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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Debating with spouse whether every new car comes with break in oil.
i was planning a change at 1K but that triggered this question.
Anyone aware if our new babies come with ordinary oil, or “break-in”’oil which would make an early oil change less desirable?
 

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Regular spec oil, I believe. Subaru recommends 6K mile oil changes right from mile “0”, but I’m like you and I changed ours at about 1500 miles then again at 5K and will do 5K mile intervals because its easy to keep track of...
 

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"Break In" oil is mostly an artifact of the past...and no, your Subaru just has the normal spec oil in it from the factory. Your first official service interval is 6K miles unless your use qualifies for "severe duty", such as if you are a taxi service, are doing heavy towing frequently, etc.
 

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Oil changes more frequent than mandated by the manufacturer will never harm the car. New cars can have artifacts in the oil from assembly, usually sealants and such. Whether oil changes at 1K miles helps or not, who can say? The filter should do it's job well enough to make early or more frequent changes unnecessary though.
 

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Modern machining techniques are so advanced now that, generally speaking, no metal shards are left behind. I have spoke with numerous Subaru dealers, and owned five total brand new Subarus, in each case, the Subaru dealer told me that I was perfectly fine to wait till 6,000 miles to get my first oil change. Anyone telling you to go any sooner than that is just them trying to make money. @Robert.Mauro has written extensively about this and while I won't speak for him, I believe he has been consistent about waiting to get your first oil change. But I'll let him speak for himself when he gets back online
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Break In" oil is mostly an artifact of the past...and no, your Subaru just has the normal spec oil in it from the factory. Your first official service interval is 6K miles unless your use qualifies for "severe duty", such as if you are a taxi service, are doing heavy towing frequently, etc.
LOL
Yes. Both spouse and I are car buffs... but in a different way.
I love “artifact of the past” ROFL
 
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Oil changes more frequent than mandated by the manufacturer will never harm the car. New cars can have artifacts in the oil from assembly, usually sealants and such. Whether oil changes at 1K miles helps or not, who can say? The filter should do it's job well enough to make early or more frequent changes unnecessary though.
Modern, synthetic oils are so effective that many new car manufacturers now recommend an oil change frequency of 12 months or 10,000 miles - whichever comes first.
 

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Modern machining techniques are so advanced now that, generally speaking, no metal shards are left behind. I have spoke with numerous Subaru dealers, and own five total brand new Subarus, in each Subaru dealer told me that I was perfectly fine to wait till 6,000 miles to get my first oil change. Anyone telling you to go any sooner than that, it's just them trying to make money. @Robert.Mauro has written extensively about this and while I won't speak for him, I believe he has been consistent about waiting to get your first oil change. But I'll let him speak for himself when he gets back online
I'm really busy with the start of the event, so, short version is, what @SA2020 said.
 

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It's been written on these forums that there is break-in oil and it's also been written that there isn't. I remember this because I changed my oil at around 3k and I became worried after reading here that it was advisbale to leave the break-in oil for the 6k duration. 🤷‍♂️

My car has been fine as far as I can tell.

 

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Just to be clear, I posted what I did. I didn't claim that it was necessary or that anyone should follow any implied advice. I just like what's going on in my machines and that is one way of getting a closer look. I also accomplished installing a Fumoto valve which I had and wanted to install for future changes. If you saw how I took care of 45+ years of motorcycles your head would spin. LOL
 

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Debating with spouse whether every new car comes with break in oil.
i was planning a change at 1K but that triggered this question.
Anyone aware if our new babies come with ordinary oil, or “break-in”’oil which would make an early oil change less desirable?
I have been driving for 30 years and the idea of changing the oil after 1K mile break-in was and is something my parents preached. Honestly... I still follow that practice and don't care if it is no longer necessary. Oil changes are cheap... and knock on wood... it's a good tradition to keep. Let's keep in mind that the chemical and physical properties of all oil, the combustion process, and how oil when exposed to moisture turns to sulfuric acid. Sadly, the only new car that ever had an engine failure was my 2008 Outback - with head gaskets that needed to be replaced.
Cheers,
Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have been driving for 30 years and the idea of changing the oil after 1K mile break-in was and is something my parents preached. Honestly... I still follow that practice and don't care if it is no longer necessary. Oil changes are cheap... and knock on wood... it's a good tradition to keep. Let's keep in mind that the chemical and physical properties of all oil, the combustion process, and how oil when exposed to moisture turns to sulfuric acid. Sadly, the only new car that ever had an engine failure was my 2008 Outback - with head gaskets that needed to be replaced.
Cheers,
Jonathan
Ha!
my outback needed head gasket but at something like 130k miles. I took great care of it. Actually got it when my kid was little and wondered if it would become his first car- and it was!!! Then he totaled it :-(
 

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Ancient history lesson here. I built engines for 60's and 70's muscle cars. The machining capabilities of the best hand-building race shops doesn't compare to the machining capabilities in the auto manufacturers today. It all comes down to getting the moving parts to seat with the last amount of circulating abrasives as possible.

The break-ins we recommended to our customers differed based on the work we did and the kind of parts we installed ie, steel pistons vs aluminum. If we had the engine on the test rack, we might fire it up with oil as light as liquid wrench and change it after just a few minutes. We'd keep doing that until the oil ran clear before adding regular oil.

Engines right out of the factory don't have the parts-seating issues of decades ago when the conventional wisdom of break-in oil arose.
 

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Let's keep in mind that the chemical and physical properties of all oil, the combustion process, and how oil when exposed to moisture turns to sulfuric acid.
With synthetics, things might be a little different, however. I do not personally know what those differences might be, but there's bound to be at least some chemical differences between recycled dinosaur food and modern synthetic lubricants relative to the effects of heat and combustion on them.
 

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With synthetics, things might be a little different, however. I do not personally know what those differences might be, but there's bound to be at least some chemical differences between recycled dinosaur food and modern synthetic lubricants relative to the effects of heat and combustion on them.
Oddly enough, even full synthetic engine oil contains 90% highly refined oil. The other 10% are mostly paraffins and other petroleum-based lubricants. In short, the combustion and reactivity of the oil would be very similar to any oil in producing sulfuric acid as a byproduct.
 

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Ha!
my outback needed head gasket but at something like 130k miles. I took great care of it. Actually got it when my kid was little and wondered if it would become his first car- and it was!!! Then he totaled it :-(
I believe that for the old many EJ series engines over time that head gasket failure is about 100% by 150K mile. It is well documented that the factory head gasket seal was defective and that Subaru never fixed it. Aftermarket head gaskets are preferred to be used for proper repair. Mr. Subaru has a nice video to explain.
 

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Debating with spouse whether every new car comes with break in oil.
i was planning a change at 1K but that triggered this question.
Anyone aware if our new babies come with ordinary oil, or “break-in”’oil which would make an early oil change less desirable?
Oil itself never wears out but it does get dirty. I change oil and filter when it becomes dark on the dipstick. If I am driving on dirt roads a lot it happens sooner but highway driving gives me more miles.
 

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Oil itself never wears out but it does get dirty. I change oil and filter when it becomes dark on the dipstick. If I am driving on dirt roads a lot it happens sooner but highway driving gives me more miles.
Dirty oil is proof it's doing one of it's jobs by keeping the dirt in suspension instead of letting it build up and sludging the motor. Oil, as we know it, consists of more than just the raw product. It contains viscosity modifiers, detergents, corrosion inhibitors, etc. Those parts of modern motor oil wear out. Water in the form of humidity will also wear out oil, which is why Subaru and other car manufacturers recommend oil changes based not only on miles, but time as well.
 
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