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First oil change supposed to be sooner than the regular interval?

I just got a new car and it has about 2500 miles on it. I have heard that the first oil change should come sooner than the regular oil change interval for the rest of the car’s life. For example, the manual says to change the oil every 6000 miles. However, This theory would say that i should change it at 3000 for the first oil change, and every 6000 miles thereafter. Is this theory true at all and could I change my oil sooner for the first time? It’s a 2016 Subaru outback that takes 0w-30 synthetic oil.

That used to be the case when special break-in oils were used and a lot of debris was generated during the break-in process. Surface finishes are now much better and changing the oil early is no longer necessary. Just follow the instructions about your driving style during the break-in period; it can determine whether the car will consume oil after the break-in period.

In Sept 2015 this OP claimed to be a 16 year old needing a car for $1000.00 I find it hard to believe all of a sudden they have a new 2016 Outback. By the way OP have you done your 0 to 60 MPH test yet?

This is a perfect question for your OWNERS MANUAL.

Yeah used to be. I did do my first oil change at 5000 miles though when the oil indicator was at 50%. The dealer seemed a little put off but I insisted anyway. Its my car. In the old days I’d do the first oil change at 2000 miles. Now the snow blower called for the first change at 5 hours and 25 hours after that. I think you’d be safe at 4 or 5000. Sometimes they do put in additives to help the break in so don’t want to do it too soon.

Provided the job is done properly, there’s never any harm done to change the engine oil and filter more frequently than recommended by the owner’s manual. It can only help. So if this is a concern, change the oil now.

I’m with George on this. While it’s not be necessary, if it helps you sleep better to do the first oil change (or any oil change, for that matter) earlier than the book says, go ahead and do it. It can do no harm. The peace of mind is worth the small cost.

I was initially told to bring my '15 Forester in for the 1st oil change at 3,000 miles. Made an appointment with the dealer to find out that there was no need until 6,000 miles. But if I really wanted they would do the oil change now. Waited until just under 6,000 miles and now they have me on a every 5,000 mile schedule. I pay $60 at the local dealer an oil change.

Interesting question. IOW, at least one way I can interpret your question is whether or not it is possible that the original oil in the car from the manufacturer, which is being used to lubricate the engine as it breaks in, could be so slippery, so good at lubricating the engine that perhaps the pistons won’t seat properly or other potential problems from oil performing at its peak?

Reminds me of an idea I considered yesterday. If fresh, top quality engine oil, synthetic, semi-synthetic or pure petroleum oil, could be added drop by drop to the oil supply and thereby replenish/replace all of the oil every week or so with new oil, and do so continuously, to what extent, if any, would that improve/protect engine performance and durability? Obviously, the oil already in the car would need to be evacuated at the same rate. Just a thought. IOW, how valuable would it be to use only very fresh, very clean oil in a car, exclusively? Or, say changing the oil every day? No noticeable difference. Profound differences that pay for the cost of using new all every day. A big net loss?

I am a curious guy

You say your Subaru calls for 0w-30 synthetic. Are you sure? The owners manual on says either 0w-20 for the 2.5L or 5w-30 for the 2.6L engine.

Does your car have a turbo?

When you say the oil is supposed to be changed every 6000 miles, where did you get that information? (a document from the dealer or from Subaru?)

@uncleharry … If I understand your thought correctly, if there was a way to continuously change engine oil so the engine oil was always fresh, would there be a benefit?

This seems like a calculus problem. What is the benefit curve of engine life as the oil change frequency approaches infinity…

I’d say there would be no benefit if the frequency was higher than the oil’s capability to lubricate the engine since the oil’s ability to protect is not linear. Oil does just fine until it can suspend no more harmful particles and the additive package is used up. Then engine wear accelerates.

Oil change intervals are conservatively short so this doesn’t happen. Engines are better, oil is much better. 3000 mile changes are now 5000, 7500 or even 10,000 miles. Some change earlier because of time or because short changes just can’t hurt. Some people, or fleets, use oil analysis to check on the condition of the oil at the change and the wear rates on the engine so they can extend the change.

My conclusion is; You’d run an awful lot of expensive oil through an engine for little extra benefit.

My 2 cents. I’m interested to hear other takes on this.

“Does your car have a turbo?”

The turbo-charged engines are only found on Impreza, Crosstrek, and Forester models.
The OP claims to have bought an Outback, which is equipped with either a normally-aspirated 4 cylinder engine, or the altogether superior normally-aspirated 6 cylinder engine.

GeorgeSanJose wrote:
Provided the job is done properly, there’s never any harm done to change the engine oil and filter more frequently than recommended by the owner’s manual. It can only help

Honda and Acura have typically used a break-in oil with special additives. The owner’s manual specifically says not to change it early. For these cars, I disagree with your statement.

Did anybody read Volvo’s comment . . . ?!

"Did anybody read Volvo's comment . . . ?!"

Yes, I did, I agree that somebody who is 16 years old and previously stated that he had only $1,000 to spend on a car is unlikely to have been able to purchase a 2016 Outback.
As a result, I do doubt the veracity of his recent threads.

However, I am trying to reserve judgment…

I also read Volvo’s comment

And I verified for myself, that this is indeed the same person who started those other “interesting” discussions

As such, I feel there is an extremely good chance we are all wasting our time here

Perhaps OP is just bored and trying to learn about cars . . . ? :trollface:

IMHO making assumptions about the veracity of the OP’s post is unfair without some evidence to warrant the doubt. I see no reason not to take the OP at his word. I’ve been the recipient of unwarranted allegations in the past, perhaps we all have, and IMHO it’s wrong.


We’re all entitled to our opinions, even if they prove to be wrong

There have been quite a few postings by people with overactive imaginations, many have even admitted as much

FWIW . . . I’m done with this particular discussion and will move on to another :star:

ALSO, don’t forget that you are not answering the question JUST for the O.P. There are others who will read this who are in a similar situation (just bought; or soon will buy) a new car (Subaru or other make) who are quite interested in the answer to a question like this.

If the answer to every question is, “go look at your owner’s manual”, then why bother having a forum in the first place?

My response to the issue @uncleharry brings up, based on my own experience, is that if you change the oil on a reasonable interval, the “internals” will last the life of the car. It will be the expense of repairing everything connected to the engine (and/or rust) that will ultimately cause one to give up on the car, but the engine itself will still run fine without clattering or burning oil.

(ball joints, tie rod ends, cv axles, radiators, alternators, starters, clutch parts, exhaust parts, various assorted sensors, sending units, cables, chips, emissions / inspection issues {depending on where you live}). . . if you need a reliable car to get to work, eventually you get fed up and say for what I’m spending on this old rusty hulk, I may as well buy a new (or new-to-me) car.

Ed, that has been my experience too. If a vehicle is properly maintained and not abused, the engine will last the life of the car. Except for my Vega. And the Saturn. But damn, I really liked that Vega, POS that it was! The Saturn… well, what can I say. We all make mistakes.