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Top 7 Best Oils for Subaru WRX

Being vigilant about oil changes is the least expensive maintenance to keep your vehicle going. Good quality oil will lubricate your engine and will clean all the contaminants to keep it cool. In this post, we will focus on Subaru and will provide you with all the information that you need to find the best oil for Subaru WRX.
We will review some of the best options available out there and will also discuss some of the important features that you need to consider before choosing the right engine oil. In the end, we will find answers to some questions that users frequently ask.
So, let’s get on with it!

Subaru WRX Oil Recommended by Manufacturer

Subaru SAE 5W-30 Engine Oil


The best motor oil for Subaru WRX is the SAE 5W-30 engine oil. Subaru WRX runs ILSAC certified or API SN synthetic motor oil. If your vehicle is not modified, this is the recommended oil for Subaru WRX. For a turbo engine, synthetic oil is the best option; hence, this oil is a good choice for all models of Subaru WRX.
This oil is the direct replacement of OEM motor oil in your WRX. This is the best oil for Subaru Impreza WRX or any turbocharged engine from another maker. It is available in a 1-gallon bottle that you can conveniently use to fill the 5.1-liter engine oil capacity of your Subaru WRX.
Configuration: 5W-30
Type: Full Synthetic
Meets specifications: ILSAC GF-5, API SN Plus
Quantity: 1 gallon

Pros

  • Good quality synthetic oil to keep your engine cool
  • Lubricates even the smallest components in your engine to reduce friction
  • Bottle size is good for multiple uses
  • Highly effective to keep all the parts clean for smoother operation

Cons

  • Not the best option to use in winter

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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Castrol GTX


Your Subaru WRX requires ILSAC certified or API SN engine oil. Therefore, this is our 2018 Subaru WRX oil recommendation. This is the best oil for Subaru Impreza WRX because it has the ability to reduce engine wear and tear significantly. It will leave your vehicle’s critical engine parts four times smoother as compared to any other oil. This is our 2013 Subaru WRX oil recommendation, as well as the 2003 Subaru WRX oil recommendation. All Subaru turbocharged engines require synthetic oil, so Castrol GTX works fine with them.
It will cling on to important engine parts as the oil drains. This is the recommended oil for Subaru WRX because its dilution is harmless and your engine will wear better. It will keep your engine cool because it stays in those parts, reducing friction. Subaru WRX requires 5.1 liters of engine oil and Castrol GTX is available in 1-litre and 5-liter bottles.
Configuration: 5W-30
Type: Full Synthetic
Pros

  • Lubricates the engine parts pretty well
  • Keeps your engine cool for longer periods
  • Reduces friction up to 4x and keeps the parts clean
  • IVA wear test certified
  • Pairs well with Bosch oil filters

Cons

  • Not very effective in winter temperatures.

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Oil for Subaru WRX – Buyer’s Guide

There are various aspects to consider when buying the right kind of engine oil for your Subaru WRX. You need to focus on your vehicle’s oil consumption and oil change patterns. Finding out how much oil it burns will allow you to find which brand and type of motor oil suits your needs.

Subaru WRX oil consumption

If you are looking to find out your vehicle’s oil consumption, you need to dig deep and see how consistently you have been changing the oils over time. The company recommends getting the 1st oil change after 6 months but not more than 6000 miles. But it is better for you to change it between 3000 and 4000 miles.

This is mandatory because your vehicle’s engine will just be out of the initial break-in period at this point. A newer engine will experience more wear during this period. For an older vehicle, your Subaru WRX oil change needs to take place at the 6000-mile mark. It will ensure Subaru WRX limited burning oil, a problem that most Subaru owners complain about.

Extreme driving conditions

Most people do not exactly understand what these conditions are. Extreme driving is when your Subaru WRX experiences frequent braking and downshifting the transmission, as well as driving at sustained high speeds.

Severe thermal conditions, or idling your vehicle for elongated periods, all fall in this category. These conditions significantly impact the oil consumption of your vehicle and its overall performance. In such situations, your vehicle will require more oil changes – every 4000 to 5000 miles.

Subaru WRX uses oil between changes

You might have experienced that your vehicle consumes more oil in-between oil changes. This is due to the fact that synthetic oils are thinner and they get into those tiny engine spaces for better lubrication, reduced friction and increased fuel efficiency.

It significantly increases any chances that the oil will collect deposits and coking will occur. This means that you will have to change your oil to keep everything running smoothly. Therefore, you need to keep a close eye on the oil level.

