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2011 Forester - turbo or Not


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20 replies to this topic

#1 MikeGS

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 07:24 PM

Hi,

New to the board and to new Subaru's. Tomorrow night I will be purchasing a 2011 Forester. My only decision is turbo or not. I am aware of all the typical pro's and con's regarding fuel economy, premium fuel vs not, insurance costs, ect.

I'd like to know the opinion of the real gear heads out here. I need this car to last 7 + years. It will see 14K miles of commuting yearly plus twice monthly runs from the Sacramento valley up to Lake Tahoe year round.

Any thoughts to a non-gear head are much appreciated.

#2 Scoobywagon

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 08:24 PM

I don't know that there are any particular mechanical concerns with either engine. Personally, I think I would recommend the turbo model. That's not just because its the one I want (it is). Having driven a few turbo cars up and down some pretty fair mountains, I have found that I really like the extra power that the turbo gives you. At altitude, it really isn't so much that you get EXTRA power as you seem to lose less power as compared to a naturally aspirated car. If you have the means, get the nice one. Get the turbo.

#3 WRX2FFU

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 06:35 AM

Turbo. If you can get a 5spd too thats the best(if its avaliable, not sure).

If you maintain it properly and don't mod it you'll get the life you need out of it.

Maintainence on a turbo subie is relativly pricey, just be prepared. Do the work you can yourself.

Just for some info, my 02' wrx wagon 5spd has 201,xxx on it and still going strong. It's all stock except for an sti cat back that I put on a year or so ago when the stock one rusted off. :lol:

#4 Mike104

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:47 AM

My personal opinion about turbochargers (after spending many hours changing them on piston engine airplanes that cost as much as a nice car) I would stay away from them. That's just my opinion. The less complex something is the less to break. I have heard on some earlier subaru models the turbo has an oil screen that can get clogged with carbon and starve the turbo bearings of oil = catastrophic failure. Not sure if that is still an issue with the newer ones.

Essentially it boils down to what you want. If you get a turbo, be religious about oil changes (3000 mi) and use a good quality oil perhaps a synthetic one. If you properly maintain it, there is probably a good change it may not be a problem in the future. 10k oil change intervals and count on it exploding at some point.

Do some searches for turbo chargers on these boards and see if you come up with horror stories and ask your Subaru dealer mechanics what they recommend as far as maintenance on a turbo. Sales guys and dealer service advisors will tell you what they think you want to hear, as the guys with the dirty coveralls what you really need to know.

Edited by Mike104, 15 November 2010 - 11:55 AM.


#5 wtdash

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:34 PM

- 5-speed only avl. on non-turbo version.
- Will you carry others/lots of stuff into the mtns? If so you'll want the turbo. Remember, as noted above, altitude affects NA cars more than turbo cars, so if the NA cars feels strong in Sacramento, it'll feel 'less so' in the Sierras. Edit: Going from basically sea level to 6k feet, will be noticeable.
- The WRX, which is very similar mechanically to the XT/Turbo, has seen a decline in reliability on CR on the '09 model and is Below Average, whereas the XT is just Average. The non-turbo Impreza is Better than Average, and the Forester is Much Better than Average.
- I'd get a 100K extended warranty on the XT model, just for peace of mind. That'll cover your 7 years/14K a year usage.

GL,
TD

Edited by wtdash, 15 November 2010 - 04:39 PM.


#6 MikeGS

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 09:58 PM

And the verdict: 2011 Forester XT Touring. All smiles here.

Edited by MikeGS, 15 November 2010 - 10:29 PM.
Incorrect model entered first time around.


#7 94Loyale

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:52 AM

Good choice! They are a ton of fun to drive. And that still sucks that they dropped the 5spd on the XT's. :( About 2 months ago I had an 04 XT in the shop, that I installed STI cams, turbo, and intake on. That thing was a riot to drive!

Anyway though, the turbos will last you a long time if you keep up on the oil changes. I can't stress oil changes enough on these cars. And if you're running it hard, let it idle for a little before you shut it off. :) Maintenance is really no different, I see a bunch of these pass through the shop. And especially in stock form, they last a long time. Just like any other car, take care of it, and it will take care of you.

#8 MikeGS

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 06:57 AM

Good choice! They are a ton of fun to drive. And that still sucks that they dropped the 5spd on the XT's. :( About 2 months ago I had an 04 XT in the shop, that I installed STI cams, turbo, and intake on. That thing was a riot to drive!

