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Top 5 Mods for Your Turbo Subaru

Subaru tuning

Top 5 Mods for Your Turbo Subaru

So you’re now a part of the worldwide Subaru Community. You wave to other WRX and turbocharged Subaru owners on the road. And you can’t wait to start modifying your car.


But where should you start?

There’s an endless amount of aftermarket support for these cars, so choosing what mods to perform can be tough if you’re new to the Subaru platform. After owning five Subarus in my life (two Legacy GTs, two STIs and one Bugeye WRX), here are my top five mods for your turbo Subaru (WRX, STI, Legacy GT and Forester & Outback XT).

1. Tune, tune, tune!

A proper tune specific to your car, engine and modifications is essential to the health and performance of your Subaru. If you are new to the game, you have to know these cars need to be tuned for just about every modification you make to the engine. If the modification alters the way the engine uses air or fuel, plan on having the car tuned. A good route to go on is to choose all the modifications you want, do them all at once and then have the car tuned. That way you don’t have to go in for a re-tune after adding another piece to your puzzle.

Always go to a reputable tuner! Having your cousin Tim tune your car on his laptop for the first time is a recipe for disaster.

2. Upgrade the Exhaust

It’s time to unleash the Subie rumble!

Increasing airflow through the exhaust with a new downpipe and catback will give it that little pep in its step you want. There are plenty of brands and styles to choose from that all create a unique sound. Bellmouth versus divorced downpipes is a whole other discussion, but for the most part you won’t notice the difference. Look up different combos on YouTube to try and find the sound you like. Note that going completely cat-less could lead to over-boost, and no one wants that. I like to find used pieces from other members of the Subaru community to save money.

Don’t forget – you get what you pay for. And be mindful of your state-specific emissions regulations.

3. Wheels and Tires

Now that your car is tuned properly and sounds great, it’s time to start looking the part.

Check the Internet for different wheel and tire combos you like for your car. There are plenty of wheel threads on forums like Nasioc.com or iwsti.com that offer examples of styles and sizes to help you pick. Familiarize yourself with proper wheel size and fitment and find the right width and offset that fits the style you’re looking for, whether you want a super-functional look or you’re a stance driver who has a sick vape rig.

Again, sourcing a set of used wheels and tires can save you a big chunk of change. Oh, and please don’t refer to “wheels” as “rims.” Wheels are wheels, tires are tires and rims are technically the outer part of the wheel, unless you have 24? chrome wheels from Xzibit.

4. Modify the Suspension

Yes, this is a pretty generic mod. But specifically I’m referring to coilovers, a spring-and-strut combo or bags, if you’re a baller. You can’t have sweet-looking wheels, yet drive around with a huge fender gap, like a monster truck. We Subie owners will not allow it.

If your budget is low, look at a quality lowering spring, but know that you WILL need new struts eventually if you continue to use the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) struts. If you have more money to spend, investing in a good set of coilovers is always a great option. There are great coils out there for around $1,000, and I think they’re worth every penny. Your car will look, ride and perform great – everything you ever wanted!

Now, if you’re a baller and have at least $3,000 to drop on suspension, air bags are pretty slick, too. Ride on a cushion of air and then drop it like it’s hot with the push of a button. Several people have proven they perform just as well as coilovers, too.

5. Air Oil Separator – Catch Can

What is an air oil separator (AOS)? Well, it works just like it sounds – it separates the oil from the air entering your engine to cut down on oil consumption and help eliminate detonation. Basically, like your air filter cleans debris from the air, an air oil separator cleans oil from the air.

Why is this important? In the Boxer Subaru engines, high g-forces push oil to the end of the piston, making Subarus more prone to burn oil. Burning oil can cause detonation, which leads to blown piston ring lands and a hefty repair bill. An AOS decreases blow-by (oil sneaking through the turbo) and helps eliminate oil entering the engine. Think of it like an insurance policy for your Boxer engine.

