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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,542 Posts
Agree with Freddie about the filters...

Usually, the "some-number safety inspection" (my dealer does a 50-something point) doesn't come free - without some type of service... So if you have the car in for some other repair, they'll to the inspection as part of the service. I don't believe you can just drive up and request a free inspection.

Back to the filters - when they do the inspection, most shops do not physically inspect the filters - they'll just look at the mileage and the time frame since the last replacement of the same. The replacement of the filters is easy, as has been mentioned. There's another thread floating around about the cabin air filter replacement... The filter is right behind the glovebox and is a relatively easy and quick job - 10 to 15 minutes? You can buy the filters at the local parts place or online... Everybody is partial to their own brand choice (based on cost or whatever) and there are a half-dozen brands out there.

The filters may need to be changed - just because depending on where you drive, the filters can pick up a lot of debris - from leaf bits to pollen and dirt and dust...

Like me - you don't drive a lot. So go more to the severe service schedule and go more with the months vs the mileage. Remember that most of the maintenance is based upon months OR miles....
 

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2018 Subaru Forester XT CVT
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Thanks for that!

My local dealers flood me with emails containing coupons for "complimentary multipoint inspections" so I'll just take them up on it.

The engine air filter is exceptionally easy to check on my Subie, and the cabin air filter, although I'm not looking forward to tangling with the glovebox, should be okay to do if I'm careful and go slow.

Any recommendations on good manufacturers those two filters, or should I just buy them from the dealer's counter?

The service that stymied me was the lubrication of the hinges - I never heard about that, and don't know anyone who got that done... Not really sure it's necessary unless the door starts squeaking? I just checked with my brother whose cars are 12 years old, and he's never put a drop of lube on his hinges... Oh well, I suppose I'll just get some White Lithium lube and get to dabbing.... :geek:
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,542 Posts
As for the air filters - save a few bucks and buy them at a local parts place or online or even WalMart... For the most part, most aftermarket filters (especially air) will be at least as good as factory. I know that I saw on some post on here somewhere a "who" it is that makes the Subaru "factory" OEM filters.

I put a K&N under the hood and I use PremiumGuard Pure Flow for the cabin air filter. It's really easy to do. You open the glove box, remove some (most? all?) the loose stuff and then there is a small rubber-like strut that attaches to a knob on the side of the box. Unhook that strut and then the box will drop lower. Then press in the side of the box a bit on both sides to get the hold pins (yeah, that's a technical term!) past the sides of the opening and - voila - there's the cabin air filter.

These are from my 2014 Forester... your 2018 should be much the same. But maybe not as dusty... :)

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The rubber strut ^^^

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Side pin (there are 2 - one each side)

552116

There are 4 tabs on the air filter (or should be)... gently squeeze them and pull the filter out. If the tabs are already broken off, you can use a slim screwdriver or a trim removal tool to pop the filter and pull out.
 

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15 Toyota Avalon hybrid; 02 Honda Odyssey
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48 Posts
Brake fluid replacement is not just about moisture absorbtion, but the corrosion inhibitor component of the fluid getting used up. It's an incredibly cheap DIY procedure, and as previously noted, ABS units are pricy. If you're someone who holds a car for 5 years or less, you can probably ignore it and never notice. But I keep mine for 10 or more and then they move on to family or friends, so my DiL is driving a 2003 pass along. And I still do the R&M, lol, so I care to not have to do a M/C or ABS. Calipers, OTOH, are a lost cause as I live in the rust belt.
 

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2020 Forester
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36 Posts
Hiya folks,

Its been over 3 years since I bought my 2018 Forester XT, and I put only 8,000 highway miles on the car in that period of time. During our "Covid Year" I put only 1,000 miles on the car. The car runs like a dream, and has never given me any problems.

I've been doing oil & filter changes like clockwork, except during the Covid Year where it didn't make sense to do a 6-month oil change when the car had 700 miles on it during that time (so I pushed it out to 10 months instead). I also did one tire rotation in the life of the car, maybe 1,500 miles ago. The cabin air filter was last checked 1,000 miles ago, and it was clean-as-a-whistle (I always recirculate cabin air).

So my question is: should I be doing the recommended 3-year / 30,000 mile service?

Would you agree its a waste of time and money to do the entire service, given how little the car is driven?

Should I consider just doing a coolant flush or brake fluid? Maybe lubricate door, sunroof, back hinges?

Just wondering what you Car Gurus out there think I should do.

