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2011 Forester 4 EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I've searched several times using things like 30000 Service or 30K Service, etc, to try and find the answer to my question and if it's buried somewhere I've missed it. So....

At the 30K service "The Book" says to change oil and filter, air cleaner, spark plugs and brake fluid. Though I'm a little skeptical about the plugs and brake fluid I will go ahead and have them changed.

When I've called the dealer they also want to change the diffs, the tranny and the radiator fluid (and jack up the price in the process). I got similar responses from independant service shops. I understand their tactic but have also seen several other posts from owners here that advocate the same service, particularly the diffs. I'm confused because it was not clear if they are taking about an '09. I understand there are prior model issues, like head gaskets for example, where a coolant change would be necessary. Do they know something about '09 that I should take heed of?

There was one poster on a thread titled 30K Service who said that the 30K service was the least important because the car was still pretty new and that they wouldn't even change the plugs or brake fluid. I lean to this opinion, although I will go ahead and change the plugs and brake fluid since The Book says to.

Is it an err on the side of caution thing or is there really some specific reason to change the diff and tranny oil on a 2009? Can someone ease my troubled mind? :shrug:
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Joe,

When I've called the dealer they also want to change the diffs, the tranny and the radiator fluid...
Ref: http://www.subaru.com/content/downloads/pdf/maintsched/2009SchedFed.pdf

The basic Federal 30K service says to "inspect" the trans/diff fluids (Items 10 & 11). However, there's also "Note 3", which reads:

3. When the vehicle is frequently operated under severe driving conditions, replacement should be performed every 15,000 mi (24,000 km).
The only example of "Severe Driving conditions" for Items 10 and 11 is:

g. Towing a trailer.
Basic Federal service for the Long Life coolant used in the 2009 Forester is to replace it at 11 years / 137.5K mikes (Item 5) :icon_eek: However, there's also "Notes 12 & 14", which read:

12. To prevent cooling system leaks, always add Genuine SUBARU Cooling
System Conditioner whenever the coolant is replaced.

14. Subaru Super Coolant 1st replacement interval is 11 years/137,500
miles (220,000 km). 2nd replacement interval is 6 years/ 75,000
miles (120,000 km) after the 1st.
It might be a bit of fun to ask the service guys why they would want to replace the Long Life coolant at 30K mikes. :confused: Unless you tow, you can probably get by with fluid level inspection for the trans and diffs.

However, I plan to change my MT and diff fluids next month at the one year mark. I doubt that it's "required", but I'd like to drain out any junk that may have accumulated during the first year of "break in".

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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duplicate post deleted...:icon_redface:
 

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Brake fluid should really be changed every 1-2 years. Most people don't change it nearly often enough. Changing it sooner helps stop corrosion in the brake components as well as brake fluid absorbs moisture. Plugs are something that you would have to look at to see if they really need it, but if you already have them out might as well put new ones in since its kind of a pain on the subaru engine.

I would definitely have the diff and trans fluid replaced. If its an auto, doing a drain and fill regularly is a pretty good idea (only about 1/3 or less of the fluid is changed with just a drain and fill). The diff fluids get pretty gross pretty quickly, I'd probably change them (on manual cars the front diff fluid and trans fluid are connected).
 

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2002 Forester EJ25 4EAT 2011 Forester FB25 4EAT 2021 Forester FB25 CVT
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The Subaru Super coolant (blue coolant) should be changed at 105,000 miles UNLESS it has been mixed with green coolant, then it should be changed at 30,000 miles.
 

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I found the price here in CA to vary quite a bit. My local dealer was Capitol Subaru where they had a great reputation. Unfortunately they have been sold. The great help is still there but the pricing structure has changed. The 30K service was boosted to $599!
There was an internet coupon good for a 15% discount so i would wind up paying about $510. I just had my oil and oil/air filters changed and my tires rotated. I didn't want to drain the fresh Pennzoil Platinum out and have my tires rotated back to the worn position so I asked for a discount. They told me that I would have to pay for any work NOT DONE that would normally be included in the 30K. I asked for another (experienced) service rep and finally got a price of $499 without the rotation or oil and filter change.
I called another dealer Subaru of Santa Cruz and got a quote of $440 complete and $367 if they left out the oil/air filter change and the tire rotation. I wanted the diff fluid changed to Red line and I provided my own Red Line. My total came out to $352 and they threw in a complete wash and interior cleaning. Fabulous service at Subaru of Santa Cruz, they also told me about the Super Blue coolant - Capitol Subaru insisted on changing the Super Blue.
 