Everyone has their own version of this Top 5 list. It’s your car, so do what you want. Remember that you get what you pay for. And research before you buy – there’s plenty of information on the forums.

Sioux Falls’s AMSOIL gets a LOT of subaru owners not just for our oil but for the oil filter. The stock one you can crush with your hand. Our nanofiber one has three times the capacity in the same can.

We also have those ball caps with the flat bill so you can fit better with the Subaru groups here.

What’s the Minimum I Should Drive My Car? And Other Winter Car Storage Tips

Keep the battery on a slow charger

What’s the Minimum I Should Drive My Car? And Other Winter Car Storage Tips

The roads are home to all kinds of vehicles. Daily drivers that clock thousands of miles each year. Seasonal vehicles that only clock hundreds. And then there are some whose odometers move only when being loaded or unloaded from a trailer.

In any instance, winter vehicle storage is sometimes inevitable.

What to consider when storing your vehicle for winter

There are several things to consider when storing a vehicle. Read on for some tips to ensure your vehicle is ready to answer the call when you awaken it from its storage-time slumber.

1) Seek shelter

There are plenty of good locations for storing your vehicle. Here are a few.

  • Garage – If you own a garage, it’s the obvious first choice to protect your vehicle from the elements, pests or thieves during storage. Ensure that all entries are secure, including windows or side doors.
  • Storage facility – If you live in an urban area or you don’t have access to an enclosed space, consider renting space at an indoor storage facility. There are businesses geared toward storing vehicles. Depending on your region’s weather, some offer both indoor and outdoor options.
  • Friends or family – If the above options don’t work, call in a favor with a family member or good friend who has space in his or her garage, shed, barn or other secure building.

Outdoor storage isn’t ideal, but if it’s your only option, buy a quality weatherproof cover that will protect your vehicle from the elements. There are tons out there ranging from low quality to virtually impenetrable, so do your research to find the best one capable of properly covering your ride.

Covers are effective at protecting the body of the car, but consider the underside of the vehicle. Parking on a concrete slab will help avoid moisture from the ground collecting under the cover and causing rust damage from the bottom up.

2) Clean your vehicle before storage

When you let your car sit for long periods of time you want to make sure it’s thoroughly clean. Even small amounts of the following can damage the paint.

  • Water droplets
  • Salt from the road or the air
  • Sand and dirt
  • Bird droppings

Show your vehicle some love by washing it well, completely drying it with a shammy and giving it a proper coating of wax. If you’re really feeling fancy, use a clay bar to remove dirt trapped inside the paint.

Inside the vehicle, vacuum all dirt, debris and crumbs. Even small crumbs will attract insects and rodents.

3) Keep out the undesirables

Speaking of which, mice and other rodents love finding a good stationary vehicle to hole up inside for the winter. They’ll build a nest in an inconvenient place, chew through wires and wreak general havoc during their uninvited stay.

Keep them out by closing off any entry points such as the exhaust and air intakes. Dryer sheets are an effective deterrent, so try placing those in and around the vehicle to deter them from considering your vehicle as a winter home.

4) Check fluids & fill ‘er up

Perform an oil change prior to storing a vehicle. This will keep the engine from holding harmful contaminants for a lengthy period of time.

Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating, then fill up the gas tank to prevent moisture from accumulating. AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer is an excellent choice. It’ll inhibit the oxidation process in stored fuel, which will help prevent sludge and varnish from clogging injectors, fuel lines, carburetors and other components. Keep the fuel as fresh as possible since deteriorated fuel makes up the highest percentage of problems associated with vehicle storage.

5) Take it for an occasional spin

Start the vehicle every two weeks and take a short 10-minute drive if possible. A battery that is not used will soon lose its charge and lead to a headache later on.

If you’re looking at long-term vehicle storage, it’s not a bad idea to disconnect and remove the battery entirely. Or, purchase a battery tender and connect that instead. Doing so will deliver a regular charge to keep the battery from losing all power. Look for one with an automatic shut-off feature so it’s not overcharged.