What to consider before buying the right oil for Subaru WRX?

There are some key points that you need to know before choosing the right oil for your vehicle. We have listed them for your convenience. Let’s have a look at them briefly.

Understanding the labels

This is one of the most important points. There are different types of labels on all motor oil bottles and containers. Understanding these labels will enable you to make the right choice for your vehicle.

There is an ILSAC GF-5 or API label and it tells you whether or not oil meets the SL service ratings. Apart from that, there will be a C in the case of diesel engine oil. There will be an SAE viscosity label as well, which tells you that the oil has passed the energy conservation test. The starburst symbol will show that the oil has passed all the tests for SL service standards.

Viscosity

Viscosity is the resistance of a fluid to flow. You see those symbols like 5W-30 or 10W-40. The first number is the rating for low-temperature with a “w” indicating “winter.” The second number represents a higher temperature rating. Engine oils thicken in cold temperatures and get thin in heat.

Therefore, there needs to be the right amount of additives to prevent both these situations from happening. If a particular engine oil is resistant to thinning, the second number will be higher, and if it resists thickening, the 1st number will be lower. The recommended rating for your Subaru WRX is 5W-30 for better performance.

Different types of motor oils

There are various motor oils designed for different kinds of vehicles. Let’s have a look at each of them in the text below.

Conventional Premium

Conventional premium oils are best suited for new cars, and all top car brands have their own with an SL service listing. They all come with different viscosity levels. However, most of the car manufacturers recommend 5W-30 or 5W-20 for colder climates and 10W-30 for hotter climates. This category is for all light-duty vehicles that you can find on the road.

Full Synthetic

For more specialized lightweight vehicles, full synthetics are recommended. These oils with different labels mean that they have gone through a range of stability and performance tests for reliability. They flow at both high and low temperatures. Not every vehicle owner can use them because they are pretty expensive.

Synthetic Blend

These engine oils have a blend of organic oil mixed with synthetic oil. These oils are designed for high temperatures and heavier loads. Therefore, these are less volatile and are a good oil loss solution. SUV and truck owners go for this type of engine oil because it is a lot less expensive than the full synthetics.

High Mileage

Modern cars last longer, and for this reason, you see a lot of used cars on the road and for sale. This type of oil is better suited for older vehicles with over 75,000 miles on the odometer. Your vehicle will require a quart more than when it was new because of its mileage.

Oil additives

Using these additives is just another way to improve oil performance. There are various elements that your engine has to tackle; therefore, it cannot rely only on the oil itself. Moisture, rust, corrosion, oxygen, engine wear particles, dust and all such elements create varnish and sludge that contribute to coking. Therefore, you can use different types of additives to prevent all these problems. Most of the brands today add these additives into the oil to enhance performance and make it convenient for the vehicle owners. These additives include the likes of:

  • Improvers for viscosity index for reducing the engine oil’s tendency to get thick or thin in low or high temperatures
  • Detergents to remove build-ups and deposits
  • Dispersants for keeping solid particles apart so they form sludge
  • Anti-wear agents to keep the metal surfaces of the components inside your engine safe when the lubricant film breaks down
  • Friction modifiers are similar to anti-wear agents as they reduce friction and improve fuel economy
  • Depressants for pour points to prevent the wax particles in the oil from freezing in low temperatures
  • Antioxidants to improve emission control and prevent oxidation
  • Foam inhibitors to prevent foam development caused by the crankshaft whipping in the oil
  • Corrosion or rust inhibitors to keep the metal parts safe from moisture and acids

Subaru WRX Oil Recommended by Mileage

Synthetic Oil Mileage
Castrol EDGE 0 – 75,000
Valvoline 881164 75,000 – 150,000
Royal Purple 51530 150,000 – 300,000
Mobil 1 120764 150,000 – 300,000
Semi-synthetic Oil Mileage
Shell Rotella T5 15W-40 Diesel 75,000 – 150,000
Havoline 5W-30 Petrol 150,000 – 300,000
Castrol GTX 06440 5W-30 Hybrid 75,000 – 150,000

Meets specifications

API SN Plus, ILSAC GF-5

Best Synthetic Oil for Subaru WRX

Castrol EDGE 5W-30 Petrol

Castrol EDGE 5W-30 Petrol

Why choose this?

  • Maximum engine performance under pressure
  • Reduces deposit formation
  • It limits metal-to-metal contact and friction

Features

Castrol EDGE petrol engine oil reaches the smallest components in your engine and keeps them running smoothly – even during high speeds. It will effectively reduce friction and will prevent your engine from overheating. It is extremely effective in handling various driving speeds, and your engine will become highly responsive because there will be minimal deposit formation.

