The best oil for your new Subaru and how to improve fuel mileage

To ensure that the engine of your 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent or other new model will be reliable for years to come, stay vigilant about oil changes. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine and the least expensive maintenance you can do to keep your AWD vehicle running smoothly. The three Cs and main functions of your engine oil are to cushion (lubricate), clean (remove contaminants), and keep your Subaru Boxer engine cool.

What oil should I use?

If your Subaru is a 2011 or newer Forester, 2012 or newer Impreza, or 2013 or newer Outback, Legacy, Crosstrek, Ascent, or BRZ, Subaru recommends using synthetic oil. Subaru recommends using genuine Subaru oil and 0W-20 viscosity in these engines. It is designed to improve fuel economy and increase horsepower. 5W-30 is formulated for the turbocharged engine of the WRX and WRX STI, which operates at higher temperatures. It provides increased protection against oil breakdown and superior lubrication for optimal fuel economy.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

Will using synthetic oil increase fuel consumption?

Many oil manufacturers claim that using synthetic oil will improve fuel economy, but is that true? A recent Government Fleet study indicates that they saw no increase in fuel mileage from using synthetic oil in its testing.

Will using synthetic oil extend oil life?

The same study stated that switching from a mineral-blend motor oil to a fully synthetic oil can extend oil life, “a claim that independent scientists could confirm through laboratory testing.”

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

How often should I change my engine oil?

Subaru recommends having your first oil change at six months and no more than 6,000 miles. However, it is good to change it at 3,000-4,000 miles since the engine has just gone through the initial break-in period (3,000 miles), especially since a new engine will experience a bit more wear.

Regular maintenance is the key

Driving habits and conditions will affect how often you need to change your oil. After your first oil change, Subaru says you should change it every 6,000 miles using synthetic oil. But that’s if you’re driving under “normal” conditions. Most engines operate under extreme conditions.

What are the extreme driving conditions?

Extreme conditions include:
Frequent engine braking (downshift the transmission to slow the vehicle).
Engine operation at sustained high rpm (sustained highway driving or driving in mountainous terrain).
Frequent accelerations and decelerations (interrupted traffic on the motorway).
Severe thermal conditions (extreme heat or cold).
Idling for extended periods (frequent and sustained remote engine start).

Extreme conditions require more frequent oil changes

If you drive in extreme conditions, you will need to change your oil more frequently. We recommend changing it every 4,000 to 5,000 if using synthetic oil, especially if you have more than one of the above extremes.

Why does my Subaru engine use oil between oil changes?

Since many manufacturers are now using these “lean” zero weight synthetic oils to dramatically reduce fuel economy, you may experience some oil consumption between oil changes. It’s a good idea to check your vehicle’s oil level often, about once a month, if you drive 20,000 km a year.

Check the oil level often

You might experience some oil consumption in more extreme conditions and may need to “top off” oil between oil changes. Do not allow your Subaru engine to drop below the lower point on your gauge or your engine could overheat and you will experience premature engine wear or engine failure.

The best way to ensure that the engine in your 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent or other model will be reliable for years to come is to stay vigilant about oil changes. It will also help you achieve optimal energy efficiency.

You might also like: 11 easy tips to improve the fuel efficiency of your new Subaru or any car

Denis Flierl has invested more than 30 years in the automotive industry in an advisory role with all major automotive brands. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where it covers all models from the Japanese automaker. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

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