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Old 01-11-2012, 12:52 AM   #1
Rdizzle
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Default 2012 Impreza Break-in Fluid Change?

I'm a first time Subie owner here and just picked up a 2012 Impreza Sport Limited. I usually do break-in fluid changes for all my cars at 1,000-1,500 miles. A couple of questions:

1. Do Subaru owners typically do break-in oil changes?
2. Do Subarus come with a special "factory fill" oil that helps seat gaskets, etc.?
3. Since the 2012 Impreza comes from the factory with 0w-20 synthetic, think I still need to change out the oil after the break-in period?

BTW, I tried search for break in posts in this forum but couldn't find anything.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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I changed out my factory fill in the 2011 WRX after around 700 miles, but that was because I was going to autocross it. Do whatever the manual says, and you should be fine. Or, pick an arbitrary number like 1K (so it's easier to base future drain intervals off of) and then go from there.

Did you get the CVT or Manual? There is some thought to drive the CVT in Manual Mode to vary the RPM's, otherwise the CVT likes to just stick it at around 3K and drive like that 80% of the time. Manual mode may help seat rings, etc.

Enjoy your new Impreza!
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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On my 2011 WRX I changed the oil out at 1000 miles even thought the manual said not to and I plan on doing it again at 3k and then normal intervals there after.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
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I would probably keep the factory fill in for 3k miles unless the oil that you're going to switch to has high levels of zinc and Red Line levels of molybdenum like the Subaru factory fill. The SM version of the Subaru oil may have high levels of moly, but not the new SN version. Whatever you do, stick with synthetic 0W-20 since the engine was designed for it and for proper operation of the AVLS.

From Idemitsu Lubricants of America in regards to an email about Subaru and Toyota 0W-20.

Quote:
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. In the case of Toyota, we do not supply their service fill oil so I cannot comment on that particular formulation.

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.
UOA on a Forester with the 2.5 FB engine.

UOA on Pennzoil Platinum. Notice how the zinc level dropped with the switch to Pennzoil. It would be the same for most off the shelf oils.

Like I mentioned in some of those replies on the uoa links, some of the moly from the uoa is assembly lube. But now that I've seen the above email from Idemitsu, I know that the factory fill oil also has a lot of moly.

Congrats on the car.

-Dennis

Last edited by bluesubie; 01-12-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys. I got the CVT version (wife's car) and that's an interesting theory to use manual mode to vary the revvs. I'm going to try that.

I was planning to swap out all the fluids to Amsoil but looks like I'll leave the engine oil alone until around 3k. I'm guessing the WRX manual recommends this because of the high zinc to help seat the internals during break in.

I'm going to change out the transmission gear oil (not the CVT fluid) and the rear diff gear oil to Amsoil though. On a side note, I changed out the rear diff fluid on my Honda S2000 at around 1,500 miles and it was black from all the metal shavings from the new diff so definitely believe these break-in changes are worthwhile.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:02 PM   #6
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Forgot to add that I'll be sticking to 0w-20 synthetic motor oil for sure when the time comes to change it out.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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Metal shavings aren't black and the color of oil has zero to do with whether its still good or not. You think you care about oil, but your posts show you are shotgunning ideas based on no knowledge. Either get smart (protip: sticky thread titled Oil FAQ) or just change your oil with whatever you like for no reason as you could fill your car with Butter Flavored Crisco and it would run just as good and last just as long. I've been down both roads....and now my oil changes run $22 total for parts as I just don't give a crap.

<---------150,000 1 owner miles on odometer
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Metal shavings aren't black and the color of oil has zero to do with whether its still good or not. You think you care about oil, but your posts show you are shotgunning ideas based on no knowledge. Either get smart (protip: sticky thread titled Oil FAQ) or just change your oil with whatever you like for no reason as you could fill your car with Butter Flavored Crisco and it would run just as good and last just as long. I've been down both roads....and now my oil changes run $22 total for parts as I just don't give a crap.

<---------150,000 1 owner miles on odometer
I'm new to this forum but not new to cars or oil. I am basing my questions on what I know about dino oil and their relative suseptibility to shearing and the fact that new engines and gears will have more metallic shavings as they are broken in. Maybe my posts, in the form of questions, on this forum make it seem like I know nothing but I assure, I have very good reasons for doing the break-in oil changes.

