Oil Change Intervals

OK…I have a 2001 Subaru Forester. I want to know at what intervals do I change synthetic or synthetic blend oil? Do Click and Clack answer these questions?

Your owners manual will reflect the recommended oil/filter change intervals. And you will also notice that the manufacturer of your vehicle makes no distinction when the oil/filter should be changed be it with regular or synthetic oil.


You change synthetic or blend oil at the intervals specified in your owner’s manual for oil changes.

Unless, of course, your goal is to make your oil last as long as possible rather than to make your car last as long as possible.

Do you truly not know that your car has an owner’s manual that covers this?


As has been suggested or implied, all claiya has to do is to reach all the way over to the glove compartment, take out the booklet titled Subaru Maintenance and Warranty, and READ what is contained therein.

Incidentally, Click and Clack do NOT answer questions on this site. These answers have been provided by interested parties who are experienced in car maintenance and repair, but who do not receive compensation for their efforts.

Every 3-5,000 miles should do it. Change the filter also.

Really? I WONDERED where those checks were…

5k is an easy interval and between severe and normal driving.

Services outlined here-> http://www.subaru.com/content/downloads/pdf/maintsched/2001SchedFed.pdf

Do you mean you guys have not recieved yours?

Thanks! This site is just great! It’s good to know that there are people out there who are considerate and kind in helping people by sharing their knowledge. Of course, I’ve read my owner’s manual. And I’ve wondered if the auto industry is sympathetic to the oil industry, suggesting oil changes more frequently than actually necessary. I had visited this site a few years ago, when Click and Clack themselves (or one of their lackies!) suggested synthetic oil could be changed much less frequently; but I didn’t recall what they suggested for blends. That’s why I asked. Thank you for your hospitality, and goodwill in sharing your wisdom. Now I know exactly where to go when I have questions!

claiya; oil change intervals have a good margin of safety in them, and for good reason. The so-called normal driving (with the long interval)is in mild weather, taking a trip long enough to warm up the car and drive off the condensation, not carrying heavy loads, no frequent stopping and starting, etc. In other words, “normal” driving is really an ideal situation!

Most driving falls in the “severe” category, as outlined in your owner’s manual; and that’s what most of us recommend. That still has a safety margin in it when it comes to depleting the additives in your oil that provide the protection. The oil itself does not wear out in normal use; it’s the additives that get depleted.

Really severe driving, short trips in very cold weather with the car parked outside, could need an oil change every 1000 miles due to the condensation buildup!

So the car manufacturers figure that oil is cheap and engines are expensive, and it’s better to err on the high side, since they have no idea how the owner is going to abuse the car!

Large industrial and trucking companies chemically analyze the oil to determine when it’s ready to be changed.

If you had read the owner’s manual and the purpose of your post was to see if people agreed or disagreed with the recommendataions, it would really have helped if you said that originally.

Thank you! This info is very helpful.

Just to confuse the issue a little more, if your car has a oil monitor in it and it says not to change until it goes to zero (or not to exceed one year). Does it supersede the car’s manual, cause it also says to follow the oil percentage monitor. I know the car mags dont change the oil till the monitor goes to zero or close to it. Not all cars have these oil monitors and if yours doesnt, I would not deviate from the recommendations in the car’s manual, or your warranty could be voided.

Follow what your owner’s manual states. My Pontiac and Chevy have an oil use monitor system. When the percentage drops below 1% for the Pontiac (10% for the Chevy), I get Low % for the oil reading. That happens at about 5000-6000 miles for me (percentage is based on mileage and starting the cars). I also use Mobil 1 Synthetic. That mileage fits in with what the manuals say for oil changes, too.

I change my oil and filter every 3000 miles. No motor work in 492,000 miles except valve stem seals. I follow the schedule in the owners manual for the rest . . . but cut it by a 1/3 . . like for brake fluid, transmission oil, air filter, fuel filter(s), spark plugs, and the rest. Seems to work, not much work if you like to tinker around, as I do. Rocketman