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Subaru Servicing options.


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What's best for my OB's first service?  A) Take it to a Subaru dealership B) search out a Subaru independent specialist (if I can find one near enough to me)  or C) Go to the independent Skoda specialist I've been happy to use, and trust, for the last 18 years (who say they can also service the Subaru as they service other makes too) ?  

RAC guy I spoke to before I bought the OB said that one of the downside of Subarus is that they're quite specialised to work on, compared to other vehicles - true or not?

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In my experience the dealerships are less than useless. I think they are quite simple to work on really. I don't understand it is a car and an engine but as you say some garages refuse to service them. Finding a decent mechanic these days is not easy for any car. Parts changer yes, proper mechanic not many about. I take it to the Skoda place if you trust them.

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One of my litmus tests of a mechanic or service centre is what their attitude is to brake servicing.

Peer at them through the wheels (in the hope of finding lucrative need for material renewals) and spray brake cleaner in the general direction?  Or do they remove the wheels, then the pads and thoroughly clean and check things then if all good lubricate things properly especially any sliding mechanisms, which is proper brake servicing.

The former often leads to seized sliders leading to imbalanced braking excessive heat on the working parts, or excessive heat on parts that don't retract, ultimately premature wear and replacement of parts, calipers/discs, that would have serviceable for many years as well as keeping thos ebrakes in top working order all through their life.

If they can't be bothered to service the brakes, arguably the most important part of a car, then what else can't they be bothered with.

Other than that, yes if you've found a good set of mechanics by all means let them service the vehicle, only downside is they might not have the necessary software to interrogate or reprogram things if more intensive jobs need doing, and if applicable here if a cambelt change was due has anyone there taken part in a Subaru cambelt change, not exactly the simplest of belts to change.

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Add bleed the the cooling system. My local dealership bleed my Hawyeye WRX from the Radiator cap. Not the highest point and therefore pretty pointless. Shame my dash cam recorded it all. It gets worse too

 

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Thanks for the replies.  Interesting points to ponder.  I too have a natural aversion to dealership garages having had poor experiences, albeit many years ago now.

I was watching a  Subtledriver YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OR7PEJwhdw  about the challenges of distinguishing between the diif fill and drain plugs and the CVT diff and drain plugs, and wondered whether this and other issues might pose problems for a none Subaru garage.  Likewise, MrSubaru1387 has advice about how to install and pre-pressurised, a replacement, new, inverted oil filter, etc. 

Fortunately, the OB has a 'lifetime' (oh yeah!) timing chain and not a belt so one less job to worry about.

Reading your posts, my gut feeling is now to stay with the indie Skoda garage, who have been consistently good IMO for many years.

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Re the Outback (Gen 5) and maybe other recent models in the range, has anyone else noticed an apparent contradiction between the Service and Maintenance intervals cited in the Owner's Handbook (every 9,000 miles/10,000 miles, alternating), and the intervals cited in the vehicle's Service and Warranties Booklet (every 12,000 miles)?

Maybe I've misread something??

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22 hours ago, Justin Time said:

Re the Outback (Gen 5) and maybe other recent models in the range, has anyone else noticed an apparent contradiction between the Service and Maintenance intervals cited in the Owner's Handbook (every 9,000 miles/10,000 miles, alternating), and the intervals cited in the vehicle's Service and Warranties Booklet (every 12,000 miles)?

Maybe I've misread something??

My new Levorg says 9K miles or 12 months whichever comes first in the handbook, then 10k miles on alternate services, but the Service book says 10K miles or 12 months for mine. You haven't misread anything. I think the alternate mileage intervals in the handbook is the way they have converted 15k kilometers into miles, but not a very sensible way to do it. How can one interval be longer than the next one...

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26 minutes ago, AndyLevorg said:

My new Levorg says 9K miles or 12 months whichever comes first in the handbook, then 10k miles on alternate services, but the Service book says 10K miles or 12 months for mine. You haven't misread anything. I think the alternate mileage intervals in the handbook is the way they have converted 15k kilometers into miles, but not a very sensible way to do it. How can one interval be longer than the next one...

Thanks for the reply.  That's interesting.  I've emailed Subaru UK asking for confirmation and have scanned in the two contradictory schedule tables on the relevant pages from the owner's manual and also the service and warranties booklet.  I'll post their reply here as soon as it's received. 

Obviously, I'm hoping that for the UK (where the service and warranty booklet was printed and published) it's 12,000 miles, which is closer to the norm for most modern vehicles at 12,500 miles I believe, or 12 months, whichever comes first.

Checking out Subaruoutback.org, where there are members mainly from the US, but also Oz and Canada too, the recommended schedules appear to be all over the place. with some models even suggesting 6 monthly intervals!  What a mess.  Same confusion regarding the CVT servicing - 36,000 miles (Japan), 50,000 miles (Canada), 'sealed for life' (UK,Europe and the US).

My OB was reg in December 2020.  I can't see why the 2.5 Lt OB engine is so much different from the 2.0 Lt Levorg to require different service interval mileages.

I've noticed that the owner's manual was printed in Japan and there's a wide range of countries it's distributed to compared to the UK specific service and warranty booklet, so maybe it's more 'general' advisory intervals.  I'm clutching at possible explanations here!

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My Levorg was registered October 2020 although I purchased it in May 2021 with 15 miles on the clock. That means its first service is due this October, so mileage want be an issue this time round. Keep me updated on what Subaru say if they come back to you, it will be interesting.

 

Thanks

Andy

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46 minutes ago, AndyLevorg said:

My Levorg was registered October 2020 although I purchased it in May 2021 with 15 miles on the clock. That means its first service is due this October, so mileage want be an issue this time round. Keep me updated on what Subaru say if they come back to you, it will be interesting.

