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2008 Outback 2.5XT
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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my first Subaru, an 08' OB 5MT 2.5xt with ~50k miles. So happy to finally be a part of the Subaru family. I drove this car come about 1,200miles and didn't even let my friend, who I flew out to help drive, get into the drivers seat. The only thing I'm not super happy about is the mileage, however I think this is partly due to the Stage 1 flash from the AccessPort. I've included the only image I have, the car is covered with frost in the early morning cold of Wyoming.

Anyway, my question is regarding the warming and cooling off of the turbo. Up to now I have been letting the car get warm enough so that the blue temp light turns off. Then driving easy until it's past the first temp marker. Though for cooling I've just been turning off the car. Can someone help direct me to the right procedure to prolong the life/performance of the turbo?

I wanted to thank this forum for all the great info in the threads. Hopefully I'll soon be able to contribute some knowledge.

Thanks,

Giuseppe
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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You're doing it right. Go easy on it until it's up to temp. Don't worry about idling until the light goes off, just be light on the throttle.

For cooling off, best practice is to not turn the car off immediately after beating on it. Give it 30 seconds or so of light driving or idling after driving hard to let the turbo cool off a bit. According to Subaru, even that brief cool off period is unnecessary, but it certainly won't hurt to do it. Other than extremely hard driving, there's absolutely no need to let the turbo cool off. The way the cooling system works, there is coolant flowing through the turbo even after the engine turns off if it is hot.
 

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'18 3.6R Ltd
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...the Stage 1 flash from the AccessPort...

Up to now I have been letting the car get warm enough so that the blue temp light turns off.
You didn't say where the 1,200 mile drive home started, but if it was where they sell 93 octane gas, you may be running the wrong Accessport map, unless you changed it. Because only 91 octane is available in Wyoming (at least, I think this is the case, as it is for sure in Colorado), you should be running the 91 Stage One map. (I asked Cobb about this one time and got this answer, despite the reason they sell 91 as the highest grade at elevation is because, at elevation, it acts like 93.)

And -- you probably know this -- the blue light goes off when the car is warm enough to use S# mode on the I-drive. Subaru probably thinks that people who drive the car hard use S# a lot, so this implies they think it's OK to drive hard when that light goes off -- at least that's my interpretation. HPH
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I don't have the blue light, but I 'try' not to drive away from a cold start for 15seconds, I 'try' not to hammer the car to redline until it's at normal operating temp. , and I 'try' not to park it immediately after a highspeed run.

more or less what seabass said.

no need for a 'turbo timer' (unless perhaps you actually race the car regularly)

do you use synthetic oil? it supposedly is less likely to 'coke' on a turbo bearing.

Still, highly unlikely you will have a problem as you seem to be careful with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great thank you everyone for your input. Forgot to subscribe and was pleasantly suprised with all of the input. I'll continue taking it easy until she is warm, this is the nicest car I've had and I plan on babying it...until of course I'm on the open road and the engine is warm ;-)

Seabass...Maybe this is a dumb question, but do you just use normal coolant?

DrCloud...I just realized that yesterday when playing around while waiting for warm up that I couldn't engage the S# with the blue light. Also, I purchased the car from Denver and am now in Portland. The map is now set at Stage 1 91, but I am unsure of what it was at before. Though I'm pretty sure it only had 91 before. Do you know if 93 is available in Portland, OR? What's the difference in performance?

1 Lucky Texan...I have not put oil in yet but know that is all it's had. I just picked up some Castrol Edge just to have in the car. Any input on good synth oils? Or is there much of a difference?

Thanks again
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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A very popular oil is Rotella T6 5W40. At walmart for $20 for 1 gallon (note you will need slightly more than a gallon to bring the dipstick up to full).

There are plenty of other options, including dino which is probably just fine as long as you stick with the 3750 miles, but I've opted to go to Rotella at the ripe old age of 95k, but keep the OCI to 3750 still.

Some say to avoid Mobil 1 with our turbos.

Also, plenty of warnings about using only OEM subaru oil filters because of bypass valve pressure setting. Buy them on ebay in sets of 12 with the drain plug washer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A very popular oil is Rotella T6 5W40. At walmart for $20 for 1 gallon (note you will need slightly more than a gallon to bring the dipstick up to full).
tdelker...What is the difference between 5W30 & 5W40, it does say 5W30 in the manuel correct?
 

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Yes, manual says 5W30. 40 has higher viscosity (doesn't flow quite as well). Yes, it is against the recommendation. Do some research on here and other forums and see if you want to go this route. Or choose a different oil.

Tom
 

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DrCloud...I just realized that yesterday when playing around while waiting for warm up that I couldn't engage the S# with the blue light. Also, I purchased the car from Denver and am now in Portland. The map is now set at Stage 1 91, but I am unsure of what it was at before. Though I'm pretty sure it only had 91 before. Do you know if 93 is available in Portland, OR? What's the difference in performance?
Yeah -- I-Drive doesn't go into S# until that blue light goes out, which was the point of my comment.

If you can get 93 octane in Portland (if it's available, the major oil companies will have it), do so, and re-map to the Stage I / 93 octane map. You will like it.

Indeed, you will probably like it so much that you'll notice a decrease in urban mpg, the solution for which is to stay out of S# and put a raw egg between your foot and the accelerator pedal. This will accomplish two things: it'll defeat the purpose of the AccessPort, and it will make for a really, really messy shoe. HPH
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you can get 93 octane in Portland (if it's available, the major oil companies will have it), do so, and re-map to the Stage I / 93 octane map. You will like it.
Well looks like all we have here is 92! Any way to acheive 93 results with 92?

Yes, manual says 5W30. 40 has higher viscosity (doesn't flow quite as well). Yes, it is against the recommendation. Do some research on here and other forums and see if you want to go this route. Or choose a different oil.

