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2007 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name in Matt and I purchased a 2007 Subaru Forester with 235K miles in October 2018 but it still runs like a champ. I am working to learn as much as I can about this vehicle to keep int in great shape by doing as much preventative maintenance I can. I had mechanic give it a once over and change the oil when I first got it. Since then I have learned that that mechanic is less than the quality I can do on my own (he didn't notice a tail light out) :rolleyes:.

I recently had my A/C evacuated and recharged the system because it wasn't working well/correctly. I later learned about the air gap issue on the clutch and had to remove the shim and now it works great but I am concerned I may have let in too much air and moisture as I did not purger the service line of the manifold gauge set. Any help/info on this would be greatly appreciated.

I am also in the planning stage of doing an engine flush with AmsOil with my next oil change and I am wondering about the transmission fluid also. I have no idea if it has ever been changed is there a way to figure this out? I thought about draining the fluid into a clean container so I could reuse it if it seems like there were a lot of metal shavings helping to keep it running. I was told the head gaskets were done when the last timing belt was done at about 180K and I can see the edges and they do look fairly new so I'm not concerned the engine flush would affect their seal.

I know this is alot for a first post but I figure I'd get it all out there and wait for some feedback to help me keep my Jenny running and performing great.
PS I got it just before the only snow storm that hit my area this winter and I have sworn to always own at least one Subaru. The AWD is amazing and the reliability is unmatched.
 

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2004 forester sti
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Hi Matt , welcome .
Nearly a quarter of a million miles eh.

I wouldn't use an engine flush on an engine of this millage if its still running like a champ .
I would use regular engine oil and new filter, run it for 200miles then dump it and the filter and replace both again.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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<snip> I would use regular engine oil and new filter, run it for 200miles then dump it and the filter and replace both again.
That ^^^^ is probably over-kill, but it won't hurt anything. Otherwise, avoid engine flushes - really not necessary unless something strange has contaminated your oil, in which event an oil+filter change, followed by another oil+filter change shortly thereafter is about the best 'flush' you can do.

When you drain your oil, it's normal to have a few metal particles in the drain pan. If more than a few, cut open the old oil filter and look inside. Again, a few metal particles are normal, but if it looks like tong war just happened, you may be running a bearing or have some other engine issue.

As for the transmission ATF, open the drain plug and let it drain. You will probably get about 3-4 quarts out. Then add 3-4 quarts (the same amount as came out, right?) of Subaru ATF HD. Check to be sure the ATF level is correct.

Doing this will have changed about 1/3 of the ATF. If you do this three times over a 3-week period, you will have changed about 90% of your ATF, which is good enough for government work.

---

I'm glad the A/C repair/modification worked out for you, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it lasting. A/C pumps go bad. Ditto for power steering pumps. IMHO, the only reliable fix is to replace the A/C pump with a rebuilt unit. Tinkering with the clutch shims probably won't provide a real fix.
 

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2007 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. Pretty much goes with what I've been thinking; always like the reassurance.
@Lockheed I will probably go ahead with the two quick oil changes
@dave5358 on the AC I do assume I will need to replace the compressor before next summer but this should last through the current heat and I'll actually be able to afford the new compressor and time to do the job right.... Still studying for RN board exam

Thanks... Not sure if i tagged people correctly.. still figuring out this forum system and controls
 

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2010 Forester 2.5 XPremium 4EAT
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Do a couple of oil and filter changes - it's impossible to ever change the oil too often, right?! - wait a thousand miles or so and then consider doing an oil analysis at Blackstone. It's $30 very well spent IMHO and will tell you a lot about how things are doing in the crankcase.

Regarding the gearbox oil - I would start with taking a reading of your transmission oil level first. There are conflicting schools of thought anfd advice about Subaru ATs. Some say if it aint broke don't fix it and others will recommend a partial drain.

This is because there are people who have reported more problems when introducing new gearbox oil into a transmission with high mileage.

Sounds like you have a good car! Also consider changing the front and rear diff oil (very easy to do) if you aren't sure when they were last changed. Just don't confuse the front diff fill tube with the transmission fill tube ;)
 

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2004 forester sti
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Thanks for the advice. Pretty much goes with what I've been thinking; always like the reassurance.

@Lockheed I will probably go ahead with the two quick oil changes

@dave5358 on the AC I do assume I will need to replace the compressor before next summer but this should last through the current heat and I'll actually be able to afford the new compressor and time to do the job right.... Still studying for RN board exam

Thanks... Not sure if i tagged people correctly.. still figuring out this forum system and controls
As Bobby said "you got it right" but everything is changing on the 23rd .

A new format is coming ….. just as I have got used to this one:|
 

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2007 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@ForesterCub I have checked on the Diff oil and both have very clean looking oil so I'm not to worried about that. And about not confusing the dipsticks.... I definitely did that when i first got it and was doing a quick check of fluid levels lol... pretty easy mistake until you read the dipstick and it says "DIFF" on it.
I also just learned about the UOA. 20+ years working on cars and I've never heard of it until today. I love learning new things!
@2.5x_sleeper How do you have a car that is 12 years old with 25k?!?! that's nuts
 

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2004 forester sti
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Just another word about oil changes

I have built motor a 2.35 stroker.

And what I do before dumping oil is as follows :

1/run engine to temperature
2/ drive on to ramps and leave running while removing under tray /skid pan .
3/ turn off engine and immediately get my pre prepared speaker magnet with a soft cloth wrapped around it and move across the sump from right to left towards the sump plug, this ensures any steel in the sump from wear an tear is moved towards the exit before the plug is pulled .
4/ remove plug, drain and enjoy swirling the oil catcher around looking at the shiny bits of metal you have removed .

