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:
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:
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.