February 6

2018 Subaru Forester 25i-B Service Plus



Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Remarkable Speaking. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver's best auto service experience, and we're talking cars. How you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So today's victim is a 2018 Subaru Forester that came in for a service. What brought the Subaru in?

Bernie: So the vehicle was due for a B Service and there was also a few fluids that we'd mentioned to the client and services last time they were in, that would probably need to be done at this point in time. So we did the B Service and changed a few fluids and a cabin air filter at the same time.

Mark: So what's a B Service? 

Bernie: So, B Service is our full maintenance service. Oil and filter change. Plus a full vehicle inspection. So we do a full wheel off vehicle inspection, rotate tires if needed. So a lot of things we look at are lights. We test the battery and charging system, we look at all the fluids in kind of detail to see the quality of the fluids, not just the levels that make sure they're full.

Do a steering suspension inspection, full visual underneath inspection of exhaust system, belts full under hood. We do measurements on the brakes as well. So you know, every time a B Service is done, we measure the thickness of the brake pads, the thickness of the brake rotors. We note anything down. 

This vehicle is fairly new, so wasn't too complicated, there wasn't too much found wrong with it other than there were some fluids that were right at the sort of interval that needed to be replaced. And why don't I just show you a couple pictures right now and then you can keep asking me questions.

Mark: Which fluids did you replace? 

2018 Subaru Forester 25i-B Service Plus

Bernie: Did the transmission differential and brake fluid. So here's a view of the inspection. If you're a client of ours, you'll have seen these. If you're new to our shop, this is how the inspection looks when we send it out. And basically when you book a service, we can put down your concerns. You can even do these on your online system. So the client's concerns B Service. Possible cabin air filter, brake fluid transmission service and don't rotate the tires, which was a client's request. 

Then it says basically there's a number of items that are okay, six items with suggested services. And if there's any other issues, there's a red box here with, suppose we found your brakes were down to, you know, three millimetres on the brake pads, that would be a red item. Something that needs to be done pretty quick. Or say a loose or worn ball joint, any sort of safety issue that would be noted there.

We're also able to put an estimate together for service. So, I mean, I've blocked out items here that we, you know, don't want make public, but there was an estimate attached here. So we can send the report out to you with an estimate for the suggested services, and then you can see them and we can go from there.

So this is the kind of front end of the report. There are plus buttons here, and if you click on these, that opens up a list. So the 94 okay items where things like, you know, the brakes are fine, and we list more detailed information, all the lights we look at, and all this various other items that are good. 

This is kind of our end of the inspection that we look at. There's various items, but these are some of the more details. These are the orange items. So, some of the things you can note and if you were to click on those in your own inspection, you'd see due by mileage. Some of these items had already been on the list to do, but we note them anyways. 

2018 Subaru Forester 25i-B Service Plus

Brake fluid due by mileage. Rear differential manufacturer recommends cabin filter due. Rear brake pads partially worn. So again, there's some numbers and information. There's a little paper clip here. You can click on that. And that'll actually give pictures or notes that the technician has put in place. 

And we have one other photograph here, and that's a little more of a drill down for items. And again, you can see in these brakes here, rear brake pad's, five millimetres. So that's not worn out. That's just in the area where we'd wanna recommend doing it. So, again, these are some of the more details you'll see in the inspection. 

2018 Subaru Forester 25i-B Service Plus

This is a really simple one. I mean, if you have an older car, maybe you're a first customer to us, you've got a car that, you know, 150,000 kilometres and it's 10 years old and hasn't been serviced very well. A lot of times these lists can get pretty extensive. But this is a kind of a nice, simple maintenance service on a car that's not all that old.

Mark: So how dirty were the fluids? Were they due? I know the recommendation is change 'em. Sometimes that's not necessarily the right time to change them. Were these ready to be changed? 

