I just bought an Outback. I keep my cars a loooong time. I'd like to
know, if anyone knows, what maintenance items are particularly important
to prolonging the life of the vehicle. For example, should the lubes
(or antifreeze, or ps fluid) in certain sections of the driveline be
changed more often, to prolong life? Or, are the official intervals
sufficient. Another example: Does a tranny cooler or ps fluid cooler
improve life? What about adding filters to coolant or ps fluid?
One more thing, you may also install an engine oil cooler.
I've seen some coolers that are joint engine and tranny,
i.e. half of the cooler is for engine oil, and half for tranny
Putting a cooler on these two expensive parts (engine and tranny)
makes the most sense. My estimate is that with a big cooler you
may prolong the life of the transmission by +/- 50%, depending
on your driving style, and climate. So if a new tranny is worth
$3000 you can potentially get a $1500 return for a 50$-70$
investment (average cost of a simple cooler).
This is cost effective!
Putting an engine oil cooler carries some risk, though, as there is
much pressure and heat in the lines and in case of failure you may
oil starve the engine very quickly. I didn't put one on my Impreza
but it is something to consider if you are after longevity.
Otherwise just install a tranny cooler, preferably fill tranny with
synthetic ATF, and change the engine oil frequently- you will
prolong the life of these vital, costly, components and hopefully
that of your car too.
Synthetic gear lube in differentials is very cost effective as it
is not something you don't replace very frequently, and people
claim that it pays for itself in better milage.
Get yourself a free account at mysubaru.com. Sections of the site include car
care tips. Indicate who your dealer is; you can schedule service at the site,
and your dealer's input to their side of the database gives you an online
NEVER drive on a donut spare or mismatched tires!(without using the FWD
fuse) PLEASE refer to your manual about emergency spare procedures. Best
thing, always get a 'flatbed' tow. Read about 'torque bind' here or at
www.usmb.net . AWD systems are sensitive to uneven size or unevenly worn
tires. take car of your tranny and differentials.
What Carl said about the donut.
You shouldn't expect any significant issues
for the first couple of years. Mine is a
'99 and here's what I do:
Bleed brake fluid and replace pads every 40k
miles. Note that rotors *must* be roughed
up with sandpaper each time pads are changed.
New oil, oil filter and crush washer every
3.5k miles. (Mobil 1 10W30 and factory Subaru
oil filter) Good time to inspect CV boots.
Check tire pressures. Rotate wheels every
other oil change. Probably overkill, but I
have 2 rollaround jacks and can do it in 30
New wiper blades and Rain-X windshield every
fall. Wax body every spring.
Gunk and pressure wash engine compartment
every 2 years.
New battery every 5 years.
Check oil and coolant at least every other
fillup. Use high detergent gas like Chevron
at least every other fillup.
On my particular model, Subaru recommends
timing belt replacement every 105k miles.
I did mine at 84k because of a leaking oil
seal. At the same time I changed the fan
belts, plugs, timing belt tensioner, coolant
and water pump. I'll probably do the same
drill at 170k miles.
I have a manual transmission so I can't speak
to auto transmission issues. I did change
all the factory fluids to Redline and saw
a slight improvement in shifting.
Subaru recommends 5W30, at least for the '01 Outback. Earlier threads in this
group suggest that 10W30 does not sufficiently lubricate a cold engine
(depending on climate and time of year). Why do you use 10W30?
Never take it to a Quickie Lube place - professional mechanics are worth the
price even for oil changes. Never ever let a bozo change your coolant or you
will probably join the ranks of those bemoaning a bad head gasket. For the
same reason, if the coolant level starts to drop get it fixed. Spend a dime,
save a dollar.
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