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2018 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a few months back about changing oil myself on my 2018 XT and 2012 3.6R. I did it on 3.6R relatively easy, so now it is time for the 2018XT!
So I crawled under the car without jacking it up. I don't want to jack up my car for safety reason, and also I don't have the appropriate jack or ramp. First thing I notice is the XT clearance is not as much as my 3.6, but no problem since I can access the drain plug. So I used 6-point 14mm socket with a ratchet and a short extension. I tried to ensure that the socket fit snugly on the head, but the plug won't budge. And also I think my ratchet is kind of crappy, so it slipped three times.

After that I stopped because this is not a good sign and from the look of it, the plug hex head had been rounded off a little bit. I ordered an extra long 6-point wrench (Tekton), I preferred non flex as I'm afraid the flex-head will increase the chance of the wrench slipping of the plug, but that's all I can find for now. One problem with not having enough clearance under the car is that I cannot use my other hand to keep the wrench stay on the plug.
I took a picture of the plug (attached), and it shows that some damage is done, but it is not very bad and I think I still have chance to pull this off. I want to ask you guys' opinion on this. based on the way the plug look in the picture, should I try it again with my 6-point wrench? Or should I just take it to a garage/dealership? Thanks a lot!

IMG_20190914_131049.jpg IMG_20190914_131611.jpg
 

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Buy a new drain bolt then try it again. It's not rounded too much. If you keep the 6 point firmly held all the way on, the rounded bolt will come out easy. Piece of cake.

Even if you fail again, it will come out with a bolt extractor like this. Any shop will be able to remove it easy.
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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Use a" cheater", a 1 foot section of gas pipe( plumbing section of Home Cheepo) sized to fit over the handle of your ratchet... for more leverage.
 

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When you change your oil, put some PBBlaster around the threads before you tighten it. Should solve any future problems.


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When you change your oil, put some PBBlaster around the threads before you tighten it. Should solve any future problems.


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Not true. The threads are already or will be covered in oil. The problem here and for most is the inability to hold the 6 point socket and extension straight and square on the head of the bolt. If the 6 point was held on squarely this would have never happened.
 

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Not true. The threads are already or will be covered in oil. The problem here and for most is the inability to hold the 6 point socket and extension straight and square on the head of the bolt. If the 6 point was held on squarely this would have never happened.
Probably correct. I always wipe the drain plug off and do it for mine, in my cars and mower and snow blower. Probably just a habit. I also use very little. But I get what you are saying.


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2018 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #7
Buy a new drain bolt then try it again. It's not rounded too much. If you keep the 6 point firmly held all the way on, the rounded bolt will come out easy. Piece of cake.

Even if you fail again, it will come out with a bolt extractor like this. Any shop will be able to remove it easy.
Thanks for the input. When you said "Buy a new drain bolt then try it again.", did you mean "a new drain bolt wrench"? My plan is to try this long 6-point wrench I bought tomorrow. If I'm able to somehow break the plug loose, I will tighten it back but not too tight, and order a new plug before changing the oil.

About the IRWIN tool, I saw this guy on YouTube used it, and it worked really well for him. In my case, the limitation is that I will be on my back under the car that is not jacked up. So I'm not sure I will be able to use the tool if I have to hammer it to grip the bolt. Thanks again!
 

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Perhaps consider replacing your plug with with Fumoto Oil Drain Valve.
I put on on all our cars, kids' cars and my truck. You just pull a safety clip off, turn the valve and let it drain out.
When done draining, flip the valve back and put the safety clip back on.
No muss - no fuss. You won't have to crawl under the car and may not even need to jack it up.
 

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2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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Is the only difference the head side bolt size? If so it is a no brainier.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Is the only difference the head side bolt size? If so it is a no brainier.
I have a 2018 2.5i non-turbo and both the stock 14mm head and replacement 17mm head bolts have 16mm threads, so the 17mm is a perfect replacement. However, Subaru's fitment chart does not show the turbo engine so better check with your Subaru parts deparment if you have a XT:

2018 Subaru Forester2.5i, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Touring
 

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1999 "L" - 231,000 mi. AT
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Keep everything simple. You have wrench access problems, and will have going forward after this first change. So get the Fumoto oil drain valve, or its competitor, and take it to an oil change place. Just have that shop do your oil change and screw in your Fumoto type oil drain valve at no extra charge, while giving you your current plug back. A car lifetime installation.


I posted a few months back about changing oil myself ...
So I crawled under the car without jacking it up. I don't want to jack up my car ...
Or should I just take it to a garage/dealership? Thanks a lot!
Perhaps consider replacing your plug with with Fumoto Oil Drain Valve.
... turn the valve and let it drain out.
When done draining, flip the valve back ...
No muss - no fuss. You won't have to crawl under the car and may not even need to jack it up.

I've used Fumoto on 3 cars and they work; the competitor valve looks just as good.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@subiedrvr -
If it makes you feel any better, LOTS of complaints about the 14mm plug (and the fact that Subaru drain plugs appear to be installed at the factory with a 500 pound impact wrench) . If you are going to do oil changes yourself, the Fumoto makes life a lot easier, and the 17mm plug is less prone to being rounded off....
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Sk Tools USA makes Turbo sockets. They’re special design cuts into The damaged fastener and allows easy removal. I have a few in different metric sizes. They work great.

Perfect for rusted over bolts too. I use Molykote brand penetrating oil as well

A breaker bar makes quick work of the removal. Great tools to have in the arsenal. My 2015 2.5i Limited came with a 17mm head drain plug. It was stock because it was painted black.

New plugs are un-coated. High heat paint on the drain plug will keep rust at bay.
 

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2018 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for the inputs. Sounds like many people like Fumoto valve, so I will give it a try. Is Amazon the best place to buy a Fumoto valve? I'm not too concern about the price, as long as reasonable, but I am more concern about getting wrong one and have to send it back etc.

But first I need to get the current drain plug off. Hopefully I don't screw up the bolt even more.
 

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2018 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #17
Update: I received the Tekton 6-point wrench from Amazon, and luckily I was able to break the drain plug loose. I also raised the car using a couple 2-inch pavement tiles. I'm not a strong guy, but I'm pretty sure the shop who did my last oil change over-tightened the plug.
After I broke it loose, I re-tightened it reasonably firm since my Fumoto valve is not going to be here until tomorrow. Hopefully the Fumoto valve works well. If it does, I will get another one for my 3.6R.

Thank you all for the inputs!
 

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2011 Forester
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Gonna check out the Fumoto valve. I also had a 14mm head stuck on there. After I rounded it beyond belief trying to get it off my local Subaru shop (not the dealer) used a pipe wrench to get it off. Hadn't seen that before. In bad situations he said he uses a cold chisel to knock it loose coming at it from an angle to turn it a bit.
 

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2006 Forester 5-speed manual
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One thing you can do to avoid this kind of damage to the bolt-head is to modify your socket before you begin...

17mm or 14mm, it doesn't matter which. All sockets have a tapered (or chamfered) 'lead-in) to help them slip easily onto nuts. Grind the socket down so the hex goes all the way to the end, you get more surface area to hold the nut or bolt.

Another thing to try in confined spaces is to put something under the spanner or the socket wrench to hold it up onto the bolt. Like a bottle jack, screwed up with something flat on top of it to bear evenly on the spanner or socket with enough pressure to hold it there as you get the first quarter turn or so.
 
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