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Long haul trip @ 100,000 miles - maintenance suggestions


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22 replies to this topic

#1 dhewitt

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:28 AM

You guys have been awesome helping me out in the past, and I come calling again. Hope it's not too much trouble.

I'm pretty religious with the "by-the-book" maintenance on our 2003 Outback (4 cyl., auto trans), but our impending trip from Virginia to Oregon -- a family move -- has me wondering what else needs to be done. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. I have a great mechanic here that I know and trust and would like to have him get things in order before we take off. We're moving to a place that actually has snow (our Soob will be right at home), so preparatory work may be needed as well.

* What's been done -- current mileage ~96,000

Oil and filter changes every ~4,000-5,000 miles
Tire rotations every ~7,500-10,000 (new tires at 69,000)
New brake pads and air filters as needed (the book interval)
New fuel filter at 40,000
Coolant flush at 40,000
New spark plugs at 63,000
Brake fluid flush at 77,000
New front rotors at 80,000
New fuel filter at 89,000
Timing belt, both drive belts, thermostat, water pump at 91,500
Front pass. side axle half-shaft replaced at 92,000

* Looks like it ought to be done by the book before we leave:

? Coolant flush and cooling system inspection
? Fuel filter
? Air filter (need to check)
? Transmission/gear oil checks
? Axle shaft checks
? Wheel bearing lubrication check (huh?)

(Also currently looking to assess/fix a possible rack leak of power steering fluid.)

#2 wondercow2

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:31 AM

Inspecting the axles and bearings is just looking for leaking grease, or torn boots in the case of axles.

If you can do the work yourself, a gear oil change would be a good idea instead of just inspecting it. "Lifetime" transmission or gear oil is just a marketing gimmick - I don't know anyone who's driving doesn't fall into the medium-to-severe duty conditions, which call for frequent oil changes.

If you're going to tow a trailer, DEFINITELY start with fresh fluid.

If you do the coolant, check the hoses and replace hoses that look untrustworthy.

I don't worry a whole lot about long trips: most cars would be happiest running coast-to-coast all year long instead of commuting every day in a city.

#3 forester2002s

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:44 AM

I would also do an oil & filter change just before the trip (unless this has been done very recently).

And I would also check all the tires (including the spare):
- remove and replace each wheel (using the jack and wrench that you keep in the trunk);
- inspect tread for embedded foreign-objects;
- check tire pressures;
- if any wheel-shimmy, rebalance tire(s).

Replace windscreen wipers?

Have a good trip!

#4 nipper

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:45 AM

I dont see a PCV valve anywhere.

Also get yourself a new radiator cap. Its cheap enough for a little extra insurance.

Wiper blades?

I took Blu on a 10,000 mile trip and aside from blowing an engine (i know minor details) i didnt have a single problem. Blown engine was due to previous owner loving once a year oil changes.

You will be fine. Just dont use the cruise control in very hilly areas, and if you find the car shfiting in and out of 4th gear alot just leave it in drive 3.


nipper

#5 porcupine73

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:08 PM

? Coolant flush and cooling system inspection
Yes at least check the hoses. If you replace the hoses, the Subaru OEM hoses are not very expensive and are top quality. Since you had the water pump replaced, the coolant was at least drained then. Don't know whether new coolant was put in or they reused what was drained out. Note SUBARU recommends against coolant flushing machines.

? Fuel filter
Looks like it was done a few thousand miles ago so should be good?

? Air filter (need to check)
Also cheap and easy to replace so if you don't know when it was done last go for it.

? Transmission/gear oil checks
Yes I would replace the diff gear oils and the ATF if you don't know when done last....if ever.

? Axle shaft checks
Easy to check the boots visually.

? Wheel bearing lubrication check (huh?)
Yes I've seen this one on the list too. You have to extract the axle from the hub and maybe pull the hub to check it though, which is a bit of a pain just for a 'check'.

http://www.subaru.co...d=SCHEDULE_2003


Also, spark plugs are 30k mile replacement interval, so those are probably due for replacement again now.

#6 jon38iowa

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:13 PM

It might be worth considering a new gas cap, given how testy these can be.
John

#7 s'ko

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:31 PM

I don't worry a whole lot about long trips: most cars would be happiest running coast-to-coast all year long instead of commuting every day in a city.


x2. I took my 2k OBS w/120k on it on a road trip from LA to Denver and back over Thanksgiving weekend. Drive it 19 hours straight on the first leg. No problems, temps stayed right in the middle and it was rock solid.

I changed the oil, and the gear oil and checked my tires, got fresh wipers and that was about it. You should do fine.

BW

#8 four-fleet-feet

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:15 PM

[quote name='s'ko]I changed the oil' date=' and the gear oil and checked my tires, got fresh wipers and that was about it. You should do fine.[/QUOTE']

+100 on this. Get the best wipers you can, and maybe carry refills, they'll be getting a workout in the snow. Also, if you have the accessory belts checked and a change is recommended, save the old ones and toss them into the spare box. Carry the usual set of suspects: bottle of brake, ATF, PS, oil, and antifreeze in the back and you'll be covered for most things. Also a bottle of window washer fluid, if you are obsessed with clean glass like I am.

Considering the weather, I'd carry some blankets, spare ratty set of clothes for outside-the-car-work, extra nonperishable food, and bottled water. Maybe a plastic poncho and/or drop cloth to keep you drier if you have to stop in inclement weather and do something to the car. I highly recommend a roll of paper towels and a box of garbage bags, they always seem to come in handy.