 

Thanks

Andy

Will do Andy.

Your post has made me wonder what the car's 'on-board' service monitor has been set too - manual's schedule or warranty booklet's schedule.  I'll investigate!

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6 hours ago, Justin Time said:

Will do Andy.

Your post has made me wonder what the car's 'on-board' service monitor has been set too - manual's schedule or warranty booklet's schedule.  I'll investigate!

My on-board reminder is pre-set to 12k miles and 12 months. Nothing seems to match up for the first service. The car on-board reminder says 12K miles, service book 10k miles and handbook 9k miles. 😊

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4 hours ago, AndyLevorg said:

My on-board reminder is pre-set to 12k miles and 12 months. Nothing seems to match up for the first service. The car on-board reminder says 12K miles, service book 10k miles and handbook 9k miles. 😊

Andy, where did you find that information onboard?  In the OB, on the central info screen, I've checked in the 'car info'  app and selected 'maintenance' - then 'overview' sections and it just says 'no events'.  The reminder box is set, but there's nothing in 'events' or 'schedule' either.  In fact, it even gives me a keyboard where I could type in the event.  Puzzling.

 

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On the Levorg you hold the button to enter the menu for the top centre display then scroll down to maintenance, then enter. It then allows you to set the different service intervals for Service, Oil, Oil filter, Tyres for miles interval and time. Mine were all pre-set for 12 months and 12,000 miles from the registration date before I got it.

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On 6/25/2021 at 4:57 PM, AndyLevorg said:

My on-board reminder is pre-set to 12k miles and 12 months. Nothing seems to match up for the first service. The car on-board reminder says 12K miles, service book 10k miles and handbook 9k miles. 😊

My 1.6 is pre set to 10k miles, which matches what it says in my service book and handbook. I'd say the correct interval for the 2L n/a is 12k.

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Just an update on this. 

Still no reply from Subaru UK (2 emails sent now), but I've phoned 4 dealers and each have confirmed the 12K MILES (!!) and couldn't explain why Subaru EU insist on 12,500 KMS (that's 9K and a bit miles). No worries, 12K MILES /12 months it is then (for the OB).

I also asked about prices of the first servicing cost and these varied from £258 including VAT to one dealer offering £198.20 (modified by adding "that's Subaru's book price, but our price would be £170").  That's 100 quid plus difference.  Happy Days... 🙂

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22 hours ago, Justin Time said:

Just an update on this. 

Still no reply from Subaru UK (2 emails sent now), but I've phoned 4 dealers and each have confirmed the 12K MILES (!!) and couldn't explain why Subaru EU insist on 12,500 KMS (that's 9K and a bit miles). No worries, 12K MILES /12 months it is then (for the OB).

I also asked about prices of the first servicing cost and these varied from £258 including VAT to one dealer offering £198.20 (modified by adding "that's Subaru's book price, but our price would be £170").  That's 100 quid plus difference.  Happy Days... 🙂

Thanks for the info, what dealers did you try for a price?

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37 minutes ago, AndyLevorg said:

Thanks for the info, what dealers did you try for a price?

Cheapest was up in Alnwick.  Most expensive was Dales Subaru - Barnoldswick.  Penrith and Darlington were just a bit cheaper than Dales.

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A bit away from me but maybe worth a day out with the wife if it is a lot cheaper. 1st service due in October so I will start calling round a month before. My nearest is Scunthorpe then Sheffield. Thanks for your help.

Andy

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Subaru Uk have now got back to me and stated:

 

"I can confirm that Subaru models imported and distributed by Subaru UK will carry a 12000 miles or 12 Month (whichever occurs first) service schedule.
 
The details as printed in the service and warranties booklet provided with your Subaru Outback are correct for the UK market."

12K MILES (or 12 months, whichever comes first) it is then 😄

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I haven’t used them but I did randomly come across a “Subaru specialist” garage on pelton fell industrial estate the other day so can’t comment what they are like.

Subaru at croxdale was ok, decent service but wanted to charge the earth and then mixed oil grades on a timing belt change which I wasn’t happy about when I found out so they got the boot, on top of other questionable visits to other garages I don’t really trust any of them unless I have to.

so I do all servicing and small repairs i can, but if you have a trusted garage I’d say stay with what you know because they are hard to find.

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8 hours ago, Jamie_uk said:

I haven’t used them but I did randomly come across a “Subaru specialist” garage on pelton fell industrial estate the other day so can’t comment what they are like.

Subaru at croxdale was ok, decent service but wanted to charge the earth and then mixed oil grades on a timing belt change which I wasn’t happy about when I found out so they got the boot, on top of other questionable visits to other garages I don’t really trust any of them unless I have to.

so I do all servicing and small repairs i can, but if you have a trusted garage I’d say stay with what you know because they are hard to find.

Cheers Jamie.  That's useful to know.  Due to the warranty, I've got to use a VAT registered garage.  I think Stan Palmer at Carlisle was also a Subaru dealer, but were also 'struck-off' by Subaru like Croxdale.

Not sure what Dennis Common, Tustain Motor Group (and Subaru) are like at Alnwick.  It's really difficult to know if the reviews you read are genuine.

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On 7/6/2021 at 12:36 PM, AndyLevorg said:

I have just sent an enquiry to Subaru UK to confirm my Levorg intervals. Hopefully 12K even though the service book states 10K.

 

I have had a reply from Subaru UK regards my Levorg service intervals email to them. They say all petrol UK models are 12,000 miles or 12 months regardless of what the car handbook says. That will do for me as I now have it in writing from them. Happy with that.

Andy

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