('14+) 2015 2.5 Premium CVT transmission oil change help? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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2015 2.5 Premium CVT transmission oil change help?

Hi Guys
I have a 2015 2.5 Premium forester. I did some look up and found some instruction on CVT fluid refill due to accidental drain. Can someone help clarify some of my questions regards to the CVT transmission oil change on 2015 model?
Car: Forester 2.5i Premium
Year: 2015
Mile: 40000
Question 1: Should the transmission fluid change be done or not, if yes how often. There are mix answers to this, some said yes and some said no. Some said only do this if you have harsh driving condition. Some said this should only be done by the dealer. What is the logic?
Question 2: If I decide to do this myself what is type of transmission oil to use? What would be the dealer part number? My research show that Subaru only sell this in one size 5 gallon. But some one mention they are able to buy 7 Quotes of oil from the dealer. Can someone extend on this?

Question 3: draining this manually how much transmission oil should I be expecting removing and replace?

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 06:48 PM
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I'm actually in the process of researching this myself. I have a 2015 2.5 limited with 100,000 miles

These are hilly San Francisco miles, driving up to 12 hours at a time. I recently drained my front and rear differentials and they were both black with globs of gunk coming out. The diff oil is supposedly "lifetime" like the CVT fluid, so now I'm thinking its time to change the cvt fluid.

I used amsoil severe duty differential fluid since it's synthetic and should hold up better to the abuse I'm putting my car through. AMSOIL Severe Gear® 75W-90


I'm also thinking about going with amsoil synthetic CVT fluid. AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid

I'll probably buy 5 gallons (two 2.5 gallon bottles) which should let me do 3 drain and fills for less than what my dealer will charge to do one. I've heard reports of better MPG when changing to this fluid too. I have an OBDII bluetooth reader and a smartphone app to monitor CVT fluid temps so I think it should be a relatively painless procedure.

I just did alot of work to my car recently (diff changes, top engine cleaning, brake job, wheel stud replacements, air filters) so I'll probably get to this in the next couple weeks. Are you looking to do this soon? I'd like to see your results!

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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I have not done anything to this car except oil and air filter changes.
I was going to start out with the front and rear differentials. Just placed an online order for Valvoline SynPower ull Synthetic 75W90 Gear Oil through Advanced Auto about $7.90 a battle.
Back to the transmission I would double check to be sure that AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid is an approve replacement fluid. I think for CVT fluid you might want to go with Subaru branded fluid. I just wish they have it in smaller jar like in quotes rather than 5 gallon buckets. I hate to buy a bucket and have to store it for years.
I found CVT fluid part numbers online. There are two type I think my car, it call for CVT C-30 (listed for $208). Not sure if this is a good price when I am ready to buy I will shop around

parts.libertyautocitysubaru.com/productSearch.aspx?searchTerm=cvt%20fluid

Someone had suggested to use a modified pesticide spry to refill the CVT fluid rather than a hand pump to transfer oil. I thought that was interesting I might do that when I am ready.
Let me know if you find anything else.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I found CVT fluid part numbers online. There are two type I think my car, it call for CVT C-30 (listed for $208). Not sure if this is a good price when I am ready to buy I will shop around

parts.libertyautocitysubaru.com/productSearch.aspx?searchTerm=cvt%20fluid

Someone had suggested to use a modified pesticide spry to refill the CVT fluid rather than a hand pump to transfer oil. I thought that was interesting I might do that when I am ready.
Let me know if you find anything else.
You should get the 5 gallon bucket. You can only remove about 6 quarts each time you drain and fill. If you do three drain and fills (18 quarts) you will have changed out about 87.5% of the fluid. One drain and fill gets you roughly 50% of a change.

To fill the differential fluids I used a lubrimatic pump https://www.amazon.com/Plews-55001-L.../dp/B000BQW5LK , which worked fine. It would take longer to do 6 quarts so maybe consider a funnel with extra long hose.

As far as aftermarket fluids are concerned, yes youre right, these arent like regular ATFs and we must take precautions. I think its something worth at least exploring.
For example:
Redline makes cvt fluid that they claim meets the specs of our CVT specifically (TR580)
https://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?product=30804

I believe Eneos does too:
ENEOS ECO CVT Fluid | ENEOS

I know people have put valvoline and amsoil in our generation CVT without issues, but it would certainly be worth getting more info first! I think it would be good if we can get a higher quality fluid in there. I dont want to have to keep changing it out! It looks like the reline fluid exceeds the requirements of both our CVT (TR580) and the high torque CVT for the XT turbo (TR690)
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 08:23 AM
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I just received a response from an amsoil rep when I inquired about using it in our transmissions:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting AMSOIL with your question.

