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2010 Outback. My check engine light (along with flashing BRAKE, cruise, etc.) came on yesterday, and it was a little overdue for an oil change I brought it in for service. They just called and said, "We need to flush the oil system out because you waited too long between oil changes." I asked if 6k was actually enough to cause problems in a 2 year old car, and they assured me that it is.

I'm not sure I buy this, but the check engine light is on so it's certainly detecting something.

Thoughts?
 

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kinda seems more like an alternator problem with the brake light on - though you may have overlapping issues. The brake light will come on if the fluid is low for instance., but hard to say. Sometimes, you get a spurious code and resetting the ECU will clear it and it may not come back. We would prefer you go to O'reilly's or similar, get the code read, note it, clear it, then post the Pxxxx number here.

most people would say 6k is a little long on 'dino' oil, doesn't seem excessive though.
 

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Yep, I should have checked the code first. I'm still under wrap warranty so I didn't bother, since I thought they'd just handle everything.

Called Subaru USA, they said the 2.5i should have it's oil changed every 7,500 (based on my VIN). That was interesting.

Called shop back and they said that's not right, because the oil cap on 2010's indicate not to use synthetic oil. It's 3,000

Next steps anybody? I'm thinking change the oil, have them clear the code, and see what's up.
 

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from my brief look, it seems 3750 to 7500 miles is recommended, but it's unclear what part of that requires 'easy' driving and/or synthetic oil. Synthetic shows as 'recommended' but not required.

what this likely means is, the dealership did not use synth. last time and are trying to claim you are 2k over the desired interval.

check your manual and the receipt for the last oil change. If they charged you for synthetic - OR - if the manual leads you to believe that 'easy' driving allows you to go 7K miles between oil changes, then you have some defense.

but, as said, many experienced people here would say 6k miles is a 'little' long for dino oil, but not excessively long by any means. New cars and new oil technology allows for longer intervals than in the past and some other vehicles also allow 7500K miles between oil changes on dino oil. This assumes no abnormally severe use of the car and the oil level is kept topped up.

what is the issue here? are they trying to deny some warranty work?
 

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The oil change interval is also based on TIME, so waiting 24 months for the first oil change is a bad idea. There are lots of things that can contribute to oil breaking down and causing sludge or corrosion - short trips where the engine doesn't warm up, condensation resulting in acid formation, etc. In your situation it's best to switch to full synthetic and at least replace the filter and top up the oil annually if you aren't going to do a complete change.

But you are foolish if you think your warranty will be 100% valid if you don't perform regular changes. After it has expired you can experiment. Oil is a lot cheaper than a new engine.

My Acura has a computerized oil reminder - I pretty much ignore it, and change the Mobil 1 synthetic every twelve months regardless of the odometer reading (even if it is less than 3000 miles). The car manufacturer has no vested interest in your car lasting any longer than the warranty period, but the owner sure does. Unless you lease...... in which case you should spend the bare minimum on maintenance

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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The oil change interval is also based on TIME, so waiting 24 months for the first oil change is a bad idea. There are lots of things that can contribute to oil breaking down and causing sludge or corrosion - short trips where the engine doesn't warm up, condensation resulting is acid formation, etc. In your situation it's best to switch to full synthetic and at least replace the filter and top up the oil annually if you aren't going to do a complete change.

But you are foolish if you think your warranty will be 100% valid if you don't perform regular changes. After it has expired you can experiment. Oil is a lot cheaper than a new engine.

My Acura has a computerized oil reminder - I pretty much ignore it, and change the Mobil 1 synthetic every twelve months regardless of the odometer reading (even if it is less than 3000 miles). The car manufacturer has no invested interest in your car lasting any longer than the warranty period, but the owner sure does. Unless you lease...... in which case you should spend the bare minimum on maintenance

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
yep. definitely use the TIME portion of the schedule if it comes before the MILEAGE portion. Infrequent use/short trips is considered 'severe duty'. I have that issue with both my cars.

good point.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The oil change interval is also based on TIME, so waiting 24 months for the first oil change is a bad idea. There are lots of things that can contribute to oil breaking down and causing sludge or corrosion - short trips where the engine doesn't warm up, condensation resulting is acid formation, etc.
Absolutely.
In your situation it's best to switch to full synthetic and at least replace the filter and top up the oil annually if you aren't going to do a complete change.
The oil cap on 2010's indicate using conventional oil only. Perhaps the rule has changed?
But you are foolish if you think your warranty will be 100% valid if you don't perform regular changes. After it has expired you can experiment. Oil is a lot cheaper than a new engine.
Of course. My understanding was that I was still well under the manufacturer's recommendation.

I called Subaru USA back. They double-checked and said that, for a 2010 2.5i, when using conventional oil the recommended interval is 3,750. They apologized, said the recommended repair was justified, and offered to reimburse me the $159 cost.
 

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I can't believe no one else is claiming BS on the dealer here. The internal is 7.5k regardless of dino or synthetic per the manual unless you have 'harsh' driving conditions or a turbo. I personally have never seen a car that says you can't use synthetic. What's up with that?
 

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2010 Outback. My check engine light (along with flashing BRAKE, cruise, etc.) came on yesterday, and it was a little overdue for an oil change I brought it in for service. They just called and said, "We need to flush the oil system out because you waited too long between oil changes." I asked if 6k was actually enough to cause problems in a 2 year old car, and they assured me that it is.

