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2004 Forester 2.5XT 4EAT
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234 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The below details how to change the motor oil in a Subaru 2.5L EJ255 Forester XT engine. This very well may crossover to other Subaru engines both turbo and N/A.

NOTICE: SubaruForester.org, nor I, are liable or responsible for any outcome the below instructions may produce. These are merely for perspective and secondary reference to your owner's manual.

According to the Subaru owner's manual the 2.5L engine's oil specifications are as follows:
Capacity: 4.2 US qt (4.0 liters) without filter replacement and 4.8 US qt(4.5 liters) with filter replacement
Classification: Use only API classification SL with the words "ENERGY CONSERVING" and the New API certification mark (starburst mark) displayed on the container (ILSAC GF-3)
Type: 5w-30

--For the below write-up I've used Mobile 1 full synthetic ILSAC GF-4 5w-30--

Tools you will use:
-Socket wrench
-17mm socket on a long extension
-3/4 socket on a long extension to apply more physics (trick i learned at a junk yard)
-minimum 6 qt oil catch pan - I use a 9 qt pan
-I like to have a few rags on hand to keep things clean and tidy

Other handy tools and info:
- nice filter wrench: link
- oil pan torque specs: link


HOW TO CHANGE THE OIL:

Step 1) Park your vehicle on level ground making sure to pull your parking brake to secure the vehicle. Go ahead and pop your hood from inside the car on the bottom left under the dash/steering wheel.


Step 1b) - Optional Step - you can lift your vehicle up on jack stands or ramps to make it easier to work beneath the engine. If you do this, please use great care as to avoid any kind of situation to where the vehicle could fall on you or something else!


Step 2) Now open your hood via the latch above the Subaru emblem and under the hood.



Step 3) Locate your oil cap. You'll notice the cap will reference what type of oil you should put in the vehicle and to refer to the owner's manual. Smart oil cap....



Step 4) Go ahead and remove your oil cap and set it in a clean and level place.


Step 5) Now go to the front of the vehicle and get down under to locate the oil drain bolt and oil filter. They will look like this:



Step 5b) - Optional Step - you can remove the plastic skid-plate but I see no reason to do this as Subaru has provided ample room to work. I did not document this portion.


Step 6) Now that you have located the in and out of the motor oil system, let's collect our tools! I use the following for this job:
-Socket wrench
-17mm socket on a long extension
-3/4 socket on a long extension to apply more physics (trick i learned at a junk yard)
-minimum 6 qt oil catch pan - I use a 9 qt pan
-I like to have a few rags on hand to keep things clean and tidy



Step 7) Now you have your tools so lets change some oil! Grab your socket wrench with 17mm socket and extension and gently break the oil drain bolt loose. CAUTION - oil could be hot!



Step 7b) - Optional Step - If you need more leverage, use the 3/4 socket with extension on the bottom of your socket wrench to act like a small breaker bar. Gotta love physics!



Step 8) Go ahead and remove the drain bolt completely being careful to not drop it in your catch pan or burn yourself in the process. Just be gentle. Now let the oil drain completely.

Step 9) Once the oil finishes draining you can remove the oil filter. If the oil filter was installed properly you should be able to do this by hand (with some muscle of course). If the filter is on too tight then you'll most likely need a filter wrench and you may need to take the plastic skid-plate off the vehicle. CAUTION - oil could be hot!
 

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2004 Forester 2.5XT 4EAT
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234 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited by Moderator)
Ok, you made it through the hard part! Pat yourself on the back....now go wash your shirt.

Time to put stuff back together!


Step 10) Time to put the new oil filter on. Fill the new filter 75% full (~3-4 oz) of fresh oil before installing and coat the oil filter seal with some fresh oil to help make the new seal. IMPORTANT: Check to see if the old oil filter seal accidentally stayed on the engine. If it did, remove it! Once you're sure it's clear, screw on the new oil filter. Once the seal comes in contact with the engine turn a few more times until it's snug. Don't over tighten...you'll regret it next time.