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The Subaru Super coolant (blue coolant) should be changed at 105,000 miles UNLESS it has been mixed with green coolant, then it should be changed at 30,000 miles.
Probably just me. But I'm not leaving any coolant in there for 100,000 miles.
 

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Seeing as Subaru doesn't profit from their recommended maintenance schedule why would you hesitate to perform it? If anything they would profit from a lack of maintenance.

The coolant should wait but diff and tranny fluid are so easy to change and cheap. I agree the brake fluid is neglected far too often and will lead to corrosion and reduced performance.
 

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Seeing as Subaru doesn't profit from their recommended maintenance schedule why would you hesitate to perform it? If anything they would profit from a lack of maintenance.
IMHO...They do profit from it. Recommending more frequent maintenance means a certain percentage of people will take their vehicle to their Subaru dealer more. Anyone knows that when your car is for service the dealer (or also many auto shops) will find something else that needs to be done which ups their profit. And even if they don't find anything else they still make more money bc of more frequent visits.

In genera, healthy dealerships tend to stay in business and even more dealerships will be able to be supported. The more better dealerships a car company has the more vehicles they will sell.

Company health depends 100% on solid profitable dealerships.
 

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I was responding to the O.P. by the way not your post but since you quoted me. You can take your car anywhere to get it serviced where Subaru doesn't profit from it. The $100 or so in parts sales aren't going to make anyone rich...

Don't be penny wise. IMHO you need to be able to pay to play.
 

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Probably just me. But I'm not leaving any coolant in there for 100,000 miles.
I'll change out my original coolant at three years regardless of miles (probably 65 to 70K) and spend the $$ for the blue Subaru Super coolant and the darn conditioner AKA stop leak. Why would you want to use regular coolant and lose any benefit from the new formula??
 

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Why would you want to use regular coolant and lose any benefit from the new formula??
I just use the standard Green Subaru stuff that was in my 08, I have continued to purchase that grade. I change every 25K miles or so along with the conditioner.
 

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Joeboxer,

30k maintence is pretty straight forward. Here's what I do:

Replace all fluids (oil, tranny, diff, brake, and coolant)
Replace all filters (oil, air, cabin, and fuel)
Replace spark plugs
Inspect suspension, brakes, bearings, CV joints, HGs, etc.

If you do this every 30k (and change your oil frequently) your car will last a very long time.

Based on what you said, the dealer isn't taking you for a ride. He's simply recommending service your car requires to keep running. Unfortunately for you, more work equals more money. No mechanic works for free. If you want to save yourself some cash, do the work yourself. Everything listed above can be done with very minimal hand tools in a few hours.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the replies and advice, folks.

Seeing as Subaru doesn't profit from their recommended maintenance schedule why would you hesitate to perform it? If anything they would profit from a lack of maintenance.

The coolant should wait but diff and tranny fluid are so easy to change and cheap. I agree the brake fluid is neglected far too often and will lead to corrosion and reduced performance.
Black Box... I plan to perform the maintenance that Subaru, the manufacturer, recommends (yeah, a little hesitant on the plugs. Folks have convinced me on the brake fluid). My post was directed at what Subaru, the dealership, and other outside service shops have recommended. They pretty universally recommend additional stuff like diffs and tranny. I'm very carefull about the service on my vehicles but don't see a point in over servicing. Since I'm not well versed in Subaru maintenance, I asked if this additional service was substantiated by actual owners.

[/QUOTE= moengel]Based on what you said, the dealer isn't taking you for a ride. He's simply recommending service your car requires to keep running.[/QUOTE]

I don't know, Moengel. Required to keep my car running? I don't think Subaru, the mainfacturer, will be cast in a good light if you stick to their recommendations and their cars drop like flies. Are you saying I can't trust their maintenance schedule?
 

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I'd say moengels car will run well for a very long time.

