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Subaru Forester Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and filter on the FB25 2.5L engine in a 4th generation 2014-2018 Subaru Forester.

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2017 Forester FB25 Engine
Oil Filter & Oil Filler Cap
Twist Off Counterclockwise
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) Subaru Forester SUV in changing the motor oil and replacing the canister style oil filter on the FB25 2.5 liter four cylinder boxer engine.

Owners of other Subaru vehicles such as the Outback, Impreza, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, SVX, Tribeca, Exiga, Trezia, Levorg and Baja may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement oil filters with their part numbers are as follows: Mobil 1 M1-110, Fram PH7317, Ecogard X4612, Subaru 15208AA15A, Wix 51365, K&N PS-1010, ACDelco PF2057 and Purolator PL14615.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a Phillips head screwdriver, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench (optional), a used oil catch basin, an automotive funnel and 6 U.S. quarts of new SAE 0W-20 oil.

Update - Some Subaru owners choose to replace the smaller 14mm oil drain bolt socket with a larger 17mm bolt that is less likely to strip. The OEM part number for the larger 17mm drain plug is Subaru 807016210.

Lift Up Oil Dipstick
Plastic Under Engine Cover
Drain Bolt Access Cover
The first three steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes, park the SUV on a level surface and turn off the ignition.

Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and also allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Open the hood, twist off the yellow plastic oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction and lift up the yellow handled dipstick an inch or two.

Taking off the oil filler cap and partially removing the dipstick will help prevent a vacuum from forming and also allow the old oil to drain out more quickly.

Set the oil filler cap aside in a safe place.

Slide under the engine bay with a Phillips head screwdriver, the 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet and the used oil catch container.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Remove Plastic Pop Rivet
Remove Other Fasteners
Locate the access cover for the oil drain bolt. It is marked with the words "Engine Oil Drain".

Loosen the black plastic screws on the fasteners by turning them counterclockwise.

Once the screws are loosened a few turns, you can pull out the base of the pop rivet fasteners.

Remove Four Fasteners
Loosen 5th Pivot Fastener
Swing Open Access Panel
You only need to remove the four fasteners located closer to the passenger side of the vehicle.

Leave the fifth fastener, located closest to the driver side, in the access cover.

Swing the access cover back and out of the way.

Oil Drain Bolt & Pan
Loosen Oil Drain Bolt
Drain Out Old Oil
Slide the used oil catch basin to just below the oil drain bolt.

You'll notice that the engine oil pan has a curved bottom and the oil drain bolt is situated at an angle with the ground.

If your black plastic under engine cover is missing or you have any doubts about locating the engine oil drain bolt, please take a close look at the following two images.

The pictures show the location of the transmission oil drain bolt which is also a 14mm bolt like the original 14mm engine oil drain bolt.

Click on the small thumbnails below to view the full size pictures.

The transmission pan is mostly flat and the transmission fluid drain bolt is parallel with the ground.

Do NOT remove the transmission oil drain bolt.


Please double check that you are removing the engine oil drain bolt.

Loosen the black metal oil drain bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Update - Some Subaru owners choose to replace the smaller 14mm oil drain bolt socket with a larger 17mm bolt that is less likely to strip. The OEM part number for the larger 17mm drain plug is Subaru 807016210.

Be careful when you remove the oil drain bolt. The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your fingers depending on how long you warmed up the engine.

Allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows down to just an occasional drip.

Inspect the crush washer on the drain bolt and and replace it if necessary.

The compatible replacement oil drain bolt crush washer is part number Subaru 803916010.

Replace Oil Drain Bolt
Rotate Access Cover
Access Cover Closed
Wipe the oil drain hole with a rag or a paper towel.

Spin the oil drain bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the oil drain bolt in the clockwise direction with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to just past hand tight or about 30 to 33 lb-ft of torque.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to properly tighten the oil drain bolt to prevent leaks from not tightening it enough or damage to the oil pan from over tightening the bolt.

