How much of your "own" maintenance do you do? - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default How much of your "own" maintenance do you do?

Since getting our new crosstrek, I have decided that I would like to do some of the maintenance work on my own, at least the oil changes and tire rotations. I feel they are simple to do, and I can possibly save money and feel best if I am working on my own car vs somebody else. However, I have been looking into the maintenance schedule and researching what is inspected and checked at oil changes. I found this list:

Replace engine oil, filter and drain plug washer
Inspect condition of air cleaner element
Inspect and adjust all drive belts to factory specifications
Inspect and ensure cooling fan is operating within factory specifications
Inspect transmission fluid condition and transmission operation
Check to ensure air conditioning system is operating within factory specifications
Rotate tires, inspect tread wear and check and adjust tire pressure as needed
Perform brake system inspection; pads, lines hoses and fluid
Inspect suspension system and steering components to ensure factory specifications
Service battery terminals and check battery condition
Inspect wiper blades and linkage operation
Lubricate all door, trunk and hood latches and hinges if needed
Inspect exhaust system and heat shields
Check all wheel drive operation to ensure system is operating within factory specifications
Inspect and adjust all fluid levels as needed
Conduct road test



For those who work do the maintenance on their crosstrek's, do you do all of these things? I sit possible to do this all at home? (I don't work much at all on cars). And if not, would I be missing out on checking a few things if I decided to do oil changes and maintenance on my own?

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Old 08-25-2017, 05:34 PM   #2
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Default How much of your "own" maintenance do you do?

Honestly, all of it can be done at home.

- Change Oil and Filter
- Check air filter, change if dirty (only going to be changing every 15,000-30,000 miles, not every oil change)
- Look at belts, check for cracks and frays
- Turn on AC on MAX, make sure your fan comes.
- Unless towing or doing heavy off roading frequently, your tranny fluid is fine
- You'll know when your AC is not working, you don't have to wait until an oil change
- Rotate Tires
- While rotating tires, since your tires will be off, look at your brake pads, also check fluid level
- Also while wheels are off, look at all rubber boots and whatnot to check for cracks.
- Look at battery terminals, if there is corrosion, a $3 tool from any parts store can clean them up
- check wiper blades
- unless your doors are squeaking something fierce, your hinges are fine
- Your exhaust system is fine
- Your car will scream at you the moment that AWD system has an issue, so you're fine
- self explanatory, check fluid levels, top off if needed
- You do this every day of your life

Most of it I am doing on a daily basis in my normal driving. I know when the suspension is making a noise, or my steering isn't right, or my brakes feel off. I know when my wiper blades need replacing the moment I use them. You'll just "know" how long you can go on an air filter before it becomes dirty. Etc. The rest of the list, you'll probably check each item off the list one by one when you're first starting out. But eventually (and sooner rather than later), it will become automatic, without you thinking of it. Issues will become obvious, even though your inspections become subconscious. You'll automatically check rubber boots when you're rotating your tires, and you won't even realize that you're doing it until the day you actually notice a tear in one. You'll end up subconsciously checking belt condition while pouring oil into the engine. Things like that.

That list is for service centers, because they DONT drive your car daily. The list might seem daunting at first, but I promise it's all mundane and will become second nature.


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Old 08-25-2017, 08:06 PM   #3
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That list you posted, but in listed bullet-point form:
  • Replace engine oil, filter and drain plug washer
  • Inspect condition of air cleaner element
  • Inspect and adjust all drive belts to factory specifications
  • Inspect and ensure cooling fan is operating within factory specifications
  • Inspect transmission fluid condition and transmission operation
  • Check to ensure air conditioning system is operating within factory specifications
  • Rotate tires, inspect tread wear and check and adjust tire pressure as needed
  • Perform brake system inspection; pads, lines hoses and fluid
  • Inspect suspension system and steering components to ensure factory specifications
  • Service battery terminals and check battery condition
  • Inspect wiper blades and linkage operation
  • Lubricate all door, trunk and hood latches and hinges if needed
  • Inspect exhaust system and heat shields
  • Check all wheel drive operation to ensure system is operating within factory specifications
  • Inspect and adjust all fluid levels as needed
  • Conduct road test

Almost all, if not all of these, can be done by the typical user with a little bit of automotive knowledge, even just automotive knowledge straight out of the owner's manual (training not needed for most inspections).


