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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edit - by Admin: This thread was created after a series of off-topic posts in this thread about differential oil changes. Some statements may seem out of context, simply because they reference the original thread.

I have to ask, why are you doing these things? Just for the aid of the readers? Which is cool.

Just to note to those tempted, the CVT in your car has no service schedule. It should generally NOT be changed, rather than be changed. It's not a typical oil that breaks down with heat as the CVT doesn't get that hot. Subaru will at least tell you NOT to change it at any mileage under 150k, and then only if you have issues. At a minimum, you risk contaminating the case, which is extremely sensitive vs a regular transmission. So, unless you are racing or towing for 24,855 miles, don't bother. If you plan to, add the JDM cooler. If you do change the fluid, it should be done in a practically sterile environment, and by a competent individual.

"#14. CVT oil should be replaced under severe driving at 24,855 miles"

2015 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period

2015 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period
 

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It is fun to work on car, right?
I don't trust "no need to change oil under.." that is BS.
Sorry, LOL, but no extra cooler. I spend one hour and change oils. No big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hear ya, I love to work on mine too, but in light of my wife being a service manager at our local Subaru and hearing from the horse's mouth (the techs, not the wife this time) and many direct Subaru white papers on their CVT's and how they were designed, and why you run more risk of introducing more problems by contaminated fluid, and incorrect fill procedure, and it simply doesn't see heat and degrade... there is just no reason to. It's not "good practice" in this case.

I just checked, and it would seem there's a 10 year, 100k mi warranty on the CVT, and that if you have the oil changed by anyone other than Subaru you will void your warranty. Even at that, unless there's a really good reason to, they will advise against it after 100k. It's a sealed case scenario. Even though you can do it, you pop the seal, you void the warranty. If you break the CVT, they will put a new, sealed one back in its place, and send the broken one to Subaru for failure mode analysis. Which is impressive... but they are very touchy about their CVT ever since they started making them themselves. They aren't allowed to work on them at all, just diagnose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is fun to work on car, right?
I don't trust "no need to change oil under~~" that is BS.
Sorry, LOL, but no extra cooler. I spend one hour and change oils. No big deal.
There are other markets including AU i think that have a higher towing capacity, 2500 vs 1500 lbs, and that's one of the reasons. They have an oil cooler for the CVT.

Sorry if you feel that you know better than the company that makes your vehicle, I'm not sure how to politely disagree. But, I'll leave that to your opinion.

Do you understand the difference between normal oil and CVT fluid? Do you know that the reason that Subaru's CVTs work so well is primarily because of the heavy research they've spent on that fluid? Because of that, NO other CVT fluid is approved, despite other claims, for use in it. Maybe the old Jatco ones, but not the new Lineartronic ones.
 

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I hear ya, I love to work on mine too, but in light of my wife being a service manager at our local Subaru and hearing from the horse's mouth (the techs, not the wife this time) and many direct Subaru white papers on their CVT's and how they were designed, and why you run more risk of introducing more problems by contaminated fluid, and incorrect fill procedure, and it simply doesn't see heat and degrade... there is just no reason to. It's not "good practice" in this case.

I just checked, and it would seem there's a 10 year, 100k mi warranty on the CVT, and that if you have the oil changed by anyone other than Subaru you will void your warranty. Even at that, unless there's a really good reason to, they will advise against it after 100k. It's a sealed case scenario. Even though you can do it, you pop the seal, you void the warranty. If you break the CVT, they will put a new, sealed one back in its place, and send the broken one to Subaru for failure mode analysis. Which is impressive... but they are very touchy about their CVT ever since they started making them themselves. They aren't allowed to work on them at all, just diagnose.
Thank you for your advice and concern.
Pop the seal? Did you even look at it?
I already inspected entire undercarriage of Forester. I will do only what I can do. If it is not something that I can handle, I will have dealers handle it. But this is not the case.
I understand car manufacturer including Subaru wants to make decent money by having service after selling their cars.
The other day, my local Subaru sent me coupon for changing cabin air filter at $50. Hmmm.. Sorry, that offer is not for me. I ordered 3 OEM cabin air filters online at $22 and replaced it, still have two left. :)

Anyway, I appreciate your concern.
 

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There are other markets including AU i think that have a higher towing capacity, 2500 vs 1500 lbs, and that's one of the reasons. They have an oil cooler for the CVT.

Sorry if you feel that you know better than the company that makes your vehicle, I'm not sure how to politely disagree. But, I'll leave that to your opinion.