As for the rear diff on my S2000...the metal particles are black. Take a look at any magnetic drain plug and you will see what I've seen (example of a magnetic drain plug): http://www.dirtguide.co.nz/images/products/5484.jpg

Break-in fluid changes probably aren't necessary but they certainly will help in extending the life of the vehicle. Consider the rear diff where you have about 1L of fluid with a lot of metal particles floating around. I don't want that in there longer than necessary.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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With Amsoil I would go with the OE or XL oils since they are API certified. Dealers and SoA look for every reason to deny a warranty claim. Although if that doesn't matter, the Signature Series is good oil.

-Dennis
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #10
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I also support the idea of changing out gear oils after break-in. It certainly wont hurt anything. Im going to go ahead and do the same... I base my opinion on my instruction at MMI/UTI and their info that I was taught. New pieces of metal wearing in together will produce metal fragments. Not necessary, but I've never spent anythibg close to twenty grand on a car before.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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Well poop...I traded in my '11 WRX for a '12 Impreza 5-door. And I LIKE IT. I only have 30 miles on it as of tonight, I guess I'm in the same break-in boat as you
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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I am currently planning on ~3,000 for the first oil change, followed by another @ ~7,500. At the ~7,500 point I'll accomplish a tire rotation and then will follow the oil change/tire rotations at ~7,500 intervals. This would equate (at current usage) to twice yearly maintenance intervals.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79letour View Post
I also support the idea of changing out gear oils after break-in. It certainly wont hurt anything. Im going to go ahead and do the same... I base my opinion on my instruction at MMI/UTI and their info that I was taught. New pieces of metal wearing in together will produce metal fragments. Not necessary, but I've never spent anythibg close to twenty grand on a car before.
neither of my wrx's---bought new....had any reason to change the trans lube before 30k miles....nothing but a bit of sludge on the magnet drain plug

and the rear end was the same way


leave the trans and rear end alone
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesubie View Post
With Amsoil I would go with the OE or XL oils since they are API certified. Dealers and SoA look for every reason to deny a warranty claim. Although if that doesn't matter, the Signature Series is good oil.

-Dennis
Their Signature series is API SN/SM certified...take a look in the "0W-20 (ASM)" section on the 0w-20 page (I can't link to it for some reason).
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesWilson2 View Post
Well poop...I traded in my '11 WRX for a '12 Impreza 5-door. And I LIKE IT. I only have 30 miles on it as of tonight, I guess I'm in the same break-in boat as you
Ummm, how are you gonna beat down on EVO's now? I presume there is still an auto-x car somewhere at your disposal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdizzle View Post
Their Signature series is API SN/SM certified...take a look in the "0W-20 (ASM)" section on the 0w-20 page (I can't link to it for some reason).
Nope, just slick verbiage like all oil companies.
Quote:
APPLICATIONS
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is excellent for use in all types of gasoline-fueled vehicles. It is recommended for all domestic and foreign vehicles requiring any of the listed performance specifications:

0W-20 (ASM): API SN (Resource Conserving), SM…; ILSAC GF-5, GF-4…
The XL and OE lines actually get the API Starburst but the ASM does not.

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/images/XLZ_900.jpg
http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/images/asm_900.jpg

Personally, I don't think that really matters though. If you have a warranty issue where the dealer questions your oil, they will only want to see receipts showing that you used "0W-20". This is what Amsoil says about it:
Quote:
Another common misconception is that motor oils must be API certified in order to meet warranty requirements. The fact is, lubricants are not required to be certified by the API, only meet or exceed API specifications.
http://www.amsoil.com/news/2008_worr...warranties.pdf
Keep in mind that bluesubie nor Amsoil are responsible for your Subaru warranty coverage. FWIW, I have read that Amsoil requests the codes off of each bottle when trying to obtain warranty coverage through them.

