Is syntetic oil recommended with a Subaru Outback

I get my oil changed at a Jiffy Lube type place, and the kid there insists, absolutely insists, that, due to Subaru’s “boxer” piston configuration, it’s best to use synthetic oil. I can’t remember his reasons- something to do with keeping lubrication on the pistons more effectively. Has anyone else heard anything like this?

Absoultely not. Go by what your owners manual recommends. I think it will tell you in there to use regular 5W-30 motor oil and change it every 3,750 miles. I work at a Subaru dealer and very few people use synthetic oil. We tend to steer people away from it because it is a waste of money.

Any recommendation by Jiffy Lube should be ignored.

I think he is telling you he is getting a commission for upselling you to synthetic.

I think he is telling you he is getting a commission for upselling you to synthetic.

Funny but sadly very true.

I see there’s a lot of answers about synthetic’s. I think it time to clear the air about synthetic’s. First, synthetic oil is not effected by heat or cold like petroleum oil. It can withstand up to 400 degrees and minus 40 below. Petroleum start to thicken as it get colder which effects its ability to lube because of it high viscosity and will not lubricate a engine as quickly as synthetics, also thins out and breaks down after reaching 260 degrees. Secondly, quality synthetic (P.A.O.) has a higher degree of additives and is not effected by condensation so it dosen’t create the brown sludge you see in so many engines. Toyota Camry recall on their V6 engine was due to the fact the many people didn’t drive their vehicle long enough to warm up their engine to burn out the condensation and caused sludge to buildup and plug the oil passages. We’ve been using synthetic’s on a 2000 Tundra and 1994 Camry both with over 150,000 miles and never had a lubrication problem. Removing valve cover showed extremely clean engines without a bit of sludge. Because of the higher quality of synthetic, you can usually go farther between oil changes, just replace the oil filter ever 3,000 miles and your safe. High end car i.e. Corvettes etc. comes from the manufactures already filled with synthetics. There’s a reason for that. With a little research, most will find that ( P.A.O.)synthetic will out preform petroleum anyday.

The Pennzoil (yellow bottle equiv) bulk that Jiffy Lube puts in is fine. All of today’s oils (API classification SM & SL) are very high quality.

We have owned two Subarus, and the first got only conventional oil. I ran a 5K mile inteval while we owned it and had no engine related problems at all (120+K miles). Our current Subaru has had synthetic (7.5K mile interval) and conventional or a synthetic blend at 5K mile intervals (117K mile so far). I buy oil on sale and run it in these vehicles with no problems at all, at the intervals I use.

Severe service might require only a 3750 interval, but normal service does not, for me. If you have a turbo, then I would be running synthetic only.

Hiroshi; instead of “clearing the air” you are actually clouding it up more!

Yes, synthetic oil withstands very high and very low temperatures better. If you live in an area where this is the case, synthetics are good for your car. If you drive a turbo equipped car, synthetics have definite benefits. If your car specifies it, you should use it!

Unfortunately you are confusing CAUSE and EFFECT! Your good experience with synthetic is mostly the result of you being dedicated in maintaining your vehicles well. Congradulations! There are thousands of concientious drivers using normal non-synthetic engine oil under normal conditions who get your mileage or much further without any engine problems as well.

A poorly designed engine, such as the early 2.8 liter GM V6s, some Volkswagen engines, and some past Toyota engines may benefit slightly from synthetic, but most of the problems were caused by design and owners not draining the oil often enough. Toyota used to have 7500 miles, but has now gone back to 5000 miles for all their vehicles.

Contrary to what you say, normal synthetics do not have more additives in them; car manufacturers do not recommend longer drain intervals with synthetic.

There are specific “long drain interval” synthetics, Mobil 1 has one, that would allow extended drain at a very steep price.

In short, use what you like, but as many posters here have proven, for normal operation in a moderate climate, standard mineral oil with suffuciently frequent drains is the most cost-effective way to long, economical engine life.

The longest we kept a vehicle was 20 years and after 288,000 miles using standard “dino” oil changed every 3500 miles, there was still no excessive engine wear and the engine was clean iside.

We see a lot of problems from all the quick oil change places.  I stongly recommend you find a local mechanic who may charge a little more, but is far more likely to do a proper job and not rip you off.

You car, when it was new, came with an owner's manual.  That will tell you want kind of oil you need. Just make sure the oil that is used meets the specifications for your car.  

The manual may have offer a choice of synthetic or regular oil.  If so, then it is up to you.  Synthetic will be more expensive, and it may save you a little by getting better mileage and maybe even keeping the car alive a little longer. It may work better in extream cold or hot.  In real life if it is not required by the manual, you likely will not gain anything by using it, but if you fail to use it when it is specified by the car manufacturer, you really want to use it.

Good luck and drive safely

If you are really concerned with the upkeep and the longevity of your car, I strongly suggest:

[b]>AVOIDING Jiffy Lube and all other quick lube places.

Getting into the habit of using the very valuable information contained in your Owner’s Manual.[/b]

The incidence of mistakes made at quick lube places is much higher than at places that don’t rush the cars in and out like an assembly line. And, since the drain plug for the motor oil and the drain plug for the transmission on a Subaru are only inches away from each other and look identical, the normally high rate of mistakes at quicky lube places becomes even higher with Subarus. Do you really want to risk a dry transmission and an engine with double the amount of oil that it should have, thereby destroying both the engine and the transmission?

Your Owner’s Manual will specify the type and viscosity of oil that your engine needs.
Follow those guidelines and you can’t go wrong.

Keeping oil in the engine is far more important than whether or not it is synthetic. Today’s oils have improved so much since the 1950’s that (insert any phrase that indicates that we don’t need synthetic oil). The cost doesn’t justify the benefits.

I believe that you don’t need it if you have to pay the extra price for someone else to do your oil changes.

Interestingly enough Subaru does not even require synthetic for their high performance models using high output turbo charged motors.

over 150,000 miles and never had a lubrication problem

My '88 Accord had 219,000 miles on regular oil with no problems when I sold it recently.
Totally clean under the valve cover.