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15,000 mi Maintenance on H6 (Long)


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Chip Hedrick

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 06:14 PM

I learned a few things this weekend while performing the 15,000 mi maintenance interval on my wife's '03 H6 Sedan (the car actually had 16,582 mi).

The Subaru of America maintenance schedule (posted on its web site) doens't call for the inspection of front and rear differential oil until 30,000 mi.

However, I decided to change the diff oil since: (1) the dipstick indicated the front diff was a little low and the manual says don't mix brands of gear oil: (2) if you go to the effort of opening the inspection plug on the rear diff you might as well go all the way and drain and refill it; and (3) dino gear oil is only about $2/quart. Both diffs require a total of only 2.1 quarts (trust me, buy 3 quarts, if you think you can get away with 2 you'll find yourself heading back to the auto parts place halfway through the job).

I'm glad I changed the diff oil. It came out black and had black particles in it (particles of burnt gear oil? They didn't appear metalic.). Also, the magnets on both drain plugs had a significant amount of sludge on them.

The dipstick for the front diff is tucked in a truly evil location behind the engine. At the local NAPA store I bought a flexible tube that screws onto a gear oil bottle and that allows you to turn the flow of oil on and off. It worked well.

The drain plug for the front diff is easy to get to (under the car, directly behind the engine). It's even marked "Diff Oil." It requires 21mm socket.

As has been my experience with Subaru rear diffs, it takes some efforts to get the plugs out. At a minimum you need a 1/2" breaker bar. I find that a "breaker ratchet" (a breaker bar with a ratchet head) is a lot easier to work with when the car is up on jack stands (as opposed to a lift) and you don't have much clearance to work the bar.

I discovered that the H6 has a single, relatively wide serpentine belt that spins all the accessories (AC, alt, PS). The belt is nonadjustable.

I also replaced the air filter and fuel filter with OEM parts. The air filter seemed quite dirty for the mileage. I replaced the fuel filter just to ensure 100% performance.

The manual says the battery is maintenace free and doesn't require the addition of water. That is incorrect. The cells have plastic covers that pop off just like any other non-maintenance-free battery. The water level was good, but I topped it off with distilled water.

Brake fluid, PS fluid, tranny fluid, and coolant all appeared fine.

I did my usual 3,000+/- mi oil change. I've found that the crush washers can be reused once (at most), otherwise they allow oil to drip. So I ordered a supply of them. I use the NAPA Gold 1334 oil filter, which fits both my wife's H6 and my EJ25 (I've heard this is a good filter so I don't bother tracking down OEM oil filters).

Tires didn't require rotation as I mounted winter wheels and tires less than 5,000 mi ago. Brake pads passed state inspection last weekend (plus they looked fine when I mounted the winter wheels + tires). Finally, just for full measure, I added fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank.

That's the end of my rambling for anyone who cared enough to read this far.

#2 Losiho

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 06:42 PM

I cared, and it was good info for all to read :clap:

Changing all filters and fluids and knowing your car is in tip top condition gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside ! :D

#3 Chip Hedrick

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 07:28 PM

I'll add two more things.

FIRST, this weekend was the first time I took the decorative cover off the top of the H6 engine (that's why I didn't realize that the engine has only one accessory belt).

The cover secured by 4 readily vissible bolts, BUT DON'T TRY JUST LIFTING IT OFF once you've removed the bolts.

The cover also has two hidden clips on its underside on the front. You have to remove the bolts, then pull the cover a couple of inches in the direction of the radiator. Otherwise, you'll break the clips off.

I didn't realize this until the cover resisted being lifted off. Once I got it off I noticed one of the clips had broken off. I don't know if I did that (I didn't hear or feel the clip break) or someone at the dealership broke it off before we purchased the car.

SECOND, I would not bring this car to one of those quick oil change places. Here's why: the oil filter is covered by an aerodynamic panel. The panel is held in place by three large plastic screws.

Someone not familiar with the car could get frustrated and: (1) not bother removing the panel and changing the oil filter; (2) forget to install the panel and all of the plastic screws; or (3) break the panel and/or the screws (they're delicate and are not parts you can buy out of the bin at your local auto parts store).

#4 applegump

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 06:52 AM

Always interesting to read about newer Subes!

#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:22 AM

I copied the stuff outta the manual about the plastic panel when I took my oil and filter to my indie mech to change the oil - just in case it threw him off. Seemed to be appreciated. No drips either - but next time I might just take him a new crush washer as you suggest. good post thanx

#6 Zaphod

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 10:07 PM

I've didn't change the crush washer two times and the second time I got drip from the plug.

Changed the oil again, and put a new washer on and it doesn't drip. :)




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