Anyway though, the turbos will last you a long time if you keep up on the oil changes. I can't stress oil changes enough on these cars. And if you're running it hard, let it idle for a little before you shut it off. :) Maintenance is really no different, I see a bunch of these pass through the shop. And especially in stock form, they last a long time. Just like any other car, take care of it, and it will take care of you.


Did you move to synthetic after the break in? I talked to two mechanics last night; split decision with them.

#9 94Loyale

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 07:43 AM

Truthfully, I'm not into the whole synthetic thing. But to each their own. I run Mystic synthetic blend.

#10 Scoobywagon

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:42 AM

I've got a bit of experience using synthetics. My advice is this...if you're going to go synthetic, go big or go home. By that, I mean go right to the top of the line. No half-measures here. Get into either Redline, Royal Purple or Mobile1. My advice would be for Royal Purple as I have more recent experience with it than the other 2. You might check with Subaru, though. They may have some specific reasons for using one or the other.

#11 WRX2FFU

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 06:29 PM

As far as oil goes, you could fill the milky way with all of the opinions you'll get.

If you want to know the truth.... http://www.blackstone-labs.com/

This will give you an idea about what is best for your motor.

#12 AWDFTW

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 06:39 PM

The 2011 Forester XT requires 5w30 synthetic oil.

#13 Ross

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 02:20 AM

There is really no good reason not to use a synthetic oil. Their relative expense is almost offset by the longer change intervals required (good idea to change the filter half way through the oil's lifetime if you are running a long life oil though) and their viscosity is much more stable at the high temperatures sometimes encountered in turbocharger bearings.

When selecting an oil, get one with the same high temp viscosity rating as the one recommended by subaru -- that's the second number, and I think you are after a 30.

The first number, with the W after it is less critical unless you live in a cold climate. A good synthetic will generally be a 0W or 5W though. The lower the better, as it means the cold viscosity is more similar to the (ideal) hot viscosity.

#14 Buick350X

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:19 AM

Being brand new, id be tempted to push the oil of choice off on the dealer and only have it done there, if anything happens, your warranty defence is "the dealer said.........."

#15 MikeGS

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:25 PM

The 2011 Forester XT requires 5w30 synthetic oil.


Recommended yes, required, not necessarily. Page 12-5 of my owners manual states:

0W-20 synthetic is the recommended oil for optimum engine performance.

*: 5W-30 or 5W-40 conventional oil my be used if replacement is needed but should be changed to 0W-20 synthetic oil at the next oil change.

I raised the question because I asked about oil at the dealer and was told the car had plain old dino-juice and I could change to synthetic after the break in. That did sound kind of odd. In any event I'll call Subaru tomorrow and ask the question, what type of oil is in my engine??

With all of this said I just looked at the maintenance schedule - states the first oil change is at 7,500 miles and thereafter every 7,500 miles. Must be synthetic. Guess the sales guy was not up to speed on the more technical side of the car.

Edited by MikeGS, 17 November 2010 - 09:33 PM.
Added last sentence.


#16 MikeGS

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:35 PM

Being brand new, id be tempted to push the oil of choice off on the dealer and only have it done there, if anything happens, your warranty defence is "the dealer said.........."


Agreed. That is exactly what I plan on doing at least for the duration of the extended warranty.

#17 AWDfreak

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:42 AM

Good choice! They are a ton of fun to drive. And that still sucks that they dropped the 5spd on the XT's. :( About 2 months ago I had an 04 XT in the shop, that I installed STI cams, turbo, and intake on. That thing was a riot to drive!

Anyway though, the turbos will last you a long time if you keep up on the oil changes. I can't stress oil changes enough on these cars. And if you're running it hard, let it idle for a little before you shut it off. :) Maintenance is really no different, I see a bunch of these pass through the shop. And especially in stock form, they last a long time. Just like any other car, take care of it, and it will take care of you.

Yes. I think in the Drive Performance magazine article, it's 30 seconds before shutoff.

Yeah, this is what Subaru of America says about turbocharged engine care:
http://www.drive.sub...sum08_turbo.htm

And here's the official oil change interval and driving tips:

Under normal driving conditions, the recommended oil and oil filter change interval for turbo vehicles is every 3,750 miles or four months, whichever comes first.

1. Do not rev the engine or accelerate past half throttle immediately after start-up. Oil requires time to heat up for full flow, and high-rpm driving with a cold engine can damage the turbocharger.
2. After highway driving or high-load driving, allow the engine to cool by idling for at least 30 seconds before turning off the ignition.

