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Correct amount/type of oil for Outback 3.0 L H6 2003?


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33 replies to this topic

#1 mountainwalker

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:10 PM

Our excellent regular mechanic wrote 5 ¾ Qt on the black plastic engine cover of our 2003 VDC 3.0 L H6 Outback, 105,466 miles. And I've heard Subaru engines have a reputation for running hot and being hard on oil. After going in for a good deal on a Groupon oil change at a local lube place, the technician put in only 5 ½ quarts - 5 qt 5w30, 1/2 qt 5w20 – is this OK? The technician said that the bit of 5W20 was helpful for cutting the heavier 5W30 and spreading it throughout the engine. 1) Was he right about this? And 2) Should I add another ¼ quart of 5W30 or another oil?

#2 porcupine73

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:17 PM

What's your manual say? You do not want to skimp on oil on this engine because of the timing chain tensioners. I believe 5W30 was the lightest recommended for soobs in that era, and then it was really done only for fuel economy vs 10W30 that was typical of the early/mid 90's.

If you see temps around 104F or higher, which maybe in your area you might? Then it looks like 10W-30 or 10W-40 might be more applicable.

Edited by porcupine73, 04 January 2012 - 04:19 PM.


#3 AWDfreak

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

Personally, I'm not a fan of mixing different viscosities.

Do you have an owners manual? It should tell you about the motor oil. Try to get one if you don't have one in your glovebox already.

You can also obtain a pdf copy of your owners manual on the web by creating a MySubaru account and download it. That's how I got my owners manual on my laptop :)

Also, some info like this can be found on cars101.com .

#4 3Pin

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:04 PM

6.1 quarts on my 3.0 2002 OB LL Bean.

5W-30 when it is icy cold and 10W-30 or 10W-40 in the summer.

#5 LeolaPA

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:22 PM

There are so many oil viscoscities out there for sale, I would just buy what the manual says and use that...or adjust for the season as was already suggested. I have a old BMW 325i and the manual for that does not give a very big temperature range for each oil viscosity, so I used to go by what they said for summer and different for winter.

#6 johnceggleston

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:30 PM

6.1 quarts on my 3.0 2002 OB LL Bean.

5W-30 when it is icy cold and 10W-30 or 10W-40 in the summer.


this one.

01 outback H6 VDC

#7 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:51 PM

check the level on the dipstick. take it out, check the other fluids, check the tires, maybe top off the battery - then, check the oil. Waiting with the stick out for a few miuntes often gives a better reading.

I'm in texas and I run walmart synthetic 5-30 in the winter and Shell Rotella T synth. 5-40 in the summer.

#8 ShawnW

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:25 AM

I put in 6 qts of 5w30 Mobil 1 in all of the ones that come into my shop.

#9 screwbaru2

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:44 AM

My wife has an 3.0 2003, with 130,000miles. I use 5w30 and fill the oil filter before installing it. It's a little messy but there's no air in the filter on start up.

#10 the3rsss

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

I believe soa calls for 5w30 for that engine. Remember, the second number(30) is the weight or flowability of the oil at OPERATING temp, approx 210 degrees. this never changes from alaska to texas, once an engine warms up they ALL run at about 210 deg. The first number(5) is the cold start weight. 5 is kinda of an all around middle of the road number. In a warm climate you could use a 10w30, moderate 5w30 and cold 5 or 0w30. Dont mess with the 30 unless your engine is well worn. Now synthetics.....a 10w30 synthetic will flow as well as a 5w30 dino oil cold. Synthetics flow much better at all temps. Your in a warm climate. I would use 0w30 with a quality (not fram) filter. The top of the line purolator (i think its puregard) has a bypass valve opening that is as close to a stock filter as you can get. If you want more info go to www.bobistheoilguy.com or the petroleum quality institute www.pqiamerica.com

#11 AWDfreak

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:23 AM

Purolator is the only aftermarket oil filter that I know of that meets the Subaru-spec bypass valve.

The one you're referring to is the "PureONE" lineup of oil filters, their top-of-the-line.

I run the PL14460. I believe there are at least two part numbers that fit Subarus that have the correct pressure spec.

EDIT: related thread
http://www.subaruout...lter-specs.html

#12 CNY_Dave

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:49 PM

My wife has an 3.0 2003, with 130,000miles. I use 5w30 and fill the oil filter before installing it. It's a little messy but there's no air in the filter on start up.


Do you half-fill the filter or tip the car on its side? ;)


Bought my '03 H6 with 55k 4 years ago (or so), 170k now, 6qts castrol 5W-30 every 5k miles, it's happy so far. (50 miles each-way commute, mostly highway).

