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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my 2020 Touring XT as a CPO dealer loaner and they did a service at 2300 miles and today I did the 8300 mile service today - myself. My wife has a 2020 Touring and she got her recent service done by the dealer: oil/filter change, tire rotation, and cabin air filter for $160. I used Subaru oil and air filters, a TYC cabin filter, and Kirkland (Costco) oil and it cost me around $55. So I saved $100 or so - I'm trying to figure out if it was worth it. I DO like working on my car, I like knowing that everything that needed to be done was done (the air filter wasn't scheduled and it really didn't need it but why not), and that the tires were rotated per the factory manual. I also took the time to vacuum out my intercooler and add a little 303 protectant to some of the rubber/plastic bits. But it took me a couple of hours and jacking a car up on 4 jack stands isn't my favorite thing in the world to do.... what do most of you here do about scheduled service work?
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I haven't had to change the oil on my 2021, but I changed the oil on my 2019 legacy and my wife's 2019 outback. Subaru has made it so simple to do - kind of a no brainer. Everything is easy access. With the Fumoto drain valve, I don't have any reason to take it anywhere.
 

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2021 Touring XT Abyss Blue Pearl
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459 Posts
Our '19 only saw the dealer for the oem hitch install. Traded after 15,700 miles. Made the mistake of having the dealer install a under engine guard and hitch on the new '21. They installed the differential guard and had to then remove it because it wasn't on the order. They cut the bumper guard off center for the hitch even after I mentioned the crappy installs I'd seen. And they kept me sitting there for seven and a half hours for this less than three hours work. I am not inclined to return for any service after this experience.
I have the Autel TS508 and plan to keep doing 5 wheel rotations and change oil and filters with no problem. I figure the first oil change will cost about $17(10 gallons of Mobil1 EP cost me $20 total after rebate, not the $120+Subaru oil would) and I'll install the 108sx Fumoto then.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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2,250 Posts
IMHO, it's all easy and fun till I get to the rotation. That's just a PITA
. So far, I'm having the dealer do oil changes and rotations at 6 K intervals . At some point (24K mi?), I'll do my own oil again but I'll have my aftermarket tire shop do the rotations. The rest of the filters, cleaning and inspections, I will continue to do.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT, Abyss Blue Pearl (Mine) PP 2 , 2017 Ice Silver Outback Limited (Wife's)
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175 Posts
My dealer provides oil change and tire rotation for 3 year/ 36k miles with car purchase. When my Forester hit the 3 year mark I ordered our 2017 Outback so I wouldn't have to pay for oil changes, at least that's what I told my wife (she did not see the humor in it). I do air and cabin filter replacement at home.
 

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2020 OB Limited, Titanium & Magnetite Grays
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1,142 Posts
I am still getting free service but have a plan for when this service stops. Do my own oil/filter changes along with the cabin air filter. I plan to use the Sam's tire rotation & rebalance, which covers OEM tires, for a one time fee of $10 per wheel. I was told the tire service will last for 5 or 6 years and can be done as often as every 4-5 months.

The total annual/2 costs follow: Tires rotation/balance: $4 Oil/filter change $30 (oil goes on sale a lot), Cabin Filter $11 Wait time 3.5 hrs Roundtrip Drive time & queue 1.5 hours.

In simple terms it will cost me ~$90 per year for 5 years plus 10 hours of my time per year This is compared to your $300 per year services. Plus I am getting gratification and knowledge the work was done correctly. To make it fair I would need to take off for tire rotations wait time estimated to be 1x2 hours so that leavers 8 hours take away my other efforts.

Over the years I had issues with others doing my vehicle service. Example include: *Over filled the engine oil *Melted a fuse box *Bolts lost from skid plates *Engine vacuum plug lost resulting in vacuum loss *Over fill of break fluid reservoir *Replacement of a fuel vapor sensor coil ($450) when it was only a fuel cap I tested the replace part to find this error and still had to pay. *Disconnected wires under the hood.
 