Double check that the oil drain bolt is tight before moving on to the next steps.

Swing the plastic access cover closed.


Push In Plastic Fasteners
Subaru-Forester-FB25-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-020 Subaru-Forester-FB25-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-021
Access Cover Secured
Re-insert the four plastic fasteners.

Gently pop in the black plastic Phillips head screws to secure the oil drain bolt access cover in place.

Move To Engine Bay
Old Oil Filter Location
Twist Off Counterclockwise
Carefully move the used oil catch container out from under the engine bay and drain it into a used oil jug.

Move to the front right (driver) side corner of the engine bay.

Twist off the old oil filter by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

Use Lisle Filter Wrench
Dip Finger In New Oil
Lubricate Rubber O-Ring

If you have trouble loosening the old oil filter, I recommend using a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench. I've had mine for many years and it has made removing stubborn oil filters much easier.

Dip your pinky finger into some new oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

Lubricating the rubber o-ring on the new gasket will help it to form a better seal, prevent oil leaks and also make it easier to remove it during the next oil change.

Twist On New Oil Filter
Insert Automotive Funnel
Check to make sure the rubber o-ring gasket from the old oil filter is not still attached to the engine.

Twist on the new oil filter by hand in the clockwise direction to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the new oil filter to prevent from damaging the rubber o-ring which could lead to an oil leak.

Insert the automotive funnel into the oil filler hole.

Pour In New Oil
Replace Oil Filler Cap
Pull Out Oil Dipstick
The total oil capacity specification for the Subaru FB25 2.5 liter four cylinder boxer engine is 5.1 U.S. quarts (or 4.8 liters) of SAE 0W-20 synthetic oil.

It is far better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to over fill it. Running an engine that has been over filled with oil may cause sluggish performance and possibly damage seals, gaskets or other components.

I recommend only pouring in about 4.5 to 4.75 U.S. quarts of new oil at first.

Then temporarily replace the oil filler cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Push the dipstick back down into its metal tube.

Start the engine and allow it to warm up to near operating temperature for at least a few minutes.

Then turn off the ignition and allow the new oil to drain back down to the pan for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Check Dipstick
Replace Dipstick
Oil Change Complete
Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel, fully re-insert it and pull it again to check the oil level.

If necessary, slowly pour in the rest of the 5.1 U.S. quarts of new oil and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches just at or below the upper hole in the tip of the dipstick which indicates the "FULL" or "MAXIMUM" line.

You may not need to pour in the entire 5.1 U.S. quarts of new SAE 0W-20 oil in order to reach the correct level on the dipstick depending on how long you allowed the old oil to drain out.

Once the oil level is correct, replace the dipstick and make sure the oil filler cap is tight.

2017 Forester -
To reset the oil life meter on the multi-function display, follow these steps. 1. Turn the ignition switch to the "On" position but do not start the engine. 2. Use the "Up" and "Down" movements on the "ENTER" button to switch to the screen that says "Press and hold ENTER button to access settings screen." 3. Press and hold the "ENTER" button. 4. Scroll down to the "Maintenance" option. 5. Press the "Enter" button. 6. Select your next notification date or mileage (e.g. 5000 miles). 7. Select the "SET" button. 8. Look for the "Setting Complete" message. 9. Scroll down to "Go Back" 10. Scroll down to "Go Back" again. 11. Turn off the ignition.

Previous Forester Model Years -
To reset the oil life indicator, follow these steps - 1. Use the "Up" and "Down" arrow buttons on the steering wheel to navigate the menu to the screen that says "Pull and hold [Set] button to move to the selection screen. 2. Pull the "Info / Set" button back towards you to enter the next menu. 3. Press the "Up" or "Down" arrow buttons to move to the "Maintenance" option. 4. Pull the "Set" button towards yourself to enter the "Maintenance" menu. 5. Select the "Engine Oil" option. 6. Change the notification distance to your preference such as 5,000 miles.

Be sure to record the oil change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2014-2018 Subaru Forester DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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