HELP!! Engine oil, Tranny, Differential???
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This is a discussion on HELP!! Engine oil, Tranny, Differential??? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; OK, I see lots of different threads and ideas about fluids for my '03 wrx so I'm a little bit ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Harpo's Avatar
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    HELP!! Engine oil, Tranny, Differential???

    OK, I see lots of different threads and ideas about fluids for my '03 wrx so I'm a little bit confused.

    I live in CA. Never gets below 35 degrees and is usually (in winter time) in the 40-50 range. I don't drive the car super hard (that's what the gsxr 1000/750's are for) but I want it to last as long as possible with as few problems as possible. The car has 17,000 miles on it and I just got it so no telling what the previous owner did or didn't do. (Good habbits start now)
    Oh! And it's a manual 5 speed.

    What Engine Oil/weight should I use??? (Mobile 1 Synthetic 5w-30???)
    What Transmission Gear Oil??
    What Differential Gear Oil??

    And how often to change all???

    Is there any special procedure to change from regular oil to synthetic for the first time?
    Last edited by Harpo; 02-21-2004 at 01:13 PM.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I use Mobil1. I am south of you, and I've settled on M1 10W-30 year-round, with maybe a touch of 15W-50 in there during the summer when I top up to thicken it up a little. This isn't necessary by any stretch of the imagination though.

    You need an API SL rated oil within the viscosity range specified in the manual to maintain warranty coverage, and you need to change the oil and filter, and perform all other specified maintenance at the correct intervals as well. In your area Mobil1 is probably the only widely available, over-the-counter 5W/10W-30 GroupIV polyalphaolefin-based API SL motor oil, so the choice is largely made for you unless you want to use a conventional, a GroupIII "synthetic" (only in name, and only for the US court system) or a non-API oil (in which case I'd not expect any warranty on oil-related failure).

    I've settled on 5,000 mile drain intervals. Max allowed drain interval is 7500 miles for normal use, minimum drain interval is 3750 miles for severe use (check manual for specifics). When switching over to Mobil1 from the dealer-supplied conventional oil, I didn't extend the drain interval immediately since the first fill of Mobil1 would be contaminated, however slightly, with remnants of the previous oil. I went to 3750, then 4500ish, then 5000 miles. I also monitored the consumption patterns to get an idea of what to expect.

    The Fram-type 3593a filters (sold under a variety of names including Penske etc.) don't impress me much; looking at them and the works filter makes it easy to see differences in the drain-back valve (granted, the filter is upside-down on the bottom of the motor, so the effect of the valve is dubious, but I feel this shows a trend in quality). I use either a works filter (re-badged Purolator) or a Purolator, whichever is closer and cheaper to get. I also use new crush washers from the dealer. Keep in mind, if you use a non-Subaru filter, even if it's the identical Purolator, and the filter fails causing a disaster, it's not Subaru's problem -- they've made this clear in other instances.

    I keep all receipts and (no laughing please) if the oil I buy isn't packed individually (it's in a gallon jug or a 6-pack carton) I keep the pachaging with the SKU showing so that I can prove I got the correct quantity, since the receipt will say "1X Mobil1" etc. I also keep all used oil filters after I drain them; I just toss them into the new filter's carton. I label the filters with a marker with the date of installation, the date of removal, and the mileage at each point. Members with enhanced emotional stability don't go quite to that length.

    You're not due for gearbox and rear diff fluids yet; neither am I. I plan to use conventional fluid in the gearbox, and perhaps a synthetic in the rear diff. Tastes vary as you've seen on these boards, and everyone has their own answer. Keep in mind though that the works fluid from Subaru... works (pardon the pun).
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    Registered User Harpo's Avatar
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    Wow!!! I wouldn't have expected to get that much of a response in the whole thread combined., ....Thanx!

    Guess I'll start looking around and see what kind of oil/filters I can come up with.

    Thanx again,
    Joe

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Here's a link to actual results people have gotten with a variety of oils. The trend seems to be that a properly maintained EJ2x motor fitted with a good oil filter and the correct air filter (no cones and such) in a functional factory-stock air box is very easy on its oil. If not, either it's being driven very hard or there are air intake or motor issues:

    http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi
    Click the "search" link on the top left; I just searched with "WRX" first so you might want to search for "Subaru" or "Impreza" also to get more hits after sorting through all the "WRX" posts, but it's very informative as is anyway.

    Also, I assume you've seen the oil change sticky thread on this forum -- that's another great discussion.

    Happy shopping.
    Last edited by SD_GR; 02-22-2004 at 12:48 PM.
    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.

  6. #5
    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SD_GR
    The Fram-type 3593a filters (sold under a variety of names including Penske etc.) don't impress me much; looking at them and the works filter makes it easy to see differences in the drain-back valve (granted, the filter is upside-down on the bottom of the motor, so the effect of the valve is dubious, but I feel this shows a trend in quality). I use either a works filter (re-badged Purolator) or a Purolator, whichever is closer and cheaper to get. I also use new crush washers from the dealer. Keep in mind, if you use a non-Subaru filter, even if it's the identical Purolator, and the filter fails causing a disaster, it's not Subaru's problem -- they've made this clear in other instances.
    This is taking this a tad off-topic, but the WRX Purolator PureONE filter has no anti-drainback valve. Like you said, it's not needed w/ the filter upside-down.

    C
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  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    That's interesting. I've not used a PureONE, since I've decided to go with flow over ultimate filtration for my particular application (this is a road car driven mostly on highways at moderate speeds with occasional high-speed or high-rev bursts). I wonder if Purolator did this because they also felt it was pointless to have a valve in there -- there must be applications for the same filter where the filter isn't upside-down, and in that case I wonder if they still went valve-less because of the increased filtration area (soaking)? Interesting!
    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.

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