Step 11) Now go ahead and screw it back into the oil pan and torque to spec.
Hint: Make sure your oil drain bolt is clean and you've replaced the crush washer with a new one. The old one can be hard to spot so double check this.


Step 12) You're done down below so clean and wipe up your work area and the bottom of the engine. Now we can add fresh oil into the engine.


Step 13) Grab your funnel and place it in the oil filler neck as shown below. Slowly, pour your oil into the engine. I typically like to do this a quart at a time and leave the tops on the grill to keep track of how many I've used. If you've changed your oil filter, you'll use approximately 4.8 US qts.
Hint: Fill to about 4 or 4.5 US qts and then warm the engine up and check your level on the dipstick. This way you can be sure you don't overfill. DO NOT FORGET TO CLEAR YOUR ENGINE BAY OF TOOLS AND PARTS BEFORE YOU START THE VEHICLE!



Step 14) Once you have successfully reached the full mark on the dipstick with hot oil you're good to replace the dipstick and oil cap.
Hint: double check that the oil cap o-ring is still there. If it's fallen off, replace it.


Step 15) Clean up your entire work area, clean your tools and return them to their proper homes, double check for leaks, double check you replaced the oil cap, close the hood, and take your car out for a test drive if you so choose!


Please take your used oil to a proper disposal or recycling facility!
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
I don't think it's silly and in fact think it's great, especially in these tough times when more and more inexperienced folks will try and earn their Man Badges for the first time due to economic reasons.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5spd
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236 Posts
If you could include the cleaning of the banjo bolts that would be great!

I'm changing my oil again this weekend. (New engine, doing 5 oil changes in the first 1000 miles) I'll try to take some pics to contribute if you want them.
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,242 Posts
5 oil changes in 1000 miles is unbelievably overkill.
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,242 Posts
No, it's a brand new engine that, prior to assembly, should be meticulously cleaned. It's not like there are chunks of aluminum sitting in the bottom of the oil galleys.

Put everything together, fill with oil. Run to operating temperature. Drain oil, change filter. Refill and run easy for 1000 miles before changing the oil again. THAT is proper engine break-in proceedure.

I mean, I guess if the machinist did the bore cleanup with with the block still assembled and the oil pan on, then directly assembled the motor without cleaning ANYTHING out, I could understand your logic. But that doesn't happen. Ever.

Oh well, it's your dollar. Do what makes you feel better.

Back to the OP, I think it's a good idea for a guide! Lots of people could save money by doing their own oil changes.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,577 Posts
Mmmmm not really.

It's a brand new engine with metal debris from the machining/manufacturing process. I want all that cleaned out asap.
Its way overkill. You can go over to "bobistheoilguy.com "and see hundreds of oil analysis of first oil change of 1000 to 6000 miles on a brand new engine. And 2 changes at 5 miles :icon_eek:. Ummmm...OK whatever. to each his own. :)
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
Mmmmm not really. Two were done in the first 5 miles of the engine.

It's a brand new engine with metal debris from the machining/manufacturing process. I want all that cleaned out asap.
Not saying it is or isn't overkill depending upon who's procedure you happen to be following but man, it's tough to take you too seriously with that particular Avatar, just saying, lol.
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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19,155 Posts
your write up post will be sticky...
Nope, we've been accumulating too many stickies. But if it ends up with good solid information and isn't overshadowed by other stuff that's already here, we would link it from the moderated DIY Forum.

It would also be good to generalize beyond the XT, to the extent that things are common. Which would appear to be just about everything AFAIK.
 

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2004 Forester 2.5XT 4EAT
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234 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Nope, we've been accumulating too many stickies. But if it ends up with good solid information and isn't overshadowed by other stuff that's already here, we would link it from the moderated DIY Forum.

It would also be good to generalize beyond the XT, to the extent that things are common. Which would appear to be just about everything AFAIK.
I was creating in hopes of being linked into the DIY thread, but if it doesn't make it then it can still be found via the search button :biggrin:

I'll try to generalize as much as possible but i'm not very familiar with the spectrum of Subaru models and their compatible features.

