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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is there a list somewhere of the socket sizes used on the (‘16) crosstrek? i don't have a lot of metric sockets, so i want to buy some new impact ones for my toolkit. what sizes do i need?
 

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In my decades of experience... it doesn't work that way. You don't get one 10mm and one 13mm wrench or socket. It's better to get a complete metric socket set in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" drive, with both shallow and deep sockets, extensions and wobble adapters. A good set will run about $200 or $250, but it will last a lifetime. I still use the Craftsman sockets I bought 30 years ago, although I've added to it. Brands I like: Harbor Freight Icon (expensive, but excellent), Milwaukee (excellent), Gear Wrench, DeWalt, Harbor Freight Quinn.... there are others. I don't like Craftsman anymore and I don't like Harbor Freight Pittsburgh as a ratchet set. There are sets that have cases which organize each socket, and that's extremely helpful.

In addition to the sockets, you'll need a set of screwdrivers, a set of pliers, and various special-purpose tools, which you acquire when you do a specific job. Oil change? Buy a drain basin and filter wrench. Brake job? Caliper spreader. Spark plugs? Spark plug sockets. Oh, another useful thing to have is a set of ratcheting combination wrenches. Very handy.

The thing you'll learn fast is...When a procedure says, "Remove the 13mm bolt," they aren't explaining that the bolt isn't just sitting right in front of you with plenty of access. You often have very limited access and you need to reach bolts at bizzare angles. That's why you need so many different types of sockets, unfortunately. But a good set lasts a lifetime and makes the work much more pleasurable, especially on your knuckles.

I just did maintenance on a friend's 2019 Outback. Here's what I recall:
On Subaru, spark plug changes are particularly challenging. You'll need a special magnetic spark plug socket and short and ultra-short extensions.
Coolant change requires a special funnel which you can buy from either Harbor Freight or Lisle. The Harbor Freight one worked perfectly for me. It costs about $35.
The coolant change also required removing a lot of plastic rivets under the car. I use a special pry tool but you can use a small screwdriver and lots of patience if you want.
The PCV valve required a deep socket and a long extension. I forget the socket size; it was around 16mm but a shallow socket won't work.
Cabin air filter requires.... no tools at all! At most, a screwdriver to pry off a a plastic clip. Extremely easy to do.
I didn't work on the brakes, but brake jobs are always the same: You'll need something like a 15 to 17mm, 1/2" drive socket, and a brake pad spreader tool (Harbor Freight makes a great one). And of course a jack and a lug wrench to take the tires off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks, that’s very comprehensive!

i‘m not planning on doing most of my own maintenance, but it just rubs me the wrong way to pay mechanic rates for changing light bulbs or cabin air filters.

i just got a cordless impact driver so i feel (almost) empowered to change tail light bulbs. now all i need is a decent metric socket set (i have mostly sae sizes). i think 10-12-14mm will cover most of it. for now.

In my decades of experience... it doesn't work that way. You don't get one 10mm and one 13mm wrench or socket. It's better to get a complete metric socket set in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" drive, with both shallow and deep sockets, extensions and wobble adapters. A good set will run about $200 or $250, but it will last a lifetime. I still use the Craftsman sockets I bought 30 years ago, although I've added to it. Brands I like: Harbor Freight Icon (expensive, but excellent), Milwaukee (excellent), Gear Wrench, DeWalt, Harbor Freight Quinn.... there are others. I don't like Craftsman anymore and I don't like Harbor Freight Pittsburgh as a ratchet set. There are sets that have cases which organize each socket, and that's extremely helpful.

In addition to the sockets, you'll need a set of screwdrivers, a set of pliers, and various special-purpose tools, which you acquire when you do a specific job. Oil change? Buy a drain basin and filter wrench. Brake job? Caliper spreader. Spark plugs? Spark plug sockets. Oh, another useful thing to have is a set of ratcheting combination wrenches. Very handy.

The thing you'll learn fast is...When a procedure says, "Remove the 13mm bolt," they aren't explaining that the bolt isn't just sitting right in front of you with plenty of access. You often have very limited access and you need to reach bolts at bizzare angles. That's why you need so many different types of sockets, unfortunately. But a good set lasts a lifetime and makes the work much more pleasurable, especially on your knuckles.

I just did maintenance on a friend's 2019 Outback. Here's what I recall:
On Subaru, spark plug changes are particularly challenging. You'll need a special magnetic spark plug socket and short and ultra-short extensions.
Coolant change requires a special funnel which you can buy from either Harbor Freight or Lisle. The Harbor Freight one worked perfectly for me. It costs about $35.
The coolant change also required removing a lot of plastic rivets under the car. I use a special pry tool but you can use a small screwdriver and lots of patience if you want.
The PCV valve required a deep socket and a long extension. I forget the socket size; it was around 16mm but a shallow socket won't work.
Cabin air filter requires.... no tools at all! At most, a screwdriver to pry off a a plastic clip. Extremely easy to do.
I didn't work on the brakes, but brake jobs are always the same: You'll need something like a 15 to 17mm, 1/2" drive socket, and a brake pad spreader tool (Harbor Freight makes a great one). And of course a jack and a lug wrench to take the tires off.
 

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Save that impact wrench for use only on the tire lug nuts. Too easy to strip or cross strip the threads on the smaller-size bolts. Shop mechanics in hurry learned the hard way about this which is why they aren't as popular as in years past.
 
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