Jump to content

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse

- - - - -

Synthetic Motor Oil & Extended Drain Intervals

  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_SmashPDX_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 11:54 AM

Ok boys and girls, I know *this* topic is gonna kick up dust. :)

I've been running Mobil 1 in my Legacy for over a year now and I'm happy except for the cost. So while I just happened to be in the Amsoil website checking out air filters, I hit this page:


Efficiency on their filter was barely a smidge above the Purolator Pure One I've got in there (interesting) but also on the site is their recommendation that with their synthetic 10W30 you can run for 25K or 12 months, with filter changes (their filter, that is) every 12,500K or 6 months.

Now I have three questions:

(1) Are Redline and Amsoil all that far ahead of Mobil 1?
(2) Is it possible I could be extending my drain interval by changing the *filter only* at certain points?
(3) You think mebbe I should try one of these Amsoil filteryobbies?

Of course, if I switch to SynLube all these questions are moot. :)

#2 Guest_traskw_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 12:24 PM

Russ, I am switching over myself. The filters also hold about twice the normal capacity for better cooling and filtration. However, I was not willing to do the extended drain intervals unless I also installed the Bypass system. This will give me the piece of mind that I can change the filter (Which on the dual bypass system is about 5 times the size of the stock filter) and a quart of oil (the amount in the filter) every six months, and the Bypass filter and full oil change once a year.

#3 Guest_natebg_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 12:25 PM

What is your drain interval now? Have you had an oil analysis done?

#4 Guest_SmashPDX_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 12:28 PM

You know, I was thinking about bypass filters too. About a year ago I was doing a lot of reading on some fella's site about these things and I believe he was selling his own, he actually posted in a thread or two here but it either fell off or it's in the Archives by now.

My thinking in even investigating this stuff is that with 104K on my car and no planned replacement in sight, I want my Legacy running with top performance and the best proactive maintenance.

Do you know what part #s apply to the Amsoil bypass setup for our cars?

#5 Guest_traskw_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 12:33 PM

Yes, I have already purchased (and signed up as a dealer since I am already involved in online sales of products) the kit with the adapters for our cars BMK-13, you will also probably need 2 sets of 90 degree fittings. Without pulling out the engine I will not be able to use the stock frame bracket, but need to fabricate a bracket myself. Not a big deal I already figured out how to do it. I plan on taking picks of the whole process and posting them, should be able to get it done this weekend.

#6 Guest_SmashPDX_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 12:53 PM

Cool! I'm looking forward to seeing those!

#7 Guest_traskw_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 01:05 PM

The other thing about Amsoil over Mobil 1, which I used for about 35K is that Amsoil adds additives to swell the engine seals, with Mobil 1 I had to add additives myself to keep them swelled. Amsoil claims that it swells seals better than conventional oil.

#8 Guest_Chris Roberts_*

Guest_Chris Roberts_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 05:11 PM

I've been running Mobil 1 at approx. 6k intervals with filter changes every 3k. I do a lot of interstate driving and rarely drive less than 45-50 miles with each start up. I could probably go longer than I am, but have never had analysis done and prefer do er on the side of safety.

#9 Guest_soobee_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 08:05 PM

These posts got me to spend the bulk of my afternoon looking at the Redline, Amsoil and Synlube websites...

I just switched to synthetics (at 200K it's probably a little late, but what the hell...) and picked Castrol Syntec. (The Amsoil site actually tags Syntec as being better than Mobil 1).

Now I'm totally confused. Castrol recommends keeping the standard intervals (3Mo/3K). Amsoil says 2 Filters/12Mo/25K. Don't recall what Redline said. Synlube says once in a lifetime (basically).

I'm all about using less oil and both Amsoil and Synlube push the evironmental benefits of their oils reduced need for changing (a bonus.)

Amsoil looks like a good bet (not much more than what I paid for my Syntec) though I'm somewhat put out by their business model (it's a pyramid scheme type thing). Their bypass filter looks like something I'd love to add to my vehicle (or maybe I'll wait until the next one...).

The Synlube of course sounds too good to be true. Though I'd love to believe that it works. (Don't the magnets seem just a little dorky? Not that they wouldn't work, but, please, if it were that simple seems that manufacturers would drop a couple in the oil pan...then again, maybe the simplicity of it is what makes it so brilliant...)

Okay, enough. Just too much time lookin' at this stuff today...

#10 Guest_VDCHawk_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 09:14 PM

Soobee - Funny thing, most GM vehicles that I have owned HAD/HAVE a small magnet on the drain plug. Yes it does catch a lot of metalic dust and chips. I thought that it was very strange at my first oil change that the Subaru didn't have a magnet.

