Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Subaru Maintenance schedule excessive?

I own a 2007 Subaru Forester (stick) with 17K miles. It is 37 months old. According to the Subaru dealers in the Chicago area I need the 30K maintenance package ($659.95) which includes replacement of the spark plugs, brake fluid, engine coolant, transmission flush, etc… Is all of this really necessary? The vehicle is now out of warranty. I do plan on keeping it for many years but this seems very excessive.

Go by your manual, not the dealer, and find an independent Subie mechanic. But do everything as specified, you’ll save big money in the long run.

Follow the maintenance schedule that came with the owner’s manual. Dealers are notorious for recommending WAY more than the factory schedule.

It’s called a profit generator.

You need whatever the maintenance schedule says for a 3-year old car. It’s miles or time, whichever comes first.

You could probably save some money by having an independent mechanic help you with routine maintenance. Just make sure they have some Subaru experience because Subarus need a little more than some other brands.

The recommended procedures do sound to me like the normal 30k service for this vehicle.
I hope that the OP realizes that the car is overdue for this service on the basis of elapsed time, as the 30k service is also specified as the 30 month service (whichever comes first).

Since it it out of warranty, I would tell the OP to “cheap out” on maintenance if he/she was planning on getting rid of the car soon. However, since he/she plans on keeping the car for “many years”, it is not wise to scrimp on maintenance. The same procedures could be done by an independent mechanic for a lot less money, but these procedures are necessary all the same.

Ultimately, the OP needs to do the following:

Open the glove compartment
Take out the booklet titled Subaru Warranty and Maintenance Supplement
Read the maintenance procedures listed for 30k miles/30 months
Also, read the definitions of Severe Service, which are listed on the next page.

It is very likely that the OP’s driving habits fit the definition of Severe Service. Failure to maintain the car properly according to the Severe Service maintenance schedule will mean more repairs during the many years that the OP plans on keeping the car. Good maintenance is invariably cheaper than the repairs that result from lax maintenance.

Change your oil & filter every 3-4,000
Change your transmission and rear diff. lubes,fuel and air filters every 30,000 (filter change intervals depend on how quickly they get dirty)
Rotate you tires every second oil change, its a good time to peek at the brakes.
Conventional spark plugs @ 30,000
Usually you can get this done cheaper at an independent shop, Find one w/ good REP.
find out what kind of beer your mechanic likes. And don’t go in crying about the price.
OH! I almost forgot, if you live in a high humidity inviroment , change the brake fluid when it gets dark. Brake fluid attracts moisture. I don’t recommend additives, they don’t hurt but I can’t say if they really work either. If you use good fluids to begin with, they should work fine.
I’m a subaru mechanic at an independent shop.

Agree with the previous posters. I’ve always used the manual’s schedule and have had Subie’s that last forever (at least the ones whose former owners took care of them). And definitely find yourself a good, independent Subaru-centric mechanic that you can trust. You’ll save in the long run.