Subaru Legacy Forums

Subaru Legacy Forums (
-   Detailing, Maintenance, and Long-term care (
-   -   First oil change? (

Bootsie 02-22-2013 09:20 AM

First oil change?
I have a new 2013 legacy sport, I thought the first oil change was supposed to be at 3000 miles second and 7500 and every 7500 from there, is this correct? The calendar on mysubaru says first at 7500 so I just want to make sure before I get the oil changed tomorrow. Thanks!

Picky1 02-22-2013 11:22 AM

That is what I did on my 2012, 1st OCI at 3,000 miles, 2nd OCI at 7,500 miles. I wasn't really comfortable with the 7,500 OCI so I switched from dyno oil to syn oil for piece of mind eventhough the N/A engines do not need syn oil.

Bootsie 02-22-2013 11:24 AM

Yeah mine will synthetic, that is required for 2013 because of having a timing chain instead of belt. Thanks for your input! I have just gotten mixed instructions.

orndog 02-22-2013 11:26 AM

The 2013 NA Legacy engines do in face require synthetic. Book says 7500 but it's happening around 3k for me as well.

theflystyle 02-22-2013 11:04 PM

first oil change on new my new subie was like at 500 miles or so. this was to remove the oil which was used from the factory and which IIRC should not be left in until the normal change interval.

orndog 02-23-2013 05:51 AM

You are referring to "break in oil" which is not used.

bluesubie 02-26-2013 08:41 AM


Originally Posted by orndog (Post 4307865)
You are referring to "break in oil" which is not used.

Depends what you mean my "break-in" oil. If you're referring to an oil that is different at the factory than what you get from the dealer, then yes, a break-in oil is used and is fine to run to 7,500 miles. This is from Idemitsu Lubricants of America:


You ask some very good questions which I will answer in “generalities”. First, just so you know where the information is coming from, Idemitsu supplies most of the OEM’s for both Factory fill and service fill....

OEMs specify Moly in their factory fill formulations to increase fuel economy during the initial period. In general a factory fill formula will be more robust in the additive treatments etc. This is done for a variety of reasons which I will not go into here.

Some of the service fill formulations also contained molybdenum however, with the transition to the ILSAC GF-5 specification, most 0W-20 service fill 0W-20 formulations now do not have Moly. That being said, you are always safest following the OEMs recommendations. All service fill OE formulas that we supply have been submitted to a full battery of tests at that respective OEM’s R&D facilities in Japan and have been approved.
A used oil analysis on the factory fill will also show that it is more robust in moly (also in the assembly lube), zinc, and phosphorus, than the dealer Idemitsu Subaru oil.


JohnnyT 02-26-2013 09:48 AM

I just purchased a 2013 Outback last week and I have the same questions on oil. So is the Idemitsu Subaru oil good to use or is Amsoil better? How about Castrol Edge? It the info above it seems I need to find an oil that is high in moly. Right?

Thanks for your input.

bluesuby 02-26-2013 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by orndog (Post 4307865)
You are referring to "break in oil" which is not used.

I've always made the first change around 500 miles to get rid of any debris from the engine manufacturing process. I don't think I've heard the term "break-in oil" in many years.

Max Capacity 02-26-2013 04:17 PM


Originally Posted by bluesuby (Post 4312286)
I've always made the first change around 500 miles to get rid of any debris from the engine manufacturing process. I don't think I've heard the term "break-in oil" in many years.

This is what a lot of us have been doing for decades.

You guy's should be fine with any name brand synthetic oil. Just be careful with Mobil1 5w-30 it breaks down to a 5w-20 in a short amount of time.

Amsoil's site has some good info if you want to read.

I would think that the 7500 miles should be fine with a good oil.

My OEM GT engine went 154,000 on dino oil with no bearing noise or other issues. I replaced it for oil usage (rings). But I would go as far 5500 miles on the dino oil in the winter time and 3500-4000 miles in the warmer weather. BTW most of my miles are at highway speeds.

The main thing is keep it topped off. Don't go 7500 without checking the oil level.

JohnnyT 02-27-2013 11:39 AM

I was talking to one of the guys at my local Subaru dealer today and they said that Subaru may be sending out a notice that the OCI should be 5K instead of 7,500 miles. It's becasue people are not checking the oil levels between changes and the thin-as-water 0W-20 gets consumed, then the oil level light comes on. I may do that. At that rate I'd be changing it 2X a year. My wife doesn't put that many miles on her cars, but it's mostly city.

Tooslick 02-27-2013 03:52 PM

Rather than shorten the service interval, it would make more sense for Subaru to allow the use of thicker synthetic oils for hot climates, and/or for sustained high speed driving. If you went from a 0w-20 to a 5w-30 synthetic, I'd only expect maybe a 1.5% reduction in mpg, ie almost down in the noise level. With a thicker, even less volatile 10w-30 synthetic, you might take a 2% hit.


JohnnyT 02-28-2013 07:15 AM

Hi Tooslick,

Good to see your expertise on this thread. I agree with yo 100%. I asked the dealer about going to a thicker oil, but they advised against it because this is what Subaru requires. I guess the dealer can't advise me contrary to what Subaru says, but if I go to a thicker oil and I end up with engines problems due to the thicker oil, Subaru has the right to void my warranty. I don't see how 5W-30 would give me problems, but you never know.

How would 0W-30 work? That way I would have the cold start-up 0 weight then hot temp 30 weight. I much prefer the 5W-30 idea. It's also more readily available in various brands. The question is, is the reason Subaru went with a 0W-20 tighter tolerances in the engine, smaller galleys, etc. or just plain gas mileage. If it's tigher tolerances, I'll stick with the 0W-20. If it's gas mileage, I'll use the 5W-30 and take the 1-2 mpg hit for tha sake of better engine wear.

The debate goes on.

Tooslick 02-28-2013 01:52 PM

The same engines sold in other markets such as Europe and Australia still recommend 5w-30 and even 5w-40 grade oils.

One other design feature contributes to the relatively high oil consumption. The "hypereutectic", aluminum pistons have a high coefficient of thermal expansion ("CTE"). In order to achieve the correct tolerances when the engine is fully warmed up you have to size these parts to fit loosely in the cylinder bores when the engine is cold soaked. This is why you hear audible "piston slap" - even in just moderately cold weather. I strongly suspect a fair amount of the oil consumption is occurring during the warm up phase, due to the sloppy fit of the parts. Using a slightly thicker oil such as a 5w-20 should help to mitigate this source of oil consumption.

A 0w-30 will also help to reduce oil consumption. This grade tends to be less volatile than 0w-20 and it will give you a thicker oil film at the piston ring to cylinder interface in a hot engine.

I'd wait to see how your engine performs before making any changes. But trying either a 5w-20 or 0w-30 synthetic would be my first response for abnormal oil use in a vehicle that only specs 0w-20 for all ambient temp ranges.


JohnnyT 02-28-2013 02:17 PM

Thanks for all the detail. It's very interesting. I may just go with a 5W-30 synthetic for the first oil change with the Subaru filter. With summer around the corner 5W-30 should work well from what I gather from the sloppy fitting pistons.

If I go with 0W-30 in the future I may just go with Amsoil OE. It's actually cheaper that the Subaru oil at $7.49/qt.

Thanks again for all your contributions.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:16 AM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.3 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.