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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read a lot recently about synthetic oil and its ability to last much longer than conventional oil. I've also read that the age old suggestion of "3,000 miles or three months" doesn't apply to synthetic oil. I had a 2005 legacy that I personally changed the oil in every 5,000 miles using conventional oil. But now with the new WRX Im not used to synthetics. How often do you all get your oil changed? I have a 2015 CVT and drive mostly highway. Any suggestions or tips on how often to change the oil and filter and which oil and filter are best would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I try to change my oil every 3,000-5,000 miles. Owner's manual recommends 6,000 mile intervals, but some folks here and the folks at the Subaru dealership where I bought the WRX recommended every 3,000 miles due to the turbo and some folks saying the use of the turbo may qualify it for "harder" driving conditions.

I figure $40 every so often (oil and the filter) is worth the peace of mind for doing it slightly more often than the manual recommends . . . as mentioned sometimes it's more than the 3,000 mile figure, but never more than 5,000 and below the manual's mention of 6,000 so I'm still strictly adhering to the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations (just in case I ever need any warranty work done I figure it's good to be able to show that I followed the recommendations.)

I always buy OEM Subaru oil filters . . . generally I go with Penzoil Synthetic . . . sometimes Mobil 1 (although I know some folks are not huge fans of Mobil 1).

Changing the oil is a breeze. Drive WRX on to ramps. Place pan under oil pan. Unbolt oil pan plug. Drain. While this is happening open the hood and screw off oil filter. Screw new oil filter back on. Replace bolt and new crush washer. Refill with oil. Back off ramps. Recheck oil level and add if necessary. Why some folks do oil changes at the dealerships astonishes me since I am nowhere near mechanically inclined and Subaru has got to have one of the best set ups to change oil for the DIYer . . . it's a 10-15 minute job if you're working at a normal pace . . . no skid guards to move . . . no weird contortions of the body to access the filter or drain plug.
 

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I know people who change conventional oil every 5K and have a couple cars with 300k and 400k on them. I change synthetic oil every 10k in my buicks and had 252k on one of them (other one at 130k and counting.) Turbo does add wear to any oil so factory recommendations is good to go by.
 

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I would use only synthetic oil in a turbo charged car.. and I would change it at least every 3000 miles. You might be able to stretch that to 5000 miles, but I would compare UOAs to make sure you're not causing any additional wear by stretching the interval.
 

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Ive used mobil 1 exclusively on basically all of my cars for the last 10 years and do 4 to 6K oil changes (usually the latter). This includes on a Honda S2000 with 65K miles that I have had since new and doesnt burn a drop. I think the 3K and lower oil change is silly but so many people will disagree with me. I have had good luck with mobil 1 and use it in the wrx. IMO there are tons of people on this forum and others who are insane with their overly frequent oil change internvals.
 

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Higher performance cars require lower mile oil change intervals. I would stick strictly to the instructions provided in the owners manual. There is a difference between Mobile 1, Lucas, Castrol, Penzoil, Valvoline and oils like AmsOil, Redline, and Motul. The last three are "true" full synthetic oils of which you can probably extend the oil change intervals a bit. Otherwise, if you are using the cheaper synthetic oils such as the first 5 listed then you should probably stick to changes every 3-5k miles.
 

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Disappointing one-step-forward, two-steps-back from Subaru yet again...

Direct injection is a step forward for their engines, that are getting long in the tooth.

Deposit problems associated with direct injection are two steps back, because they may dictate more frequent oil change intervals.

I've been changing the oil at 5000+ intervals in my Subaru since 2002. Recently I'm going 7500 or longer, depending on when I remember and whether I feel like it etc. This should be considered a short, frequent oil change interval.

Instead of extending the specified interval beyond 10,000 miles, as Subaru should have done, they remain "1960s" in their thinking and the faults in their implementation of DI may actually now dictate more frequent intervals.
 

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Ive used mobil 1 exclusively on basically all of my cars for the last 10 years and do 4 to 6K oil changes (usually the latter). This includes on a Honda S2000 with 65K miles that I have had since new and doesnt burn a drop. I think the 3K and lower oil change is silly but so many people will disagree with me. I have had good luck with mobil 1 and use it in the wrx. IMO there are tons of people on this forum and others who are insane with their overly frequent oil change internvals.

I wouldn't use Mobil 1 5w-30 synthetic in a turbocharged vehicle.. at the very least, you should send in a sample for UOA. Back around 8-10 years ago we were seeing A LOT of rod bearing failures in both WRX and STI, with the main thing in common being the use of Mobil 1 5w-30. I looked on bobistheoilguy forums for UOAs, and found several analysis of Mobil 1 5w-30 showing that it had sheared to less than a 10 weight by 1500 miles. Once the oil is that thin it doesn't do a very good job of protecting engine components. I had noticed in my own WRX that by 3000 miles it poured out like hot coffee.. no viscosity left at all.
 

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How about this? A table of oil change intervals based on MPG you are getting?
Assumption would be that the poorer fuel mileage you are getting, the harder you are driving the car.

For the FA2.0 engine:

Your average mpg ---------- change your synth oil every
15-20 -------------------------- 3000
20-25 -------------------------- 4000
25-30 -------------------------- 5000
30-35 -------------------------- 6000 (factory?)
 

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moarboost! said:
I will certainly consider this. I have never done a UOA on either of my vehicles and have always wanted to. Perhaps I shall do this on my next oil change.
UOAs are not a one-and-done thing.

You do your initial one, and then follow their advice for the next interval. You do another one at that time, and follow their advice on that interval. You repeat this process until you've got everything dialed in and they're happy with the interval, and then you do a check-up one every 3-5 to make sure everything is still in line.
 
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