Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Crew - General Maintenance & Repair

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Posts: 115
Subaru maintenance and repair questions can be
asked and answered in this topic...

Bonnie Rick
Town Hall Community Manager,


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here's oil change instructions for a 2.5l Forester, though many of the tips apply to all Subaru models:\oil.html

    Let me know what you guys think.

  • Does anyone know where I can find out the invoice price of various Subaru parts? My new 2000 Forester L got rear-ended a couple days ago. The guy who hit me wants to pay for the repair himself rather than go through insurance. I took it to a Subaru dealer and the estimate was $900 for the following: a rear bumper cover ($350), bumper cover reinforcement ($275), labor ($200) and tax ($75). Although I don't have to pay for the repair myself, this estimate seems very high.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Try emailing Dale Teague, he might be able to help.

    Darned nice guy and serious Subaru tuner/fixer/enthusiast. Check out Teague's Auto at

    If I may extend my opinion, I think the estimate sounds within reason.

  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Ok what do u do when that big a$$ maintenance comes along like the 30,000mile one which costa an arm and a leg to do. What if you have have done your own tranny and rear diff oil, aftermarkte stuff like air filter, pulley belts etc....will they still charge that much if you tell them to leave those stuff alone?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I have been in the parts business for 20 years and those prices seem very reasonable. At most you might save 100.00 if you could get them at a wholesale price, but why bother, the guy deserves to pay full boat. You will be taking money from some parts person to help out the careless person who hit you.
  • I've been switching between summer and snow tires over the last few years, and both sets are pretty much past their prime.

    I'm probably going to be selling this Subie some time in the next 16 months, so I'd prefer to just purchase one set of all-season tires.

    My bias (pardon the pun) would be towards a tire that is reasonably good in snow, even if it's a little noisier or less durable than others.

    I think the Michelin MVX4 + is a contender; any other thoughts/opinions?


    '92 Legacy LE Touring Wagon
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I think Consumer Reports did a review of all-season radials a while back. The Michellins you mentioned got good reviews as did the Goodyear LS.

    Even though you have a wagon, you may also want to look into light truck tires. They usually offer a more aggressive tread pattern that may suit your needs. The only constraint would be tire size.
  • FrankMcFrankMc Posts: 228
    I got put Cooper Lifeliner Classic II 's on my 97 Legacy. They got a Consumer Reports nod if you were in an area with some snow, but not the snow belt. I am in Gettysburg PA area and this describes our situation. The Consumer Report statement on them was "performed much like the Dunlop and Goodyear, except that its traction in the snow was much better." They were only $60 a tire. They seem fine so far (a little nosier than the old bridgestones) but we haven't gotten any snow yet for me to try them. One of my work buddies had them for over a year on a front wheel drive Buick and he thinks they are fine in the snow. (I admit it I love a bargain!)
  • lue2lue2 Posts: 1
    i may be a first time subaru owner soon...i'm looking into buying a 97 Outback automatic with 78K miles, mostly highway. besides normal maintenance what kind of standard checks occur after 78K miles? also, is 78K miles a lot of miles for an outback? thanks.
  • lue2 -- 78K miles is pretty high for a '97 model. The car is 3 to 4 years old, and most depreciation calculations use 12000 miles per year, so the mileage "should" be around 40000 miles. Some of the car price sites will suggest an appropriate discount for above average mileage.

    If you're getting an appropriate discount, and the car is in excellent shape and has been well-maintained according to Subaru specs, I wouldn't be scared off by the number of miles. Subies are solid cars, and last a long time -- just make sure your price takes the mileage into account, not just the year.

    Hope this helps, and good luck.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    mlcleaver: also try for parts. They sell at invoice with no shipping charge, and no sales tax to boot! May be worth it if the guy that hit you was nice and apologetic.

    ramon: you brought up a good point. It may be nice to find a Subaru specialist that perhaps has even done some mods, though I wonder what it would cost. It would be worth it to browse a few service bays and to talk to some mechanics to get a better idea.

    Randy is right on, the mileage is high for the car's age, but Subarus typically do last 150k+ miles. Probably more if taken care of, and if they are highway miles.

  • Thanks for the info, Ken and Frank. I'll check out the brands you mentioned.

  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    juice, funny thing after i brought that question up. I went to my local dealer for my regular oil change. Since I have the Unorthodox Racing pully, I had to change the belt sizes. After a few months the belts have come loose, so I asked if the mechanic can re tighten them. I was quite pessimistic if they are going to adjust it and I fear if they would just come back to me with some fits of rage. To my pleasant surprised, they readjusted everything without fuss and that's for free! Maybe it's this particular dealer. I think if I were to buy that turbo Impreza , I am quite sure I will drive 160km just to buy it from these guys. They seemed to be quite kewl with mods.
  • pgibianpgibian Posts: 7
    I want to retrofit the variable wiper mechanism(available on the Limited) to my '00 OB wagon. Can this be done?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's sweet (and good to know), Ramon.

  • stuenerstuener Posts: 5
    Juice, I love how into the Subaru you are & how much info you bring. My question is in your oil change instructions you did not mention using a new crush washer under the oil pan drain bolt. Should we use a new one every time or can we reuse the old one? Thanks for any info.

