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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 2011 3.6R premium with 190k miles on the odometer. Besides replacement of all the fluids, are there any suggestions of other maintenance that should be done?

I was thinking of having the spark plugs replaced with a compression test done at the same time, to get an idea of the state of the head gasket.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Depends what is important to you. if you want another 100,000 miles without being stranded then that's different than just wanting to be up on maintenance items. I'm generally concerned with 300,000 miles of not being stranded more than attention to detail on maintenance items, so here's my take:

Reliability:
1. replace the alternator with a Subaru OEM unit.
2. same with the fuel pump

(lower mileage used is an option if the prices scare you Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market)

Starter contacts are $20 and less than 2 hours labor. I'd suggest those around 200k but at that low age we can guess those are highway miles. If it was maybe used for delivery or work - then maybe consider doing the contacts.

OEM alternators and fuel pumps are very robust and unlikely to have issues before 200k, but they have high mileage wear items and a notable failure rate before 300k and leave you stranded if they fail. The aftermarket units have low availability and are low grade quality. so if they do fail you're stranded, may have issues finding one (depending on your local market/resources) and are stuck paying inordinate prices for low grade parts. starters, alternators, and fuel pumps are poor parts to buy at local stores.

But that's also weird - very few people replace those preventatively, so if you want to chance it your odds are reasonable. I don't know the failure rates, they're not high, but they're reasonably above 0. If they fail 25% of the time before 300k then you've got a really good chance of not having any issues, but I'd rather avoid that 1 in 4 chance given that I plan on 300k on my vehicles and travel long distances frequently.

Maintenance: in order of importance
A. These are very wise: front diff, ATF, and coolant after you wade through the "lifetime" discussions
B. bleed the brakes
C. rear diff, power steering easily make 300k without blinking so it's a good idea to replace the fluid, but it's far less important than other things already mentioned.

those spark plugs are crazy robust and won't fail or leave you stranded or cause any issues. at most you'll get a cylinder misfire check engine light and then go replace them, no big deal, no stranding, no damage, so those are low grade concerns. when i pull them at 100,000+ miles and they look like new, these are not your grandfathers 1980's spark plugs. that being said - sure they're cheap and simple.

if it were me i'd do a little research to see what's previously been done to the vehicle and start there. if you don't know then i'd plan on replacing the plugs and valve cover gaskets at the same time, at which point the labor savings is significant - although a particular shop may not pass those savings on to you. VCG's need replaced once in the life of nearly every Subaru.

compression test is pointless on that engine. even if they're failed they will pass compression test just fine and wont' mix/oil water nor show coolant out the exhaust. leak down test is the best test for that engine but if you're asymptomatic that's pointless as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you much for the suggestions, I’m saving your response for future reference.

I’m forward planning for the alternator and fuel pump as well as the valve cover gaskets.

Since service records were limited to carfax, we hit all the fluids and brakes.

So far, we haven’t had any major problems. We got the infamous Christmas tree lights on the dash, and took the ob into the dealer. I wasn’t there personally but family member told me the dealer diagnosed a transmission valve body that needed to be replaced. No additional information from the dealership beyond that... they didn’t give us any error codes and cleared the codes after the visit. I’m suspicious about their diagnosis since they didn’t provide any other info besides the suggested price to replace it ($1500). Family member took the ob into a third party mechanic and they mentioned that Subaru dealership failed to catch a nail in the tire and the brakes needed to be replaced fairly soon.

But it’s been about 600 miles since that Christmas light incident and we haven’t experienced that since.

The only other problem we have was a low oil light during a cold startup. Oil was full but the light came on. Added a tiny bit more oil, drove it around, restarted the ob and light went away.

Other item we replaced was the battery.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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...check to see when the timing belt was last changed...that’s a biggie you don’t want to miss...you can check the head gaskets for external leakage by doing a visual inspection yourself...I do this every time I change my oil...yes I have lost a HG.
 

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...check to see when the timing belt was last changed...that’s a biggie you don’t want to miss...you can check the head gaskets for external leakage by doing a visual inspection yourself...I do this every time I change my oil...yes I have lost a HG.
3.6r is chain driven. Only thing to check and maybe replace are the chain guides and tensioner. At 200k probably a good idea. Or just go till it jumps a tooth and find a junk yard engine.
 

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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5L CVT (Alloy Wheel Package)
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Thank you much for the suggestions, I’m saving your response for future reference.

I’m forward planning for the alternator and fuel pump as well as the valve cover gaskets.

Since service records were limited to carfax, we hit all the fluids and brakes.
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Did the Xmas lights come on "after all the fluids" were changed?
Was the transmission fluid part of "we hit all the fluids and brakes?"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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Did the Xmas lights come on "after all the fluids" were changed?

Was the transmission fluid part of "we hit all the fluids and brakes?"

The Xmas lights actually came on before the fluids were changed. Yes, transmission fluid was also flushed.
 