The strangest part is how the Synlube and Subaru Club of America sites seen to be from the same designer. Check it out at www.subaruclub.com/ and www.synlube.com

#11 Guest_soobee_*

  • Guests

Posted 31 August 2001 - 10:35 PM

Hmmm...that's odd. Even more odd is that a company I used to work for used the exact same setup at one time...including the dash with the spinning dials.

About the magnets, don't know how much good they would do given Sube's all aluminum engine construction...

#12 Guest_SmashPDX_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 12:50 AM

soobee-- Commuter is running Synlube in his Subie. I'm sure we'll hear from him in this thread. :)

#13 Guest_soobee_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 08:18 AM

Very interesting...So, how're we going to know if it's any good?

While I think it's possible to run the same lube for the life of the car, I'm sceptical of using the same filter? Did I miss something on the synlube site? They pitch the filter as life time. I'd imagine that filters would be the one consumable and new oil would be added to replace that lost to the filter. That makes sense. More sense is the Bypass Filter Amsoil's got.


Okay, now I see. The Synlube filters do get changed. At 10K, 15K later, then 25 to 60K after. That makes some sense. As the system "adapts" to the Synlube smaller and smaller particles will appear in the oil stream...*shurg* Why not.

I'm thinking I'll give the Amsoil a shot next time around.

#14 Guest_remarcable_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 08:21 AM

I'm running Mobil 1 since out of all the synthetic oils... it is about the only one you can pick up at nearly every gas station in an emergency.

I noticed yesterday that my oil level was a little bit low after 3 months of hard driving and 2900 miles in southern heat/humidity including about an hour of really wringing the car out in the dirt.

So I put a little more oil in and the level is back to normal. Could be the car was still a bit hot and had oil left in the engine when I checked it.

Not sure if there were any leaks, nothing on the driveway - but I have a big skidplate under there so I'm not sure I'd notice a few drips. Nothing visibile from the engine bay anyway.

This was the first oil change that I used synthetic, so I expected a little consumption of oil.

If it keeps drinking it though, I will probably buy a case of amsoil or redline.

I wouldn't mind putting a better, longer-lasting filter on either, but I don't want to deal with fabricating brackets and stuff.

I think with my lead foot and the hot temperatures down here I will be doing an oil&filter change every 6000 miles.

Think that's good enough?

The oil yesterday looked pretty good on the dip stick... normally around 3000 miles of driving like this dino oil is looking black and burnt.

#15 Guest_soobee_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 08:49 AM

Since I find this particular subject so fascinating...

Here's another company to add to the mix...

Royal Purple


About the cost of auto parts store synthetics ($5.14 from carparts.com) without the hassle of a pyramid scheme!

#16 Guest_Commuter_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 09:05 AM

Yes, I'm running SynLube products in my 97 OB Auto.

I'm a long time Castrol user. First dino oil (XLR then GTX) then synthetic (Syntec). I put 440,000 miles on my 85 Civic over 14+ years and the engine was never opened. A testament to what a decent oil with proper maintenance on a sound engine can do for you.

I stumbled upon SynLube while doing a search on magnets. The idea of "permanent" oil intrigued me although it was counter to everything that I thought I knew about oil. After 14 years of long distance commuting, I was getting tired of changing the oil every 5 or 6 weeks. Gets a little cold to do that in the winter here in Canada. :)

I exchanged a couple of emails with the guy at SynLube. He got me going on some research when he told me that my "synthetic" Castrol Syntec was not really synthetic at all. The guy has a depth of knowledge that continues to amaze me. The other couple of points that stuck out in my mind was 1) They've been around since 1969 - this is not new stuff 2) They supplied lubricants for the Apollo moon buggie back in the 70's - very tough application to say the least.

Aside - An oil analysis of my Castrol Syntec did bear out that it is not truly synthetic but a specially processed dino oil. This is in Canada only apparently. Supposedly the States switched over to a 'mostly' synthetic blend a few years back.

I decided to take the plunge in January. I put SynLube oil in the engine. I've reported before, but the car cranks over a bit easier, is less sluggish in the winter during the first few minutes of warm up, and has just a hint more 'zip' when accelerating. My gas mileage improved a hint, 2 or 3% I'd say.

I also used his oil filter and magnet. I've reported on this elsewhere. I found out that Subaru Canada's "cheap" OEM filter is made by Fram and is a piece of garbage in my opinion. (I have pics to put up of the one I cut open. Just have to get to it.) I always knew a filter was important, but didn't realize just how important. Many filters simply don't get the particle sizes that do the most wear in the engine! (The better ones like a PureONE get a good part of this size range.)

