This department presents an assortment of Subaru service bulletins and time-saving tips useful to aftermarket technicians. Tips in this issue include Subaru of America’s policies regarding the use of coolant flushing machines and additives; differences in gear oil specifications; ATF information; wheel lug nut torque and a list of recently-issued Subaru Service Bulletins.
Coolant Flushing Machines and Additives
Subaru of America has issued Service Bulletin 09-47-07 to clarify its policy regarding the use of coolant flushing machines and flushing agents. Subaru does not recommend the use of such products under any circumstances.
If a flushing machine has been used to service other brands of vehicles with copper radiators, a chemical reaction between copper ions and the Subaru coolant may occur. This could also cause future clogging of the radiator. If a flushing machine is dedicated to only Subaru, it is still not recommended as there is no way to know that the coolants being removed and processed through the machine during servicing are/were exclusively Subaru Genuine Coolant.
If regular flushing is required, use only fresh tap water. Do not use hard water. Hard water will create calcium buildup which will clog the radiator.
- When adding coolant, replacing or servicing the cooling system, always use Genuine Subaru Long Life Coolant. Genuine Subaru Long Life Coolant is a phosphate (non-amine) type and is specifically formulated for all Subaru vehicles with aluminum engines and radiators. Coolant of other types may not provide the proper protection to aid against corrosion of aluminum parts.
- Whenever the coolant is changed, you must add Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner. It has been tested and approved for Subaru aluminum engines and radiators.
- Do not use aftermarket coolant reinforcement agents, sealer and/or flushing agents as those chemicals could corrode aluminum parts.
Any coolant system failure and/or damage resulting from that failure that is a direct result of using a coolant flushing machine is not a matter for warranty.
The bulletin covering this policy is available on the Subaru Technical Information System website at http://techinfo.subaru.com.
Note: Once a bottle of Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner is opened, it must be entirely used. Exposure to air can compromise the product’s effectiveness. If the seal on a bottle is found to be opened or damaged when the cap is removed, do not use that bottle of conditioner.
Differences in Gear Oil Specification
There are differences between GL-4 and GL-5 gear oil specifications that you need to recognize. GL-4 gear lube has only half the additives for extreme pressures found in GL-5.
Different gear designs require significantly different lubrication. That’s why manual transmissions sometimes use different lubrication than differentials. For example; hypoid gears, normally found in differentials, require GL-5 – with the increased extreme pressure additives – because of their spiral sliding operation. Helical and straight-cut gears do not operate under the pressures of a spiral sliding function, so GL-4 is normally specified for use in these types of applications. It’s best to always use the type of lubrication specified by the manufacturer.
ATF Fluid Information
The fluid used in the 5EAT transmission (ATF-HP) will change from a dark reddish color to a yellowish color during normal operation. This is considered a normal characteristic for ATF-HP fluid. It also has a distinctive odor, which is normal.
Wheel Lug Nut Torque
When was the last time you checked the appropriate service information before tightening the wheel lug nuts on your customer’s Subaru vehicle? Wheel lug nut torque specifications have changed significantly over the last several years – and vary from model to model. Here are some examples:
- 2000 Outback: 65 +/- 7 ft.-lbs.
- 2001- 2004 Outback: 65 ft.-lbs. (with no tolerance)
- 2005-2006 Outback: 81.1 ft.-lbs.
- 2007 Outback: 88.5 ft.-lbs.
- 2007 Tribeca (non-Chrome wheels): 88.5 ft.-lbs.
- 2007 Tribeca (Chrome wheels): 110.6 ft.-lbs.
- 2007 Impreza: 73.8 ft.-lbs.
- 2007 Forester: 73.8 ft.-lbs.
This list of examples is not comprehensive. However, it clearly illustrates how much things have and will continue to change. So, the next time you are installing the lug nuts on your customer’s car, don’t assume you know the proper torque. Be sure to check the applicable service information.
Recently-Issued Subaru Service Bulletins
The following service bulletins have been recently released and are available on the Subaru Technical Information System website at http://techinfo.subaru.com:
- Service Bulletin 01-164-07
Subject: Catalytic Converter Recycling Program
- Service Bulletin 04-12-07
Subject: Legacy Steering Wheel Noise
- Service Bulletin 05-38-07
Subject: Rear Stabilizer Bar Installation Procedure
- Service Bulletin 06-37-07
Subject: Disc Brake Caliper Support (Holder) Hardware
- Service Bulletin 07-61-07
Subject: Modified Front Seat Cushion Heater
- Service Bulletin 12-97-07R
Subject: Sunroof Opening Trim (Revised)
- Service Bulletin 12-98-07R
Subject: Rear Gate Rattle (Revised)
- Service Bulletin 12-99-07
Subject: Door Side Garnish (Cladding)
- Service Bulletin 12-100-07
Subject: Sunroof Rod and Shade Hook
- Service Bulletin 15-121-07
Subject: Remote Engine Start (RES)