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Weird tales of synthetic oil myths


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17 replies to this topic

#1 SkipII

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 05:45 PM

I was at the dealer today picking up my wife's Legacy with its spiffy four new tires after her accident (yes, I bought all four to pay fealty to the circumferential gods) and the dealer mentioned something about oil changes. I said "I do all that, thanks." He said, "You not using synthetic, are you." And I replied, "As a matter of fact, I do."

He then said that Subaru does not recommend synthetic because its high lubricity seeps into the aluminum surfaces of the engine.

Sigh...I'm almost embarassed to ask this question, but is it true that Subaru actually does NOT recommend synrthic for a reason? I know most manufacturers are way behind in adjusting service internals to match synthetic life, but I have never heard of one that actually recommended against it.

#2 Sube dude

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:06 PM

I don't know what the Factory reccomends or doesn't, but my "go-to" Sube guy who's worked on this marque forever tells me to run Non/Syn 10-40 in the summer and 5/10-30 in the winter. HTH. :)

#3 cookie

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:06 PM

I understand that the hills of Kentucky can generate some strange tales. This has to be one of them. I suggest you contact Mythbusters with this one.
I guess now my engine must be much heavier due to all the oil that has soaked into the aluminum. Also please post this on Bobisthe oil guy as I'm sure they will enjoy it.

#4 Snowman

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:08 PM

That's a new one on me. I think my auto professors will get a kick out of that.

#5 porcupine73

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:18 PM

Well I haven't heard of that one. Running Amsoil HDD 5W-30 in my two Sub's and they don't seem to be upset about it. Only thing I noticed was a small amount of oil consumption for the first few thousand miles, then I didn't have to add any make up oil anymore.

#6 Ranger83

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:24 PM

I was at the dealer today picking up my wife's Legacy with its spiffy four new tires after her accident (yes, I bought all four to pay fealty to the circumferential gods) and the dealer mentioned something about oil changes. I said "I do all that, thanks." He said, "You not using synthetic, are you." And I replied, "As a matter of fact, I do."

He then said that Subaru does not recommend synthetic because its high lubricity seeps into the aluminum surfaces of the engine.

Sigh...I'm almost embarassed to ask this question, but is it true that Subaru actually does NOT recommend synrthic for a reason? I know most manufacturers are way behind in adjusting service internals to match synthetic life, but I have never heard of one that actually recommended against it.


I've asked SOA. Three times.

Back in February I received the following response to the question of whether or not I could use Mobil I synthetic oil in my 06 Outback 3.0R:

##########
Yes, you can use synthetic oil in your Subaru. If you do use synthetic oil, we would recommend that you always use it in your engine because your engine will become accustomed to it. The same goes if you decide to use 'regular' oil.

Synthetic oils can be used in our engines if the user follows the engine oil recommendations prescribed in the owner's manual. Subaru has not tested the compatibility of all synthetic oils with engine seals, but the petroleum industry does adhere to standards for refining process which meet Subaru requirements. Subaru does not guarantee the performance of any brand of engine oil.

Engine oil guidelines: - only use engine oil that meets or exceeds API classification designated in the Owner's Manual for the vehicle. - only use engine oil that meets the VISCOSITY requirements for the ambient temperatures under which the vehicle will be operated as outlined in the Owner's Manual - THE ENGINE OIL MUST BE CHANGED AT INTERVALS SPECIFIED IN THE WARRANTY AND MAINTENANCE BOOKLET FOR THE VEHICLE. SOME SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERS RECOMMEND EXTENDED OIL CHANGE INTERVALS SUBARU DOES NOT RECOMMEND DEVIATION FROM THE SPECIFIED INTERVALS IN THE OWNER'S MANUAL.....

John J. Mergan
Subaru of America Inc.

######
I went to Manchester Subaru today and the service manager told me they'd received a technical briefing suggesting they NOT use Mobil I in VVT and turbocharged engines.

Could you please check with the service staff and determine if Mobil I is or is not suitable and recommended for use in the my car?

##########

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. I am not aware of any change to our position on the use of synthetic engine oil or Mobil 1 specifically. I searched our Technical Bulletins and did not find any regarding synthetic oil. Please let me research your message further with our Technical Services Department. Once I have any information from them, I will contact you. Thanks for your patience.

Sincerely,

John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department

Then, when I said, basically, "BS":

Thank you for your reply. We are sorry to learn that you feel that our response is not acceptable. I am providing more information below. If you would like to reply to this message to advise us what you would consider an acceptable resolution, we would be happy to review your feedback.

Subaru dealers and Subaru of America sometimes have different
recommendations. They base their recommendations on their experiences. A good example of this is Subaru dealers recommend routine maintenance services every 3,750 miles. Subaru of America recommends them every 7,500 miles. Your Subaru dealer, through their experiences, do not recommend synthetic engine oil. Subaru of America is not aware of any concerns with the use of synthetic engine oil in any of our vehicles. Therefore, we do not have a recommendation to not use synthetic engine oil.

There are no Subaru of America Technical Bulletins stating that
synthetic engine oil cannot be used in our vehicles, including our
turbocharged and 6-cylinder engines.

Subaru of America recommends that owner's follow the maintenance
recommendations, mileage or time, whichever comes first as noted in the 'Warranty and Maintenance' booklet regardless of what type of engine oil is used.

If we can be of any further assistance, please let us know.

Sincerely,

John J. Mergen
Subaru of America



#7 Buick350X

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:24 PM

It would be like that zmax stuff how they show how it soaks into the metal. [colored mineral oil crap]

But it may be a bigger hint that they used cheap pouris casting to save money.

