Subaru dealer told me this re: synthetic oil
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 61

This is a discussion on Subaru dealer told me this re: synthetic oil within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've been using synthetic oil for my past few oil changes, and I usually buy my own jug of Mobil ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Rogue Squadron
    Posts
    24

    Subaru dealer told me this re: synthetic oil

    I've been using synthetic oil for my past few oil changes, and I usually buy my own jug of Mobil 1 before going and getting the oil change at Wilkie Subaru here in Philadelphia.

    This time, I was told by the customer representative in the service department that the department is holding the position that the WRX should not use synthetic oil. They said that they've been having reports of engine damage in WRX's using synthetic, and it had something to do with the engine seals being damaged (don't know much about this sort of thing. I mean, I don't even change my own oil). They said that they're having low milage cars with engine damage. I told them to use the synthetic I brought and that I'd look more into other sources regarding this matter for my next change.

    Do you guys know anything about this? I don't see why this would be a problem, but then, I really don't know about engine maintenance, so I wanted to ask the experts (read: not the dealership).

    Any information would be appreciated

  2. Remove Advertisements
    ClubWRX.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Registered User Darrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Indy, IN
    Posts
    715
    As long as the oil you are using is SAE and API certified, I don't see how the dealership can possibly say that the oil is the problem. And how can they generalize that it's "synthetic oil" causing the problem? Maybe it was one particular weight of one particular brand. The rep's vague explanation of the situation leaves a lot unanswered also. They've been having "reports" of engine damage? Well, I'd like to know how many different vehicles? What climates? What mileages? What types of driving/drivers?

    Synthetic is good at finding small leaks in gaskets. This is especially true in higher-mileage engines and older engines that have naturally worn-in gaskets. My 91 Mazda Protege's engine leaks more now that I have been using synthetic than it did before on dino oil.

    I'm skeptical of the dealership's claims until I see some more evidence and proof that synthetic oil is really the culprit.
    Mine: '05 PSM WRX 5MT Sport Wagon, Cobb AP
    Wife's: '05 SRR 2.5RS 5MT Sport Wagon

    The Knack. It's a rare condition characterized by an extreme intuition about all things mechanical and electrical ... and utter social ineptitude.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Brick NJ
    Posts
    182
    I would call Mobil and provide them with the name of the dealership that is suggesting that sythetic is an inferior product. I'm sure they will have a few engineers call and explain it to them. There are many reasons engines fail, but using sythetic oil that meets the proper certifications and weight requirements is not one of them. I have one thing to say.

    Rich

    P.S

    We recommend the use of Mobil 1 sythetic oil. Why? Because it works.
    Quote Originally Posted by MidKnight
    I'm getting tired of reapeating myself: There is no better place in the NJ area to get work done on your Soobie than at PT. I actually stopped by today and they suckered me in to buying something! (I always ending up buying something whenever I'm there! More my impulse than anything else... Just spark plugs this time!)

  5. #4
    Registered User wonderspark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    1,455
    The obvious reply is:
    "I've been getting reports that dealerships are full of crap."

  6. #5
    Registered User stevebennett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    485
    Hate to be the devil's advocate. I have never heard anything specific about wrxs, but everyone I have heard Skip Barber instructors say it and Olson Engineering individuals (race car builders), and many others, mention that use of synthetics on cars that have not used synthetic as soon as the engine was built will have problems. It will be better for you to use the oil that was in your car from the factory than to use synthetics. These are things I've heard around the race track, Ferrari dealership discussions (they don't talk about ferraris much actually) and many other sources. I have yet to hear something solid and GOOD about synthetics on street cars from people I know and trust.
    If you don't trust the service writer, you can try asking a mechanic directly, even at the dealership. Sometimes when the I talk to the service writers at my dealership and they don't understand me i talk to the mechanics themselves.

  7. #6
    Registered User wonderspark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    1,455
    Hmm. Maybe so, but I've used Mobil 1 since the 3000 mile mark on my car, and I'm up to almost 38,000 miles so far. No leaks, engine doesn't burn oil, engine shows no signs of this terrible damage we speak of. I find it much more likely that people will make excuses for what they don't know, or repeat what someone else told them, rather than actually find the answers themselves. If these driving instructors, race engine builders and other professionals in the industry made these discoveries themselves by trial and error, scientifically eliminating other factors for engine failure, it would have been big news by now, especially amongst all these car forums.

