30,000 Mile Service (Subaru)


A 2006 Subaru Forester. What kind of things need to be checked/replaced at 30,000 miles? My gf made an appointment with the local Subaru dealer, and they have a list a mile long of things they want to (cough boat payment cough) “check.”

I want to whittle this list down as narrowly as possible to save my gf money and anxiety (the car is driven a lot).

For example “MOC” “Premium Engine Protection,” “Fuel System Cleaner,” and “Transmission Conditioner?”

I think I’m going to tell them I can “inspect the battery myself.” And as for “servicing” the terminals, doesn’t that just mean clean them? Same with “inspecting” the heat shield.

I understand they should check fluids, brakes, and belts, but is it really necessary to replace the PCV valve, spark plugs, and transfer case oil?


There’s a simple solution to this problem. Find the OWNER’S MANUAL for your girlfriend’s car and read it. In it you will find a maintenance schedule, written by the Subaru factory engineers (not the dealer), telling you, and her, EXACTLY what needs to be done, and when.

Once you have this information, you, or she, can tell the dealer, “No thanks, that’s not necessary.” and save a whole bunch of money.

The dealer has a financial incentive to “pad” the maintenance schedule. They all do it. Your girlfriend does not need any of the “extra” things the dealer recommends. They are profit generators, and nothing more.


Do everything except put additives in trans, engine and fuel system. I agree with the first post.


The additive called “Subaru Coolant Conditioner” is a requirement however.


There are two things to keep in mind.

First: Your owner’s manual list those things that should be done. Any additional items are ADP.

Second: Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.

They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies. They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent.

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

[b]There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. [/b]

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.


All of the preceding information is very good, but I just want to clarify one point. The Subaru Maintenance Schedule is contained in a separate booklet, not in the Owner’s Manual.

The separate booklet gives the details on all of the warranties (there are several of them) and the full maintenance schedule–both “normal” and “severe service” (the category that most cars actually fall into).

This would be a good time for your GF (and perhaps you) to read all of the materials sitting in the glove compartment, as some of them are vitally important to the operation of the car. Don’t assume that you know everything about every detail of the car, as there are variations from one make to another, and some of the differences are critically important if you want to save money, prolong the life of the car, and preserve your safety.

Frankly, I just can’t figure out why so many people never bother to read the wealth of information that is sitting in the glove compartment, just a few feet away from the driver’s seat.


With Subaru its a much better idea to go to dealer while under warranty especially 3yr/36,000 miles. They cover everything including wear items like full brakes, windshield wipers bulbs, battery etc. An independent likely does not know this and will simply replace these parts themselves as needed.


Also, while I really like Subarus, I have to admit that some of their mechanicals are a bit “odd” in comparison to other makes.

A very good example is the fact that the oil drain and the transmission drain are, literally, just a few inches away from each other and look exactly alike. More than a few Subarus have had engines and/or transmissions destroyed by shops that mixed up the two drains.

While this type of mistake is obviously more likely to happen at Quicky-Lube, an independent mechanic who rarely sees Subarus could also make this mistake. Trust me–this has been reported a number of times on this board.

If your dealership is like mine, the coupons that they send in the mail may actually make the 30k service the same price as at an independent shop that uses after-market filters, rather than the genuine OEM parts.

And, if you get the Subaru Mastercard and use it for virtually every purchase, the 3% rebate results in a lot of $100. vouchers that are good for service, parts, or the purchase of a new Subaru. Each year, I collect $500. in these vouchers (the annual limit) and as a result, I rarely even pay for servicing my car at the dealership.

Getting genuine OEM parts and having the car serviced by people who are actually familiar with the car–plus getting it for free–Can you think of a better deal than that?

P.S.–Read that Owner’s Manual and the Maintenance/Warranty Booklet!