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2006 Forester
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have the tools necessary to install an engine block heater on my 2010. I can purchase it for less that $40 including shipping from several sites. What has been holding me back is the $23 x 2 for the Subaru coolant as I can't see draining much of it cleanly. Be sure to open the data sheet link available from this link. Light violet sure sounds "blue" to me!
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2010 Forester 2.5X
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1,692 Posts
I said this before and I'll say it again.....you have a 2010 under warranty.
Do not put any other coolant in the car other than OEM Subaru and the OEM conditioner..... don't be foolish!!!!!!!!
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,784 Posts
I choose stealership coolant because that's what knowledgeable local Subaru shop recommends, as does Subaru themselves. I use the conditioner they recommended, too. With all the HG issues of our cars, do I want to risk running different coolant just to save under $20? No.

Stan
 

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2006 Forester
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I said this before and I'll say it again.....you have a 2010 under warranty.
Do not put any other coolant in the car other than OEM Subaru and the OEM conditioner..... don't be foolish!!!!!!!!
There is no way I'll hang onto this for 11 years or 220,000 miles anyway (recommended change interval). What is going to happen that they would/could blame something on the coolant? It appears to me this is the same coolant (blue and all). On bobistheoilguy site they claim this is the company that is making it for the Asian manufacturers. The other thing is that even Subaru states using something different from theirs shortens the time between changing it. Doesn't say it is going to nuke your engine and if it is the same color, how would they ever know?
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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1,692 Posts
That looks good. I'll probably change my coolant at 105K miles when I do timing belt.... so I'll have a couple of years to think about it.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,450 Posts
I think the concern is with possible head gasket problems, not the coolant change interval. I highly doubt that - if your HGs were to develop a leak - Subaru would cover the repairs under warranty if they found that aftermarket coolant had been used. If it isnt' visibly different, you might get lucky, though.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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1,692 Posts
There is no way I'll hang onto this for 11 years or 220,000 miles anyway (recommended change interval). What is going to happen that they would/could blame something on the coolant? It appears to me this is the same coolant (blue and all). On bobistheoilguy site they claim this is the company that is making it for the Asian manufacturers. The other thing is that even Subaru states using something different from theirs shortens the time between changing it. Doesn't say it is going to nuke your engine and if it is the same color, how would they ever know?
It's 11 years/137,000 miles (220,000km).
I don't know what would happen if you put in a different coolant.. and maybe forgot the conditioner. How about you have a leaking Head Gasket....causing your Forester to over heat.... and you take it in for warranty work and Subaru says "nope..... you changed the coolant, you pay for the fix."
 

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2006 Forester
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I did fail to mention that I have every intention of mixing it with a bottle of the conditioner, indeed, a most valid point!
 

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aka DMax in Alaska
'06 Mini Cooper S JCW 6MT
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786 Posts
Not to be a contrarian here but you live in PA, do you really need a block heater? Does it get that cold? I'm just asking. I've lived in Alaska for almost 15 years and I have really only used a block heater on a one-ton diesel truck I had.

Block heaters are typically only good if the temps get below 20F. I have found that my Forester warms up so fast that I don't even bother to plug in if I have to leave the car outside.

I don't have one yet but have you thought about maybe adding an autostart instead? I know they cost a lot more but perhaps that is better suited to what you are aiming to do.
 

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2006 Forester
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Not to be a contrarian here but you live in PA, do you really need a block heater? Does it get that cold? I'm just asking. I've lived in Alaska for almost 15 years and I have really only used a block heater on a one-ton diesel truck I had.

Block heaters are typically only good if the temps get below 20F. I have found that my Forester warms up so fast that I don't even bother to plug in if I have to leave the car outside.

I don't have one yet but have you thought about maybe adding an autostart instead? I know they cost a lot more but perhaps that is better suited to what you are aiming to do.
I do hear what you are saying. I'm retired but my wife wants to work two more years. I drive her to work. The trip is about 1.25 miles down hill, then about .25 level. I figure it would be nice for her if the Forester were to start producing heat from the get go as it is pretty common to be in the teens to below 0 for several months. My son also suggested starting it but I just can't bring myself to do it that way. Not that it matters relative to this discussion, but I haven't used anything but Mobil 1 in any of my rigs for over 30 years, so I'm not worried about how well my oil is flowing.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I wouldn't want to be the guy trying to explain to Subaru why I put a different fluid in it should you have a problem with the motor that would require them to investigate the cause.

