2017 Subaru Forester Engine Oil Capacity

The 2017 Subaru Forester has an oil capacity of 5.1 quarts (5.3 liters).
Written by Jennifer Justice
The 2017 Subaru Forester gives you simplicity and affordability without compromise in an SUV. However, if you want to keep your Forester on the road for years to come, one thing you want to stay on top of is oil changes, so you need to know the oil capacity, which is 5.1 quarts (5.3 liters).
One way you can keep down your overall costs as an SUV owner is to focus on regular maintenance, which includes oil changes. As a 2017 Subaru Forester owner, you can save money and a visit to your mechanic by taking care of these oil changes yourself—just know what the owner manual says about the type of oil and how much to use.
Of course, if you can’t even remember the last time you saw the owner’s manual or just want extra info, we’ve got the details on oil capacity, what type of oil to use, and even how to change the oil. 
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2017 Subaru Forester engine oil capacity

The first thing you need to know is the oil capacity of your 2017 Forester.
The standard 170-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine uses 5.1 quarts, or 5.3 liters, which refers to the engine capacity. Capacity differs from displacement, the 2.5 liter—displacement tells you how much volume the engine takes up. Capacity tells you how much engine oil you’ll need every time you change the oil, so be careful not to switch out one number for the other.

What kind of oil does a 2017 Subaru Forester need?

Okay, so beyond needing 5.1 quarts of oil, you need the right type of oil—engine oils are not interchangeable, so avoid just buying the cheapest option out there.
For a 2017 Subaru Forester, you need to know if you have a Turbo or non-Turbo model since the owner’s manual gives different recommendations. If you have a non-Turbo model, you should use
SAE 0W-20 synthetic oil
with an API Certification Seal for Gasoline Engines. On the other hand, if you have a Turbo model, you need to use
SAE 5W-30 synthetic oil
, also with an API Certification Seal for Gasoline Engines.
Let’s talk about what all those numbers and symbols mean. The SAE just lets you know the oil was rated based on the Society of Automotive Engineers scale, an organization that sets standards for engine oil viscosity. The numbers tell you how thick an oil is from cold to hot temperatures, also called its viscosity, while the “W” is for Winter. 
For the 0W-20 non-Turbo option, the numbers mean the oil works well from -40°F to 68°F, while the 5W-30 Turbo oil has a temperature range of -22°F to 95°F. Both options are good for various weather conditions, though the 0W-20 oil is especially great for extreme cold. 
In the case of synthetic oil, it has a lot of benefits over conventional oil. Since the oil is chemically modified, the manufacturer can control its properties more easily and create a more consistent product. The oil is designed to minimize damage to your engine and is more stable than conventional oil, so your engine will run better and last longer.

How often to change oil on a 2017 Subaru Forester

So, all that is good to know, but you also want to find out when to
change your oil
If you use conventional oil, you’d need to change it every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. You should change the oil at least every six months, even if you don’t drive your Forester enough to get to 3,000 miles by then. Remember that engine oil is important to keep your engine running, so you want to avoid waiting too long.
If you use the recommended synthetic oil, Subaru’s Warranty and Maintenance Booklet maintenance schedule suggests changing your oil every 6,000 miles instead, though the standard for most synthetics is 7,500 to 10,000 miles
Of course, the timing also depends on your driving habits, so you want to check your oil regularly to make sure you know when your specific Forester needs maintenance. Check your oil at least once a month or every other time you fill up. You need an oil change if you notice any of the following:
  • The oil is dark brown/black
  • The oil seems gritty or coarse
  • You notice odd noises or bad smells from the engine
  • Poor vehicle performance, like slower acceleration 

How to change your oil and oil filter

If it’s time to change the oil, you’ll need some supplies. You should have a socket wrench, screwdriver, drain pan, and a filter wrench or strap wrench, plus a new oil filter and just over five quarts of
SAE 0W-20 synthetic oil
(non-Turbo engines), or
SAE 5W-30 synthetic oil
(Turbo engines).
You want to warm the engine first, so run your Forester for about five minutes until the temperature gauge hits the normal operating range. It helps to put the vehicle on car ramps or use jack stands—just be careful the vehicle is secure for safety reasons. Turn the engine off and open the hood. You’ll then need to do the following:
  • Take off the oil fill cap
  • Get underneath the car by the engine with the socket wrench, screwdriver, and drain pan on hand
  • Use the screwdriver to remove the small panel covering the drain bolt
  • Put the drain pan under the drain bolt, then use the socket wrench to take off the oil drain bolt and washer—the oil will start draining immediately
  • Go back under the hood to replace the filter—unlike other vehicles, the oil filter is next to the oil fill cap instead of underneath the SUV; clean the old filter and seal area before you remove it to minimize dirt contamination
  • Take off the old filter; add a tiny amount of new oil to the new filter’s gasket, then put the new filter on
  • Go back under the SUV and put the drain bolt back on with a new washer, then reattach the metal panel
  • Add the new oil and put the fill cap back on
Run the car for about 30 seconds so the oil starts to move through the new filter, then check the oil level with the dipstick to make sure there’s enough oil in case you need to add more. Check for any leaks, but the
oil pressure light
will go off if everything is okay.
Let’s not forget cleanup—you must put the used oil in a closed container and take it to a recycling center. Don’t dispose of the old oil by throwing it in the trash or dumping it on the ground—it’s a fire hazard.
And that’s it! Keeping up with
regular vehicle maintenance
will help your SUV run better and longer for years to come.  
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