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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I made a thread the other day asking about oil changes. I received a few links from helpful members and did some reading. I have some noob questiosn before I get started. I know nothing about mechanics and I've never done this before, so bare with the noob questions.

1) the guide says "remove the oil filter using a general tool (65/67 mm 14 flutes). wth is that? Can't I just use my hands?

2) wth is an "oil pump union?" Do I need to concern myself with this?

3) Do I really need to buy a torque wrench to tighten to oil filter and drain plug gasket?

4) I should be ordering a 12 pack of these, correct? https://www.subaruonlineparts.com/product_info.php?cPath=32_108_152&products_id=1538

5) What is a drain plug gasket? will it be obvious/easy to remove when i'm under the vehicle?

Thanks!
 

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Hello all. I made a thread the other day asking about oil changes. I received a few links from helpful members and did some reasons. I have some noob questiosn before I get started. I know nothing about mechanics and I've never done this before, so bare with the noob questions.

1) the guide says "remove the oil filter using a general tool (65/67 mm 14 flutes). wth is that? Can't I just use my hands?

2) wth is an "oil pump union?" Do I need to concern myself with this?

3) Do I really need to buy a torque wrench to tighten to oil filter and drain plug gasket?

4) I should be ordering a 12 pack of these, correct? https://www.subaruonlineparts.com/product_info.php?cPath=32_108_152&products_id=1538

5) What is a drain plug gasket? will it be obvious/easy to remove when i'm under the vehicle?

Thanks!
1) they are suggesting a socket type tool. You might be able to do it with your hands, but typically a used filter is dirty, slick, hot and seated well enough that you will want a tool. The socket type noted would be required if you wish to use the torque wrench in #3. I use a one size fits all pliers type tool as sold by harbor freight for about $6.

2) dunno, haven't encountered that yet. My car is older than yours.

3) no. It's nice to have, and if you already have one, know how to use/read it... Great. I've made it through a few hundred oil changes on a few hundred cars without it, no plans to start.

4) looks right but again your car is newer, I'll let another opinion make or break this.

5) it's a squishy soft metal ring, a bit bigger than a quarter. It will be like a washer between the drain plug and the oil pan. It will be pretty obvious when you pop the plug out, though it may get washed into your oil catch pan quickly, so you might not see it. Side note: some oil catch pans have restricted drains, be careful! If you drop the drain plug and it stops up the hole in the catch pan, you can wind up with a big mess on your hands in no time.

3 things come off the car: filter, drain plug and gasket aka crush washer. Same old plug goes back on with new filter, new washer- but you can reuse the washer if you absolutely have to.

Lastly, clay naturally absorbs oil. The cheapest cleanest clay you can get is kitty litter. The plain old non clumping no deodorant store brand stuff. If you spill oil, have some gritty kitty on hand to soak it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. I guess when they say "...tighten drain plug securely with a new sealing washer after oil has completely drained out" sealing washer = "drain plug gasket"?"

The 2.5 has the oil filter under the hood instead of under the car so that kinda threw me. I suppose that makes things a lot easier..

That's all the questions I have. Thanks again sir/ ma'am.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. I guess when they say "...tighten drain plug securely with a new sealing washer after oil has completely drained out" sealing washer = "drain plug gasket"?"

The 2.5 has the oil filter under the hood instead of under the car so that kinda threw me. I suppose that makes things a lot easier..

That's all the questions I have. Thanks again sir/ ma'am.
That is correct. It's no different than on any other car I've ever worked on in 12 years except that it has a drain plug "washer/gasket". If it's your first time taking the drain plug off the car, you'll really want to watch to make sure you get the washer off of it. Often it is painted over black like the drain plug and it will stick to the drain plug - if so, just take a thin flat-head screwdriver and pry it off. On my old WRX, I'd reuse the gasket/washer about 3 times without any leaking. Now I just use a Fumoto valve (have on 2 cars for 60K miles now) and I simply open a valve, get a clean, steady flow, then close the valve - no drain plug removal required.

