New Subaru Legacy 2.5 NA

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112
Location
WI, USA
I just picked up a new 09 Legacy 2.5 Special Edition with a 5-speed and I want to find out when I should do first oil change? Engine is non turbo 2.5 liter. I don't want to wait until recommended 7500 mile change...when should I get rid of the factory fill? I have a 5 quart jug of Pennzoil YB 5w-30 ready to go. Car was built on 12/08 so the oil is over 6 months old.
 
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1,723
Location
Virginia
There is no set rule to this and nobody has proven one way is better then the other, so there really is no proven right way to do this. I am currently on my second Subaru, both had the 2.5L NA engine, the first one I had for over 9 years without any lubricant related issues. What I do with a new car is I change out the oil between 1000 and 1500 miles. While I understand it's not needed, I like to get out anything that might be in there. I then perform the second oil change at the normal severe service interval (3750 miles according to Subaru), I then follow whatever OCI I plan on doing from there. I've been told that Subaru does not use a break in oil, so it can be changed out at any time without worries. However, someone on here one time said they contacted Subaru and were told that the FF oil is a 0w-20, and the UOA on Subaru FF oil has indicated that it is a 20 weight with a high moly count. I find this surprising b/c the manual never states that a 20 weight oil is acceptable to use. I know when I had the dealership perform my first oil change on my current Subaru (first oil change was free from the dealer), I noticed a sudden drop in MPG. I know people will say you wont notice a drop going from a 0w-20 to a 5w-30 (or whatever the dealership put in there) but I definitely had a drop of MPG for one reason or another and it coincided exactly with my oil change. Anyways, changing at the 1000-1500 mile mark worked for me, so that's what I'll continue to do. You'll have people come on here and say they just went with the regular recommended interval and never had a problem for the life of their car. And you'll have people who say they changed it out early and never had a problem for the life of their car. The modern engine manufacturing process is pretty clean, and most modern engines can take a surprising beating, do whichever one makes you feel more comfortable and enjoy your new car. Congrats on your new car, Subaru makes some great cars that are very reliable, so you'll be able to enjoy it for a long time to come
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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UT
I changed mine out at 1200 miles (07 Outback 2.5NA) Here is the UOA from the factory fill, Halvoline DS and PP. All 5w-30. Remember the oil was in the engine for a lot longer than the build date of the vehicle... I'd change it out and the Pennzoil YB will protect the engine as well as any other oil! Good luck on the poorly designed dipstick! Also check out my threads on the fluid both the front rear diffs.. Take care, bill
 
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649
Location
Maryland
I have an 09 Outback with the 2.5 n/a. I changed mine at 500 miles I believe. I went straight to Pennzoil Platinum 5w-40 European Synthetic. No problems and she runs great. I use this oil for my peace of mind. I drive a minimum of 100+ miles a day. 99% highway. I have done this with all my cars. I had a 1987 SAAB 9000 Turbo that gave up the ghost at 285,000+ miles. Original turbo and she ran great... until the head gasket blew while my wife was driving. Something about those aluminum engine parts and heat that just doesn't seem to mix well.
 
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15,375
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N.H, U.S.A.
I changed mine at 1200mi. The high moly is due to the moly coated piston skirts wearing in. The engine has roller cam followers with NO tappets so there is no cam break in. I used a mixture of 1qt 10w40 and 3+qts 5w30 MobilClean5000 thru two 3k+ break in OCIs. Then I went to 10w-30 RotellaT CJ4/SM. These engines like a little viscosity since they are prone to piston slap and fuel dilution due to short slipper skirt pistons, and they dont loose fuel milage. I currently average 30.6MPG at 9000 mi on the ODO with a 70/30 mix of high speed highway and urban stop and go on a 5spd manual Forester brick box. Use the factory blue honeywell service replacement filter #...12A, these engines use a high volume oil pump and prone to filter leakage with wix and purolator and the subaru filter has a special highj PSID rated bypass @23psid. ABSOLUTELY No need for synthetic in this app unless you are going to run extended drain intervals. This motor is easy on oil - no timing chain, no tappets, moly skirted pistons. Have fun!
 
