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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! First time posting, but hopefully many more to come.

So I just bought my first Subaru, a 2008 Outback 2.5i, just before Christmas. Picked it up with a little under 149k and now I'm getting close to 152, including a 1,000+ mile road trip to get it home to Nashville from New Hampshire where I bought it. (Don't worry, I did do a rust check at the dealer before I signed any paperwork, and though there was a bit of scale on some of the heavier parts, the floorpan is solidly intact.)

Here are my first two big questions: First, I found the maintenance schedule published by Subaru, and it only seems to go up to 150k miles, which is why I mentioned the mileage above. Fortunately, a lot of major maintenance was done shortly before I bought the car, namely the clutch and timing belt. I would like to get at least to 300k or beyond, barring any accidents or craziness like that. Is there anyone here who has any sage advice to offer in keeping my new friend purring as smoothly as she is now? If somebody has taken the stock maintenance recommendations and extended them, that would be great, or if there are any more realistic projections on what to do when. I have some fun things planned, and I will probably be posting more about that later. Thanks!
 

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By looking at the prescribed maintenance in the manual, you can work out the cycle and repeat it ad infinitum, and that is a useful baseline.

One key concept to understand: you'll see the term "inspect" in Subaru's maintenance schedule frequently. I've noticed that many owners seem to scratch their heads in confusion over this. What good is an inspection? The authors of those guides mean that you should inspect the item or system... and take corrective action immediately if anything is found wanting. Somehow that implication is lost in translation. Simply put they're asking you to use your judgement (or pay for someone else's) which is a great suggestion once any car gets old and worn.

You'll probably need to put some specific attention into the suspension, axles, prop shaft and cooling system. There aren't very specific maintenance guides for these areas, but their care isn't any less important.

Rubber parts (as a class) will start to give problems in later years: Hoses- fuel, oil breather, vacuum & brake. Sealing rings on fuel, oil & radiator caps. Window seals. Suspension bushings, engine & driveline mounts.

I think it's rare to see an Outback radiator go past 10 years before losing too much effectiveness to internal sediment blockage and end tank seam seals. Flush the heater core while the system is open for that, and also use the opportunity if you think any of the hoses are getting brittle or abraded.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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What he said - just keep the same schedule or devise your own.

You need a timing belt, pulleys, and tensioner for 300k reliability. I replace those with every timing belt change, most places do not so even if the timing belt was replaced at 105k or in 2015 like it was supposed to be, it's probably still sporting pulleys with dried up bearing grease. Inteference engine so if any of those fail you usually end up with over half of the valves bent.

Note - those things aren't on the maintennace schedule, so extend it all you want but it's not excellent high mileage maintenance to follow that schedule anyway.

If you want 300,000 reliable miles i prefer a new OEM alternator and fuel pump somewhere around half way for like-new reliability and cheaper than a new car warranty.

Change engine oil, front diff, and ATF regularly with good fluids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I won't be needing any ATF since it's a manual. Timing belt is fresh, but I'll have a mechanic check out the pulleys and such, and we can keep an eye on the alternator, fuel pump, and all that other stuff as well. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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If the head gaskets never had any attention yet, then you may be looking at that service at some point - IMHO I think all of the 2.5i NA engines of this vintage will eventually suffer HG failure and need replacement. Have your trusted mechanic inspect for leakage when the TB components are inspected, and act as needed.
 

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I won't be needing any ATF since it's a manual.
principle is the same - change the fluid in the MT which is shared with the front diff on those.

Timing belt is fresh, but I'll have a mechanic check out the pulleys and such, and we can keep an eye on the alternator, fuel pump, and all that other stuff as well. Thanks for the suggestions!
Mechanic should be checking if the pulleys have all been replaced with the "fresh timing belt", rather than just operational, which is what most mechanics would do.

They loose grease which leads to bearing failure and seizing the pulley, breaking the belt, and bending the valves - this all happens in a matter of seconds. They're only failure mode is being low on grease, the mechanic can't check that. The lower toothed sprocket is by far the most common of them all to fail, they free wheel when off the car due to lack of grease but will perform fine insitu until they seize from lack of grease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the head gaskets never had any attention yet, then you may be looking at that service at some point - IMHO I think all of the 2.5i NA engines of this vintage will eventually suffer HG failure and need replacement. Have your trusted mechanic inspect for leakage when the TB components are inspected, and act as needed.
Thanks for this! Knew I forgot something when writing the original post. Head gaskets are also recently changed, but I will be keeping an eye on them for sure.
 
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