Which Oil for a 1996 Subaru Outback???

Messages
4
Location
Spokane, WA
Hello everyone, I am new here, and I am trying to figure out what kind of oil I should be using in my 1996 Subaru Outback. It has a 2.5l DOHC motor with 143,000 miles. I just resealed the whole motor and reseated all of the valves. While I was in there I checked out the internals of the motor, and the cylinders look like new (The original machine marks from the factory are still easily visible inside the block). That said, the motor is basically in perfect running condition with no known problems over the rest of the vehicle. I am currently using Mobil 1 5w30 with a Napa platinum filter, but only because that seems to be the popular choice on subaruoutback.org. The manufacturer recommends 5w30 motor oil with an ILSAC certification. The recommended OCI is 3750k, but I have been changing it at 3000k based on my mechanics recommendation. I live in the Inland Pacific Northwest (Spokane, WA), so we get the full four seasons (low 100’s to upper 90’s in the summer and sub-0 at times in the winter). I would not classify myself as a slow or an aggressive driver. I am fairly moderate in my driving habits. My daily drive is 12 miles to and from work, half freeway, half stop and go so I want protection without sludge and carbon buildup. I have been happy with Mobil 1, but I want to know if there is something better at a similar or lower price. I try to stay away from Pennzoil and Quaker State, because I have seen what parafene buildup can do to a motor over time. Let me know what you think.
 
Messages
22
Location
Rochester, ny
Hi Flyboy! I'm new here too. I have a Forester with a 2.5 NA engine, that I think is similar to yours. Shell Rotella T6 works well in the 2.5, it's a 5w-40 but the boxer engine tends to shear oils down so you may want to try it. BTW- does Pennzoil have a reputation for high Paraffin content?
 
Messages
3,181
Location
Ohio
Oh boy......in before the thread gets out of hand/locked. Forget about the paraffin bit for Pennzoil or QS. It's a myth. As for a recomendation, Rotella T6 is great I hear for the Suburu engines. 5w40 would do well all year round. Or stick with your M1 5w30 and/or try High mileage Mobil 1.
 

JOD

Messages
3,577
Location
PNW/WA
Originally Posted By: TheOilGeek
Hi Flyboy! I'm new here too. I have a Forester with a 2.5 NA engine, that I think is similar to yours. Shell Rotella T6 works well in the 2.5, it's a 5w-40 but the boxer engine tends to shear oils down so you may want to try it.
In the NA-version? There are dozens of UOA's on here which show otherwise. I don't think you'd be doing your engine any favors by using an oil that thick for a Spokane winter (or a Rochester one!).
Originally Posted By: TheOilGeek
BTW- does Pennzoil have a reputation for high Paraffin content?
No, but it makes for good stories on the internet! If this car isn't burning or consuming huge amounts of oil, I'd stick with any good Group III 5W30. The stuff he's using now seems as good as any.
 
Messages
1,271
Location
Dallas Texas
Originally Posted By: Mark_Walk
I run Valvoline Maxlife 5w30 in my sons 98 Forester. I also use the Maxlife ATF in it as well.
If i had the 2.5 H4 id put a 0W-40 in it. It is an NA motor, non-turbo. Good engine. How does the 5W-30 work? Good engine, but i heard it is tough on oil. (I had this car but lost it in two weeks, therefore didnt know anything about oil for it. Id find a 0W-30 or 0W-40 if i had it again though.)
 
Messages
22
Location
Rochester, ny
Just speaking from my own experience and from what I have read here. Shell Rotella T6 has many positive UOAs here. 5w-40 Oil is an all season oil, only 40 weight at high temperature. Rotella T6 is a Group III 5W-40 with a very "old school" additive package, and the 2.5 H4 takes to it well. NA version or not, that engine will shear oil. If you want a 30 weight, go with one with a high HTHS...like a Redline or GC IMHO... Also, Rotella is cheaper than some other Group IIIs, and can be found at Walmart..AZ..AAP..exc
 
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Messages
3,679
Location
Occupied Virginia
From a fellow Subaru owner: Mobil 1 has obviously been doing its job, and doing it well, so why change? My 2001 Impreza with the 2.5 SOHC engine likes Valvoline SynPower. And by 'likes' I mean it runs quieter than it did when using Mobil 1 for the first 50k of its life. It has only 87k on it now, most of that on SynPower after experimenting with other brands. I've heard that Subarus are both easy and hard on oil so I've disregarded pretty much any of that info and went with 3.33k OCIs since I do mostly short trips, but I'm considering extending that up to an even 5k just because using synthetic for such a short OCI seems wasteful.
 
Messages
11,478
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
I ran PP 5w30 & WIX oil filters in my 2000 Forester. The engine is still running strong at 187,000 miles. I used 6,000 mile OCI and backed it up with two UOAs which suggested I could go out much farther-like 8,000. I am a DIYer so I stuck with the 6K but, if I was paying someone else to change the oil, I would go out to 7,500 miles.. No need to go to a 40w oil for your driving.
 
