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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We purchased our new Forester on May 13, 2021. I've gotten two emails from the dealer about getting an oil change and possible rotation of tires service that need to be scheduled. However, I've only driven the car 1200 miles since then, all around this area so no long distance driving. Should this be done now? I thought I should reach 6000 miles before any oil change or such. I've never had a Subaru before so I'm confused. (This replaced an older Honda Accord which was hit and totaled last November. I'm so glad to have any car right now really!). Thanks for any advice. Susan
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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What kind of driving in those 1200 miles? Trips shorter than 5 miles? I would suggest keep driving it until you get to the 6000 miles. However others here will suggest the opposite and recommend changing oil now. It comes down to what do you feel comfortable with and not what anyone here tells you.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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I would not change it. Flat out not necessary. Just make sure the oil level stays at the upper line on the dipstick. You don't want to run low on oil. No matter what anyone says: If there is sufficient oil in the engine you will not suffer an oil related failure because the oil has been in there a long time. Its miles that matter.
 

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2019 Sport CVT
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817 Posts
Short trips are very hard because the engine doesn’t get hot enough and for long enough to boil out the water and unburnt fuel which will build up in the oil. Change the oil every 6 months if you are not hitting the mileage. Just like it says in your owners manual.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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Short trips are very hard because the engine doesn’t get hot enough and for long enough to boil out the water and unburnt fuel which will build up in the oil. Change the oil every 6 months if you are not hitting the mileage....
I am of advanced age and it takes about 18 months to put 2500 miles on my BMW Z3 and Forester. It is all short trips of 5-15 miles, but the dash-mounted ScanGauge digital coolant temperature guages show that full operating temperatures are reached.
For the past two oil changes on each car, I have sent samples to Blackstone for analysis. The reports are good, with no trace of fuel or water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your notes to me. I do get on a bypass from time to time, but generally my trips are less than 20 miles both ways even at the longest. I'm a baby boomer who doesn't like to drive on the interstate (my area is horrid now). I probably will call the dealer where I got my Forester and ask them what is really needed considering the low mileage. And I also will check the dipstick reading before calling them. (Yes, my father taught me well about basic mechanics of cars back in the day!:))
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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With my XT model, I have a dashboard readout of oil temperature, so I have a very accurate idea of whether the oil has warmed up and boiled off water conservation. It's clear to me that I have to drive about 5 miles (8 km) to get the oil up to normal fully-warm operating temperature, no matter what kind of driving I do. Fully warmed up on city streets in my PNW winter (still above freezing) might give me oil at only 190deg F; summer might be 200degF. Add about 10 degF to both of those scenarios for driving 70 mph on the freeway. The time limit of "6 months" is there to cover the people who are doing lots of trips that are only 1 or 2 miles long, then parking for long enough to cool the engine down a lot. So I would advise, if you take lots of 1 mile trips, change at 6 months; if you always drive 5+ miles at a time, you can more safely ignore the 6 months.
 

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I was in a similar situation as you 6700 km (not miles) and 6 months of mostly city driving and a couple of longer trips. I decided to get the oil changed at 6 months for a first oil change. After that I will follow the millage recommended changes. I also had a pairing issue with my phone so I had to bring it in anyways. Just my comfort zone. My first Subaru and things seem a little different than all my other cars. :)
 

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2015 Forester Xt
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I would definitely change it now @ 1200 miles since it's a new car and you don't know how much metal particles is in the engine. But after that 6k miles btwn changes should be fine.
 

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2020 Forester Sport
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Since the manual says 6 months or 6K miles, whichever comes first, I personally would have it changed at 6 months just to not create an excuse for warranty denial down the road.
Has anyone actually had a warranty problem denied because they only used the mileage, not the time requirements? Do you know of anyone? Given how rare engine failures are in the warranty period, I would guess such denials would be rare to non-existent.

My Forester, which is used infrequently, usually passes the time requirement (6 months) before the mileage requirement (6,000 miles). I've been trying to follow Subaru recommendations, but it's a nightmare of record keeping. You can't just say, I'll get the car serviced on any multiple of 6,000 miles. As soon as you have it serviced at, say, 3,400 miles because it is 6 months, you now have to reset the mileage requirement to 9,400 miles. Given all the other service procedures, it's almost impossible to keep track, and as I've mentioned before, you'd think a car smart enough to almost self-drive would be smart enough to tell you when it needs service (as many other brands do), but no, it's on you. After reading this discussion, (particularly the part about how oil in the crankcase should last as long as oil in your shed (which is essentially forever if you're not driving), I'm thinking of just using the mileage requirements, get on with my life, and not worry about warranty denials. (The one exception to this is brake fluid, which I do flush based on time, not mileage.)
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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I would definitely change it now @ 1200 miles since it's a new car and you don't know how much metal particles is in the engine. But after that 6k miles btwn changes should be fine.
Engine failure due to shrapnel is soooooo rare. Is it even worth mentioning? We are not driving 1970's high shrapnel engines from the BIG 3!!! If engines of today were like the 1970's why are we seeing vehicles reaching > 200,000+ miles!!!
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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I am of advanced age and it takes about 18 months to put 2500 miles on my BMW Z3 and Forester. It is all short trips of 5-15 miles, but the dash-mounted ScanGauge digital coolant temperature guages show that full operating temperatures are reached.
For the past two oil changes on each car, I have sent samples to Blackstone for analysis. The reports are good, with no trace of fuel or water.
Exactly..just what I said. 15 -20 minutes at max operating temp (210F) will get rid of all the water in the oil.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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Thanks for your notes to me. I do get on a bypass from time to time, but generally my trips are less than 20 miles both ways even at the longest. I'm a baby boomer who doesn't like to drive on the interstate (my area is horrid now). I probably will call the dealer where I got my Forester and ask them what is really needed considering the low mileage. And I also will check the dipstick reading before calling them. (Yes, my father taught me well about basic mechanics of cars back in the day!:))
Your trips of 20 miles in both directions is fine. Don't see anything wrong with what you are doing. Keep it up.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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Given all the other service procedures, it's almost impossible to keep track, and as I've mentioned before, you'd think a car smart enough to almost self-drive would be smart enough to tell you when it needs service (as many other brands do), but no, it's on you.
Don't know about your 2020 Sport but my 2018 Forester Limited (and my wife's 2019 Crosstrek Limited) have a programmable maintenance reminder for four maintenance items. You can set the reminders for any mileage or time interval you wish.
 

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2015 Forester Xt
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Engine failure due to shrapnel is soooooo rare. Is it even worth mentioning? We are not driving 1970's high shrapnel engines from the BIG 3!!! If engines of today were like the 1970's why are we seeing vehicles reaching > 200,000+ miles!!!
Better safe than sorry?
 

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2020 Forester Sport
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Don't know about your 2020 Sport but my 2018 Forester Limited (and my wife's 2019 Crosstrek Limited) have a maintenance reminder for four maintenance items. You can set the reminders for any mileage or time interval you wish.
Not sure I have that. I can't find it in the manual or on the radio. There is something called "MySubaru" that says I'm due for 24,000 miles/2 year maintenance, neither of which is true, which is a little confusing. Car has 12,100 miles on it, and is 20 months old. Can you give me a hint where to find it?
 
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