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2015 Outback LTD 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone "out there" have any thoughts about the air filter replacement process BEFORE I start pulling pop pins out? I'd feel much more comfortable if I knew, ahead of time, if there were any traps there before I trigger them.

Also anyone have a prefs for air filter brands?

Thanks so much in advance!

Steve
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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7,258 Posts
... any thoughts about the air filter replacement process BEFORE I start pulling pop pins out?
...
Also anyone have a prefs for air filter brands?
Engine air filter or cabin air filter?

Assuming you mean "engine," no pin popping is required. Loosen one hose clamp, and no more tools are required. No tricks required, either. Just observe the orientation of the filter as you remove it, and install the new one the same way. Besides Subaru OEM, I have also used the appropriate filter from WIX.

The FSM instructs you to disconnect the MAF sensor from its harness before opening the filter housing, but in both my vehicles there is enough slack in the harness that I didn't need to unplug it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah, thanks, Ammcinnis!....and it IS the engine air filter as you rightly guessed.

I know what to do now........My car is at the 22K mark and the MPGs this Spring seem to be a couple of MPGs down at highway speeds on drives that I know usually return 33...........I'll yank the filter and see what it looks like.....

In the garage unlit as it is, it looked like the snorkel had to be removed also........glad that I was wrong.

Thanks, bud!!

Steve
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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Just snap the clamps back and work the filter out of the housing. (it is *easier* if you remove some hose-clamps...bit not required.)


Oftentimes, you can use compressed-air to reverse-blow the dust out and put it back in. Most air-filters will go well over 50K miles before needing replacement.


Cleaning your MAF sensor at the same time will go a long way to restore your MPG and power.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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... the MPGs this Spring seem to be a couple of MPGs down at highway speeds ...
A dirty air filter alone shouldn't cause an increase in fuel consumption in a modern fuel-injected engine. The ECM meters fuel flow based on mass air flow and exhaust gas analysis, not on throttle opening. The "high-flow" air filter is a marketing myth at anything other than full throttle; below that, the throttle plate presents by far the greatest flow restriction in the intake tract.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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That is EXACTLY why I suggested cleaning MAF sensor. I know that the AirFilter has little bearing on MPG with modern engine. However, a dirty MAF sensor is feeding bad data to the engine-computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, guys. I used to clean the air filter and MAF in my 2003 Forrie over the years but haven’t thought of doing it as I’m driving so few miles after retiring and getting the Outback.....now that it’s almost 3 years old, I really should take a look at the filter and the sensor.....

Any tips for safely cleaning the MAF? I used to gently blow the older MAP clear in the Forester but this is a different system.........

Many thanks, all!


Steve
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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... Any tips for safely cleaning the MAF? I used to gently blow the older MAP clear in the Forester but this is a different system...

There are spray-cleaners marketed specifically for MAF sensors....but any plastic-safe spray which will rinse away oilily residue should suffice. I have been known to use brake-parts-cleaner which evaporates almost instantly.



Subaru MAF is often screwed into intake plenum just behind the air-filter. There is an electrical-connector to remove before unscrewing it.



Be aware that the MAF sensor actually contains TWO sensors.

1) Fine wire which is heated with electricity. The airflow over it cools it and is converted into 'airflow' measurement by the computer.
2) Intake-Air-Temperature sensor.


Either of these sensors being cruddy can affect how the computer controls the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Bruce........the final bit of info that I was looking for!

I realized that my perceived MPG loss, however slight, COULD be due to the tire swap that I did last fall........moving from the crappy Duelers to the AltiTrax RT-93 Generals might have also caused me to lose a bit of MPG in favor of better traction........nonetheless, better for me to check the MAF than make uneducated guesses!

Many thanks!

Steve
 

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I just got back from taking my '16 Outback for 30k service. Looking over the bill afterward, I noticed they charged me $21 for the part (air filter), and $30 labor to install it. What a rip! Next time I will order this and the AC filter and install them myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OMG! What a thieving service department!!! $30 to install the freaking filter? I just picked up a FRAM air filter at Walmart for $12-.........I have to pick up some name brand MAF spray cleaner to clean the MAF sensor........unless anyone more knowledgable says that this is NOT the appropriate product.....seems like everyone makes a similar product.....one Google article says that regular brake or carb cleaner may NOT the best stuff to use.....some of these actually leave a residue on the fine wire in the sensor!

