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2013 Outback 2.5i Limited + Moonroof
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. Long time lurker, first-time poster.

I've got a 2010 2.5i Premium with about 58K miles. Bought it new, absolutely flawless reliability, and my wife & I just love it. Our 3rd Subaru. It's about ready for its 60K 'major' service. I know that it involves a decent amount of maintenance and I'm not interested in 'cheapening out' on it, but I don't want to get fleeced either.

For the life of the car, I've taken it to the original dealer for service at the in-manual intervals. The dealer's actually been pretty good; quick service, oil changes were cheap, and the 30K service was pretty reasonable at ~$250. But for the 60K service, they're telling me $900. You know the drill; without even looking at the car they want to do a laundry list of things that aren't actually on the maintenance schedule; ATF, CVT, & power-steering fluid changes, etc. I questioned the (seemingly new) service manager on it and he just said that's what they do. I asked him to just quote what's in the manual, and he somewhat-grudgingly answered "about $650".

I've talked to the second-closest Subaru dealer, 100 miles away, who says they do the per-maintenance-schedule 60K service for $520. That seems more fair.

I have a couple of local independent ASE garages that say they could do the work, but they don't see too many Subarus around here. There's a good chance that my car would be the "first" 2010+ Outback they've ever worked on. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.

What do you guys & gals think I should do? $900 seems really high. I mean, the list in the book is an oil change, air filters, fuel filter, brake flush, spark plugs, and I'd probably ask them to change the front & rear diff fluids because I know that's good to do. But what about coolant & CVT fluid - does that really need to be replaced at 60K? The manual says the coolant is 120K & the CVT is 'lifetime' (we don't tow anything, most miles are highway). $500 seems more fair, but it is a bit of a pain for me to get the car to & from a dealer that's 100 miles away and then wait on the 3-4 hour service. The Outback's worth it though, if the consensus is that a dealer really ought to do the work. A local garage says they can do it for less, but should I trust that they'll be able to effectively work on a Subaru? I know they're not Ferraris, but they do have some quirks that the "average" Taurus/Camry/Accord does not; boxer, AWD, etc.

I'm also flirting with the idea of doing some of the service myself. I know how to change the oil & air filters. I've never done it but replacing the differential fluid looks pretty trivial. I've replaced spark plugs on I-4's before, but not on a Subaru. Not confident in doing brake or fuel filters. Anyone think it'd be worth asking the local garage to just do the brakes & plugs and I do the rest myself?

Any ideas?

Thanks all!!
 

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'13 2.5Ltd w/EyeSight ::::: '02 2.5Ltd AT
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I can only speak to my own priorities, of course, but I'd spend the $650 for the following reasons:

1. Not worth the inconvenience to have the work done 100 miles away to save $130
2. Not gonna let an independent shop practice on my car (I have several independents in my area that work on Subarus all the time, different story)
3. If you already have the dealer do the routine maintenance, you can justify paying a little more to have the dealer do this work when you go to sell the car. Potential buyers are going to pay a premium for a car that's been entirely dealer-serviced by the book. I wouldn't spoil that streak for the difference in cost.

But that's my prerogative. My brother-in-law does his own maintenance on his Baja and I think he'll be able to convince a buyer that he did it right.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Limited + Moonroof
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it.

No, it's not convenient to drive 200+ miles and wait 4 hours for the service. The problem is that my local service manager got grouchy with me when I said I didn't think the $900 service was necessary, and didn't really seem interested in discussing a compromise. The other service manager was much more pleasant about it, and was happy to answer my questions. Thus I am inclined to want to take the car there, even if it's more of an inconvenience for me.

But I agree, it's been serviced by a dealer, so it seems prudent to stick with that.

I can only speak to my own priorities, of course, but I'd spend the $650 for the following reasons:

1. Not worth the inconvenience to have the work done 100 miles away to save $130
2. Not gonna let an independent shop practice on my car (I have several independents in my area that work on Subarus all the time, different story)
3. If you already have the dealer do the routine maintenance, you can justify paying a little more to have the dealer do this work when you go to sell the car. Potential buyers are going to pay a premium for a car that's been entirely dealer-serviced by the book. I wouldn't spoil that streak for the difference in cost.

But that's my prerogative. My brother-in-law does his own maintenance on his Baja and I think he'll be able to convince a buyer that he did it right.
 

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2011 Outback Premium 6MT
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Hello. Long time lurker, first-time poster.

