Subaru Forester Engine Oil: Types & Oil Change & Recommendations

Oil serves an important role in cars with the Subaru Forester not left out of the list, lubricating the engine parts, which are constantly in friction and bringing wears and tears to their barest minimum so it plays a vital role in ensuring perfect working conditions of your vehicle. 

With this said, No oil lasts forever. Oil gets broken down as a result of heat and friction in engines or even when vehicles are left stationary for long, hence the need for changing the oil in intervals. This is why it is important to know what to consider when trying to do routine oil changes for your vehicle.

For Subaru forester, engine oil comes in a variety of types and While considering what oil you should get, this article will help you know the types of oil, the procedure for an oil change, and the best recommendations for choice and use of forester engine oils.


What are the advantages of changing the Subaru Forester Engine Oil?

  • Keeps your engine free from debris and all kind of particles picked up which become trapped in the oils filter system. This is very important because it reduces build-up of impurities in the engine which can further cause damage or poor health to your vehicle and definitely to your total discomfort
  • What is an engine without good and clean oil? It’s no good. So regular oil change helps to keep the engine parts from corrosion and oxidation.
  • Where there is friction, heat is largely produced which is not good for your engine to continue to function optimally. coupled with explosions caused by plugs and gasoline which breaks down engine oil over time, a change in oil will restore the vehicle to it optimal performance
  • Of all the reasons why you must carry out routine checks and change your vehicle’s oil is for the fact that oils prevent the engine from knocking. 

Factors to consider when changing your Subaru Forester Engine Oil

  • Mileage/Usage

When considering an oil change for your Subaru Forester Engine, one of the top indicators you should be looking into after engine type is its Mileage. A vehicle that covers more miles has more wear and tear and thus makes a good indicator for an oil change. For best performance, a Subarus oil should be changed every 5000 to 7500 miles or more.

  • Extreme Weather

Weather and extreme temperatures have a big role to play in oil change as they affect the viscosity of the oil in the engine. Especially during winter, engine oil tends to become too thick and makes circulation difficult. The best remedy for times like this is an oil change: oil types with low viscosity can do better no matter the temperature or weather conditions you are experiencing.

  • Engine Type 

The most important factor for an oil change is the Engine type. It is always important to consider your manufacturer’s specifications in your owner’s manual to always be on track for compatibility and best performance.

When Should I change the Engine Oil in My Subaru Forester? 

This is one of the most significant and outstanding services for your car when it comes to oil changes. Changing synthetic oil should be done every 7,500 to 10,000 miles.

Must I use Subaru Engine Oil?

It is best to use Subaru Engine Oil, especially synthetic oil if your Subaru is a 2011 or newer Forester, 2012 or newer Impreza, or 2013 or newer Outback, Legacy, Crosstrek, or BRZ, or Ascent. 

Why is Subaru Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil better for a turbo-charged engine?

The turbo engine, which functions at a higher temperature, is suitable with 5W-30. This offers better lubrication for maximum fuel efficiency, less deposit building on turbo spindles, and greater protection against breakdown.

What type of oil does subaru recommend?

Although Subaru Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil is suggested for turbocharged engines, it performs superbly in all engine types. Your Subaru engine will operate securely using Subaru Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil.

Subaru Forester Oil Guide

SNSubaru Forester ModelSubaru Oil Required Capacity
12002 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
22003 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
32004 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
42005 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
52006 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
62007 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
72008 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
82009 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
92010 Subaru Forester Engine Oil5W-30 Conventional Oil (Best)

5W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends

Preferred Buy During Summer or in Hot Region
10W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 10W-40 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends  15W-30 – Conventional or Synthetic Blends 
4.4 Quarts
102011 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
112012 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
122013 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
132014 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
142015 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
152016 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
162017 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
172018 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
182019 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
192020 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
202021 Subaru Forester Engine Oil0W-20 Synthetic Oil (Best)

5W-20 Synthetic Oil
5W-30 Synthetic Oil
4.4 – 5.5 Quarts
Subaru Forester Engine Oil Recommendation

Subaru Forester XT Oil Guide 

SNSubaru Forester ModelSubaru Oil Required Capacity
12004 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil4.4 Quarts
22005 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil4.4 Quarts
32006 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil4.4 Quarts
42007 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil4.4 Quarts
52008 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil 
62009 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil4.4 Quarts
72010 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil5W-30 Synthetic Oil4.4 Quarts
82011 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
92012 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
102013 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
112014 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
122015 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
132016 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
142017 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts
152018 Subaru Forester XT Engine Oil 5W-30 Synthetic Oil 5W-30 Conventional Oil4.4 – 5.4 Quarts

Types of Subaru Engine Oil 

They are classified into two groups of oil based on separate distinctive factors which depend on their need of use and function. Suberu oil can be either Conventional Oil or  Synthetic Oil 

  1. Conventional Oil
    Conventional Oil is well known and commonly used by Subaru Forester owners. This kind of oil has been refined from crude oil so much so that it is most suitable for use in engines.  