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legandrex

Thread starter
Messages
112
Location
WI, USA
Thanks for the good info...I will probably change out at 1500 miles...anybody know if Motorcraft makes a filter for this application? Wife has a 06 Tribeca and I put Pennzoil Platinum and a Motorcraft filter in last change. Regarding the factory blue honeywell...is that the oem standard filter or an upgraded one? I had been using OEM filters on previous Subaru's.
 
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3,105
Location
Idaho
 Originally Posted By: legandrex
........... Regarding the factory blue honeywell...is that the oem standard filter or an upgraded one?..........
It is the OEM downgraded one. ;\)
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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12,849
Location
UT
In the 26k miles my Subaru has only seen one OEM and that was the factory fill one. I've used Purolators (both the white can and Pureone) WIX and Supertech with no problems at all. The UOAs came back good. No leaks, noise or lights going on.... Bill
 
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610
Location
Afghanistan
notice the factory fill cSt was 8.56 this verifies that you started with a 0w20 my Subaru was purchased at 7k miles as a rental i assume it was treated as severe service, with a change at 3750 at 25,000 miles now it is running perfectly i have been using semi synthetic, mixed at home of 50%conv50%synth 5w30:5w30 in the winter i tried 50% conv 5w20 50% synth 5w30, and that worked extremely well too. however when i changed to straight semi synth 5w30 in the spring engine seemed slightly quieter, but mileage dropped slightly compared to the 5w25. for summer useage or if you live in warm climates, i would use 5w30con:5w30synth or just a straight 5w30 synth if you plan on going 7500 mile intervals. For longer intervals I would mix a quart of synth 10w30 in, to help keep it in grade. someone did a UOA 12000 miles with ST synth 5w30 in a Forester with a 2.5NA and it was excellent.
 
Messages
15,375
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
 Originally Posted By: legandrex
Thanks for the good info...I will probably change out at 1500 miles...anybody know if Motorcraft makes a filter for this application? Wife has a 06 Tribeca and I put Pennzoil Platinum and a Motorcraft filter in last change. Regarding the factory blue honeywell...is that the oem standard filter or an upgraded one? I had been using OEM filters on previous Subaru's.
The filters in the recent past were TokyoRoki, fabrique au japon. Most people did not welcome the honeywell blue since its a "fram", though a much better build quality than the off the shelf orange can. You need the 23psid bypass rating and most all aftermarket DONT meet it. Purolator makes Motocraft so you can take your chances there. May on the subari board s call them Puroleakers. They are a great filter (thin can though) but they dont alway stand up to the subaru's high volume pump without weeping. The OEM service replacement was a purolator white can, rumor: Subaru dumped them due to leakage issues. They actually got a better oem contract from Honeywell.
 
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Messages
15,056
Location
Canada
 Originally Posted By: Captain_Klink
notice the factory fill cSt was 8.56 this verifies that you started with a 0w20 my Subaru was purchased at 7k miles as a rental i assume it was treated as severe service, with a change at 3750 at 25,000 miles now it is running perfectly i have been using semi synthetic, mixed at home of 50%conv50%synth 5w30:5w30 in the winter i tried 50% conv 5w20 50% synth 5w30, and that worked extremely well too. however when i changed to straight semi synth 5w30 in the spring engine seemed slightly quieter, but mileage dropped slightly compared to the 5w25. for summer useage or if you live in warm climates, i would use 5w30con:5w30synth or just a straight 5w30 synth if you plan on going 7500 mile intervals. For longer intervals I would mix a quart of synth 10w30 in, to help keep it in grade. someone did a UOA 12000 miles with ST synth 5w30 in a Forester with a 2.5NA and it was excellent.
Being 8.56 cst does NOT verify there was OW-20 oil in this engine. Subaru doesn't call for 20-weights in these engines; it's just the 5W-30 that was in it shearing down! Stop spreading mis-information!!!
 