I regularly cut filters open with big pipe cutters to see what they have been catching .

Anyone else go this far or am i just neurotic.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5 XPremium 4EAT
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@MattCNJ

Same for me. Been fiddling around with cars.......I ain't saying for how long ... ;) ..... and only last few years have undertaken oil analysis.

Re oil - each to their own - but I can tell you that a very experienced Subaru Master tech once told me to run mine on Castrol GTX. I can say the engine seems very happy on it, and it gets a lot of stressful work.

Re learning new things - I've learnt to be very afraid of anyone who says they are not still learning - about anything.
 
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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I'm going to go back to your original question: What to do to make your nice high mileage vehicle last longer.....

-- Transmission fluid. Do as above, do not hire a place to "flush", but serial drain fills. Your era 4EAT may no longer have a "filter". If you do have one, don't change it. Its there for a "blown" transmission. Unless the transmission fails, it does not need replacement.

-- Engine oil. Just learn how to check the level. I like to pull the dipstick in the PM, wipe it, and then place on the radiator support through the night, then reinsert in the AM. You get a better level. As for filter and oil choices, I like Mobile high mileage, and either a genuine SOA filter or name brand. You do not need to change to oil too often. If you think they put cheap oil in, then change at 3k or so, NA is easy on oil. Even cheap oil makes it 3k. Once you have good oil (synthetic) and a good filter, every 5k or even 7.5k is OK. If you are burning some oil and needing to add some oil here and there, you can stretch the oil change interval to even longer, assuming you put a good filter in.

-- Transfer case and rear dif: You say they look ok. But what are they filled with? Put good synthetic in there, but at your leisure.

-- Coolant: Peak Global is well respected. You should drain the radiator as best you can (drop the lower hoses) and replace 50:50. Burping the system is a art. I love my radiator funnel. If you like tools, get a Lisle radiator funnel.

-- Brake Fluid: OK, this is BIG. Your 2007 needs the brake fluid changed. Perhaps has already been done, but needs to be repeated and properly. If you are DIY, get a brake fluid pump from Harbor Freight, and/or a good friend and learn how. Lots of youtube vids are there. You should do this. Choice of fluid is hard. I would not skimp, but changing to full synthetic is a pain.

Various other fluids and lubes: Power steering comes to mind, but changing it is a pain and does not seem to be related to a lot of long term benefits. You have some wheel bearings that cannot be serviced, so you wait for them to die. The originals are the BEST, so replacing before the go out is stupid. Wait till they die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@cdherman Thanks a lot! That was very informative. I had no idea about the brake fluid. I will definitely get that done asap (brakes are kinda important). I have not yet flushed by coolant but plan to soon (I have a no spill funnel that is great for bleeding). For the trans; the shop I had brought it to changed the external spin on filter because he told me it was loose and looked pretty old but didn't touch the fluid. Level is good now and I like the system of changing the trans fluid in shifts. then you don't run the risks that I worry about.

I have been wondering about the trans fluid type though. Is it worth the extra money for the Subaru specific fluid? I'm assuming yes but just curious.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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-- Brake Fluid: OK, this is BIG. Your 2007 needs the brake fluid changed. Perhaps has already been done, but needs to be repeated and properly.
Yes! I would give the brake fluid priority. Brake fluid is susceptible to moisture contamination. Subaru recommends replacing every 30k miles.
 

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<snip> on the AC I do assume I will need to replace the compressor before next summer but this should last through the current heat and I'll actually be able to afford the new compressor and time to do the job right....
If your compressor is working ('bite' in the cold air delivered out the ducts), then it's working. Leave it alone. I can't predict how long it will last. If you're planning a cross-country road trip, then you might want to replace it in advance, but around town or near your home base, just wait for it to fail.

At your mileage, the compressor is probably getting a bit flaky, so budget for a replacement. Personally, I would not mess with the clutch issue - it is simply not going to resurrect an ageing or failing compressor.

FWIW, A/C systems are surprisingly simple, and almost completely independent of the rest of the vehicle systems. There are some cabin controls (fan speed, temp setting, etc) but they rarely give trouble. There are high- and low-pressure switches under the hood. Again, they're relatively reliable, but you can wire around a switch as a test. There's a mechanical expansion valve under your dash - again, relatively reliable. Make sure your ducts are clean and the blower fan is working.

The most common A/C issue is freon charge. It's either there or not. But if you have lost your charge or have a low charge, you might try to determine where it went.

The second most common issue is the compressor and clutch, but I recommend thinking of this as a single component. Need cold? The clutch engages and the compressor starts compressing. The expansion valve prevents the evaporator from freezing over. That's about it.
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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Like above advice on engine oil changes (use same oil type the seals have worked in for last 250,000 miles, don't change to Amsoil unless it's already in there), and tranny drain / fills. Differential (these are strong parts) fluid do the change whenever, if at all - use standard Subie fluid.

It's an old hi-mileage vehicle like mine, you don't want to try to improve anything, just keep it going as is ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@UhOh That's the thing I have no idea what oil has been used in it for all those miles so i guess i should just stick with the suggested 5W-30. I cant even be sure it was synthetic. It probably was but I still have that fear that was instilled in me years ago that "you can't just switch to synthetic or everything will break"
 
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