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Mysterious supply chain challenge and alternate oil filter TSB 02-191-22 dated 11/2/22

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2022 Outback Wilderness
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For those of us not mechanically inclined, what does this mean? I do depend on my dealer for all maintenance, including oil changes. I'm guessing the alternative filter is not as good as the regular OEM filter? My next oil change isn't due for another couple of months, so I have time, but just want to know what to expect.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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A cut / paste from the PDF: (how extremely ...weird,...not exactly saving the earth by flushing and recycling a gallon of oil from this SNAFU,..
if the these filters don't filter, buy something else subaru,...I don't mind if the case is black, orange, white).

Bulletin Number:02-191-22; Date: 11/2/22 Page 2 of 4Continued...
Engine Oil System Flush and Oil Filter Replacement:
1. Allow the engine to rest for at least 5 minutes after running. Confirm the current engine oil
level is sufficient for the flushing procedure. If ANY engine oil shows on the dipstick, there is
a sufficient amount of oil present to proceed.
2. Start the engine and allow the engine temperature to reach normal operating temperature.
3. Turn the engine OFF. Drain the engine oil thoroughly and RE-USE the drain plug gasket. DO
NOT remove the engine oil filter at this time.
4. Install 4 quarts of new engine oil.
5. Start the engine and allow to idle.
6. Increase the engine RPMs between 2500-3000 and hold for 5 seconds then allow the RPMs to
reduce to idle. Repeat this Step 4 more times.
7. Turn the engine OFF and drain the engine oil thoroughly. Once the oil has been removed,
reinstall and torque drain plug to specification using a NEW gasket.
8. Replace the engine oil filter with a genuine Subaru alternative filter.
• Clean the contact surfaces of the oil filter. Remove all oil and possible contaminates.
• Apply a thin coat of fresh engine oil to the rubber seal.
• Thread the new oil filter by hand until the gasket seats against the surface. Use CAUTION
not to damage the filter seal.
• Further tighten the oil filter, approximately ¾ of a turn. Confirm the filter security when
complete.
• Clean any residual oil from around the base of the filter


IMPORTANT NOTE: It is possible there may be a gap between the filter case and the installation
surface (0-0.0209 inch / 0-0.53mm). This is a normal condition. Further verification can be achieved
with the use of a 0.022 inch (0.56mm) sized feeler/thickness gauge. This sized gauge should be
unable to be inserted in this gap.
9. Install the new engine oil applicable to the vehicle’s type and quantity specifications.
10. Start the engine and check for any oil leaks around the base of the engine oil filter. Confirm
there are no leaks found.
 

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I think the alternative filter (which is shown as large, and white in the TSB), probably has a lower by-pass valve opening pressure. The Subaru filters have somewhat unique 23 psi bypass valves; most, but not all, others are lower, typically in the 8 -12 psi range. The lower by-pass level could mean more oil by-passing the filter media, allowing for more contaminants to circulate rather than being trapped. That might be why the TSB direction is to drain the oil, refill with new oil, and run the engine for a while before finally replacing the oil and the filter. (Reminds me of the '50s Chev 6's we had. No filter, and a similar engine "flush" with "flushing oil" before the final oil refill.)

In regard to the "gap", the diagram in the TSB shows a rectangular cross section gasket, which is quite different from the Subaru version. The harder, rectangular seal probably should not be over-compressed thereby leaving the small gap.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure if I'm just not able to read the TSB correctly but I still have questions:

Is the old filter still ok to use? Is there something wrong with them or did they just run out?
 

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Not sure if I'm just not able to read the TSB correctly but I still have questions:

Is the old filter still ok to use? Is there something wrong with them or did they just run out?
I’m reading it as they know they are going to run out soon and have opted to identify an alternate “approved” source/brand until they can restock their brand.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5 w/ Eyesight
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Good find, I just had my 2014 Legacy serviced at the dealer last Friday and they installed an AC Delco PF2057. When I asked them about it they didn’t cite this TSB but did say it was an approved by SOA substitution due to supply chain issues. Wonder if the approved exact filter varies by region.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’m reading it as they know they are going to run out soon and have opted to identify an alternate “approved” source/brand until they can restock their brand.
Strangely this is what the Subaru parts website says, indicating that the old filter is obsolete? Would they do this if it's only a temporary substitution? It's also not using the "superseded" terminology.

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Strangely this is what the Subaru parts website says, indicating that the old filter is obsolete? Would they do this if it's only a temporary substitution? It's also not using the "superseded" terminology.

View attachment 552815

Maybe it’s a permanently temporary fix? Lol. Probably shouldn’t be surprising that two documents conflict from a large corporation.

Perhaps they just decided it wasn’t worth having their own name brand, at least for now, and these are what they approve of in the absence of something with their name on it.
 

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Or, just use a NAPA Gold/Wix or Mobil1 filter and be done with it. If these filters require a full oil flush in certain circumstances I am not sure I want anyone, subaru dealer or not, installing one on my car.
I have been using NAPA GOLD or Platinum for 50K miles no issues. 7055 for Gold 47055 Platinum. I usually but 2 or 3 at a time. They do military discounts as well as AAA and others.
 

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My wife laughed at me for buying a case when I bought the car . . . .Interesting that I can not find a peep of this anywhere that beyond that TSB. When I searched "Subaru Filter Shortage" I got articles about the plant shut down due to chip shortages last February . . . but nothing about the oil filters.

Their procedure is strange . . . something I'd never have thought of.

At least they have a solution for the interim.
 

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I would be shocked if dealerships actually followed that procedure.
Maybe they save the oil from the previous drain to do yours. JK (or not...)

I find the TSB nonsensical, but my sig, Line 3.
 
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Has anyone ever pissed away 4 quarts of expensive oil to do a "flush"? Seriously doubt it.

Others have had this same experience... for some reason Mobil 1 M1-110A oil filters end up with 3/8" of oil in "cup", at least on 2017 Outback with 2.5L engine. Have had very good luck with Wix filters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The procedure that includes the flush seems to only apply to two conditions:

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It is remarkable that they want a "flush" for the car's first oil change. This is new, or was this always in the service manual?

For routine oil changes except for the two above conditions, the only applicable procedure is the Important Note that must be followed any time the alternative filter is used, but the Important Note only has to do with the gap between the filter housing and the base of the installation surface. Specifically the gap has to be between 0 and 0.53mm and can be tested using a 0.022 inch (0.56mm) feeler gauge. I'm not sure if they are concerned that there may be double rubber gasket or what the issue is. No matter what oil filter you use, you hand tighten it - Subaru says 3/4 of a turn. I just spin it until it's firm hand tight (no tools).
 
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