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1999 Forester L 5spd
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all -

I regularly change the oil in my other cars, but had not yet attempted it in my '99 Forester (had it about a year), leaving it to the Valvoline folks.

Anyway, I bought all the necessary stuff to do it myself, got underneath the car and promptly broke off one of the front bolts holding the plastic underside tray in place. Dandy.

As I made my way back to the oil pan, I found it rather difficult to remove the drain bolt. Not wanting to snap it off as well, I called it quits for the moment.

A quick call to the Valvoline place got me the insistence that they never tighten much past a slight tug with the socket wrench. They refuse to touch the bolt unless they are changing the oil (again).

Now, I tighten all my other oil pan bolts with a "slight tug" and have no issue removing them. So, my question to the group is this; do I apply a bit more pressure? I am using a driver extension because that allows the wrench to extend below the tray. I know I am losing a little torque with that, but, heck, I just don't want to snap the daggone thing.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

BC
 

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Registered
1998 Forester
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213 Posts
What size is the bolt head that you working on removing? The engine oil drain plug should be a 17mm and the front diff should be a 21mm.
 

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2005 Base 2.5x foz
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896 Posts
^
Should be easy by hand.

Despite what he insisted i've often seen otherwise. My parents car was WAY over tightened by the local valvoline place last time I did the oil on it.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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125 Posts
It depends on how much force you are applying to get the drain plug out. I somehow doubt that you will snap it, though. I recommend getting a FUMOTO valve. Changing oil has been quite enjoyable since I put the valve on my FOZ.
 

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03X MT
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846 Posts
Fumoto is the ONLY way to go.

Except for the .000003 oz of oil that doesn't drain out.

Come on Fumoto opponents chime in.
 

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Premium Member
2015 OutBack Ltd
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2,936 Posts
Plus X2 for the Fumoto valve......makes my changing oil a 15 minute procedure. Releasing the screw-in snap buttons is easy, just unscrew and then pry out using a flat bladed screwdriver, they just pop out.

Seriously, when I looked at the Subie in 2003 and saw the "oil door" in the under-tray, I jumped. All we had over the preceding 25 years were Hondas and, while the cars are generally very good, the oil filter is on the rear face of the transverse engine block which turns removing the filter into a God-forsaken job.....impossible NOT to spill oil on the exhaust pipes, your face and hair. hard to get to the filter w/o burning your skin off, etc.

Subie oil filters sit vertically and right where they can be reached..........

Whether we get another Subie depends on their getting the engine block strengthened for the non-XT models to eliminate head gasket concerns BUT the cars are simply great!!!!

Steve
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,385 Posts
Unless you are pulling in the wrong direction...which is always possible...You won't snap it off. I would use a 6 point sovket

Disclaimer. In all of my experience which is extensive. I have never seen any type of drain pan/oil reservoir snap. Not saying its impossible. Just extremely, extremely, extremely improbable.
 

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Registered
2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
Fumoto is the ONLY way to go.

Except for the .000003 oz of oil that doesn't drain out.

Come on Fumoto opponents chime in.
+1, I love my fumto valves! I need to get one for my new car now that I think of it.

The only place where you can apply too much pressure is when tightening, use a cheater bar :icon_biggrin:
 

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1999 Forester L 5spd
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to all who responded. It's definitely the oil pan plug (17mm). I'll get under it again tomorrow and have another go at it. I was concerned that using the extender was causing me to not be straight on the bolt. I'll reposition myself the next time around.

I just checked out that Fumoto valve. Sounds like a great idea.

I've also been changing the oil in a Miata for seven years and I'm considering a whole remote setup for that. The Subie looks like a breeze in comparison.

Hopefully, my next post won't be "Help. I broke off my oil pan bolt".

Thanks again!
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
is there a cheap place to get a fumoto valve? kinda pricey and stick down further than the plug.
 

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2002 Forester S
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270 Posts
Unless you are pulling in the wrong direction...which is always possible...You won't snap it off. I would use a 6 point sovket

Disclaimer. In all of my experience which is extensive. I have never seen any type of drain pan/oil reservoir snap. Not saying its impossible. Just extremely, extremely, extremely improbable.
Yeah, just use a 6 point socket or combo wrench and make sure you are turning in the right direction. It will come off.

I use a 17mm combo wrench on my OBW and the wife's Foz.
Don't forget the new crush washer!
 

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2002 Forester S
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270 Posts
Some jerkwadd drastically overtightened the drain plug on the 5MT on my OBW. I was using the proper T70 torx and had a 2 foot breaker bar on it. It would not budge no matter how hard I pulled. ended up taking it to the dealer, let them break it loose.
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
is there a cheap place to get a fumoto valve? kinda pricey and stick down further than the plug.
I got mine used for slightly cheaper, Amazon has them for like 25$ shipped I think, for that price they are still very worth looking into. If positioned right it should not sit down too much further than the drain plug.
 

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2009 Forester X 4 A/T
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305 Posts
Heads up- many "instant oil change' places use Loctite- blue if they are sane or RED (yes the permanent s**t) on drain plugs. I took my old Focus to a Pennzoil center in the dead of winter to avoid changing my oil in sub zero temps outside. In the spring I couldn't budge the plug. Finally resorted to heating with a propane torch and using an impact gun to get the plug out. Found the red Loctite in the threads. Wally world also uses some type of thread lock at locations in my area.
 
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