Maintenance Service Intervals for STi's

TK-421

New member
Welcome to another How To by TK-421

Welcome to the Newbie Section. Many of you reading this are new STi owners. Whether this is your first Subaru or first STi, you've probably got yourself a laundry list of questions and your wondering where to go. This section was thought of especially for you. There will be information here to help the new owners with your questions and hopefully answer the majority of them. So without further ado, let's get to it shall we?

I will be covering Service Intervals as detailed in the Factory Service Manual or FSM. @Alin suggested this thread so I would like to thank him for the suggestion

Maintenance, it's a thing every car owner has to do. It keeps the car going and running healthy, kind of in the same respects of keeping yourself going and healthy.

Some of the things that are of obvious maintenance are things like Oil Changes, Coolant Flushes, Accessory Drive Belts, Timing Belts and Water Pumps.

And then there are things that some owners are unaware of that need periodic servicing, things like, brake fluid flush, gearbox flush, transfer case flush, and rear diff flush.

I will be going over every service table in the manual and at what mileage things should be preformed, more importantly I will cover why these services need done and what can happen if they are ignored!

Let's start with lowest mileage and work out way up to higher mileage vehicles. As some of you are owners of brand new vehicles, but prefer to do the work yourselves, I commend you on taking on this task, not many owners will and usually end up farming out this task to shops and mechanics like myself.

Now let's go over the actual Maintenance Schedule itself.

Schedules are based on two factors, mileage and or time. Notice that I said or. Just because you changed your oil in June and you only have driven the car 3000 miles since your last change, doesn't mean you shouldn't change your oil.

Fluids degrade over time, and changing them out and keeping them fresh is a absolute paramount.

Now this doesn't mean change your fluids out every year, if you don't drive it that much.

So to alleviate confusion I'm posting the maintenance time tables below







These are the factory time tables for all years of STi, whether it be hatch or sedan. 04 to 15 STi's should follow these guidelines.

Following this will ensure that you have a up to date maintenance vehicle.

So for those who have new cars, and are under 10k miles, and drive your car in the winter in areas that use road salt, or in costal areas, at 7,500 miles I would jack up the car and check the fuel lines, brake lines and hoses, and exhaust pieces for holes and significant rust build up. This is more of a safety thing than it is maintenance, but when maintenance is preformed it is also about keeping the vehicle up to date with safety as well.

At 15,000 miles your going to do another inspection like this again, this time checking things in the engine bay such as power steering for any leaks and quickly give a visual check of your belts and hoses. And once again get under the car and check the brake lines, fuel lines and exhaust components. Now would also be a good time to pull your wheels and check the condition of your brake pads and rotors as well, not saying they need replaced, but just give them a look over and see if there is any uneven wear.

Moving on to 30,000 miles. Now this is going to be your first service where you replace se things. Your probably already doing an oil change and filter change. Your also going to want to change out or clean your air filter depending on the type of intake system you have (ie aftermarket or stock). Now one thing that is commonly overlooked and neglected is brake fluid. Yes you should flush out your brake fluid. Why? Because brake fluid absorbs moisture and overtime that moisture turns it acidic, which will eat through rubber. It doesn't matter if you have replaced your brake lines with stainless steel ones, because your brake master cylinder, clutch master and slave cylinder all have rubber parts inside them that distribute the brake fluid when the pedals are pressed. Changing out your brake fluid is a simple and easy task (which will be covered in a different how to segment). But the bottom line is, get it done, don't skip out on it.

60k, your first major service. This is going to be a list of things to do.

Starting with spark plugs, change them out, don't clean them. I've seen people clean plugs, don't be that person to clean your plugs and throw em back in. Spend the money and the time to get a good quality spark plug. Now I'm not saying you've got to get some 3 step colder high heat $12.00 a spark plug type of thing, What I am saying is don't go into your local auto parts store and ask them what fits for the cheapest price.

Your fuel filter should also be replaced as well, unless your running a E85 tune ( that requires it to be changed more often, I recommend around every 20k miles) change the fuel filter, the least thing you want is a clogged fuel filter disrupting fuel flow causing you to run lean. The reason those filters are there is to catch all the crap that is in gasoline, you'd be surprised how much crap gets mixed into fuel when the storage tanks get refilled at a gas station! That fuel filter is there to catch the stuff that may pass through the sock on the fuel pump that's in your tank. Change it people, don't be stingy!

Replace your air filter or clean it, and replace the brake fluid again.