Engine oil changes along with changing the engine oil filter is very easy, but requires appropriate precautions to prevent damage (such as avoiding cranking the engine with engine oil not in the oilpan). The owner's manual has the entire process, step-by-step, so any user can do this with the appropriate tools and sufficient understanding of the step-by-step instructions.

Engine air filter inspection is quick and easy on our vehicles. If it looks like air can still flow through fine, the engine air filter probably does not require replacement.

Drive belts can be inspected for condition very easily. A cheat sheet will suffice on checking belt condition. As for tension, most modern vehicles have automatically-adjusting hydraulic tensioners so tension isn't too much of a problem these days.

For the cooling fans operation inspection, the fan must operate when the air conditioning (including defrost use) is in use. It also should activate when the engine coolant temperature is around 212 degress Fahrenheit or higher. This requires the use of some sort of OBD-II reading device with accessability to the engine coolant/water temperature PID. One can purchase a dedicated device such as an UltraGauge for this, or use a Bluetooth OBD-II transmitter in conjunction with an OBD-II Bluetooth app on a mobile device to view the engine coolant/water temperature PID.

Transmission fluid level and condition isn't exactly something I know much about on the Subaru models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT models. All I know is that my owner's manual, MY2014, says this about the CVT fluid:
Quote:
It is not necessary to check the transmission fluid level. Check that there are no cracks, damage or leakage. However, the oil inspection should be performed according to the maintenance schedule in the “Warranty and Maintenance Booklet”. Consult your SUBARU dealer for details.
It says pretty much the same thing regarding manual transmission models:
Quote:
It is not necessary to check the transmission oil level. Check that there are no cracks, damage or leakage. However, the oil inspection should be performed according to the maintenance schedule in the “Warranty and Maintenance Booklet”. Consult your SUBARU dealer for details.
Regarding the inspection of transmission normal operation, the Lineartronic CVT should still be able to shift into its virtual "gears" using the paddle shifters. If you cannot manually shift into the virtual "gears" on your CVT, you may have a problem, assuming you are not attempting to mis-shift into a gear the transmission control unit will not allow you to go into due to the gear being too low or too high at the speed you are shifting at. For manual transmissions, no grinding of gears and general knowledge and experience of manual transmission operation will be needed to verify normal operation.

Air conditioning inspection of operation is quite simple. If one has a temperature reading device, something like an IR pyrometer, the air exiting the vents with the AC on full-cold should be around 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the ambient temperature. This is not the actual factory specification, but rather what was a good general rule taught to me in an automotive air conditioning class. Don't forget to verify operation of AC with the HVAC mode set to defrost (it should automatically use AC, regardless of AC button light status).

Rotation of tires is easy, but time-consuming if using the typical household use of jack stands and a hydraulic jack. Inspection of tread and adjusting tire pressures is easy enough that pretty much anybody with a cheat sheet can do just fine, but appropriate care must be taken to inflate the tires to proper pressure. The pressures must be adjusted with the tires "cold", which Subaru defines as a vehicle having been driven less than 1 mile within a 3 hour period. The tire pressure specifications are on the doorjamb placard, located at the lower part of the B-pillar with the door open. The pressure specification is NOT what the max pressure labeled on the tire.

A brake inspection, including the pads, lines, and hoses, I would leave to users who are mechanically-inclined, have very good knowledge on proper treatment and care of brake system components, are confident about taking apart components, and competent enough to properly torque fasteners to specification. The brake fluid inspection can be easily checked by any user, as it is one of the reservoirs that can be seen under the hood. There are already "full" and "low" lines marked on the reservoir.

The suspension system and steering components inspection require a bit of knowledge and studying to understand what to inspect, but for the regular users, a quick look to see if nothing is damaged or out-of-place should suffice. How both systems feel during driving will be a better indicator for the laymen user.

Servicing of battery terminals and condition, to me anyways, requires very basic understanding of electrical systems. Knowledge-base that at least understands accidentally creating electrical shorts, as well as a basic understanding of electrical safety precautions, will be needed. As long as no ridiculous corrosion is present, and the top of the battery is clean, it should be fine.

Wiper blade and linkage operation is very simple and anyone who has used windshield wipers before to clear water off the windshield and rear hatch glass should very easily be able to perform this inspection. A quick check of the blade insert, performance of water clearing (no streaks), and verification of the wipers "parking" in their correct position, is all that needs to be done.