Messages
610
Location
Afghanistan
It's not me spreading "misinformation" you're not reading the thread: read sicko: up above: I've been told that Subaru does not use a break in oil, so it can be changed out at any time without worries. However, someone on here one time said they contacted Subaru and were told that the FF oil is a 0w-20, and the UOA on Subaru FF oil has indicated that it is a 20 weight with a high moly count. I find this surprising b/c the manual never states that a 20 weight oil is acceptable to use. You didn't read the UOA above: 1200 miles and the oil is at 8.56 - no 5w30 can shear down that fast - just cannot drop 1.5 in 1200 miles, in a factory fill oil. So I think on balance, yes, it does verify.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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UT
I think the 5w-30 being in the engine almost a year (though I did buy the car with only 5 miles on it before I test drove it) plus what ever assembly lube could account for a very low to high 20wt? While it seems to the H4 seems to not to have any problems with high 30wt to 40wts I'm going to stick with a 5w-30 as it does seem to get pretty fair MPG year around with that weight. I took a sample last oil change a few months ago and should get it done just to see how the engine is doing at 24k. Bill
 
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Location
Canada
 Originally Posted By: Captain_Klink
It's not me spreading "misinformation" you're not reading the thread: read sicko: up above: I've been told that Subaru does not use a break in oil, so it can be changed out at any time without worries. However, someone on here one time said they contacted Subaru and were told that the FF oil is a 0w-20, and the UOA on Subaru FF oil has indicated that it is a 20 weight with a high moly count. I find this surprising b/c the manual never states that a 20 weight oil is acceptable to use. You didn't read the UOA above: 1200 miles and the oil is at 8.56 - no 5w30 can shear down that fast - just cannot drop 1.5 in 1200 miles, in a factory fill oil. So I think on balance, yes, it does verify.
Okay, you're right, I didn't read as closely as I should have. But, I'm sure a bit more ivestigation would find that Subaru does NOT use a synthetic 0W-20 in their engines from the factory, AND yes, it is completely possible to shear a 5W-30 down to 20-weight range in 1200 miles. Happens a lot - there are UOA's that show this.
 
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1,385
Location
Houston, TX
I hate to keep saying this, but regardless of the OEM Subaru filter construction and who makes it, the factory filter has a 23psi bypass...most other filters that "fit" (Purolator, Fram, Bosch, etc.) are 11psi-13psi bypass. New car + warranty = I would do everything in my power to ensure that I fulfill all warranty requirements. But that's coming from a guy who buys nothing but cheap used cars; if I were to plop the cash down for a brand new car, you bet I'm following their recommendations. Blue OEM filter by Honeywell = okay by me.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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Location
UT
But you have to agree that if there was such a problem with aftermarket filters there would be problems showing up in major numbers. Plus the aftermarket people would NOT sell their filters with the wording "meets or exceeds OEM specs" and *if* something happened have to warranty it. (esp in today's wonderful business environment) I feel fine using the filters I use. More Subaru motors out there have them on then OEM filters. Take care, Bill
 
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1,385
Location
Houston, TX
I agree Bill, we'd be seeing more problems otherwise :) Other than the '08-'09 WRX motors blowing up (assembly and crank machine flaw) and head gasket issues and turbo oil line screen blockage, I don't see many oil-related failures, and there are a LOT of '90-current Subaru's on the road today! I'd just rather be safe than sorry, especially since Subaru knows more about their oil system than I do. LOL
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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12,849
Location
UT
Totally understand but hopefully I'm right! Other than my coolant leak (which was not a problem though I smell coolant after the engine has been run every time) The cheap think paint (which is still better than the #$!^ Toyota puts on my Corolla) and plastic that scratches WAY too easy, the car is really a nice vehicle. I'm happy with it. Wish the new Subarus had the spin on ATF filter... Take care, Bill
 
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