Subaru WRX Oil Change

Subaru recommends that WRX drivers change their car’s oil every 6,000 miles or every 6 months, whichever is sooner.
Written by Bellina Gaskey
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Your Subaru WRX needs an oil change every six months or every 6,000 miles. Model years 2002-2010 require 5W-30 conventional oil, while model years 2011 and beyond use 5W-30 synthetic oil. Regular oil changes are key to keeping your car’s engine healthy and powerful.
Oil is more than a lubricant—it helps keep your fuel efficiency high, regulate engine temperature, and prevent problems like corrosion and engine knock. 
Putting off oil changes can have disastrous
car repair
consequences, including engine failure, since old oil gets dirty and viscous.
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How often does a Subaru WRX need an oil change? 

Change your Subaru WRX’s oil every 6 months or every 6,000 miles, whichever is sooner. 
You can take your car into a Subaru dealership, qualified mechanic, or perform the oil change yourself if you have the right equipment.

What kind of oil does a Subaru WRX need?

Older Subaru WRX models (2002-2010) require 5W-30 conventional oil. Newer models (2011-2020+) require 5W-30 synthetic oil.
Synthetic oil is becoming increasingly more popular because it is distilled and treated with chemicals to optimize performance.
Note that putting the wrong type of oil into your car may void your manufacturer’s warranty, so be sure to check your owner’s manual if you’re not sure. 

How much does an oil change cost for a Subaru WRX?

It will cost you significantly less to change your WRX’s oil yourself, but if you don’t have the proper experience or equipment, you should take the car to a dealership or mechanic.

Professional cost

You can expect a professional oil change to cost you around $111. About 40% of this cost goes toward parts and 60% goes toward labor.

DIY cost 

Changing your oil yourself can be tedious, but it saves you some cash. You’ll just need to account for the cost of the 5W-30 oil:
  • 5W-30 conventional costs $4.49-4.99 per quart; $10-21.99 for five quarts
  • 5W-30 synthetic costs around $9.99 per quart

How to change the oil in a Subaru WRX yourself

What you’ll need

  • 5W-30 conventional or synthetic oil, 5.4 quarts
  • Subaru WRX oil filter, Fram PH9688 or equivalent
  • 14mm wrench or socket and ratchet
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Oil drain pan with at least 6 quarts’ capacity
  • Funnel
  • Drive-on ramps or a jack with jack stands
  • Clean rag

1. Warm up the engine 

The first step is to turn on your engine and let it run for a few minutes until it reaches normal operating temperature. Use a dipstick to confirm the current oil level and verify there are no other issues. Then turn it off. 

2. Secure the car

Raise the front of the car by putting it on the ramp or using a jack and jack stands. Consider using wheel locks for an extra safety precaution. 

3. Drain the old oil

Next, you’ll need to drain the old oil. Open the hood of the car, then locate the oil drain plug under the vehicle. 
Use the 14mm wrench to unscrew the plug, set up the drain pan, and let the old oil flow out.

4. Remove the filter

The driver’s-side engine bay will house the oil filter. Utilize the oil filter wrench if you can’t unscrew it with your hand. 
Keep the drain pan in place in case more oil comes out at this point.

5. Install the new oil filter

Clean the oil plug and filter area with a rag before installing a new filter. 
Lubricate the new filter’s O ring using oil and place it inside. Make sure to tighten the filter gaskets to the owner’s manual specifications.

6. Put new oil in the engine

Now, it’s time to pour in the oil using a funnel to prevent spillage. A complete tank will be 5.4 quarts. 
Then, turn on the engine to get the new oil circulating.

7. Stop the engine and check the oil level

After around three minutes, turn off the engine and check the oil level using a dipstick. Top it off if necessary. 

8. Reset the oil change reminder

If everything looks good, you’re just about done. The final step is to reset your oil change reminder (if you have an informational display). Here’s how to do it:
  • Turn the ignition on without starting the engine (press START twice without holding down the brakes)
  • Press the up or down arrow until you see the option to access the SETTINGS screen. Press and hold ENTER to navigate there.
  • Scroll down to the MAINTENANCE menu and press ENTER
  • Select what you want to reset: oil filter, engine oil, or maintenance schedule
  • Modify the date or distance (if you’ve just changed the oil, set distance to 6,000)
  • Press SET to exit the settings when done

What happens if you don’t change the oil on a Subaru WRX?

If you fail to change the oil frequently enough, you risk having the following problems with your engine:
New oil is the key to keeping your WRX’s engine healthy and powerful. While regular oil changes may seem like a nuisance, it’s better to spend a little money on maintenance now than risk having to pay a massive repair bill for major problems later.

How to save money on car insurance 

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