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2017 Forester
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124 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm wrote a check for a small camper (850 pounds) to tow with my 2017 Forester, and since
I live in Arizona where summer temps of 115-120 are standard, I think I'll install a Transmission
Cooler, however, I just wondered.... hmmmm would there be a warranty issue if I did that?

I sure don't want to pay dealer prices to have them install it.
 

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2016 Forester CVT
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10 Posts
I am also interested in having a CVT cooler. It seems like it would extend the life of the transmission.
Has anyone had a dealer install a cooler or had an estimate that can tell us the cost?
Has anyone asked a dealer about warranty impact for an owner installed cooler? a dealer installed cooler?
Forgive me if this has been covered before.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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554 Posts
I had the OEM trans cooler installed, dont remember the cost but I believe if an Oem part is installed by the dealer or not, it does not hurt the warranty, as long as its an OEM part
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,240 Posts
It will void the warranty if it can be proven that it damaged the tranny/vehicle. That might be hard to prove. But it will force you to jump through more hoops than its worth.

The cooler will/could extend the life of the lubricant. I think we can probably assume that the extra heat will not physically damage individual parts.

The big problem is that there seems to be quite a procedure associated with changing the CVT fluid so how will the cooler affect the operation of the unit?

I would be reluctant to tow with this vehicle. If towing is important I would buy a vehicle that is known to be able to handle it..like a pickup. Thats just me.
 

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2017 2.5i Touring SBM Lineartronic CVT with X-Mode
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260 Posts
The drivetrain and frame can totally handle it. My brother is currently on a cross country road trip with a 1900lb 17' camper on a 2.5i Outback. He just installed a hitch and brake controller. The one thing that the Outback has standard is the transmission cooler. He's already driven this thing from PA to TN, CO rockies (at altitude), NM, AZ, CA, OR and is currently in WA.

I have a feeling that installing a transmission cooler in our vehicles would void the warranty though. Doing so is something I would be wary of now especially since they sent out the CVT warranty extension notice. At any rate I would still be willing to tow a U-Haul trailer when I move. I would just make sure to get the fluid changed out afterwards.

It isn't at all unusual to see European Outbacks and Foresters towing "caravans" of this size.
 

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2017 2.5i Touring SBM Lineartronic CVT with X-Mode
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Arizona where summer temps of 115-120 are standard
I'd say, get an OBDII port scanner that can be connected to over bluetooth with your phone and monitor your transmission temps. If they don't get too high then you may not need to worry so much about it.

My brother's CVT pulling that weight to +11000' elevation got up to 225 degrees and never any more. From the research he did he wouldn't feel comfortable pushing the CVT past 235 degrees.

 

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2016 XT Premium
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166 Posts
+1 on monitoring CVT temps for a bit before taking the plunge on an aux cooler. I have briefly seen my CVT temps hit 240+F when towing over Colorado (10k+) passes in the summer. Towing was 900~ lbs of open trailer and motorcycle. So a different aero-drag profile than a camper, but not anything I would worry about. Old eBay android phone with OBDLink Wifi scanner is working great to monitor things for me.

The tow rating we receive is lower than European cars due to a different testing procedure used for the US market. We have higher road speed limits for cars with trailer in tow, and the test accounts for and somewhat penalizes us for this. The car can definitely handle more than 1500lbs if some extra care with speeds and temps are taken. I am not an expert on the tow test other members are much more knowledgeable than I, but its good to know why that number is so different from EU to USA.

If you have a chance to use the camper before the AZ heat hits 11 I would do that and monitor the temps to see how much higher they are during towing. As long as your trailer is under the OEM spec weight for the car, and the car is under 10yr/100k that CVT is covered under warranty, so I wouldnt worry too much. Enjoy the camper!
 

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1999 "L" - 231,000 mi. AT
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537 Posts
I think I'll install a Transmission Cooler, however,
I just wondered.... hmmmm would there be a warranty issue if I did that?
You're asking the wrong people; we don't honor your warranty.
Ask the dealer - he's your front and center contact for warranty questions.
 

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FWIW, the local dealer where I get my warranty-covered stuff done wouldn't put one in (just flat wouldn't do it), but didn't say anything about whether it would void anything, which I gotta figure would be part of the patter, i.e. "we won't so you shouldn't because warranty" vs. "we won't, but it's cool if ya wanna, bruh." I had a local Subaru tuner shop install a Mishimoto cooler; my CVT is very happy with it.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i 6mt
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117 Posts
Since heat is the killer of automatic transmissions & CVT transmissions are a type of automatic transmissions then a transmission cooler would definitely help with the life of the transmissions, along with changing the fluid more often
 
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