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Old 02-26-2004, 05:27 PM   #1
Mike Wevrick
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Question oil change time intervals?

I just changed the oil in my WRx and realized the manual says "every 7500 miles or 7.5 months, which ever comes first." I was at 7000 miles but 10 months.

Does the amount of time between oil changes matter, and if so, why?

(For those who will say 7000 miles is too long between changes anyway, the car is used almost entirely for highway trips. Very little city driving; no autocross or track rqacing.)
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:30 PM   #2
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I'm not sure that time per se has any affect on oil. I believe the reason that manufacturers specify a time interval as well is a mileage interval is because failure to reach the specified number of miles within that interval might mean that the car is being driven for short distances each time. For example, let's say you drive only 20 miles a day. At the end of 7.5 months you will have only driven 4500 miles. While this is under the recommended mileage, the oil has still been subjected to a lot of cold start wear in that time.

When in doubt, get your oil analyzed.
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Old 02-26-2004, 07:46 PM   #3
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I would not go to what the manual says. Based on your location and the amount of driving you do or style of driving you do, I would encourage you to change oil every 3k miles.

I asked my service tech this same question and he told me to disregard it and do it every 3k miles. I live in CA. He told me to wait til around 15k before I go to synthetic.

I know it also says 5-30 but he told me to put 10-30. I double checked what he said with SOA and they confirmed it.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:18 PM   #4
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Every 3k is ridiculous for almost entirely highway driving. Did an actual mechanic tell you that or a "service advisor"? Of course they tell you to change it more often; that's where they make a lot of their money.
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Does the amount of time between oil changes matter, and if so, why?
Yes, it does matter, because the oil absorbs water over time, not all of which is removed by being heated in the motor.

For what it's worth, if I was driving my car only highway miles like yourself, I'd also only change my oil every 7000 miles or so. There's no reason to do otherwise.

What I would recommend is perhaps going with a production like Amsoil. You could then easily do 10,000 mile oil changes, with just a filter change every 5000 miles.
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by heffergm
What I would recommend is perhaps going with a production like Amsoil. You could then easily do 10,000 mile oil changes, with just a filter change every 5000 miles.
You really should head over to www.bobisthoilguy.com and research extended oil changes before you give blanket advice. I am not saying your advice is right or wrong, but the only blanket advice that is perfectly fine to say is to follow what your driver's manual has to say.
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:57 PM   #7
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The manual actually says not to exceed the recommended miles between changes even with synthetic so I'm sticking to dino (Castrol GTX 5W30).
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:32 PM   #8
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2500 to 3000 is when i change oil and filter. mobil 1 synthetic is what i use. It may be too early or too often but I feel good about it. I figure that it isbetter to do it more then less. I used to drive a camaro that i would beat the crap out of on a daily basis. I changed oil every 2k then.
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Wevrick
..............Does the amount of time between oil changes matter, and if so, why?
.........
yes, time is also a factor, oil just like anything else will break down over time.....the additives will lose it's properity....i don't claim to know exactly what breaks down exactly, so take it for what it's worth

and i don't even wanna start arguing bout when to change ur oil and when to go to syn, or how much better it is, cuz these things always lead to a pissing contest, and there are plenty of threads on it already
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:31 PM   #10
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Yeah, I really don't want to argue about synthetic or number of miles, just the time issue. It sounds like I should go with the 7.5 months, which will be around 5000 miles, which is OK anyway.
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unabomber
You really should head over to www.bobisthoilguy.com and research extended oil changes before you give blanket advice. I am not saying your advice is right or wrong, but the only blanket advice that is perfectly fine to say is to follow what your driver's manual has to say.
I just did a search there because I was curious to see what they had to say about the original topic. Here are a few threads discussing this topic.

http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/...c;f=1;t=000836
http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/...c;f=1;t=004175
http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/...c;f=1;t=002888

The only blanket advise I will give is the same advise I gave in my first reply - when it doubt, get your oil analyzed.

http://www.blackstone-labs.com
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Wevrick
Yeah, I really don't want to argue about synthetic or number of miles, just the time issue. It sounds like I should go with the 7.5 months, which will be around 5000 miles, which is OK anyway.
Sounds perfect
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by vvk
Sounds perfect
Heh... do what you want. It is your car and follow the manual as you cannot be blamed for doing what subaru told you.