One thing I do recommend is changing out your rear diff fluid, transfer case fluid and transmission oil. Use quality fluids and the recommended spec of fluid stated in the back of your owners manual. Don't go off and run some super thick high performance something or other if you have a stock rear end, stock transfer case and stock transmission. If you've had these things built by someone, run whatever they suggest, if they aren't clear about it, just default back to what the manual says.

The reason you want to change these fluids, is because like brake fluid overtime these fluids can also become acidic and eat through the seals in your transmission, transfer case and rear diff. These fluids naturally break down over time and due to heat and wear. Your going to have some companies tell you "oh run this brand and you'll be able to extend this service interval further" don't listen to that hogwash! Change them out every 60k at the most, if you want to change them eariler, then that's your choice. But do not go further than 60k, it just starts to degrade further and make things super sketchy.

75k service is going to be your standard stuff, look over your brakes, check your fuel lines, check belts and hoses, check for power steering and coolant leaks fix if necessary. And more than likely a tire rotation and oil change.

105k aka "The Big One" At 105k Subaru calls for some major major stuff, things like a Timing Belt, Timing Belt Idler Pulleys, Water Pump, Oil Pump, Camshaft and Crankshaft seals, coolant flush, brake fluid and clutch fluid flush, transmission, transfer case, rear diff flush. Adjusting parking brake slack, and fuel filter.

First and foremost, if you DO NOT have the tools, specialty equipment or mechanical know how to change your timing belt and water pump, DO NOT attempt this, it is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced person. A timing belt is what keeps all the mechanical components of your engine working in harmony and sync. If it snaps well let's just say you either 1 better have deep pockets or 2 you won't be driving the car for quite some time. Change the damn belt at the absolute minimum. The ideal thing is to change the belt, pulleys, water pump and oil pump all at the same.

Why? Because in order to change the water pump or oil pump, you have to remove the timing belt and all the pulleys to gain access. And you change the pulleys because they have bearings inside them that wear out over time. One of the pulleys is "toothed" or "geared" and if that pulley sized up, then you would shred your timing belt to pieces, I've seen it before, nasty sight!

Another "while your in there" item is both the crankshaft and camshafts seals. These seals rarely go bad, but over time when they get old, they can weep oil from them. Just replace them for piece of mind. There are special tools used to remove and replace cam and crank seals, but that's for a completely different write up.

Change the rest of your fluids as needed and your 105k service is complete.

This pretty much sums up the maintenance timetable, and why you should change out these things. With the schedule provided above and details, I hope everyone can keep up on their maintenance. I have more respect for the person who can maintain and keep there car going for years and years, compared to the person who can just drop money on some monster build and turn a blind eye to longevity and maintenance.

Keep those wheels turning and turbo's spooling.

TK-421 aka Mr. How To
 

Attachments

  • ImageUploadedByTapatalk1415967208.103294.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1415967208.103294.jpg
    5 KB · Views: 130
  • ImageUploadedByTapatalk1415967221.413883.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1415967221.413883.jpg
    8.5 KB · Views: 138
Last edited:

Grinder34

Track Monkey
Clicking those images doesnt seem to make them any bigger for me, so they remain too small to be read.

I thought coolant, diff, and trans fluid should all be changed at 30k? Same with serpentine belts and spark plugs?

I guess I'll wait until I can read those images.
 

TK-421

New member
Clicking those images doesnt seem to make them any bigger for me, so they remain too small to be read.

I thought coolant, diff, and trans fluid should all be changed at 30k? Same with serpentine belts and spark plugs?

I guess I'll wait until I can read those images.

Problem corrected, and no Subaru OE coolant is long life stuff, coolant flushes at 30k are a thing of the past, they have been for about 10 years now. Plugs should be changed at 30k if your running E85. And I haven't seen a car since the 90's era that needs serpentine belts changed every 30k honestly.
 

Alin

On a quest of STi erudition!
Well im glad i overkill it by doing the longer interval things once a year minimum. :tup: (in exception to coolant and timing belt)
 

Batmobile_Engage

Squirrel Meat Aficionado.
Staff member
I've found that plugs should be replaced at 30k miles regardless of the fuel used, especially if you are running higher boost than factory and you drive like I drive. :peelout:
 

TK-421

New member
Well I drive like a 85 year old man, and hardly see boost in any of my cars, but that's because I was young and dumb when I loved in PA and got caught doing 85 in a 25 and now I do THE EXACT posted speed limit no matter what.
 