Regular startups or a short drive will also keep the engine and all its components lubricated, which is another important area requiring regular TLC. Just be sure to remove any rodent-repelling measures you may have taken earlier, like the dryer sheets in the exhaust pipe.

If you aren’t in a position to conduct routine starts or short drives, you’ll need something to prevent surface rust from accumulating on engine components. A good coat of AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil sprayed into the cylinders will do the trick.

6) Mind the Tires

This is another important area to consider, as they are what the vehicle rests on for the duration of the storage period. First, make sure the tires are properly inflated to the correct psi before storage. Sitting vehicles can create flat spots on tires that render them useless later on.

If you won’t be driving at all, roll the vehicle forward or backward a few inches from time to time.

You can do this when you conduct the occasional engine start to keep the battery alive and engine parts properly lubricated. For those who don’t mind a bit of extra work to ensure road-ready tires later on, you can also take them off entirely and replace them with jack stands.

Based on your environment you can pick a storage protocol and do the best you can. Just be aware that vehicles don’t like to sit for extended periods and need opportunities to “stretch their legs,” so to speak. They need to be started and moved at least once per year to keep seals from drying out and internals coated with oil. Follow our vehicle storage advice and your ride will be ready for the road when you are.

Introducing the Three Newest AMSOIL Products

Engine Degreaser

Introducing the Three Newest AMSOIL Products

AMSOIL is well-known for its products that protect the internal parts of an engine. But you may not know about our products that protect the outside of your vehicles and equipment, too. Hot on the heels of the revolutionary new SEVERE GEAR easy-pack, we’re excited to announce three more products that will have the outside of your vehicles and equipment looking as pristine as the moving parts inside.

AMSOIL Mudslinger®

Sioux Falls ATV customers were asking about this before we had it! Now we do!

Mudslinger is a pretreatment specifically formulated to leave a non-stick surface that provides a protective layer of armor against the accumulation of mud, dirt and snow on ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and dirt bikes. This protective layer causes mud and dirt to release easier with low-pressure water, making cleaning faster after riding. UV rays can fade colored surfaces over time. AMSOIL Mudslinger resists the harmful effects of UV rays and helps equipment keep its original luster and shine with a pleasant cherry scent.

AMSOIL Engine Degreaser

You don’t need much to see results. Works without having to warm the engine up.

This professional-strength formula removes the toughest grease, dirt and grime from engine surfaces. Formulated with powerful degreasing solvents, it delivers a powerful stream that’s safe to use on all engine components and leaves no residue. Simply spray on and wash off with water.

AMSOIL Glass Cleaner

Oh man!! This glass cleaner works so well you may want to call your brother and alert him about it. Also let’s your wife know the $$ all these years spent on AMSOIL went to legit R&D.

Glass Cleaner provides a professional-strength formula that cuts through grease and grime quickly and effectively. Its ammonia-free formulation is safe on all glass including tinted windows. It remains in place where sprayed and will not drip or run, leaving no streaks or haze behind.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Getting prepared for Winter driving

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Originally posted Nov. 11, 2016

With the worst of winter right around the corner, now is a good time to get your vehicle prepared for the worst. Being based in northern Wisconsin, we at AMSOIL talk a lot about how synthetic lubricants make life a little easier, as the cold air starts to pierce our engines and lungs.

Wherever you may be, nasty road conditions and winter driving can be dangerous, so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead. Weather.com blogged about how bad-weather car accidents are more deadly in the U.S. than many of the worst storms.

