Prepaid service / maintenance plan for Subaru Outback

Hi there, we just bought our first Subaru yesterday - a 2019 Outback Premium with upgrades. At check-out, we got suckered into paying for the prepaid service plan, which will cover oil changes and other factory recommended services for 3 months or 36k, at a cost of $1,260. The guy claimed that the 30k mile service alone would cost that much and that this would be an overall savings of 50% (with oil changes costing a whooping $79!!). He also claimed that we needed to have all of this done at Subaru in order not to void the warranty, which in hindsight, I find very fishy indeed!
Is this a rip-off? How much does that 30k miles service usually run, and can I really not get my oil changes elsewhere?
Thanks very much for your answers / insights! Oh and we’re in the Washington-Baltimore metro area in MD, if that makes a difference (expensive area!!)


Even at a dealership–where the prices are almost always higher than at an indy mechanic’s shop–the price that he mentioned is ridiculously inflated, and undoubtedly bogus. My best recollection is that I paid ~$400 at a dealership for my 2011 Outback’s 30k service. Prices are likely higher now, but… $1,260? I don’t think so!

During the warranty period I recommend that you have the car serviced at the dealership. This isn’t required, but… as but one example of why I make that suggestion… if there are any open recalls on your vehicle, they will be performed automatically when you go in for service, and–of course–only genuine Subaru parts will be used.

And, even with a Subaru, there is likely to be something that needs to be adjusted or tightened, or replaced during the first year or two. Anything of that nature is paid for by your multiple warranties, whereas you would have to pay for similar service at an indy mechanic.

But, whatever you do, do NOT go to a quicky oil change place if you value your vehicle!
And, try to get a refund for that prepaid service plan.




That depends. Sometimes Subaru includes a free 2 year/24k mile service. If that promotion was on, then you got ripped off. If it wasn’t running at this time, then maybe not as bad.

I think you will find that the $79 oil change was for vehicles that use 5w30 conventional oil. Yours uses synthetic oil and that oil change could be quite a bit higher. Check but I think it runs $129 unless they are running a special. You should get one at 3k, 7.5k 15k, 22.5k, and 30k. So that’s 5 oil changes. The 15k also includes a cabin air filter that I believe will cost somewhere around $80. The 30k includes another cabin filter and an engine air filter, about $80 each at dealer prices. It also includes a bunch of inspections that take all of about 15 minutes, but charge another hour of labor. I calculate that to be about $990, plus the interest you lose (or pay if part of the financed) and interest they gain by holding your money for up to three years.

They didn’t make you a good deal, that’s for sure.

BTW, 60k is the high dollar service. It includes those spark plugs that run $21 at a discount place like RockAuto. They are not easy to put in either.

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No carmaker is allowed to require you to use their parts or service department to maintain your warranty by Federal Law. You do need to keep all receipts for parts and labor on required services. It may be more convenient to use the dealer for service, but it is more costly.

Interesting! Is there some legal thing you could point me towards about that?
Don’t you hate when they lie to you…

Well that’s what they quoted me for oil changes - $79 with synthetic. I think that;s rather high enough!!! Also, recommended at 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36. So that would be 6 changes. However, I doubt that I will do all of those within 3 years (36 months) since this car won’t be driven 12k a year. And this plan is only good for whatever comes first, so I most likely wouldn’t even get all the oil changed I’ve paid for!
It all hinges on how much the 15k and 30k services are - that’s how he got me bc he claimed the 30k one was about 1200 alone - in which case the plan would be a good investment. However, I have read multiple people saying that it’s not nearly that much…I will call the service department in the morning and try to find out. Or get them to email me a quote.
WE’re not financing, so there is no interest to be paid on this. One thing I figured is that prices if anything will go up, rather than down!

Magnussen Moss Warranty Act, enacted in 1975, specifies that you do not need to go the dealer for service to maintain your warranty. As long as the required services are performed and documented your warranty should remain valid.

Hey that’s great, thanks very much!!! Ideally, I shouldn’t need that warranty anyways, if Subaru is as good as they claim it is , right :slight_smile: ?

But if you do then you should change the oil and filter at the recommended times. That may be 6000 miles or 6 months . I am one of those that use the dealer for service until the warranty is expired. There have been many threads here where a quick change place has messed up the oil change. And why would you try to skimp doing the proper care of a 30000.00 plus investment.

If you can get a synthetic oil change for $79, that’s pretty good. It’s more than that at many shops.

The three months will surely come before you hit the 30K mark.

You must have meant 3 Years!!!


The dealer may have added “services” at 15K and 30K beyond what the carmaker specifies. You do not need the have those done. They may have been used to pad the “value” of the package they sold you. It’s quite possible the dealer won’t actually do them, because there is no before and after result of doing them in the vast majority of cases.

I’m betting if you look up the severe service schedule for your car (and you likely fit that description) you will need every one of those oil changes to meet the warranty requirements. I have found that the dealer isn’t always more expensive. And there will be no wiggling out if you had the work done there using their recommended schedules if it requires repair work during the warranty period. Compare that to them saying to bring in all your receipts in the event something bad happens and they initially deny coverage because you’re not in their service system…only you can decide what that is worth…

The mileage intervals also include a time interval, i.e. 6k or 6 months, whichever comes first. So if you rack up 5k miles in 6 months, you do the oil change at 5k, you do not wait till 6k. Your service agreement should have everything spelled out, including what they do at 15 and 30k. BTW each of those 6mo/6k services also include a tire rotation which is critical on a Subaru and usually costs around $20-25 by itself, more if they re-balance the tires each time.

“Ideally, I shouldn’t need that warranty anyways, if Subaru is as good as they claim it is , right :slight_smile: ?”

I have needed mine. Transmission failure, air filter for canister, and a new air pump for the canister. BTW, they never once asked me to prove that I did all the required maintenance services, which I do myself. Another part of the Moss Magnussen Warranty Act is that they have to prove that using non dealer/manufacturer specified products or services caused the failure.

Yes, of course I meant 3 years. Sorry!

Really? Wow. Most people seem to think that’s outrageous…I’m not very knowledgeable in these matters, but the car we just replaced was a Volvo XC-90, where everything cost an arm and a leg, but I don’t think oil changes were $79…

You misunderstood me. I’m not trying to skimp on anything, I just want to make sure that I didn’t get a bad deal. Most people seem to think these dealer plans are a rip-off. As i said before, I do’nt know too much about these things, that’s why I’m trying to get a better sense of what’s reasonable, what’s a rip-off etc.

Sure, I understand that. The oil changes will likely happen. My concern is the big sticker item that the 30k mile service seems to be, at least according to the guy who sold us the plan; if the cost of this is what either makes this plan worthwhile or not, then I’d have to be pretty certain that I am going to make use of it. Which contrary to the oil changes wouldn’t necessarily be the case if I’m a ways off the 30k miles at the 36 months mark. Which is possible - I just looked at the CX-3 we bought about 1.5 years ago, we haven’t even put 12k on that and our driving pattern isn’t likely to change much…

Just the oil and filter from Walmart will cost you $35-$45 or so. To me that makes a total shop cost of $79 not that bad.