I've got a 2010 2.5i Premium with about 58K miles. Bought it new, absolutely flawless reliability, and my wife & I just love it. Our 3rd Subaru. It's about ready for its 60K 'major' service. I know that it involves a decent amount of maintenance and I'm not interested in 'cheapening out' on it, but I don't want to get fleeced either.

For the life of the car, I've taken it to the original dealer for service at the in-manual intervals. The dealer's actually been pretty good; quick service, oil changes were cheap, and the 30K service was pretty reasonable at ~$250. But for the 60K service, they're telling me $900. You know the drill; without even looking at the car they want to do a laundry list of things that aren't actually on the maintenance schedule; ATF, CVT, & power-steering fluid changes, etc. I questioned the (seemingly new) service manager on it and he just said that's what they do. I asked him to just quote what's in the manual, and he somewhat-grudgingly answered "about $650".

I've talked to the second-closest Subaru dealer, 100 miles away, who says they do the per-maintenance-schedule 60K service for $520. That seems more fair.

I have a couple of local independent ASE garages that say they could do the work, but they don't see too many Subarus around here. There's a good chance that my car would be the "first" 2010+ Outback they've ever worked on. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.

What do you guys & gals think I should do? $900 seems really high. I mean, the list in the book is an oil change, air filters, fuel filter, brake flush, spark plugs, and I'd probably ask them to change the front & rear diff fluids because I know that's good to do. But what about coolant & CVT fluid - does that really need to be replaced at 60K? The manual says the coolant is 120K & the CVT is 'lifetime' (we don't tow anything, most miles are highway). $500 seems more fair, but it is a bit of a pain for me to get the car to & from a dealer that's 100 miles away and then wait on the 3-4 hour service. The Outback's worth it though, if the consensus is that a dealer really ought to do the work. A local garage says they can do it for less, but should I trust that they'll be able to effectively work on a Subaru? I know they're not Ferraris, but they do have some quirks that the "average" Taurus/Camry/Accord does not; boxer, AWD, etc.

I'm also flirting with the idea of doing some of the service myself. I know how to change the oil & air filters. I've never done it but replacing the differential fluid looks pretty trivial. I've replaced spark plugs on I-4's before, but not on a Subaru. Not confident in doing brake or fuel filters. Anyone think it'd be worth asking the local garage to just do the brakes & plugs and I do the rest myself?

Any ideas?

Thanks all!!
for simple maintenance, I would not worry about a "decent" independent shop doing the service. I would be more worried about the "stealer" charging you for things they did not do.
 

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2015 OB Limited 2.5i PZEV MR, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, Nav, Eyesight - Tungsten Metallic
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60,000 miles by the book:

Recommended Inspection fuel systems, lines and connections
Replace fuel filter
Inspect drive belt(s) [except camshaft]
Inspect camshaft drive belt
Replace engine oil
Replace engine oil filter
Replace air cleaner element
Inspect transmission/differential (front & rear) lubricants (gear oil)
Inspect automatic transmission fluid
Replace brake fluid
Inspect disc brake pads and discs, front and rear axle boots and axle shaft joint portions
Inspect brake linings and drums
Perform inspect brake lines and check operation of parking and service brake system
Inspect clutch operation
Inspect steering and suspension
Recommended Inspection front and rear wheel bearing lubricant
Perform rotate and inspect tires
Inspect engine coolant systems, hoses and connections

The only items that require replacement are:

Oil and filter
Air Filter
Brake Fluid
Fuel Filter - sorry - missed this on first post

All the other fluids are "inspect", which I assume means their level, so unless you're towing or driving on dirt roads the replacement of these fluids is not required. Inspection only requires a single bolt be removed to see if fluid level is correct - not a complicated procedure.

Edit - did I miss spark plugs? I don't see them listed but I was sure they required replacement at 60,000 miles
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5 EyeSight & 2010 Legacy Premium, 2010 OB Limited (traded)
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for simple maintenance, I would not worry about a "decent" independent shop doing the service. I would be more worried about the "stealer" charging you for things they did not do.
+1. It's a shame that your new service manager wants so much for the 60K service when it is nothing more than the 30k service plus plugs and fuel fiter. I would go independent and stick with the owners manual. I am not big on unnecessary fluid changes. I had an independent do my 30K for about $150. per the owners manual. I did my own air filter and cabin air filter before going in. I expect my 60K to be around $200.
Some good info in this thread on the 30k service: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/43373-30-000-mile-service.html
 

