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so I've read through this tread and what im seeing is a few mixed reviews about the longevity of the cvt. a few failures and a few success stories. small issues and 700+$ repairs. We're looking at an 18 forester with 154xxx miles on it in great shape. runs good drives good shifts good. We're trading in a 2012 town and country which was riddled with trans issues and im a little skeptical of the cvt. had a rogue a few years back that we loved but the cvt was butt. my wife loves the car im just looking for some insight from some owners
 

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SeasonedStalker
2017 XT Touring in CBS HT CVT
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83 Posts
so I've read through this tread and what im seeing is a few mixed reviews about the longevity of the cvt. a few failures and a few success stories. small issues and 700+$ repairs. We're looking at an 18 forester with 154xxx miles on it in great shape. runs good drives good shifts good. We're trading in a 2012 town and country which was riddled with trans issues and im a little skeptical of the cvt. had a rogue a few years back that we loved but the cvt was butt. my wife loves the car im just looking for some insight from some owners
That's up there in milage for an '18 isn't it? Has the trans ever been serviced?
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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1,942 Posts
Discussion Starter #63
I wouldn't buy it unless there is a record of the CVT fluid being changed at least once, preferably twice. Insist on seeing the maintenance records for all fluids.
 

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I recently had my Tacoma at a local tranny shop near me for routine maintenance. It is a place I have taken various cars for over 20 years. While there I spoke with the owner (40+ years in business). I asked about fluid change for CVT in Subaru. He said a couple of things: The Subaru CVT is much better than most, especially Nissan which he specifically mentioned as being awful. He also showed me a CVT unit on a pallet that the shop was going to install on a Subaru which had had a failure. The cost to the owner was going to be $ 3500 + installation. His recommendation was that at about 75,000 miles to have the tranny fluid changed. Fluid change & filter was about $ 200. Although changing the fluid is not a guarantee of CVT longevity I will gamble the $ 200 vs $ 4,000 or so for a new (rebuilt?) CVT.

I know that anecdotal evidence is not evidence, but his suggestion seems logical to me.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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He must have been referring to Subaru CVT's in general. I don't know about earlier models, but the 2019's CVT filter requires significant disassembly to get at. Not really a maintenance item.
 

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SeasonedStalker
2017 XT Touring in CBS HT CVT
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I know this is true for the internal filter in the 17 xt as well but what I serviced was the pan strainer and I believe what some may be referencing when they refer to the filter. I changed mine at 35k when adding an six cooler and was surprised at the dark color and amount of detritus on both the magnet and in the strainer.
Cheap insurance to freshen the fluid in my opinion as well.
 
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