I'm not sure I buy this, but the check engine light is on so it's certainly detecting something.

Thoughts?
Your check engine light did not come on because you did not get the oil changed!!! I agree with the other poster saying this is BS!

However John is correct about the comment of looking at time and miles.

The issue here is not 3750 or 7500, it is IF you are on severe duty or too much time past. I have never seen a dealer (okay I think I heard of, one dealer that was honest) not say that a car was on severe duty. According to most dealers ALL cars are on severe duty. Hmmmm... I wonder why they would say that? Maybe it's because they sell overpriced oil changes?

There is nothing on the oil cap that says "conventional" only. Unless they changed the oil cap... in 2012.



Is the dealer even addressing the Code? Make sure you find out what the code was. They need to give you PO### (like PO 123). The lights coming on is typical when the car throws a code. It could be anything like the gas cap was not on tight to very serious stuff.

GET THE CODE!
 

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Dealer was caught by Mother Subaru selling customers complete Bull - Got their hand slapped and Mother Subaru says look we can keep this under wraps by making the owner whole and taking them out of the mix given no actual harm done other than the DEALER selling you a pile of steaming Bull Sh -t

Your engine dash lights coming on were due to some other issue completely unrelated to oil UNLESS! Your oil level was way low which it doesn't sound like it was.
 

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I typically do NOT go to the dealer for anything as they are way overpriced and will find or make all kinds of problems that I cannot afford.

I have a mechanic and keep every receipt of work done, when I do the work, I also make a note and keep all receipts.
 

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I agree with the several posters above that the dealer is feeding you BS. I don't know how much time had passed since your last oil change, but even if it was a year, all they had to do is change the oil and filter. "Flushing" the crankcase can only do more harm than good. Time limits on oil are based on the additive package not being able to nuetralize acid beyond a certain point. No other treatment necessary or advisable.
 

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There is nothing on the oil cap that says "conventional" only. Unless they changed the oil cap... in 2012.
You are correct. I checked my cap and she lied. The Subaru synthetic may have come out after the car did, but she specifically said the cap said conventional, and it does not.

I pulled out my maintenance schedule from the car:

The parentheses indicate "Only 3.6L", so I don't mean if the whole row is for the 3.6, which would be weird, given there's no 2.5 row, or if the first number in parens is just for the 3.6.

Just an update. Repair work order indicates the problem was a sticking solenoid valve, which was replaced. I know this can happen due to insufficiently frequent oil changes (a family member had this happen on a different make/model of car), but I appear to have been well within the recommended service window.

The oil flush was on a separate page of the W.O. and doesn't appear to be linked to the trouble code in any way.

At this point it's pretty apparent that replacing the valve and clearing the code was sufficient. I'll be taking this up with the service director, the CSI people when they call, and review websites. Very disappointed in Evanston Subaru.
 

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It's nice to hear that they fixed your car.

But considering they lied to you (and you know at least the oil cap thing is verifiable) don't you want to make sure that the fix they did had anything to do with your problem?

If you tell us the PO### we can at least verify the code has anything to do with the part they replaced. It's always hard to diagnose car stuff through strangers online (we can't see the car) but the rest of your story does not add up for me.

How many miles did you have on the car? The first oil change should have been at 3k miles, that is a 3.6L thing. After that 7.5k synthetic or conventional oil and a filter is all that is required. If you went 6k on the factory fill, then the dealer can say anything but this:

All oil changes have been performed at this dealership. I assume they're putting in whatever the manufacturer recommends, but honestly I didn't check.
THAT makes me think you had at least one oil change so there should not be an issue. Of course so many other things come into play like short trips (running the car for less than 30 mins at a time) temperature and climate that it's possible 6k is too much as others have said too.

The only reason you would need a flush is to remove sludge which normally only happens because of abuse and old oil. Doing a flush on an old car is risky because it can break sludge loose which can plug the oil pump or oil passages (or even solenoids, meaning they could have damaged the part themselves and not fixed the reason the light came on). In rarer cases it can damage the metal parts. To do a flush in a two year old car would be rare and it would mean that you are driving under "extreme conditions."

But again, I'm not there and can't see the car. A legitimate reason for doing a flush is sludge in the engine. This would mean the oil was extremely old and the engine was abused.

Considering you live in the midwest dust and heat are less of a factor. Do you drive a lot of short trips?
 

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Also I can't think of any sticking solenoid valve having to do with the engine oil period. So kinda thinking they are feeding you a line of BS with that also.
 

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The only reason you would need a flush is to remove sludge which normally only happens because of abuse and old oil. Doing a flush on an old car is risky because it can break sludge loose which can plug the oil pump or oil passages (or even solenoids, meaning they could have damaged the part themselves and not fixed the reason the light came on). In rarer cases it can damage the metal parts. To do a flush in a two year old car would be rare and it would mean that you are driving under "extreme conditions."
Ummm...exactly where are solenoids in the oiling system of the Subaru? Engine flush recommendation by dealer = BS PERIOD. There is NO WAY, NO HOW that you could sludge up an engine in 6,000 miles. You were lied to plain and simple to extract your hard earned money from your wallet.
 
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