Overfilled automatic transmission? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Overfilled automatic transmission?

I just my first oil change myself with the help of a friend and of course the transmission fluid was drained on accident too (seems like an unfortunately common occurrence based on my searches). Over 4.25 quarts of fluid came out, so I replaced it with 4 quarts of fluid. However, the dipstick is reading at above full by quite a bit. Is this something I should be concerned about? The fluid has never been changed before, and the car only has about 19,000 miles on it (05 NA auto). Seems to me if that much was in it before and nothing was wrong, I shouldn't have anything to worry about. It would be nice to know for sure though :)

If I need to, is there a way to bleed out just a little bit of the fluid without replacing all of it?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:17 PM
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Are you checking it while the car is running?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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I drove a couple of miles, turned the car off, and then checked it. Am I supposed to check while it is running?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Urg, I also refilled with Subaru's HP-ATF rather than Dexron III. Am I in for trouble?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:31 PM
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Urg, I also refilled with Subaru's HP-ATF rather than Dexron III. Am I in for trouble?
No, the HP-ATF is fine. You need to check the level with the engine warmed up and running, and the transmission in park. If your level is far above the high mark, and there are bubbles in the ATF, that can definitely be a problem.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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No, the HP-ATF is fine. You need to check the level with the engine warmed up and running, and the transmission in park. If your level is far above the high mark, and there are bubbles in the ATF, that can definitely be a problem.
Is there an easy way to let out a little bit of fluid at a time to get it down to a proper level? Is it alright to unscrew cap and let just a little out?

I feel like such an idiot (and this is why I usually take it to the dealer)
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:45 PM
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I`ve tried sucking excess out the tube with little luck. I thik you`ll have to loosen the drain plug a little at a time, and try to control how much you lose.

I change my transmission oil every oil change, and its the part I like the least as trying to get the level perfect can be a chore.


As for feeling foolish.. Don`t.
Now you know much more about your vehicle. Hanging out here and reading up on stuff before you commence stuff can save you some time as well ;)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I`ve tried sucking excess out the tube with little luck. I thik you`ll have to loosen the drain plug a little at a time, and try to control how much you lose.

I change my transmission oil every oil change, and its the part I like the least as trying to get the level perfect can be a chore.


As for feeling foolish.. Don`t.
Now you know much more about your vehicle. Hanging out here and reading up on stuff before you commence stuff can save you some time as well ;)
I guess I'll try to drain a bit and hope for the best. I had a friend helping me out and before we started I told him "a common mistake is draining the tranny fluid instead of the oil." I ran in to check online to make sure I knew where the oil drain was, and I came out and there he was under the car with the tranny fluid in a bucket
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 03:19 PM
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you could also try loosening one of the trans cooler hoses up by the radiator. I would think that would be a little easier to control how much you are letting out rather than the drain plug.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KeNd0 View Post
I`ve tried sucking excess out the tube with little luck. I thik you`ll have to loosen the drain plug a little at a time, and try to control how much you lose.

I change my transmission oil every oil change, and its the part I like the least as trying to get the level perfect can be a chore.


As for feeling foolish.. Don`t.
Now you know much more about your vehicle. Hanging out here and reading up on stuff before you commence stuff can save you some time as well ;)
lets talk about overkill...
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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you could also try loosening one of the trans cooler hoses up by the radiator. I would think that would be a little easier to control how much you are letting out rather than the drain plug.
I ended up draining through the bolt. I did end up dropping the bolt a couple times and fluid came pouring out, but not a catastrophe. Over a quart came out and it read exactly at the high mark when I finished today . I'm going to read it cold tomorrow and then start it up and read it again.

It also seems like the level is reallllly sensitive. I'd drain a bit and the level would drop below low. Then I added some and the level read about the high mark. Either that, or I'm just not very good at it yet
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tristrex View Post
I ended up draining through the bolt. I did end up dropping the bolt a couple times and fluid came pouring out, but not a catastrophe. Over a quart came out and it read exactly at the high mark when I finished today . I'm going to read it cold tomorrow and then start it up and read it again.

It also seems like the level is reallllly sensitive. I'd drain a bit and the level would drop below low. Then I added some and the level read about the high mark. Either that, or I'm just not very good at it yet
You're checking the level with the engine running right?

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 10:14 PM
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I change my transmission oil every oil change, and its the part I like the least as trying to get the level perfect can be a chore.
That's definitely overkill. If we were still using whale oil in transmissions peta would be knocking at your door!

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by guroove View Post
You're checking the level with the engine running right?
Yes lets repeat that. The level is checked on the level preferably with the oil HOT. Move the selector slowly through all positions and then check it with the ENGINE RUNNING. You will need to pull the dipstick, wipe it off and put it back down. There are 2 holes for HOT level and 2 others for COLD LEVEL.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 09:57 PM
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Old thread, but thanks guys. I'm headed out on a trip in the morning and ran out of time to go to my favorite Subaru guy. Went to the oil change place and had them do their suck-out method of ATF change.

I checked the level at home after it had cooled off and it was 1/2" above the top "Hot" hole. Way high. Panic! Googled, found this thread, checked with engine running after going through gears. Level just above second "Cold" hole.

Panic averted.
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