Messages
17,298
Location
OH
+1. I accepted the Subarus like heavier oils myth, and used GC in our 2.5 NA from 9K to 31K. Having seen a number of UOAs using much thinner oils in NA 2.5s, I have come to the conclusion that a lighter oil is fine for this engine. So, its now on VR1 10W-30 (FAR of course), and is probably going on a diet of Synpower 5W-30 for its next change at 36K in November. Fuel economy does seem a little better with the lower HTHS VR1 than it was with GC. GC was quiet and smooth, though, not that the Synpower dyed blue is otherwise. To the OP, I would extend your changes out to 5K on Grp III oils. These oils are more than adequate for that mileage as you use the car. I know that it's hard to change your habits when they've proven sucessful, but you can go longer without any sacrifice in engine life or any crud build-up in it. Incidentally, PP and PU are both fine oils, certainly equal to the vanilla varities of M1, like 5W-30. Both have held up well in 10-12K UOAs, as does M1.
 

JRed

Site Donor 2021
Messages
2,323
Location
Virginia
If my WRX were NA instead of turbo I'd probably run whatever 5w-30 synthetic I could get cheapest. I really can't see the (very) low output 2.5L motor requiring anything more. Mobil 1 5w-30 got it this far, there's no reason it won't keep it going.
 
Messages
2,502
Location
NJ
Originally Posted By: JRed
If my WRX were NA instead of turbo I'd probably run whatever 5w-30 synthetic I could get cheapest. I really can't see the (very) low output 2.5L motor requiring anything more. Mobil 1 5w-30 got it this far, there's no reason it won't keep it going.
^This! You can check the uoa forum and you'll find that the 2.5 n/a EJ25's are easy on oil and can easily go at least 7,500 miles on any SM/SN synthetic. My two n/a's ('00 RS and '99 Outback) get Pennzoil. I switched the RS to Ultra, but I'll probably just switch back to Pennzoil High Mileage. Pennzoil is one on the most popular brands on BITOG. Yes, even the n/a's can shear oil but uoa's usually don't show any elevated wear. Here's an 8k mile run on Mobil Clean 5,000 in a 2009 2.5i: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2375274&page=1 BTW, welcome -Dennis
 
Messages
461
Location
Danville, KY
Originally Posted By: 45ACP
Originally Posted By: Mark_Walk
I run Valvoline Maxlife 5w30 in my sons 98 Forester. I also use the Maxlife ATF in it as well.
If i had the 2.5 H4 id put a 0W-40 in it. It is an NA motor, non-turbo. Good engine. How does the 5W-30 work? Good engine, but i heard it is tough on oil. (I had this car but lost it in two weeks, therefore didnt know anything about oil for it. Id find a 0W-30 or 0W-40 if i had it again though.)
5w30 works great..that's the oil the manual calls for. He's put 30,000 on the car. It does have a slight front main seal leak....one reason we use the Maxlife.
 
Messages
1,407
Location
Vail, Colorado
7000 mile oil change intervals are fine with sysnthetic oil..if it is a good running Subie Perhaps shorter if it doesn't run like a Swiss Watch Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 is a great choice Or any synthetic oil from 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, or 5W-40 would be fine if you wanted to pick an oil on sale Mobil 1 HM, or Pennzoil Platinum or Ultra Any conventional oil would be fine for 3000 miles. I like the Purolator PureOne oil filters
 
Messages
503
Location
McLean, Va.
If if it got you to the dance that many times why not stick with it. Stick with what you have been doing and I'm sure the M1 will continue on.
 
Messages
4,630
Location
Decatur AL USA
A NA Boxer will run forever on water. 1 - Supertech (or whatever is cheapest API SN/GF5 5W30) every 3750 miles. 2 - Pennzoil 5W30 (or other name brand conventional) every 5000 miles. 3 - Mobil 1 5W30 (or other name brand synthetic) every 7500 miles. 4. - Mobil 1 EP 5W30 every 10,000 miles. Thats what I would do if I had your commute and it was my car. PS The base stock in Pennzoil Conventional is Hydrocracked Group II and if you had seen the top end of a diesel after a million miles on Rotella (same type basestock from the same company) you would not be worrying about it causing sludge.
 

Flyboy2404

Thread starter
Messages
4
Location
Spokane, WA
5W30 seems to work fine where I am at. We have a few days in the low 100s in the sumer, and single didget sub 0 in the winter, so I think 5w30 is the best to cover that range of tempereture swings. When I did my head gaskets recently, the inside of my motor was spotless, and there were no evident wear marks in the cylinders. Put it back together and I have 160lbs of compression. In shore I will likely stick with 5w30. I am more interested in what brand will keep the insides nice and clean while providing good lubrication and not breaking the bank in the process.
 

JOD

Messages
3,577
Location
PNW/WA
Originally Posted By: Flyboy2404
I am more interested in what brand will keep the insides nice and clean while providing good lubrication and not breaking the bank in the process.
If you're going to keep changing it at 3K, you can't do any better that the Warren oil 5W30, either under the Peak or Supertech brand. Close to that would be Pennzoil Platinum, if you can deal with Walmart and a mail-in rebate--$13.00 for 5 qt. Pick up a couple of those and you'll be set.
 
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