('14+) Musings from a Subaru Master Tech - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Musings from a Subaru Master Tech

I had posted randomly in some of these threads but thought I would boil things up here. Last week I had a chance to spend several hours with a Subaru Master Tech...

1. Oil and Plastic are bad. Any place you can make sure oil doesn't get into contact with plastic or you can swap out existing plastic... do it. Charge pipe.... the current design is plastic. He said that over time it can develop issues as the oil interacts with it (there is a technical jargon behind it of which I don't know). He didn't mind the flow characteristics of the BPV and the charge pipe... I chose to swap both out... both choices were approved.

2. Don't touch the intake and the TMIC. They are both rated for power well above the max we can put into my CVT (that currently have this engine). If we had a different transmission etc etc, then he understood. In fact, he said our stuff is rated to like 400 hp or so... no one here is going to get anywhere near that for now.

3. EGR, delete it. This was a very LONG rant... told me that the corporate offices wanted the designers to meet certain fuel consumption numbers.... you know that soot you have at your exhaust tip? Well, that is the same soot being JAMMED into your 10k engine... which is a DIT so no 'natural' cleaning with spraying the fuel... but hey, Subaru offers this great top engine cleaning for an extra charge...

4. TGV, delete it if you want. You'll gain about 5 hp and have a bit rougher of a cold start. He just looked at me and said, "They don't have TGV in their cars overseas... this is a numbers thing..." and we ended up back into the corporate rant....

5. AOS, do it because oil. Find one that vents to the atmosphere... as long as you aren't in that state on the left, you should be good to go. Check your oil levels like a responsible car owner... worth every penny.

6. Not sure on CVT, cooling might help. They know about as much as we do regarding the CVT and the torque/hp limits.. I know this bullet point doesn't fit into the engine thread but I thought I would note it here. He told me that if a CVT has an issue that they need to ship the complete transmission to Subaru... they (the techs) aren't allowed to 'fix' them.

7. Do the clamp swap+. Most, if not all the clamps are crap on the car. Again, used for cost and ease of maintenance.. they are not made for your benefit as a customer or longevity. Funny, he actually went into another corporate rant here about how if the clamp fails it is usually after 2-3 years.. just past the warranty number.

Now, this is my recollection from a fun night with a really cool guy who cares about subaru customers and knows that if the car breaks, they start to blame the brand.

NOTE: You will be potentially violating your warranty. EGR and TGV will throw CEL and potentially put you in LIMP mode (at least the TGV)... all of this can be done by an expert and should not be done carelessly

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 08:21 AM
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NOgard, Good info, thank you.

I will be investigating the retrofit of a cooler on my CVT@ a later date.

For now, It's just lift springs, in the future, and Weathertech goodies.


'17 Forester2.5i, CVT...9000 miles
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Welcome to the forums!

Looks like you have a 2.5i, so some of the above won't mean anything to you of course... he didn't know a ton about the CVT... in any work where it had to be replaced, they were not allowed to fix it at the dealer... they were told to replace it and send the broken unit to Subaru... apparently for research purposes...

The CVT in yours is, I believe, different than the one in the FA20DIT Foresters....

WeatherTech, first thing I put on my car... literally bought the car and drove it to Bollingbrook (where they are located)... bought my car in January of last year when there was actual snow too

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogard View Post
The CVT in yours is, I believe, different than the one in the FA20DIT Foresters...
That's what I have heard, too, and it holds 2+ extra quarts of fluid. I believe the call it ,"HI-Torque CVT", of course.

I think I won't do jack to it except investigate the proper steps needed to install fresh fluid ,when needed. THe maint schedule I've found in my owners manual just shows inspections.


Getting my SCangauge2 hooked up so it can read, if possible, transmission temperatures, is a more real possibility.. gotta crack their book ,and email them for help on that subject.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by hillbille View Post
Getting my SCangauge2 hooked up so it can read, if possible, transmission temperatures, is a more real possibility.. gotta crack their book ,and email them for help on that subject.
It's possible with a firmware update 4.22

2014+ Subaru Forester with CVT

'17 Forester2.5i, CVT...9000 miles
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hillbille View Post
It's possible with a firmware update 4.22

2014+ Subaru Forester with CVT
I use OBDLink LX with Torque Pro with the activeOBD plugin... been tracking CVT temp... you're doing the right things (I have a scan gauge coming, the OBDLink is a BT connection).

