Oil change opinions please
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This is a discussion on Oil change opinions please within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Fellow WRX owners... I am faced with an interesting decision. I bought my car used from a dealership. When I ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Graham46's Avatar
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    Oil change opinions please

    Fellow WRX owners... I am faced with an interesting decision.

    I bought my car used from a dealership. When I bought the car, they stated I would be entitled to free oil changes for life. I thought, hey this is a sweet deal, but I have put about 3,500 miles on the car since I got it, and even though I was told at the time the free changes could be preformed anytime between 3,000-5,000 miles, apparently that person was wrong cause it can only be done every 5,000 if you want it to be done for free. I called today and asked if the oil they put in was full synthetic, and they say its only half, 50/50....

    So, my question is this... is it ok to wait the 5,000 if the oil is at least half synthetic? Or would you all not do this if you wanted to get the max life out of the car... Keep in mind if these criteria are ok to follow, I will never have to pay for an oil change...

    2006 wrx with ~48k miles, 45 when I got it

    Thanks
    2006 WRB WRX Sedan @ Stage 2

    www.grahamsnodgrass.com

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  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Search for the oil tsb released by Subaru that covers turbo models like yours. They reduced the oil change interval to 3750 miles. This is at best anachronistic -- if not laughable -- but their word is final, they build the cars.

    If the oil used by your dealer meets the requirements by the manufacturer of the motor it will be fine for your car.

    Point out the TSB to the dealer. See what they say. If they hold their position consider notifying SOA about the contradiction. Always be polite and professional of course, but also firm (I find this the hardest to achieve -- and am waiting for the puns if anyone else is reading...).

    If still concerned, one suggestion would be to drain the oil whenever you like, but still let the dealer do oil+filter at 5K intervals. You could even install a Fumoto valve (search for info). I have one on my Honda and love it. This is ONLY if you are not a dirt-road-rally-fast-uneven pavement-hit debris type of driver. This will allow you to drain the oil using no tools at intervals of your choice, in minutes, and leave the oil plus filter change to the dealer.

    Truth be told I don't have AVCS on my car, I don't have the model with the stated oil strainer problems (again, see oil tsb threads) and I change my oil no sooner than 5K (I've done oil analysis to show it's OK for my choices etc.).
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham46 View Post
    Fellow WRX owners... I am faced with an interesting decision.

    I bought my car used from a dealership. When I bought the car, they stated I would be entitled to free oil changes for life. I thought, hey this is a sweet deal, but I have put about 3,500 miles on the car since I got it, and even though I was told at the time the free changes could be preformed anytime between 3,000-5,000 miles, apparently that person was wrong cause it can only be done every 5,000 if you want it to be done for free. I called today and asked if the oil they put in was full synthetic, and they say its only half, 50/50....

    So, my question is this... is it ok to wait the 5,000 if the oil is at least half synthetic? Or would you all not do this if you wanted to get the max life out of the car... Keep in mind if these criteria are ok to follow, I will never have to pay for an oil change...

    2006 wrx with ~48k miles, 45 when I got it

    Thanks
    Personally for the investment you have made ( your vehicle). I would def. not be doing the oil change every 5k miles also since the dealership prob. offers this kind of deal to many many people I would find it hard to believe the oil that they use would be of a superior quality.

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    Registered User Graham46's Avatar
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    SD-- Thanks for your thorough reply, but I still am not 100% convinced on what to do...

    I do not know what AVCS or the "stated oil strainer problems" are but I found the oil tsb thread and will give it a more thorough look later. There was a lot of info in it and at one point it got off topic talking about BMW and Mercedes...

    My honest feeling is that the 5k timeline is ok, and you seem confident about that too, but a small part of me is agreeing with EVoEatr cause this car was a big investment for me.... I dunno, its a real toss up though cause free oil changes really takes the total cost of the car down a notch.

    All I know is I have to make a decision fast haha
    2006 WRB WRX Sedan @ Stage 2

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham46 View Post
    My honest feeling is that the 5k timeline is ok, and you seem confident about that too,
    I am confident but my opinion has no meaning or value. The only people who know Subarus best are Subaru, and they -- as you saw in the TSB -- now insist on short oil drain intervals.

    Have they mishandled the error they made? Yes. Instead of helping their end users, they instead have helped their dealers (after all, they now make more money on more frequent oil changes due to a poor design decision that was not and is not being corrected). But at the end of the day they've set the oil interval short, and that's that. I'd follow their guidelines at least while under warranty (typically 60K unless you've bought a plan).
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Graham46's Avatar
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    I bought my car used without a warranty, so no real guidelines to adhere to there. Chances are I will just buy the right stuff and do the changes myself. This way I can do the changes when I feel comfortable doing them, and Im not unknowingly settling for possible inferior filters/oil.

