SuperTech Synthetic Blend 5W-30 3.3k miles / 2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5L 134k miles

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Hey all,

I just ran my first oil report on my 2008 Subaru Forester X H4 2.5L (normally aspirated) with 134k. I've been doing oil changes on it between 3k-4k since I bought it used in 2009 with about 20,000 miles. This oil sampled is SuperTech Synthetic Blend 5W-30 and I've used it for the past two oil changes. Additionally this oil ran with a Beck/Arnley 041-8181 (made in S. Korea) oil filter and Beck/Arnley 042-1364 (made in China) engine air filter. I replaced both with OE filters on this oil change. The car burns about 0.7 quarts every 3,500 miles, but I did not add any on this run.

The oil report looks good to me. You'll notice the comment about it being an amended report. The first report they gave me had the incorrect engine listed so the universal averages were off. Also, I didn't run TBN since I'm not pushing the limits of the oil life.
OilReports-page-001.jpg
 
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Hmmmm 🤔 I wonder if it was beginning to thicken up there towards the end. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Looks good. Could have still sprung for TBN to see more data about the oil and add it to the community. 👍🏼
 
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I always get the TBN because that is one indicator to tell how robust an oil is. I understand your logic, you were not looking at extended drain intervals. My recommendation, if I may, would be to step up to the Supertech full Syn 10k mile formula and just run 5-6k miles and rest easy. I've seen motors personally with 100k+ miles on ST and perfectly clean and spotless inside.
 

Soobs

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Hmmmm 🤔 I wonder if it was beginning to thicken up there towards the end. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Looks good. Could have still sprung for TBN to see more data about the oil and add it to the community. 👍🏼
I understand the interest in the datapoint as a community, but I didn't ask for TBN for two reasons: 1. I've never seen a worrisome TBN posted by anyone else here with any ST oil and 2. This oil was in use for 3k mi & 7 months so the likelyhood of a TBN concern seemed low. If you guys see a reason for it though I could always have them go back and run a TBN.
 
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Soobs

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I always get the TBN because that is one indicator to tell how robust an oil is. I understand your logic, you were not looking at extended drain intervals. My recommendation, if I may, would be to step up to the Supertech full Syn 10k mile formula and just run 5-6k miles and rest easy. I've seen motors personally with 100k+ miles on ST and perfectly clean and spotless inside.
I did run full synth (tried both ST and Penzoil Platinum) in the past (couple years ago), but it seemed to consume the oil slightly faster than conventional or synth blend. As mentioned in the OP it presently consumes about 0.7 qts between changes so I can either add oil or just change the oil at the same intervals I've always done. TBH, I don't mind keeping on with my standard 3k-4k change. Subaru's recommendation on this engine is every 3,750.
 
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I understand the interest in the datapoint as a community, but I didn't ask for TBN for two reasons: 1. I've never seen a worrisome TBN posted by anyone else here with an ST oil and 2. This oil was in use for 3k mi & 7 months so the likelyhood of a TBN concern seemed low. If you guys see a reason for it though I could always have them go back and run a TBN. Otherwise, I'll just run TBN on the next oil change.
If you're not looking at the remaining TBN then what are you looking at on the UOA?
 

Soobs

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If you're not looking at the remaining TBN then what are you looking at on the UOA?

I find the standard data in these reports useful. I ran this oil with Blackstone primarily for a general overview of the engine health.

Are wear metals normal?
Is my head gasket leaking (antifreeze)?
Is fuel dilution high?
Are my filters working (insolubles)?
Did the flashpoint fall out of range?
Are additives low (moly/etc)?

Again, I'm not doing extended OCIs or pushing oil beyond the engine or oil manufacturer recommendations. I could have them go back and run TBN if I saw a concern in the standard data, but with nothing of concern in the standard data I'm not sure the point other than curiosity; however, I could certainly do that if I'm misunderstanding something and update results here?
 
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No those are good things to look at. I was just wondering what you were using it for. Most people include TBN though because it also gives valuable information.
 

Soobs

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No those are good things to look at. I was just wondering what you were using it for. Most people include TBN though because it also gives valuable information.
Gotcha. If the community is really curious I could have them go back and run the TBN, but I just figured the chances of anyone trying to run an extended OCI on a synth-blend these days is near zero.