    Playing the devil's advocate right back, I call shenanigans on what you heard. I say it's heresay and illogical.

  8. #7
    Registered User Darrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Indy, IN
    Posts
    715
    Quote Originally Posted by wonderspark
    The obvious reply is:
    "I've been getting reports that dealerships are full of crap."
    Mine: '05 PSM WRX 5MT Sport Wagon, Cobb AP
    Wife's: '05 SRR 2.5RS 5MT Sport Wagon

    The Knack. It's a rare condition characterized by an extreme intuition about all things mechanical and electrical ... and utter social ineptitude.

  9. #8
    Registered User bdoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    1,893
    Tell them that SOA disagrees with them.


    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.
    THE INTERNET: Where men are men, women are men, and the children are FBI agents.

  10. #9
    Registered User Trunkmonkey56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    233
    My subie dealer sells mobil synthetic, and more expensive red line synthetic. They recomend synthetic for hard drivers after the breakin period. They also sell redline synthetic for the tranny and diff. I fun all three redline products they sell.

  11. #10
    Registered User Darrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Indy, IN
    Posts
    715
    Subaru does not guarantee the performance of any brand of any engine oil.
    That's a disclaimer if I ever saw one!
    Mine: '05 PSM WRX 5MT Sport Wagon, Cobb AP
    Wife's: '05 SRR 2.5RS 5MT Sport Wagon

    The Knack. It's a rare condition characterized by an extreme intuition about all things mechanical and electrical ... and utter social ineptitude.

  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Rogue Squadron
    Posts
    24
    Thanks, everyone, for the input. I think I'm fairly safe using the Mobil 1 (I'm using 5w-30). Maybe I should email SOA just to see if their position has changed any. If it hasn't, I'm printing the response and taking it to this dealership. There are a number of n00bs like myself out there, and I really think that a "certified" dealership should be reliable in giving evidence-based information. Did I just say evidence-based? Goddam school. It's corrupting my brain. I'm dropping out.

  13. #12
    Registered User Darrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Indy, IN
    Posts
    715
    Don't forget that dealerships are trying to make money and more than half the time, the employees know very little about the cars they are selling, let alone cars in general.
    Mine: '05 PSM WRX 5MT Sport Wagon, Cobb AP
    Wife's: '05 SRR 2.5RS 5MT Sport Wagon

    The Knack. It's a rare condition characterized by an extreme intuition about all things mechanical and electrical ... and utter social ineptitude.

  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    100
    Most "service writers" at dealerships have their heads up their ass. Mobil 1 has been the industry standard for synthetic oil. Like the previous post Subaru does not restrict its use but covers their ass with the appropriate disclaimers. Rest assured, if you plan on running your car hard-use synthetic. The amount of spread on this subject is amazing. FYI, Redline oil does have a VERY different additive package than Mobil 1, and on the bottle they recommend 7-8K before use in a street car because of the level of friction modifiers they use. Mobil 1 has all the same certification markings as standard oil and that is what is important. Break it in like you are going to run it. Do you really think some magical happens at exactly 1000 miles and all of a sudden you can shift every gear at redline? Corvette,Mer.Benz,Porsche, Diamler Chrysler, etc all use synthetic from the start.
    Remember: Freedom isn't free.
    Old car: 1999 Porsche 996 C2 coupe
    New Car: 2005 WRX Sti
    Verdict: NO comparison-Sti rules
    Previous race car: Eagle chassis sprint car,410cu in Donovan aluminum smallblock dynoed at 806 hp. car weight. 1375 with the driver. Turn right to go left!!! Sprint car racing-drifting for real!

  15. #14
    Registered User wrxinfx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    house
    Posts
    1,303
    Quote Originally Posted by wonderspark
    The obvious reply is:
    "I've been getting reports that dealerships are full of crap."
    hahaha ...

    But honestly... doesn't like the Corvette come with mobil 1 synthetic from the factory..??

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but I know i heard of one manufacturer using it from the factory.

  16. #15
    Registered User Silver04Sti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    509
    Quote Originally Posted by bdoug
    Tell them that SOA disagrees with them.


    Orig. posted by EIonJess.

    this exact thing happened to me back in '03 with my wrx, I too wrote to SOA and got a very similar letter to the one you posted. As long as your oil conforms to the API specificiations you are good.
    Volvo S60 R (as of July 05)

    Formerly ka: BlackWrx
    SOLD 7/05----04 Silver STI
    SOLD: 02 black sedan, Lots of mods

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •