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Since the Covid shutdown, I have worked from home. Other than a trip to the dealer to replace a failed battery in April 2020, I have only driven 179 miles in my 2017 Outback Touring. I love my dealer and trust them to take care of my car. I do not mind paying extra for preventative maintenance and advice to keep the car in top condition. So I put off my oil change and service for a while. They nagged me via email, so I asked, “It‘s been ten months and I’ve driven 179 miles, do I need an oil change?”. I think they said Subaru recommends the change every six months whether you hit the mileage limit or not. I told them to go ahead. They will even pick up and deliver the car. What are your thoughts on routine service over time? BTW, I haven’t turned a wrench since 1982 so I am not a DIY guy for modern cars. Thanks for your thoughts. Love this forum.
 

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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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Since the Covid shutdown, I have worked from home. Other than a trip to the dealer to replace a failed battery in April 2020, I have only driven 179 miles in my 2017 Outback Touring. I love my dealer and trust them to take care of my car. I do not mind paying extra for preventative maintenance and advice to keep the car in top condition. So I put off my oil change and service for a while. They nagged me via email, so I asked, “It‘s been ten months and I’ve driven 179 miles, do I need an oil change?”. I think they said Subaru recommends the change every six months whether you hit the mileage limit or not. I told them to go ahead. They will even pick up and deliver the car. What are your thoughts on routine service over time? BTW, I haven’t turned a wrench since 1982 so I am not a DIY guy for modern cars. Thanks for your thoughts. Love this forum.
I do it every 6 months. I want to protect my 7/70,000/zero warranty.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Just take a road trip!

Roads don't have C19 and I'm pretty sure you would have a great time even if it was to drive to a scenic spot and come back.

Even with C19 and WFH, I'm still driving about 1k a month. Get and enjoy the less crowded roads! Observe C19 protocols but don't stay home doing it.
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring
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Since the Covid shutdown, I have worked from home. Other than a trip to the dealer to replace a failed battery in April 2020, I have only driven 179 miles in my 2017 Outback Touring. I love my dealer and trust them to take care of my car. I do not mind paying extra for preventative maintenance and advice to keep the car in top condition. So I put off my oil change and service for a while. They nagged me via email, so I asked, “It‘s been ten months and I’ve driven 179 miles, do I need an oil change?”. I think they said Subaru recommends the change every six months whether you hit the mileage limit or not. I told them to go ahead. They will even pick up and deliver the car. What are your thoughts on routine service over time? BTW, I haven’t turned a wrench since 1982 so I am not a DIY guy for modern cars. Thanks for your thoughts. Love this forum.
Time kills everything, do your changes based on time in this environment, so 6 months. I could argue if you are running synthetic you could go 1 year, i would never go longer then that..

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2019 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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DEFINITELY 6 months + is no issue if you run full syn......definitely. But after 10 or more, it's just a good idea to change it. Small price for an important PM item.
 

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2020 Onyx
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179 miles in 10 months, if they were ~5 mile trips once a week, I would change it every 6 months. Your oil is not getting hot enough to purge contaminants like water and fuel. If they were 18 mile trips once a month it wouldn't be as bad but I'd still change it at least once a year.

My nephew used to drive <5 miles once a week so I told him to get an electric car so he doesn't have to deal with changing oil and other maintenance for a car that's barely driven. You can't neglect these things and short trips are close to worst case scenario on an internal combustion vehicle. It's like using the toilet and not flushing it.
 

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2020 Onyx
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I have the Bosch HEPA cabin filter and it decreased air flow 15% compared to a 6 month old (pretty clean) standard cabin air filter in the fresh air setting. Bosch might be the only company making these. I often set my air to fresh instead of recirculate.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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I would take it on a Sunday drive just to get the fuel circulated from time to time. My wife’s 2016 Legacy Ltd has 16K original miles from new. It sits in the garage on a battery tender and she drives it once a month to her hairdresser about an hour away. Beyond that, it just sits parked. We change oil once every six months. Just had both Diffs fluid changed and the brake fluid flushed. Once and a while, I’ll pull it out of the garage and run it up the interstate just to flush the cobwebs and get the engine up to operating temp. Cars need to be driven in my opinion.


