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Old 02-12-2005, 11:18 AM   #1
Mike Wevrick
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OMGHi2U needopinions on my new oil change plan

Up to now my WRX has been used almost entirely for highway cruising, usually with a moderate load but occasionally with a full load. I have been changing the oil every 7k or so with Castrol GTX dino and OEM filters.

Now, however, I am using the car more for city driving and will also be doing more heavy-load trips, including pulling a trailer. So I am thinking of going to synthetic or shortening the change intervals, or both. However, it seems pointless to change synthetic every 5k, so I am thinking of leaving synthetic oil in for 10k and changing the filter halfway.

opinions, advice, flames, whatever ...
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Old 02-12-2005, 11:44 AM   #2
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I'm not an expert, but I'll try to help....

I would say that synthetic is a good idea. You might want to switch to a heavier oil weight as well if you're doing heavy load trips and pulling a trailer.

Have you heard about Mobil1 Extended Performance? I think it's pretty new. It's a full synthetic oil that allows of oil changes every 15k. I saw the 5qt jugs at Walmart. It's $4 more than the regular Mobil1 synthetic.

Hope this helped a little.
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:35 PM   #3
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Under the circumstances, I would switch to a three month plan. Change your oil once every three months no matter what the mileage. Synthetic is not required, but it never hurts.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:12 PM   #4
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Synthetic is the single best thing you can do for your Rex engine IMHO. You will get the extra cost back and more because the engine will last twice as long before needing that $3500 re-build.

Hauling heavy loads + lots of city driving + hot-running turbo engine puts you in the *severe* service category, no ifs ands or buts. Whatever synth you go with, I'd change oil and filter every 3750 just like the manual says.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:25 PM   #5
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I'd say go with synthetic....I like Mobile 1...& change it every 5,000 miles or 5 months. I'm not a believer in long extended mileage oil changes. Like rexaroo said you are driving under the severe schedule now.

Chuck
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:43 PM   #6
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I've been really tempted to send my oil in for analysis....a lot of people go 7500+ miles on Mobil 1 synthetic. I guess it all depends on how you drive your car and what you do with it.
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:45 PM   #7
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Thanks, all. I should clarify a bit. I don't do a huge amount of city driving; 80% of the total miles are still highway. The trailer towing will only be once or twice a year. That's why I don't want to go the full severe service route. Also, I only put about 12k miles a year on the car so 3 month interval doesn't work either.
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:50 PM   #8
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oil analysis is the way to go. im personally doing the 3.5 k filter change synthetic mobil 1 ever 7.

i drive my car hard and mostly short distances
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Old 02-13-2005, 04:01 PM   #9
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Mike, the simple way to make sure you are not doing any harm is (as suggested above) to do an oil analysis *on the old oil* when changing the oil. That will tell you if you've overdepleted the acid neutralizers, if the viscosity modifiers are broken-down, etc. If so, you can just shorten the interval between changes by a month or two. Castrol dino/OEM filters are both good quality, so I'd stick with changing every six months and see what the analysis tells you.
The problems with trying extended drain intervals with synthetics, but still changing the filter more often are: you don't really save very much time/effort; since the synthetic costs 3x as much as decent dino oil ($4 - $4.50/qt Mobil1 vs. $1-1.50/qt Chevron) you don't end up saving money; even though the oil part of Mobil1 may last a long time, additives like acid neutralizers may get used up sooner, so just draining and replacing everything more frequently helps ensure you always have functional levels.
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:27 PM   #10
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Good advice; thanks. It's interesting that Subaru recommends the same change intervals even if you are using synthetic. Maybe I'll just stick to the Castrol dino/OEM filters and shorten the interval (maybe 5k miles/5 months)
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:48 PM   #11
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After having used oil analysis' done on a WRX and FXT, I wouldn't run a conventional oil in a turbo unless I stuck to a 3,750 oil change interval.

I used M1 10W30 on the WRX and M1 5W30 in the FXT. Five mile trips weekdays, and a few trips including SC in July (100F days with the FXT). A little bit of off-roading in the FXT, spirited driving in both but no track/auto-x in either.

The 10W30 helped up better (as expected) than the 5W30, both at a little less than 6,000 miles. GTX is very good stuff, but I wouldn't go less than a 10W30 in the summer and I would use a 10W40 in temps of around 100F.

Run the GTX for 3.5-4,000 miles then send in an oil sample, IMHO. Top off what you sampled and wait for the results.
http://www.blackstone-labs.com/free_test_kit.html
That way, there's no guessing how long you can run the oil.

-Dennis

Last edited by bluesubie; 02-14-2005 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 02-14-2005, 11:31 PM   #12
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Thanks, Dennis. I think I'll send in some 7k GTX from my last change.
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Old 02-14-2005, 11:40 PM   #13
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5k oil changes are the way to go. You don't need to use high math skillz for 3000 or 7500, just change every XX,000 and X5,000 miles. Use whichever flavor you like; I use prefer synthetic but either oil type will do nicely.
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