Front Differential Oil Change - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Front Differential Oil Change

I have a 2001 Forester S. I apologize if this has already been covered but I couldn't find the answer after a lot of searching.

Does the front differential share oil with the transmission oil?

If not, does anyone have a writeup or pics of how to change the front differntial oil? I found good pics of the rear, but not front. Thanks!

Mike
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 05:00 AM
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I'm going to change the front diff oil too. I know it got it's own oil tho and the dipstick is on the other side as opposed to the transmission oil dipstick.
So the diff oil is on the passenger side if you exclude cars from UK, Japan and Australia I guess.
I'm guessing filling oil on the front diff is in the same way as the transmission. Through the dipstick hole.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by emeraldspread View Post
I have a 2001 Forester S... Does the front differential share oil with the transmission oil?...
It does only if the transmission is manual. You don't say what transmission you have.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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It's an automatic.

Can't find the front level gauge dipstick to add gear oil! Anyone know where this is?

Thanks

Mike
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 04:31 PM
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On the 08 its back near the fire wall..close to the middle..but closer to the driver's side. Its down there pretty far.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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How bout on the 01?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 06:17 PM
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Your 2001 S model should be similar to my 1999 L model. The front differential dipstick should be located on the right hand side (passenger side on American models, driver side on Australian) near the firewall. If you stand by the right fender looking toward the back of the engine you should see a small yellow dipstick; its buried pretty far back there but you should be able to see it and reach it with your hand. You may need to snake your arm around a couple of hoses, but it is within arm's reach from the side of the car. Draining the oil is simple, there is a drain plug on the bottom of the differential. Replace the plug after draining, and fill to the full mark on the dipstick.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 07:17 PM
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Your 2001 S model should be similar to my 1999 L model. The front differential dipstick should be located on the right hand side (passenger side on American models, driver side on Australian) near the firewall. If you stand by the right fender looking toward the back of the engine you should see a small yellow dipstick; its buried pretty far back there but you should be able to see it and reach it with your hand. You may need to snake your arm around a couple of hoses, but it is within arm's reach from the side of the car. Draining the oil is simple, there is a drain plug on the bottom of the differential. Replace the plug after draining, and fill to the full mark on the dipstick.
Agreed. I just did every thing a month ago, trans, rear and front diff's. I regretfully did not take any photos, but the front diff, on an auto, is buried fairly deep behind the air filter on my 2000 N/A.
Really, it was fairly easy to change all of this, but more difficult to check the levels as the gauge was hard to reach...
good luck!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 10:20 PM
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Yep, on automatic tranny USA cars the auto tranny dipstick is on the driver's side and is relatively easy to access. The front diff dipstick is buried on the passenger side down low and tight in behind the engine cylinders. You will probably have to remove some of the intake plumbing to get your arm down there so you can reach it.

Make sure when you drain the front diff oil you know which drain plug you are removing. There's 3 down there, engine, diff and tranny.

Use a good quality synthetic gear oil for that diff. 75W-90 GL5.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 05:17 AM
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Y... The front diff dipstick is buried on the passenger side down low and tight in behind the engine cylinders. You will probably have to remove some of the intake plumbing to get your arm down there so you can reach it....
I just changed my 2008 automatic's front differential oil. The dipstick was easy to see and reach, without removing anything. Use a funnel with a length of hose attached. They sell them in auto parts stores for a few dollars. The differential holds just over 1 quart. If changing both diffs on level ground, buy 2 quarts -- the rear takes just under a quart and the front takes the rest of the 2 quarts.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 02:41 PM
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Pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
I just changed my 2008 automatic's front differential oil. The dipstick was easy to see and reach, without removing anything. Use a funnel with a length of hose attached. They sell them in auto parts stores for a few dollars. The differential holds just over 1 quart. If changing both diffs on level ground, buy 2 quarts -- the rear takes just under a quart and the front takes the rest of the 2 quarts.
I don't suppose you can tell me where the front differential plug is?
I've made a mess of trying to do a simple oil change and now I've added the Automatic Transmission Fluid to the Front Differential Gear Dipstick (on the passenger side) thinking it was the dipstick for the ATF (which appears to be on the driver side. So, I need to drain the FD gear oil and I want to make sure I get the right darn plug this time.

I should add I have the 2008 2.5X Sports.

Last edited by Joe Stevens; 11-22-2009 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Vehicle Info
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