Yet another oil thread - Subaru WRX Forum
View Poll Results: 5W-30 or 5W-40
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5W-40 2 100.00%
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-27-2017, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yet another oil thread

I know, I know. Please don't flame me.

I have a 2012 WRX Premium (EJ255). It has about 87,000 miles on it (140,000km). I change the oil religiously at 3,000 miles. I typically run Castrol Edge High Mileage 5w-30 and a blue OEM filter (switching to the black type once my stock of blues run out). I end up adding about a quart between oil changes to keep it right at the full mark. I just sent my first Oil Analysis Sample to Blackstone and am eagerly awaiting the results. My engine was recently rebuilt (new piston, piston rings, head gaskets, exhaust valves, etc.) around 75,000 miles due to excessive blow-by.

Now that the weather is getting warm I've been considering switching to a 5W-40. Everywhere I go online I see people suggesting the 40. I asked my mechanic (owns a Volvo/Subaru specialty shop) and he said that I should always follow the manual. It lists 5W-30 and doesn't have a "or 5W-40" as I understand some of the older models' manuals do.

I don't drive the car very hard. I'll do a pull every once and a while but I rarely run it out to the rev limiter / launch the car, etc. I used to do track days and auto cross with an old BMW E30 and initially intended to do the same thing with my WRX, however... Now that it is my only car, my daily driver, and with just having the engine rebuilt I don't think I'm going to be racing it in any form for a while.

The car does still have some blow-by. Even at idle, if I take the oil cap off while it's running there is a slight "puff, puff, puff" but not nearly as bad as it was before the rebuild. I was talking to a friend and he suggested thicker oil may help that situation slightly, but I'm skeptical. Mainly, I want to be giving the engine as much protection as I can. I want this car to go at least another 80,000 miles and I don't mind spending the extra money to make it happen. I'm also open to any other reliability/long life type mods you guys can come up with.

I still just have a hard time understanding why the manual specifically states 5W-30 but so much of the enthusiast community says 5W-40 is the only thing they'll run. I know the difference isn't huge and I know I will see a slight change in fuel economy (to which I'm totally indifferent) but why wouldn't everyone (including SOA) say that 5W-40 is recommended if it offers the best protection? Just because they want to boost the MPG number slightly? Again, I don't care how much more the oil costs, of if it has any effect on MPG. I just want to know if 5W-30 or 5W-40 is a better fit for my specific car and my specific driving style. Is it not necessary since I have a laid-back driving style? Are there any downsides to running 40? Should I change depending upon temperature? (Southern Ohio - 0ish minimum in the winter, 95ish max in the summer).
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-01-2017, 01:55 PM
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I run 10w40 in summer and 5w30 in winter. Why? Because Stone Cold said so! hahaha

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-04-2017, 07:33 PM
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I think I'm running Amsoil Full SAPS 5w-40 Euro all year. Has extra zinc for the cams and turbo, no issues after 15k on a bored/stroked 2.17l and I run her hard in the summer and winter. 3k OCIs are a huge factor with FI engines, if you run the car high up in the RPMs, bounce the limiter, or have a build (higher boost, bigger turbo, high comp pistons, etc) then I'd shoot for good 5w-40.

Call up and ask some of the reputable tuners what they suggest to their customers to run in their builds, then choose based on what you feel would be you est match to how you drive/build the car.

Stay away from M1, RP, Rotella, and the cheap stuff. M1/RP are known to cause issues with engines and gearboxs from japan and their base formula has been changed to a crap stock so yeah. Rotella is a diesel oil and yeah you get the idea.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-05-2017, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboTuner View Post
I think I'm running Amsoil Full SAPS 5w-40 Euro all year. Has extra zinc for the cams and turbo, no issues after 15k on a bored/stroked 2.17l and I run her hard in the summer and winter. 3k OCIs are a huge factor with FI engines, if you run the car high up in the RPMs, bounce the limiter, or have a build (higher boost, bigger turbo, high comp pistons, etc) then I'd shoot for good 5w-40.

Call up and ask some of the reputable tuners what they suggest to their customers to run in their builds, then choose based on what you feel would be you est match to how you drive/build the car.

Stay away from M1, RP, Rotella, and the cheap stuff. M1/RP are known to cause issues with engines and gearboxs from japan and their base formula has been changed to a crap stock so yeah. Rotella is a diesel oil and yeah you get the idea.
Definitely sticking with the 3k OCI. I should be ok with Castrol, though, right? I'll look out for something with a higher zinc content if I can find it. I think I would probably have to order Amsoil online.

But as far as downsides, is there anything I need to consider before switching to a 5w-40? I know about the fuel economy change, but is there anything else that could potentially cause problems with a thicker oil?
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-05-2017, 08:34 AM
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You can always add the STP zinc additive to increase the zinc. That what I do after every oil change and I use AMS oil as well.

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-05-2017, 02:36 PM
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You should be able to find a local Amsoil dealer near you within reason. Even if they don't "stock" what you need they can get it. My OCs cost ~$50 w/ OEM filter and crush washer using Amsoil.

When running a heavier weight oil, you NEED to allow the engine to fully warm up, not just the coolant above 180F but you should try to let it heat cycle at least once (especially in the cold below 50F) so the oil is at the correct viscosity. Not allowing the oil to fully reach op temps could result in a spun bearing or other issues.

Also who rebuilt your engine? It sounds like you had a crap break-in on the old engine AND the rebuild, who and how was it broken in? You shouldn't be having blow-by with 12k on a rebuild...personally if I didn't do the break-in and was having blow-by that soon, I'd demand a refund or rebuild and require to break it in myself (driving under 3500RPMs, no WOT/engine braking, varying RPMs/never consistent RPMs...for the first 1500 miles).
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-11-2017, 07:31 PM
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castrol edge is good stuff

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