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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought I would create a post that would have all the info for the DIY 48k service. I will update this post with links to the DIY required to complete this service. For example, a link to the diff change procedure and the type of diff oil to use.

Please provide links to help complete this post.

Oil Change: How to Change Your Motor Oil | eHow.com
Recommended fluids (as per service manual): to be entered when I get home

Procedure for diff fluid replacement and tran fluid replacement: to be entered when I get home


48k Service Sheet
 

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06 Forester
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115 Posts
I'm still puzzled why people would want to change diff and transmission fluids so early in the maintenance life on a vehicle that is not performance oriented. Diffs were designed to have virtually no maintenance, certainly not in the first 100k miles. Transmission is debateable.
You will be absolutely just fine doing the following:
- change engine oil and oil filter
- change air filter
- rotate tires

Everything else is just unecessary expense at your mileage.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
I'm still puzzled why people would want to change diff and transmission fluids so early in the maintenance life on a vehicle that is not performance oriented. Diffs were designed to have virtually no maintenance, certainly not in the first 100k miles. Transmission is debateable.
You will be absolutely just fine doing the following:
- change engine oil and oil filter
- change air filter
- rotate tires

Everything else is just unecessary expense at your mileage.
Nice photography rallymaniac

If you have never yet changed your diff fluids, then you owe it to your car to do so. You will be amazed at the condition of the lubricants you drain out compared to new, the diffs get a work out especially in winter driving regardless of transmission, but I think it's harder on an automatic.
There have been a number of posts by new members who have also changed their differential fluids at the same time they have done their first or second oil change and commented on the contamination of the fluids.
As far as changing the transmission fluid, I'd say do it. At least on an automatic you have a filter that can catch some of the contaminants but still the fluids are subjected to similar heat and cold cycles as an engine and I don't think you'd go 48000 km without changing the engine oil.
I'd say everyone would notice a difference for the better in the shifting of an automatic after having the transmission oil changed, I know I did.

Also the severe weather condition that someone like Subieoutlaw experiences up to -40/-50 C take it's toll on fluids and drive-ability.

I'd say yes there are definitely things that Subieoutlaw is capable of doing himself and most likely will. but sometimes when you mess with a packaged price, you switch to flat rate that might end up costing you more. He might find, as he has kept a good relationship going with his dealer that he may get a break on some of the things he's willing to do himself.

We all want the same thing for our Foresters, to give us trouble free motoring, we're willing to spend hundreds if not thousands to enhance our enjoyment of our Foresters, but some just don't want to simply maintain them for the better.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
For references purposes, here are:


and

The 2010 Subaru (Canada) Maintenance Guide (scan down for the Turbo models)​

Interesting... nothing about "Severe Driving Conditions" (see page 2) like we see here in the U.S.

Correction:

The older Canadian schedule's 72K km service says:

• Replace transmission fluid, automatic and standard
• Replace front (A/T only) and rear differential oil
Under severe conditions replace fluids at 48,000 km
HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
Thanks for the links.
Yes I've seen the schedule, but not the one for the newer models. I still can't imagine just inspecting now that I've seen what comes out and what goes in. So many cars never see anything else but the minimum requirments when it comes to servicing and it shows. The choice is truly left up to you.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
I agree that a good maintenance protocol is key to log life for a vehicle. The difficulty I have with "dealer recommended" maintenance lists is that they can include some pretty strange and/or expensive stuff.

Here's what my local dealer wants to do at 30K miles (48 K kms):

30,000 Mile Service (also @ 30K, 60K, 90K, 120K miles) [Subaru]

Price starting at $590.00

Service Includes:
-Engine flush
-Change engine oil and filter
-Install MOA conditioner
-Major fuel induction service
-Brake fluid flush
-Replace fuel filter
-Replace pollen filter
-Replace engine air filter
-Rotate tires
-Lube chassis
-Inspect brakes, steering & suspension
-Inspect engine belts and exhaust
-Replace spark plugs (except TURBO)
-Change manual transmission fluid
An engine flush? Install MOA (motor oil additive)? Major fuel induction service? Replace what fuel filter? :huh:

Replacing the pollen filter requires a $10 part and takes 5 minutes, but it is an ~$100 component of the service price.

Finally, I find it interesting/disturbing that the dealer wants to change the MT (and front diff fluid), but there's no mention of the rear diff.

I don't mind paying for quality required service and parts, even if on a conservative schedule. But blatant techno-mumbo-jumbo rip-offs really irk me. :yell: It's going to be an interesting discussion with these guys when it's time for my 30K service!
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
Yes I mentioned in another thread about the dealer being able to create their own versions of the schedule. I'd go in before the scheduled maintenance is required and speak to the service manager, skip the service writers, and see if a package can be created that allows you to chose what you'd like them to do. Sometimes just doing flat rated service can be more expensive than the package.

I will say my experience with the engine flush has been good, it's a petroleum based cleaner that is run through the engine and cleans out a lot of sludge that can build up in cavities. Previously on my 99 Forester I had it done before emission testing, two years later I skipped the flush and had higher emissions, two years later I had it done again before testing and it came out lower than the last, yet only slightly higher than the first.
But I don't think it is necessary at 30,000 for the fuel system to be cleaned, I'd consider it at 48 thousand. I have heard positive comments from people who have had it done. It would probably be noticeable for someone who buys any brand of gas for their vehicle, both good and bad, I'm sure it can be debated but I've stuck with one brand of gas with my current vehicle.

