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Old 09-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
SweetVaBreeze
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Default 06 Tribeca switch to synthetic oil?

My 06 Tribeca has 60,000 miles. Can I switch to synthetic oil?
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:57 AM   #2
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Is it leaking? If so, go with Mobil 1 High Mileage before going with standard synthetic. Personally, I am not in favor of synthetic motor oils because they are too expensive to change every 3000-3750 miles. If you can find an oversized oil filter and a synthetic oil with high TBN then you can go 5000-7500 miles and the cost becomes reasonable. The problem with the Tribeca, I think, is that we can't fit an oversized filter. I suppose you can just change the filter at 3000 miles
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2006 Subaru Tribeca Limited, 103,XXX miles, Redline D4 ATF, Redline 75W90 gear oil, Purolator PureOne Oil Filter, AC Delco Air Filter, Quaker State 5W30 High Mileage Oil, Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:50 AM   #3
SweetVaBreeze
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Thanks for your answer. I do not have a leak. I just had my oil changed, and noticed while waiting that with synthetic oil you don't need to change it as frequently (7500 miles). I like that. I was wondering, after using regular oil all this time if I could switch to synthetic oil without creating problems. As you can tell, I know nothing about cars .
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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Switching over to syn will not be a problem.......your beca may use some until it gets used to the change.....I have changed over on used cars that I have bought through the years and have never had a problem........there are plenty of good quality synthetics with good deals at Wally World.....if you don't want to go that route, the Subaru Synthetic that your dealer has is a quality product also.....I use German Castrol at $6.50 per quart on sale at Auto Zone....my dealer charges $7.00 per quart for the Subaru Syn.....that would be the way I would go if I were you....take your car in for it's next oil change tell them you want the Subaru Synthetic.....don't forget to check you oil ever other fill up if you do change to Synthetic to play safe......
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #5
SweetVaBreeze
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Thanks so much, Cowboy. I will be switching to synthetic on my next oil change. I usually go to the dealership, they are honest and I trust them.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:27 AM   #6
Huskymaniac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetVaBreeze
Thanks so much, Cowboy. I will be switching to synthetic on my next oil change. I usually go to the dealership, they are honest and I trust them.
If the oil says 7500 miles then it probably has a high TBN but you may want to check your options out at www.themotoroilevaluator .com. Even if the oil will last for that long doesn't mean the filter will. Do you drive in an area that can be dusty at times? If so, you may want to change the filter every 3750 miles. If you don't do that yourself and you will have to bring the car to a shop to do it, you may want to reconsider the whole thing. One other option may be to make sure you use a very high efficiency air filter. That will keep dust and particles out of your engine and maybe extend the life of the oil filter. The AC Delco rates out the best for filtration. The concern here is that your oil filter could get clogged prior to that 7500 miles and go into bypass sending silica particles through your engine. That is why you have to consider the oil filter along with the oil itself for extended OCIs.

Finally, you might still want to consider a high mileage synthetic like Mobil 1 or Valvoline. Subarus spring leaks. It is part of the deal. High mileage oils help to prevent leaks.
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1996 Subaru SVX LSi, 102,XXX miles, Redline D4 ATF, Redline 75W90 gear oil, Bosch Premium Oil Filter, AC Delco Air Filter, Mobil 1 0W40 and 5W30 High Mileage Oil Blend
2006 Subaru Tribeca Limited, 103,XXX miles, Redline D4 ATF, Redline 75W90 gear oil, Purolator PureOne Oil Filter, AC Delco Air Filter, Quaker State 5W30 High Mileage Oil, Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:57 AM   #7
subbus
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Per the schedule I have the oil/filter change intervals are 3750miles/3.75 months when:

- repeat short distance driving
- extremely cold weather area
- repeat towing trailer

Otherwise it is 7500 miles/7.5 months.

This is with a conventional oil or synthetic and conventional oil filter.

If you are in between you can go with 5000 miles, it is easy to remember. I think most people do not fell into the 3750 miles category.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:34 PM   #8
sweetpete
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FWIW: Been using Mobil 1 oil & filters for about 20 years in all my vehicles, with oil/filter changes every 5k miles. Have NEVER had a engine problem.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:26 PM   #9
cptplt
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I changed my sienna at 110K to synthetic and have had no problems for past 30K.