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2011 outback 3.6R Ltd
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I will only take it to the "stealership" for the most difficult & PITA such as my 3.6 sparkplugs. You may go to the dealer for the CVT service since it is new and specific to Subaru and to an independent shop for routine or DIY on fuel filter, Fr & Rr diff (drain & fill), pvc valve using all OEM fluid & parts. The tire shop that rotates & balance your tires can flush the brake fluid (brakes should still be good, if not, they can service it too). You can get a turkey baster and suck up all the powersteering fluid.
There is a service technician's manual available in this forum. I know this route is time consuming but if space out right, it can make your monthly expenditures manageable. I know women who conveniently go to the dealer for a 30k maintenance getting charged $70 for an air filter and $400-600 for "inspection" only with no fluid changes. Best of luck!

Don
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5 EyeSight & 2010 Legacy Premium, 2010 OB Limited (traded)
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2,129 Posts
60,000 miles by the book:

Recommended Inspection fuel systems, lines and connections
Replace fuel filter
Inspect drive belt(s) [except camshaft]
Inspect camshaft drive belt
Replace engine oil
Replace engine oil filter
Replace air cleaner element
Inspect transmission/differential (front & rear) lubricants (gear oil)
Inspect automatic transmission fluid
Replace brake fluid
Inspect disc brake pads and discs, front and rear axle boots and axle shaft joint portions
Inspect brake linings and drums
Perform inspect brake lines and check operation of parking and service brake system
Inspect clutch operation
Inspect steering and suspension
Recommended Inspection front and rear wheel bearing lubricant
Perform rotate and inspect tires
Inspect engine coolant systems, hoses and connections

The only items that require replacement are:

Oil and filter
Air Filter
Brake Fluid

All the other fluids are "inspect", which I assume means their level, so unless you're towing or driving on dirt roads the replacement of these fluids is not required. Inspection only requies a single bolt be removed to see if fluid level is correct - not a complicated procedure.
You're missing fuel filter and plugs. You posted the 30K service.
 

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2011 outback 3.6R Ltd
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Subaru iridium spark plugs are specified for 120k miles, and the supercoolant at 100k. For my peace of mind, I'll change them at half at the dealer for the plugs and DIY on the OEM supercoolant.

Don
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Limited + Moonroof
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
More great info. Thanks!

Thanks for the service schedule. Yes, that is the list I used when I spoke to the SM, except my 2010 maintenance guide lists Fuel Filter and Spark Plugs as (R)eplace at 60K.

The local dealer basically substitutes "replace" on most of these "inspect" items. My fear is that even if I ask them to inspect, they're just going to say it needed to be replaced. The other dealer says they inspect and would only replace if there was a problem, and only after discussing it with me. I like that answer better.

How does the dealer inspect the CVT fluid? There's no dipstick. Do they drain a small amount & inspect somehow?

Really just wish I had a good, local independent Subaru shop nearby. ;)
 

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2011 outback 3.6R Ltd
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It seems like the dealer's 60k plan involves mostly "inspection." If I go to the dealer, it will be for one item like spark plugs which is not included in the plan.
I you go to the dealer for the CVT and spark plugs (not included in the plan), it could come close to the quoted 60K price.

Years ago, my mother brought her car in for "inspection" and whatever the item inspected still failed shortly after. "Inspection" is useless.

Don
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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LiL.
Who is your ‘independent’ (how good is he)?<O:p</O:p
Presumed ‘dealer quality work’ needs to be debunked, good mechanics are word of mouth (and they’re usually not the dealer’s). Ind shops have access to factory shop manuals too, where I bring my Honda without thinking 2x, the key is attention to detail (which is not dealer exclusive).<O:p</O:p
As for DIY, the only reason I would have my mechanic do the CVT fluid (if/when) is mainly because of using a lift – otherwise no brain damage, drain > refill with factory fluid.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
I have a spreadsheet where I meticulously record the work I do on our cars, and I’ve never been asked for this when sold. A used car (even Certified) is just that, as-is. You don’t buy a used car based on paper, you never know (that’s why you kick the tires).<O:p</O:p
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5 EyeSight & 2010 Legacy Premium, 2010 OB Limited (traded)
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Subaru iridium spark plugs are specified for 120k miles, and the supercoolant at 100k. For my peace of mind, I'll change them at half at the dealer for the plugs and DIY on the OEM supercoolant.