Tom
Hey just went through some older forums regarding oils...jeez didn't know there was so much behind it. So it seems the 40w is better as the Turbo produces heat that can effectively reduce the weight, but 40w should be fine unless it's REALLY cold outside. Also the 30w produces a bit better mileage as it's less viscous?

Seems most XT owners here use the 5W40 you mentioned, but I'm still not 100% clear on the main benifit...is it performance or engine protection?

Thanks,
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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You can really use any coolant that's safe for aluminum engines, which should be pretty much all of them on the market.

For oil, the main reason that many of us use a 5w40 is that turbos are hard on oil. Many 30 oils will shear down to a 20. That's too thin for the turbo. There are plenty of 30 oils out there that are shear resistant. That's a good topic to research on BITOG.com. We use a 5w because it allows for colder weather.

Mobil 1 was mentioned in this thread. DO NOT use mobil 1 5w30. The other mobil 1 oils are good, but that one is an energy conserving version, so it starts out very thin and is thickened with additives. It shears down very quickly and has been the cause of many trashed turbos.
 

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Turbo protection. The turbo 'shears' the oil down to a lower weight, then it isn't the correct weight to protect the turbo any more. At least that's what I read :) However, with the very short OCI it probably isn't a major concern, only when you go out to the 7k original OCI.

The FSM says 5W-40 is acceptable (but 5W-30 is the recommended) above -20F.

The Rotella T6 seems to be the golden boy for turbo subarus as far as I can tell.

Added: I only use Subaru Coolant with the extra can of conditioner. I just can't see taking a risk with having something in the coolant that could affect the engine. Subaru knows what it needs, and it's not that much more. Same for ATF. Gear oil I'm not so picky with.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For oil, the main reason that many of us use a 5w40 is that turbos are hard on oil. Many 30 oils will shear down to a 20. That's too thin for the turbo. There are plenty of 30 oils out there that are shear resistant. That's a good topic to research on BITOG.com. We use a 5w because it allows for colder weather.

Mobil 1 was mentioned in this thread. DO NOT use mobil 1 5w30. The other mobil 1 oils are good, but that one is an energy conserving version, so it starts out very thin and is thickened with additives. It shears down very quickly and has been the cause of many trashed turbos.
Well this is disconcerning...I just spoke with the prior owner and he said he always used Mobil 1. The car runs fine, should I be concerned? Any way I can check to see if any damage has been done? Will topping off with a better 5W30 oil be sufficient until my next oil change, or is there an additive I can add? (est at another 1,500+ miles)
 

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I wouldn't be overly concerned, especially if the original owner stuck with the OCI of 3750. The mobil 1 failures are hard to disentangle from extended OCI and clogged banjo bolt filter. Of course it doesn't make sense to use Mobil 1 5W-30, but I wouldn't sweat it's use in the past.

Might as well change it now. It'll only make you worried if you won't.

Tom
 

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this is a good thread

I'll just suggest that, I see nothing wrong with folks in cooler environments running a quality 5w-30 in winter, and just switching to a Xw-40 in the hottest parts of the summer. I did that for the first 30K-40K miles in my cars. But here, lower weight oils might drain from bearings/wear surfaces just sitting in 110deg sun. And it's protection at start-up than can be the most important.
 

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Well this is disconcerning...I just spoke with the prior owner and he said he always used Mobil 1. The car runs fine, should I be concerned? Any way I can check to see if any damage has been done? Will topping off with a better 5W30 oil be sufficient until my next oil change, or is there an additive I can add? (est at another 1,500+ miles)
Mobil 1 isn't bad for the car, it just hasn't worked out to be a great choice for the car given what it costs. Take it with this grain of salt: Oil choice threads tend to get into a lot of hair splitting.

I ran M1 in my car for a while, noticed that I always seemed to lose a bit between changes. My theory is that the turbo sheared it thin enough that it could get past the turbo bearings and get burnt off, a droplet at a time. I switched to a different full synthetic and now I never have to add oil between changes.

Assuming that the same thing was happening in your car (a big assumption) then it's just a question of whether the previous owner stayed ahead of the losses so that the engine always had sufficient lubrication. Running out of oil in a turbo usually causes big problems in a matter of seconds rather than months, so you are almost certainly fine.

And to answer your question- I'd just top it off with a full synthetic 5w-30. I don't trust oil additives in these cars.
 

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The mobil 1 5w30 issue has nothing to do with being cost effective. It simply shears down way too easily for use with our engines. Again, it's just the 5w30. Nothing to panic about, just switch oils. Like was mentioned, if it damaged anything, you'd already have damage.

For piece of mind, when you get some spare time under the hood, unbolt the downpipe and it's transmission mount bolt and pull it back a couple inches. Wiggle the turbo shaft back and forth and in and out. There should barely be able to notice any shaft play. It really is a simple thing to do and can be done in less than an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well thanks everyone for the tips. I have decided to keep the 5w30 until my next change and figure out what I want to do then...depending on how far through the winter we are. I did notice that the car burnt through a decent amount of oil in the 1300 miles I've put on it.

Also I cleaned out the intake filter as it didn't look super clean. I think my next steps are to get a box, probably the Skybox 16 and possibly sway bars. Any recomendations?
 

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If you're going through a lot of oil, check the level at every gas fill up until you know how much it goes through. When you do change your oil, look for oil drops at the bottom of the oil filter which could point to the oil cooler gasket leaking. Also check the valve cover gaskets for leaks. There's a good chance you're not actually burning any oil.
 

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gmez - consider a new PCV valve and/or clean the hoses out. could lead to a little higher oil consumption.

if the PCV system seems dirty/gummy, consider a seafoam or other throttle body treatment.
 
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