Is 30k mile maintenance really required? I have a subaru wrx '09 and the time has come for the check. I called the dealer after going through the manual. They quoted me 500+ for the check which included topping of fluids, and other regular checks (most of which are already done during an oil change). I have read that this kind of check helps detect problems before the warranty runs out. So how big of a deal is to get this done?
The short answer is "yes."
The longer answer seems to hinge on the cost. The 30K mile service on my 2004 WRX included the following:
I've marked in bold above the items on this list that, if improperly inspected or not fixed if there was an issue, could lead to death (and would probably lead to a failed vehicle inspection or MOT). Bad brakes = very bad.
I've marked in italics above the items on the list that are a pain / have a larger labor cost associated with them. For example, I rotate my own tires but I don't pretend that it's fun.
While it is true that some of these things would happen on a regular service, you should consider the fact that you've spent a whole lot of money on this vehicle. A "major" service is still a fraction of the vehicle's total cost.
That said, if you don't like the quote from your service provider, go to another one and get another quote. Go with the shop that you trust the most.
Following up: if you're an amateur enthusiast and would like to learn some straightforward car maintenance tasks for fun and profit (or, at least, cost avoidance), here is my suggested subset of the big list:
None of the above are terribly hard nor are the parts very expensive so they're reasonable learning opportunities. Also, you can check the detailed service quote and say "please take that off the list, already took care of it."
By the way, one way I judge the quality of the shop is their response to that statement is "great, now I'll be done with your car a little quicker."
I chose to follow the manufactures recommended maintenance scheduled which only requires oil/filter change, air filter and cabin filter change. Dealer quoted 700 for 30K inspection and 90/100 dollars for filter changes. DIY cost for filters was $28 and 30 minutes of my time. Was always told by my Father, who was owner/operator of an independent garage for 40 years, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it". I presently follow the Mfg. maint. schedule and am driving a 25 year old vehicle with 200k miles. Runs good and uses no oil. In the last 15 years it has had less than $600 in maint. cost which includes replacing timing belt and external belts. Still has original spark plugs and starts every time I turn the key. Anyone replacing plugs at 30K miles on todays cars is wasting money unless there is an obvious problem. Just my opinion.