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Discussion Starter #1
So I did something stupid tonight. I wanted to show my son how to change the oil and he accidentally drained the tranny fluid. So what do I do now? I’ve watched a few videos about the fill plug on the side and getting a sprayer to fill with cvt fluid, warm up tranny, open up fill plug, shift through gears and wait till fluid starts to flow out? Am I close or get it towed to a mechanic ASAP?
 

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Unless you’re 1000% confident in the procedure, you’re safer to tow to a mechanic. If you take it to an independent shop, you’ll need to have the crush washer and OEM CVT fluid, as there is still 2/3 of the oil in the transmission, you don’t want to mix different brands of oil.

I believe you need to monitor the transmission temperature to fill properly as well, so you’ll need an OBDII adapter to obtain that info. Just take it to a shop along with a few quarts of Subaru CVT fluid if you want to feel comfortable in protecting your $8k transmission.
 

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'14 Forester XT Touring
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LOL car is totaled.... Just kidding. Sounds like you are pretty handy doing it DIY.
If it was me, (being a cheap illegitimate offspring) I'll buy the official repair manual or All Data online repair manual for like $30 or $60 I forget which price it was. Then just follow the steps. It is less complicated than it looks. Then again.. YouTube vids are a hit or miss, but it would give you a heads up on how to do it.
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As for fluid, I would differ from the previous post. You can use OEM, but you don't have too. As long as it's the right spec, any other brand would do the job. Of course being a cheap illegitimate offspring I'll go to which ever is cheapest.

Then again... if all your mechanical skills are oil changes, oh.....bend over and pay up. Let a pro do it. As to where to take it...I'll go to a tranny shop, cause that's all they do. Dealers, well...bend over again, with out lube this time. Then again... I'll start by getting quotes from the dealer, local mechanic, and a tranny shop.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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@CaptainChaos - whether to DIY or not depends how much time you have to get the procedure down pat (you're not there yet) and have a means to monitor fluid temp. Two ways to look at this as far as learning opportunities for your son goes. 1) DIY projects rarely follow a straight path. Good opportunity to do a mid-course correction, learn a new procedure, fix the problem you created (don't rush), or 2) admit you're out of your element (no shame there) and do as @Cddelta suggests.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Absolutely! I know we both got a lesson out of this one. We thought we were on a roll after the successful brake job....
 

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I would think you should be able to DIY. Plenty of decent YouTube videos on how to do it. Find one you trust and go at it.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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Here are two decent "how to" CVT drain/fill videos, in case you decide to go that route.

 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Unless you have an OBD or other type scanner for cvtf temps, I would bite the bullet and have it towed. Negotiate the price of the cvtf drain/fill. Should not cost more than $285.

It’s a simple procedure for a Subaru dealership. If it’s a long drive,(you’re towing, so not an issue) they’ll have to wait for the cvtf temp to go down to around 96 degrees F. I would arrive early and plan to stay 2-3 hours, depending.

Mark your engine oil pan and cvtf pan with a good sharpie.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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So I did something stupid tonight.
If you do a search on this forum, you will discover you're not alone. Even lube shops have done it. If your Forester was mine I would have it towed to a Subaru dealer or independent Subaru-only shop. Replacing CVT fluid is a lot more complicated than ATF fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again for the responses. As it happens I have a Subaru mechanic 5 minutes from me, so he towed the vehicle over to his shop and he will have it back to me tomorrow. Won’t make that mistake twice!
 

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as long as you didn't fill it with gear oil which happens quite a bit on here you just started the drain and fill procedure. easy fix if you had to towed to a shop.
 

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I suspect the main reason why this happens is because oil drain plug is hidden above the splash shield behind an access panel. I permanently removed the access panel in case my Forester ever ends up in the hands of someone not familiar with Subarus. Talk about a "trap" door!
 

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Not attempting to be critical, but this is a situation that seems to always resurface...

If you’re gonna DIY, ensure you understand exactly what the objective and process is, before you starrt “doing”.

The ultimate lesson here is to completely understand the task at hand before getting into the work.

As the old carpentry rule states... “Measure twice ... more if necessary... then cut once”.
 

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I used a paint marker in red and marked that cvt drain plug appropriately.
Id have it towed if it were me.


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First thing I did when I did my first oil change. Never knew how easy it was to be in a hurry and mistake it for the oil drain plug.
 

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You did something great, not stupid, in that you not only worked with your son to teach him something handy for anyone to learn, you let him handle a tool and make a mistake. Now he's watching how you find a solution in a reasoned, careful manner. Congrats on being a great dad, apologies to the forum for venturing off topic, and thanks to all other commenters for the vital information on what to do.
 
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