As for magnets, I wish I'd considered this years ago. It's something one can do in next to no time and it is totally unrelated to what oil or filter you choose. Don't think you don't need them because you have an aluminum engine! The vast majority (if not virtually all) wear surfaces are STEEL! And a magnet will catch 'any' size of steel particle. Supposedly putting them on the oil filter is a better place than the drain plug.

I've been running the SynLube engine oil for over 21,000 miles now. I was pleased enough with the results that I bought their fluids for the power steering (ATF), brakes (Motul product) and differentials. This was done about 10,000 miles ago. Changing over the differentials seemed to give me a similar effect that I found with the engine. The car has a little more zip and perhaps a tad better gas mileage. I can't be 100% sure though since I put on Magnecor wires and TorqueMaster plugs at the same time.

Next week, I am changing out the ATF fluid and the anti-freeze and putting in SynLube products. The car will then be 100% SynLube products for "functional fluids" (as they call them).

Now... it's just a matter of time to see what happens. I will have the oil analysed in about a year I think. My car uses about 1 quart per 6,000 miles. This I find a bit hard to take since my Honda's used virtually no oil. I can say that this consumption level is about the same that I noticed when I was running the Castrol, so I consider it engine related and not oil related. Other users of SynLube with Subaru's seems to bear that out. I'm told that many of today's Honda's and Toyota's (and apparently the new H6) take 20,000 miles or more to consume a quart.

To be honest, I don't think I'd heard of Amsoil or Redline until coming on this board. I can't make any comment there.

As for the similarity in the design of the web sites.. *shrug* Not everyone 'invents' their own design. If one does enough surfing, one will see different sites with similar looks. Just coincidence is my guess.

The by-pass filtering is interesting. I looked briefly at the Amsoil one. $201 plus mounting it. An extra measure of safety to be sure. For right now, I plan to run with the SynLube filter which achieves "99% particle removal that are 10 micron in size, 98% particle removal that are 7 micron in size, and 95% particle removal that are 5 micron in size". Compare this to a survey that GM did that found "Typical low cost oil filter will remove about 40% of particles in 8 to 10 micron range, and Typical OEM oil filter will remove about 72% of particles in 8 to 10 micron range". Apparently it is the particles that are in the ~ 10 to 20 micron size that cause the majority of the wear in the engine (SynLube and Amsoil both say this). One begins to see just how crucial the oil filter is. Once I have an oil analysis done, I'll see if my car warrants putting on a by-pass system. Btw, the SynLube filter is made by Dana and is the same as the AC Delco "Gold" (I think the full name is Ultraguard Gold) filter if you can find it. Delco's list price is $30+ I'm told. SynLube's list is $20. I know people's jaws are probably dropping at that, but you don't have to change it for a long time.

That's my experience with SynLube so far. I'll report anything I notice from changing out the ATF.


#17 Guest_soobee_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 10:29 AM

So, after a little research on AC Delco Gold products...

They're listed as having the 98% single pass efficiency and could very likely be the same thing as the Synlube filters. However, they don't make an Ultra Gold filter to fit Subarus (I called a GM dealer and AC Delco doesn't list anything for their Ultra Gold products that fit Subaru.) Which is unfortunate since they don't cost $30, or $20. My poking around shows under $10 (For example the Ultra Gold Filter for the Corvette was $9 (UPF44).)


#18 Guest_Commuter_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 11:03 AM

I have one in my hand that SynLube sent me. Usually, theirs are "unlabeled", but he was out right at the moment I ordered. (The first one I got from him was unlabeled.) He had this one on hand since they have bought some dirt cheap from surrounding stores that have cleared them out for next to nothing since they can't sell them at normal prices.

The number is UPF1127. (There is a second number on it of 25322840.) It lists itself right on the box as a replacement for Purolator L14459. Also Fram PH3593A, Motorcraft FL803, NAPA 1334 and Wix 51334.

I suspect I know the difference. It has to do with the thread. As has been reported previously, Subaru filters have the thread dished "out". Most filters have the thread dished "in". I think that is the only difference between Purolators 14459 and 14460 (but I'm guessing). I think SmashPDX noted this.

For whatever reason, Subaru's threaded filter stud is a bit short (possibly even under spec). USUALLY, it is not an issue. As long as the filter catches by about 3 turns, that's enough. The entire length of threads in the filter is only about 4 turns.

SOME people have experienced problems with other brands of filters NOT catching sufficiently. I've seen this comment from a couple of people over on i-club. I experienced this with the SynLube Fleetguard filter (their previous mfg for their filter). I could only get about 3/4 of a turn to catch - not good enough. I ended up solving my problem by removing the stud from the block and putting an Aluminum washer (Honda, transmission plug washer I think) under it to bring it out about 2mm further. Worked perfect. They guy at SynLube has several customers with Subarus. Apparently, I was the first to have a problem. I realize that some may be hesitant to put a washer under the stud as I did, especially if still under warranty.

