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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
Since Subaru has extended their CVT warranty to 10 years/100,000 miles for all 2014-2018 Foresters, there has been some concern in other threads about the longevity of the CVT after the 100k warranty runs out. So if you have a high mileage Subaru CVT (over 100k miles) please tell us about your CVT's reliability, good or bad, after 100k miles. Include your current odometer mileage and whether or not you ever had the fluid changed.
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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363 Posts
Good thread Bill. I noticed some seeping coming from my HT-CVT the TR-690 at 43k. They changed the the faulty seal out ( there was a tsb ) and the seepage stopped. I really hope the CVT lasts.




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2014 Forester XT CVT
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226 Posts
I'm close to a 100k (92k)and am interested in the longevity of the CVT as well. So far I've been good. Did a drain and refill of the cvt at 75k. I have experience with a Nissan CVT on an 07 altima that is at 165k. I have faith that CVT's can last. I'd love to get to 250k with the Forester.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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226 Posts
Good thread.


I assume most of your miles are highway miles and you got CVT fluid replacement done at the dealership?

No. It's definitely a mix of city and highway. I used to drive a lot more for work up until a few years ago. I did the CVT drain and refill at a local Subaru dealership.
 

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2015 XT Premium CVT
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I almost at 100k only had a problem at around 20k and was fixed no problem since then. There was a thread when the additional warranty came out where several owners had to replace after 100k. That is the one reason I am looking into replacing my vehicle.
 

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2018 Forester XT
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1,261 Posts
I wish they did actual flushes, as opposed to just changing the oil.

My plan is to change the filter and oil every 35-40,000 KM or so.


This has served me well with my Evo
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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I almost at 100k only had a problem at around 20k and was fixed no problem since then. There was a thread when the additional warranty came out where several owners had to replace after 100k. That is the one reason I am looking into replacing my vehicle.
I think you have a good reason.

Regardless of how wonderful a CVT transmission is (or isn't) the facts are that when it fails, it is incredibly expensive to replace.
Several weeks ago a less than happy Subaru owner was quoted a $10,000 + bill for their Forester that was just over 100K miles.
Replacing my 4EAT transmission would be less than 1/10th of that.

Maybe the CVTs will last, but if they don't, and there are many examples of that happening, the car owner is screwed.
In my opinion, it is the best reason to not buy a car with a CVT - Once they are out of warranty, a CVT failure means the car is essentially junk, because repair costs will exceed the value of the vehicle.

It's not just Subaru.
All of the manufacturers who put out a car with a CVT have the same issue.
No one repairs them, and the replacement costs are ridiculous.
There is a good reason why the CVTs are not repaired - On failure they literally self-destruct to the point that replacement is the only option.
I am convinced that over time, the CVT "bomb" will explode the equipped cars' resale value.

If you plan on a private party sale, it is a lot easier to sell a car with a warranty, even if it is of limited duration.
In any case, good luck.
 

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2016 Forester
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I wish they did actual flushes, as opposed to just changing the oil.

My plan is to change the filter and oil every 35-40,000 KM or so.


This has served me well with my Evo
There's a guy on YT doing flush himself. Problem with filter is you can only get to one of them, the other one isn't accessible unless you completely take apart the transmission.

 

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2019 Forester Premium Package 15
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386 Posts
I don’t know about the value but don’t forget that if your CVT grenades you have an option to get one out of a junker. Sometimes Subaru Corporate will also give you a discount off the bill.

Furthermore, if you consider you have a solid car worth “x” and in 10-15 years it is “x-CVT”, you can replace the CVT as described above even though it may be close to the cost of “x”, but it would still be less than another $35k-x car payment.
 

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2019 Forester Premium Package 15
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Well ... that doesn’t sound like a good design. That doesn’t make sense.
They've made a few changes to the locations of the filters going forward. I don't know that it does or doesn't make it any more easier to access, but I know they've made them better and better since they launched in the US market in the 2010 Outback.

The only maintenance type thing I'm aware of is that Subaru Canada has a new 100,000 kilometer interval for the fluid. That in mind, I'll probably consider doing CVTF changes at the 60k mark when it's also in for plugs. From what I've heard from Subaru Canada, they say the climate is more harsh and therefore goes through more drastic thermal cycles, thereby putting more stress on the fluid.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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I don’t know about the value but don’t forget that if your CVT grenades you have an option to get one out of a junker. Sometimes Subaru Corporate will also give you a discount off the bill.

Furthermore, if you consider you have a solid car worth “x” and in 10-15 years it is “x-CVT”, you can replace the CVT as described above even though it may be close to the cost of “x”, but it would still be less than another $35k-x car payment.
Pilot
You are right about the availability of used transmissions.
Provided you find and get a good one, you would be saving a lot.
Actually you could buy several bad ones and still come out ahead compared to the ridiculous cost of a new CVT.
I also agree with you regarding replacement on your own car.
Provided the rest of the vehicle is in good shape, it would make sense to repair it if it was your car.
Your cost benefit equation seems right to me.

That won't make it a bargain for a used car buyer, especially if they are buying a car out of warranty.
We will see if that has a negative effect on resale, but if you look around on the web, you will find a lot of people who already won't even consider a car with a CVT because of replacement cost.

Regardless of the benefits of a CVT, one of them is not longevity compared to a more conventional gear driven transmission, the later also being more likely to be repaired rather than replaced when there is a problem.

The basic problem with the CVT is that when that chain fails, it fills the case up with lots of shrapnel and destroys parts (the grenade effect), which is why the transmissions are not typically rebuilt due to damage.
One shop mentioned a 95% rate of non-repairable, so they typically don't even check anymore - It's not worth the labor charge to the customer.

It would make a difference if the manufacturer admitted that CVT transmissions require maintenance, even for normal driving, that there are wear parts (the chain and pulleys) and had a MTBF for the wear components such that repairs could be made prior to catastrophic failure.
This would not be unique - Look at the prior scheduled service requirements for engines with timing belts.
What Subaru is advising, in effect, is that the original timing belt should be left on until it fails and destroys your engine, and then you just buy a new one.
To me, it seems ludicrous that a wear part is assumed to last forever when clearly it doesn't.
Likely, sales could be reduced for a several thousand dollar maintenance requirement, but it would still be less than a new transmission.
Which brings us back to the first point... At some time, finding a good, used transmission may no longer be an option if there aren't any being built.
 

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13 forester 2.5 & 14 XT 4eat/ CVT
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This really makes me want to snag a used cvt and have it rebuilt and store it just in case.


Id love to get 300k out of the fxt. Its such a great daily driver!

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2017 Touring CVT
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120 Posts
Cvt $$$

Wait and see what the auto yards charge for a CVT in the coming years--they're not stupid.
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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I have a 2015 2.5i, has 157k on it, has not been serviced, no problems. I use it off road, on highway, and in town. I drive the speed limits, don't race car. I have towed with a few times, utility trailer with a ton of compost in it.


It’s good to know they can atleast make it to 157k! However, I’ve been beating on mine .


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Having worked in a transmission shop years ago- love these threads.

So you all are worried about the expensive CVT- Do any of you know the cost of a Non- CVT is NEW?
5 Minute search, this is transmission only, not labor to install:

a few Nissan non cvts 9-11k
a Kia trans for 8.9k
Ford & GM on the lower end 3-6k .
 
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