I know there is a DIY out there for the 3.6L, but not for the 2.5L that I could find. Changing the oil and filter is even easier on the 2.5 since the oil filter is under the hood. Every Outback owner should consider doing this themselves - it is very simple and you'll know it was done correctly every time.
Equipment needed: At least 5.1 quarts of 0w20 synthetic oil
, oil filter, drain plug gasket
Ramps (optional), oil drain pan, socket wrench with 17mm socket, oil filter cap wrench (optional), torque wrench (recommended, but some will say optional), funnel (recommended), and paper towels and newspaper for protection/clean-up.
Level of difficulty:
If it's your first time, it could take you an hour; after you get the process down, it'll take 30 minutes start to finish.
First, get all your equipment and tools together (first picture below, oil drain pan not pictured). Once that's done, I like to take the car for a quick drive if it has been sitting to get the oil warmed up so as much old oil as possible will drain, and drain quickly.
Next is to pull the Outback up on ramps, which is an optional step. You can slide under the front of the Outback when it's on flat ground, but ramps make the drain plug really easy to get to.
I put newspaper down under the oil drain pan in case of an overflow (which does happen, this oil comes out very fast). Situate the oil drain pan underneath the drain plug (see picture below, blue circle). Loosen and remove the drain plug with the 17mm socket and longest socket wrench extension you have to keep your hands as far away as possible. Let the oil drain into the drain pan.
While the oil is draining, open the hood and locate the oil filter (see picture below, red rectangle). Using the fluted oil filter cap wrench (or a regular wrench), loosen and remove the old filter. Have some paper towels handy as oil can drip out of the bottom of the old filter.
I like to clean the oil filter housing to remove all the old oil:
Before installing the new filter, make sure the old rubber grommet came off with the old filter. The new filter will have a new rubber grommet on it already. I like to rub a little oil on the new rubber grommet to make a nice seal when installing the new filter. Install the new filter by hand-tightening the filter, then use the oil filter cap wrench to torque to 9 ft-lbs (or I believe the other "approved" spec is turn until tight, then 1/4 turn more).
By now the oil should be completely drained and you can reinstall the drain plug. First clean off the drain plug as it's probably covered in oil, and then make sure the old crush washer is off and put on the new crush washer. Hand-tighten the plug and then torque to 31 ft-lbs.
Now it's time to refill with oil. The maintenance manual calls for approximately 5.1 quarts when replacing the oil and filter. Remove the oil filler cap (right next to the oil filter housing), insert a funnel (much easier and cleaner than trying to pour the oil straight in), and fill with 5.1 quarts (I use 5 x 1 quart bottles and a little out of a sixth bottle). Replace the oil filler cap.
Check underneath the car to make sure no oil has seeped from the drain plug. Now start the Outback up, and make sure the oil check light does not come on. If it does, turn the car off immediately and recheck your work. If the dashboard is clear, take the car for a short spin, come back and park it on a level surface, let it idle for a minute, turn the engine off, let it sit for a minute, and then check the oil level. For me ~5.1 quarts puts the oil level just below the full mark when hot.
Dispose of the old oil at an approved facility, and you're done.
Note: I like to clean the MAF sensor at every oil change since it's an easy way to remember to do it and easy to do while the hood is up. The DIY for that can be found here