Now that I have purchased the 66K-mile 2008 Outback XT, I need to be prepared for fluid replacement. The part about the oil was taken care of after a long discussion at BITOG, but I'd like to get your input on other fluids - the kind and frequency of replacement. I know there is information on most of those in other threads, but I though we'd consolidate all the info in one thread. Hopefully, an experienced member will summarize any consensus that might have been established here. Also, I am looking for cheaper and/or better alternatives but I don't mind paying more for the Subaru OEM solution, as long as it makes sense. In fact, my biggest problem with that is the local dealerships charging a mighty markup over MSRP; I order all my maintenance parts (filters, hoses, gaskets, etc.) from a Subaru dealership in Washington state as they sell them at 25% under MSRP. The trouble is, they can't legally ship fluids.
1) Coolant. The car seems to have the Blue super-coolant, and it seems to be the original (i.e., I see no records of it ever being replaced). How do I confirm if it is the long-life or do I replace it, anyway? And do I have to buy the Subaru OEM or can I get a good aftermarket coolant?
2) ATF. I know the Subaru HP is the one to go, but what aftermarket alternatives can I use (cheaper and as good or better)? And how often to replace it?
3) Gear oil. Again, which fluid and how often? The rear differential being limited slip, it probably deserves some more attention.
4) Power steering seems to be straightforward (I never had to even top off my PS fluid, even on my 300K-mile Legacy), but - just in case.
5) Brake fluid. This one is probably as non-model-specific as any, but I thought I'd throw it in for good measure. It was replaced only 5K miles ago, but I don't know what type they used (DOT 3 or 4) and I don't want to top off (e.g., when doing pads) with the wrong kind, plus I should use something with better thermal characteristics than what a local shop would have used. I've used the GS610 but it's hard to find anymore. I know Motul RBF660 is excellent, but it's very expensive. Any suggestions?
6) How about additives? I like Red Line 60103 SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner, but how about anything else?
I think that's all of the fluids in the car, let me know if I've missed something.
Last edited by Kamen; 01-08-2013 at 05:30 PM..