Subaru Maintenance Question (2013)


I purchased my first car about a year and a half ago, 2013 Subaru Impreza (not the WRX or STI). I have been doing all the recommended maintenance in the intervals specified in the manual (7.5k oil changes, etc). I was wondering if there was anything else I need to do/watch out for as I keep maintaining this car other then what is specified in the manual (or is following the manual all I need to do). I am planning on keeping it for as long as I can, and I don’t want to make any easy mistakes regarding regular maintenance due to my own inexperience with cars. Also, any tips for keeping the vehicle running as long, and as good as possible are appreciated.

Thank you for your time and help!

Make sure during that 7.5k oil change interval(oci) you check the engine oil level. All cars burn oil just at different rates. 7.5k oci you loose barely anything to a few quarts.

And use full synthetic.

Because it is all wheel drive, you need to rotate the tires with every oil change.

The maintenance manual will provide you a general idea about when to do service. Most importantly, it’s generally recommended to change your oil/oil filter roughly every 3k miles rather than 7.5k. Oil/oil filter change intervals is largely dependent upon driving conditions such as city or country so keep this in mind when deciding how long to wait for the next change.

Things to check periodically yourself is tire pressure to avoid accelerated tire wear, battery condition, and fluid levels (brake fluid, coolant, etc.). Also keep in mind to not over rev your motor (over 4k RPM) before it’s fully warmed up. Last, always remember to have your check engine light diagnosed ASAP to avoid potentially further damaging your vehicles motor.

Just some friendly advice from you local auto repair shop owner

3k oil changes are outdated. 7.5k is fine.

“Just some friendly advice from you local auto repair shop owner” who will gladly take your money for changing your oil too often.

Thank you for the tips! I will make sure I watch the tachometer, fluids, and battery condition.
My owner’s manual does recommend 7.5k oil changes with 0W-20 full synthetic, I thought that with the newer vehicles and the full synthetic oil, 3k oil changes were outdated, as keith and insightful pointed out a above.

I will be sure to rotate the tires every oil change! Thank you, I was not aware of that. Is that mostly due to tire wear and to increase the life of the tires? I’m trying to learn as much as I can.

Some maintenance manuals don’t mention brake fluid changes. I’d do a fluid change every 3-5 years.

" Is that mostly due to tire wear and to increase the life of the tires?"

It’s also needed to keep the AWD system happy. Bad things can happen to the differentials without even tire wear.

No engine has ever been damaged by changing the oil too often…Many, many engines have been damaged by not changing the oil often enough…

If it’s an automatic transmission, I would have that fluid changed every 50,000 miles or so, regardless of what the manual says…Same with the coolant…

“I will be sure to rotate the tires every oil change! Thank you, I was not aware of that. Is that mostly due to tire wear and to increase the life of the tires? I’m trying to learn as much as I can.”

Then you REALLY need to read–and follow–the maintenance schedule that Subaru provided.
The maintenance schedule specifies tire rotation every 7,500 miles, and if you don’t do this consistently you WILL wind up damaging the AWD system. And, that damage would not be covered by warranty, as owner negligence automatically leads to loss of warranty coverage for a repair that would otherwise be covered.

As to those 7,500 mile oil changes, I hope you realize that the mfr’s maintenance schedule specifies “Every 7,500 miles or 7.5 months, whichever comes first”. If you are someone who accumulates miles slowly, it may well take you more than 7.5 months to accumulate 7,500 miles. I sincerely hope that this is not the case with you, because if it is, then you have already voided the warranty on the engine.

The bottom line is that you REALLY need to read that maintenance schedule, do everything that is listed as per both the odometer mileage and/or elapsed time values, and to have documentation that you have done so.

I have read through the manual, and did see the recommended tire rotation ever 7.5k, but when discussing it with a mechanic, they explained to me that it is mostly for tire wear and tear, and did not bring up the AWD issue. I’m glad that I now know that it is also due to the AWD system (I also know all about towing restrictions, etc, that comes with Subaru AWD. It is very possible I missed the part where they brought up AWD concerns regarding tire rotation as well in the manual, I will have to look through it again). They have been rotated every oil change to date, and the oil has been changed in accordance with miles/time elapsed. Since I drive a lot, it has not been a time issue, just miles so far.
Thank you for the input!

