Asked by Jul 25, 2015 at 11:36 PM about the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

In 2013,  the Subaru Outback changed engines to a double overhead cam and timing
chain but only gained 3 horsepower.  Unfortunately,  there's percentage of cars that burn
excessive oil with the newer 0-20 weight.   Is this really more efficient or just more

4 Answers


The zero weight oil has to do with the government mileage test which starts with a cold engine. The zero weight helps the mileage for the first few seconds but after that does nothing. Most owners could not tell the difference in mileage without sophisticated test equipment under controlled conditions. It is my understanding that the problem is two fold, these engines use low tension oil rings to reduce friction and thin oil. You can use a heaver oil such as 5-20 or 5-30 synthetic on newer cars and there should be no warranty issues but you can double check with your dealer on that. I suspect using heavier oil will help but not stop the oil consumption issue.

Best Answer Mark helpful

Great job explaining this, the EJ 25 series engine used from 1989 to 2012 in two phases on the Subaru Outback was designed for 5-30 oil. In 2013 , the Outback got the new FB series engine with the synthetic 0-20 viscosity and all of these issues came to light..


0w20 and 5w20 oil is the same viscosity when the engine is warm. The second number (after the "w") is the oil's grade or viscosity. One is NOT "heavier" than the other. Using any oil other than what is recommended can cause engine damage in some unusually cold temperature events (pretty rare, but happens). This has to do with tight tolerances of the valve train and lack of lubrication at start up. I have actually seen camshafts seized in overhead cam engines some years ago due to wrong oil being used during -20F temperatures. These engines had 10w40 oil in them versus the recommended 5w30. For a good read on oil go to the-simple-back-into-viscosity/

60,715 vehicle-dependability-study

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 35,521 nationwide Outback listings starting at $999.


Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
302 Great Deals out of 37,663 listings starting at $1,103
Used Subaru Legacy
197 Great Deals out of 14,288 listings starting at $1,800
Used Subaru Impreza
189 Great Deals out of 20,758 listings starting at $1,695
Used Honda CR-V
707 Great Deals out of 62,079 listings starting at $1,495
Used Toyota RAV4
651 Great Deals out of 61,907 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Highlander
544 Great Deals out of 42,486 listings starting at $2,009
Used Toyota 4Runner
335 Great Deals out of 29,316 listings starting at $1,500
Used Subaru XV Crosstrek
65 Great Deals out of 1,739 listings starting at $9,000
Used Honda Accord
838 Great Deals out of 87,588 listings starting at $1,444
Used Toyota Tacoma
540 Great Deals out of 41,033 listings starting at $2,500
Used Honda Pilot
590 Great Deals out of 37,120 listings starting at $1,995
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
889 Great Deals out of 71,123 listings starting at $900
Used Toyota Camry
1,072 Great Deals out of 76,710 listings starting at $1,100
Used Ford Escape
1,172 Great Deals out of 106,288 listings starting at $700

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
8,312 listings starting at $29,424
2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 872 listings starting at $24,900
2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
30 Great Deals out of 568 listings starting at $15,995
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
23 Great Deals out of 690 listings starting at $14,995
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
15 Great Deals out of 351 listings starting at $9,777

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.