HOWEVER, I change mine every 3000-3500 with fully synthetic Mobile 1.

Why? I live 6 miles from work, and I autoX the hell outta my car.

- dow
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:01 AM   #14
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I'm running Mobil 1 5-30 synthetic and do my oil change every 2500-3000 miles. The cheapest way would be to just do it yourself. And yes, time does matter...cuz oil breaks down and gets contaminated over time.
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slowpoke
I just did a search there because I was curious to see what they had to say about the original topic. Here are a few threads discussing this topic.

http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/...c;f=1;t=000836
http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/...c;f=1;t=004175
http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/...c;f=1;t=002888
Interesting links; thanks. Some of those guys are really obsessed with oil. Not me; I think I will just go with the 7.5 months / 5000 miles and not worry about it.
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:20 AM   #16
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Of course, the car sits on the dealer's lot for how many months? Do they change the oil on the car before they give it to you? I'd be surprised considering most dealers don't even complete the rather limited PDI.

Personally, I'm in the not worry about it camp too.
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:34 AM   #17
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5000 miles for me, right between the 3k and 7.5k recommended. Castrol Syntec with OEM filter.
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Old 02-27-2004, 01:49 PM   #18
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Mike

He is actually not a service tech. He is a subaru specialist. In fact any subby driver having probelms is sent by SOA to him in S. CA.. He has been with subaru for 20 years plus.

Fairly an impressive track record. He is at Valley Subrau in CA.

Really nice guy and very knowledgable.

Hope this helps
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Old 02-27-2004, 03:21 PM   #19
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OK, he sounds a little more credible but still iffy. A lot of people who say "every 3 k" are either just following old rules out of habit or are trying to get you to give them more money. What was his reason for ignoring what Subaru puts in the manual?
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Old 02-27-2004, 04:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by robbie
Mike

He is actually not a service tech. He is a subaru specialist. In fact any subby driver having probelms is sent by SOA to him in S. CA.. He has been with subaru for 20 years plus.

Fairly an impressive track record. He is at Valley Subrau in CA.

Really nice guy and very knowledgable.

Hope this helps
I don't want to start a war here at all and this has been debated endlessly, buuuuut. There is no reason to wait until 15k miles to go to synthetic - ask him why. If he says it's because the rings haven't seated, then ask him how the engine has good compression with rings that aren't seated.

If you do an oil analysis after 3k miles you will clearly see that the oil is still in good condition. Many have, and the result is always the same provided that they don't have any other issues with the motor and they are using a good synthetic.

I just see the same arguments made by various people that are in a position to influence customers and they usually have zero data to back them up.

-st
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Old 02-27-2004, 05:51 PM   #21
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St

Dude! The info provided is way over my head. Look.. all he told me was what he recommends.

I ain't going to go and try to convince him otherwise. Hey.. I would rather change my oil least number of times, but I speak re a safety net. That way, you would reduce the risk if any at all.

Mike

The grade of oil was based on wether you were on the east coast or the west coast. He mentioned that once you go synthetic after the 15k, you would notice an improvement. As per him avoiding the manual guidelines, I do not know.
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Old 02-27-2004, 06:03 PM   #22
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Mike & St

Ask for Daryl at Valley Subaru.
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by robbie
Mike & St

Ask for Daryl at Valley Subaru.
LOL dude! I don't want oil advice from him that's for sure. : ) Why would I call him?

-st
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:32 PM   #24
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Bump because I now have a more serious version of this issue. I last changed the oil in June but have only put about 2000 miles on the car (mostly easy exurban driving with some highway). If I don't change the oil soon it won't get done until spring, which definitely seems too long. So I am thinking about changing the oil but not the filter. I understand about the oil breaking down over time even if not driven much but the filter should be OK, right? Opinions?

Last edited by Mike Wevrick; 10-22-2008 at 04:07 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick View Post
Bump because I now have a more serious version of this issue. I last changed the oil in June but have only put about 2000 miles on the car (mostly easy exurban driving with some highway). If I don't change the oil soon it won't get done until spring, which definitely seems too long. So I am thinking about changing the oil but not the filter. I understand about the oil breaking down over time even if not driven much but the filter should be OK, right? Opinions?
The filter is not going to fall apart. As you may know, I'm a diesel mech at UPS. We have some equipment like a spare yard terminal tractor and a snow plow truck that gets like one oil/filter change a year.
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