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Subaru Outback 30,000 regular service seems too high

I just got a ‘new’ used 2009 Outback (non-turbo). When I went to check out my next service (30,000 miles) I was informed that it was going to be over $550 JUST FOR SERVICE. That seems excessive to me. Am I nuts? Will independent service be ‘good enough’?

I’m in Indianapolis, so if you have any local info for good service deals that won’t break the bank, it would be appreciated.

Many, many thanks.

“Independent” service is just as good as long as the service facility is very familiar with Subarus.

Because of the close placement of the identical-looking drain plugs for the final drive and the crankcase, it is not unusual for someone to drain one when he intended to drain the other. As a result it is VERY important to have the servicing done by someone who services Subarus on an ongoing basis.

Also–even if the factory maintenance schedule doesn’t list changing the transmission fluid, you DO need to have this done. I strongly recommend that you also change the brake fluid and the differential fluid, along with the coolant and motor oil. Have all of the filters changed. Spark plugs can wait at least until the 60k service, and perhaps can wait until the 90k service. Check your maintenance schedule for details.

Incidentally, one of the reasons why the dealer’s fee is so high is that they undoubtedly do change the trans fluid and brake fluid, which many independents will skip in order to keep their price low. Make sure that you are comparing prices “on a level playing field”.

Get a list of what the dealership plans to do for $550, and compare pricing for this list at some indy foreign car shops. You may find that the indy shop charges a similar fee when all of the services are performed, or they may charge less. But, make sure that you are comparing apples with apples, rather than comparing apples with oranges.

Edited to add:
Incidentally, if you get the Subaru Mastercard, you can probably get all of your service done free-of-charge (or for a VERY low price) by the dealership. I have this card, and I charge everything possible on it–including my utility bills. The result is that I receive a $100 rebate voucher a couple of times each year from Chase Bank, and these vouchers are redeemable at the dealership for discounts on service, parts, or the purchase of a new vehicle. I paid something like…maybe $50…for my 30k, 60k, and 90k services as a result of these vouchers, and when I paid for my 2011 Outback, I got an extra $700 off of my negotiated price by using 7 of these vouchers.

Get that credit card, and you will not have to shop around for a low price for your 60k service. This is really a no-brainer, IMHO.

An independent will charge about $300-$400 and it is perfectly fine.

The reason Subaru is so high is they prescribe more things than other car makers like plugs and coolant every 30k. There are also some extra fluids like rear differential, transmission fluid, brake and others recommended at this interval.

Anything in the range of $400-600 sound perfectly reasonable. Compared to a car that’s cheaper to maintain you certainly pay a premium for the extra maintenance that comes with stuff like AWD. Well worth it but also something you will need to get used to as a “new” car owner.

I’d pay a little more to have it maintained by a Subaru expert (not necessarily a dealer but a specialist).

Is this just for the work listed in your owner’s manual or did the dealer add unneeded items?

30,000 mile normal use maintenance schedule for 2009 Outback: Lube, oil, filter, replace air filter, replace spark plugs, replace brake fluid, rotate tires. The rest is inspections which we do at our shop when performing LOF. Sounds kinda pricey, but as VDC has stated, find a shop that is subaru freindly.

Many, many thanks. My last car was a 1995 Saturn SW2 an I simply never saw anything like this expense. I knew when I got the Outback I’d expect higher service, just nothing like this! VDCdriver I will look into the card.

I concur on the Subaru Credit card. I use it and have not paid for any 30k interval services using the dealer. It earns $500/year with a much higher than normal kickback of 3% on purchases.

The only downside is you pay dealer prices so they go fast. But getting a $650 90k service (very $$$ on turbo 2.5 engine) bill and $300 for some strut bushings (front/rear) and handing over Subaru money and paying nothing is very satisfying.