I think it’s time to reread the manual. But then even the best forget a maintainence issue now and then.
I do oil changes on all our vehicles every 5000 miles. Well at least close to this target!!!
I have a chart for each car. I know it’s on this machine somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it right now. or I’d paste it.

I don’t have the chart here but it goes something like this.

/ / 5000 oil & filter ___________________________________________
/ / 10000 oil & filter, Air Filter,
/ / 15000 oil & filter, Grease
/ / 20000 oil & filter, Air filter, PCV,
/ / 25000 oil & filter, Plugs
/ / 30000 oil & filter, Air filter, Grease
/ / 35000 oil & filter. Trans filter and fluid
/ / 40000 oil & filter, Air filter, PCV,
/ / 45000 oil & filter, Grease, brake fluid flush
/ / 50000 oil & filter, Air filter, plugs rotor, cap & wires

There is a box behind the list for any other repairs that I made at that time, ie; lower ball joints

I may have forgotten something that’s on the list, but it’s late and I’m tired.


Almost every car on the road meets the severe service schedule. This means oil changes more frequently and failure to do so can lead to oil sludging, oil coking, along with premature oil consumption issues.

The cut and paste is what Subaru has to say about this…

Severe driving is

Repeated short trips, stop-and-go, extensive idling (basically any urban driving)
Rough, muddy, dusty, wet, humid, cold, mountainous, salty conditions (basically any country or winter driving)
Towing a trailer.

Moderate use: Buy it, park it, and never drive it.

AckE, if you were a long time reader of this discussion, you would know that for most cars, I rail against frequent tire rotations. In my opinion, frequent tire rotations increase the tire wear and hide alignment issues that increase tore wear even further.

On RWD vehicles, I don’t rotate, ever. On FWD, I rotate once when the front tires are a little over half worn, and then only front to rear, no side to side.

But as a Subaru owner myself, and a long time member of this discussion group and seeing how often Subaru (and other AWD systems) get damaged when tires of different circumference are used for any length of time, my recommendation is to rotate them on schedule.

This requires more diligence in inspecting for abnormal wear patterns on the tires just before the rotation so that any alignment issues can be corrected as soon as possible. Wheel alignment is the most critical aspect of tire wear.

Saying that, I am not a fan of frequent wheel alignments. Only do an alignment if there is evidence of the need based on driving issues such as pulling to one side or difficulty in maintaining a straight line, or if there is excessive tire wear. If it drives straight and the tires last as long as expected, do not align, but at the first sign of a problem, get it checked immediately and you will save money in the long run.

The case for using the severe schedule is much more detailed in the manual that the above listing. Read it carefully, it a page or so long. You may find that you are not in the severe category, in fact you are most likely not.

I would however consider getting the ATF fluid drained and refilled, NOT FLUSHED, about every 30k miles even though you are not on the severe schedule for that. It’s a small price to pay for really extending the life of your transmission.


I appreciate your post about tire rotations, I will be sure to take proper care of the tires, rotations and watching for abnormal wear patterns, as well as wheel alignments only as necessary. After checking out the severe schedule, I don’t believe I am on it. The vast majority of my driving is highway driving up and down the i5 corridor.

I have a question about the transmission fluid. This vehicle has a CVT, and does not come with a dipstick to check the transmission fluid. The maintenance manual says the fluid should be inspected every 30k miles, but does not offer any explanation on how to check it. When I took it into a mechanic for the 30k service, he said that it is “sealed up tight” and something along the lines of you don’t need to do anything with it, unless there is a leak or a problem. The manual states that it only needs to be replaced under severe driving, or towing, and has no date on when to change the fluid, just the 30k “inspect” marker.

Thank you for the chart Yosemite, I will have to make one for my own vehicle. It will be a bit easier to look and mark that, then the service booklet that comes with the car, matching up the rows with the columns and the like. While not difficult, it always gives me the sinking feeling that I have missed something.

AckE; The professional guys here know that when they lift that clients car, they check A,B,C,D, E.&F.
We guys that only do this part time may miss one of those checks.
It’s easy enough to open the hood and check everything that has a cap or dipstick, but it’s all those other things where we may miss a step.

Glad the chart helped