My wife loves the auto-start, something we use here in Florida when it is extremely hot out to cool the car off and something we will be using when we move to Illinois in a couple of months which is the reason I got it in the first place.

1.25 miles may not be enough to enjoy heat in the car even with a block heater and when you figure the additional electricity to use it vs starting the car and warming it up a few minutes prior to driving, it may make more sense to do that instead.

If it is an environmental concern for you, I wouldn't worry too much about that considering that we will all likely die for lack of clean drinking water well before we can't breath the air anyway, lol.
 

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aka DMax in Alaska
'06 Mini Cooper S JCW 6MT
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786 Posts
I do hear what you are saying. I'm retired but my wife wants to work two more years. I drive her to work. The trip is about 1.25 miles down hill, then about .25 level. I figure it would be nice for her if the Forester were to start producing heat from the get go as it is pretty common to be in the teens to below 0 for several months. My son also suggested starting it but I just can't bring myself to do it that way. Not that it matters relative to this discussion, but I haven't used anything but Mobil 1 in any of my rigs for over 30 years, so I'm not worried about how well my oil is flowing.
Wow...I didn't think it got that cold in PA. You must be in the mountain region. Oil at that temp is quite relative. We sometimes will see -30F but only for short spells (few weeks) but I have a garage for that. I actually keep it garaged as often as possible but it isn't always possible with 3 cars and a Honda Goldwing and only a 2 car garage.

Is your Forester an automatic. I think Subaru offers an autostart module for their automatic that is a plug and play device.

Interior Alaska (Fairbanks) on the other hand will sometimes dip to -50F or -60F and have to plug in the oil pan heaters, coolant heaters, battery heaters and keep the car running all night long all at the same time to keep the car from turning to a block of ice :crazy: No thanks.
 

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2009 Forester (MT)
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226 Posts
Well, when it comes to replacing or installing a new block heater one has to be very careful if the vehicle is under warranty.

The block heater is sold at the Subaru online store (costs around $40.00), and spending $30.00 or more for the Subaru antifreeze should be the right way to go. However, if you are doing the work yourself, you are assuming full responsibility for any damage to the motor resulting from the work you have done. If the dealer does the work, then it's on their hands to pay for the damage.
 

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2009 Forester (MT)
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226 Posts
I do hear what you are saying. I'm retired but my wife wants to work two more years. I drive her to work. The trip is about 1.25 miles down hill, then about .25 level. I figure it would be nice for her if the Forester were to start producing heat from the get go as it is pretty common to be in the teens to below 0 for several months. My son also suggested starting it but I just can't bring myself to do it that way. Not that it matters relative to this discussion, but I haven't used anything but Mobil 1 in any of my rigs for over 30 years, so I'm not worried about how well my oil is flowing.
Do you park it outdoors? In that case you can always install a remote starter, and let it run a few minutes before you drive it.

I have a block heater on mine, but I live in the interior of Alaska where it gets a little cold :) And about oils, 5W-30 (synthetic or not) will be just fine. I have used standard 5W-30 oils on several automobiles without any problems. I am using synthetic on my Forester, only because there is a local Walmart store where I can buy Mobil 1 for around $22.00 per gallon. Otherwise I would use Castrol GTX standard 5W-30 oil.
 

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2006 Forester
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
My garage is attached to the house. If I need to let it warm up I'd just go start it and come back into the house. Three quarters of the time I'm out there shoveling lake (Erie) effect snow anyway!
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,071 Posts
Actually this is specifically what the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act is there for. You are not bound by Subaru to use only Subaru coolant in order to maintain the warranty. This does not mean you can dump in what ever you want however, it still must meet Subaru specifications. As for what those are, check the owners/service manual.
 

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1998 Forester
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213 Posts
I have the tools necessary to install an engine block heater on my 2010. I can purchase it for less that $40 including shipping from several sites. What has been holding me back is the $23 x 2 for the Subaru coolant as I can't see draining much of it cleanly. Be sure to open the data sheet link available from this link. Light violet sure sounds "blue" to me!
Store Locator | NAPA Online
You can buy a large pan like this one Advanced Tool Design ATD 5185 - 4-1/2 Gallon Drain Pan Green and catch all of your coolant and reuse it. Recycle it keep it green.
 
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