Batmobile_Engage

Squirrel Meat Aficionado.
Staff member
:lol: Yeah you could probably go to 50k on plugs driving like that. I'm boosting alllllll the time.
 

fredtb

New member
Hi,

what is the average KM when to replace the spark plug for you ?

I ask that because my sti has 70Kkm and i think i need to replace the spark plugs

(sorry for my english, FR)


Ouch sorry i haven't noticed your replies,

Thanks, same here with my drive i need to change the spark at 70'000km
 

TK-421

New member
Hi,

what is the average KM when to replace the spark plug for you ?

I ask that because my sti has 70Kkm and i think i need to replace the spark plugs

(sorry for my english, FR)


Ouch sorry i haven't noticed your replies,

Thanks, same here with my drive i need to change the spark at 70'000km


No need for sorry's my friend! Let me pull up the EU listing and I'll get the mileage for Kilometers!
 

TK-421

New member
[MENTION=4609]fredtb[/MENTION] Manual is stating every 96km's but if your running a E85 tune or higher boost levels with aggressive driving change them every 48km's
 

Fernando

New member
"So for those who have new cars, and are under 10k miles, and drive your car in the winter in areas that use road salt, or in costal areas, at 7,500 miles I would jack up the car and check the fuel lines, brake lines and hoses, and exhaust pieces for holes and significant rust build up. This is more of a safety thing than it is maintenance, but when maintenance is preformed it is also about keeping the vehicle up to date with safety as well."

I live in Ottawa and they salt the roads like crazy .. my question is:

Is it ok if I rust proof my car: undercarriage , engine bay, etc using product like Rust Check - Free Corrosion, etc.
Thanks
 

TK-421

New member
"So for those who have new cars, and are under 10k miles, and drive your car in the winter in areas that use road salt, or in costal areas, at 7,500 miles I would jack up the car and check the fuel lines, brake lines and hoses, and exhaust pieces for holes and significant rust build up. This is more of a safety thing than it is maintenance, but when maintenance is preformed it is also about keeping the vehicle up to date with safety as well."

I live in Ottawa and they salt the roads like crazy .. my question is:

Is it ok if I rust proof my car: undercarriage , engine bay, etc using product like Rust Check - Free Corrosion, etc.
Thanks


Yeah you'll be solid with something like that, go for it man. That's actually better, those guidelines are for people who keep their vehicles close to stock. So getting it coated would be the best course of action to prevent rust build up. But still make sure you clean under it periodically through out the winter time. [MENTION=662]Batmobile_Engage[/MENTION] will better be able to help with the winterizing as I live in Florida and do not see snow or road salt.
 

Batmobile_Engage

Squirrel Meat Aficionado.
Staff member
"So for those who have new cars, and are under 10k miles, and drive your car in the winter in areas that use road salt, or in costal areas, at 7,500 miles I would jack up the car and check the fuel lines, brake lines and hoses, and exhaust pieces for holes and significant rust build up. This is more of a safety thing than it is maintenance, but when maintenance is preformed it is also about keeping the vehicle up to date with safety as well."

I live in Ottawa and they salt the roads like crazy .. my question is:

Is it ok if I rust proof my car: undercarriage , engine bay, etc using product like Rust Check - Free Corrosion, etc.
Thanks

Yeah you'll be solid with something like that, go for it man. That's actually better, those guidelines are for people who keep their vehicles close to stock. So getting it coated would be the best course of action to prevent rust build up. But still make sure you clean under it periodically through out the winter time. @Batmobile_Engage will better be able to help with the winterizing as I live in Florida and do not see snow or road salt.

I think that would be fine. Of course, some things shouldn't be sprayed. All in all, if you wash the car enough in the winter and really spray all up underneath the car to get all the salt off, you'll do okay as well. I'd imagine the newer STIs have an underbody coating but I'm not sure....a large amount of the underbody of my 04 is coated. For moving parts, joints, etc. you can coat with a heavy spray on grease, if you can find it. This is all optional of course.
 

TK-421

New member
[MENTION=662]Batmobile_Engage[/MENTION] You'd be surprised, my '13 literally has zero underbody coating, and I think it's one of the reasons why they had recalls on the brake lines for the newer cars.
 

TK-421

New member
It was probably Toyota's idea to forego underbody coating. It's also probably Toyota's fault for the recent failures and poor quality....just saying since Toyota now has a major claim into Fuji Heavy Industries
 
Top