Regular Or Synthetic Oil? - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 12-11-2003, 10:42 PM
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Regular Or Synthetic Oil?

I have a quick question that I would like to know the answer to. What is the difference between Regular 5W-30 and Synthetic 5W-30? I know that it has somthing to do with the temperature and the weather but as far as performance goes I have heard different things. I have heard that it is better for your engine if you are going to be driving hard and then I have heard that it makes no difference at all so I am wondering if I should think about changing to synthetic. If there are any major bonuses or even if it is better for the engine? Thanks.......
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#2 Old 12-12-2003, 06:10 AM
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well i wouldnt use synthetic oil till after about 10,000 miles.. soo the dino oil can make sure all your gaskets and what not seal up.. then i would switch to synthetic oil.. synthetic oil makes alot less friction then normal oil.. also i think it works better at high temps then some dino oils.. also you can go 8,000 miles and change your oil instead of every 2000..
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#3 Old 12-12-2003, 09:35 AM
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Synthetic oil is the best choice. Especially for a high performance engine such as the EJ20 in the WRX. You probably don't have much concern about cold out there in Cali but synthetic oil will pour/flow better than dino at freezing temperatures.

As Blurr said it protects better and reduces friction and you can change oil less frequently. You should always follow the owners manual for oil change frequency.
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#4 Old 12-12-2003, 04:08 PM
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I changed over to Synthetic Oil at 1,000 miles and have had no problems with my seals or piston rings. I'd say switch over at either 1,000 miles at your first oil change, or at 3,000 miles for your second oil change. That way you don't build up a varnish or sludge in your engine and wouldn't be in need of an engine oil flush/cleaner.

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#5 Old 12-12-2003, 06:39 PM
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Synthetic oil is the best choice out there. Some oils have detergents that clean your engine and also are formulated to not break down as fast as conventional oil. The friction coefficient is about the same but the synthetic oil performs way better in cold conditions as well as warm conditions. What goes wrong with normal oils is that the additive packages in them break down fast, in many cases around the 3000 mile mark or 3 months, depending on driving habitats, but the synthetic oils are formulated to last longer. I only use Mobil 1 synthetic in all my vehicles, its a little more expensive but i have more piece of mind. As far as the seals leaking, that was only a prblem with older cars from the late to mid 90s, new cars don't have that problem.
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#6 Old 12-13-2003, 02:50 AM
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Alright I appreciate everyone's advice I just changed my oil today to synthetic Mobile 1 and I can feel the difference. The car just runs much smoother and feels much better to drive.. Im actually amazed how much better the car feels when driving! I think next time I'm going to go with either Red Line or Royal Purple.. Not certain..The Red Line is just for track use and has to be changed more often so I dunno...We'll see.
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#7 Old 12-15-2003, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JayD707
Alright I appreciate everyone's advice I just changed my oil today to synthetic Mobile 1 and I can feel the difference. The car just runs much smoother and feels much better to drive.. Im actually amazed how much better the car feels when driving! I think next time I'm going to go with either Red Line or Royal Purple.. Not certain..The Red Line is just for track use and has to be changed more often so I dunno...We'll see.
Yeah, I bought my 02 WRX at 8k miles and just hit 11k today and put in Mobil 1 Synthetic. I really couldnt believe the difference either. Exactly like you say, it felt amazingly smoother.
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#8 Old 12-16-2003, 08:11 PM
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Definitely
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#9 Old 12-17-2004, 09:30 AM
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Hey guys and gals,
Did my search first and couldn't find a clear answer, so I'll add to an old post rather than start a new one.
I just bought an '02 WRX sedan. If you look at the profile you'll see its pretty heavily modded. The car was purchased with 46k from a dealer in CT by it's second owner. It was completely stock at that time. I just purchased it from him with 47k and all the mods. He upgraded to an Sti and did the same mods to that. I paid 15k, a great deal I think everyone will agree. I only had to do an allignment, and now plan on doing some regular maintenance.
Since he only had it for 1k miles he didn't do an oil change. It was done at the dealership prior to sale, dealership told me it's dino. Funny thing is that Subaru mechanic told me that he has synth in his WRX, but that in all the cars he's worked on he has seen NO difference b/w dino changed every 3k and synth changed every 5-7k. I, however, would rather be safe than sorry and would like to upgrade to synth.
Is it too late to put in synth if it's been on dino it whole life? Plan on using a NAPA Gold filter (WIX) as I've always had good luck with them.
If I can change over, does anyone recommend Royal Purple? Found a good deal on a couple of quarts and also plan on doing a differential and tranny fluid change. I've also heard good things about Amsoil and Redline. Please let me know what you guys think as your opinions are greatly respected.
Thanks for all the help for the newbie.
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#10 Old 12-17-2004, 02:06 PM
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If the person took good care of the car (little wear and tear) then you should be okay. But if it has had a hard life, you'll run a larger risk of having some oil leaks since synthetic, the molecules are so small. There's also debate that some of that crud in an old engine helps seal some wear and tear, and synthetic breaks down that crud. Personally, I'd do it, but take the risks in mind! I had a 95 Outback that was driven hard on occasions and switched to synthetic at ~75k-80k with no leaks.

Wix is a great filter; I cut one open and compaired it to a K&N if anyone is insterested. Wix was half the cost and was MUCH better in quality, flow, and surface area just by examination alone. I also have used Castrol Syntec. Pretty good for the price, and I currently run Mobil SuperSyn. I also recommend that. Don't know anything from personal experience other than what I've read about the oils you mention of.

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#11 Old 12-17-2004, 02:59 PM
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I don't know of anyone who has changed to synthetic at that high mileage. I talked to a friend of mine who builds engines, and he recommended not to switch over 10k miles. And, if you switch then, to stay with synthetic until the engine is rebuilt. He said there is a good chance the gaskets will start leaking if you switch back and forth.
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#12 Old 12-17-2004, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo
I don't know of anyone who has changed to synthetic at that high mileage. I talked to a friend of mine who builds engines, and he recommended not to switch over 10k miles. And, if you switch then, to stay with synthetic until the engine is rebuilt. He said there is a good chance the gaskets will start leaking if you switch back and forth.
Would it be better to go with a blended then, or just stick with conventional oil, good filters and regular service? Is the same true of differential and tranny fluid? Thanks.
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#13 Old 12-21-2004, 06:46 AM
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Smile quick question

i got an 02 wrx three weks ago, it had 35,and change miles on it. how do i know if the guy was using synthetic or regular. it came from a dealership
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#14 Old 12-21-2004, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinginCanary
Would it be better to go with a blended then, or just stick with conventional oil, good filters and regular service? Is the same true of differential and tranny fluid? Thanks.

I have always wandered about blends. I use moble 1 in my jeep and will stick with that but my brother uses 2 qt.s moble1 and 2 of regular moble.
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#15 Old 12-21-2004, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coscobrex
i got an 02 wrx three weks ago, it had 35,and change miles on it. how do i know if the guy was using synthetic or regular. it came from a dealership
Easiest way is to ask, but chances are, they're just using conventional oil. The cost doesn't justify if you don't ask for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by coscobrex
I use moble 1 in my jeep and will stick with that but my brother uses 2 qt.s moble1 and 2 of regular moble.
I would highly NOT RECOMMEND your brother doing that. One of two very bad things could likely happen. First, the synthetic oil could break down the conventional oil. Or second, the two oils resist eachother. Ask any mechanic and they'll tell you not to change back and forth between the two oils. It's just asking for trouble. As for the blended stuff, I don't know how it would work, but I'm sure it's specially formulated for it or SAE wouldn't have approved it.

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