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Subaru Forester Scheduled maintenance costs

bette608bette608 Posts: 13
edited April 2014 in Subaru
We own a 2005 Forester that is due for its 30 month/30,000 mile inspection/maintenance service to keep the warranty intact. Suburu dealer charge is $825 for the service which involves an oil and filter change, coolant change and inspection, replace air cleaner, replace spark plugs, inspect all fluids and change out brake fluid, inspect brake lines, inspect steering and suspension and rotate, inspect and balance tires. This seems WAY out of line--wondering what other Forester owners have found regarding these charges.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That is very high. Ask for the necessary items only. They are probably tacking on a lot of profit-padders.

    My dealer is expensive, and his 60k mile service is less than that!
  • Thanks for your reply. The problem is these are the necessary items listed in the Subaru Warranty and Maintenance Book. We do have a 10% coupon but even so I still can't believe this quote! And actually even though spark plug replacement is listed in the book I don't think that was listed in their verbal quote. We'll start looking at independent auto shops in the area to compare as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It definitely seems high. Do you have other Subaru dealers in your area?

    I'm lucky, there are 12 in my region.

    One thing that might help - consider a Subaru Chase credit card. You earn 3% back in Subaru Bucks, and can use those to pay for maintenance.

    We have earned $1600 so far! :shades:
  • Thanks for the tip about the credit card. We only have one dealer in the city of 250,000 but I called an independent ASE certified and their estimate is $200 for the complete service. All I can say is thank goodness the Suburu technician gave me a quote--I had not asked for it thinking it was quite routine and would get one when I brought in the vehicle. Again, thanks for your assistance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're welcome.

    Just save those receipts, you should be fine.

    The Magnussen-Moss warranty act means that as long as you document the service your warranty will be unaffected.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    When I had the 30k service performed I made sure that the service rep showed me the list of work they wanted to perform. I then proceeded to line thru all the items that weren't included in the Forester's maintenance schedule. This resulted in cutting the cost almost in half. I think alot of the items they wanted to do were in the "severe conditions" schedule which did not apply to my type of driving. In hindsight, it probably would have been cheaper and easier to go to an independent and would have saved on having to argue with the service rep :)

  • Subaru reimburses a dealer approx $300.00 for a 30K service when a maintenance agreement is purchased. $350-$450 might be acceptable with some add on's. However, $825.00 is a total rip off.
  • Thanks for this information--very handy to know! We had our maintenance done at a reputable independent mechanic for $260.
  • Good for you. Wish I knew who you went to. For me, $550 , 60K svc., 2001 Forester, Lee Volkswagon Subaru, Fort Walton Beach, FL. 03/21/2008"
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    We charge $305 at our shop for the 30k on the subies which includes:

    Oil Change
    F/R Diffy Fluid Change
    Brake Flush
    Coolant Drain/Fill
    Fuel Filter
    Air Filter
    Brakes, timing belt, drive belts

  • I have a 2002 Forester with 68,500 miles. What mileage I should I be looking at getting the timing belt replaced? The local Subaru dealership in suburban Chicago told me 60,000 miles--is this correct? Also, they quoted $450.00 to replace the timing belt. Is this high or about the right price? Thanks in advance.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Subaru says 105,000 miles for a timing belt for 2.5L engines. The old 2.2L engines had a 60,000 mile recommendation.

    $450 sounds about right. We just had it done on our '01 Forester at just under 105K, and I think we paid in that neighborhood.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Get a Chase Subaru Credit card.

    Within a year you can accumulate $500 worth of Subaru Bucks.

    Your timing belt will be free. :shades:
  • minatominato Posts: 1
    The Subaru dealer here in Salem, OR quoted me $860 for the 30K maintenance on a 2004 Forester (I have 33K as of today). Their quote includes a few things I don't see on in the maintenance schedule that came with the car. The biggest $$$ are for these two:
    Throttle body induction service
    Carbon fuel service (they use a system called TerraClean)
    I also see Air intake system cleaner on the quote..

    Other dealers in nearby cities charge around $680 and seem to stick to what is on the list in the maintenance schedule.