For me, there are some things I can do myself and others that require a mechanic and the dealership, and through my mechanic I've developed a good relationship with the service manager, so even if the servicing that I only require is minimal I don't mind having to pay the flat rate for the jobs I can't do.

I think you said it well in "I don't mind paying for required service and parts, even if on a conservative schedule." The key is discussing it with the service manager so you are both happy with your combined efforts.

Sorry for the hi-jack Subieoutlaw
 

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06 Forester
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115 Posts
Nice photography rallymaniac

If you have never yet changed your diff fluids, then you owe it to your car to do so. You will be amazed at the condition of the lubricants you drain out compared to new, the diffs get a work out especially in winter driving regardless of transmission, but I think it's harder on an automatic.
There have been a number of posts by new members who have also changed their differential fluids at the same time they have done their first or second oil change and commented on the contamination of the fluids.
As far as changing the transmission fluid, I'd say do it. At least on an automatic you have a filter that can catch some of the contaminants but still the fluids are subjected to similar heat and cold cycles as an engine and I don't think you'd go 48000 km without changing the engine oil.
I'd say everyone would notice a difference for the better in the shifting of an automatic after having the transmission oil changed, I know I did.

.
Thanx for compliment :)
I have changed diff fluids when I had WRX but that was a performance car that was receiving its fair share of beating every day. Frankly i'm still not convinced that the diff fluid change was necessary.
I do agree with your comment about transmission fluid but at 48,000 it may be a bit too early. I changed fluid on WRX transmission but this was driven by the fact that the WRX 1st gear synchros were notorious for failure to work properly with factory fluid therefore making it impossible to downshift to 1st. I refilled tranny with blend of synchromesh and Redline transmission oil.

Regarding rear and front diff fluid on Foresters: I would probably change them around 100k miles but by design these parts are "non maintenance" and i've never seen any other car having differential fluid changed, have you?

I believe that a lot of things that people do in respect to their cars are driven by general automotive myths and fears that circulate to teh benefit of certain product manufacturers and mechanic shops. The most common one is that not changing oil ever 3000 miles is bad.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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with heating/cooling you will get condensation and water in the tranny and diffs. the longest i would wait before changing fluids is maybe 4 yr 48k mi for a car driven easy ("granny") with limited "stop and go" driving.

the diff may just last as long as the fluid ...

even synthetic fluid is a lot cheaper than gears, so why the resistance to change it? the subaru diff holds less than a quart.

i've owned many different cars and there is usually some metal chips and/or dust that comes out with the fluid even with 2 yr changes and average driving style.
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wow. Not the posts I was expecting. I thought people might post DIY links for diff oil change etc.

PLease note on the bottom of the service sheet I attached...Alberta Climate!

-30'C in the winter and I drive up and down mountians in -30'C weather. My post was to be a resource for those that wanted to do the service themselves and save $$$$$. We are all free to do the service on our own Fozzies. I prefer to be safe than sorry. This is why I will be doing the service as outlined.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
I'm still puzzled why people would want to change diff and transmission fluids so early in the maintenance life on a vehicle that is not performance oriented. Diffs were designed to have virtually no maintenance, certainly not in the first 100k miles. Transmission is debateable.
You will be absolutely just fine doing the following:
- change engine oil and oil filter
- change air filter
- rotate tires

Everything else is just unecessary expense at your mileage.
Your manual states to CHECK them at 30,000 mile intervals and replace as needed. I bought a Forester with 27k miles on it and it indeed needed new diff fluid.

And you're "absolutely fine" list didn't include spark plugs...
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,784 Posts
I'm still puzzled why people would want to change diff ... fluids so early in the maintenance life on a vehicle that is not performance oriented. Diffs were designed to have virtually no maintenance, certainly not in the first 100k miles... Everything else is just unecessary expense at your mileage.
Those of us who have changed our diff oil "early" have found the rear diff oil to be dirty gray. I waited until 15K miles, and was appalled at the appearance of the oil. The front diff oil looked OK, but the rear was much different.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
Regarding rear and front diff fluid on Foresters: I would probably change them around 100k miles but by design these parts are "non maintenance" and i've never seen any other car having differential fluid changed, have you?
I don't know what year Forester you drive, but if I changed the rear diff fluid in my 04 XT only every 100k miles, I have a feeling that the rear diff would've given up the ghost some time ago. Look up "rear diff whine" for the SG generation... The only way to quiet it over time has been religious fluid changes every 30k or thereabouts.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... if I changed the rear diff fluid in my 04 XT only every 100k miles, I have a feeling that the rear diff would've given up the ghost some time ago. Look up "rear diff whine" for the SG generation... The only way to quiet it over time has been religious fluid changes every 30k or thereabouts.
I think the rear diff must be undersized for the power it transmits. It looks small compared to differentials on other cars. Small diameter gears, small contact area, high tooth pressures, strong shear force on oil, wear on teeth. Good place to use synthetic.

I think the original oil needs to come out very early, at 15K. It is only dino oil, and there must be a lot of break-in wear from the poor appearance of the oil.
People who waited later than that have said they wished they had done it sooner.
 

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2007 XS
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2 Posts
Still Suspicious

What about some of these other service items:

How important is it to replace brake fluid? I mean I know that brakes are important, but I don't think I've ever had brake fluid replaced on any vehicle in my 30 years of driving.
 
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