I guess no one visits scoobymods anymore. Peaty compiled the ultimate Forester oil change guide 7 years ago: http://www.scoobymods.com/oil-change-t2085.html?t=2085&highlight=forester+oil+change
I saw the scoobymods thread but felt it was far too off topic and cluttered. Don't get me wrong though, it has a ton of useful info but doesn't really complete the topic at hand very well. This thread will be a down and dirty, step-by-step, how to change your oil via pictures of a forester with sequenced instructions from one noob to another. I hope to complete this tonight if i can tear away from the office. I've also taken all the picture for the transmission fluid change as well and i hope to put that together later this weekend.
Tonight I'm tackling spark plugs and hope to get enough pictures and detailed instructions to do a write up for that as well.
 

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2010 Forester X Premium
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931 Posts
Its way overkill. You can go over to "bobistheoilguy.com "and see hundreds of oil analysis of first oil change of 1000 to 6000 miles on a brand new engine. And 2 changes at 5 miles :icon_eek:. Ummmm...OK whatever. to each his own. :)
Actually even to 10k (hondas) and you will see minimum amount of debris. I did my first at 1000 and now I understand how silly this was lol ;). Honda for example dose not recomend early change and recomends going by the on board oil analizer ;) and usually it means about 8-10k. ;) I fallow this in my civic and at 130k had a compression of a new engine which even shocked my mechanic considering I used standard oil for 8-10k oil intervals lol.
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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19,155 Posts
I was creating in hopes of being linked into the DIY thread, but if it doesn't make it then it can still be found via the search button :biggrin:
First, people will have to learn how to search for the search button! :icon_wink:
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,242 Posts
^^That is ridiculous. I can't bring myself to go beyond 3750 miles, and I usually do my oil changes at 3300+/-300 miles. In an N/A car, however, I don't mind. I do 5k intervals for my wifes car, and then only because she doesn't drive that much. I'd probably go longer if she drove the car more.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5spd
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236 Posts
Not saying it is or isn't overkill depending upon who's procedure you happen to be following but man, it's tough to take you too seriously with that particular Avatar, just saying, lol.
I don't take myself very seriously. :icon_biggrin:

I admit it probably is overkill. After the 2nd oil change there was still visible metal in the oil so I'm being extra cautious. It's ~$50 for some extra peace in mind. Safe > Sorry

Sorry to go off-topic!
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
I saw the scoobymods thread but felt it was far too off topic and cluttered. Don't get me wrong though, it has a ton of useful info but doesn't really complete the topic at hand very well. This thread will be a down and dirty, step-by-step, how to change your oil via pictures of a forester with sequenced instructions from one noob to another.
More power to you... I agree that the scoobymods thread could use some updating, so it would be nice if we had a thread here with current part numbers etc.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
^^That is ridiculous. I can't bring myself to go beyond 3750 miles, and I usually do my oil changes at 3300+/-300 miles. In an N/A car, however, I don't mind. I do 5k intervals for my wifes car, and then only because she doesn't drive that much. I'd probably go longer if she drove the car more.
Yeah, I too would be hard pressed to go much beyond the recommended interval on a turbo motor, especially with a conventional oil which is more prone to heat breakdown than a synthetic and although I have run synthetics in naturally aspirated motors well beyond what I should have with no ill effects, I don't know as a conventional oil would have faired nearly as well.
 

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2004 Forester 2.5XT 4EAT
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234 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
First, people will have to learn how to search for the search button! :icon_wink:
Uuuugh, i'll let someone else man-handle that how-to :icon_rolleyes:

More power to you... I agree that the scoobymods thread could use some updating, so it would be nice if we had a thread here with current part numbers etc.
oh geez, I didn't intend for the bar to be set so high :icon_eek:
I'll see what kind of masterpiece I can create and I will certainly update the thread as time passes with any better information that people want to add.
 
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