Subaru News (BLOG)

Welcome to Subaru News, Suburb Service’s monthly blog! Subaru News is meant to educate, entertain, and engage you in monthly musings on such topics as auto mechanics, Subarus, travel, auto repair, and driving and living in the Lake Forest Park and Shoreline area. Our blogs are released on the first day of each month!

Synthetic Oil VS Conventional Oil

Every responsible Subaru owner knows that one of the most important things you can do to keep your vehicle running smoothly is to ensure it is properly oiled. It's not enough to simply make sure that your vehicle has oil in it, it's imperative that it have the proper oil in order to maintain proper working order and longevity.

There are basically two types of motor oil to choose from: synthetic and conventional. If you don't know the difference between the two, you've come to the right place.

Learn more about Synthetic Oil VS Conventional Oil

Let's take a quick look at how engine oil is made. Both synthetic and conventional oil have their origins in plant-based materials. Each oil is processed differently, and it is here where they become independent entities. Let's discuss synthetics.

Synthetic oil not only goes through a refining process but is also distilled. In layman's terms, this helps the oil to become more purified and allows it to be more readily customized to suit the needs of specific engines. Like anything else, when you have a product that is specifically made, the end result is always better.

A custom couture wedding dress will fit better than one right off the rack. It's the same with synthetic oil. At Suburb Service in the Seattle area, we generally use a 5w/30 synthetic blend with our earlier models. All of our Turbos take full synthetic 5w/30 while new chain drive engines take 0w/20 full synthetic oil.

While synthetic oils are more pure than conventional oil, they are made with certain chemicals(plastics and other chemicals) that can be damaging to the environment here in the great state of Washington. The positive thing to note here, however, is that synthetic oils are created to last much longer than conventional oils so in the long run you end up using less, which has a much smaller impact on the environment.

Synthetic oils are also created to prevent the formation of sludge due to impurity build up, so it protects your engine more fully than conventional oil.

There are a number of factors in choosing a motor oil for your Subaru

In the last 10 plus years there have been a number of internal changes in clearances in a Subaru Motor. The 2.2 and 2.5 motor from the mid 90's required a synthetic blend oil such as Castrol or Kendal which is the oil we use at Suburb Service. We recommend the oil weights and blends that Subaru has specified when your Subaru was manufactured.

It is not a good idea to change from regular oil to a synthetic oil on an older higher mileage Subaru. You may encounter higher oil consumption or additional oil leaking or seeping by doing so. As a rule of thumb, Subaru motors with rubber timing belts belts are recommended to use a syntec blend motor oil, with 1 exception, that being the turbocharged engines. Subaru recommends full synthetic oil for all turbo's.

Starting in 2011 when Subaru changed from Rubber timing belts to timing chains in the 4 cylinder motors, the factory switched to full synthetic motor oils, 0w/20. The chain driven 6 cylinder motor, still uses 5/30 syntec blend.

As a side note to the used motor oil problem, Suburb Service recycles all used motor oil products in a very environmentally safe way. We have specially designed furnaces that cleanly burn used motor oils, brake fluids, gear oil and automatic transmission fluids. We use these used oil products to heat our shops, eliminating the chance of a spill or contamination during transporting. One more way where Suburb Service cares and protects our environment.

Click here to schedule an appointment at Suburb Service, or call (206) 705-8695 to reach our Seattle location.