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Guest Message by DevFuse

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1996 Outback: Seeking opinions on 2.5 motor

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Len


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Posted 13 April 2004 - 09:55 AM

I have a '96 Outback with 125k. I have owned it for about 1 1/2 years, and have always been bothered by the fact that it requires premiun fuel. Is there anyway to modifiy the engine (computer modification?) that would allow me to use regular grade fuel?

I am having to add about a quart oil between 3,000 mile oil changes, which casuses me concern (My previously owned '87 4-Runner, with 235,000k used only 1/2 quart between oil changes...). A mechanic friend of mine says that I should not be conerned with the oil consumption as long as it stays within one to two quarts between oil changes. That seems to be excessive consumption to me. Is this sort of consumption characteristic of the 2.5 motor?

Finally, what is it with the 2.5 motors? In reading the forums, I am coming across some discontent with the 2.5 motor in general (and praise for the 2.2). Does the 2.5 (and specifically the 1996 2.5) not have the legendary reputation of earlier Subaru motors? Thanks for any insights... Len

#2 northguy


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Posted 13 April 2004 - 10:07 AM

Largest concern is with head gasket failure. They don't seem to be as bulletproof as the 2.2

#3 cookie


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Posted 13 April 2004 - 12:32 PM

legendary reputation. Blitz has some great ideas on driveability on these things. Since I have heard nothing but good of the Naylor amp he invented it might pay to try his ideas.
Do a search on Blitz if he does not chime in here.

#4 mattocs


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Posted 13 April 2004 - 12:36 PM

I have 212,000 miles on my 2.2l and have to add no oil between changes...even when I go 5,000 miles :D

#5 cookie


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Posted 13 April 2004 - 12:41 PM

gaskets either, we know. My 2.5 uses about a half quart between changes with over 100,000 miles on the clock. Seems about right for an old car.

#6 Aja1


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Posted 14 April 2004 - 03:59 PM

I've got a 96 GT wagon that enjoys premium fuel too. I also have to add at least 1 quart of oil between changes.

However, I have 175K and still going strong (the engine that is, other things not so much). 1996 was the first year of the 2.5 and I think they have corrected some of the problems we are having including the premium requirement (later 2.5's don't require), poor engine seals and gaskets. As for adding oil, I think we should probably consider ourselves lucky that it is all we have to do between oil changes, adding 1-2 quarts is quite common and doesn't necessarily speak to other problems. If there aren't leaks underneath the engine I wouldn't sweat it. I had to have all the seals replaced which wasn't great, but it has helped with the oil consumption.

Hope that sheds some light.


#7 99obw


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Posted 14 April 2004 - 04:55 PM

Keep in mind that the oil consumption of an engine can vary greatly with oil type and viscosity. Consumption was very high in the Subaru with Mobil 1 5w-30 at 10 cSt kinematic viscosity. Using Amsoil 5w-30 at 11.7 cSt has reduced consumption significantly, but it still uses about a quart in 7500 miles. I hope to see consumption further reduced by using 10w-30 ATM this summer.

I have cut the consumption in my other car to about a third by switching from Pennzoil 10w-30 at 10.5 cSt to Pennzoil High Mileage 10w-30 at 12 cSt. Next oil change I am going to go back to the regular Pennzoil Multi Grade (cheaper)but mix 10w-30 and 10w-40 50:50 to achieve 12 cSt kinematic viscosity @ 100°C. Believe it or not those two oils mixed in that ratio still make a 30 weight oil.

#8 Len


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Posted 14 April 2004 - 10:11 PM

Thanks guys. I don't feel nearly so anxious after reading the posts. I think I'll stay married to my '96 Outback. As far as the suggestions on trying different oil weights/viscosity, I should say that I have added, with the last 3 oil changes, Restore (an oil additaive that is supposed to improve compression and reduce oil consumption, the guys on Car Talk recommend it for what it's worth) but I can't say that it has made that much of a difference. I will try the oils recommended, and report back. Thanks again for all of the input so far.... Len

#9 PAezb


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Posted 01 May 2004 - 02:49 PM

I like Catrol's High Milage Oil, 5-30 in winter, 10-30 in summer. My perception is that it did make a noticable improvement in quieting the ticking and other engine noises on my 96 OBW.

I' ve used Valvoline in the the past, and still think it is a fine product, Castrol just seemed to make the engine a bit quieter...

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