    Thanks again for your quick and informative replies-- just one more question now: where do you get the subaru brand filters that were being raved about on another thread?
    2006 WRB WRX Sedan @ Stage 2

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    You can order in bulk from vendors or you can get them from any Subaru dealer.

    In any case you can still let the dealer do every other oil change. If they wash the car too (mine does for every visit regardless of reason) it'd kill two birds with one stone. The dealer will be using the Subaru filters and the oil, although bought in bulk, will almost certainly be an API oil of adequate quality, especially for your short change intervals.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Graham46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    it'd kill two birds with one stone.
    Dont you mean get two birds stoned at once? Haha (trailer park boys quote for you non-watchers)

    Thanks again. The dealership like I said is used and service various car manufacturers, so Id have to call them back and ask if they use subaru filters
    Last edited by Graham46; 05-04-2010 at 12:45 PM.
    2006 WRB WRX Sedan @ Stage 2

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    i personally do the 3 month 3000 mile thing with a Fram filter and synthetic oil(Castrol for the first 30,000 Mobil 1 since) and i have 104,800 on my car and i have a feeling by doing this religiously since i have had the car has reduced the chance of a lot of the things that people talk about on this board from happening.

    not saying it's the best or right way to do it but it has served me well for the last 91,000 miles of owning my car.

  11. #10
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham46 View Post
    Dont you mean get two birds stoned at once? Haha (trailer park boys quote for you non-watchers)
    Some of the stuff that comes out of Ricky's mouth -- the Rickyisms -- is hilarious!

    Thanks again. The dealership like I said is used and service various car manufacturers, so Id have to call them back and ask if they use subaru filters
    Ah, missed that; good point.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Graham46's Avatar
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    Here's the deal

    I talked to a buddy of mine who works at an auto performance shop in my area that specializes in subarus and he said (for my car anyway) doing it every 5k is a gamble. He was actually surprised that that was the rule the dealership offered for their free lifetime deal thing, but we discussed how they offer that to every single person who buys a car from them and they also sell like hyundai, nissan, toyota, saturn, etc.... so they probably arent concerned with the additional requirements of a turbo subie, and just have to make a rounded off number for all cars

    Anyway, the subie performance shop sells both the subaru OEM oil filters, and carries a highly reputable brand of oil that the majority of the shops employees and clients use (Motul). The shop sells both the filters and oil for customers who want to change it themselves, or I can drop it off there anytime for a little extra $.

    Although the free oil changes for life would have saved a ton of cash, this option make me feel the safest about my pride and joy, and its overall life expectancy

    /thread!
    2006 WRB WRX Sedan @ Stage 2

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    Toboggan T0rque's Avatar
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    I personally would use the dealer to change my oil at the 5,000 mile interval for free and change my own at 2500 miles. Just my opinion. I would also get them to reimburse me the money they spend on the 50/50 garbage and put it towards a good oil. Also make sure they are using only factory Subaru filters on my car.


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    Registered User 02radioflyer's Avatar
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    Keep it full. Thats the first low hurdle allot sadly stumble over.

    If you actually want to know just how far and how your engine is processing your oil over that time. Get it sampled and lab it.

    There REALLY doesn't have to be ANY guesswork or risk in running whatever your oil will support where you are in your car the way you drive.

    Blanket recommendations and blanket questioning of such statements is compound pointless.
    02redwagone on Nasioc

  15. #14
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham46 View Post
    Here's the deal

    I talked to a buddy of mine who works at an auto performance shop in my area that specializes in subarus and he said (for my car anyway) doing it every 5k is a gamble. He was actually surprised that that was the rule the dealership offered for their free lifetime deal thing, but we discussed how they offer that to every single person who buys a car from them and they also sell like hyundai, nissan, toyota, saturn, etc.... so they probably arent concerned with the additional requirements of a turbo subie, and just have to make a rounded off number for all cars

    Anyway, the subie performance shop sells both the subaru OEM oil filters, and carries a highly reputable brand of oil that the majority of the shops employees and clients use (Motul). The shop sells both the filters and oil for customers who want to change it themselves, or I can drop it off there anytime for a little extra $.

    Although the free oil changes for life would have saved a ton of cash, this option make me feel the safest about my pride and joy, and its overall life expectancy

    /thread!
    Smart move

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