Should you really fo 7500 miles on regular oil?
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This is a discussion on Should you really fo 7500 miles on regular oil? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I purchased my WRX a few months back (mid-June). I changed the oil when I got the car (had about ...

  1. #1
    Registered User ihaveadent's Avatar
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    Should you really fo 7500 miles on regular oil?

    I purchased my WRX a few months back (mid-June). I changed the oil when I got the car (had about 31k miles on it). I have put about 4500 miles on the car since then and am still on the same oil. The car doesn't see really hard conditions and I don't drive it hard too much. I was planning to change my oil at 5k because 7500 seems to long to me. Anybody have an opinion on this that may help me? Also, does synthetic really make a difference?
    1967 Camaro
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    We just got through a couple threads on this actually, have a look at one:

    Mobil 1 10W-30 for 17,000 miles - data arrived!

    In there you'll find several other links to other discussions and to data and info.

    Short answer: yes synthetics make a difference, and you'd be better off with lower drain intervals on conventional oil in my opinion. See the link, it's got lots of info.

    I do 5,000 drain intervals on Mobil 1 myself.
    Last edited by SD_GR; 10-09-2003 at 08:15 PM.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
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    Registered User ihaveadent's Avatar
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    So I should change more than every 5000 with conventional oil? When you say synth. makes a difference, how so?
    1967 Camaro
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    It seems to me that, with some exceptions, the numbers you saw in the threads I posted above aren't feasible with a convenontional oil. I don't think it'd stay in grade and maintain its characteristics that long in a turbo motor, especially one that's run in a hot or dusty environment, or one that's not warmed up properly before boosting etc. Also, in winter a conventional will have a harder time pumping on cold startup (there are exceptions).

    I'd probably stick to 3750 changes with a conventional oil but I don't have any evidence. To really know you'd have to do oil analysis; the lab would tell you at, say 3,000 if the oil is still holding up. But analysis is more expensive than changing the oil with conventional oil usually.

    It is clear to me that with normal use, and gong 7500 miles between changes, a conventional oil will get you trouble-free to 60,000. The reason is that Subaru guarantee this will happen -- it's their dime until 60k. The question is, how to get to 200k, or what if you don't drive under ideal conditions etc.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    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
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    Registered User KanosWRX's Avatar
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    Why would you want to wait that long in the first place? I mean its the blood of your car, you gotta keep it running clean. I used Mobil 1 Synth and change it every 3000, I want my car to last as long as possible, a couple bucks and 30 min of my time is worth it.


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    Registered User ihaveadent's Avatar
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    Okay so I am hurting my car by waiting 5000 miles to change the oil even though Subaru recommends every 7500 on regular oil?
    1967 Camaro
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  8. #7
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Any response is pure speculation. The only real way to know is to draw about 100 ml of oil at fixed intervals and do oil analysis. Failing that, you can go with existing data from other people's cars and see what results they've gotten with one oil or another. It's likely that a car driven in a similar manner as yours and in a similar climate will get similar results, whether you record them via analysis or not. This is the route I've gone.

    There is nothing magical about 3,000 miles, and I don't understand why people fixate on that number other than it's victimization by advertising. Why not 2500 miles or 3500 miles? What exactly happens at 3001? What hasn't happened at 2500? OTOH there's nothing specifically wrong with changing at 3000 -- it's just that it may be a total waste with something like Mobil 1.

    Here's some food for thought:

    If you are going to change the oil every 3,000 miles and drive reasonably, any API SL oil of the correct viscosity ought to do. Spending $4/qt on Mobil 1 may not be the best use of money (though I still applaud it, since the more Mobil 1 sells, the less likely their prices will rise and I buy the stuff myself...). If you want to go to 3750, this still holds (don't trust me, it's what Subaru dictate as severe duty drain interval and they neither condone nor dismiss *any* API SL oil of the correct viscosity -- their own words -- meaning you can run stuff from the corner store and be OK or at least decent).

    There are advantages to changing early, particularly on a worn motor or a damaged motor. For example, if there is a slight coolant leak into the oil (blown head gasket), there is potential for corrosion and damage. That oil needs to go immediately regardless of how long it's been in. Without analysis, a minor leak like that would go undetected but would still damage the motor internally unless the oil is swapped soon. The oil itself has better chemical/physical properties when it's in good shape than when it's passed its prime, and this also contributes to motor longevity.

    Another example: If you are using an aftermarket air filter, chances are it does *not* meet OEM filtration requirements and/or doesn't fit correctly, meaning more dirt is entering the system. This is where an early oil change would certainly help (though using a works air filter would be best!).

    There are also disadvantages -- you'd be spending time under the car as opposed to driving it or whaterver, you'd be wasting time and money, you'd be wasting resources and so on.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of laying under the car draining the oil then getting in and driving to the recycling center, there's a hundred things I'd rather do. So I picked an oil and a drain interval that are safe for my motor and fit my lifestyle, and are affordable to me.