-Dennis
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:06 PM   #16
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haha I have a new business that will be taking up most of my time and ALL of my money, but I do have a '93 Impreza that has caught me looking up eBay front-clips with JDM STI V5 turbo swaps as it is pre-OBD hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #17
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Wait, I'm confused. I took my 2011 WRX in for it's first oil change at 3500 miles and the dealership told me that it's not due until 7000. You guys are saying after 1000 though? What gives?
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fett2288 View Post
Wait, I'm confused. I took my 2011 WRX in for it's first oil change at 3500 miles and the dealership told me that it's not due until 7000. You guys are saying after 1000 though? What gives?
Subaru's maintenance schedule is 7.5 months/7.5k miles for most of their cars (except for the ones with the 3.6R) on their website now - however, when I picked up my car there was an addendum for the user manual which said 3 months/3k miles for the LGT, so who knows... most of the service manuals have the change interval for severe operating conditions as 3.75 months or 3750 miles. They also didn't change the drain intervals even though they switched many of their cars to synthetic oils (WRX, '12 Impreza, LGT, Forester)

Do what you want to do - if you want them to change your oil, tell them "change my oil" and they should do it - if they say "it's not due yet" say "that's ok - please change it anyway"
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fett2288 View Post
Wait, I'm confused. I took my 2011 WRX in for it's first oil change at 3500 miles and the dealership told me that it's not due until 7000. You guys are saying after 1000 though? What gives?
Changing at 1,000 miles is a break-in change for those owners who are anal about oil and engine wear. The thought being that new cars with new engines, transmissions, and differentials will have a lot of metallic particles shaven off while the components are new.

In my experience, I've witnessed a lot of metallic particles in new differentials in the new cars that I've owned (CRV, S2000) and my Ruckus. However, I've noticed the transmission and engine oils to be pretty clean and clear when changing them out at 1,000-1,500 miles.

The counter point is that doing a break-in fluid change is a waste of money and uneeded. Take a look at UnaBomber's Oil FAQ thread: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=499177

Up to you to decide. For me, I'm going to change out the grear oils (both in the transmission and rear diff) at around 1,000 miles and let you guys know what I see. I'm anal about oil and want to switch everything to Amsoil so I'll probably do the engine oil at around 3k.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdizzle View Post
Changing at 1,000 miles is a break-in change for those owners who are anal about oil and engine wear. The thought being that new cars with new engines, transmissions, and differentials will have a lot of metallic particles shaven off while the components are new.

In my experience, I've witnessed a lot of metallic particles in new differentials in the new cars that I've owned (CRV, S2000) and my Ruckus. However, I've noticed the transmission and engine oils to be pretty clean and clear when changing them out at 1,000-1,500 miles.

The counter point is that doing a break-in fluid change is a waste of money and uneeded. Take a look at UnaBomber's Oil FAQ thread: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=499177

Up to you to decide. For me, I'm going to change out the grear oils (both in the transmission and rear diff) at around 1,000 miles and let you guys know what I see. I'm anal about oil and want to switch everything to Amsoil so I'll probably do the engine oil at around 3k.


I guess you are operating under the misconception that the gearbox and rearend are 'broken in' at 1k miles....and the engine and the rest of the car for that matter


mmmmmm.....im glad i got over that one long ago


oh....and you are doing it wrong, too
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fett2288 View Post
Wait, I'm confused. I took my 2011 WRX in for it's first oil change at 3500 miles and the dealership told me that it's not due until 7000. You guys are saying after 1000 though? What gives?
I was told to leave break in oil for longer, 4000-5000 miles(depends on the way you drive).
Since subies come with regular oil from the factory, we waited til 5k and changed it then.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:44 PM   #22
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The 2012 Imprezas come filled with 0w-20 synthetic.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:47 PM   #23
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And changing out gear oil will never hurt your car, maybe just your wallet a bit. But for twenty large, I sure feel all warm inside knowing its uber-maintained. To each his own. Changing my oil makes it feel more like "my" car for some reason.

Last edited by 79letour; 01-18-2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #24
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Just finished the +/- ten minute job of changing the fluid in the rear diff. The stuff that came out had quite a bit of metallic fragments, which I strained out. It was black as night. I filled it with amsoil 75-90 and will do the transmission as soon as I get ahold of new plug washers.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #25
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Ugh. Change it every week if it makes you feel like more of a man, otherwise keep an eye on your oil level and run it until it needs to be changed.
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