We see 80+ degrees a fair bit in the summer, 90+ less frequently, 100 rarely but it happens.

Dave

#13 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:17 PM

OK the original manual calls for 5.6 quarts for our engine. Spoke with a service guy at a local Subaru dealer who seemed to have a clue, and he also confirmed 5.6 qts for our model, but noted that the engine has a 6.6 max capacity. He also said that 5W30 covers you from -22F to 95F and was best for our SF Bay Area all year, even if you head up to Tahoe snow country occasionally in winter. For consistently hotter climates like parts of Arizona or Texas, he said you might want to consider 10W40 or 10W30 for the summer months.

Given the higher capacity of the engine, is it beneficial to top off a little higher than 5.6 quarts, or would this interfere with the oil spreading around efficiently to all parts?

Are there brands of oil that offer significantly better quality than others?

#14 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

this one.

01 outback H6 VDC


Service guy at Subaru dealer claimed 5W30 covers you for -22F to 95F. Do you think there's a definite benefit to using 10W40 or 10W30 when you don't have consistent hot summer weather above 95F?

#15 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:26 PM

I put in 6 qts of 5w30 Mobil 1 in all of the ones that come into my shop.


Shawn, our manual and local dealer confirmed that Subaru calls for 5.6 quarts for our engine, though he also confirmed the max capacity the engine holds is 6.6 qts. Is there a benefit for us to topping off to 6 quarts? Any potential downside? The lube shop that did the change didn't put oil inside the new oil filter.

Should we also be using a specific type of oil filter?

Don't trust the lube shop I went into for the first time - in fact I insisted on being in the work area during the oil change right next to the guy to make sure he didn't dump crap in the car.

Also, do you think certain brands, such as Mobil 1, offer any better protection than others?

#16 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:29 PM

My wife has an 3.0 2003, with 130,000miles. I use 5w30 and fill the oil filter before installing it. It's a little messy but there's no air in the filter on start up.


Screwbaru2 you have the same car. How much oil do you add after filling the oil filter, and do you use any specific type of oil filter, or a generic one that just fits?

#17 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:36 PM

Do you half-fill the filter or tip the car on its side? ;)


Bought my '03 H6 with 55k 4 years ago (or so), 170k now, 6qts castrol 5W-30 every 5k miles, it's happy so far. (50 miles each-way commute, mostly highway).

We see 80+ degrees a fair bit in the summer, 90+ less frequently, 100 rarely but it happens.

Dave


Dave - same car, though we do less daily driving. Given that most of our trips are short ones, and Subaru recommends more frequent oil changes every 3,750 miles instead of every 7,500 if you do many short drives, your 5K guideline is about what we follow.

Do you use any particular type of oil filter, or just any generic that fits?

#18 porcupine73

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

You want the sump full to get the maximum oil change interval. That's what many of the vehicle makers who put the 'change oil soon' lights in the vehicles are finding out, that many car owners do not check or add makeup oil between oil changes, so they end up running with the sump less than full, and the 'change oil soon' light does not come on as soon as it needs to then.

#19 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:47 PM

I believe soa calls for 5w30 for that engine. Remember, the second number(30) is the weight or flowability of the oil at OPERATING temp, approx 210 degrees. this never changes from alaska to texas, once an engine warms up they ALL run at about 210 deg. The first number(5) is the cold start weight. 5 is kinda of an all around middle of the road number. In a warm climate you could use a 10w30, moderate 5w30 and cold 5 or 0w30. Dont mess with the 30 unless your engine is well worn. Now synthetics.....a 10w30 synthetic will flow as well as a 5w30 dino oil cold. Synthetics flow much better at all temps. Your in a warm climate. I would use 0w30 with a quality (not fram) filter. The top of the line purolator (i think its puregard) has a bypass valve opening that is as close to a stock filter as you can get. If you want more info go to www.bobistheoilguy.com or the petroleum quality institute www.pqiamerica.com


the3rsss, that was a very helpful explanation and good refresher. The info about the filter is new to me and I'd like to understand it better, as just about the best thing you can do for your car/engine is make sure it's well-oiled.

Our typical winter temps are 50-60F daytime, 32-36 night. Summer daytime can range from 75F to 102F, night around 50-60F. Note that we get about 3-4 weeks of very hot sunny days every summer (90-102F). I'd say our weather is quite moderate, but not very warm. Would you still recommend 0W30 synthetic over the 5W30 that most people use around here? Is there a downside to 0W30 - is it a lot more expensive?