Recommendations

Best engine oil Subaru 2003 WRX
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Excellent option for turbocharged petrol engines
Limits friction and improves fuel economy significantly.
Reduces engine slap during cold starts.
Keeps the engine smooth during various speeds
The oil filter starts to make noise after a while.
Not recommended for extremely cold weather
Not that great for high mileage

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Valvoline 881164 5W-30 Petrol

Valvoline 881164 5W-30 Petrol

Why choose this?

  • Optimal varnish and sludge protection
  • High-temperature safety in extreme driving conditions
  • Fully compatible with turbocharged engines

Features

If you are looking for the best oil to use in extreme weather conditions, go for Valvoline. This oil will keep all the parts of your engine working smoothly. This oil offers exceptional sludge and varnish protection and works well when you are driving fast. The oil is also recommended for hot weather conditions because it will keep the engine cool.

Recommendations

Best oil for Subaru WRX in hot weather
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Excellent for quick oil flow on start-ups
Top-notch, high-temperature performance
Safeguards against varnish and sludge
Works well in hot weather
Keeps the engine cool and allows it to run smoothly
It is not the best choice for sub-zero conditions
Higher chance of coking in extreme driving conditions
Bottles leak over time

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Royal Purple 51530 5W-30 Petrol


Why choose this?

  • Available in different quantities
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Best choice for catalytic emission systems

Features

This motor oil from Royal Purple provides superior corrosion resistance as your engine grows old with the passage of time. If you are looking for high mileage, this motor oil will suffice. Royal Purple is compatible with fuels that contain ethanol. Therefore, your engine will perform at its best if you use it only for petrol-based turbocharged engines. This engine oil also works great as your engine fluid and it will significantly limit wear and tear over time.

Recommendations

Best engine oil Subaru 2003 WRX
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Available in different quantities
Works as fluid and lubricant
Corrosion and wear protection for your engine
Fully compatible with ethanol-based fuels
Safeguards your catalytic emission system
Not for small engines
It voids new car warranties
It has a tendency to burn quickly

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Mobil 1 120764

Mobil 1 120764

Why choose this?

  • Prevents sludge build-up
  • Top choice for wear protection and overall lubrication
  • Enhanced frictional prevention properties

Features

If you are in search of motor oil that can handle cold weather start-ups, don’t look any further. Mobil 1 will increase your engine’s life – no matter the weather conditions. This engine oil boosts fuel economy and has low-temperature capabilities. It suits different driving styles and has good oxidation and thermal stability. It reaches the farthest regions of your vehicle’s engine and does its job by reducing friction and improving fuel efficiency.

Recommendations

Best engine oil Subaru 2003 WRX
Best oil for Subaru WRX in hot weather
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Prevents sludge and deposit development
Prolongs engine life by reducing friction and boosting smoother operation
Suitable for different driving styles and weather conditions
Maximizes oil change intervals
Only available in two quantities
Not meant for hot weather conditions
Frequent oil filter changes

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Best Semi-Synthetic Oil for Subaru WRX

Shell Rotella T5 15W-40 Diesel

Shell Rotella T5 15W-40 Diesel

Why choose this?

  • Low ash development
  • Maintains vehicle compliance
  • Improves fuel efficiency

Features

This oil will reduce ash formation within your engine and will boost overall performance by increasing fuel efficiency. It will make your engine start smoother and will also deliver good, low-temperature performance. It also keeps your engine clean and well maintained to keep it reliable for a long period. The oil also meets all the requirements for low emission applications as per US engine manufacturers.

Recommendations

Best engine oil Subaru 2003 WRX
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Keeps friction low and allows the engine to run smoothly
Excellent for cold start-ups
Complies with low emission applications
Doesn’t reduce oil change intervals
Not suitable for hot weather conditions
Slightly expensive compared to similar oils

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Havoline 5W-30 Petrol

Havoline 5W-30 Petrol

Why choose this?

  • Features deposit shield
  • Reduces oil consumption
  • Limits wear

Features

Havoline’s 5W30 engine oil is the best choice if you are looking to reduce engine wear over time. It also reduces the amount of friction that occurs when your engine operates to keep its overall operation nice and smooth. This lubricant also reduces heat to keep the engine working in different weather conditions. It also reduces sound; your vehicle’s engine will be quiet if it runs on Havoline.