You can also get a temp dial and get it installed at the closest to the cooler spot (to get the 'highest' temp)... then use a pod thing like @Raz007 is getting... plus it'll look awesome as a cluster

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
He told me that if a CVT has an issue that they need to ship the complete transmission to Subaru... they (the techs) aren't allowed to 'fix' them.
Interesting, since the service manual has a lot of info on how to service the CVT internals. As you say, maybe they're so new that Subaru still want any that fail shipped back to see exactly why they failed.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by emg View Post
Interesting, since the service manual has a lot of info on how to service the CVT internals. As you say, maybe they're so new that Subaru still want any that fail shipped back to see exactly why they failed.
interesting... from him it had to do if it was in need of repair (had failed/slipped). They have information on maintenance but we didn't spend too much time on CVT. He told me he'd love to spend time with a broken one to see why it fails but the only ones he saw had to be shipped out so the the Subaru engineers can learn from it... he thinks that once Subaru learns about the CVT, we'll laugh at the 4eat ... only time will tell.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 09:47 PM
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@nogard if i want to keep this forester long-term i should really hook up the catch can and do the top engine clean regularly?

this is our first subaru and we want to continue to support subaru but damn after reading the good and the bad I hope our fxt lasts or back to acura mdx's. those new 4runners trds look promising too.

werd to yo muddah
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emg View Post
Interesting, since the service manual has a lot of info on how to service the CVT internals. As you say, maybe they're so new that Subaru still want any that fail shipped back to see exactly why they failed.
I wonder what changes, if any are in the 2017 tech specs/service procedures( not styling related) regarding the drivetrain of the NA 2.5 compared to '14-16'. Wiki doesn't list much other than styling/accoustics/insulation ,some CVT shift point shenanigans that help it, and slightly more MPG out of the motor.

I would be interested in any applicable FOrester service manual source.


'17 Forester2.5i, CVT...9000 miles
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jasxn View Post
@nogard if i want to keep this forester long-term i should really hook up the catch can and do the top engine clean regularly?

this is our first subaru and we want to continue to support subaru but damn after reading the good and the bad I hope our fxt lasts or back to acura mdx's. those new 4runners trds look promising too.
Catch cans are what they are... they will catch some of the oil (if not most) but it will need to be cleaned and there is a good chance some oil will still get back into the engine... the AOS that goes to the atmosphere means that anything left that gets past the system does not head back into the engine (a least a lot more so than the catch can)

I can't comment on the longevity but cars are what they are regardless of brand! The point of the comment was that if you maintain the car (despite the fact you have to do more than just the basics like on an NA car) this rig should last you. I think there are several SJ members on here who have broken 100k already... the wear and tear on a vehicle will do what it is going to do. Active participation in your car's health is the best advice I can give you. Engine cleaning, some of the mods (post warranty)...

The thing he said is, buyer beware of power mods... there isn't enough known about the longevity of the CVT in real world practice for the Subaru community. I believe the SJ is the first Turbo CVT Subaru has had... unlike the 4eat which was in the rigs for a while...

The thing to remember is that Subaru has different goals of good engineering then others. Their good engineering is safe and efficient... they aren't looking for the car to last... they are looking to make sure you buy it, that you are safe in it... and as an added bonus, if you maintain it actively (more than just the basics), the thing should last year for over a 100k..

I admit I had stars in my eyes when I bought this car... this Master tech laid it out for me... be a good owner and this car will serve you well.. just know that it isn't like the NA motors... this is DIT... that means you've taken on more responsibility than perhaps some other engine types...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbille View Post
I wonder what changes, if any are in the 2017 tech specs/service procedures( not styling related) regarding the drivetrain of the NA 2.5 compared to '14-16'. Wiki doesn't list much other than styling/accoustics/insulation ,some CVT shift point shenanigans that help it, and slightly more MPG out of the motor.

I would be interested in any applicable FOrester service manual source.
I don't know a lot about the NA version of the Fozzy...

Here are the links i use if I'm doing some research...

Subaru Vehicle resource site

TIS for Subaru (subscription may be required for certain things but you might be able to ask on here if someone has seen what you are looking for)
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nogard View Post
TIS for Subaru (subscription may be required for certain things but you might be able to ask on here if someone has seen what you are looking for)
Awesome. THank you for this link.

'17 Forester2.5i, CVT...9000 miles
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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So, this particular Tech works at my preferred dealership... I asked a bit more about the CVT and he said that it isn't that they can't service it, it's that Subaru won't even give them the tools to fix it.. so, they know what to do they just don't have the tools to do it... weird.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogard View Post
So, this particular Tech works at my preferred dealership... I asked a bit more about the CVT and he said that it isn't that they can't service it, it's that Subaru won't even give them the tools to fix it.. so, they know what to do they just don't have the tools to do it... weird.
It takes quite a while for the CVT fluid temp to break 200F- according to my SC2...0.42 overdrive gear ratio makes 74mph=2000rpm

'17 Forester2.5i, CVT...9000 miles
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hillbille View Post
It takes quite a while for the CVT fluid temp to break 200F- according to my SC2...0.42 overdrive gear ratio makes 74mph=2000rpm
The only time I've seen it was someone else was heavy on the S# and running higher RPM.... saw a 216 and he was REALLY hammering on it.... I'd call that spirited for sure... I'm am not a fan of paddle shifting based on what I know of how the CVT works (more or less). Using the paddle shifters could lead to grooves being worn into the transmission...

Do NOT take what I've said as fact, this is only my hypothesis based on how it was explained to me by this guy.

He just text me actually, asking me if I had ordered my AOS yet. Also, since I recently did the upper engine cleaning... if I do the EGR and TGV delete I can get a real view of what it did as far as cleaning... will be a few months so might do one more cleaning before the work.

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