Per Blackstone's FAQ:

Ok, now for the technical questions. What is a TBN?

A TBN (total base number) measures the amount of active additive left in a sample of oil. The TBN is useful for people who want to extend their oil usage beyond the normal range.
 
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Not bad. I haven't enjoyed the modern Supertech though. My Iron # were 6 ppm on a 9000 interval of Valvoline, but it's in the noise lever and that was best case vehicle usage - only 4 months in service. And we really cannot judge and compare wear.
Nice to see low to near zero Na and K.

My current fave is QS full synthetic. 10W30. Mainly since Valvoline Advanced has been out of stock for months, I would give that a try on an EJ. Would be an easy Spring/ Fall 2x per year OCI.
 

Soobs

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Not bad. I haven't enjoyed the modern Supertech though. My Iron # were 6 ppm on a 9000 interval of Valvoline, but it's in the noise lever and that was best case vehicle usage - only 4 months in service. And we really cannot judge and compare wear.
Nice to see low to near zero Na and K.

My current fave is QS full synthetic. 10W30. Mainly since Valvoline Advanced has been out of stock for months, I would give that a try on an EJ. Would be an easy Spring/ Fall 2x per year OCI.
You know what I was actually thinking of switching to a 10W-30 for summer as the manual indicates it's approved in temps above 0F. I'm curious if it'll consume a 10W-30 slower than 5W-30. Both 30 weight oils, but perhaps it's losing residual amounts on cold startups. Who knows.

Thanks for the recommendations.
 

dnewton3

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The theory ...
Inputs matter the most. FP, Vis, TBN/TAN, elements all are in the oil and speak to the health of the oil. In theory, watching these vigorously will assure a good running engine.

The reality ...
This UOA shows wear rates are reasonable and no signficiant contamination is present.
Case closed.


The reality explained ...
Inputs are just that; they are only individual criteria that go into a formula which results in an equation.
Ouputs are what matter most; what is the result of that equation.
Don't worry about inputs as long as the output is desirable.
If you have good wear, why does vis or FP or TBN matter? IT DOESN'T !!!
The inputs are only predictors to what MIGHT happen, yet outputs are telling you what actually happened.
You can know the starting roster of a basketball team, and know it's seed in the tournament, but the final score tells you who won. And at times, the "inputs" can be misleading, inconclusive, or inaccurate.

There are scads of examples where TBN was low, but wear rates continued to be fine.
There are scads of examples where FP was low, but wear was fine.
There are scads of examples where Vis was low, but wear was fine.
There are plenty of examples where wear was bad, but oil health was great.
The point? If there is no correlation between the characteristic and the output, then there can be no causation of effect.

We've seen countless examples of TBN/TAN crossover, and conventional wisdom from decades ago said "gotta change oil when the crossover occurs". But that was just a prediction based on a suspected result, and NOT based on an actual result.

There are three kinds of PM practiced when maintaining equipment:
1) "Preventative Maintenance" means you're changing something (lubricant or part) based on a prescribed schedule, often just a guess which has shown to be effective, but not necessaryily maximized for efficiency
2) "Predictive Maintenance" means you're looking at data that speaks directly to some rate of performance, and some rate of failure, balancing the two for safe operation AND efficienct management
3) "Panic Maintenance" means you just run it until it breaks, and then suffer the downtime costs

- Changing oil based on some distance (every 5k miles) is preventative, but not predictive. Changing oil based on inputs (X ppm of Ca; Vis at Y cSt; FP at Z deg C) is also all preventative; you're not looking at what's happening to the engine, but only viewing the oil.
- Changing oil based on outputs (wear rate levels and trends) is predictive, because you are tracking results of what's actually happening in the crankcase.
- Changing oil hap-hazardly or not at all is, well, foolish to any sane person.