And "filter under the hood" - yes, you have no idea how easy you have it. Us pre-2013 guys/gals have to reach our hand in a ~6" hole between all of the exhaust manifold to take ours out, invariably making a huge mess all over the exhaust every time (I use a styrofoam cup to take mine out and to minimize the mess but it's not 100%). Consider yourself luck my friend :29:
 

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Rasterman did a great job answering your questions, I'll just add my .02 and fill in the holes:

2. You don't need to do anything with the oil pump union; it's the bolt below the oil filter that attaches the filter housing and does not really need to be removed to replace the filter (but I would wipe the housing and bolt with a clean rag to soak up any old oil).

3. I guess you don't really need a torque wrench, but it's a good thing to have and use. Especially if you're not mechanically inclined, you probably don't know "tight enough" by feel. If you over-torque the drain bolt and strip the threads = bad news. A torque wrench prevents this. The one I have cost about $90; if you plan on doing regular oil changes and other maintenance (transmission fluid, diff fluid, wheel swaps, etc.) you should absolutely have one.

4. That 12-pack of oil filters/gaskets will work, BUT, depending on how many miles you rack up on your car, considering buying just two or three to start - that'll get you through at least a year (probably). Also, considering you've never done this before - make sure you enjoy doing it before you commit yourself to doing it 11 more times, lol.

And depending on where you're located geographically, the oil filter and gasket can be found cheaper at this website: SubaruGenuineParts.com

You'll need one oil filter: Part Number 15208AA160; and one drain plug gasket: Part Number 803916010; for each oil change you plan on doing. For anyone else reading, these Part Numbers are for a 2013 Outback 2.5i 4 Cylinder ONLY. YMMV.

5. Use a new crush washer with every oil change. It costs 73 cents.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
 

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Oil change

One other thing to check is to make sure the old filter gasket didn't stick to the filter housing before installing the new filter. Also pre oil the new filter gasket before instalation. It will make your next oil change much easier.
 

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They install that filter dry at the factory, so yes you’ll need a tool the first time to remove it.
A torque wrench is nice to have, so is a quality non-China metric socket set. The drain plug is ~#18, about elbow strength/tight.<O:p</O:p
 

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3. I guess you don't really need a torque wrench, but it's a good thing to have and use. Especially if you're not mechanically inclined, you probably don't know "tight enough" by feel. If you over-torque the drain bolt and strip the threads = bad news. A torque wrench prevents this. The one I have cost about $90; if you plan on doing regular oil changes and other maintenance (transmission fluid, diff fluid, wheel swaps, etc.) you should absolutely have one.
This is one point where I'll disagree. I think it is harder to learn how to accurately use a torque wrench vs. learning how to tighten an oil filter "enough" by hand. The classic "tighten until gasket contact, then X turns beyond" method works great, and everyone ought to know it anyway.

Torque wrenches behave differently when the object you are torqueing is wet with oil, like filters or drain plugs. You can compensate, but it's yet another degree of skill to master. And if you learn that first, you have to learn to compensate the other way for other fasteners.

Another point- torque wrenches are a bit on the fragile side. You don't want to drop it or have it clunking around loose in a toolbox, or changing temperature much. This means careful storage.

With the older or cheaper ones, you only need to drop it once to permanently knock it out of calibration, and calibration typically costs more than replacement.

Getting and learning a torque wrench is not a bad idea, and if you get into more advanced maintenance you will eventually need one. But I think you should have a better idea of what you're getting into going down that road.

Much as it's not necessarily a good idea to buy a case of filters until you are sure you want to keep doing it, maybe learn the cheap shade-tree methods until you are further along.
 

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Good point, raster-m.<O:p</O:p
There’s generally also a torque setting/value you store it in.<O:p</O:p
They also complement one another, so you’ll need/want a 3/8 and 1/2 drive (you won’t be using the 3/8 for wheel swaps).
 

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All points are valid.

As for using a torque wrench, it really isn't necessary. You'll tighten to drain bolt and feel the the washer crush. Once there just tighten it tightly. No need to use excessive force. The washer is there to create a tight seal. You are just tightening the bolt tight enough to keep it from backing out.

rasterman - I don't think the manual is referencing using a torque wrench for the filter itself. I would NEVER use a wrench to tighten a filter. I believe Subaru recomments 7/8 turn past touching. Just be sure to put some oil on the rubber gasket first.

