Valvoline Dino 75w-90 GL-5 20k mi Forester 5MT

Not open for further replies.
Feb 13, 2012
This was run between 2,500 and 22,400 miles in my Forester's 5-speed manual transmission. Viscosity was flagged. This was a Wix prepaid analysis kit. There was a bit of black sludge on the magnetic plug, but nothing that I haven't seen before. I didn't see anything shiny on the plug or in the oil.

I'm concerned about the level of iron, and the viscosity is obviously low. Thoughts?

I refilled it with the same, but maybe I should switch to something else.


Oil Valvoline Conventional 75w-90 GL-5

Miles on Oil 19,900

Miles on Car 22,400

Sample Date 7/7/14

Aluminum 11

Chromium 2

Iron 119

Copper 6

Lead 0

Tin 0

Molybdenum 0

Nickel 0

Manganese 0

Silver 0

Titanium 0

Potassium 6

Boron 358

Silicon 24

Sodium 3

Calcium 84

Magnesium 0

Phosphorus 1808

Zinc 197

Barium 0

cSt Viscosity @ 100°C 10.9

Water %
Solids %
TAN 2.97
Originally Posted By: Bottom_Feeder
As close as Valvoline looks to be what Subaru transaxles call for, my Impreza did not like it. Shifts into 1st and reverse from a stop were always crunchy. I finally spent some money on genuine Subaru Extra S and it cured the problem.

How about that! Last time I looked, it was available only in 5-gallon buckets. I may go that route. Red Line 75w-90 NS is my other thought.

Ah. I see now. That's rebottled by a dealer.
Last edited:
Wow, it sheared and dropped two grades to 80. In only 20k. From 15.5cSt@100C according to the PDS its down to 10.9cSt. Just under an 85.
0/10 would not use. Would use the 80W90 instead or switch to synthetic 75W90 if you need low temperature performance.
Last edited:
Trans is still young and breaking in. Shearing is excessive but usually normal in a manual.

Try another gear oil. Idemitsu, Eneos, Redline, Motul, Torco... have nonLSD 75w90 gear oils.
I would not worry about the Fe; this is break-in residual. You dumped the OEM fluid in 2.5k miles, and this is only the second load.

Improvement should come on the next few OCIs.

I'd say overall, the Valvoline didn't do a bad job at all, despite the Vis loss. The Fe is expected in such a young manual tranny unit, and will never be as "low" as engine UOAs.
Last edited:
Thanks for the feedback. I'm amazed at how much the viscosity dropped. Pablo hooked me up with enough Amsoil Severe Gear 75w-110 for the transaxle and rear differential. I'll run that for 20k miles and get another analysis as long as the shifting remains reasonable and I still have the car.
Not open for further replies.