A warning: having the tube of lock deicer IN THE CAR does you no good if/when you need it. Family trip? Put one in everyone's purse, if not in your own pocket. Otherwise, if your car's been reliable, passes a check of the belts/brakes/fluids, and you get the ATF/gear oil changes you'd mentioned, I think you're good to go!

(Edit: if you haven't chained up before, now is the time to learn, preferably in a warm garage, not at the side of the interstate being wake-slapped by semis as they climb past you...)

(Said by a woman who has the trip from Seattle to Phoenix, parents' winter home, memorized, since I used to do it 2x a month at the drop of a hat, as well as the route from Seattle to Clearfield, PA, my parents' summer home. Just call me Long Hauls 'R' Us :) )

#9 subaruplatt

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:40 PM


You will be fine. Just dont use the cruise control in very hilly areas, and if you find the car shfiting in and out of 4th gear alot just leave it in drive 3.


nipper

I agree with niper, don't be afraid to shift it once and a while!
Third gear downhill in cruise works just fine:grin:
I really like the get your wheels balanced idea, of course you know what it needs.
How about a spot free rinse:)

#10 Gloyale

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:29 PM

since I used to do it 2x a month at the drop of a hat, as well as the route from Seattle to Clearfield, PA, my parents' summer home.


Ha! Clearfield! No Way. I grew up there! I went to Centre school, over the bridge in Hyde township(?)

My Grandmother has lived there her whole life, originally in the east end near Polumbo's meat market. My great grandma ran *Natoli's* restaraunt back in the day.

Now grandma is up by the country club in Hyde, and my Aunt is down the street from her.

#11 xr2guy

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 04:45 PM

Not another, family moving to Oregon. Just kidding, welcome.

#12 MilesFox

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:01 PM

if you would be towing or have the car heavily loaded down, you could pick up a transmission cooler from u-haul from 40-80 bucks depending on which one you get. installation would be about 60 bucks or so.

easy enough to install yourself if you really wanted to.

#13 four-fleet-feet

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:11 PM

Ha! Clearfield! No Way. I grew up there! I went to Centre school, over the bridge in Hyde township(?)

My Grandmother has lived there her whole life, originally in the east end near Polumbo's meat market. My great grandma ran *Natoli's* restaraunt back in the day.

Now grandma is up by the country club in Hyde, and my Aunt is down the street from her.

:eek: :eek: :eek: Wow. Had to call Mom straightaway after reading your post.

She knows East End very well - went to school with Sarah Natoli and graduated in '43 with her! Mom plans on making it back to the 65th Class Reunion come hell or high water. Maybe your Grandma or Aunt know her (Milly Bowers Bell, Dobe's wife). Small world!

This board amazes me every day. :banana:

#14 dhewitt

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:53 PM

Thanks y'all (gonna have to drop that in Oregon I think)...

Here's the list. Let me know if anything's missing. I think I summed it up.

MECHANIC--
Oil and filter change
Coolant flush/cooling system/hose inspection
(Subaru only hoses if needed; check if coolent replaced with water pump change?)
PCV valve
Spark plugs
Thermostat
Transmission/diff. gear oil/ATF check/replacement
Axle/wheel bearing lubrication checks
Brake check

ME--
Windshield wipers
Gas cap
Air filter check
Tire pressure
Fluid checks

I presume I should get the gas cap, thermostat, PCV valve, hoses (if needed), and plugs from an online Subaru dealer?

I'm actually looking forward to this trip, except for the pain in my ace that's sure to develop from the rock hard Soob seats.

#15 nipper

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:46 PM

Blinker fluid?

nipper

#16 dhewitt

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:39 PM

huh?

#17 porcupine73

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:44 PM

Oh yah only KaleCo 1 million blinks synthetic blinker fluid will do.

#18 dhewitt

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:48 PM

Oh yah only KaleCo 1 million blinks synthetic blinker fluid will do.


Seriously, I had no idea there was such a thing. I'm guessing I don't have this on my old 95 Toyota pickup... I thought y'all were joking.

#19 porcupine73

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:54 PM

hehe, it's just the old quintessential blinker fluid joke. Your list looks pretty complete. I might pass on the wheel bearing lubrication check depending on cost. they could actually damage the wheel bearings while extracting the axle from the hub if it is siezed in there.

Oh actually I was wrong, the KaleCo is only good for 150,000 blinks.....

Make sure to read the 'reviews'. Be careful about the claim that it may be used in any car! Certain foreign makes actually require the use of a silicone-based blinker fluid. I used this stuff and rotted out the lines on my car. This is not an experience you want. If you think I'm kidding, go look for the blinker lines on your own car and see how tough they are to replace. Being as safety item, most manufacturers place lots of shielding on the lines (heck....you usually can't even see the lines) and this all has to be removed. My advice? Call your car's manufacturer to check before using this product.

#20 nipper

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:55 PM

Seriously, I had no idea there was such a thing. I'm guessing I don't have this on my old 95 Toyota pickup... I thought y'all were joking.


YAY another virgin :)

:clap:
http://kalecoauto.co...2&products_id=6













yes we are joking...

nipper

#21 dhewitt

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 08:14 PM

the second link that came up in Google got me... i should have known better (obviously)

http://www.geocities...nkerfluid1.html

Looks like an oil dipstick to me now that I think of it.

Awesome :dead:

#22 nipper

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 08:45 PM

Then we wont even mention Muffler Bearings.


:popcorn:



nipper

#23 aircraft engineer

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:28 PM

Y'all want to go out on the flight line and get me a bucket of propwash? :lol: maybe we can get a couple of gunny sacks and go out snipe hunting




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