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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Curious what your oil temperature reading is. I know not many people have that gauge set up, I do and probably am obsessing over it too much.

2.5 Naturally Aspirated 2020 Outback, live at 5500 feet elevation, mountainous region, tow with it somewhat regularly. I tow a small pop up camper, ~1600 pounds full weight and measured 190 pounds tongue weight. Regularly tow to about 9-10K feet in elevation.

When I am towing climbing hills at high elevation with A/C on during the summer, I see peak oil temps close to 235 to 245 degF during the long hills. Outback has no issues keeping speed limit, loaded up with the pop up camper in the back. I am not winning any races for sure, but she is doing quite well considering the high elevation, hills and load.

When not towing, on highway at about 75 mph with *some hills (I mean everything in Colorado close to the mountains has hills), I see between 210 and 225 degF.

Around town, not towing I am seeing 200 to 210 degF during the high summer.

I know full synthetic oils can handle these temps without much issue, odd thing to me is that on the gauge, at 220F it seems to be notably not in the "middle" of the gauge but much closer to the "red" side of the gauge.

Wondering what you guys are seeing.

Thanks,
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT
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Mine is the XT and depending on outside temperature, oil temp sits between 190F (5F outside) -214F (105F outside).

By the way, you can add an oil temp gauge to the top widget bar like so:

489002
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Indeed, I do have the oil temp gauge at the top bar. Surprised it gets as high as 225 degF just regular highway driving, say on a moderate hill, going 75mph on say a regular summer day.

Thanks for inputs though guys, keep them coming !
 

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I don't tow so my numbers aren't comparable but my XT oil going 65 mph on level freeway is at about 205 with 85 degree ambient, so it sounds like the same as yours when not towing. Since you're seeing elevated oil temps when towing have you seen this thread about CVT temps? If you regularly/repeatedly tow the CVT fluid may need to be changed every 25k miles under severe service maintenance schedule.

This thread is relevant: CVT Temperature Revisited.

One of the resources linked in that thread comes up empty but this one works: General Information – The Tranmission Centre
 

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2020 Outback Limited 2.5i
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I just came back from a long road trip with my 2.5 NA, moving along at 65 to 70 most of the time, it was about 90F out and the oil temp hit 215F. I wasn't towing anything though and I'm at 1,000'. At 5,500', the engine will definitely need more throttle to maintain the same power output vs 1000'. Add in the extra strain from towing, and your temps seem reasonable.

In the Sequence IIIH, that looks for deposits at high oil temps, the oil is tested at 151C, which is 303.8F. I'd say your fine!

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies,

The thing that threw me off is not the absolute value of the oil temperature as much but the fact that the gauge at 220F is notably away from the "middle" and certainly towards the right (red) section at least notionally indicating you are somewhat away from a nominal condition.


Heck on most BMWs, the middle of their oil temp gauge is indicated as 250 degF. On the outback the middle of the digital gauge must be around 190 or 200 degF, which is oddly low to me. I would guess that you want at least 212 degF in order to drive off any gas/moisture vapors in the oil.
 

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2020 Limited XT Autumn Green Metallic/Warm Ivory, Falken WIldpeak A/T Trail, OEM Skid Plates etc
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The other thing to keep in mind, in the temp gauge for the oil is the bar graph at the bottom and unless it gets really close OR into the red at the right side I would think you are safe!
 

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So what are people looking for when looking at the oil temp, as I have no idea? I have an XT, but don't intend to tow anything. Plus I plan to get the oil changed every 4k-5k miles - not waiting for 6k..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In general you do want the oil to reach at least 212F do rive off water/gas vapor, I would say anything between 200 and 250?? is okay and considered "normal". Again interesting to me how the gauge itself is biased and at 250 you would be very very close to the "red" portion of the gauge. Even under challenging towing conditions (>6K feet elevation, hills, etc) I have not seen it more than 245 degF. Highway not towing, regular speed limit (75 say) on a summer day I am seeing something in the vicinity of 220F but very few roads here are flat.
As a point of reference, on most BMWs the oil temp gauge middle is set at 250 degF.
 

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Forgot the exact numbers but data on ester type synthetic oils say it can go >400 deg F. Getting hot enough for long enough may be desirable to remove the gasoline that got by the piston rings. I would be more concerned about transmissions getting hot.
 

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I would be more concerned about transmissions getting hot.
He would most likely need to change the CVT fluid out by 24,855 miles since this seems like severe driving conditions.

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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This thread also made me curious, so I added the oil temp widget to my favorites. On my commute, after the oil temp has stabilized, at varies from maybe 203 to 212. Basically freeway driving at 65-75 mph, with a few slight to moderate grades along the way.
 

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We need to know where the measurement is being made. For example, is this the oil going into the pump (so basic sump) or after coming off the piston skirts. As others have mentioned, over 212F is required to turn water into vapor, but that can be for just a moment, like when hitting the inside of the piston.
 

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We need to know where the measurement is being made. For example, is this the oil going into the pump (so basic sump) or after coming off the piston skirts. As others have mentioned, over 212F is required to turn water into vapor, but that can be for just a moment, like when hitting the inside of the piston.
You can see the diagram here 22630AA27A - Temperature Sensor - Genuine Subaru Part

It's mounted just below the oil filter.
 

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You can see the diagram here 22630AA27A - Temperature Sensor - Genuine Subaru Part

It's mounted just below the oil filter.
The diagrams there are of the timing cover and a "water pipe" and are a bit too complicated for me to follow. But "below" the oil filter implies that this is oil sump temperature, perhaps before entry to the filter, perhaps after. So this is nearly the coolest possible reading with only a little bit of heat being added by the oil pump itself.
 

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Anything less than 250 for a full synthetic oil is fine, especially on a 6000mi interval. On the track (not in the outback, obviously :) ), i'm not backing off until 270-280*, but that assumes i'm doing an oil change after an event. My 2015 WRX would see 260-270 during autocross, and occasionally 220-230 on the highway in the summer in the south. As another poster said, 212 is really the minimum you want to achieve during a drive cycle to evaporate water from the oil.

Outside of that, common sense applies; if you're seeing 240 puttering around town that may be a concern, but the only thing to really go wrong to cause that would be low oil level.
 

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Since the crankcase is in vacuum any water vapor should evaporate lower than 212 Deg F.
Good point but is the vacuum very much? Do we have data on how much vacuum there is?

The article below seems to say that there isn't much vacuum and it takes some work to keep it at negative pressure.

 
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