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I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around an oil change at 200 miles or every 6 months.
Oil has been sitting underground for many thousands of years. it's not prone to spoilage.
Contaminants and heat spoil oil, i.e, engine usage.

Now, let's discuss the GASOLINE issues caused by vehicles sitting for prolonged periods.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around an oil change at 200 miles or every 6 months.
Oil has been sitting underground for many thousands of years. it's not prone to spoilage.
Contaminants and heat spoil oil, i.e, engine usage.

Now, let's discuss the GASOLINE issues caused by vehicles sitting for prolonged periods.
The crude oil in the ground is not the same thing in your oil pan. It’s been refined and reformulated blended with other chemicals, detergents and additives. Once in your engine it starts to breakdown as it is heated and cooled, mixing with unburned fuel as part of internal combustion process. Over time, it won’t stay homogeneous and it looses some of its lubrication properties. Oil is cheap insurance to protect something that is expensive to replace as your engine. Gasoline is another refined and reformulated chemical that is even less stable than oil. For me, I’d rather spend small money changing important fluids than big money replacing engines and drive components. But that’s just my opinion.


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The crude oil in the ground is not the same thing in your oil pan. It’s been refined and reformulated blended with other chemicals, detergents and additives. Once in your engine it starts to breakdown as it is heated and cooled, mixing with unburned fuel as part of internal combustion process. Over time, it won’t stay homogeneous and it looses some of its lubrication properties. Oil is cheap insurance to protect something that is expensive to replace as your engine. Gasoline is another refined and reformulated chemical that is even less stable than oil. For me, I’d rather spend small money changing important fluids than big money replacing engines and drive components. But that’s just my opinion.


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I don't think 200 miles or 6 months meets the threshold for oil breaking down.

Few Subie owners if any with suffer engine failures running "dirty" oil. Oil pump failures, head gaskets and overheating will get em 1st.
Modern oils are not the paraffin based oils of your grandfather. You rarely see sludge buildup in modern engines.

A lot of the hype about changing oil is intended to SELL MORE OIL.
There are people(I'm not one of them) who change oil at 30K mile intervals, simply changing filters every 10K mi. There are a lot MORE folks who do 15K mi intervals, and 7,500-10K intervals is quite common, especially with the synthetics.

Subie 4 and 6 bangers aren't $20k motors, they can be had used for pennies by comparison. Salvage yards are your friends with these cars.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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I don't think 200 miles or 6 months meets the threshold for oil breaking down.

Few Subie owners if any with suffer engine failures running "dirty" oil. Oil pump failures, head gaskets and overheating will get em 1st.
Modern oils are not the paraffin based oils of your grandfather. You rarely see sludge buildup in modern engines.

A lot of the hype about changing oil is intended to SELL MORE OIL.
There are people(I'm not one of them) who change oil at 30K mile intervals, simply changing filters every 10K mi. There are a lot MORE folks who do 15K mi intervals, and 7,500-10K intervals is quite common, especially with the synthetics.

Subie 4 and 6 bangers aren't $20k motors, they can be had used for pennies by comparison. Salvage yards are your friends with these cars.
Agree....there is indeed a tangible cost/benefit with any PM. In my case, I do a full syn change every 7.5k because I own a 100,000 mile Gold Plus Subaru warranty and want to make sure it stays solidly in force. But I agree....you could roll the dice and go longer on changes. If for example you have oil changed by someone else....a full syn change will cost about $100 (maybe more but the math is easier with this). If you keep your Subie 125,000 miles and change every 20,000 miles then you'll have 6.25 changes or $625. Change your oil every 5,000 miles and the bill goes up to $2,500 for your changes. BIG difference, with probably little change in actual reliability at the end of the day.
 

