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Subaru Forester 2015

Do I need to take my Forester back to the dealer to do my oil and rotations. They are about $30 more than my garage guy.

And how often do I need to change this oil… I know it needs a high viscosity, whatever that means in hot weather. I am
in North Carolina Mountains.

Check your owner’s manual for the type and frequency of oil changes. What does it say?

You can have your maintenance work done anywhere. You’ll have less chance of problems at the dealer or a good independent mechanic versus a tire store or a quick-lube shop. To keep your warranty in effect, make certain to keep all receipts.

You need to change your oil as often as your owner’s manual says to change it.

I second lion9car. Fast lube places tend to put in bulk oil no matter what you paid for. Your owners manual specifies the oil type (0-20 full synthetic) and interval (3750, 7500 and every 7500 after that). It also specifies all the other scheduled maintenance that should not be ignored, but so often is. The dealer or a good independent can keep your car going for many many years.

I find a good independent hard to find, but once you find one, they have less incentive to upsell you on unneeded services or try to convince you that you need a new car after you bring it in beyond a certain age.

Do NOT take your Forester to a quicky lube. While this applies to all cars, it especially applies to Subaru, because ignorant shops can mistakenly remove the spin-on transmission filter (very unusual) instead of the engine oil filter. If you eliminate these types of shops, you may find the dealer is not much more than good independent Subaru-savvy shops.

Click on ‘Mechanics Files’ above, do an ‘Advanced’ search in your area for a Subaru mechanic.

I too STONGLY suggest that you never take your vehicle to a skippy lube of any name. Their business model promotes problems.

Your car was probably 30,000 dollars or more and your concerned about what may be an extra $60.00 a year. If you have the dealer service it they will have records showing what was done and when plus you avoid the problem of someone changing the oil and filter who has never seen a Sabaru before. Also you should have a sticker on the windshield telling you when the oil change is due.

If you do a lot of short hop city driving, etc and considering the heat and no doubt high humidity there you should consider 3-4k miles oil change intervals.

You can certainly have an independent perform those services for you. However, if there is ever a problem related to oil changes, tire wear, or something connected to those 2 services then warranty can legitimately be denied.

It’s not a bad idea to stick with the dealer until the warranty is up as that could mostly eliminate the potential problem mentioned above.

You should find an independent Subaru shop and get a quote for an oil change, also some dealers offer online coupons or e-mail promotions for a better price. It’s not worth it to risk your warranty over $30-$60 a year depending on how many miles you drive. Any other Subaru dealers with a better price that wouldn’t be too far out of the way? $30 per oil change might seem like a lot but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to how much you likely spent buying the forester to begin with.

This car uses a synthetic 0-20, you are not going to get the oil changed for $30, especially at the dealer.

@keith Right! Budget $50-$60 or so. My Mazda deler charges that much ($59) but also lubes the hinges, etc.

Thanks guys, that puts it in perspective. I hate the local two Subaru dealers…always pushing
stuff at me. I guess as a woman, they think they can push stuff. Will bring my pointy
umbrella with me next time.


Best defense is to read the maintenance schedule, and then go in and ask for the specific things you’re due for. If you ask for the ‘30,000 service’, for example, dealers will add all kinds of unneeded stuff on it.

Lorrie O, this is a business transaction. It is not necessary for you to know all about your car or to be a mechanic, if you did or were, you’d change your own oil. Just approach this as a business transaction and check your owners manual for the needed service for your time/mileage.

The owners manual specifies services as R for replace or I for inspect. Inspections should not cost very much as most only take a few seconds to do, although checking brake pads or transmission fluid will take longer these days. Be sure to have all the things done for each interval, not just the oil change and watch for the upsell. If its not in the book, they are not to do it.

Calling around to get several quotes for the services listed is a good business practice. If the dealer is a lot higher that an independent, let them know and ask them to justify those extra costs. Its OK to use lines like “Does your mother know you overcharge like this?” or “aren’t you ashamed to ask that much?”, or one of my favorites “I don’t need the gold plated filter, a painted one will do,”

Don’t let them push you into anything, take a look at the schedule and see what is required for that service then call the dealer and the independant’s and compare. There are some honest dealers out there but there’s lots of them that pile on extras to any service.

A few dealers have tried and failed to push my mom around, she started calling around and found a shop that would do the 30k service on her car (just what’s on the list) for the same as what she was quoted by a dealer 45 miles away,the shop is only 3 miles away. That was back in 1993 and she’s still going to them with her new car.

I would take it to the dealer. They may even be quicker and cleaner with better coffee and those little round things with frosting. It’s quieter and conversation may be better (possible). Children are there and stay cleaner. Dealer won’t try to sell you oil improvers…

If the drain plug falls out the dealer may be more willing to make amends if your engine also falls apart. They won’t if somebody else messes up.