Older carb bowls will seep gas through if the polished surface is blasted off away. Cause its a cheap pouris casting that when polished the surface is sealed. Nothing more then a really really stiff sponge. Its the tiny path ways that make a sponge work, not the material.

But in the classic car world an older car will often leak on syn and not dino cause of similar.

#8 OB99W

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:21 PM

[...]He then said that Subaru does not recommend synthetic because its high lubricity seeps into the aluminum surfaces of the engine.

Sigh...I'm almost embarassed to ask this question, but is it true that Subaru actually does NOT recommend synrthic for a reason? I know most manufacturers are way behind in adjusting service internals to match synthetic life, but I have never heard of one that actually recommended against it.

Subaru here in the US (or its dealers) may not push synthetic oil, but that doesn't seem to be the case in Canada. Take a look at these:
http://assets.subaru.ca/7907/media/en-ca/download/06SpringMailer_EN.pdf
http://assets.subaru.ca/7907/media/en-ca/download/SixStar06_Sum_ENFinal.pdf

A "PREMIUM" oil change includes Mobil 1; apparently Canadian-market Subaru engines are made of less-porous aluminum. :rolleyes:

#9 bgd73

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:28 PM

There is indeed a powerful difference. new engines would be easy to go synthetic. old engines running regular stuff for years do weird things. they even "stink" (smell badly) without blowby or high mileage.I learned it specifically at a quik lube years ago, when mobil1 was a hyped up miracle. I have only come close to using it in old regular engines with castrol gtx high mileage and other brands with the same likeness. I attempt in my old manual trannies, cuz they make noise anyway. Engines act to reject it, not for the metal, but the years it has had something else lubing it. I am also in a very cold environment and chemistry is odd. Maybe south and warmer ambient the change overs are ok from regular to synthetic.:)

#10 Ranger83

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:32 PM

The root of the recommendation was that the variable valve timing mechanism would not work properly. The dealer service guy showed me his notes from the technical briefing the got from SOA - who now says they didn't say it.....

Porosity of engine castings sound ike it would be fun to talk about. Maybe get Jay Leno out on the street to ask people.

#11 bgd73

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:38 PM

The root of the recommendation was that the variable valve timing mechanism would not work properly. The dealer service guy showed me his notes from the technical briefing the got from SOA - who now says they didn't say it.....

Porosity of engine castings sound ike it would be fun to talk about. Maybe get Jay Leno out on the street to ask people.


That wasn't all that uncommon in the 70's (gm and a ford i had- right through the block seeped it like a bleeder). even had a 1978 straight 6 bent the long way.what a horror - Twice:confused: .porosity could also be blamed on coolant and psycho additives in fuel for a long time.

#12 SaltCar

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 10:56 PM

I have seen porous aluminum but it was blasted or cleaned with oven cleaner. If you remove the anodization, it will leak. Leaky crankcases on a two-stroke can drive you crazy.

#13 cookie

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:26 AM

Wth synthetic oil it seems all you get is extended OCIs and more resistance to high temps. My BMW came with it as do Corvettes, an article I read years ago said they were able to avoid the need for an oil cooler by going synthetic.
Since BMW gives you free maintence they love the extended OCIs.
In fact if oil is a given weight whether synthetic or dino it is going to flow about the same. I have been using alloy castings for about 40 years and I have yet to see one soak up oil. I'm sure there are some poor quality castings out there but not likely in a modern engine by a major auto maker.
But some of you guys know much more about oil than I do so we'll see what you say.

#14 Setright

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:42 PM

Myth.

#15 Hodaka Rider

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:37 PM

Hmmm. Wouldn't a tendency for some castings to soak up oil be a good thing? I mean, at that point it's basically impregnated with lubricant. Who doesn't want a better lubed engine?

#16 zyewdall

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:46 PM

Perhaps this is the same "pourous block" issues that '90 to '94 2.2 EJ22s are rumoured to have? I still don't actually believe that it exists, except in one car that a friend of mine has put 3 engines in in 3 years... and I think that has more to do with voodoo and her personal karma or something more than anything else.

I switched my GL to synthetic as soon as I got it, at 189k, and nothing's exploded yet, 210k and two years later. Still leaks a little, same as before.

#17 Buick350X

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:10 PM

I have no idea if it will hurt it running syn but there could be some half truth if they used cheap pouris casting that wern't sealed right. Or say 1 out of 100 wern't so they are just playing it safe after it cost them some loot, so its easier to just say don't use syn.

Which is probably most likley. It just a safer bet to tell folks not to use it. If they do on their own: its not their fault and it will be $150 hr for labor to fix it;)

#18 nipper

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:07 PM

I was at the dealer today picking up my wife's Legacy with its spiffy four new tires after her accident (yes, I bought all four to pay fealty to the circumferential gods) and the dealer mentioned something about oil changes. I said "I do all that, thanks." He said, "You not using synthetic, are you." And I replied, "As a matter of fact, I do."

He then said that Subaru does not recommend synthetic because its high lubricity seeps into the aluminum surfaces of the engine.

Sigh...I'm almost embarassed to ask this question, but is it true that Subaru actually does NOT recommend synrthic for a reason? I know most manufacturers are way behind in adjusting service internals to match synthetic life, but I have never heard of one that actually recommended against it.


as much as i keep out of this debate, prefering to talk religon and politics, all i have to say is

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

im not a big fan of switching to syn from dino oil after the car has many miles on it, but this is the silliest thing i ever heard.

nipper

PS even switching to synthetic you still need to change the oil filter at the recomended intervals.




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