"Lubricate all door, trunk and hood latches and hinges if needed." My personal standard is, if it is squeaking and it shouldn't be squeaking, proper application of lubricant such as a silicone lubricant, will suffice. This is a very minor detail and really isn't super-crucial.

"Inspect exhaust system and heat shields." If no severe rust, no holes, no annoying noises found from them, then there are likely no problems.

For Lineartronic CVT models, the AWD system inspection will probably just require that no AWD warning lamps are operating outside a normal manner. For manual transmission models, to verify the viscous coupler isn't faulty, a 10-20 mile drive at freeway speeds then multiple full-lock tight turns should be performed. If there is no drivetrain "clunk" or harshness during tight turns, the AWD system's viscous coupler is not faulty. I don't know the factory specifications for AWD inspection procedures, so that's a mystery to me.

Inspect and adjust fluids as necessary. Quite self-explanatory, any user can do this. For users with less confidence or less knowledge on such maintenance, the owner's manual clarifies everything on the fluid inspection and adjusting.

Conducting a road test is simple. Just drive it and feel if the vehicle seems to be acting normally.



And upon writing all this up, I realize I pretty much can do, and have performed, all of these.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:51 AM   #4
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Wow! Thank you for taking the time to respond in detail. I'm very excited to start working on my crosstrek, but of course want to make sure I don't harm it by doing something wrong. One question that I haven't figured out yet is where to lift it up by? I have looked under and I know in the manual it shows where on the side you can use the jack that comes with it to change a flat tire and life it on the spots on the sides. A friend gave me a floor jack that he wasn't using so that I can use it for oil changes and what not. From what I understand, I still need to get some jack stands correct? Where under the car can I lift using the floor jack properly? When I looked under, the whole front area is covered by a plastic cover, but there are two white parts that stick out, I'm not sure if I can use those. I'll post a pic to show what I am referring to.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:11 AM   #5
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I do EVERYTHING. DIY FTMFW! Why give my vehicle to another human for them to (maybe) figure out what's wrong, when I could figure out myself, learn something, and then be in a position to reciprocate help to good people on this forum, which ultimately leads to my own sense of self satisfaction and grows my ever inflating ego.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:14 AM   #6
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You absolutely must use jackstands at ALL TIMES. A man recently died when a car fell on him. Don't get cheap on us, spend some money on good, quality stands. This is your LIFE and you only get one crack at this.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:14 PM   #7
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Jackstands are a must when the car is raised by a jack.

For oil changes and basic undercar work I prefer a good set of drive-on ramps.

In either case i use a good a good solid wheel chock as well.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:31 PM   #8
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As far as I'm aware, there are only 6 approved positions where you may jack the vehicle up at.

If you are trying to get your Subaru on an entire set (4) jack stands, for the front center jack point, there is a jacking plate around the front crossmember. The rear center jack point is directly at the rear differential. The four jack stands are to be placed exactly at the points indicated for the scissor jack.

http://www.clubcrosstrek.com/forums/...html#post11427

http://www.clubcrosstrek.com/forums/...mentid=828&d=0
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subarust View Post
You absolutely must use jackstands at ALL TIMES. A man recently died when a car fell on him. Don't get cheap on us, spend some money on good, quality stands. This is your LIFE and you only get one crack at this.
I read about that! I have been looking at jack stands that have the locking pins to be sure they won't fall if knocked or anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkEagleUSA View Post
Jackstands are a must when the car is raised by a jack.

For oil changes and basic undercar work I prefer a good set of drive-on ramps.

In either case i use a good a good solid wheel chock as well.
Yeah I went to O'reillys to buy jack stands, but I didn't get them because they didn't have any locking pins for extra safety. The guy recommended the drive-on ramps for doing oil changes. Do you worry about them moving while driving up at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWDfreak View Post
As far as I'm aware, there are only 6 approved positions where you may jack the vehicle up at.

If you are trying to get your Subaru on an entire set (4) jack stands, for the front center jack point, there is a jacking plate around the front crossmember. The rear center jack point is directly at the rear differential. The four jack stands are to be placed exactly at the points indicated for the scissor jack.

http://www.clubcrosstrek.com/forums/...html#post11427

http://www.clubcrosstrek.com/forums/...mentid=828&d=0
Awesome thanks for the info!
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