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Just another story on changing spark plugs on a late model Subaru. I'm an experienced mechanic, but when you do something for the first time on anything you can run into little frustrations. At 75000 miles my 2015, 2.5 Outback was running fine, but I decided to do the Subaru 60000 mile spark plug change anyway. I read some posts from this forum and watched a couple you tubes on this procedure. Here's what I learned which might help the next guy doing this plug change. First off I opted to do the engine- lift procedure to better access the plugs. I know that some guys don't do it this way, but in scoping out my engine bay beforehand I felt that I couldn't cram my fat hands down between the frame rails and valve covers to even unbolt the coils, let alone remove the plugs. So off came the bottom engine cover/shroud. This was one of the little pains in the whole process. I marked all the places on the cover where there were either bolts (3) or plastic "break" clips (a bunch). This made it much easier for me to put the thing back into place when I was done, as there are way more holes in the cover than there are retainers. The other pain for me was that I was not familiar with the release procedure for the plastic clips on the coils, and the articles and you tubes I watched did not make it any more clear for me. Once the bottom cover was off I used a 12" long piece of 2" by 2" wood to place between a floor jack and one of the heads. I removed both rear-only motor mount nuts, and jacked the motor up one side at a time so that the bolt on the lifted side was just below the mount...this raised the motor a little more than an inch, and I didn't have to worry that the motor might slip sideways during the process. I found out the hard way that the coil connectors should be sprayed with WD 40, or the like, before attempting removal. The little spring clips have to be pressed inward while the connector is moved backwards. Even with the motor lifted, the driver's side rear plug was tight. I used two long screwdrivers...one to hold in the metal clip, and one to push the connector off. I could not get any of them to release until I sprayed them. The front driver's side plug required the battery tray to be removed. The lower horizontal bolts are hard to reach. I used a shorty ratchet box wrench and did the bottom one from the bottom of the car, and the top bolt from the top. Next mistake I made was really on me. I read on this sight that the plug socket can get stuck on the newly installed plug, and that you should be sure to use a socket that won't hold too snugly. Well my 14mm plug socket is the "snap" type that holds real tight. It worked well for removing the old plug, but I meant to use a regular deep socket to tighten the new plug. Ooops, I forgot to switch sockets when installing the rear driver-side plug, and had torqued-to-spec the plug when I realized I could not get the socket off the plug. Every extention...every pair of bent needle nose pliers...various heavy duty dental picks...magnets, or home made "do-dads" would not pull the lousy socket off the plug. I had to remove the whole plug and start over...and yes, I only did this once. The remaining plugs were easy with the motor lifted, and a torque wrench could be used on all of them. On the passenger side I did not remove anything...no brackets, or intake assembly stuff. There was plenty of room. I used a short piece of fuel line hose to get the plugs started, and then put in a plug socket-2 1/2" extension combo to torque it down. Total time for all four plugs was about an hour and a half, with much of that time wasted on the coil connectors. The disappointing thing was that the old plugs looked practically new, and were right at .44 gap. I'm not doing this job on my other 2 Subarus until there is a problem, or check engine light. At my age I believe more strongly that ever that "if it ain't busted, don't fix it." Also, while the bottom engine cover was off I drained and refilled the front and rear differentials. On the front diff I opened the fill plug that some say is way too hard to mess with, so they fill the thing from the "check" plug hole. I didn't remove the tire or anything else...just a 1/2" breaker bar, a 3/8"adaptor, and a long 3/8"
extension that reached outside the wheel well. The plug came right out with some force applied. The old oil in both diffs was pretty dark, and the rear diff drain plug had a bunch of stuff on the magnet. I'm glad I changed the fluid on these. At 100,000 I'll drain the trans and refill it. I hope this info helps someone else out there.
 

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2016 OB 2.5 Premium w/ES
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Good to know! I haven't done my plugs yet either. Subaru recommends 60K like you mentioned, but I am at 84k, and have been strongly considering having it done.
 
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