Thanks!
We just bought a 2020 Forester Premium that was a courtesy car at a local dealer with 3,357 miles when we bought it. The dealership serviced it (oil change and filter) and inspected it for us. My wife is retired and will be no where near 6,000 miles annually - so my plan is to document and record 6 months oil changes - but only actually change the oil - maybe once a year. Forget the brake fluid and coolant change too. We just sold off my wife's 2002 Outback Base model with 167,000 miles that we purchased new and I never once in 18 years added brake fluid and never flushed or replaced the coolant. This peace of mind maintenance is WAY over the top - just remember the money isn't in the sale of the car, it's the service and parts. Your little Subaru will love you just as much if you don't worry about meeting the owner manual maintenance schedules. I do plan on changing out the CVT fluid at around 40,000 miles whenever we get there?
 

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I had the same general question on my 2017 Forester that has a total of 12,000 miles on it. I will be using the car more now that travel is possible and am going by car rather than train to minimize exposure to Covid, a 300 mile trip to a nearby city.

I called Subaru Customer Service and he recommended going on oil change every six months for the first five years if under the maintenance book mileage, because the engine has a five year warranty and if I have any problems am
in stronger position if it is clear I adhered to their recommendations. Seems to me like inexpensive insurance since I have an acquaintance who got 300000 on his! I think Subaru gave him a prize.
 

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2015 FORESTER AUTO
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14 Posts
Hiya folks,

Its been over 3 years since I bought my 2018 Forester XT, and I put only 8,000 highway miles on the car in that period of time. During our "Covid Year" I put only 1,000 miles on the car. The car runs like a dream, and has never given me any problems.

I've been doing oil & filter changes like clockwork, except during the Covid Year where it didn't make sense to do a 6-month oil change when the car had 700 miles on it during that time (so I pushed it out to 10 months instead). I also did one tire rotation in the life of the car, maybe 1,500 miles ago. The cabin air filter was last checked 1,000 miles ago, and it was clean-as-a-whistle (I always recirculate cabin air).

So my question is: should I be doing the recommended 3-year / 30,000 mile service?

Would you agree its a waste of time and money to do the entire service, given how little the car is driven?

Should I consider just doing a coolant flush or brake fluid? Maybe lubricate door, sunroof, back hinges?

Just wondering what you Car Gurus out there think I should do.

Thanks!
Change nothing but the engine oil. All else is burning money.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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3 Posts
Get out and drive the car 300 miles like some one said. That is the single best thing you can do...fresh gas, heat the engine up circulate everything, scrub the brake dics in again.

Oil does not have a shelve life (or meaningful one any way) it degrades with heat breakdown and desovle containment picked up by it's detergent pack.. If you really want to change the oil ;yet again do it after the 300 mile drive...when the detergents have had just a little change to work.
All the stuff about changing filters if bunK. No need at all....than car has just been sitting there...like a store shelf!
Modern Anti freeze pack are design for over 5 years.. some 10 years...again they degrade with heat and contaminants...you antifreeze is a still very young.
you climate will determine what rust or corrosion you have on exposed metal...ie hinges, struts, etc. If you hear a squeak...do something

I'm and old vermonter...cheap....don't fiddle with things and screw them up if it is not broke
 

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2015 Forester
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172 Posts
Check your owners manual. My '15 says the antifreeze is good for 11 years.
Much debate about the CVT checks/changes. My understanding is they are put together in clean rooms and highly sensitive to contamination. How do you feel about having a highly contaminant system opened just to check the level if there are no leeks? How may shops have a clean room environment to change the fluid? What is the real risk reward between changing the fluid and introducing contamination? I don't have the answers and so far have not seen solidly convincing arguments either way.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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1,224 Posts
The issue of potential contamination is one that many just don’t seem to consider, or care about if/when they do.

Manufacturers in general are continually moving towards sealing up components in order to keep less than “qualified” personnel out of the increasingly more complex and sophisticated sub-assemblies. There’s a reason for that decision.

Of course, if you own your own vehicle, you should perform as little or as much service on that vehicle that you desire. However, I’d just remind folks that vehicles being turned out of factories today are light years ahead, technology-wise, of those built 20 or more years ago… things that may have made perfect sense to do service-wise back then may not make much sense on a new vehicle delivered today.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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904 Posts
so my plan is to document and record 6 months oil changes - but only actually change the oil - maybe once a year.
Given the low annual mileage it would be better to change the oil at least twice a year if most drives are short as contaminates and water will build up if the engine never gets hot enough to evaporate the crap. Personally, I'd change it every 4 months. Oil is cheap, engines are expensive.

I never once in 18 years added brake fluid and never flushed
The danger is that brake fluid is hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture, which can significantly reduce the fluid's boiling point. The moisture may also corrode brake system components. The brakes may fail just when you need them most.
 
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