Subaru 2.5i annual oil change?

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Hi guys, My wife and I now have two subarus in the driveway. They both have the same 2.5 NA motor, one being an '08, and the other an '11. We use the wagon on longer trips, which has 50k miles on it, and the impreza has roughly 70k. Both get used primarily around town, BUT get the odd 100k highway run in the summer. Total miles are roughly only 6k each. (10,000 km) Subaru calls for 7.5k or 7 month changes for regular service on conventional. Would annual changes with a top their oil be safe? Both are very well maintained with regular PCV and filter changes. Otherwise, I'll continue with 6 month - 5k changes on conventional or a blend. I can get kendall blend and a filter for $24. Just wondering if the 2.5i is a good candidate for this, or safer to error on the side of caution. I just hate the idea of changing oil at 3k miles. Thoughts?
 

ryan2022

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Thanks Donald. I see you have the newer 2.0 and 2.5i. I'm not sure what they changed, but they are a different oil spec.
 
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I currently have 3 EJ25s with a total of 490k total miles (over 220k is my usage), and have no issues with a 7.5k OCI on top-shelf syn. I personally use PP, but have a round of Rotella Gas Truck 5W30 coming up for them. I did run my 01 Forester to a couple 9k+ OCIs but by that point I was having to add some makeup; I'd use Fram Ultra XG3593A and change the filter every other OCI. While the EJ is not "easy" on oil, if it's not a turbo and/or you're not towing, the N/As are fine. I also have some Delo XLE 10W30 and PP Euro 0W40 from WM clearances and I will run those oils as well with no qualms. Biggest issue I've had with mine are the valvecover seals and spark tube seals leaking when I've bought those cars, so I have them changed and then all is well. Pull your spark plug wires, and if the boots are wet you will need them changed as well; about $45 in parts and usually 2 hours labor at a shop. Worth every penny to have it fixed.
 

ryan2022

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Thanks SubieRubyRoo! Is the time in service an issue? Thats awesome mileage out of the EJ25's! They're solid engines for sure. I'm doing the plugs on the Impreza when it warms up!
 
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No, I've never seen any issues from time in service. As long as the engines are started regularly and get nice and hot to cook off any condensation in the oil, there should be no problems if there is not the moist white crap on the underside of the oil fill cap. The way I always do it is we drive two of the cars every day, and then at least every Friday I drive the Forester to work and back. This way it keeps the battery charged, circulates the oil over everything to keep any corrosion down, and gets it hot enough to keep the oil "dry". Whenever you change the coolant on them, use OEM thermostats, and add a bottle of Subaru Coolant Conditioner to the radiator. Easiest way is get under the car and simply unbolt the t-stat housing to drain the rad and engine. I've had 4 EJs and 1 3.6 in a Tribeca and have never had a single head gasket issue. I change coolant every 2 years because of the history of these problems, but I think the fresh coolant and conditioner have helped prevent any problems. Biggest true mechanical issue is the known trouble Subaru has with wheel bearings, especially the passenger rear. This is exacerbated on roads with heavy crowning because of the way it loads the bearings. If you see heavy scoring on the disc brake only on one side, jack the car up and see if you can wiggle the wheel. If you can, it's time to be replaced.
 
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Originally Posted by ryan2022
Is the time in service an issue?
Absolutely not IMO. Subaru is just overly conservative with their time in service recommendation.
 

ryan2022

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Thanks very much guys! I really appreciate it. My only concern is the short trips. Although....at only 6-7k miles....something like mobil1 EP or Castrol shouldn't have an issue I'm feeling.
 
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Originally Posted by ryan2022
Hi guys, My wife and I now have two subarus in the driveway. They both have the same 2.5 NA motor, one being an '08, and the other an '11. We use the wagon on longer trips, which has 50k miles on it, and the impreza has roughly 70k. Both get used primarily around town, BUT get the odd 100k highway run in the summer. Total miles are roughly only 6k each. (10,000 km) Subaru calls for 7.5k or 7 month changes for regular service on conventional. Would annual changes with a top their oil be safe? Both are very well maintained with regular PCV and filter changes. Otherwise, I'll continue with 6 month - 5k changes on conventional or a blend. I can get kendall blend and a filter for $24. Just wondering if the 2.5i is a good candidate for this, or safer to error on the side of caution. I just hate the idea of changing oil at 3k miles. Thoughts?
Yours is not a lubrication problem, but a problem of burning off fuel dilution and condensation. In this case it doesn't matter what oil you use but how long daoes the engine run. Since it doesn't seem to run long enough to burn-off the above I'd stick with the severe usage or at least with recommended regular interval.
 

Job

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Watch for the rebate sales. Mobil 1 comes out about $13 for 5 qt jug, I end up with more oil than I need though. Pennzoil also. They must want to move stock and get people on their brand, it's almost too generous a $12 or $10 rebate on a single jug, and walmart is ok. You should be able to get a year, but if cold weather it's always a problem to get the water out of the oil, and the oil may not get that hot even on a good run.
 
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AFAIK Subaru changed the recommended change interval on newer models after they had oil consumption issues with the 2.5i engine for model years 2012 to 2014. The old OCI was 7,500 miles. The new one is 6,000 miles. I had a 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium with zero issues of any kind. Since your newest Subie is 2011, I'd keep doing what you're doing with the Kendall blend instead of switching to full synthetic.
 
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I have went with 5k oci on both our 2009 Sonata and 2010 Forester using regular oil have been on straight diet of TSC travelers oil have even pushed the oci to 7K on a couple of occasions.No issues at all as far as I know. Usually takes us about 9 months to reach the 5k point,so I change the oil in about Oct or November as I do not want to be laying on cold concrete during winter changing oil. 5k is nothing for todays regular conventional oils.
 
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Originally Posted by NormanBuntz
AFAIK Subaru changed the recommended change interval on newer models after they had oil consumption issues with the 2.5i engine for model years 2012 to 2014. The old OCI was 7,500 miles. The new one is 6,000 miles. I had a 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium with zero issues of any kind. Since your newest Subie is 2011, I'd keep doing what you're doing with the Kendall blend instead of switching to full synthetic.
Norman, you're talking about the FB25, not the OP's EJ25s. OCI recommendation on the FB25 is 6k miles still.
 
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