Do you understand the difference between normal oil and CVT fluid? Do you know that the reason that Subaru's CVTs work so well is primarily because of the heavy research they've spent on that fluid? Because of that, NO other CVT fluid is approved, despite other claims, for use in it. Maybe the old Jatco ones, but not the new Lineartronic ones.
Thank you for your advice.
Yes, I know enough about normal oils and tranny oils but I don't say I know more than manufacturers. They know better than me.
But I still don't give my money to dealership for fixing stuff that I can do myself easily.

I still appreciate your time and concern.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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I just checked, and it would seem there's a 10 year, 100k mi warranty on the CVT...
Where did you check? I don't believe that, unless you bought an extended warranty.

The CVT should fall under the powertrain warranty of 60,000 miles.


Also, you even quoted that "CVT oil should be replaced under severe driving at 24,855 miles", yet you continue to insist that it should never be changed... which is it?

Dealerships are allowed to work on the CVT. Here is an example, where they had to replace the valve body in the CVT: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f207/cel-oil-temp-blinking-460425/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After reading that thread, I wouldn't recommend anyone go there. They don't sound like they've gotten proper training, or something. My wife is the Asst. Service Manager for Subaru up here in the Northeast. She's been a car nut her whole life and is why we dated in the first place and goes to all the training sessions. The techs at our shop are/were pro tuners, and one's been a rally crew member. After bleeding their ears while researching for my next car, and being a Robotics Engineer with a background in materials science, it's my humble opinion that all dealerships are different, all garage mechanics are different, and given the knowledge I've gained in researching CVT technology and history, people simply don't understand what is critical in the tech, and what to do with it. It's not a traditional automatic transmission. A planetary gear set is still old fashioned gears and clutches. CVT uses a fancy metal belt that holds torque due to friction and operates completely different. And to my knowledge, SOA has not given anyone permission to crack the case on a CVT, your example included. That may change someday. The solenoid valve is accessible from the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where did you check? I don't believe that, unless you bought an extended warranty.

The CVT should fall under the powertrain warranty of 60,000 miles.


Also, you even quoted that "CVT oil should be replaced under severe driving at 24,855 miles", yet you continue to insist that it should never be changed... which is it?

Dealerships are allowed to work on the CVT. Here is an example, where they had to replace the valve body in the CVT: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f207/cel-oil-temp-blinking-460425/
Only the CVT, not the whole powertrain... Verified for one model year, but she's busy today and didn't have time for my questions.

To require the fluid change, it would be inspected first. Does anyone here live or operate in an extreme environment? Really?
 

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Does anyone here live or operate in an extreme environment? Really?
By Subaru's own standards, practically everyone falls under the "Severe Useage" maintenance schedule...

Severe driving is
> Repeated short trips, stop-and-go, extensive idling (basically any urban driving)
> Rough, muddy, dusty, wet, humid, cold, mountainous, salty conditions (basically any country or winter driving)
> Towing a trailer.
> Racing
2014 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period
 

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After reading that thread, I wouldn't recommend anyone go there. They don't sound like they've gotten proper training, or something. My wife is the Asst. Service Manager for Subaru up here in the Northeast. She's been a car nut her whole life and is why we dated in the first place and goes to all the training sessions. The techs at our shop are/were pro tuners, and one's been a rally crew member. After bleeding their ears while researching for my next car, and being a Robotics Engineer with a background in materials science, it's my humble opinion that all dealerships are different, all garage mechanics are different, and given the knowledge I've gained in researching CVT technology and history, people simply don't understand what is critical in the tech, and what to do with it. It's not a traditional automatic transmission. A planetary gear set is still old fashioned gears and clutches. CVT uses a fancy metal belt that holds torque due to friction and operates completely different. And to my knowledge, SOA has not given anyone permission to crack the case on a CVT, your example included. That may change someday. The solenoid valve is accessible from the outside.
I am interested in your point. This thread is about DIY diff oil change, but you bring your wife who is Asst. Service Manager, shop tech who is a protuner and a rally crew member, after bleeding their ears while researching for my next car, and being a Robotics Engineer with a background in materials science and even generalize "People simply don't understand what is critical in the tech, and what to do with it", Do you? How critical?

What is real meaning a planetary gear set? Fancy metal belt that hold torque and operates completely different, How different? Enlighten me since you seem to be better educated than me. Apparently, you try to justify that all dealers are different so the shop Geojosh mentioned is not recommendable but your wife shops are better because of great people you exemplified.

