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2015 Forester
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife is setting up the 90,000 mi. service on her 2015 Forester. They Dealer wants to sell her a "factory recommended oil additive". They say it should go in every 30,000. I think it was $30.00 for it. I said no. I have never heard of such a thing. Has anyone else? They also wanted to sell her a vehicle anti bacterial spray and "battery terminal service". :(
It is my belief that this kind of predatory upselling is becoming wide spread in the major auto selling/servicing chains.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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2,329 Posts
My local dealer added an oil additive to my oil change bill once many years ago. I objected and they removed the charge. What really made me mad is that the receipt stated "Customer requested oil additive". Next time your dealer tries selling you an oil additive, hand him/her your owners manual and tell him/her to show you where Subaru recommends it. Regarding the battery terminal service, that's something you should address if you have crud building up on the terminals. However, it's easy to do yourself with an old toothbrush and some baking soda.
 

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2015 Forester
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
My local dealer added an oil additive to my oil change bill once many years ago. I objected and they removed the charge. What really made me mad is that the receipt stated "Customer requested oil additive". Next time your dealer tries selling you an oil additive, hand him/her your owners manual and tell him/her to show you where Subaru recommends it. Regarding the battery terminal service, that's something you should address if you have crud building up on the terminals. However, it's easy to do yourself with an old toothbrush and some baking soda.
Thanks! You are correct. In the old days of the last century, we would clean the old style battery terminals if needed with a brush and soda. And check the tightness. In aircraft mechanic school, we had special grease to apply also that worked. The new terminals are less problematic but we are just going to request a new battery as this one is getting a bit weak. This is one of our main cars and gets used for many important long distance trips. Summer and winter. I am actually amazed that they didnt try and sell me a fuel system flushing (ie wallet flushing). My wife uses about any fuel but I only use toptier premium non ethanol fuel with up to 7 times the govt reccommended cleaners in my three cars and three motorcycles....Never paid for a fuel system flushing yet....I dont know if we can mention the dealership chain here so I wont but I would highly reccommend anyone not familiar with car mechanics to have a person who is back them up on any normal routine maintenance. Good tip on making the dealer show you in your book where there is a special additive.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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1,872 Posts
Dealers are desperate to make money on service items and you don't need any oil additive. As for batteries, if you have the original (Panasonic?) battery in it, these are not known for long life. I don't think I'd buy a battery from the dealer, though, because you will pay too much. Not sure what the dealer sells, either. Maybe the same Panasonic?

Costco and Walmart have Johnson Controls batteries (which routinely do best in Consumer Reports testing), octagonal caps is how you can tell. Costco may sell JC batteries under the Interstate name instead of their own Kirkland brand which they used to sell. I'd just change out the battery myself (and have done this)....I have changed batteries pre-emptively in my wife's cars like when her Civic was 7 years old. Figured I'd have to buy one battery while we had the car so I chose a nice warm summer day, changed it at my leisure, and the new battery was in the car when we sold it at the age of 11. Silicone grease on the battery terminals has worked for me...same stuff they use in spark plug boots.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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844 Posts
If the factory recommends ANY additive, oil or otherwise, it will be listed in the owner‘s documentation provided with the vehicle... or via a TSB sent to the dealer base.

If the service dept. can’t show you where the “factory recommended” additive is in either of those documents, then I’d avoid having it installed.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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I've found that these cheap felt "donuts" that you place on your battery terminals, under the cable clamps, do a pretty good job of preventing crud buildup on the battery posts and terminals.

 

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2015 Forester
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If the factory recommends ANY additive, oil or otherwise, it will be listed in the owner‘s documentation provided with the vehicle... or via a TSB sent to the dealer base.

If the service dept. can’t show you where the “factory recommended” additive is in either of those documents, then I’d avoid having it installed.
I totally agree. When I bought my Honda CRV, 2004, as my retirement vehicle, it was from a locally owned Honda dealer. I got to know the service manager and respected him.....no one tried to sell me special vehicle antibiotic air freshener services or oil additives. They were honest with me about the rear differential fluid, which is the AWD system fluid, needing to be changed every 30k, not 60k. They were bought out and the buyer was in turn bought out by AutoNation. :(
Now Autonation comes in and buys every dealership it can and what we get is service writers pushing un-needed service. I keep careful records in MS word docs for all my vehicles along with the service receipts. AND a copy of the reccommended service from the factory. These are in my hands when I approach the service desk. I feel sorry for the person who is not mechanically inclined who shows up at the service writer's desk and is clueless about "factory reccommended oil additives"
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter #8
I've found that these cheap felt "donuts" that you place on your battery terminals, under the cable clamps, do a pretty good job of preventing crud buildup on the battery posts and terminals.

I have to say that when we all went to the sealed side terminal battery and even the top terminal sealed motorcycle battery , the old white corrosion problems pretty much disappeared. I think I have not had one problem in this century with a bad battery connection. "Battery Terminal Service" indeed. I cant really say I have had a bad battery installed in a car, or bike.
 

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2015 Forester
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I will say this about Auto Nation. In 10/16, they put in a replacement battery in my CRV. "Precision Parts" is the manufacturer. They sprayed the terminals with a light red laquer. They look fine. The battery was tested at the last oil change this week as part of the oil change. 12.2 volts, rated 510 cca, measured 451 cca, Internal resistance 6.97 mOHM. state of health 88 percent, state of charge 51 percent. Since this is a back up/winter vehicle to our Subaru Foresters, and I have been motorcycle touring, I can well believe the battery needs to be charged, which I will do this weekend.
524530
 

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Why does anyone take their Subs to the dealer for regular maintenance? Just take it to a shop you trust and, when warranty issues come up, drive it to the dealership specifically for that.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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Why does anyone take their Subs to the dealer for regular maintenance? Just take it to a shop you trust and, when warranty issues come up, drive it to the dealership specifically for that.
Because if you establish a relationship with the dealer's service manager and writers, they will help you in warranty conflicts and go to bat for you with the manufacturer. It has worked for me getting $4200 worth of cylinder heads on a Ford van (only symptom was a slight tick but there was a TSB that this was the beginning of a real problem). And on my '09 Forester, I had a fluke problem occur after warranty and the dealer got me about $2500 in repairs for about $200 by going to bat with SOA for me. Paying $5 more for oil changes and establishing rapport can be worth thousands if you have a problem.

I spent my career dealing with clients in big-dollar business relationships and face time, respect, and friendships can pay off in huge ways--for parties on both sides.
 
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