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2019 OUTBACK 2.5 TOURING
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I don't think 200 miles or 6 months meets the threshold for oil breaking down.

Few Subie owners if any with suffer engine failures running "dirty" oil. Oil pump failures, head gaskets and overheating will get em 1st.
Modern oils are not the paraffin based oils of your grandfather. You rarely see sludge buildup in modern engines.

A lot of the hype about changing oil is intended to SELL MORE OIL.
There are people(I'm not one of them) who change oil at 30K mile intervals, simply changing filters every 10K mi. There are a lot MORE folks who do 15K mi intervals, and 7,500-10K intervals is quite common, especially with the synthetics.

Subie 4 and 6 bangers aren't $20k motors, they can be had used for pennies by comparison. Salvage yards are your friends with these cars.
I don't know what you are going to classify as a "modern engine" but you might want to talk to Toyota before stating they don't build-up sludge. Toyota paid a class action settlement in 2007 because of engine sludge. This was a direct result of stretching out oil change intervals on many post 2000 vehicles. They have since changed their recommendations drastically.

They are not the only manufacturer who has gone back and decreased mileage for oil change recommendations or recalibrated their automated reminder systems. There is little problem with sludge build-up in the OP's particular case but oil changes because of miles or time is still the number one cheapest maintenance step you can take.
 

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Our last Toyotas were indeed back down to a 5K interval. My 14 Sierra is on the manufacturer's recommended 7.5K interval, no issues or oil consumption. Our Hondas were on a 10K interval, never an issue or oil consumption. Why some engines do better on longer intervals than others is a mystery to me.
 

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Since the Covid shutdown, I have worked from home. Other than a trip to the dealer to replace a failed battery in April 2020, I have only driven 179 miles in my 2017 Outback Touring. I love my dealer and trust them to take care of my car. I do not mind paying extra for preventative maintenance and advice to keep the car in top condition. So I put off my oil change and service for a while. They nagged me via email, so I asked, “It‘s been ten months and I’ve driven 179 miles, do I need an oil change?”. I think they said Subaru recommends the change every six months whether you hit the mileage limit or not. I told them to go ahead. They will even pick up and deliver the car. What are your thoughts on routine service over time? BTW, I haven’t turned a wrench since 1982 so I am not a DIY guy for modern cars. Thanks for your thoughts. Love this forum.
I would do it for two reasons, the main one being to keep the power train warranty intact. The other reason is since you don't drive much, don't want to gamble corrosion: I don't know where the car is parked but if you have wild temp swings and weather is humid, the risk would be getting moisture in the engine and it causing corrosion. If she's in a heated garage, should be less of an issue.
And yes people, I know moisture in the engine is a bigger issue if one does frequent small trips.
 

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I'd be more concerned about RODENT infestation or spiders, debris clogging drains, wipers hardening, flat spotted tires, dead battery, brake problems, exhaust issues, mildew, hardened seals and rubber bits, maybe even some paint or rust issues.

Nothing destroys cars faster than letting them sit unused. I've purchased tens of vehicles that have sat for extended periods, and I've seen a lot of issues. RARELY have I seen engine oil or internal corrosion issues, noisy, collapsed lifters on occasion.

Before you "fire it up" for a drive, I would recommend turning over the engine several seconds with the starter, no spark, to get oil circulating before hitting the power.

Maybe someone can tell us how to kill the spark on these engines?
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Maybe someone can tell us how to kill the spark on these engines?
You can accomplish the same thing by cranking in "flood clearing" mode, i.e. with the gas pedal fully depressed, which shuts off fuel delivery.
 

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When I bought my Highlander - it was 7500 miles. If they reduced that while I owned it (until last November) I did not know about it.

That said - I am scheduling my first 6000 mile change and rotate. Hopefully for this week.
 
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