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I bought a 2022 Crosstrek Premium with a manual transmission in the autumn last year at a nearby dealership ... one from whom my family has purchased at least 4 cars in the past. They're under new ownership; the purchase process was a little difficult as I had to work to diminish extra charges for ceramic coating, nitrogen in the tires, and the usual slew of warranty extensions. Suffice to say I didn't get any discount on a relatively sought-after car ... so I'm OK with that. I love driving the car, and the manual transmission was a must-have.

I have a year of free oil changes and tire rotations (well, not really 'free,' I paid for them one way or another). I made an appointment to take it in, but before doing so I had a fleeting thought that I should somehow mark the oil filter with a paint dot. I did take note of the orientation of the filter, as it had a white 'ENGINE' painted on the top, pointing to the 1:00/7:00 position. I didn't paint a dot on it.

I got the car home after the service visit, and after a few days opened the hood to look at the oil and the filter. and add wiper fluid. The oil was nice and honey-colored, but the filter appeared to be the unchanged ... the lettering was in the same position and the filter had a layer of dirt, which I was able to remove with a swipe of my thumb (see the pics).

I called the service manager and politely asked if there might be any way the filter change was omitted from the service, and I was careful not to be accusatory (I used to work as a service manager for an international electronics company and I understand the role of the manager and the techs). The manager replied the next day by email stating that their master tech stated that they indeed use the same blue filter, that it could very well be in the same orientation, and that a tech's hands may nave been dirty or water could have splashed up from the road on the drive home (although the bottom of the engine compartment in the Crosstrek is robustly covered with panels and such, and the rest of the engine nearby wasn't wet/dirty/water-spotted).

I want to trust them and I really don't want to be 'that guy' if and when I need service on the car, but I need the hive-mind take on things. I'll probably buy a new premium oil filter and install it myself and be done with it, as I'm not going to increase the heat on the matter; it's not worth it. They did offer the opportunity for me to come look at their videos of the service process on my car; the offer does seem to me to ensure that they're confident the job was done correctly. But I'm not going in to look at videos ... I'd feel like a schnook.

Thanks, guys. I've changed my own oil and serviced brakes on many Subarus, so it's even a little weird for me to take it to a dealer for an oil change.

-T

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I think no matter what markings are filters. And anybody tries that route. It could end up this way, sadly. I would suggest to others on here. If you rely on dealer or an oil shop. Mark you filter with a paint pen or sharpie. Either a date of when it was put on. Or write on it needs changed with date. To many shady people out there. And those little filters are not that much. Even the factory filter.

Dan
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What is interesting to me is the filter number. From what I've heard, virtually no one (dealers or parts suppliers) have the 15208AA15A filters and are using (and selling) the SOA6351520815 filter. There is even a TSB or service notice on a special procedure for a first oil change on a new vehicle using this filter. Not saying that your dealer didn't have some of the 15208AA15As in their inventory .... just saying I found it interesting. Wonder what kind of filter they would sell you if you went there and asked to buy an oil filter for your Crosstrek!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is interesting to me is the filter number. From what I've heard, virtually no one (dealers or parts suppliers) have the 15208AA15A filters and are using (and selling) the SOA6351520815 filter. There is even a TSB or service notice on a special procedure for a first oil change on a new vehicle using this filter. Not saying that your dealer didn't have some of the 15208AA15As in their inventory .... just saying I found it interesting. Wonder what kind of filter they would sell you if you went there and asked to buy an oil filter for your Crosstrek!
Hi, Dennis: If I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that the filter on my car is known to be a 'first filter' on the Crosstrek, and there is a Technical Service Bulletin with some procedure for a first oil change? My mileage at purchase was a little over 3k miles (it was technically a used car that the dealer bought at auction ... I have the CarFax and there's nothing weird about it except someone purchased it new, sold it, and my dealer bought it, then sold it to me) and the mileage at the first oil change was just under 5k miles.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. -T
 

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What I am saying is that I don't know of any dealers/suppliers who have any of the 15208AA15A filters in stock (due to a disruption in the supply chain) and are using the other filter. The service bulletin for use of this filter concerns brand new Subarus which are in for the very first oil change. My point, however, was that since your pics show the 15208AA15A filter, there is only one of two reasons. One, the dealer somehow had some of these filters on hand, or two ... they didn't change the filter!!

Here's the LINK to a post on another forum where I first read about this. It includes the service bulletin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What I am saying is that I don't know of any dealers/suppliers who have any of the 15208AA15A filters in stock (due to a disruption in the supply chain) and are using the other filter. The service bulletin for use of this filter concerns brand new Subarus which are in for the very first oil change. My point, however, was that since your pics show the 15208AA15A filter, there is only one of two reasons. One, the dealer somehow had some of these filters on hand, or two ... they didn't change the filter!!

