Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide




See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the dipstick from the tube-2.5L engine shown

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Fig. Fig. 2: Add engine oil in small increments

The engine oil level should be checked at regular intervals. For example, whenever the car is refueled. Wait a few minutes after the engine is stopped before checking the oil level or an inaccurate reading will result. Also, the vehicle should be parked on a level surface.

If the low oil pressure warning light comes on while the engine is running, stop the engine immediately and check the oil level.

Remove the dipstick, which is located on the right (passenger) side of the crankcase, and wipe it with a clean cloth. Insert it again and withdraw it. The oil level should be at the F (FULL) upper mark or between the F mark and the lower mark (ADD) on the dipstick. Do not run the engine if the oil level falls below the lower mark.

Add oil as necessary. Use only oil which carries the API designation SF or SG. Always use oil with the proper viscosity rating (SAE number) for your particular driving conditions. Do not overfill. The oil level should never rise above the F mark.


See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

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Fig. Fig. 3: With a suitable sized drain pan placed beneath the plug, loosen the oil pan drain plug

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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the drain plug, and allow the oil to drain into the pan beneath

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Fig. Fig. 5: Use an oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the oil filter-2.2L engine shown

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Fig. Fig. 6: Oil filter mounted at the side of the engine-1.8L engine shown

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Fig. Fig. 7: Apply a light coating of engine oil to the rubber gasket before installing the filter

The engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles (4,800 km). When the vehicle is operated in severe conditions (dusty conditions, stop-and-go driving or short distance conditions) more frequent changing is recommended.

Use a good quality motor oil of a known brand which meets the API classification SF/SG. The viscosity of the oil to be used should be determined by the driving conditions most frequently encountered.

All Subaru models are equipped with a spin-off oil filter. On all models, except the Justy, the filter is mounted at the left front of the engine (driver's side). On the Justy, the oil filter is mounted on the side of the engine facing the passengers' compartment. It is accessible from either above or below the car's engine compartment.

  1. Run the engine until normal operating temperature is reached. This will make the oil flow more freely and it will carry off more contaminants. Stop the engine.
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  5. Remove the oil filler cap from the oil filler tube which is located on the right side of the engine (except on the 1.6L where it is on the left side).
  7. Place a drain pan of adequate capacity below the drain plug which is located either at the front of the pan (Justy), or on the driver's side of the oil pan (all other models). A large, flat pan makes a good container to catch oil.
  9. Use a wrench, ratchet and socket of the proper size to loosen the oil pan drain plug. Remove the drain plug while maintaining a slight upward force on it, to keep the oil from running out around it. Allow all of the oil to drain into the container.
  11. Remove the container from under the drain hole and wipe any excess oil from around the drain area. Dispose of the old oil properly.
  13. Install the drain plug and tighten to 29-33 ft. lbs. (39-44 Nm).
  15. Since the oil filter is mounted horizontally, place a pan underneath it to catch the oil that will run out as soon as the filter is loosened.
  17. Using a band wrench or other type oil filter wrench and turn the filter counterclockwise to remove it.
  19. Wipe off the oil filter case and mounting boss with a clean cloth.

To install:
  1. Install a new filter and gasket, after lubricating the gasket with clean engine oil. Hand-tighten the filter after the rubber gasket contacts the mounting boss. See instructions printed on or packed with the filter as tightening recommendations vary.

Do not use the band wrench to tighten the oil filter. Tighten it by hand. Over tightening the filter will cause leaks.

  1. Add clean oil of the proper grade and viscosity through the oil filler tube at the top of the engine. Be sure that the oil level is near the upper F (FULL) mark on the dipstick.
  3. Start the engine and allow it to idle until the oil light goes out. Stop the engine, wait a few minutes, and check the oil level. Add oil as necessary, but do not overfill.
  5. Remember to replace the oil filler cap. Check for leaks.