Snow, rain, fog and wet pavement all pose a hazard during the season. To be ahead of the game, here are some preparedness tips:

Garage Time

  • Battery check – Cold temperatures are a battery killer. Be sure you’ve got the juice to keep going. Check the terminals for corrosion that needs cleaning and ensure the alternator and belts are in good shape.
  • Antifreeze and coolant – Look for any radiator and hose leaks and top off the reservoir, if necessary. If it’s been several years since you’ve changed the coolant, be sure to get some fresh fluid in there.
  • Windshield wipers and fluids – Make sure the wipers are working and the blades are not worn. Fill the washer reservoir with a good-quality fluid that doesn’t freeze.
  • Brake system– Being able to stop is crucial when roads are slick. Look to see that the floor mats aren’t blocking the pedal. If you notice braking issues, have the brake fluid, pads, rotors and lines checked.
  • Tire pressure and tread – Tires should be checked monthly for wear and proper inflation regardless of the season. Make sure you have a spare tire, and keep a pressure gauge in the vehicle with you.
  • Fuel and oil level – It’s a good idea to keep your fuel tank at least half-full in case you get stranded on the side of the road and need to stay warm. Motor oil should also be topped off.

Emergency Roadside Kit

  • Flashlight – I like to carry an LED flashlight in my truck since they last a long time. But a traditional flashlight works well and tends to be brighter.
  • Tool kit – It should have the basics, including screwdrivers, pliers, an adjustable wrench and a socket set. Work gloves, tape, fuses and a good pocket knife or multi-tool are all handy to have as well.
  • Blanket – Not only does it keep you warm in winter, but it can also block out wind and help treat shock victims.
  • Jumper cables – It’s best not to settle for chintzy. Good-quality, thick cables with multi-strand wire, heavy duty clips and extra length can save you from headaches. Invest in four-gauge, 20-foot cables that won’t break the bank and will last a long while.
  • Food and water – Keep a stash of high-energy foods such as granola bars and nuts in the car.
  • Fire extinguisher – Often overlooked, but good to have. A multipurpose A-B-C type is the way to go.
  • First-aid kit – Any kit should contain bandages, gauze and prep pads to stop bleeding and prevent infection.
  • Other items to consider – Maps, shovel, broom, ice scraper and flares.

Even if you don’t get any snow, it’s good to be ready for any emergency. Got any more tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

AMSOIL Expedition Colorado is Back – and You’re Invited

AMSOIL Expedition Colorado is Back – and You’re Invited

AMSOIL Expedition Colorado is Back – and You’re Invited

Can a 1943 Jeep survive this?

Remember when we asked that question? It’s been almost a year since the first AMSOIL Expedition Colorado, which sent veteran off-road racers Brad and Roger Lovell on a 550-mile trek from Colorado Springs, Colo. to Moab, Utah. Here’s a recap in case you missed it:

Well, the Lovells are back at it. But this time they’re retracing their steps from Moab back to Colorado Springs. And this time they’re inviting you to join them. Well, kind of.

Last year’s expedition drew an overwhelming response from viewers. As a way to further bring you along for the ride, the Lovells will be planting prizes from their sponsors along this year’s 615-mile course. After their trip is completed they will release a GPS map with the coordinates of all of the geocache locations.

Prizes include…

  • Two sets of BFGoodrich tires
  • A WARN Zeon winch
  • A $500 gift certificate from yours truly (AMSOIL INC.)
  • A pair of $250 Rugged Radios gift certificates
  • An ARB 4×4 Accessories recovery kit

Pack your GPS and a lunch. You might also need a tent and a raincoat because finding the prizes won’t be easy. Once a prize is collected, the recipient must post a picture on either Facebook or Instagram using #expeditioncolorado to let others know the prize is claimed.

Keep your eyes on the AMSOIL Community website Aug. 3 for the release of the route with coordinates of the prize locations. Until then, stay up to date on all the planning for AMSOIL Expedition Colorado on Facebook. To see some of the AMSOIL products the Lovell’s use in their off-road vehicles, go here.

Finally, be sure to sign up for AMSOIL Signature Series videos sent to your inbox. Subscribers will get the video documenting this year’s expedition before it’s made public.