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2009 Legacy
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@Remco based on your knowledge, does it seems this design inherently causing more failure of the electrical part aka solenoid and valvebody. Also the heat issue expedite the wear/tear on the tranmission thus causing shorter life-span of the CVT.

It definitely an interesting approach to transmission yet design and choices of materials seem to be a limiting factor.
I don't know what the statistics are but do know there have been issues with the CVT in the past. Subaru used to have transmissions replaced to get them sent back to Japan to investigate the mode of failure so they know there are issues inherent to the design.
Before the 100K warranty was instituted, that repair was on our dime. Quite bothersome.

Subaru may have very well improved things since, based on what they found, but there are a fair bit of cars out there where the issues have not been fixed.
 

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2019 Forester Premium Package 15
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386 Posts
@ForesterBill that's interesting, because the "steep hills" thing would be new for me. I'll have to do some detective work and get back with the results. My 2011 Outback specifically said the only "severe service" requirement for CVTF changes was relating to TOWING - nothing with off-roading or hills. Maybe they're changing their suggestions.

FWIW, Model Y doesn't have a CVT. ;)
 

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2018 Fozie XT
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73 Posts
@Pilot1226
Below is my post with excerpt directly from Fozie 18 with CVT. They do mentioned often changes of CVT fluid if offroad. Also, SEVERE means hot weather climate like California (US), Arizona(US) and/or maybe hot Australia as well. As i mentioned before, with stop-N-go traffic and hot temp from 85+F, i saw my CVT temp hover above 210 with just 20 minutes of driving. Imagine how that can reduce the lifespan of a temperamental design of CVT.
(After cooler, same drive i never go past 180F.)


Actually, i found an interesting couple paragraphs in manual. one of them related to your question:
". Frequent driving of an AWD vehicle under hard-driving conditions such as steep hills or dusty roads will necessitate more frequent replacement of the following items than that specified in the “Warranty and Maintenance Booklet”. – Engine oil – Brake fluid – Rear differential gear oil – Manual transmission oil (MT models) – Continuously variable transmission fluid (CVT models) – Front differential gear oil (CVT models)"

So there goes for those who OFFROAD and don't change CVT often. I have done mine at brand new 15k miles with offroad before tranny cooler and cvt oil was black. I'm awaiting to do it again soon at 30k miles and compare the oil (after cooler-with much more offroad/trail rides in hot summer month).

I got to read more. :)
 

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2019 Forester Premium Package 15
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386 Posts
Respectfully, @daklakfoto I disagree.

I just looked at my 2019 Warranty and Maintenance booklet. There are subnotes and footnotes with this in reference to severe driving.

526085
526086


So, item #13, CVT Fluid has "INSPECT" intervals with an additional remark of "NOTE 4" on the right.
The second image shows us what NOTE 4 means: When used in severe service** replace every 24,855 miles or 40k kilometers.

On the right side, the ** for severe driving reference the maintenance item from the first image on the left hand side. Again, the CVT Fluid is "ITEM 13" so we only have to follow the ones in severe with the "13" on it:

This is subparagraph "G" for "Repeated Trailer Towing"

My book does not in any way reference hilly or city driving. That severe schedule is referenced ONLY to Oil Change Intervals among others as noted above.

Again, for what it's worth, Subaru CANADA requires a CVT Fluid Change at the 100k kilometer interval, which is just about 60k miles. Take it for what it's worth, but if I keep this Forester you're absolutely sure I'm going to do this every 60k. I can't justify an $8,000 replacement of the CVT if it blows up on a ~10 year old car.

The Model 3 & Y are looking better and better. :/ Here's hoping Subaru has a Forester EV or something close to that when my lease is up - even a Crosstrek EV would be good (not the PHEV they offer now)
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Discussion Starter #45
In Note 4, the qualifier "(if applicable)" is very ambiguous. Does it mean "if applicable" to severe driving conditions, or does it mean "if applicable" to the results of a CVT fluid inspection???

I don't tow so I'm not an example of extreme driving conditions. However I'm surprised that driving in very hot temperatures, which I do during summers here in the Sonoran Desert, is not an example of Subaru's extreme driving conditions.

Like Pilot1226 I'm taking a cue from Subaru Canada and plan on having a CVT fluid change every 60k miles.
 

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2014 Subaru Forester XT CVT +/- 205000km
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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.
Hi subby fan, i own a FXT 2014 since sept 2017 with 125000km when i purchase. I change my CVT fluid for the first time at 199000km, 2 week after we have AT Temp oil and check engine warning. Go to dealer and diagnostic is replace CVT. The dealer found a used one with 80000km on it 3600$ install but never tell me extended waranty program? Now we have a fluid seepage around CVT, i need to return to dealer to verify that. In the future i would change my CVT fluid more frequently because i consider driving in extreme condition.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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I change my CVT fluid for the first time at 199000km, 2 week after we have AT Temp oil and check engine warning.
Did you change the fluid, or the dealer? Seems suspicious that the CVT apparently failed so soon after fluid was replaced. Could the wrong fluid have been used?
 