As far as needing a filter tool, where you filter is you can get a good grip and will probably never need one. The first time can be a bear, but if all else fails just pop a long screwdriver through it and loosen. Your pitching it anyway, and with the filter on top there won't be any oil to spill out.

As for the filters, check out E-Bay. There are actual Subaru Dealers selling them on there, and that is the cheapest place I found once you add shipping. I think 12 is a lot to buy at once. I have 2 Subarus that use the same filter and only opted for 6. I average 2-3 changes per year on my wifes, and one on mine. 6 should last me 1.5 - 2 years. I'd also just check with your local dealer. They are probably about the same price. I just buy in bulk for convienence.
 

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All points are valid.

As for using a torque wrench, it really isn't necessary. You'll tighten to drain bolt and feel the the washer crush. Once there just tighten it tightly. No need to use excessive force. The washer is there to create a tight seal. You are just tightening the bolt tight enough to keep it from backing out.

rasterman - I don't think the manual is referencing using a torque wrench for the filter itself. I would NEVER use a wrench to tighten a filter. I believe Subaru recomments 7/8 turn past touching. Just be sure to put some oil on the rubber gasket first.

As far as needing a filter tool, where you filter is you can get a good grip and will probably never need one. The first time can be a bear, but if all else fails just pop a long screwdriver through it and loosen. Your pitching it anyway, and with the filter on top there won't be any oil to spill out.

As for the filters, check out E-Bay. There are actual Subaru Dealers selling them on there, and that is the cheapest place I found once you add shipping. I think 12 is a lot to buy at once. I have 2 Subarus that use the same filter and only opted for 6. I average 2-3 changes per year on my wifes, and one on mine. 6 should last me 1.5 - 2 years. I'd also just check with your local dealer. They are probably about the same price. I just buy in bulk for convienence.
Not looking for argument, or be a smart a** But there is a Torque value on the new filters, I believe it's 11 to 14 lbs. But I wouldn't think of using one either, on changing the oil.
 

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To each his own for using a torque wrench I guess, but they have torque specs for a reason. The fact that Rasterman's approach is "tighten until gasket contact, then X turns beyond", considering "X" is a variable - leaves much to interpretation.

I imagine the engineers designing any vehicle take into account the fact the drain plug would have oil on the treads - or at the very least the torque spec is still better than a WAG.

If someone can't easily figure out how to accurately use a torque wrench, they probably shouldn't be doing work on their vehicle, IMO. I agree that torque wrenches are "fragile" tools, but hopefully no one is throwing around other tools recklessly while doing work (or maybe I'm just obsessive? every tool has it's place!). Quality torque wrenches will come with a case, and you should always be reset to 0 before storing.

Anyway, I just like doing things by the book (okay, I am obsessive..). Maybe 99.9% of people will be fine tightening bolts by feel and not by torque, but I do NOT want to be that one person who strips the pan or has their oil drain bolt fall out on the highway (engine goes KABOOM!).
 

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To each his own for using a torque wrench I guess, but they have torque specs for a reason. The fact that Rasterman's approach is "tighten until gasket contact, then X turns beyond", considering "X" is a variable - leaves much to interpretation.

I imagine the engineers designing any vehicle take into account the fact the drain plug would have oil on the treads - or at the very least the torque spec is still better than a WAG.

If someone can't easily figure out how to accurately use a torque wrench, they probably shouldn't be doing work on their vehicle, IMO. I agree that torque wrenches are "fragile" tools, but hopefully no one is throwing around other tools recklessly while doing work (or maybe I'm just obsessive? every tool has it's place!). Quality torque wrenches will come with a case, and you should always be reset to 0 before storing.

Anyway, I just like doing things by the book (okay, I am obsessive..). Maybe 99.9% of people will be fine tightening bolts by feel and not by torque, but I do NOT want to be that one person who strips the pan or has their oil drain bolt fall out on the highway (engine goes KABOOM!).
I agree, same way here. So filter torgue is 11 to 14 lbs and oil plug is 31 to 33 lbs am I safe to say ?
 