It is used for most early versions of the Subaru engines but due to its creation from more natural processes, there are some inconsistencies in the structure at the molecular level.  Even with its suitability with most engines, it contains some impurities. 

These impurities pose strong issues for engines, causing significant levels of friction. And because they are made from refining crude oil, they are thicker and do not flow as fast as its synthetic counterpart when used in the engine.

Hence conventional oils are only recommended to be used when:

  • You’ve got an older vehicle or you are on a budget.
  • If your car is an older version of Suberu and has higher mileage. Conventional our has been what it uses so changing it could lead to engine breakdown.
  1. Synthetic Oil
    Synthetic oils from the name surely mean they are artificially made and unlike the conventional oil, use chemically modified petroleum components rather than whole crude oil. They are valued because of their incredible ability to function dependably at severe temperature ranges and also due to their long-lasting ability to withstand lengthy engine work without having viscosity issues.

Because of its slippery nature, it is great for withstanding wear and tears in the engine and also promotes longevity.

Synthetic Vs Conventional Oil 

From these two oil types, you already know which outperforms the other but there’s a need for you to understand exactly how. It all begins at the molecular level. Synthetic oil does not contain impurities as those experienced while using Conventional oil.

  • When it comes to engine protection Synthetic oil does just as well compared with its conventional counterpart.
  • In extreme temperatures, this where synthetic oils shone the most, maintaining stability, and no unfavorable changes like those in conventional oil.

Viscosity Grade in Engine Oil 

When talking about viscosity oils, it refers to how oil pours in the engine at a specified temperature. These bring us to classifying oils into thin and thick.

Thin oils have a lower viscosity than thick oil and pour more freely at lower temperatures than thick oil which has a higher viscosity.

Grade in Engine oil came as a result of The Society of Automotive Engineers developing a scale for both engines. XW-XX is the formula used for grading in Engine oils (Multi-grade) which checks both winter and summer temperatures.

The X that precedes the ‘W’ ( Winter) represents a number that rates the oil’s viscosity at 0° Fahrenheit (-17.8 degrees Celsius). The lower the number, the lesser the oil thickens in cold weather. For Example, oil with a 5W-30 grade thickens less than oil with a 20W-30 grade in winter.


While the ‘XX’ represents a number that shows viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius and shows the oil’s resistance to thinning at high temperatures. For instance, oil with a 10W-30 grade thins out more quickly at high temperatures as compared to oils with a 10W-60 grade.

For winter or cooler regions, your engine will do well using oil with low winter viscosity. But in summer and hotter regions, your engine will do better using oil with higher viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius.

What Subaru Engine is 0W-20 Oil Used For? 

0W-20 Oil Used For Fits BRZ, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, and  Outback which are Non-turbo engines.

This oil type is specifically produced to handle the low-friction design of Subaru non-turbo engines and give them superior performance in different operating conditions.

Can I use both conventional & synthetic oil intermittently? 

Although switching between fully synthetic and conventional oil won’t harm the engine, synthetic oils normally offer more protection than conventional lubricants.

Why is an oil change with Subaru Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil more expensive than a regular oil change?

Technology’s attempt to create synthetic oil is an improvement above the oil that nature has already given us. The cost is increased by the complexity of the refinement process and the mixture of constituent chemicals. The benefit is that synthetic oil doesn’t need to be changed nearly as frequently as regular motor oil.

What makes Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil better than conventional motor oil?

The performance benefits of synthetic oil are enormous. Because of the decreased amounts of friction, it safeguards the engine. Additives aid in degreasing the engine. Additionally, with fewer contaminants, the fuel burns cleaner thickens much more gradually, and has less initial deposits.

How often should I change my Subaru Car Engine Oil?

Oil service routine is one very important aspect for supercar engine maintenance to get the best performance and life span, but this must be done according to best recommendations. Subaru engineers recommend that oil changes are carried out roughly every 6-8,000-miles. Even with this recommendation, all still falls to your driving habits and the type of oil your Subaru requires.

Can i use 5w-30 instead of 0w-20 Subaru?

Yes. Subaru Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil can be used without prepping the engine.  You can combine the two types of oil in a crisis. However, it is better to avoid mixing the two, and once you have exited this emergency circumstance, the oil should be changed.

Is it better to use synthetic oil or regular oil?

Your engine will perform better with synthetic oil than with regular oil. While conventional oil, or mineral oil, can provide enough lubrication, it cannot match the overall engine protection and performance offered by synthetic oils.

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