
But the oil looks brand new, sad... :( Oh well, cheap enough I guess.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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Am I interested in doing multiple UOAs to find out the maximum service of a particular oil and filter combo for a specific vehicle? Nope.
Seriously. I can change the oil twice rather than send $25 to Blackstone. But that's me. And you.
 
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Tungsten 2018 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Couldn't watch your video. Probably retaliation against Trump. Good for you. :|

Our Rob Ford, on steroids.
You probably wouldn't have liked it, it was explained all in kilometers. :wink2:

CBC Marketplace can be a tad quixotic; the bottom line was that they needed a spectrometer to determine that the oil they tested probably had another 3,000/4,000 Km ( ~2000 mi ) life in it. Oh sure, don't we all have one of those in our garage?

They stopped people at a gas station and basically told them that since the manual says to "change the oil when the indicator light on the dash lights, but not to exceed 12 months or 16,000 km", that they could go a whole year - bad advice not taking driving habits and environmental factors into consideration.

When the car is under warranty, I go with the 6 months, even if the mileage ( kilometerage? ) hasn't occurred. After that, I use the mileage, but not exceed 1 year.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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I don't really place all of my faith in the dealer recommendations since their motives can be different than mine.

If the car is leased they want more frequent changes to make sure their the engine is pristine when it's returned and sold to someone so they don't have warranty issues and they want frequent changes since they can always find another $20 in your car once it's there.

That said, the only way to tell how often to change your oil is through UOAs but very few people want to spend the $25-40 when a new change can be done for that amount.

No car manufacturer can give blanket answers since usage varies among drivers and regions so they give basics of severe and normal. I tend to agree with someone who posted above me that people likely do more severe driving then they think and probably ought to change it sooner.

I've spent the money for UOAs on my OB and shared some of the results here. For some of the oils I used, such as the Castrol 0w-30 that is SL and not SN, the UOAs consistently said 6k changes were a waste and to push it to at least 8k. Other oils which are SN rated and Extended Mileage were essentially shot at 6k even though the label said 15k protection guaranteed. Right now I'm running plain M1 5w-30 and I'll do another UOA at 6k.

My suggestion would be to look at your driving habits and if you do a lot of freeway driving you can likely go without a worry to at least 8k using any good syn oil rather SN in the appropriate viscosity.

If you're doing around town driving a lot, oil doesn't get up to temp for 20 mins or so, lots of stop and go on the freeway and so on I'd drop it to 5k and feel good about that. If you're not sure or not inclined to do UOAs and do overall for mixed driving the interval can be 5k just for ease of change reminders on the odometer.
 

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2011 2.5i Outback Limited, Graphite Grey
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Interesting, I guess I’ve been a bit hard on my 2011 Outback 2.5i. It has 167,000 miles on it and I changed the oil every 6-7,000 miles with regular 5W-30 oil. It’s mostly all highway driving in the 80+ mph range. I’ve averaged 23.9 mpg over the last 60,000 miles here in New England.
 

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I will most likely do the 6k intervals with the 0w20 while under warranty. As soon as that is done, I'll go to 7500 and keep an eye on consumption. We put at 25k a year on this so OCI's are about every three months.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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I follow that 7.5k mile oil change interval from the Owner's Manual. But Blackstone keeps telling me I should try at least 9k or perhaps even 10k mile oci.

There is so much evidence out there that shows that a quality motor oil can last so much longer than most here are doing. I can't count the number of used oil analysis reports I've seen that show motor oil still more than capable of protecting the engine, and recommend extending oil change intervals to 9k, 10k, and even 11k miles.

I'm not suggesting that one abuse their engine. Regular oil and filter changes is one of the most important things that can be done to preserve the life of an engine. But changing oil too frequently does not protect an engine any better. And I'm pretty skeptical of opinions that most cars meet the severe driving conditions.

I've always been a data driven person. Show me that data and I'll believe. So far no one has shown me any data to justify oil changes in the 3k - 5k mile oil changes. But I've seen tons of data to justify extended oil changes. To repeat our motto from one of the Quality departments that I've worked in, "In God we trust. All others bring data." And "It's cheap insurance" isn't data based.
 

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I follow that 7.5k mile oil change interval from the Owner's Manual. But Blackstone keeps telling me I should try at least 9k or perhaps even 10k mile oci.

There is so much evidence out there that shows that a quality motor oil can last so much longer than most here are doing. I can't count the number of used oil analysis reports I've seen that show motor oil still more than capable of protecting the engine, and recommend extending oil change intervals to 9k, 10k, and even 11k miles.

