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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've searched and read the various discussions about the optimal oil for the 2.5 but I couldn't determine a specific recommendation. Other than Subaru oil, what's the one that seems to make this engine happiest?

I've been a regular Mobil 1 user on our EJ25 but there seem to be a lot of folks saying that this oil is to be avoided on the FB.

Thanks!
 

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Premium Member
2017 Outback 2.5i Touring
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154 Posts
0W-20, full synthetic.........

Beyond that, all what ever brand YOU prefer.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,360 Posts
ANY oil that meets API SN spec in 0w20.

Bang for the buck, Quaker State Ultimate Durability is a great oil. Fairly low cost and meets a lot of specifications.
 

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I picked up a used Outback last June. 2002 4 cyl EJ251 motor in it. It has 130K on it.

I was wondering what Oil I should use in it. Synthetic or Conventional? and the weight of the oil?

Thanks Rob
 

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108 Posts
By the way the engine in this car is great. I mean as like new sounding as it can be. The carfax on this car was like 8 pages long with one owner who took it to the dealer like it belonged to God a king.

Strange thing is the carfax labeled it as "Government owned"

Wow I am still trying to figure it out.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,969 Posts
hundreds of threads on the subject. (many hopefully following the owners manual).

5w30 full synthetic
 
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Fresh Out of Outbacks!
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14,494 Posts
Any SN-rated 5W-30. Probably the most popular motor oil on the shelf today.

I would use conventional if you've found any evidence of oil leaks, because synthetic can leak more easily once there is a way out. Besides, if you're leaking, why pay to leak the good stuff?

Use synthetic if you want, but there aren't likely to be any measurable benefits for the average driver.
 

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Super Moderator
2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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2,962 Posts
If you're just an average pavement pounder and slicing and dicing the roads, as others have said, head off to The Mart and any syn 5w-30 SN rated will serve you very well.

M1, AFE, M1EP, PU, PUP and others. It's like going to a Sunday buffet and realizing there's much more than just the waffle station.
 

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2014 Outback Limited (2.5L 6spd CVT)
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7 Posts
Use synthetic as it will keep the engine cleaner and actually is a leak-stopper.

AMSOIL and then Mobil1 are the top rated synthetic oils. Mobil1 has a great high-mileage I use in our Expedition with 276k to slow loss.

Suggestion: 2002? Rarely do people change the brake fluid. BG makes a great product my mechanic uses. StopTech by Centric is an excellent product...race-grade for the WRX, tow-grade for the Outback.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

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614 Posts
5w30 and 10w30 are fine. 5w30 preferred if you live in really cold areas.
Dino type if your car leaks or on original seals. I switched to synthetic when I had my OBW (sigh) and had completed replacing all the seals along with HGs and TB.

That being said, I also used Mobil1 0w20 synthetic without any issues in winter (5200 miles change interval) and in summer (4800 miles interval)
 

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2016 2.5i Ltd Outback (Tungsten)
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835 Posts
I don't think that in 2002 Outbacks were calling for synthetic oil (although I know many people swear by it). Don't you have a manual for the car? It should tell you in there what kind of oil to use.
 

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Premium Member
2010 Legacy 3.6R Limited
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1,300 Posts
0w20 in a 2nd gen will break stuff. Trust me, we've got a whole thread on a fiasco involving HG's, shite oil, and explosions.

I've got 175k on my 2001 H6 (supposedly ~125k on this engine), run around 3,000mi/month, and do Mobil1 5w30 on a 6-7.5k interval, still no issues.
 

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Sold: 2000 OBW with AWP
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0w20 will run just fine in a gen.2. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with HGs or break anything in your engine. I live in a place with cold enough weather that I had 0 problems with. Would probably not use it if I lived in the Southern states. I can vouch for having ran ~10,000 miles on 0w20 with zero issues and a total of half quart consumption in those 10k miles.

At the end of the day, quality oil, strict maintenance interval and picking an oil grade that meets your driving requirements (climate, severity, towing, blah blah) is more key.

Running synthetic does no harm to the engine apart from leaking like a seive if the car still has original seals or is already leaking.
 

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Outbrat XT, Foz, 3.0R Limited
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Buy what's on sale or has rebates. It's not a racecar, it's not a 993 GT2, it's not a 300SL Gullwing. A good oil filter is more important if you ask me.

hundreds of threads on the subject. (many hopefully following the owners manual).

5w30 full synthetic
Not in 2002.
 

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1997 Outback 2.5; 2005 Outback 2.5; 2006 Legacy; 2016 Outback 3.6R; 2019 Outback 3.6R
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On my '97 Outback with 180k miles, I started to use Restore 4-cylinder additive with each oil change from 120k and up. It kept the car going. I did the same on my '05 and felt like the engine continued to run well. I have no proof because I was never able to look at the cylinders, but I didn't have any engine failures. Maybe some others members have opinions about Restore.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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On my '97 Outback with 180k miles, I started to use Restore 4-cylinder additive with each oil change from 120k and up. It kept the car going. I did the same on my '05 and felt like the engine continued to run well. I have no proof because I was never able to look at the cylinders, but I didn't have any engine failures. Maybe some others members have opinions about Restore.
It's not necessary - but if you like it, run it.

people routinely run these for 250,000+ miles without adding anything but the cheapest oil on sale. you would need extremely compelling, quantifiable data to prove any product actually improves 250,000 mile reliability of an uncompromised Subaru block.

I plan on 250,000+ miles on the original engines using the cheapest oil on sale - does that mean "on sale oil" is better?
no.
it means oil choices aren't critical.

there's no need to look at the cylinders, they all look the same - minus the whack-mole-a-mole pistons your engine has - they all have the original factory cylinder crosshatching still present and looks perfect after 200,000 miles.
 

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2012 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5 6sp Manual
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137 Posts
Service/Maintenance is more important that oil brand. Only reason to run Synth is if you desire extended oil changes with Oil Analysis. My usual method is to use Synth with oil analysis and monitor TBN. Once I get to the sweet spot for change interval I do away with the regular UOA and test it maybe once a year. IMO more people should do oil analysis and monitor TBN with a view to extended oil changes. I've wasted a lot of good oil (and money) from over servicing my previous vehicles. it can actually be detrimental to the health of an engine to change the oil too often.
https://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop-changing-your-oil.html

My previous car, a VW Sportwagen TDI's oil service interval was 10'000 miles. Yes, that's 10'000 miles in a high compression turbo charged diesel engine where less than 100 miles after changing, the oil is black as soot with still 9'900 miles to go until the next change. I've owned 7 cars in my whole life. The first two were over serviced due to my misguided sense of over protectiveness.
IMO the bottom line is: If your going to stick to the recommended interval, run the cheapest mineral that meets the spec. If you want to extend the amount of time you lie under the car, then use Synth with UOA
 

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(1) 1998 Outback 5 Speed (2) 2011 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT
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Over 100,000 miles switch to 10W-40

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,360 Posts
Nonsense.
 
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