It looks like you bring all these great people to support your point but can you prove it with data, picture or something that your wife shop is better than the shop on the link because of all the reasons above?

Since I am not as wise or smart as you, I can understand better with photos or data or some kind of concrete evidence that your example can prove that your wife shop has better service and craftsmanship due to those people with great background.

Do you know these people? 1) 本田宗一郞, 2) 정주영, 3) 松下 幸之助,, 3 personnel here went to only elementary school and middle school. 1) Soichiro Honda established Honda with middle school degree. 2) Chung Ju-Young is founder of Hyundai Groups with elementary degree, 3) Konosuke Matsushita is a founder of Panasonic with no elementary school degree. These three companies are terrible because founders didn’t have Assistant management position, or engineering degree, right?

Come on, man, this thread is just to share some DIY info with others who is interested in doing it.

Whether there are a lot of Subaru related people, like you or Subaru sponsored part timers in this forum who try to protect Subaru’s interest and discourage people from doing DIY, there are already lots of people doing it in other forums like Toyota, Honda or even outback forum. I don’t give a crap about that. Information should be shared.

If you don’t want DIY, then don’t do it. Don’t try to discourage other people with all your great stories.
There are plenty of people who have time, tools and knowledge but they prefer to go to dealership and help Subaru dealership increase their service sales number.

I didn’t want to write this long reply but I apologize for wasting your and everybody's time to read my crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am interested in your point. This thread is about DIY diff oil change, but you bring your wife who is Asst. Service Manager, shop tech who is a protuner and a rally crew member, after bleeding their ears while researching for my next car, and being a Robotics Engineer with a background in materials science and even generalize "People simply don't understand what is critical in the tech, and what to do with it", Do you? How critical?

What is real meaning a planetary gear set? Fancy metal belt that hold torque and operates completely different, How different? Enlighten me since you seem to be better educated than me. Apparently, you try to justify that all dealers are different so the shop Geojosh mentioned is not recommendable but your wife shops are better because of great people you exemplified.

It looks like you bring all these great people to support your point but can you prove it with data, picture or something that your wife shop is better than the shop on the link because of all the reasons above?

Since I am not as wise or smart as you, I can understand better with photos or data or some kind of concrete evidence that your example can prove that your wife shop has better service and craftsmanship due to those people with great background.

Do you know these people? 1) 本田宗一郞, 2) 정주영, 3) 松下 幸之助,, 3 personnel here went to only elementary school and middle school. 1) Soichiro Honda established Honda with middle school degree. 2) Chung Ju-Young is founder of Hyundai Groups with elementary degree, 3) Konosuke Matsushita is a founder of Panasonic with no elementary school degree. These three companies are terrible because founders didn’t have Assistant management position, or engineering degree, right?

Come on, man, this thread is just to share some DIY info with others who is interested in doing it.

Whether there are a lot of Subaru related people, like you or Subaru sponsored part timers in this forum who try to protect Subaru’s interest and discourage people from doing DIY, there are already lots of people doing it in other forums like Toyota, Honda or even outback forum. I don’t give a crap about that. Information should be shared.

If you don’t want DIY, then don’t do it. Don’t try to discourage other people with all your great stories.
There are plenty of people who have time, tools and knowledge but they prefer to go to dealership and help Subaru dealership increase their service sales number.

I didn’t want to write this long reply but I apologize for wasting your and everybody's time to read my crap.
Creavation, I completely understand your beef, and I'm the first to stand up for our right to wrench. I do it all myself as well even with her working there. Always have. That's why I'm an Engineer in the first place. So, please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage the practice of maintaining your own car. The CVT, in my opinion is just not something to be messed with. It's different. The oil is ~50% of why the CVT works so well. Even though the other CVT oil brands say they are developed for that type of CVT, they are simply not approved. Considering that they care so much about the CVT from a technology standpoint and in the very rare case they break, they have to my knowledge replaced each one under warranty. Half of the examples I did find were due to wrong oil used, 2 seal failures and one chain failure. Considering that Subaru gives an extended warranty for those, as long as you follow all scheduled maintenance with records, then if it breaks, they'll take care of you. If you didn't, good luck.

Subaru's been oddly particular about the maintenance on the CVT, which you probably gathered by now. At a minimum, try to get the real bulletin on changing the fluid. Because I've seen varying reports on these forums, and if it's not done right, good bye warranty.

If you really want more info on how the different transmissions work, I'll send you some links. Can't tell if you're just giving me an attitude. I've read the tech bulletins on the CVT, which is fairly general, but can't share those because I don't have them, and they probably aren't for public consumption anyway.

