Advice on Winter Turbo Oil ?

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Dec 5, 2003
Oshkosh, WI
I have been spending a lot of time reading on this board since I found it about a month ago (my friends think I am obsessive). I have a great understanding of oil anyway but I think I have a unique situation with my 87 Subaru Turbo.

I live in Wisconsin and I only drive the vehicle in winter. Also, I work at 130am so I see only the coldest temps. of the day. Therefore, I need an easy cranking oil, but I have to protect that turbo too. I have M1 5W30 (K&N filter) in there now but I am contemplating M1 0W40 when I change in a month.

Other thoughts:
Redline 5W30, Amsoil 0W30 (heavy enough when warm ?)
Mobil Delvac 1 5W-40 (OK for a gas engine ?)

Thanks all,
1987 Subaru GL-10 Turbo AWD w/LSD 5-speed
1992 Taurus SHO, heavily modded
Oshkosh, WI
nails, I used to have one of those, it was an 85 GL 4WD Turbo Four door sedan W/5sp dual range trans. They made some design changed in either 86 or 87 which included AWD and about a 5k price increase.

That was one fun car to drive, especially in the snow. Sometimes I wish I stil had it. I liked to start out in 4W low and shift through third, then shift to 2W high and on to fifth.
Normally, I'd recommend only using an ACEA A3-rated oil for a turbo. But IIRC, the more recent Subie turbo UOAs have shown excellent wear results with just about any grade of synthetic. You might try a search for "Subaru" in our UOA section & take a look at some of the turbo results to help you make a decision.

Here in Northern Colorado, I'm running M1 0W-40 in my '99 Saab turbo for 1yr/10k mile intervals. But this turbo beats up oil pretty bad, so this is the thinnest oil (a 40wt) I'm comfortable running in this engine. We typically get down around 5°F-10°F for winter startup temps, so I'd also be happy running Delvac 1 5W-40 year round if I could get it as easily as I get M1.

I think Amsoil's another good choice for superb protection in high-stress applications over extended drain intervals. I'm not a RedLine fan, so I can't make any suggestions there.
Let us know if we're helping or just creating more confusion for you.


[ December 24, 2003, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: Eiron ]
More confusion always !

The M1 0W40 is weighted right but some people, and some tests show a little more wear and some people say an overall thinner oil compared to other same weighted oils. Motul 8100 has a synthetic 0W40 too.

Redline doesn't seem to cater to my needs, unless I race this turbo in the heat. Amsoil is probably good but is only in a 0W30. I like the viscosity on the Delvac 5W40 but I wonder if I can put it in my gas-turbo car ? Syntec 5W40 or 5W50 might be nice too.

I know its picky but when its 130am, -20F, and my $1/qt. Dino oil is like sludge, then I know why I am asking questions. For ultimate cold cranking I should run run 2 batteries anyway.

Thanks again,
87 Subaru Turbo
I think it comes down to only 2 oils (at least off-the-shelf).

-German castrol in 0w-30, great cold pumpability yet, 12.2 cSt at 100 C ACEA A3 rated.
-Mobil1 0w-40. ACAE A3 rated, yet a PAO 0w-x.


Originally posted by nails24:
Motul 8100 has a synthetic 0W40 too.

I am running MOTUL E-Tech 0W-40 on my modified turbo Talon. This stuff is Group 5, ester-based oil. It has ACEA A3/B3/B4 rating and API SJ. Yes, it is still SJ rated. I still prefer SJ over SL because I think SL rating has less additives like ZDDP.
This is first time I've ever tried anything other than Mobil 1 10W-30. So far I like it very much. The engine and turbo seem to rev and spool faster (no scientific measurement). As you know, MOTUL is fairly expensive and hard to find. If you are interested in this stuff, drop me PM. I may help you find some.
It looks like M1 0W40 is a winner at $4.83/qt. around these parts. Motul may be great but its too much $$ for my winter vehicle. I'll spend the saved cash on some better gear oil next season.

Thanks all again !!
Chad L
Oshkosh, WI
The Delvac 1 5w40 would be perfect too as it is designed for use in extreme duty turbochargers and works great in gasoline engines. Even the bottle says its fine for gas and diesel.

[ December 27, 2003, 03:26 AM: Message edited by: Intelman34 ]
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