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Old 05-08-2011, 09:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Transmission fluid and differential fluid change

I own a 09 2.5X Premium, which is approaching 30k.

Dealer quote a price of $190 for a complete change of transmission fluid and $150 for both front and back differential. Kind of high, so I am thinking about doing them myself. I have been reading the related articles here for last couple of days. There seems two kinds of methods for drain-&-fill transmission fluid.

1. Get underneath the car and loosen the drain plug.
2. Use a fluid extractor to suck the fluid out.

Is there any particular problems with the second one? I prefer the second one since it seems clean and neat.

Can I use the second method on front differential as well?

For rear differential, the first one seems the only way.

Btw: any recommendation on fluid extractor? I saw this one on Amazon. Is it good for transmission fluid or differential fluid?

Mityvac 7400 7.3 Liter Fluid Evacuator: Automotive

Last edited by intelmilan; 05-09-2011 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by intelmilan View Post
I own a 09 2.5X Premium, which is approaching 30k.

Dealer quote a price of $190 for a complete change of transmission fluid and $150 for both front and back differential. Kind of high, so I am thinking about doing them myself. I have been reading the related articles here for last couple of days. There seems two kinds of methods for drain-&-fill transmission fluid.

1. Get underneath the car and loosen the drain plug.
2. Use a fluid extractor to suck the fluid out.

Is there any particular problems with the second one? I prefer the second one since it seems clean and neat.

Can I use the second method on front differential as well?

For rear differential, the first one seems the only way.

Btw: any recommendation on fluid extractor? I saw this one on Amazon. Is it good for transmission fluid or differential fluid?

Mityvac 7400 7.3 Liter Fluid Evacuator: Automotive
Trust me as far as transmission is concern you better off getting underneath the car, the drain plug is located in very accesible place and is not messy at all (not like engine oil drain plug). I never hear of any one using the extractor on the forester so can't advice.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Using a siphon to remove transmission fluid is far from clean and neat. If you don't want to get any fluid on you, then take it somewhere. It's exactly like doing an oil change. The hardest part of a transmission fluid change is getting your funnel into the dipstick tube and keeping it there.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You are wasting your time sucking out liquids. Get a set of RhinoRamps..end of story.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You are wasting your time sucking out liquids. Get a set of RhinoRamps..end of story.
Many thanks to all three of you!

Regarding to RhinoRamps, is Blitz Rhino 8000 ok for forester? Should I get two pairs?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Regarding to RhinoRamps, is Blitz Rhino 8000 ok for forester? Should I get two pairs?
They are fine. One pair only.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They are fine. One pair only.
How do you keep it leveled? I saw one picture somewhere on this forum. The owner put a floor jack underneath the rear differential to level it. Is this the correct way? Should I put a couple of jack stands there?

How about rear differential? Is it better to put rear wheels on the ramps? Where is the appropriate jack point for the front side?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You don't have to keep it perfectly level. If you look at the shapes of the sumps, almost all the fluid will still drain out with the car on ramps.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You don't have to keep it perfectly level. If you look at the shapes of the sumps, almost all the fluid will still drain out with the car on ramps.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For the rear..back it up on ramps to get mechanical advantage for a 18" breaker bar. The plugs are on tiiiiight. Once you have them loose back down on the ramp. Remove and fill on the level.

You can do that for the tranny and differential also. Or keep it up on the ramps and put a little less in. Then adjust on the level.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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For the rear..back it up on ramps to get mechanical advantage for a 18" breaker bar. The plugs are on tiiiiight. Once you have them loose back down on the ramp. Remove and fill on the level.

You can do that for the tranny and differential also. Or keep it up on the reamps and put a lottle less in. Then adjust on the level.
Good suggestions! Thank you very much!

Is there enough room for 24" breaker bar? 24" would be more helpful, especially for me.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is there enough room for 24" breaker bar? 24" would be more helpful, especially for me.
Maybe..maybe not depending on the circular orientation of the plug.. Also note that the square for the rear is 13mm. 1/2 will work though.

Don't over tighten the rear. Also remove the upper plug first. Sucks not to be able to fill an empty diff. Do a search on torque values.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Maybe..maybe not depending on the circular orientation of the plug.. Also note that the square for the rear is 13mm. 1/2 will work though.

Don't over tighten the rear. Also remove the upper plug first. Sucks not to be able to fill an empty diff. Do a search on torque values.
Thank you for the tips! I have a new question about 75w90 fluid. I went to my Subaru dealer and they didn't carry retail-pack 75w90 fluid. So I check both nearby advanced auto parts and amazon. Various fluid seems available. Valvoline ($9) < Mobile 1 ($11) < Redline ($14) < Royal Purple ($19). I plan to change fluid either at either 15K or 30K interval, which is easy to remember. Which fluid is a good choice for me?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Can you make something perfectly clear ..... are you driving an automatic or manual?
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Can you make something perfectly clear ..... are you driving an automatic or manual?
I would assume hes got an auto since they want to do both differentials?
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