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Subaru Outback Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and filter in a 6th generation 2015-2018 Subaru Outback with the FB25 2.5L Boxer engine.

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2017 Outback FB25 Engine
Twist Off Oil Filler Cap
Partially Remove Dipstick
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the sixth generation (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and maybe also the updated 2019 and 2020 model years) Subaru Outback station wagon in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter on the FB25 2.5 liter four cylinder Boxer motor.

Owners of other Subaru vehicles such as the Forester, 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, Subaru 15208AA15A, Fram XG7317, ACDelco PF2057, K&N PS-1010, Purolator PL14615, Bosch 3974 and Wix 57055.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack with two jack stands or automotive ramps, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench, 6 U.S. quarts of SAE 0W-20 synthetic oil and an automotive funnel.

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.

Raise Front of SUV
Slide Under Engine Bay
Oil Pan & Drain Bolt
The first step is to warm up the engine for at least a few minutes.

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

Then park the vehicle on a level surface, turn off the ignition and engage the emergency / parking brake.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the SUV from moving.

Next, open the hood to access the engine bay.

Twist off the yellow plastic oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction and set it aside in a safe place.

Partially pull out the yellow plastic handle on the oil level dipstick an inch or two.

Removing 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.

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

Locate the oil pan drain bolt access opening in the black plastic under engine cover or "skid plate".

Used Oil Catch Basin
Loosen Counterclockwise
Draining Out Old Oil
Slide the used oil catch container 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 fluid drain bolt.



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

Loosen the engine oil drain bolt 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 plug. The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your fingers.

Spin out the oil drain bolt the rest of the way by hand.

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

Check the crush washer or "gasket" on the oil drain bolt.

If necessary, replace the washer with a new one. The oil drain bolt washer OEM part number is Subaru 803916010.

Replace Oil Drain Plug
Replace Oil Filler Cap
Twist Off Old Oil Filter
Spin in 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 as specified in the service manual.

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

Move to the top of the engine bay.

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

The oil filter is located just to the left of the oil filler cap.

Twist off the old oil filter in the counterclockwise direction.

Lisle Oil Filter Wrench
Twist Off Counterclockwise
Dip Finger In New Oil
If you have trouble twisting off the old oil filter, use an oil filter wrench.

I highly recommend the Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench. It makes removing stubborn oil filters so much easier.

Discard the old oil filter.

Dip your pinky finger into some new SAE 0W-20 oil.


Lubricate Rubber O-Ring
Twist On Filter Clockwise
Insert Automotive Funnel
Lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

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

I recommend buying the Mobil 1 M1-110 oil filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Make sure that the old rubber o-ring 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 gasket which could lead to an oil leak.

Insert a clean automotive funnel into the oil filler hole.

Pour In New Oil
Push In Oil Dipstick
Check Oil Level
The oil capacity specification for the FB25 2.5L non-turbo Boxer engine for an oil change with a filter replacement is 5.1 U.S. quarts (or 4.8 liters / 4.2 imperial quarts).

Subaru requires SAE 0W-20 full synthetic oil for optimum engine performance and protection.

To prevent from over filling the engine with too much oil, I recommend only pouring in about 4.5 to 4.75 U.S. quarts of the 5.1 quarts total capacity.

Running an engine that has been over filled with oil may lead to sluggish performance and cause damage to seals, gaskets or other components.

Fully re-insert the dipstick and tighten the oil filler cap.

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

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

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel and fully re-insert it before pulling it straight out again to check the oil level.

If necessary, slowly pour in more oil (up to the 5.1 U.S. quarts total capacity) and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches just at or just below the upper hole at the tip of the dipstick.

The upper hole indicates the "Full" or "MAX" (maximum) oil level.

Replace Oil Dipstick
Tighten Oil Filler Cap
Oil Change Complete
Once the oil is at the correct level, make sure the dipstick is fully re-inserted and tighten the oil filler cap in the clockwise direction.

You may not need to pour in the entire 5.1 U.S. quarts of new oil in order for the level to reach the "MAX" line on the dipstick depending on how long you allowed the old oil to drain out.

2017 Outback -
For some Outback trim level models, you will press the "INFO" (information) button at the top right side of the small display. Then choose "MAINTENANCE" and "Engine Oil". If necessary, change the "Distance" to 5,000 miles or longer if you prefer. The default 3,000 miles interval is antiquated and wasteful when using synthetic oil unless you have "severe" driving conditions. Press the "OK" button or press the "RESET" button if you did not alter the mileage interval.

On other Outback models with the large multi-function entertainment display, follow these steps to reset the oil life meter. 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 Outback 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.

It would be a good idea to check your driveway, parking spot or garage for drops of fresh oil during the next few days and also check that the oil level is still correct. If you do see drops of oil under the car, make sure the oil drain bolt and the new oil filter are tight.

For more, please check out all of my 2015-2018 Subaru Outback DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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