Bernie: So the answer is no, they weren't dirty. And it's actually good to change fluids before they get dirty. I mean, engine oil gets dirty naturally because of the process of combustion. But it's better to change fluids when they're not really dirty. Things like transmissions, for instance, you've got gears and little metal particles floating around and so often we look at the fluid and either it's got a dip stick or maybe if on a differential you pull the fill plug, the inspection plug, and you look at it and take a little dip sample.

You go, oh, it looks really clean. Then you go to drain it out and it's got like all these little metallic particles in it. You go, well, not fluid was actually dirty, but you can't really see it with your eyes. So it's really important just to change the fluids at the recommended intervals and not really worry too much. You know, It's a few dollars, but why try to squeeze something out when you're actually running dirty fluids. Sometimes you can't see with your eye until you actually drain them out. 

Mark: And those metal particles are causing wear and tear and eventually failure, whether if it's a rear differential transmission, et cetera.

Bernie: Yeah, exactly. Now, you know, it's normal to have some metal particles in there. You just don't want to have too many of them. Once you start getting a lot of them, it's kind of a multiplier effect. So do it as minimally as possible. 

Mark: Were there other items that needed to be changed, like spark plugs or fuel filters, et cetera?

Bernie: No. Fuel filters are one of those items, unless you have a diesel. Diesel vehicles still have fuel filters that need to be replaced. But gasoline engine vehicles for many years have incorporated the fuel filter right into the gas tank along with the fuel pump. So, they never need to be changed. That's never a service item. 

If you have a certain age of vehicle, like quite a lot older now, there is a fuel filter interval and you should change them. But fuel filters have not been a service item for many, many, like a couple of decades on a lot of vehicles. Spark plugs, they last a long time, especially on this vehicle.

 I didn't look up the spark plug interval, but we're many thousand kilometres and months and years away from changing spark plugs at the rate this vehicle's being driven. So spark plugs, again, are not that common, but you need to know your manufacturer maintenance schedule, cuz there are some vehicles where the spark plugs are still about 50,000 kilometres recommended and others are, you know, close to 200. So it's good to know the interval. 

Usually on those vehicles that have a 200,000 kilometre interval, something will fail before the spark plugs are due. Like an ignition coil will die or something will happen, and maybe a valve cover gasket will leak. An oil will go down the tube, usually before the spark plugs are due to be replaced. But you know, again, if it's not recommended, you can leave them for a long time. 

Mark: So we've talked a lot about Subarus and timing belts. Does this engine need a timing belt replacement? 

Bernie: No, this is not a timing belt replacement engine. Subaru sort of around the early, 2012ish, most of their engines with timing belts were gone. They were replaced with timing chains. I believe the new WRXs still have timing belts. I might be wrong, but those engines still had timing belts for quite a long time. But yeah, no, they're chain driven and so far they seem to be pretty reliable.

We've run into no head gasket problems on any of these engines, which is good cuz it was a big thing on the older models. I mean, unfortunate for us it was kind of a nice revenue stream. Mechanical, mechanical issues are, yeah. I don't, yeah, we shouldn't say this, but you know, I like to be honest. It's a good thing for the consumer, you know, like if you own a car like this, head gaskets are not really much of an issue anymore.

Mark: And how are these Foresters for reliability? 

Bernie: Yeah, they're really good. Good cars. I find, said this before, I've owned a lot of Subarus over the years. You know, we've worked on a lot of 'em. They just keep getting better and better as time goes by. So, good vehicles, I mean, they're not as cheap as they used to, at one time they were kind of a cheap, weird vehicle, but they're definitely not that anymore. But, you know, they're good vehicle reliable, worth owning for sure. 

Mark: If you're looking for service for your Subaru in Vancouver, BC Canada, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can book online at pawlikautomotive.com or you can phone them to book. They'll actually answer the phone. Well, not always. They're pretty busy, so you might have to leave a message. Let's be honest about it. But call. They will call you back. (604) 327-7112 in Vancouver. And thanks so much for watching and listening. We deeply appreciate it and thank you, Bernie. 

Bernie: Yeah, thank you, Mark. And thanks for watching and listening.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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