Looking for a viable workaround the exorbitant labor costs for the 60K tuneup

Roughly $800 in labor and $200 in parts. WTAF?! And let me guess, if I DIY I can void my warranty? What is a viable workaround? There must be certified independents who aren’t so pricy! Subaru Ascent 2019.
Subaru dealer said it’s because they are still airplane engines and have to be tilted to access the spark plugs on the lower sides of the engine. WHY subaru?!
I’m not a dummy. I know cars. $800 in labor?

Likely no warranty applies, so go through your owners manual, make a list of all recommended maintenance, find a good independent shop, and get a quote.


Those space shuttles aren’t cheap to maintain!



Roughly $800 in labor and $200 in parts. WTAF?! And let me guess, if I DIY I can void my warranty? What is a viable workaround? There must be certified independents who aren’t so pricy! Subaru Ascent 2019

Does your owners manual state “tune up” required at 60,000?

Brake fluid and transmission change, yes. Tune ups are maintenance of the 1970s.

Check your owners manual, I’d be surprised that plugs are required at 60,000.
edit- turns out it is. here’s the schedule:
2019 Ascent Maintenance Schedule | Subaru Ascent Forum (ascentforums.com)

There’s probably a Subaru specialist that would give you a quote, my brother’s 2006 Legacy wagon has been serviced by the local Subaru shop since brand new, depends on how the dealer’s 60K service compares to what’s in the manual. Spark plugs are replaced every 60K according to the manual.

I you look, the OP edited their post.

The make, model, year wasn’t in their original post.


According to another post in the Subaru forum, the 60,000 mile service is just likening 30,000 mile service and add new plugs and plug wires.

So I see, must have been edited as I was typing.

This is not legal. If you DIY, just save the invoice for the parts, and record the date and mileage that you did the work in your owner’s manual.

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60k includes oil/filter, air filter, cabin filter, brake fluid, plugs, plus inspection.
I’d add changing the CVT fluid, but only if Subaru-brand fluid is used, not ‘Subaru compatible’ fluid.

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You have receipt for all parts required for 60k service. You can choose to not install some or all parts and say you did. No labor.

Here’s a post copied from a Subaru Ascent forum:
“If I understand correctly, yes. The engine gets supported by the maintenance mounting location on the top, then the mounts get disconnected, then the engine gets tilted upwards enough so the coil packs and spark plugs (and requisite tools) can clear the frame rails of the car. Book labor charge is about 2.5 hours, so prices vary across the country since labor rates seem to go from $70-150/hour. The plugs aren’t cheap, btw - about $30 a piece.”
This does seem to be the recommended service at 60K. An independent shop would probably be able to do this at a better price. Does that $800 price tag include other items besides swapping the plugs?

19 Ascent, looks to be a Turbo design, probably a tight fit in the engine compartment. Makes all the jobs more time consuming. I’m seeing around 2 hours labor to replace the spark plugs. I don’t see anything about needing to remove/loosen engine mounts, but maybe that’s been discovered to be the best way to do it. I do see mention of removing the battery, coils, intake path components , which seems like it could easily put the SP R&R labor time up to 2-2.5 hours.

2.5 hours to replace the SP’s wouldn’t explain the $800 labor fee though. Must be other stuff they are doing.

You’re probably speaking of an older car you’d worked on. R&R SP job on early 90’s Corolla, takes me (just a diy’er) maybe 20 minutes. (In the way of misery loving company, even on my Corolla I have to remove/loosen engine mounts and tilt the engine to remove the water pump pulley. Removing engine mounts seems a big deal, but in actuality other than paying full attention to what you’re doing, not overly difficult.)

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Well, the local dealer around here has a labor rate of $188/hr. If replacing the plugs, filters, and fluids as recommended is 4 hours of labor, you’re right in the ballpark. You can probably find a local indy shop with Subaru experience to do the job for less. Somewhat less, not hundreds less. Having the work done elsewhere will not void your warranty. Just have all the documents.

Or do the work yourself on a Saturday afternoon.

I think I’ll take the family out for dinner to the local Mexican restaurant where a margarita is $8.50 and a plate of fajitas is $19.99. Life is expensive.

Why do you have an airplane engine in your car?

They don’t. Dealer was wrong.

At 60k there’s no warranty, right?

Haha if they were wrong about it being an engine for an airplane, said it with a straight face in an even tone being serious, and weren’t overexaggerating, then they are probably wrong about other things as well =D

Only if we could go back to the good old days were there were physical copies of the service manuals used at the dealerships. Maybe the procedure is in AllData?

Exaggeration. Subaru engines are used in homebuilt aircraft.


Haha, I think I will stay home, where I can cook a great dinner for my family of 3 for less than $20, no tax or tip required. Oh, and that $20 includes all food and non-alcoholic drinks (usually lemonade or orange juice).

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