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2021 Forester Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Team, my 60K mile service is coming up on Monday. One dealer recommended doing a diff fluid change and the other stated it was not necessary unless the vehicle has been used to tow. All highway type driving since day 1. Should I get the F&R diff fluid changed or let it go? Dealer wants $139 plus tax. Thank you!
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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If you trust the quality of dealership service dept. work, IMO… $139.00 is pretty inexpensive insurance in the grand scheme of vehicle life. If done correctly, new lubricants rarely have a downside…

If you decide to not do it, and subsequently experience differential issues/failure, how would you feel about it?

It wouldn’t really bother some folks, just a “luck of the draw“ as they might say… other folks it would simply cook.

That’s my $0.02…
 

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You can do the service at home with I swore it was like 1.2 qrts up front and .8 quarts in the rear. $8-15 for some 75w-90 gear oil and basic hand tools. I the front had a huge like 28m so that was about $5 but less than an hour to do both. Probably $40 by the time I was done including drive time to the parts store for the large socket and fluid. Its up to you though. the dealer rate is actually affordable in your case. but its like $20 worh of fluid.
 

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2019 Touring (54k miles 5/2021)
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I had mine serviced by a local mechanic. purchased my own oil, and he charged $59 per differential to change the fluid. If your $130 price is total for both, I would have the dealer do the service. If $130 is the price for each one, you’re better off having your own local mechanic do the work. Or yourself if you’re up for it! Just don’t accidentally drain the CVT!
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Excellent point made above… if you’re not absolutely sure what/how to do it yourself, get someone who does know how…
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had mine serviced by a local mechanic. purchased my own oil, and he charged $59 per differential to change the fluid. If your $130 price is total for both, I would have the dealer do the service. If $130 is the price for each one, you’re better off having your own local mechanic do the work. Or yourself if you’re up for it! Just don’t accidentally drain the CVT!
Thanks Everyone! Yes, the price is $139 for both axles. I will have it done at the dealership...thanks again!
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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At 60k I would HIGHLY encourage you too... My 09 foresters rear dif fluid was VERY DARK at 67k.... never towed anything just daily driving.
At just 13,000 miles my log shows on 9/9/09:
F & R differential oil change (Redline Synth 75W90 GL-5).
And I do remember how dark the rear diff fluid was, already. But not the front.
Now at 70,000 miles with the synthetic, I am too old and lazy and not concerned enough to change them again. Maybe I will pay the dealer to put their regular 90W in.
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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34 Posts
Team, my 60K mile service is coming up on Monday. One dealer recommended doing a diff fluid change and the other stated it was not necessary unless the vehicle has been used to tow. All highway type driving since day 1. Should I get the F&R diff fluid changed or let it go? Dealer wants $139 plus tax. Thank you!
Do it yourself! Easy peasy!
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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In the time it takes to go to the dealership and back, you can do both f/r diffs. It’s fairly simple. You just need the tools.
18” long extension or longer
T70 torx bit socket
Ratchets maybe a breaker bar
10mm hex bit socket
Diff oil 75w90
Bottle pump

You can buy a lot of this on EBay, Amazon or Home Depot.
If you’re up to it.
 

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2021 Outback Premium and 2021 Impreza
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I'm sure that it is. However, my time is worth more than working on my car and I just don't have the time.
I was thinking the same as above By the time you drive there\ back, check the car in etc and have to schedule you can do it yourself... Kind of like oil changes-easier just to do it at home anytime.

Plus you know its done right with the proper fluid- Its not even about the money
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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If you have the time, tools and equipment…the knowledge and desire… and physical ability, I agree.

Not everyone has all of those. It doesn’t make someone bad or lazy if they have a shop do the work.

Its something that we should all keep in mind.
 

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At just 13,000 miles my log shows on 9/9/09:
F & R differential oil change (Redline Synth 75W90 GL-5).
And I do remember how dark the rear diff fluid was, already. But not the front.
Now at 70,000 miles with the synthetic, I am too old and lazy and not concerned enough to change them again. Maybe I will pay the dealer to put their regular 90W in.

I agree. I know folks with 250k+ miles on the original rear dif fluid and no issues lol. I figured even changing it once before 100k is better than nothing. I change it more often on my offroad 4runner and my street legal tow truck but those are much different than a little daily driver car that sees some dirt/muddy roads few times a year. Its cheap and easy enough too. My wife still couldn't believe the gear oil smell compared to other oils lol.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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I’m not trying to make a case against changing any lubricant, but people need to have a clear understanding that no one can judge the quality of a lubricant by color alone. Color MAY be an indicator, but by itself, it’s a poor one at best.

For any doubters, take a look at diesel engine oil 100 miles after a oil/filter change. You’ll see what I mean.

However, I’m a big advocate of preventive maintenance… if in doubt, and the change is affordable and inexpensive… change it.
 
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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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I agree. Color is not a good indicator. Time. Oil breaks down and suspends tiny metal shavings. I want that out by 30k miles or 2 years at most.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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60,000 miles in only one year has to include a very high percentage of driving time without much acceleration, deceleration, cornering, or temperature cycles. I would think this particular car, for a Forester at 60,000 miles, is the one LEAST likely to need attention to the differentials.
 
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