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Hello everyone. This is only my second post.  I Dont have my manual yet. Just wanted to know if i should go to subaru for my engine oil, filter and trans fluid? Which type? I have the 1997 legacy outbak wagon automatic, 2.5 ibelieve. Has 156,000 miles.

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I'm no expert but for a 1997 I was say that going to the dealer is overkill if you're only going for supplies.

I've looked around and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil seem to be the top recommendation for a Subaru, though there's lots of opinions out there. It's not cheap and if you're thinking that the car isn't going to last for many years something cheaper should work fine. I think that generation only calls for traditional oil anyway so it wouldn't hurt it to go non-synthetic but quality oil. For oil filters I've had MANN, WIX, and Purolator recommended to me. Basically anything but FRAM, though some people like them.

I didn't get around to replacing my transmission fluid on my older Subaru so I'm not sure if you really need to real stuff, but again it depends on how long you think it'll last. I'm driving a 2010 now and the Subaru fluid was strongly recommended to me. The 2010s don't have a replaceable filter on the transmission but a 1997 should and I would think that the same companies that are good for oil filters should be good for transmission ones as well, just my assumption.

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My understanding is that there are very significant differences between Subaru transmission filters and anything aftermarket, esp. engine oil filters.  There's a huge difference in price (and I'm about the cheapest SOB around), but this is a case where I'd stick with OEM.

 

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97 has no accessible trans filter. 

Subaru oil is nothing special. In fact it's pretty ho-hum. Get some Amsoil 5w40 Euro full SAPS formula. 

Subaru engine oil filters are junk. Made by Subaru of America to avoid importing the quality Japanese versions and increase profit margin. They are Honeywell/Fram filters with blue paint. Again an Amsoil or even a WIX filter is much better.

And all this is really inconsequential because a 25D with 160k is right about where they blow head gaskets and burn exhaust valves. Be much more worried about that. 

GD

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52 minutes ago, jonathan909 said:

My understanding is that there are very significant differences between Subaru transmission filters and anything aftermarket, esp. engine oil filters.  There's a huge difference in price (and I'm about the cheapest SOB around), but this is a case where I'd stick with OEM.

 

The Amsoil EA15k12 is an excellent filter for the 4EAT and 5EAT transmissions equipped with spin on filters. Which is 99 to some 07's. Amsoil used to list it as such in fact, but due to a database change during a web site update that interchange listing got lost. We have confirmed it is still a recommended replacement for the application. The Amsoil EA filters have as much thicker can and will handle the transmission fluid pressure. We use them exclusively for trans fluid flushes. Never had a single issue. They are about $16.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder

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I’m frequently at the dealer for parts but would never buy fluids and filters there.

I’ll pick up a trans filter only because I’m unfamiliar with alternatives on something rarely replaced. But now I can copy and paste GDs posted part number!

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