  • torektorek Posts: 92
    Officially, you should always use a new one (on any car) to avoid leaks. Unofficially, if you happen to be changing the oil and discover you forgot to get a new one, or lost it, or whatever, putting the old one back on "usually" works.

    They are cheap enough that you should buy them anyway. Reuse an old one only in an emergency, as it were.

  • lurker4lurker4 Posts: 19
    Paul: You can probably retrofit the variable wipers on your 00 OB; the question is how costly and involved it would be. It'll be much less of a hassle if the Limited and the base wagon use the same wiring harness, which is in essence the spinal cord and nerves of your car's electrical system. The two models may use the same harness if it's more cost-efficient for Subaru to manufacture just one harness for use in all Legacy/OB wagons (economies of scale). On the other hand, since Limiteds and Legacy GT's etc. have additional electrical options over the base models, it may be cheaper for Subaru to build separate, more costly harnesses for the optioned models containing the additional wiring needed to hook up the power options.

    Bottom line--if the variable wiper is an option for base wagons, you can be sure that any necessary wiring is in your car already. If not, check the schematics/wiring diagrams in your owner's manual. If additional wiring would have to be installed the retrofit will be more expensive and time-consuming, especially if a second or third wire has to be run to the wiper motor.

    If all the wiring's there and the systems use the same wiper motor (another assumption), you will still need to swap out the turn signal/wiper control stalk for the variable version. If the wiring's not there, I doubt that a dealer would be willing to mess with the factory wiring system (ever notice that electrical parts are not returnable and modifications void the warranty?). However, there are probably aftermarket shops in your area that would do it. If you're really dying for the variable feature, get more than one opinion. Good luck.
  • texsubarutexsubaru Posts: 242
    Please excuse the cross-posting (this seems like a more appropriate place to ask this than 'Dealer & Prices,' where I first posted): I'm looking at buying a '98 Forester L, with just over 28,000 miles on it. Since it only has a bit under 8,000 miles left on the original warranty (just over six months worth of my average driving), I'm trying to get the dealer to toss in a factory-backed Subaru "Added Security" extended warranty as part of the deal. Does anybody have any experience with this to be able to say whether Subaru's extended warranty is really worth it?
  • 2ndwnd2ndwnd Posts: 145
    >>instructions you did not mention using a new
    crush washer under the oil pan drain bolt<<

    I just changed the oil in my Legacy for the first time, and didn't notice anything that looked like it was supposed to be removed from the drain plug. I've always changed the oil myself in all my vehicles, but I'm not familiar with this crush washer thing, and I've never had a leak at the drain plug.
  • pgibianpgibian Posts: 7
    Lurker4, thanks for the insight. I guess I'll check with the dealer about the complexity of the retrofit. In the meantime, I am waiting for a parts quote from for pricing.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    re#19, extended warranty

    Like any warranty / insurance, you need to evaluate the term and cost. So how many months, miles and how much? Usually the price on these is VERY negotiable.

    I always say no to extended warranties. But I carefully evaluate their value before doing so.

    By the way, you are aware that the 36k mile warranty is the bumper-to-bumper one, right? You've got a 60k mile powertrain warranty.

  • bg18947bg18947 Posts: 184

    You're not alone. When I changed my oil the first time I also notice that there was no washer from the factory (2000 Legacy GT Ltd). But, I did order a dozen from before doing that first change. In case anyone is interested, the Subaru Oil Filter is a Purolator unit.
  • torektorek Posts: 92
    I bought the "gen-yoo-wine Subaru" filters for my oil changes, but also bought a Purolator filter at the local Pep Boys just to compare them. The Subaru filter actually says `manufactured for FHI by Purolator' (paraphrased, but the name Purolator really is on it) -- but the Subaru filter is heavier than the Purolator-brand-name model.

    They must be at least slightly different. What that difference might be, I have no idea. For now (until the 5 year powertrain warranty runs out at least) I plan to stick with the Subaru filter, "just in case".

  • fmgarciafmgarcia Posts: 11
    FWIW . . .

    I order original Subaru Oil Filters for my MY00 Legacy GT Wagon from QSubaru. Cost is $4.00 each, which includes shipping and handling!

    BTW, the filters come with the crush washers for the drain plug.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    texsubaru: try this link for a free quote, and then work down from their price:

    What's funny is that I don't recall seeing the washer for the oil drain plug. Did I miss/lose something, or does is not come from the factory? And if so, why does it come with the OE filter?

  • I hope that this is finally the right site in the conference to get some advice. Sorry, I'm a little new here. If you would be willing to read my posting in the SUV conference topic # 2568 and give me some feed back I would really appreciate it. My lemon law hearing date is next week and I thought it would be good to know if the problem with my Forester is one shared by others. I ask you to go to the site because it took me a while to write it. You seem to be giving great advice. I love my Forester, I am asking to have it replaced. I feel that I have waited long enough for them to fix it,this has been going on for 22,000 miles.
    Thank you
  • jurek2jurek2 Posts: 10
    There is not the SUV conference # 2568.
  • Go out to the welcome page and on the Conference list select SUV, Topic 2568 is in there
  • So sorry, you are right, I think they deleted me because I was in the wrong place. I guess I will have to retype it. It may be in the archives I will check it out
This discussion has been closed.