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#1: 12-19-2012, 09:32 PM
Interpreting the results of engine-oil analysis
Kamen's Avatar
Title: Junior Member
Location: Front range foothills
Car: '08 Outback XT Ltd 5EAT; WRX; Legacy L
Posts: 68
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I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I wasn't able to identify a more appropriate one. I also apologize for not introducing myself first in the proper forum, but this technical post will serve as a pretty good introduction as that's who I am. All right, maybe a quick introduction is in order.

I have owned and maintained myself multiple Subarus since 1999, and I still have them all, including a 300,000-mile Legacy. It just won't die. But I am looking to replace it and this is the reason for this post.

I am looking at several vehicles, one of them a 2008 outback XT with 66K miles on it. The owner hasn't been very diligent with its maintenance and might have lapsed on oil changes a couple of times (possibly, up to 10,000 miles in between oil changes). I have visually inspected the car as much as I can and there is nothing remarkable: no fluid leaks (other than a small grease leak at the end of the outer passenger-side CV-joint boot), no excessive corrosion for the mileage, although all surfaces appear damaged by the magnesium chloride used for deicing here. The windshield is cracked, that'll have to be replaced, the main accessory belt has missing ribs, that's easy. The driver-side bulb is out and one of the license plate bulbs is also out. I measured the battery voltage at idle: 14.2 V (a little high?) The driver-side wheel well seems to be a about 0.5" lower, there's a small grind at one of the wheels (bent backing plate?) - nothing much to worry about.

But the big thing I'm worried about is the missed oil changes, given the infamous turbo failures. So I decided to get the engine oil analysed. The conclusion at the lab was that all is good, but I haven't gotten any detailed explanation for the individual results. I've attached the report here, in case someone can provide some insight into it.

Overall, I like the car but I think I could get a cleaner car if I keep looking. Not sure what to do.

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