Unless you work from their specific tech bulletin, I would discourage encouraging others. I would hate for a fellow inmate here to get denied warranty coverage. That's basically my point. Subaru is doing such a good job helping people with the CVTs and they break so rarely based on their current (lack of) maintenance schedule, that it is foolish to me to mess with a good thing.

But, by all means, mess with the rest!

I'll leave you with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5p1GVGiPYY
 

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Creavation, I completely understand your beef, and I'm the first to stand up for our right to wrench. I do it all myself as well even with her working there. Always have. That's why I'm an Engineer in the first place. So, please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage the practice of maintaining your own car. The CVT, in my opinion is just not something to be messed with. It's different. The oil is ~50% of why the CVT works so well. Even though the other CVT oil brands say they are developed for that type of CVT, they are simply not approved. Considering that they care so much about the CVT from a technology standpoint and in the very rare case they break, they have to my knowledge replaced each one under warranty. Half of the examples I did find were due to wrong oil used, 2 seal failures and one chain failure. Considering that Subaru gives an extended warranty for those, as long as you follow all scheduled maintenance with records, then if it breaks, they'll take care of you. If you didn't, good luck.

Subaru's been oddly particular about the maintenance on the CVT, which you probably gathered by now. At a minimum, try to get the real bulletin on changing the fluid. Because I've seen varying reports on these forums, and if it's not done right, good bye warranty.

If you really want more info on how the different transmissions work, I'll send you some links. Can't tell if you're just giving me an attitude. I've read the tech bulletins on the CVT, which is fairly general, but can't share those because I don't have them, and they probably aren't for public consumption anyway.

Unless you work from their specific tech bulletin, I would discourage encouraging others. I would hate for a fellow inmate here to get denied warranty coverage. That's basically my point. Subaru is doing such a good job helping people with the CVTs and they break so rarely based on their current (lack of) maintenance schedule, that it is foolish to me to mess with a good thing.

But, by all means, mess with the rest!

I'll leave you with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5p1GVGiPYY
Thank you for advice.
I want to apologize for asking “Is there any reason why you are saying you are an “engineer”?
Is that because you are an engineer so what you insist should be reliable or what?
I am a little unwilling to trust words from people who are bringing their background first.

Since you self-proclaimed “engineer”, Let me ask you some questions,

1)The CVT is just not something to be messed with - agreed
1. What is your definition of “messing with” ? crack open? Change CVTF?
2. Did you even read 2014/5 Forester official maintenance manual about CVTF change process?

2) It is different - agreed
1. how different? sorry, in your words.

3)The oil is ~50% of why the CVT works so well - ?
1: Do you have any backup literature which supports your statement?
2: Where does that ~50% come from?

4)Even though the other CVT oil brands say they are developed for that type of CVT, they are simply not approved
Ok.. Educate me by answering below questions.

1: What CVT oil brands you are talking about?
2: Who is approving authority? Subaru? Idemitsu?
3: Does Subaru make Subaru CVT oil or from supplier?
4: Do you have MSDS & Additive packaging for Subaru CVT oil?
5: Is Subaru CVT oil Full Synthetic or Dino oil?
6: Is Subaru CVT oil classified as Group 3 or Group 4?
7: what is the difference between approve and certify?

5)Half of the examples I did find were due to wrong oil used, 2 seal failures and one chain failure - interesting. do you have resources/link that we can look at? want to learn from you.

6)Unless you work from their specific tech bulletin, I would discourage encouraging others.
1: Which paragraph did I encourage others to do what?
2: Isn’t this forum that we can post DIY work? Is that bad?
3: Why don’t you post your DIY work next time and helping others as a contribution?

7)But, by all means, mess with the rest! - really?
-- Is this from Subaru or you, engineer’s opinion that it is ok to mess with the rest except CVT?
So, except CVT, if DIYer mess with all the rest parts such as Differential, Engine,…etc Subaru will cover them?

Attached is the official reply from Valvoline that if Valvoline CVTF (around $ 80/12qt online) is compatible with 2014/15 Subaru CVT and what is its eval process for compatibility and its responsibility for any failure. Answer was 100% they support it although it doesn’t mean that Subaru approves it. Ok...This is not perfect reply but at least better than nothing although there are lots of rooms how customers can prove mechanical failure is caused by its CVTF or other reasons.