I'm not suggesting that one abuse their engine. Regular oil and filter changes is one of the most important things that can be done to preserve the life of an engine. But changing oil too frequently does not protect an engine any better. And I'm pretty skeptical of opinions that most cars meet the severe driving conditions.

I've always been a data driven person. Show me that data and I'll believe. So far no one has shown me any data to justify oil changes in the 3k - 5k mile oil changes. But I've seen tons of data to justify extended oil changes. To repeat our motto from one of the Quality departments that I've worked in, "In God we trust. All others bring data." And "It's cheap insurance" isn't data based.
Absolutely agree my friend. I did a few 13K runs in our previous civic and the oil analysis was not bad at all. I will also send a sample or two after I am confidant that the car is broke in.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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SW,

You make a good point about data.

In my last oil change I sent it out for a UOA testing Castrol 5/30 EP with a supposed 15k mile interval.

At 6k it was mostly shot from lots of stop and go.

Wear was up a tick but the real concern was thickening. Fuel dilution drops viscosity but when the oil can't kill off everything and oxidation takes over and TAN/TBN is mostly depleted, viscosity increases. Iirc, Castrol says it's cSt value is 10.8 or so but at 6k it thickened up to 12.3.

That oil should do 10-12k but only if it's highway. It took a mean turn by 6k.

My best UOAs are consistently coming back using Euro spec oils e.g., A3/B4. My next change will be M1 0/40 which carries that same service category.
 

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SW,

You make a good point about data.

In my last oil change I sent it out for a UOA testing Castrol 5/30 EP with a supposed 15k mile interval.

At 6k it was mostly shot from lots of stop and go.

Wear was up a tick but the real concern was thickening. Fuel dilution drops viscosity but when the oil can't kill off everything and oxidation takes over and TAN/TBN is mostly depleted, viscosity increases. Iirc, Castrol says it's cSt value is 10.8 or so but at 6k it thickened up to 12.3.

That oil should do 10-12k but only if it's highway. It took a mean turn by 6k.

My best UOAs are consistently coming back using Euro spec oils e.g., A3/B4. My next change will be M1 0/40 which carries that same service category.
That's what I'm talking about! Data that shows, that in your particular car, oil choice, and driving conditions, that 6k miles is about the limit.
 

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Oil change intervals being variable depending on the usage, it's always good to know what is happening inside the engine, and the best way to do know is with an oil analysis. I don't think there is any benefit in trying to go further than the factory recommendation, but figuring out whether you are in severe or normal usage is a good idea. I let the dealer change oil at 7,500 miles; live in a dry area.
I also sample oil to figure out if the engine is worth investing more in the car. I had a previous other brand, where the oil analysis came back showing A LOT of aluminum in it. The aluminum block was going. So I traded that one back to the dealer...
I have 120K on my 2011 Outback 2.5, and did the analysis at 7,500 miles on the oil, to decide whether I wanted to buy the timing belt change. Oil came back good, so I went ahead with the refurb. The analysis is attached. You'll note they say the oil is suitable for continued use, but I would change anyway.
The note on the previous sample for TBN (total base number) is not critical, it indicates the amount of base left in the oil to counteract acids that accumulate in the oil. But happy to see the oil today is better. Other numbers are all really good for 120K miles. Going for 200+K now.
 

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Super Moderator
2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Oil change intervals being variable depending on the usage, it's always good to know what is happening inside the engine, and the best way to do know is with an oil analysis. I don't think there is any benefit in trying to go further than the factory recommendation, but figuring out whether you are in severe or normal usage is a good idea. I let the dealer change oil at 7,500 miles; live in a dry area.
I also sample oil to figure out if the engine is worth investing more in the car. I had a previous other brand, where the oil analysis came back showing A LOT of aluminum in it. The aluminum block was going. So I traded that one back to the dealer...
I have 120K on my 2011 Outback 2.5, and did the analysis at 7,500 miles on the oil, to decide whether I wanted to buy the timing belt change. Oil came back good, so I went ahead with the refurb. The analysis is attached. You'll note they say the oil is suitable for continued use, but I would change anyway.
The note on the previous sample for TBN (total base number) is not critical, it indicates the amount of base left in the oil to counteract acids that accumulate in the oil. But happy to see the oil today is better. Other numbers are all really good for 120K miles. Going for 200+K now.
That UOA shows diluted oil, IMO. It's a 9.1 cSt which is in the 20w range. Did it start the interval with a thin 30 or a thick one or middle of the road?

Are you doing a lot of short trips where the oil doesn't get warmed up? My thing is the oil thickening up from it being spent but I do a lot of stop and go on the 405 from OC to the West Side or OC to Downtown or the Valley, all in stop and go.


Silicon seems to be tracking a lot higher for you than for me. Is the airbox seal tight?
 
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