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2020 Onyx
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10,198 Posts
Like @ArF193 I'm having my tire shop (Costco) do free rotations (with tires I bought from them) but do everything else myself. When it comes time to do spark plugs I might have Subaru do it because it might require lifting the engine out a little bit for clearance (unproven but in the Ascent that seems to be the case).

Instead of relying on miles for rotations I just do it when the rear tires have more tread than the front (2/32nds) but if I were doing them myself I would just do front to back and not worry about crossing - that's what you'd do with directional tires anyways, like the CrossClimate2.
 

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2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
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2,281 Posts
and cabin air filter
That, alone, was probably close to half of the difference in cost. Air filters, both engine and cabin, are such a rip off to have the service department do.

A, maybe long, story on that topic. My dad has a 14, we've bought from the same dealer and use the same dealer for service. He had his in for an oil change this time last year, and when they showed him the filters he declined and said he'd have me do it. I go to change the engine filter, pull the old one out and promptly ask him if the filter they showed him as "his" had any fiberglass insulation hanging on it. The "dirty" side of the airbox was filled with fiberglass insulation, to the point that it's my opinion they wouldn't have let him leave if they had ACTUALLY pulled his filter. The OB had been parked in their garage most of Feb. and March of 2020, they had been on a road trip down the coast with their other vehicle, then the pandemic hit and their travel was reduced that much more.

Such a rip off, if they ACTUALLY pull your filter to show you, they're removing it and reinstalling the same one for free if you decline changing the filter, but if you want them to change it they'll charge you labor for that same work but putting in a new filter.
 

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2020 Onyx
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10,198 Posts
Another reason to avoid the dealership whenever possible - some of them will lie to your face to get you to pay for unnecessary procedures. Service "advisors" are paid on commission for the upsell and management knows full well what's going on. It's a conflict of interest by design, making it an adversarial relationship between a customer wanting to preserve their precious investment in a car, and a service department trying to maximize profits by any means necessary.

My DIY oil changes are $15.00 for Costco full synthetic and $10.00 for a premium oil filter. I also change cabin and engine air filters more often than necessary - once a year at a minimum for both.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT, Abyss Blue Pearl (Mine) PP 2 , 2017 Ice Silver Outback Limited (Wife's)
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175 Posts
I still take our 2017 Outback to the dealer for oil changes (Sam's does the tire rotations) mainly so I don't have to do it and have not had a bad experience. For us its twice a year and the hassle of doing it myself is not worth it to me. Do they "recommend" additional services, sure, but I politely decline and we each go our merry way. Just like most things in life "buyer beware".
 

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2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
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2,281 Posts
Oh yeah, I have the dealer do it because I can't do that kind of stuff where I live, and the dealer has a lifetime powertrain warranty if all service is done there, but I don't do the mileage-based packages, I go a-la-carte.

One time the advisor even asked when I checked in if they should even bother showing me the filters, I guess I have a reputation...
 

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2021 Touring XT Abyss Blue Pearl
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459 Posts
You're really underestimating how difficult it is to get a new air filter out of its box.
I found the gen 6 engine air filter easy to remove and replace. Was checking whether it was the same size as the gen 5 and it is not. Haven't looked at the cabin filter but the numbers are similar except for a different letter in the middle of the part number. Will have to sell my gen 5 engine air filters and wiper blades as neither will work between generations.
 

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2020 Onyx
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10,198 Posts
I thought he was talking about getting the air filter out of the cardboard box it comes in. For that you need power tools.
 

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19 Limited/20 Onyx (7TH)
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776 Posts
Cabin filters look the same except pleats are in a different direction. Should not matter.
I was sick when I overheard the service advisor recommending $100 cabin filter change to a women.
I am an hour from my dealer so I like to do service myself. It s faster and cheaper and always done right. I d have to recheck everything anyway if I let dealer do it, LOL
 

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2020 Onyx
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10,198 Posts
The only thing about the pleats being a different direction is that the supporting stiff sides are also in a different direction.
 

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19 Limited/20 Onyx (7TH)
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do you think with no weight to them it will matter?
It kinda wedged in there and weigh s an oz.
Parts are on my shelf for my 19 and 20 but I haven t put an new one in the 20, but have checked the size.
 
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