Scheduled Maintenance - 2014

Have a 2014 Subaru Impreza with 121,000 miles. I had the oil changed at 120,100 miles and plan to change it at 127,000 miles. I do every 5,000 - 7,000 miles so I’m probably throwing money away, lol, but I want to keep the car to 9 years, 215,000 - 230,000 miles or so.

The manual says a coolant “exchange” at 137,500 miles. Should I do a coolant drain and fill or do a flush? Can a flush damage the radiator or is it less caustic than a transaxle flush? My next change is at 127,000 miles. Most importantly, I plan to have the dealer drain and fill of the CVT system at 125,000.

I also need to change the spark plugs and was wondering if an induction service was helpful.

Does a car benefit from a buffing / detailing job or do you need to paint the car? What kind of rust problems are aesthetic and what kinds will damage the structure of the car whereby just like if the tranny or engine goes out, you’re likely buying another car. I don’t really care about aesthetics but do care about structure. I have scratches on the top hood and mini-chips on front hood of the car. I usually have my car washed periodically which seems to have kept the undercarriage free of salt.

My chevy had rust at 156,000 miles and it was nearly 12 years old. Worried to have another rustbucket.

Thanks so much!

Touch up the paint chips - and you should have been doing this ALL along! If you don’t mind the scratches, leave it alone. If you do, take it to a detail shop and have the scratches buffed out. Paint is VERY expensive so forget that. Serious, car-killing, rust come from INside the car, not from the outside. Keep washing the under carriage.

Not what I’d call a “rustbucket” at 12 years old. Now if that was at 5 years old… 'nother matter!

Do a coolant drain and fill. A flush won’t damage anything. A transaxle flush is not caustic either. 5 to 7K oil changes are NOT throwing money away.

I hope you’ve done this at least once before. CVT’s can be problematic and are expensive to replace. Waiting to 125K is too long. I wouldn’t wait that long on a conventional automatic.

Yes, I did at 75,000 miles and plan to do every 50,000 miles (so 125, 175, 225). Hope to have it 4 years.

Unfortunately my wife has a Nissan that may have had its transmission fluid done at 38,000 miles but she has never done the service and it’s 117,000 miles. Probably be replacing it in a couple years. She’s had it for 3.5 years and has racked up 79,000 highway miles during that time. Hope to have it 2.5 years.

Thanks so much. I thought to be more conservative with the oil schedule instead of waiting to between 7,500 and 10,000 miles even though it is 0W/20 full synthetic oil. My wife changes hers every 5,000 miles. I take it in when I can at 3,800 miles because that’s the owners manual recommendation for her vehicle. I’ve taken the Subaru in at 6,000 miles because of a later modification on the recommendation.

Thanks for the suggestion in terms of touching up the paint chips.

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You can buy the correct color touch up paint from the dealer or online sources. Google “automotive touchup paint”

Will do. Thanks so much!

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Don’t flush the coolant system, but if you do, do it at a Subaru dealership because you don’t want to cross contaminate the coolant with other types of coolant, even though most are compatible with each other. Absolutely do not use a chemical flush. It has been my experience that these do a lot of damage to cooling systems.

The base ingredient in coolant, ethylene glycol, can easily outlast your vehicle, but there are additives that help keep your cooling system clean and corrosion free. These additives eventually get eaten up. Some are sacrificial, that is they corrode instead of the internal parts of your cooling system. You need to drain and refill the cooling system to get rid of the spent additives and put fresh ones in.

Right now the only contaminates in your cooling system are the spent additives. If a few are left behind, say about 10% because you only get about 90% of the old coolant out, they wont hurt anything. You will put in new coolant so the spent additives are diluted by 90%. They don’t really do any damage anyway.

If you flush out the system with a garden hose, you are adding contaminates such as minerals and chlorine. You will never get all the water you used for flushing out so some of those contaminates will be left behind. The minerals will use up some of the additives and some could become deposited on surfaces of the cooling system. Chlorine is also corrosive.

Just doing a drain and fill is really the best, as long as you haven’t put off this until the cooling system is damaged, Then you have to take more drastic steps, it becomes the lesser of two evils.

As for the paint. You should put on a protective layer at least once a year. I find the crosslinked polymer waxes to be the toughest. As for chips and scratches, it depends on how deep they go. All cars these days are treated with phosphoric acid to create an iron phosphide coating. This is a lot like the blueing on a cast iron skillet. As long as it is not broken, it will keep the steel underneath from rusting. This is then coated with a sealer, then the color coat followed by the clear coat.

If you do see down to what looks like bare metal, but it is a dull gray and not either shiny metal or rust, then do not sand it. Just fill it in with a spot paint. You do not need to prime first but you can if you want to. If you have not chipped or scratched through the color coat, then just wax over it.

Induction service not needed. Use a Top Tier gas.