All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Service


Whats New With Subaru

I have had a pretty Busy Summer and havent had as much time as I would like to Post new articles, but as we head into fall and my son goes back to school I will have more time to post some new articles.

Here is a peak at what I will be posting in September

Subaru has finally come back to earth with Oil recommendations and Turbo Chargers.  First they recanted what was originally in the Owners Manual for the 2005 and up Turbo models in a bulletin suggesting that the oil needs to be changed every 3750 miles regardless of use, and recently have jumped on the full synthetic band wagon while maintaining the more frequent service intervals.  Its always been my suggestion to use Synthetic oil, and to change that oil every 3,000 miles.  We are now starting to see the 2007 Models develop turbo failures.  I have just about finished an article about how to prolong your Subaru Turbo charger, and your Subaru Engine.  I would like to point out that if you dont frequent a Subaru Repair shop or a Dealership you may be in the dark on both service intervals and type of oil to use.

We have noticed that the newer model Subaru’s have trouble holding their alignment angles much more so than Subaru’s of the past, this is do to the greater number of moving parts involved and the desire to make safety improvements, alignments are not an expensive thing to add to the list of should do’s to your Subaru, and as such we have added a new alignment rack and the new state of the art  vehicle alignment system offered by The Snap on Corporation.  Starting in 2005 Subaru has drastically updated the suspension systems in most models, and the ride has improved, but there is also now the need for additional maintenance.   While alignments have always been important to how a vehicle tracks down the road, and as good prevention to tire wear it is also now a bigger drag on fuel economy than in years past.  Look for an article about alignments and Your Subaru soon.

I also have a few new videos to share, including a service point video pointing out where and how to check your Subaru’s vital fluids.

Thanks for reading and please stay tuned



4 Responses

  1. Hi Jason
    Stumbled across this and want to thank you for your service. My 09 Forester is going great, I tow it behind an RV (5 spd only I know) and it as done fine. Every now and then when I start it after a long tow I smell something like the cosmoline burning off a new car, have no other things I notice but wondered if you had any thoughts on this and what I should check into.

    Also a good friend is considering a new subaru and would look at a forester or outback but is concerned that the 4 cyl motor is a bit under powered. They are not sure about the reliability of a turbo, what is your thoughts on this if the proper interval and oil type is maintained?
    Instead of this they are considering the 6 cyl but that is more of a hulk than they need (she needs to have good acceleration with on ramps to feel safe)

  2. Hi – I have a 2001 subaru outback legacy edition with about 102k miles. Have a problem with a slow oil/fluid leak. The dealship I brought it to mentioned that the cost to fix was probably not worth it given the age of my car and the number of miles. The mentioned the head gaskets probably needing to be replaced….what would that normally cost, and is that something that could perhaps still be covered by any warranties? Thanks!

  3. Hi Scott,

    There are some internal Documents stating that ALL 2011 Turbo charged engines are Required to use full synthetic oil part # SOA868V9280 (quart) for engine oil, and that all 2010 and prior SHOULD use the same full synthetic oil. You can call and request they send you a copy.

    Here is where I am going to differ on the banjo bolt / Union Screw thing.

    The filter in the Banjo bolt is really not the main problem, the size of the OIL FILTER is the main culprit combined with owning a Turbo Subaru and treating it like a N/A Subaru or just a car in general. On a Turbo model the oil needs to be synthetic blend (preferably Synthetic) at a minimum and changed every 3,000 miles.

    The Subarus with the failed Turbos that we see here have the same story, an average of 6k on oil changes, or a history of such , oil filter in bypass mode, low oil levels or a history of such, and no real strong 30/60/k service history.

    I know that there are some that have done the best they can to maintain their car, and have still had to have the repairs made but I can also share that we have several customers with over 100k and still no new turbo, and we have lots of new customers towed in from the Dealer getting a new turbo and short block, usually maintained at J-lube and a few trips to the dealer for a problem here and there.

    The WRX, and STI, Legacy GT are deemed a performance car and the average owner takes good care of it, the Outback XT is a Wagon with a turbo, the average driver just wanted a little more power and is unfortunately maintained on average in the same fashion the N/A Outback is, we do a lot of Outback XT Turbo replacements, and very few Legacy GT (Same Turbo!). This started with Subaru just like every other car company foolishly suggesting you can drive a car 7k on oil, with out explaining that only a small segment really can, the average car, average driver needs to do it more often, Subaru finally came out with a bulletin stating that Turbo charged cars must have the oil changed every 3750 miles regardless of the oil used.

    The chance of the Outback XT owner ever getting the bulletin is slim to none.

    Now add to that Dealer sales departments offering “life time oil changes” for free as part of a sale. Guess what, it’s typically the cheapest “Dino” oil possible, usually not a genuine oil filter and on the every 7k schedule.

    We have had one (so far) existing customer have to have their turbo replaced, they used Mobil one and even though we pleaded with them to change it every 3k anyways, they went the 6k they believed the oil was good for and it just wasn’t a good idea.

    The “bulk” of the cars that we have seen for Turbo replacements have had some sort of issue with oil starvation, I believe that in the current configuration without the filter in the banjo fitting the turbo replacements would actually be greater from debris circulating in the oil when the oil filter goes into bypass mode. This is the part that I think isn’t well understood, but to prevent engine damage oil filters have a bypass mechanism that engages based on a preset pressure point, as the filter media becomes restricted the bypass engages that way oil still circulates to vital components albeit now unfiltered, and as such any other screen or filtering devise is now subject to the contaminants the oil filter was meant to filter out of the oil. With out an oil filter bypass the oil would “slow down” and vital parts would be starved for lubrication.

    I would also like to say, if you own a turbo model anything other than a Diesel Truck it will most likely need a turbo at some time, I have a friend who owns an Audi only repair shop and he does them just about weekly as well. Performance and Longevity just don’t go hand in hand they never have.

    If you own a Turbo model, treat as such. If you do and you still have an issue than yes it should have lasted longer.

    Hope this helps explain my point of view and is a glimpse of what the next article will contain.

    Thanks for reading


  4. Hi Justin, was there a techinfo article or something on their new oil recommendations? I’d like to see it, so many owners are still doing the extended oil intervals.

    Plus, I think that filter in the banjo bolt was the worst idea they could have ever had for turbo failures. It was a good idea in theory, but not in practice…

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