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^ The filter spec is 9 ft-lbs and oil drain plug is 31 ft-lbs. The specs are so low that it would be very easy to over-torque. As with all bolts, you want to hand tighten to make sure the threads are lined up, then use a socket wrench until "snug", and then torque to spec.

Again, I don't want to start an argument - it is your choice whether you use a torque wrench and follow Subaru specifications, or not.
 

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I suggest getting a Fumoto valve for the pan. You never have to worry about needing a crush washer or even a wrench. I have had one on my last 4 vehicles and is now the first thing I purchase for my new ride.
 

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15208AA15A is the pn on the filter on my 2.5 2013.. I know there was a recall but then heard this pn is back being the right one.

The other pn they changed to during the recall is 15208AA160

The description of this filter is that its BIGGER in diameter than the factory one.. (80 something mm vs 60 something). I didn't even think 20mm more filter would fit in the recessed tray for the filter or perhaps land on the polished area where the gasket should mate to.

Which is right ? The 160 model is supposedly some Tokyo Roki (is that a good thing?) while the 15A one is perhaps made by Fram.
 

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I suggest getting a Fumoto valve for the pan. You never have to worry about needing a crush washer or even a wrench. I have had one on my last 4 vehicles and is now the first thing I purchase for my new ride.
That is a good tip. Just ordered one after seeing it suggested.
I think it will make the already easy 2013 Outback oil change an actual fun activty. Thanks.
 

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...hand tighten to make sure the threads are lined up, then
use a socket wrench until "snug", and then torque to spec.
Just crank it down 'til it strips, then back off 1/4 turn.

.
 

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15208AA15A is the pn on the filter on my 2.5 2013.. I know there was a recall but then heard this pn is back being the right one.

The other pn they changed to during the recall is 15208AA160

The description of this filter is that its BIGGER in diameter than the factory one.. (80 something mm vs 60 something). I didn't even think 20mm more filter would fit in the recessed tray for the filter or perhaps land on the polished area where the gasket should mate to.

Which is right ? The 160 model is supposedly some Tokyo Roki (is that a good thing?) while the 15A one is perhaps made by Fram.
Hi - I have a bunch of recalled 15208AA15A's, the online dealer I bought from let me keep them even though they replaced them with 15208AA160's.

I can tell you that the diameter of the filters is identical. Side by side they look very close, the 15208AA160 is heavier than the 15208AA15A and feels better built. Yes, the 15208AA160 is made by Tokyo Roki in Japan. The 15208AA15A is made by Honeywell/Fram in the US.
 

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Two things.

First, here is another vote for the Fumoto valve. I just installed one on my new '13 Outback limited 2.5i. It is nice to know that I will never have to worry about dropping the oil drain plug in dirty, hot motor oil, or get dirty motor oil all over my hand, while trying to move the drain plug out of the way. Although after 35 years of changing my own motor oil, I have never stripped a drain pan, it is also nice to know that, that will never happen.

From now on, instead of draining the motor oil into an oil drain pan, and then pouring from the drain pan into a jug, so I can take it to the auto parts store to be recycled, now I will just snap a hose right onto the Fumoto valve and drain the oil right into a jug.

Second, I just took delivery on my Outback mid January. I picked up a couple oil filters for the Outback at that time, and they sold me the 15208AA15A filters. When they did this, my assumption was that all the recalled filters had already been collected from the dealership and replaced with good stock. I hope this is the case.

I did change the filter and oil at 1000 miles. (I'm old school. Get break-in oil changed early belief.) I cut the oil filter open and reviewed the components. I must say, I was a little disappointed with how cheap the components were. Very basic bypass valve. Flimsy paper end caps and filter media. I will say that, while I haven't measured the filtration material area yet, it does appear there are quite a few pleats to the filtration media.

My plan was to stay with OEM parts, including the filter. But after reviewing the inside of this filter, I am probably going to switch to an oil filter with synthetic filtration media, such as the Mobil 1, K&N, or NAPA Gold.
 
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