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3.6r is chain driven. Only thing to check and maybe replace are the chain guides and tensioner. At 200k probably a good idea. Or just go till it jumps a tooth and find a junk yard engine.
..Gah...you guys and your timing chains....must be nice...
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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those spark plugs are crazy robust and won't fail or leave you stranded or cause any issues. at most you'll get a cylinder misfire check engine light and then go replace them, no big deal, no stranding, no damage, so those are low grade concerns. when i pull them at 100,000+ miles and they look like new, these are not your grandfathers 1980's spark plugs. that being said - sure they're cheap and simple.

Interesting point on the plugs. I've always done them at the 60k interval. My 2009 had a 30k interval! I suppose that's why I haven't pushed to 100k. Something about the plug always being half-saturated in oil because the boxer design, I guess?
@subiesailor So, are you suggesting at 200k is a good time to preventatively replace the chain guides and tensioner in the EZ36D? The 3.6 is new to me, so I don't know if it's suggested to also do the water pump or anything else in there at the same time the way you would for a EJ253 timing belt. Wonder how much that costs.
@scoobydoo2 new FB series engine has a timing chain. Time to upgrade! :)
 

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@scoobydoo2 new FB series engine has a timing chain. Time to upgrade! :)
...was going to back in November but the only dealer in our province wanted to screw us over on the trade value so I said shag that...going to drive this puppy into the ground...will have it for years to come. That said...don’t like our RAV so that will be the next to go...but looking for better mileage so it will either be the crosstrek, or the new Mazda Diesel, or their new compression ignition gasser coming in the fall of this year...I’m patient...not in a rush so I can wait it out.
 

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At 190 I would think the struts are beyond ugly my 2.5 2010 just hit 100k and I need to do the rear struts bad. Fronts are ok but will be done by summer. Just paid for a kids Orthodontist round 2 last week so it set back my rear strut plan. I’m thinking RalliTEK stock height 18% heavier assembled KYB struts in the rear and possibly up front given my top complaints due to kids hauling, camping trips, tools etc is the stock springs being just a tad light on load carrying ability
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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I have been told by a certified technician that other brands use the same spark plugs and recommend 6 digit replacement intervals. The 60k is ridiculous.

Check transmission and engine mounts. If the engine is vibrating, it is the mount (they use the same as for the H4 doh).

The shocks and springs are great quality but at some point replacing them with OEM units (the springs are super cheap, the shocks are not terribly pricey either) will really help.

The lower control arms from Heuberger Subaru in COlorado, always 25% off, online store, are 180$ for BOTH. This gives you two new bushings and a new ball joint on each side.

If you have alignment issues in the rear, Rallitek offers an aftermarket control arm with adjustable camber and extra toe.

All in all, short of a Land Cruiser and its Prado-derived GX Lexus little brother, an H6 5EAT OB is as safe of a bet as there can be at 190k.
 

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3.6r is chain driven. Only thing to check and maybe replace are the chain guides and tensioner. At 200k probably a good idea. Or just go till it jumps a tooth and find a junk yard engine.
If I was going to go to the trouble of replacing the guides....I would just go ahead and replace everything! I must say timing chains have come a long ways since the days of old. I've had those short little V-8 timing chains get so loose they wore a whole in the side of the front cover. That was at if I remember + or - 100,000 miles. Think how short and probably more robust(not strength wise but weight and thickness wise) that chain is compared to the long ass chain on a Boxer engine spinning 2 cams instead of 1 and opening 8 more vales per cycle as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Question: I’m planning on replacing the front lower control arms, is there anything else I should replace while Working on that assembly?

Any suspension components to look for in the rear?

Updates:

-rear bushing of front lower control arms look terrible. Need to replace them.

-I changed the serpentine belt, idler pulley, and tensioner assembly. TBH I didn’t need to replace the belt or idler pulley. The belt looked fine and the idler pulley bearings seemed ok. However, the bearings on the tensioner were on their way out. It sounded gritty while spinning. I am aware that I could just replace the bearings but opted for new assemblies for ease of install.

Installation of all those components were easy!

-replaced third brake light in hatch due to leaks. No longer leaks there

-preemptively put paint protection film over the sun roof to seal gaps between body and weather stripping to prevent leaks. I took out the fuse for the sunroof so no one can activate it while a piece of vinyl taped it to the roof. I don’t use sunroofs and look at them as a source of a leak anyway. Wind noise around that area is also reduced

-replaced faulty oil level indicator sensor during an oil change. So far no low oil level warning lights. It was hard to take the original one off because the wire routing between parts. I cut the zip tie mounts of the cable, and took it off. On the new unit, I cut off the zip tie mounts, routed the wires, and reinstalled the zip tie mounts with new zip ties after the wire had been routed properly. Just cut off the old zip tie strap, keep the mounting features, and reuse the same zip tie hole with a new zip tie.
 
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