My Tribeca has had synthetic since @10K,


I have never had to top up oil in my 8 subarus except on the Tribeca and only about 1/2 qt every 5k.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:45 AM   #10
olegtbk
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If you ever read manual for Tribeca then you'll find out that "...5W-30 full synthetic motor oil is recommended for optimum performance. Conventional oil of the same grade may be used only when no full synthetic oil is available..." (it's from my manual for 2011 Tribeca, 3.6L engine)

The funny part is that I had to point this fact out to the service advisor and a mechanic in my local Subaru dealership when I brought my Tribeca for initial 3k/3mo service. The service was supposed to be done under the service agreement I bought from Subaru. They initially insisted that Tribeca uses conventional oil. They were either incompetent or just weasels - couldn't figure this out though. But I made them use full synthetic oil in my Tribeca.

Last edited by olegtbk; 11-01-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #11
subbus
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That is interesting, I do not remember seeing anything about syn. oil for 07 model. Actually, this is the 1st time I hear about syn. oil being required for cars.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subbus
That is interesting, I do not remember seeing anything about syn. oil for 07 model. Actually, this is the 1st time I hear about syn. oil being required for cars.
Our 2004 VW Jetta 2.0L 4 cyl requires full synthetic and it's 10,000 miles oil change interval - I've always loved it for this.

2011 Tribeca has 7,500 miles oil change interval which, again, makes sense only when full synthetic oil is used.

In general, I don't think you can ever save money by using conventional (cheaper) motor oil because:
- you need to do it every 3000 miles (3x times more often);
- you have to use new filter every time you change oil (extra expense);
- you spend money (time) on oil change job (extra time/money expense);
- you expose your engine to worse working conditions which may lead to other engine problems (full synthetic always outperforms conventional oil).

The only concern is that some car models use very small oil filters that cannot be used for long miles intervals such as 10,000 miles and should be replaced more often. But then you could use synthetic blend oil.

Last edited by olegtbk; 11-01-2011 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:10 AM   #13
subbus
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I thought that the 3000 miles oil change interval was a lie pushed by jiffy lube and such. Even now they say something else the last time I heard on the news.

I thought that most cars require oil change intervals at 3750miles when driven in severe condition (based on Honda and Subaru I owned).

I thought most cars have oil change at 7500 miles including 06/07 Tribeca and there is no mentioning of syn. oil.

I think the bottom line is to change it when the manual says it to change.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:52 AM   #14
olegtbk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subbus
I think the bottom line is to change it when the manual says it to change.
Definitely, folks, please read your manual to figure out what oil to use and how often to change it. Find out what's recommended change interval under severe driving conditions if it applies to you.

And, again, upgrading to synthetic oil will never hurt your engine. If you add synthetic oil to conventional or syn blend oil then overall performance of the oil mixture increases. Just make sure you don't mix different oil grades.

If anyone heard anything different please share.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:33 AM   #15
Huskymaniac
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Most people who own Subarus drive in areas which are severe part of the year. So the answer is somewhere between 3750 and 7500 miles with conventional oil. Synthetic does NOT automatically equate with extended OCIs. You need to know the starting TBN. Some are very high. Some are higher than conventional and some are barely higher than conventional.

Aside from the oil you HAVE to consider the filter. Clearly you want a good filter for your car so you can keep particles out of your engine. Good filters, by definition, fill up faster and their flow resistance increases faster. Eventually the pressure causes them to go into bypass. You don't want that to happen and get unfiltered oil in your engine. So even if you get a good synthetic oil, you may want to change your oil filter at 3750 miles.

The only way to know for sure is to pick a filter, oil, OCI and filter change interval and then get your oil tested (UOA). Then you will see if you have excess silica or metals in your oil and you will see how low your TBN got and how high your acid (TAN) got. That will tell you if you are OK or you need to change your oil or filter more frequently.
__________________
1996 Subaru SVX LSi, 102,XXX miles, Redline D4 ATF, Redline 75W90 gear oil, Bosch Premium Oil Filter, AC Delco Air Filter, Mobil 1 0W40 and 5W30 High Mileage Oil Blend
2006 Subaru Tribeca Limited, 103,XXX miles, Redline D4 ATF, Redline 75W90 gear oil, Purolator PureOne Oil Filter, AC Delco Air Filter, Quaker State 5W30 High Mileage Oil, Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
sb9tango
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...but if the oil and filter is changed at the recommended interval periodically, the chances of the oil filter media/element getting clogged and restricted are slim unless the oil in contaminated with foreign particles, which means oil flow being diverted to bypass will be avoided if the oil and filter is changed piously between 3750 to 7500 miles.