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2019 Forester Premium Package 15
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One of the more common "side effects" of CVTF changes, even at the dealer, seems to be overtorquing of the fill/drain valves on the bell housing itself, this was listed in one of the Subaru TechTIPS newsletters from 2018 at some point... September maybe? Anyway, they noticed an uptick in seepage and other fluid related issues resulting from overtorquing.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT. (6MT, in my Heart) :-)
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202 Posts
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.
I had my cvt replaced at abt 130ksomething. Am now past warranty that was given me.
If something happens to my cvt, I am looking at an $8-10,000 repair. I can likely get a used cvt from Japan which may lower the cost to $4-6,000. Still too much money for me, and not worth kepping my Suby.
Am lookong at another manufacturer - likely a toyota Highlander, so I have reliability and reasonable repair costs.

Other than the cvt thing I like my Forester, but shouldn't have to deal with this cvt$$$ issue. Subaru should be covering any repairs, giving warranty from the time the cvt is put in - anyway, hust my opinion. CVT repair/ replacement cost is ridiculous, in my opinion.
 

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For what it's worth, Toyota is not without its own issues. While the planetary CVT that Toyota uses is excellent in terms of wear-and-tear, I believe the Highlander you mentioned still has a traditional transmission setup. This means you'll be having to do more regular maintenance on it every 30k interval with fluid drain-and-fills. Also, because of the dual-fuel injector setups that modern Toyotas use, this means if you have a repair on the engine that requires removal of the fuel injectors, you're looking at about 300% higher labor costs to disassemble and reassemble both the port and direct injectors setup.

Every manufacturer has issues and there is no perfect setup. For me, I ruled out Toyotas because their AWD performance is not what I want it to be for bad weather, and "staying home" during a storm isn't an option due to my line of work. If I'm going to have to drive to work in a blizzard, you better believe I want the safest car I can afford to get me there.
 

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2014 Subaru Forester XT CVT +/- 205000km
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Did you change the fluid, or the dealer? Seems suspicious that the CVT apparently failed so soon after fluid was replaced. Could the wrong fluid have been used?
The dealer change it, but few weeks before is oil change have some slipage at low speed.
Maybe is due too much abuse on climbing sand dune this summer...
 

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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 .
I agree in the past 30 years ive overhauled/repaired probably 5000 trans and havent touvhed a subie trans yet thats why my wife bought one. id love to have the money money people hjave spent on ax4s and a604. i still get them today!
 

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2014 2.5i Premium CVT
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I agree in the past 30 years ive overhauled/repaired probably 5000 trans and havent touvhed a subie trans yet thats why my wife bought one. id love to have the money money people hjave spent on ax4s and a604. i still get them today!
It could also be statistics though. Subaru didn't offer CVT until 2012 and it was for Impreza, which they never sold many. It's not until they hit it big with Forester in 2014 their CVTs became widespread. But these CVTs still carry 5 year 60k miles factory warranty which then extended to 10 years 100k miles. So only a very small pool of all the Subaru CVTs out there could potentially seek non-dealer repair, even then most of them would simply be replaced as a whole unit rather than overhauled/repaired. So if you even came across just one, that's already terrible news for Subaru.
 

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It could also be statistics though. Subaru didn't offer CVT until 2012 and it was for Impreza, which they never sold many. It's not until they hit it big with Forester in 2014 their CVTs became widespread.
They were widespread before 2014 in my opinion

In 2010 the Outback and Legacy 2.5 got the TR690 Lineartronic CVT, and that was about the same time the Outback started selling over 100k units per year. In 2013 the Outback/Legacy switched to the TR580, and the TR690 didnt return to use until the 2014 XT, but is in use more and more now with the Ascent.

So the mix of different versions used since 2010 does not help us get a clear image of the reliability of one particular version, but there were hundreds of thousands of them in use before the Forester got it in 2014 and start selling almost as many units per year as the Outback* (each model sells over 150,000 per year since 2015)

*checked the numbers and Forester actually outsold the Outback in 2014 by over 10,000 cars. The Outback has beaten it every year since then
 

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2014 Subaru Forester 2.5
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3 Posts
Ours went out at 110k miles. We replaced with a reman CVT via the dealership. 7k.

What is the consensus on a transmission cooler extending CVT life? I’d like to keep the car for another 110k, but if these continue to need replacement, I’ll sell it before the 2 year warranty is up.
 

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SeasonedStalker
2017 XT Touring in CBS HT CVT
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83 Posts
Mine has been running better after cooler install with those few concerning gremlins gone and I feel good about longevity just my 2C though
 
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