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Old 02-20-2005, 09:23 AM   #1
CletusTheDwarf
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Default Some basic oil questions

I checked the unabombers oil faq, but didn't find what I was looking for.

I have a 2005 wrx with 850 miles on it. The manual says you don't have to change the oil until 3000 miles, but I've heard lots of people say to change it at 1000. Which is more common?

I also heard it's not good to switch to synthetic right away. Is this true?

If I don't switch to synthetic, what is a good brand of dino oil? Up until now all i've had to get was whatever was cheapest. :-p

Thanks to the answers to the noob questions.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:37 AM   #2
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on these newer engines you really dont need to change the oil til 3000

some guys are old skool and paranoid and insist on changing it at 1k
you must decide for yourself on that one.

Jamie
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:42 AM   #3
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This is one of the biggest cans of worms there is.......but do yourself a favor and don't put syn oil in your car for at least 5k miles......there are internal parts that have to 'machine' themselves to eachother and syn oil can be too slick to allow this to happen properly....and it's not just the rings seating, either.


....waiting for this to be locked/moved....
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:02 AM   #4
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Cliff Notes: Jamie and Scotty are right. What follows is a bit about cylinder walls.

Drive the car as close to what subaru suggests regarding 4000 rpm for 1000 miles, mostly in the mountains or back roads with lots of up and down shifting and use the gears a lot and don't forget to get into the boost. That's good for the very hard Nikasil TM coating/"liners." Then keep the oil in for 3000 to 3750 miles.

I did change to synthetic at 3750 miles, with a weight recommended by Subaru for the environmental conditions (Fall/Winter of 2001). If you can't do the right kind of driving during and past break in, you should probably do as Scotty said, or maybe go even longer before changing to synthetic.

Don't use high sulfur gasoline, which can be bad for the Nikasil. Nikasil has been used on many "elite" cars, including the BMW V12, and in a lot of racing engines for cars, bilkes and ultralites. BMW owners have had problems with Nikasil, usually owner preventable via better maintenance and better fuel. However, BMW once had an engine replacement program for a Nikasil problem. Problems tend to go with Nikasil plating on high pressure castings which are porous. More facts can be obained via Google for Nikasil and process or patent.

There is an engine manufacturer, I forget which one, who recommends that Nikasil engines be broken in on the road, and never on a dynamometer, so there seems to be a little science/art about this Nikasil business.

The good news about Nikasil, is high durability (way over 100,000 miles) plus good heat transfer and low friction.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:36 AM   #5
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I put synthetic at my first oil change. No problemo. Oh, it was at 3K. I don't drive my car very hard though. Turbo cars usually burn oil and synthetic holds up better, hence the change to synthetic.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CletusTheDwarf
I have a 2005 wrx with 850 miles on it. The manual says you don't have to change the oil until 3000 miles, but I've heard lots of people say to change it at 1000.
well - if you go with the assumption that any random crap left around in the system from the engine build will get flushed out after 500 or so miles, changing the oil is just to get rid of that.

Modern cars don't use special oils for break-in, so changing the oil at low miles really doesn't matter from that point of view (i.e., if the oil is reasonably clean, and the filter isn't loaded up with metal fines or anything, and you are just changing to fresh conventional oil at 500 or 1000 miles, the engine won't notice any difference). I view the early oil change as a "just-in case" sort of thing. ymmv.
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:50 PM   #7
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DrD has it right. Sorry to spoil the party but yes you can and should change over to Mobil 1 around 1000 miles. It won't hurt your turbo engine in any way whatsoever and will confer so many positive benefits we don't have space to go into them here. I changed mine over actually at 640 miles and at 25K the engine is happy as a clam, runs strong as hell, burns NO oil between changes and in short has no problems or issues whatsoever. (Knock on wood ) The thing about flushing out possible machining contaminants and loose gasket materials in a new engine is very important--you don't want those foreign materials circulating in your oil for 3000 miles, no way. Great way to put a lot of unnecessary "mileage" on your brand new engine.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexaroo
DrD has it right. Sorry to spoil the party but yes you can and should change over to Mobil 1 around 1000 miles. It won't hurt your turbo engine in any way whatsoever and will confer so many positive benefits we don't have space to go into them here. I changed mine over actually at 640 miles and at 25K the engine is happy as a clam, runs strong as hell, burns NO oil between changes and in short has no problems or issues whatsoever. (Knock on wood ) The thing about flushing out possible machining contaminants and loose gasket materials in a new engine is very important--you don't want those foreign materials circulating in your oil for 3000 miles, no way. Great way to put a lot of unnecessary "mileage" on your brand new engine.
Nah, Nah, Nah, everything you said holds for my engine at 78,000 miles, and I followed my own paranoid path.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:52 PM   #9
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my .02: wait until 3000 and use a decent dino oil (I like Castrol GTX)

never heard of Nikasil btw
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
never heard of Nikasil btw
it's a wear resistance coating used by Subaru and a number of other manufacturers
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrD
well - if you go with the assumption that any random crap left around in the system from the engine build will get flushed out after 500 or so miles, changing the oil is just to get rid of that.
If the folks that change that early really want to get rid of that random crap in the system from the engine build, they had better change the oil every 500-1,000 miles until the car reaches 10-12,000 miles.