Why does lubricant exist? To serve itself and only operate in a vacuum of self-absorbed inner importance????? NO !!!!!!
Lubes exist to serve the equipment (engine, tranny, diff, gearbox, bearing, bushing, etc). Lubes have a purpose and that MAIN purpose is to reduce friction, which maximizes the equipment life by controlling wear. Should it matter if the lube in your engine was a 50/50 mix of goat milk and dog urine, if the outputs were excellent wear rates???? I'd dare say not.

Inputs are a great way to get drawn into a false sense of security, or an over-dramatized sense of panic. Unless there is a DIRECT CORRELATION of the input to an output, there's not too much to worry about. I am NOT saying inputs have no importance; that is patenently untrue. Inputs are excellent at predicting a potential for change in an output. If you see vis drop precipitously or FP go sky-high, you're going to want to watch the wear rates very closely, and probably at a closer sample interval. If you see K and Na jump up, you're gonna want to seek out a possible coolant leak, which could then turn the oil to gloppy muck and risk the loss of lubrication. It's important to watch inputs for sure, but it's NOT a cause just to see a change in an input and then automatically grab the wrenches. If an input changes a bit, look to see if the outputs are changing in an undesirable manner; if so, then change the oil. If not, then just continue to monitor wear rates.

Change oil when the wear rates become undesirable, typically in an upward trend which exceeds a condemnation limit. Otherwise, quit worrying about the inputs.

All the above being said, for "normal" OCI durations, it's become common place that TBN has shown no correlation whatsoever to wear rates in modern engines using modern fuels and modern lubes. Knowing the TBN/TAN is essentially moot in today's world because today's engines run clean enough that the properly formulated oils have enough base to deal with the expected OCIs. The rates of TBN degradation has not shown to be of risk today, so quit worrying about it.
 
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You know what I was actually thinking of switching to a 10W-30 for summer as the manual indicates it's approved in temps above 0F. I'm curious if it'll consume a 10W-30 slower than 5W-30. Both 30 weight oils, but perhaps it's losing residual amounts on cold startups. Who knows.

Thanks for the recommendations.
I have same engine in an outback with 418k miles. For what it's worth the least consumption I had was using 0w40. I recommend 0w40 for that reason. When I rebuilt it at 378k the oil control rings were gummed up even with frequent oil changes. Consumption never more than a quart in 2,000.
 
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FZ1

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Hey all,

I just ran my first oil report on my 2008 Subaru Forester X H4 2.5L (normally aspirated) with 134k. I've been doing oil changes on it between 3k-4k since I bought it used in 2009 with about 20,000 miles. This oil sampled is SuperTech Synthetic Blend 5W-30 and I've used it for the past two oil changes. Additionally this oil ran with a Beck/Arnley 041-8181 (made in S. Korea) oil filter and Beck/Arnley 042-1364 (made in China) engine air filter. I replaced both with OE filters on this oil change. The car burns about 0.7 quarts every 3,500 miles, but I did not add any on this run.

The oil report looks good to me. You'll notice the comment about it being an amended report. The first report they gave me had the incorrect engine listed so the universal averages were off. Also, I didn't run TBN since I'm not pushing the limits of the oil life. View attachment 94597
Looks really good. Your oil and oci makes sense. You should just keep on keepin' on. .02
 
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You know what I was actually thinking of switching to a 10W-30 for summer as the manual indicates it's approved in temps above 0F. I'm curious if it'll consume a 10W-30 slower than 5W-30. Both 30 weight oils, but perhaps it's losing residual amounts on cold startups. Who knows.

Thanks for the recommendations.
Yes, the 10W-30 may help with consumption. The only thing that slowed consumption on my FXT was 10W-40, although that was a very high strung turbo with short gearing.

Over the years I've seen naturally aspirated EJ engines go much farther than the 7,500 mile OCI with very good uoa results.
 
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Over the years I've seen naturally aspirated EJ engines go much farther than the 7,500 mile OCI with very good uoa results.
So many say the Honda or Toyota are easy on oil - but they really are not.

If there was one engine easy on oil it would be the EJ253
SOHC, solid cam, roller followers, NO tappets, NO timing chain, super short stroke=slow piston speeds, high volume oil pump.

I miss the old 2009 EJ with a stick. When the "VTEC" kicked in - it went.
The Knitting Ladies never kick in the VTEC**
_________________
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