This is a premium filter. I'm not sure what you might find it going for, but look around. Synthetic filter media (microglass), wire backing of the pleats, metal end caps, O-ring gasket with teflon coating fully captured, anti-drain back valve, bypass valve, etc. I can't tell what holds the filter element against the base plate, but probably a coil spring. And this thing is heavy. You can see the thickness of the base plate through the holes. Overall, the filter is actually a bit 'smaller' than others.


#19 Guest_traskw_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 11:34 AM

About the brackets on the Amsoil bypass (which removes particles to 1 micron) it comes with some that with a little work could fit, but it would be difficult to get a drill in given the space needed, and I only finding one place where the set-up would fit correctly, I figured this was more work than simply bending a piece of metal, drilling holes in it, and useing existing holes in the frame. Which is what I am going to do. I will post pics when I am done.

This system would probably be a good idea regardless of the oil you use. No single filter will be able to filter to that particle level because it still needs to give the engine full oil flow. Does matter if your filter is super platinum gold blah blah, it still needs to flow oil fast enough, and thus will have to have openings of a size that allows good flow. The bypass filter takes a percentage of the oil each pass and filters it through a much denser medium, down to about one micron.

#20 Guest_soobee_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 01:07 PM

I'm looking forward to seeing your setup.

Side note:

Fram makes a product that competes with the Purolator Filters (96% first pass efficiency). They also make an "Xtra" Gaurd Filter that has the same efficiency but 70% greater capacity that can go to 7000 miles. (I have the smaller version of this filter, they were out of the larger one when I changed my oil.)

AC Delco's book lists a number of possible substitutions for the Fram PH3593A...some of these have Ultra Gold versions. However, the one that I found (UPF1127) was smaller (volumetrically) than the recommended filter. There were a few others (UPF2057 is the only I can recall), however, the local Pep Boys either didn't stock it or were out.

#21 Guest_Commuter_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 02:34 PM


All very good points that you make. (I think you meant "DoesN'T matter..." though :) )

While NO solid particle of any size is a good thing in oil, there are those that cause a lot of wear, those that are so big they either sink to the bottom of the pan by gravity or are caught in the filter, and those that are small enough they mostly just "go along for the ride". Supposedly once you get down under around 5 microns, they fall into the latter group.

Filtering down to 1 micron would provide a significant margin of safety. As I said, I'm going to keep it in mind.

I just thought of something else. Years ago, I read of "Pre-Oilers". It's generally held that a lot of engine wear takes place at start up. The Pre-Oiler was basically a little electric pump which would engage when the key was turned to the ON position. The oil would start flowing and pressurize the engine. After about 10 seconds, the oil (pressure) light goes out and one turns the key to crank the engine over and start it up. I don't think I've come across this in many years. It seemed to make so much sense. Comments?


#22 Guest_traskw_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 September 2001 - 02:54 PM

Yes, I meant doesn't, should have proof read that, was typing so fast. I remember reading about the pre-oilers as well, but they seem to have disappeared, when they came out you could find them from JC Whitney. I would bet while the concept was good the oilers themselves probably were not, the company probably had a patent, and no one else was able to develop one that worked really well.

#23 Guest_subyroo_*

  • Guests

Posted 02 September 2001 - 10:15 AM

SmashPDX - is this what you call a Bypass Filter??
It is all Stainless Steel construction and uses a toilet roll to filter out all the crap. You can change the toilet roll every 1500 - 2000kms (950 - 1250 miles) simply by loosening the 2 bolts on the mounting bracket and turning it upside down overnight.
Next morning you dump the toilet roll (enviromentally of course) put in new toilet roll and top up with fresh oil, normally about 1 litre (don't know conversion to imp. qts/ozs etc) and "Bob's ya Uncle."
Posted Image


#24 Guest_traskw_*

  • Guests

Posted 02 September 2001 - 11:42 AM

No the amsoil bypass it much more complex than that and uses sythetic filtering material, it is also rated at 25,000 miles or one year of service.

#25 Guest_SmashPDX_*

  • Guests

Posted 02 September 2001 - 01:14 PM

So many posts! I have to read 'em all and then I'll post some more back.

Quick answer to your question Peter-- yes, that is a bypass filter. Trask is right, it's not the same implementation as the Amsoil, but Amsoil's particular product offering does not 'define' what a bypass filter is or isn't. In fact, I've heard of what you're describing used either on commercial or military vehicles, only I think they used paper towels instead of toiletpaper.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users