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Manchester Subaru

764 Second St
Manchester, NH 03102

  • Sales: (866) 992-7097
  • Service: (866) 992-7097
  • Parts: (866) 992-7097

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Subaru Synthetic Oil - Which Cars, How Often, Exceptions


Facts About Subaru Synthetic Oil and an important UPDATE about 2015 models

It used to be that Synthetic Oil was used primarily in the aviation and aerospace industry. Considering the many benefits of synthetic oil, it's no wonder the automotive industry caught on. Most new Subarus now come with and require Subaru Synthetic Oil for optimum performance and protection.

On this page you can:
  • Learn which Subaru models currently require Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil and which do not
  • Learn the recommended oil change frequency
  • Understand the benefits of Subaru Synthetic Oil
  • View a brochure on Subaru Synthetic Oil
  • Read our IMPORTANT NOTES
  • Ask our experts

MAJOR UPDATE: Expect significant changes to the oil change schedule starting with the 2015 models. This page will be updated once the information has been released by Subaru; however, it looks as though they are reducing the mileage interval from 7,500 to 6,000 miles.

Manchester Subaru

764 Second St
Manchester, NH 03102

  • Sales: (866) 992-7097
  • Service: (866) 992-7097
  • Parts: (866) 992-7097

Recommended Oil by Model - Straight Answers From the Owners' Manuals

Subaru Model

What the Owner's Manual Says*

Subaru Forester
2011 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
2.5i
0W-20 synthetic oil is the required oil for optimum engine performance and protection. Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. If 0W-20 synthetic oil is not available, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed but should be changed to 0W-20 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

2.5 XT (2011-2013)
2.0 XT (2014)

5W-30 synthetic oil is required for optimum engine performance and protection. Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. If 5W-30 synthetic oil is not available, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed but should be changed to 5W-30 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

Subaru Outback/Legacy
2013 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
2.5i
0W-20 synthetic oil is the required oil for optimum engine performance and protection. Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. If 0W-20 synthetic oil is not available, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed but should be changed to 0W-20 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

3.6R

Your vehicle is designed to use 5W-30 conventional motor oil, however 5W-30 synthetic may be used for optimum engine performance. If you do choose to use synthetic oil, we recommend that you continue using synthetic for the life of your vehicle.

Subaru Impreza
2012 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
ALL
0W-20 synthetic oil is the required oil for optimum engine performance and protection. Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. If 0W-20 synthetic oil is not available, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed but should be changed to 0W-20 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

Subaru XV Crosstrek
2013 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
ALL Models

0W-20 synthetic oil is the required oil for optimum engine performance and protection. Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. If 0W-20 synthetic oil is not available, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed but should be changed to 0W-20 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

Subaru WRX-STI
2012 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
ALL Models
5W-30 synthetic oil is the required oil for optimum engine performance and protection. Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. 10W-30, 10W-40, 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed but should be changed to 5W-30 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

Subaru BRZ
2013 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
ALL Models

SAE 0W-20 is the best choice for good fuel economy and good starting in cold weather.
NOTE: We are not sure what the manual means. BRZs come with 0W-20 Synthetic Oil and should follow the same recommendations as the Impreza or XV Crosstrek.

Subaru Tribeca
2013 and Newer
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --

ALL Models

Your vehicle is designed to use 5W-30 conventional motor oil, however 5W-30 synthetic may be used for optimum engine performance. If you do choose to use synthetic oil, we recommend that you continue using synthetic for the life of your vehicle.

HELPFUL RULE OF THUMB: If your new Subaru has 6 cylinders, it uses 5W-30 conventional oil. If it's a turbo, it uses 5W-30 synthetic oil.
All other new Subarus use 0W-20 synthetic oil.

* For informational purposed only. Subject to change. Always consult your Owner's Manual or your Subaru Dealership before making changes.

What is the recommended Subaru Synthetic Oil Change Frequency*?

Model Year
ModelOil
Required
1st oil
    change**
Subsequent oil changes
2012
and newer
Impreza 2.00W-20
synthetic
7,5007,500
2011
and newer
Forester
non-turbo
0W-20
synthetic
7,5007,500
2013
and newer
Outback + Legacy 4 cyl0W-20
synthetic
7,5007,500
2013
and newer
Crosstrek0W-20
synthetic
7,5007,500
2011
and newer
All turbo
vehicles***
5W-30 synthetic
7,5007,500
2013
and newer
 BRZ 0W-20
synthetic

 7,500 7,500

** IMPORTANT NOTES:

These are the MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS and are subject to change. Always consult your Subaru Warranty and Maintenance Booklet or Subaru Service Center for recommended service intervals for your area. It may be necessary to change your oil more frequently depending on driving conditions, weather, atmospheric conditions, vehicle usage and individual driving habits.

When vehicle is used under severe driving conditions, the engine oil and filter should be changed every 3,750 miles or 3 3/4 months, whichever comes first. Examples of severe driving conditions that affect oil change frequency include:
  • Repeated short distance driving
  • Driving in extremely cold weather
  • Driving on rough and/or muddy roads
  • Repeated trailer towing
*** Because turbos run hotter, Manchester Subaru recommends turbo owners change their oil every 3,750 miles.

Always consult your Subaru Owner's Manual for proper oil recommendation and Warranty and Maintenance Booklet for service intervals for YOUR area and driving conditions

Common Questions and Answers About Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil

What's the difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil?

Conventional motor oil is a lubricant that is derived directly from crude oil. Over time, petroleum-based oils break down from heat and pressure inside the engine. Synthetic oil begins as conventional oil but is further refined and modified to improve its protective and lubricating properties providing better stability, reduced breakdown and fewer deposits.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil?

  • Better low and high temperature viscosity performance
  • Decreased evaporative loss
  • Resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown, and oil sludge problems
  • Extended drain intervals with the environmental benefit of less oil waste.
  • Improved fuel economy in certain engine configurations.
  • Better lubrication during extreme cold weather starts (like here in New England)
  • Longer engine life
  • Superior protection against "ash" and other deposit formation in engine hot spots (in particular in turbochargers and superchargers) for less oil burnoff and reduced chances of damaging oil passageway clogging.
  • Increased horsepower and torque due to less initial drag on engine
The ONLY disadvantage of using Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil is the added expense, however that is addressed below.

Does Subaru Synthetic Oil cost more?

YES and NO. Because of the refinement process, synthetic oil does cost more than conventional oil, but the benefits are certainly worth it. In addition, the oil change frequency is generally double the mileage of conventional oil. As more auto manufactures use synthetic oil, the price is coming down. Subaru dealers can now purchase Subaru Synthetic Oil in bulk quality vs. quart or gallon containers - further reducing cost. Manchester Subaru stocks the smaller containers for people wishing to change or top off their own oil.

Does it make my engine last longer?

Yes, because synthetic oil is so slippery, it makes for less engine wear and thus greater engine longevity.

Does Subaru Synthetic Oil require a separate (or special) oil filter?

No. Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil works with the same Subaru filters used with conventional motor oils.

What happens if I mix conventional oil with Synthetic Oil?

In cases where you can not find the appropriate synthetic oil for your Subaru, you may combine the existing synthetic oil with conventional oil of the same viscosity.  However, the performance and benefits of Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil will be degraded if mixed with regular oil. Subaru recommends you change back to all synthetic oil on your next oil change.


 


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