I've got a bit of experience using synthetics. My advice is this...if you're going to go synthetic, go big or go home. By that, I mean go right to the top of the line. No half-measures here. Get into either Redline, Royal Purple or Mobile1. My advice would be for Royal Purple as I have more recent experience with it than the other 2. You might check with Subaru, though. They may have some specific reasons for using one or the other.


Agreed on this. If you simply drive it moderately with the occasional redlining of the engine, most full synthetics will do. As for factory recommendations, there's the Subaru brand synthetic (which is said to be made by Idemitsu), Castrol Synthetic, or Elf Racing Synthetic.


And if you REALLY push it hard, just go all-out and get yourself some Motul full-synthetic oil, which I'm sure is a Group IV or higher motor oil. Hell, they run it on all Subaru-factory race teams (both rally and road racing)

Edited by AWDfreak, 18 November 2010 - 12:44 AM.


#18 Buick350X

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:15 AM

Agreed. That is exactly what I plan on doing at least for the duration of the extended warranty.


Only question id have for you and maybe the whole forum, how dirty do these new engines run?

Our 00 Forest has always been well taken care of and the oil is changed often, but it only takes 30sec of running and the new oil is black as night.

Could be from emission stuff blowing crap back into the engine, that isn't always bad.

But it has always bugged me.

My daily drive 1980 Buick Estate wagon with obviously a 350X [X = Buick]
The oil looks nice and clean once changed for a long while, when it starts to turn black, I change it. Id change it every day in the SUB if I went by color.

#19 Scoobywagon

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 08:28 AM

Most manufacturer's that recommend synthetic motor oil in an engine SHIP that engine with synthetic in it. Having said that, the traditional recommendation has been to use dino-juice up until about 15k. The reasoning was that the synthetic has such high lubricity that the engine wouldn't break in properly with it. I really don't buy that. There are a number of reason why I don't buy that logic, but what it comes down to is the fact that a number of high-performance engines come with synthetic already in them and there's no way that those manufacturer's have gotten around the need to break the motor in. Well, ok...maybe M-B has something up their engineering sleeve. Thus, my suspicion is that your Subaru service writer is mistaken. I'd be willing to bet there's synthetic already in there. Just spend a little time going through the options and select a brand that you like.

As for weights...I used to use RedLine 0w-20 in my 92 SHO. Stuff looks like salad oil coming out of the bottle. :lol: A friend of mine uses Royal Purple 0w-(not sure) in his monster trucks. THAT stuff looks like dark purple laundry soap. Frankly, that guy is the most compelling argument I know of for using Royal Purple. Redline sponsor's him, but he still spends money out of his pocket to use Royal Purple. Not only that, but his Redline rep told him he understands why.

#20 Buick350X

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 11:17 AM

high performance engines that ship with syn, were pre broke in with dino or break in oil. As a high end car like that get more attention factory side, regular engins are just put together and shipped.

But the point is valid, syn can protect to well and the rings won't seat as well, ring seating is when they and the cylinders wall wear into each other.
Syn can stop that from being successful sometimes. So dino is preferred to break in. You can also buy special break in oil. [used all the time by old hot rodders for the higher levls of zinc the older engines like. Though some just add a bottle of ZDDP to any oil to achieve the same thing.]

Which reminds me to pick of a bottle of ZDDP

#21 wagaru

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:13 PM

yay turbo education! GO TURBO - here's why. subaru makes the most reliable turbo motors on earth. their cost of ownership isnt much higher, mostly in oil changes. sub turbos rarely blow, as long as the oil is changed, and warm up is as easy as driving gently till you reach OT, just like on a normal car. cool down is as simple as installing a turbo timer, and walking away. now for the thought provoking stuff. turbos were not concieved as a performance enhancer, in automobiles, so much as a fuel SAVER. in order to have the economy of of a 4cyl, but the power the turbo was built into ______ car. if you stay out of boost, you can have good mileage, you go into boost mileage goes down a bit, but crawling up the mountain roads in a 2.2 non turbo legacy is hard, if i had a turbo my mileage would increase, simply because i dont have to floor it to go up steep hills. when the engine isn't working as hard is saving fuel. turbo's are a winner all the way around, and if the turbo motor is well designed, there are no real drawbacks for daily driving, unless t\your count the slightly higher price of oil changes, which can be mitigated somewhat by supplying your own oil




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