Subaru When to Change Oil: A Comprehensive Guide for Optimal Engine Performance

Subaru When to Change Oil: A Comprehensive Guide for Optimal Engine Performance

Maintaining your Subaru’s engine is crucial for its longevity and performance. Regular oil changes are a vital part of this maintenance routine, and knowing when to change the oil is essential. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to determine the optimal oil change interval for your Subaru, ensuring its engine runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Subaru Oil Change Intervals: Subaru When To Change Oil

Subaru recommends changing the oil in your vehicle every 6,000 miles or 7,500 miles, depending on the model and year. However, several factors can affect the oil change interval, such as:

Driving Conditions

If you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads, or drive in dusty or dirty conditions, you may need to change your oil more often. These conditions can cause the oil to break down more quickly and become less effective at protecting your engine.

Oil Type

The type of oil you use can also affect the oil change interval. Synthetic oil lasts longer than conventional oil, so you can usually go longer between oil changes if you use synthetic oil. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended oil type for your vehicle.

Changing your Subaru’s oil regularly is essential for its longevity. The recommended oil change interval varies depending on the model and driving conditions, but generally falls between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. If you’re curious about Subaru’s origins, you might wonder, is subaru a japanese company ? Yes, it is! The automaker was founded in Japan in 1953 and is known for its all-wheel drive vehicles.

Getting back to oil changes, remember to check your owner’s manual for the specific interval recommended for your Subaru.

Types of Oil for Subaru Vehicles

Selecting the right type of oil for your Subaru vehicle is crucial for optimal engine performance and longevity. Subaru recommends specific oil types based on your vehicle’s model, year, and driving conditions. Understanding the differences between conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blend oils will help you make an informed decision.

Generally, Subaru recommends changing your oil every 6,000 miles or 7,500 miles, depending on your driving conditions. But if you’re curious about how Subaru’s renowned all-wheel drive system operates, you can check out this detailed explanation: how subaru awd works . Once you understand how the AWD system functions, you’ll appreciate the importance of maintaining your Subaru’s oil changes to keep its performance optimal.

Conventional Oil

  • Derived from crude oil and contains additives
  • Less expensive than synthetic oils
  • Shorter oil change intervals (3,000-5,000 miles)
  • Suitable for older vehicles or low-mileage drivers

Synthetic Oil

  • Engineered with synthetic hydrocarbons
  • Provides better protection and performance
  • Longer oil change intervals (7,500-10,000 miles)
  • Recommended for newer vehicles or high-mileage drivers

Synthetic Blend Oil, Subaru when to change oil

  • A mixture of conventional and synthetic oils
  • Offers a balance of performance and cost
  • Oil change intervals between conventional and synthetic oils
  • Suitable for vehicles with moderate driving conditions

Signs That Your Subaru Needs an Oil Change

Your Subaru’s oil is vital for keeping the engine running smoothly and preventing wear and tear. It’s important to change your oil regularly to ensure that your car continues to perform at its best. Here are some common signs that your Subaru needs an oil change:

  • Dark or dirty oil:When oil is new, it is typically light amber in color. As it ages, it becomes darker and dirtier. If you check your oil and it is dark or dirty, it’s time for an oil change.
  • Low oil level:Checking your oil level is a quick and easy way to determine if you need an oil change. If the oil level is low, it means that your engine is burning or leaking oil. Either way, it’s important to add oil and have your car checked by a mechanic.
  • Engine noise:If you hear a knocking or ticking sound coming from your engine, it could be a sign that your oil is low or dirty. Oil helps to lubricate the engine’s moving parts, and when it’s not clean or at the proper level, those parts can start to rub against each other and make noise.

    Subaru oil changes should be done every 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. If you’re wondering where Subaru was made, click here to find out. Knowing where your car was made can give you insights into its quality and reliability.

    Getting back to oil changes, remember to check your Subaru’s oil level regularly and top it off as needed to ensure optimal engine performance.

  • Reduced fuel economy:When your oil is dirty or low, your engine has to work harder to move the same amount of oil. This can lead to reduced fuel economy.
  • Check engine light:If your check engine light is on, it could be a sign that your oil needs to be changed. The check engine light can be triggered by a variety of issues, but one of the most common is low oil pressure.

