('06-'08) Transmission Fluid Change or Flush? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Transmission Fluid Change or Flush?

Re: 2007 Forester 2.5XT

I love my car and I want to treat it right, but I need some help from those Subaru mechanical experts out there!

I have a few questions before I proceed with Transmission fluid change:

1) my shop has given me a quote of $245 for a transmission fluid change. I have not actually asked them if they are planning on doing a change or flush. Is this price high, or normal?

2) I was told that the fluid is dark, but not stinky. Should a change or a flush be done?

3) I use full synthetic for my oil. Should I use full synthetic for my transmission?

Thank you. Looking forward to your responses.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:33 AM
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1) I'm not sure if this is high compared to other shops, but I find it extremely high for something that you can easily do yourself for the cost of the fluids.

2) I don't believe in flushes for our transmissions. I have always drained and filled every 15,000 miles or so.

3) I use synthetic transmission fluid and never had a problem with it. Subaru HP-ATF or whatever the new spec fluid is called is very good fluid though, and you can use it without fear of it not being able to properly lube and protect your transmission. There was a change between '05 and '06 models from Dex III to the new stuff.

If you do decide to do it yourself, remember that not all the fluid comes out when you drain your transmission. You only end up getting between 1/3 and 1/2 of the fluid out. If you buy 5 quarts, you should be safe, unless you remove the spin-on filter and let your car sit for 30 minutes or longer trickling fluid out. Someone on this forum managed to get 6 quarts of fluid out this way. The transmission holds about 12 quarts. You should always check your level with the engine running and the transmission in park.

2005 Obsidian Black Pearl XT w/4eat
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for the info.

This may be a stupid question, but... is it ok to mix regular and synthetic fluid?
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lolasolomonjack View Post
thank you for the info.

This may be a stupid question, but... is it ok to mix regular and synthetic fluid?
It is, and in my experience is unavoidable, if you plan on using synthetic in a transmission that came with non-synthetic.

2005 Obsidian Black Pearl XT w/4eat
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 01:54 PM
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I agree with guroove. I have known flushes that have gone bad. If you change filters use the genuine filter. After market ones are not compatible.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 02:40 PM
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I see this is your first post forum post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon!

In my opinion, it depends on how many miles you have on your Forester & if you had the transmission flushed previously. If you have high miles & never had the transmission flushed, I would recommend against doing it now.

Both our Foresters are in 20-30K miles range & they had a "total fluid transfer", or flush. with zero problems. We also opted for Redline synthetic ATF & Redline synthetic 75W-90. This was an upgrade at our trusted Subaru dealership shop.

If you want the transmission filter changed, you have to request it. Subaru considers the ATF filter a nonservice item... a permanent filter.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 04:53 AM
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off topic, but how would you guys recommend measuring the tranny fluid when draining it? I drained it last night, and it is in a fresh brand new oil pan, but what can i use to measure it easily? i looked in the manual for my 09, and it says 9.8 quarts! What would be my easiest way to measure this?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 06:58 AM
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Buy some ATF in quart bottles. Dump a quart into your trans in the correct location!!! Fill up the empty bottle with used ATF from the drain pan. Now you have measured one quart. Proceed with the next quart.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by apgarabu View Post
off topic, but how would you guys recommend measuring the tranny fluid when draining it? I drained it last night, and it is in a fresh brand new oil pan, but what can i use to measure it easily? i looked in the manual for my 09, and it says 9.8 quarts! What would be my easiest way to measure this?
9.8 Quarts doesn't all come out at once. If you change the fluid regularly, you don't need to do a complete change. Also, a complete change is technically impossible. If you just let it drain until it trickles, you only need to put 4-5 quarts back in.

2005 Obsidian Black Pearl XT w/4eat
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolasolomonjack View Post
...
1) my shop has given me a quote of $245 for a transmission fluid change. I have not actually asked them if they are planning on doing a change or flush. Is this price high, or normal?
2) I was told that the fluid is dark, but not stinky. Should a change or a flush be done?
3) I use full synthetic for my oil. Should I use full synthetic for my transmission?...
1
The price is a little high. Most dealers charge around $200 for changing the full capacity of 10+ quarts. This is called a flush because it is a complete replacement, but is not a flush. Dealers do it using the transmission's own pressure to circulate old fluid out and new fluid in, using a pump-less double-chambered tank made by BG. The transmission pushes old fluid into one chamber which pushes new fluid out of the other chamber and into the transmission. It's not the dreaded power flush that people imagine, as the transmission is just pumping the fluid around with its own internal pressure as usual:
"BG PF5 Power Flush and Fluid Exchange System... has no power supply of any kind..."
BG Products, Inc.

2
If the fluid is dark, it should be flushed as above. The alternative is to drain and refill the transmission 2-3 times separated by short drives. Because each draining only removes 3.75 quarts, and new fluid then mixes with the old, the total fluid supply only gradually becomes newer through serial dilution. But it takes your time, and wastes several quarts of new fluid.

3
Your year requires High Performance ATF such as:
Subaru ATF/HP (P/N SOA868V9241).
IDEMITSU ATF HP.
Castrol Transmax J.
Pennzoil ATF-J.
Don’t use Dexron 3.
The proper synthetic recommended by AMSOIL should be OK, but the dealer likely won't have it or do it. And if you do the serial drain and refill, the waste will be unusually expensive, and the result will be a mixture of some old dark conventional fluid with new synthetic.

Some people do a single drain and refill of the 3.75 quarts every 10-15,000 miles, and so maintain a relatively fresh mixture of fluid. But since you have a 2007 with some years and miles, and a turbo with its power, and have already darkened the fluid, I think you should get the flush.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 09:37 AM
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Pyrex measuring cups are the best for things like this!




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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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I have my trans fluid drained and filled every 15K....its cheap insurance for the power levels I am at.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 12:54 PM
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I agree, nothing wrong with a transmission flush, as long as you start early on.

If you have lots of miles & haven't done a transmission flush, doing one may cause you problems.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
... If you have lots of miles & haven't done a transmission flush, doing one may cause you problems...
Describe what you mean by "flush"?
Are you referring to the BG system?
How is the BG system different from a transmission cooler?
In both cases, the transmission's own natural internal pressure pushes fluid out a hose into another device -- either a cooler or a tank.
In the case of the BG tank, what comes back in the return hose is new fluid instead of old.

I think you are referring to a pressurized flush of the transmission. That must be some old urban myth that goes this way:
1. Attach high pressure pump to transmission.
2. Force in a solvent to push out the old fluid and stir up any loose crud.
3. Drain transmission leaving some solvent and crud.
4. Refill with fluid and let the loose crud do its job.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuned200 View Post
I have my trans fluid drained and filled every 15K...
You are referring to a 3.75-quart simple drain and fill, not a replacement of the whole 10+ quarts using the BG system.
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