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Discussion Starter #1
For general oil changes, is there any real difference between going to the dealer and a general service station like Jiffy Lube? I know the dealer always seems to cost more but I wasn't sure if there's any real long-term quality difference.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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Materials used? Not really as long as the lube places use the appropriate oil for your vehicle (which you don't list).

BUT a quick lube place may be more likely to drain the wrong thing (oil, front diff, and auto trans) and fill with oil. Then you get one area empty and double your engine oil. This tends to lead to the lube place buying you a lot of new parts.
 

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If you can use a screwdriver, you can do it yourself.
All you need is appropriate wrench (probably 17mm), something to catch the old oil, new oil and filter.
Outbacks are high enough that you don't even need to jack it.
Then you'll have the satisfaction to know that it was done right.

O.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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If you go to any quick lube place, always look over their shoulders, if they let you. Insist on oil from cans (not bulk) and watch the guy under you car in the service bay (mostly to make sure that he puts all fasteners back in place, if you have a plastic undercover). To some places, you can bring your own filter(s) air/oil/cabin and they will credit that off your invoice.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6L Limited with EyeSight
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Quick Lube Service Stations tend to use lower quality oil filters than the OEM unit supplied at the dealer.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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AEDFTW, sounds like you speak from experience.

147_Grain, not always. Some places use quality filters.

jogosub, good point, but you also can't see that low paid lube tech at the dealership do the work either.

Just because the manufacturer's name is on a sign out front does not mean you will get exemplary services. Whether its an oil change or major repair. I have customers come from the dealers all the time, including either of the 2 Subaru dealers in the Austin area, where the service department missed key issues and did not repair the car proper or totally missed the issue all together.

No matter where you go there can be problems. Just make sure everything is double checked. Drain plug, filter for tightness, leaks, etc..
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i, Crystal Black Silica, Special Appearance Package (moonroof, NAV, keyless entry, saddle leather seats)
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I went to the local dealer for my first oil change. Wham-bam-thank you ma'am, it was just over $80 after tax (think list was $79.99). Pretty sure that's the last time I take it to them for an oil change.
 

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I went to the local dealer for my first oil change. Wham-bam-thank you ma'am, it was just over $80 after tax (think list was $79.99). Pretty sure that's the last time I take it to them for an oil change.
Yikes! They had to have thrown something other than an oil change in there. One of the dealers near me is $40 for an oil change, tire rotation, and some "inspections" that I think they probably actually do in hopes of finding something else they can charge you for.

Of course, the only time someone touches my Outback is if it's something that I can't do myself (alignments, mounting/balancing tires, etc.).
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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in general order of preference;

myself

independent mechanic

dealer

chain lube biz

Of course, any of the above can make a mistake and there can be mitigating circumstances. Some are cheaper or more/less convenient, etc. ( Yelp or Google or Angie's list might show a highly rated Kwik-Kar place is better than some low-rated local mechanic's place, etc.)
 

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Yikes! They had to have thrown something other than an oil change in there. One of the dealers near me is $40 for an oil change, tire rotation, and some "inspections" that I think they probably actually do in hopes of finding something else they can charge you for.

Of course, the only time someone touches my Outback is if it's something that I can't do myself (alignments, mounting/balancing tires, etc.).
I concur. Every time I let someone else do something on the car, it ends up being problematic. Transmission build, the exhaust and the latest was the CATs.
 

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Oil change is the easiest thing to do. But I don't do it anymore lol. I bring it to the dealer. Cost me $24 after taxes including a car wash.
 
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