Checking Your Oil Level and Condition

Checking your oil level and condition is a quick and easy way to determine if you need an oil change. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Park your car on a level surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Wait a few minutes for the oil to settle.
  3. Open the hood and locate the oil dipstick. It’s usually a bright yellow or red handle.
  4. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag.
  5. Reinsert the dipstick into the oil pan and pull it out again.
  6. Check the oil level on the dipstick. The oil should be between the two marks on the dipstick.
  7. If the oil level is low, add oil until it reaches the correct level.
  8. Check the condition of the oil. If the oil is dark or dirty, it’s time for an oil change.

Interpreting the Oil Dipstick Readings

When you check your oil dipstick, you’ll see two marks: the “full” mark and the “add” mark. The oil level should be between these two marks. If the oil level is below the “add” mark, you need to add oil.

If the oil level is above the “full” mark, you may have overfilled the oil pan.The color of the oil can also tell you a lot about its condition. New oil is typically light amber in color. As it ages, it becomes darker and dirtier.

If the oil is dark or dirty, it’s time for an oil change.

Consequences of Not Changing Your Subaru’s Oil

Subaru when to change oil

Regular oil changes are crucial for the longevity and performance of your Subaru. Neglecting oil changes can lead to severe consequences, including engine damage and costly repairs.

Dirty oil loses its lubricating properties, allowing metal components in the engine to rub against each other, causing friction and wear. Over time, this can lead to:

Engine Wear

  • Increased friction between engine parts
  • Premature wear and tear of components
  • Reduced engine lifespan

Sludge Buildup

  • Accumulation of contaminants and debris in the engine
  • Clogging of oil passages, restricting oil flow
  • Overheating and potential engine seizure

Catalytic Converter Damage

  • Dirty oil contains unburned fuel and other contaminants
  • These contaminants can clog the catalytic converter, reducing its efficiency
  • Can lead to increased emissions and decreased fuel economy

Voiding of Warranty

  • Many Subaru warranties require regular oil changes
  • Failure to adhere to the maintenance schedule can void the warranty
  • Leaving you responsible for the cost of repairs

DIY Subaru Oil Change

Performing a DIY oil change on your Subaru is a relatively straightforward task that can save you both time and money. With the right tools and materials, you can complete the process in about an hour.Before you begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • New oil filter
  • New oil (check your owner’s manual for the recommended type and amount)
  • Oil drain pan
  • Funnel
  • Rags
  • Wrench
  • Gloves (optional)

Once you have all of your materials, follow these steps:

  • Park your Subaru on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  • Allow the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  • Locate the oil drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan.
  • Place the oil drain pan under the drain plug.
  • Use the wrench to loosen the drain plug and allow the oil to drain into the pan.
  • Once the oil has drained, replace the drain plug and tighten it securely.
  • Locate the oil filter on the top of the engine.
  • Use the wrench to loosen the oil filter and remove it.
  • Apply a thin layer of new oil to the gasket of the new oil filter.
  • Screw on the new oil filter by hand until it is snug.
  • Use the funnel to add new oil to the engine.
  • Check the oil level on the dipstick and add more oil as needed.
  • Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes.
  • Check for any leaks and top off the oil as needed.

Once you have completed the oil change, dispose of the used oil and filter properly. Most auto parts stores will accept used oil and filters for recycling.

Cost of a Subaru Oil Change

The cost of a Subaru oil change varies depending on the type of oil used, the labor rate of the mechanic, and the location of the service. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for an oil change at a dealership or independent mechanic.

The type of oil you choose will have a significant impact on the cost of your oil change. Conventional oil is the least expensive option, but it also provides the least protection for your engine. Synthetic oil is more expensive, but it offers better protection and can last longer than conventional oil.

The labor rate of the mechanic will also affect the cost of your oil change. Mechanics in urban areas typically charge higher labor rates than mechanics in rural areas. You can save money on your oil change by shopping around for the best price.

Tips for Saving Money on Oil Changes

  • Use conventional oil instead of synthetic oil.
  • Change your oil less frequently if you drive mostly highway miles.
  • Shop around for the best price on oil and labor.
  • Do your own oil change.


Regular oil changes are essential for maintaining your Subaru’s engine health. By following the recommended oil change intervals and paying attention to signs that your car needs an oil change, you can prevent costly repairs and extend the life of your vehicle.

Remember, a well-maintained Subaru is a happy Subaru, ready to accompany you on countless adventures for years to come.

Leave a Comment