In my opinion, although Subaru CVT oil is $170/12qt before tax at dealership (Toyota WS ATF $120/12qt before tax), it should still receive first choice, because Subaru CVTF supplier made its CVTF just for the specific Subaru CVT while other aftermarket CVTFs meet universal requirements. Therefore, Subaru branded oil is
superior to aftermarket ones or just fitting better due to its own customized additive packages? Maybe later reason? Educate me.

Does this mean that I will use Subaru CVTF for my CVTF change? Maybe or Maybe not. I have several friends who used redline CVTF, Valvoline CVTF, Amsoil CVTF for Subaru CVT and haven't reported any problems yet after 30K since they changed their CVTF.

Again, thank you for your concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1)The CVT is just not something to be messed with - agreed
1. What is your definition of “messing with” ? crack open? DefinitelyChange CVTF? Extreme use or normal driving? Not following the service instructions. Changing the oil for no reason - even if you get the oil changed at a dealer, they will likely analyze it first and tell you yes or no.
2. Did you even read 2014/5 Forester official maintenance manual about CVTF change process? Just the bulletin quickly. I don't have a manual, yet. I seem to remember there was more to it, like monitoring parameters with their dealer tool while filling with the car on and changing gears at specific temperatures, and a procedure on flushing using a special pump? Sorry, don't have access anymore. One thing that is good to do, is they update the software for the CVT regularly, so if you don't service at the dealer, you don't get the updated firmware

2) It is different - agreed
1. how different? sorry, in your words. The layout of the Lineartronic is different compared to the original Jatco ones because of the flat-4 layout. Everything is arranged differently compared to all others on the market I would guess. The torque converter is different and has a different locking mechanism and control system to lock much earlier and let the CVT do the work instead of the TC. The chain allows a much tighter radius for a wider gearing and better direct starting torque compared to belt types. There's a bunch of pictures around Lineartronic® CVT???? and some subaru vids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ2kp5YOXHA

The chain type on Subaru's ride on the metal pins on the sides that hold the links together and use friction to transfer the torque and is a pull type CVT.

3)The oil is ~50% of why the CVT works so well - ?
1: Do you have any backup literature which supports your statement? Sure, read up: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=micro+slip+in+chain+cvt https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...qWTCikjNcTgQ2OBfg&sig2=SpgXEwyJZZTrEao_ASicaQ
2: Where does that ~50% come from? SWAG. The chain/oil combo is what distinguishes itself above others. The oil has 2 part duty: to ensure friction between the belt and sheaves without macroslipping, and to lubricate the seals, gear and other components inside. So, lubricate and enhance friction, got it? This is the battle. The fluid is engineered to provide lubrication without slipping. If it slips, it wears, if it doesn't, it'll last "forever." Since Subaru's Lineartronic was developed in house, made in house, and their juice was too AFAIK, I am not confident that any other oil would be ideal, or they would have used it. The general design and materials, along with their unique TC and hydraulic pump design are the rest.

4)Even though the other CVT oil brands say they are developed for that type of CVT, they are simply not approved
Ok.. Educate me by answering below questions.

1: What CVT oil brands you are talking about? ALL of them. Most fluid makers have their flavor designed for metal belts. But, the conditions in Subaru's CVT are different than everyone else, including their previous gen. So, why would it work for all of them ideally?
2: Who is approving authority? Subaru? Idemitsu? Subaru. Idemitsu doesn't appear to make the CVT oil, just engine and some gear oils. All I could find is that it's Subaru. I'd be curious to know for sure.
3: Does Subaru make Subaru CVT oil or from supplier? ^^
4: Do you have MSDS & Additive packaging for Subaru CVT oil? Nope. There's a website that has it, but requires a login. That only tells what's in it anyway, not how they make it. It's like baking a cake by giving only the ingredients, not the recipe.
5: Is Subaru CVT oil Full Synthetic or Dino oil? Given lifetime status, it must be synthetic. Dino oil isn't stable enough and would oxidize and break down over time
6: Is Subaru CVT oil classified as Group 3 or Group 4? Don't know
7: what is the difference between approve and certify? Not much. Who is giving the OK is what's important. All the CVT oil MFGs say designed for, and use on Subaru chain type, etc., but Subaru hasn't said it's ok, so even though it may work, hasn't gotten the ok. Unless Subaru says it's ok, then you probably will get denied warranty coverage if needed.