I believe that the bypass feature of oil filters is more of a fail-safe/safety feature. It is better to lube the engine with unfiltered oil than not be lubed at all because of a clogged or restricted oil filter.

The key is, as you mentioned, change the oil and filter in accordance to the manufacturer's recommendation as stated in the owner's manual. Right oil filter, right oil (weight and grade).

...and by the way, there are oil filters which are designed or equipped with a anti-drain valve, more like a check valve to prevent the oil from draining back to the oil pan when the engine is not running/no oil pressure. These are the oil filters that are designed to be installed upside down (like in some old Mercedes and the new Toyota Tacoma V6), so the filter is always filled with oil and prevent "dry-starts".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskymaniac
Most people who own Subarus drive in areas which are severe part of the year. So the answer is somewhere between 3750 and 7500 miles with conventional oil. Synthetic does NOT automatically equate with extended OCIs. You need to know the starting TBN. Some are very high. Some are higher than conventional and some are barely higher than conventional.

Aside from the oil you HAVE to consider the filter. Clearly you want a good filter for your car so you can keep particles out of your engine. Good filters, by definition, fill up faster and their flow resistance increases faster. Eventually the pressure causes them to go into bypass. You don't want that to happen and get unfiltered oil in your engine. So even if you get a good synthetic oil, you may want to change your oil filter at 3750 miles.

The only way to know for sure is to pick a filter, oil, OCI and filter change interval and then get your oil tested (UOA). Then you will see if you have excess silica or metals in your oil and you will see how low your TBN got and how high your acid (TAN) got. That will tell you if you are OK or you need to change your oil or filter more frequently.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:10 PM   #17
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Default Related Thread

I found this thread somewhat related as it discusses the type of oil, filters, and intervals.

http://www.sb9t.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1964
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:02 AM   #18
subbus
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2007 Tribeca:

1. When the vehicle is used under severe driving conditions**, the engine oil and filter should be changed every 6,000 km (3,750 miles) or 3.75 months.

**Examples of severe driving conditions:
a. Repeated short distance driving when the engine does not reach normal operating temperature. (Items 3, 13 and 14 only) b. Driving on rough and/or muddy roads. (Items 13, 14 and 17 only)
c. Driving in dusty conditions.
d. Driving in extremely cold weather. (Items 3 and 17 only)
e. Driving in areas where road salts or other corrosive materials are used. (Items 6, 13, 14, 15 and 17 only)
f. Living in coastal areas. (Items 6, 13, 14, 15 and 17 only)
g. Towing a trailer. (Items 3, 4, 10, 11, 13 and 14 only)

By this definition I do not use it under severe condition so my service interval is 7500 miles regardless of oil/filter used. But I use Subaru OEM filter and full synt oils.

The other indicator is MPG numbers. If you get very low MPG numbers you are more likely to drive under severe condition.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #19
sb9tango
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Wow! I learn something new everyday..... I never thought of the MPG as a factor to determine severe driving conditions. But if we'll think about it, it totally makes sense. Low MPG means the engine is having a hard time, as a result of:
1) frequent driving in stop and go traffic (the engine is running for longer periods but the odometer is not rolling),
2) frequent uphill driving (the engine RPM is high but the speed and distance is slow and short, respectively),
3) severe cold weather (takes a longer time for the engine to reach optimum operating temp)....etc...
...all of which are equal to severe driving conditions while the high MPG is the opposite.
Thanks for the enlightenment Subbus!

Quote:
Originally Posted by subbus
2007 Tribeca:

1. When the vehicle is used under severe driving conditions**, the engine oil and filter should be changed every 6,000 km (3,750 miles) or 3.75 months.

**Examples of severe driving conditions:
a. Repeated short distance driving when the engine does not reach normal operating temperature. (Items 3, 13 and 14 only) b. Driving on rough and/or muddy roads. (Items 13, 14 and 17 only)
c. Driving in dusty conditions.
d. Driving in extremely cold weather. (Items 3 and 17 only)
e. Driving in areas where road salts or other corrosive materials are used. (Items 6, 13, 14, 15 and 17 only)
f. Living in coastal areas. (Items 6, 13, 14, 15 and 17 only)
g. Towing a trailer. (Items 3, 4, 10, 11, 13 and 14 only)

By this definition I do not use it under severe condition so my service interval is 7500 miles regardless of oil/filter used. But I use Subaru OEM filter and full synt oils.

The other indicator is MPG numbers. If you get very low MPG numbers you are more likely to drive under severe condition.
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