When I first got my Forester, to spread the cost of servicing, especially the big ones, I would buy the parts myself, building up a pile, then take them all to the garage when the service was due - Ofcourse you need a garage that is happy for you to supply your own parts, but in my opinion it does make life easier when trying to top up fluids, as you know what exactly is in there already.@TMX, I haven't actually gone down the route of the cosworth filter just yet..
When I picked up the fozit had not long had a service from the "dealer"... prior to that it was serviced about this time every year. I'm thinking to break up the costs I might service it soon, that way it's being looked over very 6 months or so (with the MOT being the other check over).
Engine tuner sell the cosworth filter for a decent price iirc. Not sure whether to ask them to service it and just get the filter from them etc or start piece mealing it. I don't have a drive way for diy work like oil/filters etc..
Ian, Does the place you use for MOTs mind if you look under the car yourself during the test, asking the tester questions along the way ? I can't imagine the big chains would but the small corner place I use don't seem to mind as long as you aren't wearing flipflops or something daft. You can get an idea of any rust, leaks and what parts might be on the radar for replacing in the future.