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Old 07-14-2003, 02:50 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 10119
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Post A new thought on dino vs. synthetic MTL

After reading as much as I can here and on Bob the Oil Guy's Forum, it doesn't seem like anyone knows for sure whether it's "safe" to use synthetic MTL in gearboxes, or specifically an Impreza's gearbox.

I finally broke out my owners manual, and it only says to use GL-5 fluid. Nowhere does it mention what type (dino or synth) should be used.

Isn't it up the manufacturer to tell me what'll work in my car? If I put synthetic in it, the transmission blows up, and then Subaru says "you used the wrong MTL", can't I pull out my owners manual and tell THEM to show me where I went wrong? I'm sure some dealers will tell you not to use synthetic MTL, but unless they show me something in writing, their words are hollow.

I'm not one to blame the dealer or manufacturer for my screw-ups, but this one has me wonderin'.

Other opinions??
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Old 07-14-2003, 03:12 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 36117
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
2003 WRX Wagon


Your transmission isn't going to blow up because you used a synthetic fluid instead of a conventional one. There are plenty of synthetic fluids that meet the GL-5 specifications. It's been debated here that synthetic fluids are too slippery and reduce the effectiveness of the synchros. This means you either have to double-clutch when you downshift, or you'll hear your gears grinding when there's a large jump in ratios like from 2nd to 1st. Those are the trade-offs to using synthetic fluid. The advantages are higher lubricity, better protection at extreme temperatures (either racing or below freezing), possibly better gas mileage and slightly less frictional drivetrain losses. If you don't or are not willing to double-clutch your downshifts, I think you should stick with conventional manual transmission fluids.
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Old 07-14-2003, 03:32 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 10119
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Schaumburg, IL

I saw one thread (now I'm going to look for it) where the poster mentioned he had some pretty bad tranny problems after switching to synth, which is where my concern comes from.
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