There are lots of Subaru used oil analysis' out there showing the engines are still wearing in at 12,000.

-Dennis
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Old 02-22-2005, 06:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesubie
There are lots of Subaru used oil analysis' out there showing the engines are still wearing in at 12,000.
if the engine is running, then wear is taking place.

by random stuff I am thinking more bits and pieces left over from the building process (excess gasket material, small metal chips, etc.) - not particles from normal wear and tear.
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:22 PM   #13
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I had no idea that Subaru used Nikasil!

FWIW, I changed my oil with dino at ~1700, 3,500, 7,000 and 10,000 before switching to Mobil 1. My motor uses no perceptible amount of oil between changes with 58K on it now. I probably could have started using synth earlier...ymmv
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z&cobb
Drive the car as close to what subaru suggests regarding 4000 rpm for 1000 miles, mostly in the mountains or back roads with lots of up and down shifting and use the gears a lot and don't forget to get into the boost. That's good for the very hard Nikasil TM coating/"liners." Then keep the oil in for 3000 to 3750 miles.
Why is it good to do revvy mountain driving rather than "easy" cruising during break-in?
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:06 AM   #15
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Cruise control, in particular, is forbidden during break-in. Vary the RPM as much as you can within the limits provided (4K). I believe a constant RPM has the effect of polishing the rings and cylinder walls instead of allowing them to wear enough to seat properly.
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:59 AM   #16
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Hmm...I was planning on doing some early oil changes but a guy at the dealer (i know) said that it is a good idea to keep the factory oil in for a while as it has an add-pack that helps with break-in. Anyone know any more info on this one?
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Cruise control, in particular, is forbidden during break-in. Vary the RPM as much as you can within the limits provided (4K). I believe a constant RPM has the effect of polishing the rings and cylinder walls instead of allowing them to wear enough to seat properly.
ewww...cruise control, never used it and i never will. during engine break in you definitely want your engine RPM to vary to properly break in the engine. it's even good to do brief periods of WOT up to roughly 55mph to properly set the rings in. basically you don't want to pamper your engine like a baby, if u want it to run properly you gotta rough it up a little.

i'd say use synthetic oil on your 5th oil change. dino oil does it job fine for new engines before reaching 15k mile mark. i like Castrol GTX, it's a good dino oil. after that use Mobil 1 or Royal Purple or something. and i use the Puralator oil filter, although i'm not sure if there is much of a difference between Puralator and OEM oil filter
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:52 AM   #18
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I've changed the oil on two STi's at less then 10 miles, as the ones that come with port installed guage pods still need to have the oil temp sensor installed. I think if the oil was treated or special in some way, we would not be doing this. Also I changed my oil at about 1000 miles, and it appeared to have moisture in it. Even though it only had 1k on it, it had sat at the dealer for 8 months and who knows how long since the oil was poured in initally. I've done fleet service, they change every 3 months regardless of mileage. btw, I also switched to mobil 1 at around 5k.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:24 PM   #19
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huh...good to know. I used to be all M1, but now I am torn between Redline and Amsoil 10w30 (once I do go to full-synth). I decided not go M1 cause it is thin and not with the jerman juice because of its winter viscosity rating being out of Subie recommendations. As far as dino is concerned...would OEM Sub or Castrol be best? (or other than those).
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:45 PM   #20
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too thin? the 5w-30 Mobile1 works fine for me

then again i live out in Cali, so i can pretty much use anything for both winter and summer, meh.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:38 PM   #21
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At the race track new motors are run like they were built to run twenty minutes after startup. After making sure everything is working as it should. Of course, they have opened up bearing tollerances that allow that practice. Probably doesn't have relevance here though. BTW, I changed my oil at 100 miles, 500 miles, 1000 miles and then again at 1500 with mobil 1. I now have 60k miles and I hardly use any oil. So, I guess everyone is still confused.
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:04 PM   #22
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let's just say everyone has a different way of handling oil when it comes to cars. some guys swap it constantly during the break-in, some just leave it in there until 3k. some guys do oil changes every 4,000 miles, some do it every 3,000 miles.

whatever. no way in hell to tell which is the "best" way to do it. i just stick with what works and swap out the mobile1 fullsynth every 3,000 miles and slap on a puralator filter.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:50 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillJC
At the race track new motors are run like they were built to run twenty minutes after startup. After making sure everything is working as it should. Of course, they have opened up bearing tollerances that allow that practice. Probably doesn't have relevance here though. BTW, I changed my oil at 100 miles, 500 miles, 1000 miles and then again at 1500 with mobil 1. I now have 60k miles and I hardly use any oil. So, I guess everyone is still confused.


Bill....the only problem with what you did/do is that most people haven't got the silghtest clue as to how to break in an engine properly and they rely on myth and hearsay and BS and wives tales and all that...so they almost invariably do it wrong anyway.....
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrD
Modern cars don't use special oils for break-in, .
That is probably not true. UOAs over at BITOG have pretty much proven that manufacturers use oils with more additives than normal, especially moly. The oil they use for break-in would not qualify for SM classification because of the extra adds. I know Honda does this, but Im not sure if Subaru does it, I would go search but i need to go to bed.
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrD
if the engine is running, then wear is taking place.
You might be surprised how little (practically none) wear can take place on a broken in motor, especially compared to when it was young.
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