Here's the LINK to a post on another forum where I first read about this. It includes the service bulletin.
I just called the parts department at said dealer to ask what they had in stock, and, more importantly, what filter they slide out to the service guys for a warranty oil change ... he said they have a very few of the 1520s in stock, and they save them for 'warranty work.' He also said that the filters are identical in specs and operation. But the gist of the conversation seemed to me to point to them not changing my filter, or I would have very likely be seeing a shiny new SOAxxx filter on there.

I really don't want to spend a lot of time getting into an endless jackpot with these guys over something that I'll really never be able to prove. But it's good to know I can't trust a major Subaru dealership service department to correctly change an oil filter on a $30k new car.

I'm gonna save all the pics for any future scrabble with them and buy a new WIX filter from O'Reilly (already have, actually) and maybe a Sea Dog oil pump and just retain the peace of mind and satisfaction of doing my own oil changes as I have for the past, I dunno, 50 years?

Thanks, guys, for the conversation and expertise. -T
 

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I ran out and took this crappy pic of the oil filter on my 2023 manual Crosstrek
though it's blurry you can see it is the Japanese Tokyo Roki manufactured OEM filter so you can see what it looks like for a quick reference.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I ran out and took this crappy pic of the oil filter on my 2023 manual Crosstrek
though it's blurry you can see it is the Japanese Tokyo Roki manufactured OEM filter so you can see what it looks like for a quick reference.

Thanks for that effort, sir. I did a little research and bought a WiIX XP oil filter and swapped out the suspect one this afternoon. I'm deciding how hard to push the matter with Subaru. -T

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Any idea if Subaru would get bitchy about the cars warranty if one does there own oil change and filter?
I ponied up for an 8 year extended warrantee through Subaru and I don't want void it.
I also don't want them slapping on cheap crappy oil filter just because they can't find the right one.
 

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The Crosstreks come from Japan shipped with the black Tokyo Roki oil filter, then in the USA Subaru of America / dealerships use the blue filters. So it would appear that during the 3000 miles before you took ownership of it there was an oil change performed over here, so the blue would be it's second filter. It is true that since about November there has been a blue oem subaru oil filter shortage and dealers have been using basically anything they can get their hands on (people have reported everything from un-branded to AC Delco to Wix showing up on their cars after a dealership change), so at this point in time it would be pretty rare that your dealership still has a stock of the oem 15A's left, but who knows. And yes Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act states that a person is allowed to use non oem parts and service without voiding the warranty straight out, basically they have to prove that using such resulted in the damage, whatever it might be, that would actually void the warranty.

All in all it is hard to say without marking the filter whether they replaced it or not, strange that it is covered in what looks like sodium/road salt powder or something tho as the new filters are sealed in plastic so not sure how it would have come from the dealership so dirty. It is a bummer that many dealerships are so shady these days. After my first free oil change I am going back to changing myself as well, just cheaper and easier, peace of mind knowing it was done right. My dealer service center already lied to me about performing work on a vapor barrier leak I took it in for in the first month of ownership, said they did a bunch of stuff but the problem immediately continued so I took the door apart myself and it was so blatantly clear they did absolutely nothing they said they did, just charged Subaru for the warranty work and I guess thought they would get more money by having me keep bringing it in? Infuriating sometimes. Best of luck with them in the future!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Crosstreks come from Japan shipped with the black Tokyo Roki oil filter, then in the USA Subaru of America / dealerships use the blue filters. So it would appear that during the 3000 miles before you took ownership of it there was an oil change performed over here, so the blue would be it's second filter. It is true that since about November there has been a blue oem subaru oil filter shortage and dealers have been using basically anything they can get their hands on (people have reported everything from un-branded to AC Delco to Wix showing up on their cars after a dealership change), so at this point in time it would be pretty rare that your dealership still has a stock of the oem 15A's left, but who knows. And yes Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act states that a person is allowed to use non oem parts and service without voiding the warranty straight out, basically they have to prove that using such resulted in the damage, whatever it might be, that would actually void the warranty.

All in all it is hard to say without marking the filter whether they replaced it or not, strange that it is covered in what looks like sodium/road salt powder or something tho as the new filters are sealed in plastic so not sure how it would have come from the dealership so dirty. It is a bummer that many dealerships are so shady these days. After my first free oil change I am going back to changing myself as well, just cheaper and easier, peace of mind knowing it was done right. My dealer service center already lied to me about performing work on a vapor barrier leak I took it in for in the first month of ownership, said they did a bunch of stuff but the problem immediately continued so I took the door apart myself and it was so blatantly clear they did absolutely nothing they said they did, just charged Subaru for the warranty work and I guess thought they would get more money by having me keep bringing it in? Infuriating sometimes. Best of luck with them in the future!
Thanks for the reply, and sorry for the lapse. I'm with you on the DIY oil changes ... I've always done them anyway. I'm considering buying a pump to pump out the oil from the dipstick tube so I'm no longer laying under the car. I found a model of pump that's manual, looks sturdy, and is about the cost of an oil change. If not that, I'll get one of those valves on the oil pan for easier emptying. Anyway ... hope this year is a good one for both of us.
 
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