Recommendations

Best oil for Subaru WRX in hot weather
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Best choice for engine noise reduction
Smoothes engine operation and reduces wear
Keeps the engine cool even in high temperatures
Residue builds up pretty fast
Requires frequent filter changes
Burns fast at high speeds

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Castrol GTX 06440 5W-30 Hybrid

Castrol GTX 06440 5W-30 Hybrid

Why choose this?

  • Optimum choice for high mileage
  • Excellent detergency
  • Oil burn-off protection

Features

This oil is built for older engines and for drivers who are looking for high mileage. It has superior detergency that will prevent any occurrence of build-up and deposits within your engine. It also prevents oil burn-offs, especially if you compare it to various conventional oils out there. Furthermore, it meets and exceeds all API SN and ILSAC GF-5 standards. The bottle comes with a seal that prevents any leakage for convenient storage. This oil features advanced additives that will reduce wear in the long run.

Recommendations

Best engine oil Subaru 2003 WRX
Best oil for 2005 Subaru WRX

Features superior detergency to reduce coking
Keeps the engine running smoothly
Limits friction with adequate lubrication.
Meets API SN and ILSAC GF-5 standards
Only two bottle sizes available: 1 quart and 5 quart. You have to buy a full pack of 6 or 3, respectively
Not suitable for extreme conditions
Only works well with Bosch filters

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Subaru WRX Oil Type by the Year

2004 Subaru WRX oil type

Number of cylinders: 4
Engine capacity: 2.0L
Oil capacity: 4.8 Quarts
Engine features: EJ205 Turbo
The 2004 Subaru WRX has a 2.0L engine with an oil capacity of 4.8 quarts. Subaru recommends using standard, ILSAC GF-5 or API SN certified 5W-30 oil, but you can also opt for synthetic oil:

2016 Subaru WRX oil type

Number of cylinders: 4
Engine capacity: 2.5L
Oil capacity: 4.5 Quarts
Engine features: EJ257 Turbo
The 2016 Subaru WRX features a 2.5L engine with an oil capacity of 4.5 quarts. The recommended oil type for this vehicle by the company is standard, API SN and ILSAC GF-5 certified 5W-30. However, you can use the following synthetic oils:

2008 Subaru WRX oil type

Number of cylinders: 4
Engine capacity: 2.5L
Oil capacity: 4.5 Quarts
Engine features: EJ255 Turbo
The 2008 Subaru WRX comes with a 2.5L engine and an oil capacity of 4.5 quarts. The company recommends using ILSAC GF-5 certified 5W-30 oil. Nevertheless, you can also use these synthetic oils:

2015 Subaru WRX oil type

Number of cylinders: 4
Engine capacity: 2.0L
Oil capacity: 5.4 Quarts
Engine features: Boxer-4 Turbo
The 2015 Subaru WRX 2.0L engine comes with 5.4 quarts of oil capacity. Subaru suggests using the standard 5W-30 API-certified motor oil. But you can also choose the following:

2002 Subaru WRX oil type

Number of cylinders: 4
Engine capacity: 2.0L
Oil capacity: 5.4 Quarts
Engine features: EJ205 Turbo
The 2002 Subaru WRX has a 2.0L engine with 5.4 quarts oil capacity. The recommended oil by Subaru is 5W-30, API-certified engine oil. Nonetheless, you can also go for these:

2012 Subaru WRX STI oil type

Number of cylinders: 4
Engine capacity: 2.5L
Oil capacity: 5.4 Quarts
Engine features: Boxer-4 Turbo
The 2012 Subaru WRX has a 2.5L engine with 5.4 quarts oil capacity. Subaru advises using standard 5W-30 ILSAC GF-5 and API-SN certified motor oil, though you can also go for:

Oil for Subaru WRX – FAQ

Which engine oil is best for Subaru WRX?

As Subaru WRX features a turbo charged engine, it is better for you to go for full synthetic 5W-30 API-SN and ILSAC GF-5 certified oil, as recommended by the manufacturers. You can also go for:

What type of oil does a Subaru WRX take?

Subaru WRX has a turbo and the manufacturer recommends using 5W-30 ILSAC GF-5 and API-SN certified oil. The best options for you are:

How much is Subaru WRX oil?

Based on the price, these three engine oils are the best for your Subaru WRX:

How much oil does a Subaru WRX take?

The 2019 Subaru WRX comes with a 5 quart oil capacity. All previous models until 2004 either had 5.4 quarts or 4.5 quarts oil capacity. The 2004 models and the prior ones had 4.8 quarts oil capacity.

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