    So, what are those other things mentioned above, exactly? Should they be done? If so, how often? Is all that carbon business really a signifant problem at only 30K? Don't modern fuels included cleaners? Full disclosure: I rarely even open the hood and have the Subaru dealer do everything. I went there to get new wipers (lame, I know)! I'm old now, and lazy ...
  • logtraillogtrail Posts: 74
    For my 30k service (2006 Forester LL Bean)I went to my local independent garage which I have been happy with. However, their charge for changing the spark plugs was $140. When I called the local dealer they said that their charge is $240 because they use Platinum plugs. Hah! I suspect that getting these plugs out is difficult, but don't these prices seem excessive. So, just how difficult are they?
    Also, the garage that did the work did not change the brake fluid, saying that it looked just fine. Will this effect the warranty.
    I remember the days when I could change the plugs in my 66 volvo in 1/2 hour max.
    Of course the car handled like a tank, but that's another issue. And in the 50 years that I have owned cars, from a 50 ford, to a TR4, to a couple of Volvos, etc, I never had the brake fluid changed. I know that I cant generalize from my experience, but I really wonder about the necessity of this. Im obsessive about tires and brakes, but break fluid?
    ps All of my cars have gotten over
    125k miles with no problems, except for the poorly made Volkswagen Quantum which drove me crazy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Reach up from underneath, and you can change all 4 in half hour or so. That fee seems pretty high to me.

    2nd time, with the right tools, it took me maybe 20 minutes.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    I have not seen any DIYs that do it from below. This thread shows doing it from above:

    It is said to take an hour with the right tools, including doing these for better access:
    - removing the windshield washer bottle from and the battery from the driver side
    - removing the air cleaner snorkel from the passenger side.
    - opening the hood straight up by removing the prop from its mount in the radiator support and taking the plug out of the strut tower to put the prop there (undo the windshield washer hose leading to the hood first).

    Tools include a 5/8" spark plug socket, a spark plug ratchet hinged at the head, a 3" extension and a 1-1/2" extension.

    What is it like doing it from below? Is there clear access so nothing has to be removed, and does it take the same or less tools?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've done it twice from above, and once from below. Thing is, I can't remember if the one from below was on our Forester or our Legacy! :confuse:
  • At the risk of being flogged with a wet seatbelt because I should know this, should we change the oil for the first time at 1,000 or 3,000 miles?

    We bought our 2.5XL late last month and are up to 600 miles. It's our first new car since '94, so we're used to just changing the oil every 3,000. And is this something we should have done by the dealership or our trusty mechanic?

    I want to do right by our pristine new Subie. (You can tell, I've still got the new owner euphoria.) TIA for your suggestions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    3750 miles, I believe, though many owners do an extra change at 1000 miles for extra insurance.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    At our shop in NNJ where we work on subies part time, we usually suggest 1500 for the first oil change and then every 3k-5k after that. Most of our customers switch over to Amsoil after 10k miles so we do 7k changes after 10k miles.

    Hope this helps.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Bob,
    You are a subaru owner, right? I am almost 36K miles and curious if I should fork out the money to get this extended warranty subaru keeps sending me. Up to 60K or 80K (3.5 years). And then there is this Gold Plus warranty thru the dealer. Any thoughts??
    Thanks, Acunurse
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Well, it's "insurance." I did get the extended warranty on my new WRX, but we did not get it on our Forester or Outback Sport.

    My thinking here was the WRX, because it's a performance model, it might need it down the road—even though I drive it (mostly) like a little old lady. As to the other models, we chose not to get it, but I guess anything can happen... Our Forester has well over 100K on it, and our Outback Sport has over 40K on it, and so far so good. We've had a few things go on the Forester, but that has happened recently. So a 100K extended warranty would not have helped in our case, as these problems arose after that mileage point.

    Having it is certainly some peace of mind. I guess you need to ask yourself as to how long am I going to keep the car? If you think you're going to keep it for a long while, or put a lot of miles on it, it may be worth it.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wow, the toaster is over 100k already?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    114K, I think.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    2002, right?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    No, 2001.

  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    You're catching up to me (190K on my 2001 Forester).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is it ever parked or do 3 people share the car (one day shift, one evening shift, one graveyard shift)? :D
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Ha ha, juice! No, actually, I used to have a daily 130 mile round trip commute, so I really piled on the miles. Luckily, it was 90% highway, so they were relatively easy miles. Nowadays, being semi-retired, the car and I are taking it much easier!

This discussion has been closed.