5)Half of the examples I did find were due to wrong oil used, 2 seal failures and one chain failure - interesting. do you have resources/link that we can look at? want to learn from you. The wrong oil is on the typical Subie forums, including this one, the seal failures were from my dealer, and the chain failure was a german dude that got reposted on a forum but couldn't find it quickly. There are a few others, but you never hear about what actually failed since they are sent to Japan.

6)Unless you work from their specific tech bulletin, I would discourage encouraging others.
1: Which paragraph did I encourage others to do what? By simply posting the DIY without any disclaimers and implying that x-interval is ok/better than listening to Subaru. Your post may be used by thousands of people in the near future, for better or worse
2: Isn’t this forum that we can post DIY work? Is that bad? Generally, no. In this case, the risk is higher than normal, which is what I was highlighting
3: Why don’t you post your DIY work next time and helping others as a contribution? Definitely, but I don't have my forester yet. Waiting for the '16. But head over to NASIOC. I've been doing that for years.

7)But, by all means, mess with the rest! - really?
-- Is this from Subaru or you, engineer’s opinion that it is ok to mess with the rest except CVT?
So, except CVT, if DIYer mess with all the rest parts such as Differential, Engine,…etc Subaru will cover them?
No, but if you break something, or can't figure out how to fix it, there's a lot of places to go to to fix it for you, or find the information you need. Thant's not the case with the CVT. I love to work on cars, and enhance their performance. I have a 400whp '11 STi in the driveway. The risks inherent with that are manageable/known.


Again, thank you for your concern.

I say I'm an engineer because what I do all day long is research, design and troubleshoot problems on high tech equipment.

All I'm suggesting is that there is not enough information out there for garage mechanics to disagree with Subaru on new technology and insist they know better than them. I'm sure you a fully capable mechanic, that's not in question. I'm sure if they told the world how to work on and take care of the CVTs, it would filter down to people like us. But even now, the "simple" CVT is not simple to make or work on. That's pretty clear. Most of the other manufacturers are not achieving success with their CVTs as Subaru is in their latest generation. Subaru doesn't know all the problems with it that may manifest since the latest generation was released, and are tightly controlling things so A: they can learn from it B: so they can maintain their reputation by addressing things quickly and controllably C: Given the new technology in their Lineartronic CVT and the general lack of CVT techs in existence with the experience to fix them, I find it comical reading on these forums how many people flat out disagree with what Subaru states. CVT oil a lifetime fluid except under extreme conditions? Preposterous!

... So.. they just made that up? They want you to have transmission failures in their newly in-house designed transmission so they can make money off you and lose your business and reputation? Given the cost of the flush, shoot, I'm surprised they don't make you do it every 15k to get every last dollar. You get the idea...
 

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I say I'm an engineer because what I do all day long is research, design and troubleshoot problems on high tech equipment.

All I'm suggesting is that there is not enough information out there for garage mechanics to disagree with Subaru on new technology and insist they know better than them. I'm sure you a fully capable mechanic, that's not in question. I'm sure if they told the world how to work on and take care of the CVTs, it would filter down to people like us. But even now, the "simple" CVT is not simple to make or work on. That's pretty clear. Most of the other manufacturers are not achieving success with their CVTs as Subaru is in their latest generation. Subaru doesn't know all the problems with it that may manifest since the latest generation was released, and are tightly controlling things so A: they can learn from it B: so they can maintain their reputation by addressing things quickly and controllably C: Given the new technology in their Lineartronic CVT and the general lack of CVT techs in existence with the experience to fix them, I find it comical reading on these forums how many people flat out disagree with what Subaru states. CVT oil a lifetime fluid except under extreme conditions? Preposterous!

... So.. they just made that up? They want you to have transmission failures in their newly in-house designed transmission so they can make money off you and lose your business and reputation? Given the cost of the flush, shoot, I'm surprised they don't make you do it every 15k to get every last dollar. You get the idea...
1) The CVT is just not something to be messed with - agreed
1. What is your definition of “messing with” ? crack open? DefinitelyChange CVTF? Extreme use or normal driving? Not following the service instructions. Changing the oil for no reason - even if you get the oil changed at a dealer, they will likely analyze it first and tell you yes or no.
I didn’t know dealer has capability to analyze the oil. The dealership that you are mentioning must have all lab equipment like blackstone lab has? hmmm. that must be great dealership.. I didn't know that.

