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Hi all,
First post. I was recently inspired to resume doing my own maintenance again. This came from a combination of saving money and pride in the job well done (hopefully). I used to do oil changes and such but bought a new 2000 Outback Wagon and used the dealer while under warranty, beleiving that they should see a vehicle now and then because they know what a given model "typically' has go wrong etc.. Anyway that's how I justified it. In warranty turned to out of warranty and I just now woke up. I HATE waiting around for service and dealing with the logistics. Would much rather spend the day under the car and have the satisfaction from DIY. This site has already been infinately helpful and encouraging so I dove in.

Car has about 137,000 on it. Has had regular maintenance at the dealer til now.

Anyway, in recent weeks I changed oil, filter, air filter, plugs, MT fluid and rear diff. Fuel Filter is next and I think I am done for a while although the brakes may need some attention. Some questions post maintenance...

Plugs had oil on them as if oil got past the threads. White of sparkplug was yellowed. Runs fine. your thoughts?

MT fluid was maybe a quart low and the magnetic drain had not only a little sludge, which I have read about, but some metal filings too. I'd say I cleaned off a 1/8' layer of sludge/ filings with more than a few 1/8"x 1/8" square thin metal filings. Some floating in the drained oil as well. Surely the magnet is there for a reason but... Normal?

When tightening the rear diff bolts back in, is there a torque spec? Seems they dont bottom out on anything. I did use teflon tape on threads and tightened them about the same as any other drain plug. Many thanks to all who contribute their knowledge to the forum. This kind of thing rocks.
Thanks
JD
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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Plugs had oil on them as if oil got past the threads. White of sparkplug was yellowed. Runs fine. your thoughts?
Leaking plug well seals...I wouldn't worry about the color in your case. As long as there's not obvious evidence of burning oil(black/wet) or Coolant(White).

When tightening the rear diff bolts back in, is there a torque spec?
I'm sure there is, but I just lube the threads with a little blue permatex and tighten them back down until "it looks right" judging by the exposed threads. Hasn't let me down yet!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I wouldn't say what you found on the magnet was extreme. My cars had low miles but still had, maybe, 1/4 teaspoon ? or so of sludge on the magnets in the tranny and diffs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wouldn't say what you found on the magnet was extreme. My cars had low miles but still had, maybe, 1/4 teaspoon ? or so of sludge on the magnets in the tranny and diffs.
Thanks to all who have replied.

Yeah, sludge I get. It was the small peices of metal "shavings" that got me a little concerned. very thin and 1/8" square. maybe 20 of them give or take. Wondering if that is nonmal. Also wondering what that leaves as contact area on the cogs that are inside. A mind can jump to awful visions if left to its own.
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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It's got 137K...I wouldn't loose any sleep.
If there's no driveablity issues..."fill it-n-forget it"!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
True that! :29:

Just trying to anticipate big problems and learn through the process. At this stage in my learning curve, the metal flakes in the fluid could be totally normal or could be indicating an upcoming and catastrophic failure of tranny. The good news is now I know. Had I serviced at the dealer, I doubt they would mention these things to me at all.
Next up: Brakes seem to be litely dragging.

Thanks to all who have replied.

Yeah, sludge I get. It was the small peices of metal "shavings" that got me a little concerned. very thin and 1/8" square. maybe 20 of them give or take. Wondering if that is nonmal. Also wondering what that leaves as contact area on the cogs that are inside. A mind can jump to awful visions if left to its own.
 

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Best way to know "for sure" is to have the fluid tested. Of course now you need to get some miles on it.
 
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