Don
Your owners manual says plugs at 60K.
 

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Little tip for you

Our local Subaru dealer their shop is run by an old family friend who has told us to ignore the Mileage based major service charges AT ALL costs.

This is what he said - these are DEALER created shop cost recovery programs used to recover money lost on warranty work which has fixed costs regardless of time spent in the shop dealing with them.

When you have your oil service done at the dealer - they check all the things on that list as a standard protocol looking for things to go back to you with and charge added costs to handle anything that may have cropped up.

At 60K this is all your local leo needs to do for you
Oil and filter - $36
Air Filter- $24
Brake Fluid -$ 100
At 60K I think Fuel filter is simply precautionary and only something I would do if your living in very rural place and fuel contamination is a very real possibility.
Fuel Filter - sorry - missed this on first post (Fuel filter unless your driving on dirt roads and filling up at questionable gas stations should be fine even with 100,000 miles on it.

Even with an inspection of fluids, brakes, belts and the above servicing you should not be paying more than $300 MAX for this service.
 

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'13 2.5Ltd w/EyeSight ::::: '02 2.5Ltd AT
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!
...
Thanks for the service schedule. Yes, that is the list I used when I spoke to the SM, except my 2010 maintenance guide lists Fuel Filter and Spark Plugs as (R)eplace at 60K.
...
I don't have the Maintenance Schedule for the '10 so I looked here:

2010 Subaru maintenance schedules and new car break-in period

Drive belts are due for replacement under that schedule. And then there is:

Tranmission/differential lub. Front/rear gear oil *3

*3 under severe driving replace 30,000 miles

The schedule shows no replacement at all but seems to suggest taking a hard look at 60k.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight & Nav.
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When I did the 60k service on my 2006 Forester 2.5i X (same engine as the 4cyl 2010-1012 OB) i ended up taking it to an independent mechanic who had a amazing reputation as being very honest and fair, family owned business and actually worked on a lot of Subarus. I think I paid around, or just under $500, but I had the drive belts replaced, battery replaced, fuel filter replaced, engine oil & filter, cabin filter, front and rear diff oil replaced, coolant replaced, spark plugs replaced, brake fluid replaced, and they threw in a new OEM set of spark plug wires (the tech accidentally damaged one of them, so they replaced them on their dime. apparently the spark plugs are a bit of a pain to get to). Although many of those are 'inspect', I just decided to replace them for peace of mind.
 

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Front diff and rear diff should run you around $36 apiece.
If a dealer will not do requested servicing and insist on you buying their $600 60K service package - tell them you'r not interested and you'll find another shop interested in working on your car.
 

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My last subaru was in great shape zero issues at 180,000 miles and I replaced fluids and did the service items by request. I NEVER BOUGHT A SERVICE PACKAGE BASED ON MILES!
My Wife bought service packages for her VW - She spent 6 times the money from mile 0 to mile 55,000 on service packages than what I spent on the subaru from 0-180,000 miles. The VW has had far more mechanical issues some of which were questionable servicing methods.

As I said earlier a mileage based major service package for 100's of Dollars before 100K on these cars is nothing but the Dealer trying to recover lost shop money due to warranty work which is a fixed repair cost and often a loss when you total up the shop time spent on warranty repairs.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Limited + Moonroof
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't have the Maintenance Schedule for the '10 so I looked here:

2010 Subaru maintenance schedules and new car break-in period

Drive belts are due for replacement under that schedule. And then there is:

Tranmission/differential lub. Front/rear gear oil *3

*3 under severe driving replace 30,000 miles

The schedule shows no replacement at all but seems to suggest taking a hard look at 60k.
Interesting about the drive belts. My 2010 maintenance book actually has an (I)nspect for "drive belts" at 60K, not (R). I'll have to look into this and have whatever shop does the work take a close look at them.

Our Outback truly doesn't face "severe" driving conditions, so I am less inclined to follow that schedule. Yes, I know that many folks' daily drives really do qualify as "severe", but 90% of our Outback's miles come from my wife's daily 60-mile commute at 65mph on a smooth interstate. No stop-and-go-traffic, always reaches full operating temps, very little dust/gravel, no offroading, no trailer towing, etc.
 

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Our Outback truly doesn't face "severe" driving conditions, so I am less inclined to follow that schedule. ...
Note that severe driving recommends a change at 30k. With oil changes, severe driving cuts the replacement time in half. Using that model, boring driving would still merit replacement at 60k
 
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