The AMSOIL CVT Transmission Fluid (product code CVT) is the recommended fluid for this transmission so it would be fine to use.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.

Ryan Lawrey
Technical Services Representative

AMSOIL INC.
ADDRESS: 1 AMSOIL Center, Superior, WI 54880
E-MAIL: rlawrey@amsoil.com
PHONE: 715-392-7101 Ext.6093
FAX: 715-399-6531
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 08:33 AM
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Here's a link to the outback forum. Look at the bottom of the page dplathe3 has been using amsoil on the TR580 with no issues.
Amsoil Full Synthetic CVT Fluid - Page 14 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

Edit:
https://www.mitasuoil.com/en/fluid/cvt-ultra-fluid
This looks like where Subaru sources their CVT fluid. Doesn't look like its purpose built for their CVT either!
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 12:49 PM
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I would not replace it yet.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Question 1: Should the transmission fluid change be done or not, if yes how often. There are mix answers to this, some said yes and some said no. Some said only do this if you have harsh driving condition. Some said this should only be done by the dealer. What is the logic?
I would leave it alone and not touch it. Don't fix what ain't broke. The Subaru CVT fluid is a sealed unit and the fluid is not meant to be changed. A CVT is a very different animal from a traditional automatic transmission and as such does not require fluid changes at certain intervals.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 02:09 PM
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I had the CVT fluid drained and refilled on my 2014 2.5 this past Monday at
Tim's Subaru here in Prescott, AZ My car has 22k on it and I intend to keep
it for a very long time. I watched the entire process from afar. Tech removed
plastic skid plate and connected diagnostic monitor to check CVT temperature.
He waited until the CVT was cool enough then drained out the fluid. He then
added several quart bottles of genuine Subaru blue fluid, replaced the fill plug
and started the vehicle. He then shut off the vehicle, topped off the fluid and
then went for a test drive. The car runs about the same as it always has.
The old fluid had changed color a bit. The price of $230.00 I felt was more
than fair. I'll be changing again at 50k. Will change the front/rear differentials
myself.......
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 08:39 AM
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Paraphrase. Drained the fluid and added several quarts of subaru blue fliud.

How many qts is a drain and refill?

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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 09:33 AM
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I would estimate he used about 8 quarts for the drain/refill.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 01:17 PM
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For most DIYs this job is better left for the dealer to do. There are only a few people that could properly do this job and have the necessary equipment needed along with the expertise.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 07:24 PM
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I don't think I can trust the dealer where I bought the car. They severely overfilled on an oil change and I barely made it back with a white plume of smoke coming out. I know in my situation the cvt fluid needs changing per manual. I guess this is on subaru for using a cvt that's so difficult to service that I don't trust anyone to do it. I used another dealer for a brake job and they didn't touch the rotors or grease the pads so I ended up with problems and replacing them myself when they wore out prematurely. Anyone know a dealer or specialist in the San Francisco area who can do good work?
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern AZ Joe View Post
I had the CVT fluid drained and refilled on my 2014 2.5 this past Monday at
Tim's Subaru here in Prescott, AZ My car has 22k on it
Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern AZ Joe View Post
I'll be changing again at 50k.
Why?
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 03:43 PM
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Why you ask?

Because as someone who worked in the auto industry for years, I have
some basic understanding of vehicles. No fluid or lubricant lasts indefinitely.
Period. When the old fluid was draining, I asked the tech to put a sample
in a plastic container, which he did. I then compared it to the new, genuine
Subaru fluid. The old fluid at 22k miles showed signs of breakdown. It
didn't even feel the same on my fingers as the new fluid. Since only a portion
of the fluid can be drained out during a Drain and Refill, I chose to perform
another maintenance at 50K miles. You may wish to NEVER service the
CVT, that is YOUR choice. I assure you that should you keep your Subaru
a very long time, you will regret NOT servicing your CVT and other components
regularly. Additionally, we experience more heat here in Arizona than many
other places and heat is the enemy of engines and transmissions.
17SuPrem and hillbille like this.
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