Oil recommendation for 2014 2.5l Suburu Forester

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Hi everyone, We have recently purchased a Forester, never have we owned a boxer engine before so this is a bit new to us. I have for many years run synthetics in our cars without issue. The Suburu specfies 0w20, which I think is to thin, probably to meet fuel economy targets. I'm in Australia and I am thinking of going to a 5w30 or 0w40 when next a service is due, I use either a K&N filter or Mobil One as well. What are your recomendations? I was thinking of a Shell Ultra Helix as a starting point, Thanks in advance Tony
 
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Welcome! First off, do NOT use a 0W-20. Subaru's of that generation DRINK oil, and a thin oil makes the problem worse. Run at least a 5W-30, a 0W-40 would likely be fine as well. Keep an eye on oil consumption the first few thousand miles, it is not unusual to see those engines use a quart every 1k-1.5k miles. How many miles are on the car?
 
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I think Aussie Foresters are speced for 5w-30, whereas NA are 0w-20. Check the user manual and stick to it.
Originally Posted by 14Accent
Welcome! First off, do NOT use a 0W-20. Subaru's of that generation DRINK oil, and a thin oil makes the problem worse. Run at least a 5W-30, a 0W-40 would likely be fine as well. Keep an eye on oil consumption the first few thousand miles, it is not unusual to see those engines use a quart every 1k-1.5k miles.
I have 2015, same gen. Until now I used 0w-20. At the moment, it has 5w-30 in it, wanted to give a try to it as Subaru's own testing showed that 5w-30 is good for less wear and tear on the engine. Wanted to see if I notice any difference. I do not notice any difference in the way the car feels, the mileage, or the amount of oil I had to add. So far I have not added more than 8-10 oz during any of the 5000 miles OCIs. I personally have not read about this generation 'drinking' oil. What I would suggest though, see if yours qualifies for extended transmission warranty. If it does, then do the needful (as in drain and fill tranny). No dealership here wants to touch tranny for 10 years or 100K miles (and DIY is not as easy as it looks), whatever comes first but if Aussie ones are doing it, maybe worth considering it. Subaru's blue filters are just as good. Pay a visit to subaruforester.org too to see what is discussed there.
 

tomartomau

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Thanks John, I have only seen the black filters here in Aus. Iwill be using the K&N oil filter. For oil I'll start off with a 5w/30 as a baseline. I am currently getting 7.8L combined (30mpg). I am a big fan of draining auto fluid every so often, they do a lot of work and can also heat up with extreme conditions and stop start in the city. I have also run these also on some of my cars. https://www.magnetics.net.au/product-category/magnetic-filters-tools/magnefine/
 
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Originally Posted by 14Accent
Welcome! First off, do NOT use a 0W-20. Subaru's of that generation DRINK oil, and a thin oil makes the problem worse. Run at least a 5W-30, a 0W-40 would likely be fine as well. Keep an eye on oil consumption the first few thousand miles, it is not unusual to see those engines use a quart every 1k-1.5k miles. How many miles are on the car?
My father has a 2013 with that engine. I told him to dump the 20 grade oil for a 30 grade and not look back. He is fortunate his is not an oil guzzler. Starting next month I will be doing all of his oil changes with either PU 5w30 or AFE 0W30 and an OE oil filter. He had the dealer service it or a local shop, and seeing him pay $65-$85 for an oil change and hoping they're using a 30 grade synthetic oil bothers me. He doesn't want to task me with more work, I told him I enjoy doing it. That seemed to have worked.
 

tomartomau

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Thats nice of you, here in Au, there was a lot of backlash regarding Suburu servicing cos tts, now the service intervals havevincreased and there is fixed price servicing.
 
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Originally Posted by tomartomau
I have just ordered the HP K&N oil filter, Shell Helix Ultra ECT C3 5w/30. I couldnt seem to find much about the ECT C3, iscit sold in the States? https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p...15346.html#q=Helix&sz=12&start=1
Helix C3 is not sold in North America afaik. Very stout oil though, 12.11 cst @100c, MB 229.51 certification. Your engine will run very quietly with this oil. Just so you know, K&N, RP and Fram ultra filters does not have the correct bypass pressure valve for a Subaru. Now, the manufacturers says that the higher flow compensate for that. I am not concerned anymore as I have the Fram ultra on my Subaru now. Your subie will be very happy with your choice.
 
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Originally Posted by jbutch
Originally Posted by tomartomau
I have just ordered the HP K&N oil filter, Shell Helix Ultra ECT C3 5w/30. I couldnt seem to find much about the ECT C3, iscit sold in the States? https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p...15346.html#q=Helix&sz=12&start=1
Helix C3 is not sold in North America afaik. Very stout oil though, 12.11 cst @100c, MB 229.51 certification. Your engine will run very quietly with this oil. Just so you know, K&N, RP and Fram ultra filters does not have the correct bypass pressure valve for a Subaru. Now, the manufacturers says that the higher flow compensate for that. I am not concerned anymore as I have the Fram ultra on my Subaru now. Your subie will be very happy with your choice.
Shell's North American oil products - Rotella, Pennzoil, Quaker State - all work well in Subaru engines and I am sure Helix would do just as well if not better since it has so many high level approvals. I have used both the K&N HP-1010 and Fram XG7317 oil filters on my Subaru Outback FB2.5 without issue. Also the 23psi bypass spec, IMHO, really only matters to the Subaru OEM Blue oil filter which is a Fram Extra Guard in a blue can. It is rated as having a max output of 16 gallons per minute, for example the Fram Ultra Synthetic XG7317 oil filter is rated with a max output of 18 gallons per minute so it can use a lower bypass spec. I don't know the exact specs on tge K&N HP-1010 but I am sure it is similar and not a cause for concern.
 

tomartomau

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The specs from the K&N website are 11 to 17 psi, what are the potential damages that can result? It currently runs a 0w/20, If I am running a 5w30, does that mean that the valve will open sooner?
 
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Originally Posted by tomartomau
The specs from the K&N website are 11 to 17 psi, what are the potential damages that can result? It currently runs a 0w/20, If I am running a 5w30, does that mean that the valve will open sooner?
I have done a lot of research on the bypass subject as it relates to Subaru engines specifically and my assessment is that it is an extremely rare occurrence for a filter such as Fram (to include the OEM filters they make for Subaru) to go into bypass. Furthermore in the instance it does occur it is literally for no more than mere seconds. As long as the flow through the filter media is not terribly restricted it is something of little to no concern. This is something many people make a big deal about, to include myself in previous years, that in reality is incredibly minor. I believe it to be paranoia at best.
 
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Originally Posted by tomartomau
The specs from the K&N website are 11 to 17 psi, what are the potential damages that can result? It currently runs a 0w/20, If I am running a 5w30, does that mean that the valve will open sooner?
A cold start will most likely get the valve open with either grades. In australia, it' much less of an issue than a -30c cold start. The K&N has a higher flow wich in theory will lower the pressure inside the canister and should not open as often as a lower flow filter so a lower specced bypass valve should not be a problem.
 
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5W30 has always been a solid choice for Subaru's boxers, even the FA/FB engines. The only ones I've heard of with any consumption were the first two years of the FB25, and only when paired with a manual. I've not heard of any oil consumption issues with the FA20 at all. The Helix is a good choice; if not, either the M1 or Castrol 0W40s will be more than up to the task.
 
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