What did you mean by "fram"?

What's the importance of the bypass valve opening? Is it very important to use this type of filter, and if so, how much does it usually run, how do I know which model I need and where's the best place to order it from?

Sincerely appreciate all the excellent advice from everyone.

#20 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:04 PM

Purolator is the only aftermarket oil filter that I know of that meets the Subaru-spec bypass valve.

The one you're referring to is the "PureONE" lineup of oil filters, their top-of-the-line.

I run the PL14460. I believe there are at least two part numbers that fit Subarus that have the correct pressure spec.

EDIT: related thread
http://www.subaruout...lter-specs.html


OK, went to the Purolator website and plugged in our car specs - 2003 Outback 6 cylinder:

http://www.purolator...tback&year=2003

Link shows PureOne Oil part PL14459 and Oil part L14459.

Is the PureOne Oil a higher grade filter they make?

How much do these usually run and where's the best place to get them?

And, does it matter at all if you change your 5W30 oil or 0W30 synthetic oil every 5,000 miles?

#21 AWDfreak

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:32 PM

OK, went to the Purolator website and plugged in our car specs - 2003 Outback 6 cylinder:

http://www.purolator...tback&year=2003

Link shows PureOne Oil part PL14459 and Oil part L14459.

Is the PureOne Oil a higher grade filter they make?

How much do these usually run and where's the best place to get them?

And, does it matter at all if you change your 5W30 oil or 0W30 synthetic oil every 5,000 miles?


For your engine (the H6), I would actually recommend the black Subaru OEM oil filter, as it is literally one of the best-constructed oil filters on the market.

Purolator (Classic) is their regular lineup of products. PureONE is their high-end lineup of products.

Best place to get Purolators IMO is Pep Boys. If you live in Sunnyvale, the one next to the new Safeway sometimes doesn't have the Subaru-spec ones in stock, so sometimes I'll go to the Pep Boys at Stevens Creek near San Thomas Expressway.

Most modern conventional up-to-date API-approved motor oils can last 5,000 to 7,000 miles fine. As for synthetic, unless you drive like a maniac or have severe-duty conditions, you can change it longer than a conventional oil.

#22 johnceggleston

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:57 PM

2001 outback owner's manual, page 12-4

Capacities:
Engine oil................2.5 liter.......4.2 US qt. (4.0 liters)
..............................3.0 liter.......6.0 US qt. (5.7 liters)

the oil viscositiy chart for the ez30 is the same one used for the 98 OBW, it was written for the C scale so i will adjust slightly to the closest notable mark for F scale. (page 11-13)

5w30 (from absolute zero) up to 100 degrees F (40 degrees C)
10w30, 10w40 from 0 degrees F (minus 20 degrees C) up (to temp of the sun).

Edited by johnceggleston, 05 January 2012 - 06:05 PM.


#23 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:03 PM

Thanks. I just picked up a PureOne for $5.76 for the 3.0L H6 on Amazon. Just running to the store and back eats up time that's worth more than the filter LOL, though it's good to have the store nearby when you need something in a hurry.

Where can you get the black Subaru OEM filter for my model year and engine type and how much does it run?

Please don't tell me I have to drive to the dealer to get one LOL (the Steven's Creek Subaru dealer in San Jose has a 1 1/2 star rating for over 130 reviews on Yelp, and most of those one star reviews are about the horrendous service and unnecessary expensive work).

Still curious as to whether or not the higher grade oil filter matters when you change oil every 5K.

#24 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:05 PM

2001 outback user's manual, page 12-4

Capacities:
Engine oil................2.5 liter.......4.2 US qt. (4.0 liters)
..............................3.0 liter.......6.0 US qt. (5.7 liters)

the oil viscositiy chart for the ez30 is the same one used for the 98 OBW, it was written for the C scale so i will adjust slightly to the closest notable mark for F scale. (page 11-13)

5w30 (from absolute zero) up to 100 degrees F (40 degrees C)
10w30, 10w40 from 0 degrees F (minus 20 degrees C) up (to temp of the sun).


Helpful, but based on that data, both 5W30 and 10W30 would work for our area in summer - but which would be optimal for our area in summer?

#25 mountainwalker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:17 PM

For your engine (the H6), I would actually recommend the black Subaru OEM oil filter, as it is literally one of the best-constructed oil filters on the market.


Says here the black OEM filters are discontinued and replaced with blue ones:
http://www.wrxtuners...er-again-25708/

Are the black ones no longer available, and if so, are the blue ones OK?




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