Steve
 

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2015 Outback Limited 3.6r
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Replace air filter is $49.95 at my local dealer (Incl parts and labor).
The 60k service on the 6cly and turbos is $999.95. Yes. $1,000.00
Next time I’m at the dealer I’ll take a pic.
They said remote start (OEM) was like $700+ for parts and labor.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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Replace air filter is $49.95 at my local dealer (Incl parts and labor).
The 60k service on the 6cly and turbos is $999.95. Yes. $1,000.00
Next time I’m at the dealer I’ll take a pic.
They said remote start (OEM) was like $700+ for parts and labor.

Unless you like to be separated from your hard-earned money -- NEVER go into a dealership and tell them to do a "xxx mile service". all dealerships add in expensive stuff which is NOT in the manual.


Instead, I recommend the following:
1) READ THE MANUAL to determine what is REQUIRED.
2) Make TWO lists
--- 1. The items you can do yourself
--- 2. The items you want the dealership to do
3) Do the items in your list
4) Make appointment for SPECIFICALLY the items in the dealership list.

Personally, I can check my own tire pressure, inspect belts, and change filters.
I let the dealership do things like change CVT fluid and brake-fluid.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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My local dealer wanted $34.95 for the cabin filter part. Hate to think what they want to charge for the engine air filter.
 

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2015 Outback Limited 3.6r
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Unless you like to be separated from your hard-earned money -- NEVER go into a dealership and tell them to do a "xxx mile service". all dealerships add in expensive stuff which is NOT in the manual.


Instead, I recommend the following:
1) READ THE MANUAL to determine what is REQUIRED.
2) Make TWO lists
--- 1. The items you can do yourself
--- 2. The items you want the dealership to do
3) Do the items in your list
4) Make appointment for SPECIFICALLY the items in the dealership list.

Personally, I can check my own tire pressure, inspect belts, and change filters.
I let the dealership do things like change CVT fluid and brake-fluid.
No... they do what the manual requires. These prices are also openly advertised on their service department. Not like they’re ‘stealing’ anyone’s money. If you don’t want to do the service yourself then you pay the premium of haveinf ASE techs do it in a controlled environment with OEM factory parts.
I do understand where you’re coming from I do, but you seem very biased towards dealers. They (mine at least) is just doing what Subaru says with Subaru parts.
Not to mention in some areas it’s almost impossible to do ANY car work besides at a shop.
Lastly, it’s so costly because the 60k service for H6 and turbos is as follows:
REPLACE: Filter, oil, Air filters (both), spark plugs, trans fluid, and brake fluid.
ROTATE: Tires
INSPECT: brakes, clutch, steering, suspension.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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You have a VERY unique dealership.



I have owned many vehicles over the years and, as you say, they all had lists (and even pamphlets) listing all the 'services' they "recommend" at each mileage-interval.


As an engineer, I carefully compared their "recommended" to the MANUFACTURERS list of REQUIRED tasks... the dealerships ALWAYS added in expensive stuff which was only there to line their pockets.



I do agree with you that one "pays for convenience".... this is all the dealership really offers.


You seem to suggest that "ASE tech" is some kind of magical wizard. You also suggest that the overpriced dealership parts are somehow magic. They sure have you bamboozled :)
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
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My local dealer wanted $34.95 for the cabin filter part. Hate to think what they want to charge for the engine air filter.
IIRC, I bought genuine Subaru cabin air filters for well under $20 each at one of the popular online Subaru parts sellers.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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IIRC, I bought genuine Subaru cabin air filters for well under $20 each at one of the popular online Subaru parts sellers.
That's what I did. I learned this a long time ago with my old BMW. OE parts can be bought at lower cost. :)
 

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2015 Outback Limited 3.6r
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You seem to suggest that "ASE tech" is some kind of magical wizard. You also suggest that the overpriced dealership parts are somehow magic. They sure have you bamboozled :)
Nope. Taken from cars101.com.
Not a pamphlet from the dealer.
I do apologize that you think I’m an idiot, even though I never once said I’ve had work done at this particular service department at this dealer.
And I do believe the OEM parts are held to a stricter standard than aftermarket parts. If you don’t think that, that’s great. I want you to know that is how I feel. If you care to learn I can definitely send some information your way.
Yep guess I’m bamboozled.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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