Changing things that Subaru indicates only needs inspection is just being proactive. A lot of what he does can be done with pretty basic tools we all should have. Dealers can also set their own lists of what should be done as shown in Subieoutlaws thread, and yes some of those steps do cost you more in labour and parts, but will likely add years of life and enjoyment to your Subaru.
 

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I don't know, Moengel. Required to keep my car running? I don't think Subaru, the mainfacturer, will be cast in a good light if you stick to their recommendations and their cars drop like flies. Are you saying I can't trust their maintenance schedule?
I understand what your saying but take a close look at Subaru's maintenance schedule for MY09. You had specific questions about the tranny, diff, and coolant, so I'll speak to those. It says to inspect transmission and diff fluids all the way up to 137.5k miles. If you read Subaru's maintenance schedule literally, does this mean you'd never change these fluids? Moreover, how would you inspect these fluids without draining them? If you drain them would you put the same fluid back in? As for the coolant, it's supposed to be long life coolant, and you can probably get away with not doing anything at 30k, but do you really plan on leaving the coolant in for 137.5k? Given Subaru's history with HGs and the jury still being out on the MY09 models, I'd seriously consider changing this more frequently if you plan on keeping the car. Moreover, the maintence schedule includes a lot of conditions related to "extreme" conditions, which, if you read those closely, sound a lot like daily driving conditions to me. Just something else to consider.

I wasn't trying to be a dick about the dealer part. I was just trying to say that what the dealer was proposing wasn't that unreasonable and that I'd actually agree with him. There are a lot of things that dealers will try and sell you up on (chassis lubrication, anyone?) but things like fluid and filter replacement aren't them.

One last thing to consider is that Subaru has an incentive to extend maintenance intervals on paper because it makes their cars look cheaper over the long run. Many manufactures are going this route and I don't necessarily agree with it. In the end, it's your car and your decision. I'm just trying to give you a different perspective.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Moengel... I didn't think you were being a dick. But, most dealers I know have been (dicks, that is). I tend not to trust them since my usual initial contact with them has been with high pressure sales people or managers always trying to jack another dollar out of me.

Your point about artifically extended maintenance periods... hmmmm. Makes one wonder. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One last question to Moengel. You said to change the auto tranny fluid. Do you mean just a drain and fill, change the filter, like Funkymonkey said, where you only change 3 or 4 quarts. I asked a service center about a flush and fill and it takes like 14 quarts and they have to hook up to a special machine to the tranny (and my wallet) to do the extraction.
 

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Replacing coolant, transmission fluid, front and rear diff fluid at 30k is overkill and a waste of money unless you're beating the car with towing or mountain driving.

The cost of replacing all of these fluids is not trivial and the less these so called "mechanics" touch your car for no reason the better off you'll be. The only benefit of inspecting the diff fluid is to verify there's not a slow leak which would leave it dry.

My inlaws followed an overkill maintenance schedule on our 2002 forester and it still developed headgasket leaks. The dealer overfilled the transmission and probably did more damage than if it was left alone.

Save your money and put it toward a real problem that comes up in the future. I guarantee you'll have several with this car.
 

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Replacing coolant, transmission fluid, front and rear diff fluid at 30k is overkill and a waste of money unless you're beating the car with towing or mountain driving.

The cost of replacing all of these fluids is not trivial and the less these so called "mechanics" touch your car for no reason the better off you'll be. The only benefit of inspecting the diff fluid is to verify there's not a slow leak which would leave it dry.

My inlaws followed the overkill maintenance schedule on our 2002 forester and it still developed headgasket leaks. The dealer overfilled the transmission and probably did more damage than if it was left alone.

Save your money and put it toward a real problem that comes up in the future. I guarantee you'll have several with this car.
i strongly disagree. the general principle is treat your car well and it'll treat you well.

true, subaru has a problem with headgasket design. more frequent changes may not prevent that issue. but what about the rest of the systems? most people drive in stop and go traffic which tends to be more severe than normal.

i can see not working with a dealer, but find a reasonable shop you're comfortable with. you may well find overall things last longer. i guarantee you if you seldom change fluids or go well over recommendations that it won't last as long. but then maybe you don't really care if you trade often enough and don't have a car for "keeps"?!
 
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