    Tell me this: what are you using now, and what oil consumption are you seeing, if any? If you have the records since the car was new, what was used and how often?
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    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.

  9. #8
    Registered User ihaveadent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SD_GR

    Tell me this: what are you using now, and what oil consumption are you seeing, if any? If you have the records since the car was new, what was used and how often?
    I currently use Castrol 10W-30. I am not seeing any drop in oil levels and I check the oil about once a week. I am the second owner, but I know that the oil was changed at 3k, 6k, 9k for free at the dealership he bought it from, not sure about when it was changed after that (he said he changed it regularly whatever that means), but I changed it when I got it at 31k. The car is now at 35.5k.

    BTW, thanks for you help.
    1967 Camaro
    2002 WRX SOLD

  10. #9
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    You're welcome, these boards are for just that purpose and would come to a standstill without people exchanging info.

    Here's the closest data I could find for something like your situation. Do note the lack of turbo in this case though!

    http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/...=000788#000000

    Great, but again, no turbo. I point this out because you don't want oiling issues with the turbo's feed/return supply. The temps are high there, and a conventional oil that's been around a bit will have a lowered flash point, and may coke/smudge on -- bad news.

    NC -- isn't that hot in summer, cold in winter? I'd not run 10W-30 GTX in the cold, I'd prefer 5W-30. Now, with 5W-30, you've got a wider viscosity spread, and you're using the oil in cold startup temps -- both conditions would make me want to change at relatively short intervals. When it heats up again I'd go back to 10W-30 and hope it's more stable under the higher temps.

    The bottom line here is that you are most probably safe at 3750 miles -- say 4000ish -- and you may be able to go longer, but neither I nor you nor anyone can tell you what's going on without oil analysis.

    Here's another consideration: if you are going to sell the car next year, all this is moot. If you are not, then consider how long you're going to keep it, how much time and effort you're willing to put into oil changes, and how much money you're willing to spend on oil changes over the car's useful lifetime, and go from there.

    Do see if you can dig up any maintenance receipts for the car though, they'd be handy to show the dealer in case of a warranty claim.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    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.

  11. #10
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    I never let my OIL in any car I;ve ever owned get used for more than 3500 miles... I set an appointment to get it changed every 3000 miles..
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  12. #11
    Registered User NJwrbT-WRX's Avatar
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    I change mine every 3-4K with Mobil 1. I have heard that Synthetic oil will last well past 5K miles, but the filter generally starts to break down between 3-4K. That is why I always change it between 3-4K.

    -joe
    '02 WRB Sedan

    Removed silencer w/ Akimoto Velocity Stack, Blitz Dual TT, Autospeed Prototype Up-pipe w/ Flex-joint, Autospeed Crank Pulley, Autospeed OEM Dead Pedal, Samco IC Hoses, Axxis Pads, Goodridge Lines, Neo Synth Brake Fluid, Speedbleeders, Eibach Pro-Kit, Perrin Endlinks and Rear Sway, 17" Sub Zeros w/ 225/45 ES100s, Crucial Racing Thermostat and 1.4bar Radiator Cap, Autometer Sport-Comp Oil Pressure, EGT, and Voltmeter on the A-Pillar, STI Hoodscoop.

  13. #12
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If you want to save on oil costs and recycling hassles, you might consider swapping the filter and topping up the existing oil with fresh oil to make up the lost volume at 2500 - though this would only save about $15 or so max and would be almost as much hassle as a full oil change (that's why I don't bother to do this, I just go 5K on a single filter, either Subaru or Purolator or Pep Boys brand, since they're identical).
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    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.

  14. #13
    Registered User ihaveadent's Avatar
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    i use fram oil filters. are they crappy?
    1967 Camaro
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    Registered User NJwrbT-WRX's Avatar
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    Yes, very. Purolater makes Subaru OEM, use them.

    -joe
    '02 WRB Sedan

    Removed silencer w/ Akimoto Velocity Stack, Blitz Dual TT, Autospeed Prototype Up-pipe w/ Flex-joint, Autospeed Crank Pulley, Autospeed OEM Dead Pedal, Samco IC Hoses, Axxis Pads, Goodridge Lines, Neo Synth Brake Fluid, Speedbleeders, Eibach Pro-Kit, Perrin Endlinks and Rear Sway, 17" Sub Zeros w/ 225/45 ES100s, Crucial Racing Thermostat and 1.4bar Radiator Cap, Autometer Sport-Comp Oil Pressure, EGT, and Voltmeter on the A-Pillar, STI Hoodscoop.

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    What about the issue of a filter working better when it get s a bit dirty and has the ability to trap smaller particles. Wouldnt this be defeated by changing oil too often?

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