What Milage to Begin Synthetic
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This is a discussion on What Milage to Begin Synthetic within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I was recently considering putting synthetic in my '04 WRX and so I went to the dealer to talk about ...

  1. #1
    Registered User paragonwrx's Avatar
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    What Milage to Begin Synthetic

    I was recently considering putting synthetic in my '04 WRX and so I went to the dealer to talk about putting it in on my next oil change - since the dealer is doing mine for free - when the dealer mentions he heard from their rep that you should wait until 15k miles on the WRX before you switch to synthetic.

    Now I've read almost all the threads here and never saw any mention of that. I know some cars ( Vette, 911) come with Mobil 1 from the factory. Has anyone else heard about this.

    The Subaru rep told my dealer that it's preferable in this application and several others because it allows more time for the rings and other parts to seat.

    I'm 6k miles in on my car and was shocked to hear that I ought to wait. Has anyone else heard anything on this subject.

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  3. #2
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    I have always heard that you should wait until at least your second oil change before going to a full synthetic. Just to let all of the seals set. At least thats what I did.
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    Jeez, 15k miles is just a tad on the ultra-conservative side. It doesn't take anywhere near that long to break in the engine internals. At 6k miles I'd go for synthetic and skip the Subaru Dealer brainwashing session. I switched at around 3k, with the 2nd oil change as you mentioned. Some people do it even earlier.
    2002 WRB 5-spd: K&N drop-in, silencer hack, Samco IC hoses, Godspeed uppipe, Bosal downpipe w/stock 3rd cat, Tanabe RM catback, TB Racing crank pulley, Tanabe GF-210 springs, Koni Sport strut inserts, Group N tranny & motor mounts, Whiteline rack bushings, Kartboy rear-sway endlinks & shifter, Goodridge ss brakelines, Akebono ProACT front pads

  5. #4
    Registered User Mabf355's Avatar
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    I have just under 10,xxx miles on my 2004 WRX and I just switched to Castrol Syntec this weekend. Excellent move car runs much much smoother.

    PS. The parts dept at the local dealer messed up and sold me the STi filter. Oh well...

  6. #5
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    Some of us old M.E. geeks would recommend synthetic after 10K.

    What could possibly go wrong?
    Last edited by Geekqualizer; 11-11-2003 at 06:40 PM.
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  7. #6
    Registered User PlatinumWRX's Avatar
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    10-15k miles.

    -Jim

  8. #7
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    I changed at 5k to Amsoil Synthetic. I run the oil for 5k miles between oil changes and it doesn't burn a drop. I regularly do a oil analysis on the oil and it comes out perfect. I don't think it is necessary to wait until 10k.

    That is just my 2 cents

  9. #8
    Registered User bdoug's Avatar
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    I switched to M1 at 2500 miles.


    Here is what Subaru has to say about synthetic engine oil.

    Orig. posted by EIonJess.
    I sent an email to Subaru at mysubaru.com concerning the use of synthetic oil. Here is the response below. Take for what it's worth.


    Thank you for contacting the Subaru Web site, and congratulations on the purchase of your '02 Impreza WRX! We hope that you are enjoying this exciting model!

    As for synthetic oil, this is your decision. Our Technical Services Department advised that if you do decide to use synthetic oil, that you always use it because your engine will become accustomed to it. The same goes if you decide to use 'regular' oil.

    We recommend that you first change the oil in your WRX at 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. We STRONGLY recommend that you at least wait until the break-in period of 1,000 miles is surpassed.

    The break-in period of the engine requires that a given amount of friction exists between components. The piston rings need to rub against the cylinder wall to break-in or finely tune the machine mating between the two metal parts. To properly seat all mechanical components, a certain amount of friction is required between the metal parts. Since synthetic oil has a lower friction rating than regular oil, we recommend that Subaru owners wait until after the 1,000 mile break-in period to switch to synthetic engine oil.

    Synthetic engine oils can be used in our engines if the user follows the engine oil recommendations prescribed in the Owner's Manual. Subaru has not tested the compatibility of all synthetic oils with engine seals, but the petroleum industry does adhere to standards for the refining process which meet Subaru requirements. Subaru does not guarantee the performance of any brand of any engine oil.

    Engine Oil Guidelines: - only use engine oil that meets or exceeds the API classification designated in the Owner's Manual for the vehicle - only use engine oil that meets the VISCOSITY requirements for the ambient temperatures under which the vehicle will be operated as outlined in the Owner's Manual - THE ENGINE OIL MUST BE CHANGED AT THE INTERVALS SPECIFIED IN THE WARRANTY AND MAINTENANCE BOOKLET FOR THE VEHICLE. SOME SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERS RECOMMEND EXTENDED OIL CHANGE INTERVALS. SUBARU DOES NOT RECOMMEND ANY DEVIATION FROM THE SPECIFIED INTERVALS IN THE OWNER'S MANUAL.

    Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance.
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  10. #9
    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    My Toyota 4Runner gives a big LOL to the thing about sticking w/ one oil type. I just bought it at 150k miles. The engine is tight as can be and the service records show it getting synthetic every third or fourth change with whatever was on sale (Pennzoil, Havoline, Castrol, Valvoline, etc.) in between.

    Now I've read almost all the threads here and never saw any mention of that. I know some cars ( Vette, 911) come with Mobil 1 from the factory. Has anyone else heard about this.
    Actually the WRX STi comes with synthetic oil stock!

    C
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