('01-'02) Check transmission fluid - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Car Year: 2001
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Check transmission fluid

This is a 2 parter:
1/ What is the proper procedure for checking the transmission fluid level on a 2001 Forester?
2/ How do you get the @%$&ing dipstick out? Does it need to turn somehow to unlock or is there a setscrew or something I'm missing? I reefed on the thing hard enough to tilt the engine and couldn't get it to come out.
Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 07:17 AM
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1: Drive until vehicle fluids are up to operating temps. Manually shift vehicle through every gear. Check fluid in Park with engine running.

2: Ugh, that's a pain. Sounds like it has rusted/seized. It should slide right out.

2003 Outback 2.5 AWP.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Beauty thanks for that info... boo-urns on the dipstick thing though. Gotta see if I can fish something through it to give it a good twist (and hopefully not snap the end off). It's in a spot just awkward enough to be difficult to deal with if something like this happens lol. If anyone else has run into this problem any suggestions on what to do will be greatly appreciated.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 12:38 PM
sds
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My car was just at the dealer for the recall on control arm rust. I asked them to change the trans fluid, flush the radiator and replace a leaky oil cooler gasket. "Oil cooler lines and cross-over pipe are heavily rusted. Will need to lower exhaust and replace lines and pipes. Cost $1150."
When I got home, I reached in and was able to slightly twist and wiggle and push and pull on the dipstick and after about two minutes was able to free it. On the phone I was told that the inter-cooler would need to come off and chances were that some hoses and pipes would need replacement.
They did successfully flush my radiator $67.
As to the leak and the trans fluid change- I think my local service station will be able to perform the work for considerably less than about $1200.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sds View Post
My car was just at the dealer... I asked them to change the trans fluid, flush the radiator and replace a leaky oil cooler gasket. "Oil cooler lines and cross-over pipe are heavily rusted. Will need to lower exhaust and replace lines and pipes. Cost $1150." ... On the phone I was told that the inter-cooler would need to come off and chances were that some hoses and pipes would need replacement. As to the leak and the trans fluid change- I think my local service station will be able to perform the work for considerably less than about $1200.
I would not trust the local service station to "lower exhaust and replace lines and pipes" and replace the leaky oil cooler gasket. You run the danger of getting your money's worth. Surely there is an independent Subaru shop if you don't want to use the dealer.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 06:39 PM
sds
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Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
I would not trust the local service station to "lower exhaust and replace lines and pipes" and replace the leaky oil cooler gasket. You run the danger of getting your money's worth. Surely there is an independent Subaru shop if you don't want to use the dealer.
The point I failed to make is that replacing that gasket can be done without unduly stressing any of the lines and pipes or dropping the exhaust. When they replaced my blown turbo, they told me it was unlikely it could be done without also replacing at least some of the exhaust. I was quoted something like $1300 just for the parts. I said that I can find a complete stainless system for far less and reminded them that it had been apart less than 20k miles ago when they replaced the first blown turbo and the cat pipe(under warranty). I had to insist that necessary care was taken to disconnect the exhaust.
What I am stating here is that I no longer trust that dealer's service department.
I replaced my radiator just 3 weeks ago, and while under the car did not see any excessive rust. It was my local service station that found and showed me the leak during an oil change. Again, I don't recall seeing any excessive rust anywhere. The local guy would have changed that gasket had he been able to get the part that day. He's also been repairing an maintaining my wife's Legacy wagon for several years now. Him I trust. Dealer, no.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Oh the son of a b!#$% was seized alright, took a screwdriver, vice grips and about 30 minutes of twisting and reefing to break the sucker loose. Half broke the ring off of it in the process :( but it's out, going to check the fluid level when I get home.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 05:57 AM
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Forester Trans Dip Stick

My 2001 Forester had similar difficulties. The rubber O-rings used by Subaru on the transmission dipstick are not really rated for that application. They age & harden due to heat & hydraulic fluid exposure. Then you have trouble removing the dipstick. And when once removed, it may not stay in place. Yes, I too broke the yellow pull handle at one point.

If not yet broken, you can replace the O-ring with one from the hardware store.
Once broken, you may as well bite the bullet and for $12 or so buy a new dipstick.

Best to clean out the tube as well, removing any rust or dirt that may have accumulated. Erik
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