2. Did you even read 2014/5 Forester official maintenance manual about CVTF change process? Just the bulletin quickly. I don't have a manual, yet. I seem to remember there was more to it, like monitoring parameters with their dealer tool while filling with the car on and changing gears at specific temperatures, and a procedure on flushing using a special pump? Sorry, don't have access anymore. One thing that is good to do, is they update the software for the CVT regularly, so if you don't service at the dealer, you don't get the updated firmware
Updated firmware for what? I am ok with hard copy of Subaru official maintenance manual that I enjoy reading and following. As long as I have 2014/15 Subaru repair manual, I am good to go.
It doesn’t matter ATF or CVT. Transmission oil change in sealed tranny is straightforward as long as you adjust oil level between 95~113F (Subaru). That is the key with right CVTF.


2) It is different - agreed
1. how different? sorry, in your words. The layout of the Lineartronic is different compared to the original Jatco ones because of the flat-4 layout. Everything is arranged differently compared to all others on the market I would guess. The torque converter is different and has a different locking mechanism and control system to lock much earlier and let the CVT do the work instead of the TC. The chain allows a much tighter radius for a wider gearing and better direct starting torque compared to belt types. There's a bunch of pictures around Lineartronic® CVT???? (Lineartronic® CVT????) and some subaru vids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ2kp5YOXHA

The chain type on Subaru's ride on the metal pins on the sides that hold the links together and use friction to transfer the torque and is a pull type CVT.

Great information. Thank you.

3)The oil is ~50% of why the CVT works so well - ?
1: Do you have any backup literature which supports your statement? Sure, read up: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=micro+slip+in+chain+cvt https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...qWTCikjNcTgQ2OBfg&sig2=SpgXEwyJZZTrEao_ASicaQ

Informative. Thank you

2: Where does that ~50% come from? SWAG. The chain/oil combo is what distinguishes itself above others. The oil has 2 part duty: to ensure friction between the belt and sheaves without macroslipping, and to lubricate the seals, gear and other components inside. So, lubricate and enhance friction, got it? This is the battle. The fluid is engineered to provide lubrication without slipping. If it slips, it wears, if it doesn't, it'll last "forever." Since Subaru's Lineartronic was developed in house, made in house, and their juice was too AFAIK, I am not confident that any other oil would be ideal, or they would have used it. The general design and materials, along with their unique TC and hydraulic pump design are the rest.

Informative. Thank you

4)Even though the other CVT oil brands say they are developed for that type of CVT, they are simply not approved
Ok.. Educate me by answering below questions.

1: What CVT oil brands you are talking about? ALL of them. Most fluid makers have their flavor designed for metal belts. But, the conditions in Subaru's CVT are different than everyone else, including their previous gen. So, why would it work for all of them ideally?
Ok, make sense. Thanks.

2: Who is approving authority? Subaru? Idemitsu? Subaru. Idemitsu doesn't appear to make the CVT oil, just engine and some gear oils. All I could find is that it's Subaru. I'd be curious to know for sure.
Really? Hmm….didn’t know Subaru makes even transmission oil. Interesting. Thanks.


3: Does Subaru make Subaru CVT oil or from supplier? ^^
Subaru? Ok… Thanks.

4: Do you have MSDS & Additive packaging for Subaru CVT oil? Nope. There's a website that has it, but requires a login. That only tells what's in it anyway, not how they make it. It's like baking a cake by giving only the ingredients, not the recipe.
I will give my best respect to you if you could find additive package of Subaru CVTF.

5: Is Subaru CVT oil Full Synthetic or Dino oil? Given lifetime status, it must be synthetic. Dino oil isn't stable enough and would oxidize and break down over time
Hmmm…didn’t know it was Synthetic. I thought it was Dino oil. Ok. Thanks.

6: Is Subaru CVT oil classified as Group 3 or Group 4? Don't know

7: what is the difference between approve and certify? Not much. Who is giving the OK is what's important. All the CVT oil MFGs say designed for, and use on Subaru chain type, etc., but Subaru hasn't said it's ok, so even though it may work, hasn't gotten the ok. Unless Subaru says it's ok, then you probably will get denied warranty coverage if needed.
Maybe it is not worth paying gigantic fee to car manufacturer Subaru for having certification or approval? Or oil sales is huge profit generator to car manufacturers, so oil company don’t even try to get approval?

5)Half of the examples I did find were due to wrong oil used, 2 seal failures and one chain failure - interesting. do you have resources/link that we can look at? want to learn from you. The wrong oil is on the typical Subie forums, including this one, the seal failures were from my dealer, and the chain failure was a german dude that got reposted on a forum but couldn't find it quickly. There are a few others, but you never hear about what actually failed since they are sent to Japan.
Ok. That makes sense. Thanks.

