What is Synthetic Oil and how does it work?

Synthetic oil is a lubricant consisting of chemical compounds which are artificially made (synthesized) using chemically modified petroleum components rather than whole crude oil.
Synthetic oils were originally developed for (and still are used exclusively in) aircraft jet engines because of their ability to reduce friction and wear on engine parts. This performance was due to synthetic oil having incredible ability to function dependably at severe hot and cold temps as well as to withstand rigorous and lengthy engine operation without viscosity breakdown.

Consider this... At freezing temperatures such as 0 F, the quality of the oil can be the difference in getting all the way around the engine in 10 seconds (synthetic)  versus 3 minutes (regular). Regular 5w-20 motor oil can thicken over time (like pasta sauce that thickens up if you re-heat it numerous times) and could actually turn into 5w-40 by the time you change it!

Does it make my engine last longer?

Yes - because it's so slippery, synthetic makes for less engine wear and thus greater engine longevity.  It flows easier in cold weather, therefore no loss of prime when the oil is cold. Also, it is highly resistant to viscosity breakdown (the ability of the oil to flow easily in all temps) from heat, friction, chemical contaminants. It's the cheapest insurance you can get for your vehicle

What are the advantages of Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil?

The technical advantages of Subaru synthetic motor oils include:

  • Measurably better low and high temperature viscosity performance
  • Better chemical & shear stability
  • Decreased evaporative loss
  • Resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown and oil sludge problems
  • Extended drain intervals with the environmental benefit of less oil waste.
  • Improved fuel economy in certain engine configurations.
  • Better lubrication on cold starts
  • Longer engine life

Is Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil good for the environment?

Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil can be recycled along with regular motor oil. Quirk Subaru recycles all of our used motor oil. In addition, Synthetic Motor Oils do not require changing as frequently resulting in less waste oil. 

In addition, Synthetic motor oil for your vehicle can increase your fuel economy by over 2%. 
To illustrate the magnitude of this change, understand that if just one-third of U.S. drivers reduced their gasoline consumption by 2%, we would save almost one billion gallons of gasoline and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by eight million tons every year. That's the equivalent of removing about 1.5 million cars off the road. That's good for the environment!

Does Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil require a special oil filter?

No. Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil works with the same Subaru filters used with conventional motor oils.

Can I mix Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil with conventional motor oil?

In an emergency situation, you can mix the two types of oil. However, it is best to not mix them and the oil should be changed once you are out of the emergency situation.  The performance and benefits of Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil will be degraded if mixed with regular oil.

How often do I need to change my Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil?

See the recommended schedule below.

 Model Year



1st oil

2nd oil

 Subsequent oil changes








All turbo

 5W-30 synthetic




* Because turbos run hotter, oil change frequency is every 3,750 miles. Always consult owner's manual for proper oil recommendation and warranty maintenance booklet for service intervals.

Is Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil more expensive than a regular oil change?

YES and NO - Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil does cost more than regular oil but it also delivers several performance benefits including improved lubrication, increased power, and better fuel economy. While the oil is slightly more expensive, in the long run it will save you $$ on non-turbo models because after the first oil change, all subsequent oil changes are every 7,500 miles vs 3,750.

What weight of Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil should be used?

Subaru offers two different SAE weights that vary in viscosity. As shown below, the 5W-30 is specially formulated for turbos that run at hotter temperatures. The 0W-20 is the perfect weight for he non-turbo engine and is formulated for improved fuel economy.

Required on all 2011 turbos

Subaru Synthetic 5W-30 Motor offers:

  • Superior protection against oil breakdown for a cleaner running engine and long engine life.
  • Increased protection against varnishing and deposits.
  • Superior lubrication reduces engine wear across the operating temperature range and optimizes fuel economy.
  • Reduces oil loss due to evaporation and burn off
  • Recommended for (2010 and prior) Turbo-charged engines but is required for all 2011 Turbo charged engines.
  • This oil is also excellent for all non-turbo vehicles with the exception of the new 2011 Forester (see below).

Required on 2011 Forester

Subaru Synthetic 0W-20 Motor for 2011 Forester (except turbo) offers:

  • Same benefits of 5W-30W noted above PLUS
  • Formulated with a low viscosity to improve fuel economy, reduce friction and increase power.

Can I use Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil in other Subaru vehicles?

YES - Please call our Service Department for the proper procedure and change frequency when converting from regular oil to Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil.

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Quirk Subaru of Bangor

295 Hogan Rd
Directions Bangor, ME 04401

  • Sales: 207-299-1681
  • Service: 877-891-3087
  • Parts: 207-299-1682


  • Monday 7:30AM-5:00PM
  • Tuesday 7:30AM-5:00PM
  • Wednesday 7:30AM-5:00PM
  • Thursday 7:30AM-5:00PM
  • Friday 7:30AM-5:00PM
  • Saturday 7:30AM-NOON
  • Sunday Closed