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Purchased 09 forester in late july 08,1500 miles on it 5 months later and have not changed oil.Maintenance schedule suggests initial change at 3000miles or 3 months then every 7500miles or 7.5 months.Am I causing any damage by not changing at 3 months and waiting until 3000 miles?If car is not being used will oil break down over time without accumalating miles.TY

Change oil per Subaru spec.

You can change the oil as you please, but if you want to have the warranty in effect during a major warranty repair on engine you may be out of luck getting it covered.

I recommend you follow the factory recommendations. They specify mileage OR time, whichever comes first, for a reason. If you want to keep the warranty in effect I suggest you stick to the factory maintenance schedule.

Oil doesn’t “break down,” but it accumulates moisture, combustion by-products, dirt, etc, and becomes contaminated. Changing oil cleans out all the undesirable things and replaces them with clean oil.

If you’ve only driven 1,500 in five months you should read the “severe service” maintenance schedule and see if you should follow that instead of the standard maintenance schedule.

Short trips, especially in cold weather, are harder on an engine than anything else.

Um, hello? You pay a lot of money for a new car and then don’t follow the maintenance schedule. For $29 you want to risk losing the warrenty on it? Have the oil changed according to the manual.

As has already been stated or implied, you are actually imposing what is called “severe” or “extreme” service on the car, and as a result you have to use the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for this kind of service.

Oil is cheap, and engines are expensive. What is REALLY expensive is having to shoulder the full cost of repairs when the warranty is terminated for failure to maintain the vehicle.

Get the oil changed immediately (NOT at a Quick Lube place) and then follow the Severe/Extreme Service schedule for maintenance listed in the booklet titled “Subaru Warranty and Maintenance Supplement”. It should be sitting in your glove compartment.

thankyou for your reply,I am wondering if any damage could have been done as the car actually sat for 2 months with just a short trip each week to circulate oil&have engine running.Have just started to put miles on in last 3 months TY

It’s unlikely that any damage has been done at this point, but Subaru engines don’t tolerate negligence very well.

Please read the owner’s manual very carefully, especially the maintenance schedule, and follow it precisely. The factory engineers, who wrote the maintenance schedule, know more about your Subaru than anyone else.

Crazy, isn’t it?

You paid a lot of money for that car, why cheap out now on keeping it in good condition?  The maintenance in the owner's manual needs to be followed.  

NOTE: Failure to follow the recommended maintenance can result in the loss of your warranty and could cost you a great deal.

“Just a short trip each week” is the perfect definition of Severe service for a car. You would have been far better-off if you just let the car sit for an extended period of time without the engine being started. The battery might have gone dead, but at least no damage would have been done to the engine.

In your effort to “circulate the oil” you have actually diluted it with moisture. Every engine produces a fairly significant amount of water vapor from the combustion process. When a car is driven for extended drives, the water vapor is burned off.

Conversely, when the engine is started and run for just a brief period of time, that water vapor is not burned off, and it accumulates–as a liquid–in both the motor oil and in the exhaust system, with the result that the oil lubricates much less well, turns into an acid state faster than it normally would, and begins to build up damaging sludge. The exhaust system begins to rust from the inside, due to the moisture that sits in it constantly. All-in-all, this is the worst type of driving for the car.

Since you can’t turn back the clock, all you can do is to immediately get the oil changed. Then, take the car out for a drive of at least an hour, so that everything gets up to normal operating temperature, and stays at that temperature for an extended period of time.

Then, put yourself on a schedule of changing the oil every 3 months, despite how rarely you might drive the car. If you do have to do some short trips, as we all have to do on occasion, be sure to counteract those short trips with a drive of at least 30 minutes once each week.

And–perhaps the most important advice of all–DO NOT have your car serviced at Jiffy Lube or any of its clones. These places are notorious for mistakes that result in destruction of engines/transmissions/differentials/brake hydraulic systems. Either take it to the dealership, or find a well-reputed independent mechanic’s shop for your service needs.

for a couple of dollars to change the oil is not a lot of money.considering the money you paid for the car.change the oil as recomended in your owners manual