Conventional or synthetic oil?


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Cluster #!!&


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Hahaha. Thanks.

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My second post has a link to the schedule but bear in mind, that is only to define how often to change the oil. The Owner’s Manual dictates which oil to use.

It is now 7+ years since that manual was printed. If there were errors, they would have been corrected by now in the online resource- which matches your printed manual from 2011 does it not? You can also look at years before and after and they basically call out the same thing. Who do you trust- the people that made the car or those that are servicing it? Usually, conventional oil is cheaper than synthetic. If they charge X dollars to do an oil change but use conventional oil, they make more profit on the materials…or entice people in with a lower price if it is appropriately priced based on oil type. They are in business to make money in an ongoing fashion from your purchase. The car manufacturer already has your money for the car, they have no incentive to push conventional oil at this point. Follow the manual. If the dealership doesn’t want to do that- find someone else to change your oil…

Yep, that is the chart. But on the same horizontal line, it says to change oil at 7500 miles. So that does not match up with the conventional oil check mark.
No half life. That is hilarious.

I have the same model, with the same 3.6 liter engine, and my Owner’s Manual says nothing about synthetic oil being required. Additionally, all of the servicing is done by the dealership, and they use 5w-30 conventional oil for my car.

It might say 7500 miles or 1 year which ever comes first .

On the back cover of the Legacy and Outback 2011 Owner Manual, it indicates it was issued December 2010 and printed in the USA 2/11.
It clearly says synthetic oil. Again…the Subaru (official) chart says conventional.

Okay, that explains it!
My 2011 Outback was delivered on September 30, 2010, so clearly your “updated” manual reads differently from mine.

Please note that I now have a bit more than 87k miles on the odometer, have always used “conventional” oil, and it does not consume any oil between my 4k-4.5k mile oil changes, so apparently using conventional oil hasn’t harmed anything.

The like I poste above said that Subaru started recommending synthetic in March, 2011, close enough to February to think it was correct information.

I wish I could figure out how Subaru engineering management thinks. They wind up with defective piston rings on Outbacks and Foresters over several model years and when they correct the problem, instead of just say Problem solved, synthetic oil change interval is now 10K miles like Toyota and others, they act like they hope the problem’s solved but aren’t confident so they give an oil change interval of 6K miles. I asked a service advisor about that and she said If you go past 5K miles the engine will go dry and you’ll blow it up. Is this any way to run a company or a dealership? Synthetic oil is expensive, everyone knows it’s good for 10K miles, but to keep my warranty intact I have to dump it out at 6K.

Please refer to the thread about my 2017 Outback 3.6R.

After going through the BS with a certain Subaru Service Tech, I am using Synthetic 5W-30 and in the manual it says if the customer prefers to use synthetic oil, use 5W-30 and change at Subaru recommended intervals (6,000 miles or 6 months.)
The things the service tech said (for example; Subaru does not recommend using synthetic in the 3.6 R because the 3.6 runs hotter") were utter nonsense and I told him that what he was saying in so sense at all and what he was saying was opposite to everything I read about the benefits of using synthetic oil.

To confirm, I wrote Subaru and the response was as follows:
“Thank you for taking the time to contact Subaru of America, Inc.
Regardless if you use conventional or synthetic engine oil for your 2017 Outback 3.6R Limited, we recommend oil changes every 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Our maintenance schedule is found in the 2017 “Warranty and Maintenance” booklet. A copy of this booklet should be in your glove compartment. If not, please let me know and I will send you one.”

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Retailer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
Service Request Number: 1-30946205872

In summary, there are levels of synthetic (depending on refining process) or you can buy full synthetic. I have opted to use Subaru 5-30W synthetic.
In the past and on my other cars, I would never run conventional motor oil more than 3,000 miles and, for example, when I pulled the intake manifold and valve covers on my 1995 Grand Cherokee 5.2 L V8, the inside of the engine was free of sludge and compression was excellent for and engine with 190,000 miles on it. I bought it when it had 13,000 miles on it and maintained it myself.

I have used Mobil 1 synthetic 15,000 mile oil in my 2015 Outback 3.6R since it was new. I bring this oil to my dealer at each oil change. At first they gave me a bit of a hard time, but now they just do it the change. I use less than a quart between oil changes. I change oil every 10,000 miles. My suggestion for you would be that if you have used conventional this long, continue with the 5W30 conventional and change at 5,000 miles. I would use the best oil you can find. A very subjective subject which oil is the best, but I always feel that Valvoline is really good. It is most important to do the oil changes regularly, the oil if it is a high quality 5W30 I guess to contradict myself the brand is less important.

Let me know how the engine is at 300k miles.

Any (and I mean ANY) brand name oil that meets the oil specification (or higher) and weight will be fine. I think it’s probably SM or SN.

I’m at almost 100,000 miles and all is well.


@cdaquila can you run your magic and get rid of @WineGeek’s personal information (if he doesn’t do it himself first)?

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Any vehicle can go 100k miles on 10k oil change intervals. It’s the next 200k miles that’s tricky. Let me know how that goes.

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I am not sure how to get rid of it

@WineGeek There is a pencil looking icon , click on that and you can edit your post. The simple thing to do is just logon to the forum and post that way instead of using you email.

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