6)Unless you work from their specific tech bulletin, I would discourage encouraging others.
1: Which paragraph did I encourage others to do what? By simply posting the DIY without any disclaimers and implying that x-interval is ok/better than listening to Subaru. Your post may be used by thousands of people in the near future, for better or worse
Ok. But I will continue to post more if I can. Ask for your permission along with SOA in advance. Thank you.

2: Isn’t this forum that we can post DIY work? Is that bad? Generally, no. In this case, the risk is higher than normal, which is what I was highlighting
Ok. that’s understandable. I will post it and hope people know that.

3: Why don’t you post your DIY work next time and helping others as a contribution? Definitely, but I don't have my forester yet. Waiting for the '16. But head over to NASIOC. I've been doing that for years.
Oh..then, why are you so much involved in advising here in Forester forum? There are tons of DIY posts in Toyota, Honda , Outback, you name it, are you also involved in those forums? you must be busy in monitoring.

7)But, by all means, mess with the rest! - really?
-- Is this from Subaru or you, engineer’s opinion that it is ok to mess with the rest except CVT?
So, except CVT, if DIYer mess with all the rest parts such as Differential, Engine,…etc Subaru will cover them?
No, but if you break something, or can't figure out how to fix it, there's a lot of places to go to to fix it for you, or find the information you need. Thant's not the case with the CVT. I love to work on cars, and enhance their performance. I have a 400whp '11 STi in the driveway. The risks inherent with that are manageable/known.
Ok, I have been doing my DIY for a long time and know what I can do and what I can't/don't want to do. Thank you for your advice.


---End Quote---

I say I'm an engineer because what I do all day long is research, design and troubleshoot problems on high tech equipment.

All I'm suggesting is that there is not enough information out there for garage mechanics to disagree with Subaru on new technology and insist they know better than them. I'm sure you a fully capable mechanic, that's not in question. I'm sure if they told the world how to work on and take care of the CVTs, it would filter down to people like us. But even now, the "simple" CVT is not simple to make or work on. That's pretty clear. Most of the other manufacturers are not achieving success with their CVTs as Subaru is in their latest generation. Subaru doesn't know all the problems with it that may manifest since the latest generation was released, and are tightly controlling things so A: they can learn from it B: so they can maintain their reputation by addressing things quickly and controllably C: Given the new technology in their Lineartronic CVT and the general lack of CVT techs in existence with the experience to fix them, I find it comical reading on these forums how
many pe
ople flat out disagree with what Subaru states. CVT oil a lifetime fluid except under extreme conditions? Preposterous!

... So.. they just made that up? They want you to have transmission failures in their newly in-house designed transmission so they can make money off you and lose your business and reputation? Given the cost of the flush, shoot, I'm surprised they don't make you do it every 15k to get every last dollar. You get the idea...

Again, Thank you for your advice and concern!
 

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Registered
2013 premium 2.0
Joined
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1 Posts
CVT oil quantity

hello:

does anybody know what is the required quantity of CVT oil for a complete replacement? i have a Forester 2.0 CVT 2013.

also what is the cost of this oil in the USA. i know it is expensive but i'm being charged a ridicuoluos amount here in Colombia and i want to cross check

thank you

Mvelezu
 

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Registered
0415 Forester 2.5i Cvt
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86 Posts
Hi Btao what's considered "severe driving". I got 2015 forester 2.5i and I drive about 140 miles a day (mega commuter). My car has already 52k in 16 months. I drive 1.5 hours each way everyday around 72mph. (25 minutes of that time is traffic).

If with the severe driving the cvt oil has to be changed at around 25k. Does it have to be changed EVERY 25k
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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16 Posts
Just wanted to give a personal update:

My 2015 Forester just hit 105,000 miles, and it has slowly developed a very slight mechanical "hum." I was getting worried about the front differential, to tell you the truth.

I had a local Subaru mechanic (who has great reviews) do a drain and fill on the CVT today. The "whine" is gone. Great news for me; I drive in the mountains all day, and I'm now pretty skeptical about the "lifetime" claim. As already stated, nearly everybody is "severe" according to the manual. Since it was just a drain and fill, I'll probably do it again in 30,000 miles or so.

I asked him about the drained fluid, and he said it looked dirty (not horribly so). We talked about the CVT, and he stated that it's too new for him to have developed a service schedule recommendation. He also told me that he communicates with the local dealer mechanic about the CVT, and they're both in a sort of wait-and-see mode.
 
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