Subaru Maintenance & Service Schedule

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Maintenance Guide for Every Subaru Owner

To keep your Subaru running in top shape for many years to come, be sure to keep up with a routine maintenance schedule. By caring for your vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer, your investment in a quality Subaru will pay lasting dividends.

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There are many factors that contribute to an automobile’s deterioration, like the climate, dirt, potholes, extreme temperature fluctuations, terrain, and even road salt in winter. A solid car maintenance schedule is the best way to avoid issues that can arise from these many factors.

Breaking in a New Subaru

When you bring home a new car, it is a good idea to consider the first 1,000 miles a breaking in period. However, breaking in a car these days is much easier than it was in the past, when many restrictions were recommended. To give your car a good start, simply avoid any extreme driving during this period. To the extent possible, avoid excessive stop and go driving, skip the use of cruise control, try to avoid extreme elevation changes, and don’t punch it when starting from a full stop.

When To Get Your First Oil Change

The oil change is easily the most common maintenance task that car owners complete, and it is an important one, but today oil changes are not required as frequently as they were in the past. For a newer Subaru, your first oil change can wait until the odometer reads 7,500 miles unless you have a Legacy, Outback, or Tribeca with a 6-cylinder engine or a 2011 non-turbo Forester. For these vehicles, the first oil change should come at 3,000 miles, then again at 7,500. All models can get an oil change after this first one at 15,000, 22,500, and every 7,500 miles thereafter.

When changing the oil, also replace the oil filter, check all fluids and fill if necessary, and check and correct the tire pressure if needed. Replace the oil filter with a genuine Subaru filter made for your car for best results.

Routine Car Maintenance

There are some things that you should check routinely. You can fit these into your normal 7,500 mile interval schedule, or check them out any time. Among them, check the lights and blinkers to make sure they are all working properly, test the horn, and check for any recalls on your model – especially newer models. If you find any recalls, schedule a service appointment to take care of any required work as soon as you can.

Minor Subaru Services

There is a list of additional things that should be done every 7,500 miles to keep your car in great condition. Rotate the tires to keep them wearing evenly, which will increase their lifespan. Inspect both the front and rear brakes, including the break lines and hoses. Inspect all belts and make any needed adjustments. This is also a good time to inspect the exhaust and cooling system, the fuel lines, and how well your windshield washing system is performing, particularly the wiper blades.

Check the battery to make sure it is in good shape. A car battery can easily last 5 years or more depending on how you drive and the weather conditions, but it’s best not to let it fail when you least expect it.

Every 15,000 miles starting at 15,000 miles, add these tasks to your checklist in addition to those already discussed. Inspect the clutch operation, the tie end rods and axle boots, the steering and suspension function, and the air conditioning system. Replace the fuel filter and check the air filter to see if it is time for a replacement.

Major Car Maintenance Services

When the 30,000 mile milestone rolls around, it’s time to have some new things looked at. This is the time to consider replacing the brake fluid or coolant to keep those systems in good working order. Spark plugs and the PVC valve can also be replaced at this point. Have the transmission fluid, differential, and gear oil inspected and filled as needed. Finally, inspect the drive belt for wear.

Translating Miles to Months

Some drivers don’t add many miles to their car, and for them using a strict mileage-based duration between service calls may not be good enough. If you are a low-mileage driver, converting miles to months may be a better idea. For this, consider every 1,000 miles to equal 1 month. That means that an oil change, for example, should come every 7,500 miles or 7.5 months, whichever comes first. This conversion is most helpful for things like fluids, which can age even when the car is not drive a lot.

How To Make a Subaru Last

The best way to add years of life to your Subaru is to follow a routine vehicle maintenance schedule and to keep engine oil and other fluids changed and topped off as required at all times. If you make an effort to bring the car in when service is needed, it will increase longevity and increase the value and performance of your car.

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Subaru Maintenance & Service Schedule, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.