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2016 2.5i Touring CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2016 Forester 2.5I Touring with almost 21,000 miles. I'm due for my 30k/30Month Maintenance and my dealer told me that I have to change my differential fluid as part of the maintenance. I checked online and I did not see changing of differential fluid as part of the requirement (2016 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period). Which should I follow? Thanks.
 

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2019 Forester Premium Package 15
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I believe technically speaking it calls for an inspection of the fluid every 30k interval as denoted with an “I” in your booklet.

That being said, it’s pretty cheap to do - only around $75 per differential by me at the dealer - and there are probably wear particles in there.

You could also have them flush the brake fluid too.
 

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My dealer tried to pull the same thing with my 30K inspection (i was actually only at 24K). They wanted more than $250 to replace the differential fluids. I deferred them to owners manual. Since you are only at 21K I would also defer to what the manual indicates. I did have them flush the brake fluid at that time.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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In my view. Change the rear differential fluid. (not the front). At 21K miles, forget everything else, except possibly brake fluid.
Its a rip off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I believe technically speaking it calls for an inspection of the fluid every 30k interval as denoted with an “I” in your booklet.

That being said, it’s pretty cheap to do - only around $75 per differential by me at the dealer - and there are probably wear particles in there.

You could also have them flush the brake fluid too.
I don't mind doing it as long as it is indicated on the maintenance schedule. Based on what I read, replacement or inspection is not even required under the 30month/30k maintenance. I'm I missing anything here? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My dealer tried to pull the same thing with my 30K inspection (i was actually only at 24K). They wanted more than $250 to replace the differential fluids. I deferred them to owners manual. Since you are only at 21K I would also defer to what the manual indicates. I did have them flush the brake fluid at that time.
Yes I'll do the brake flushing but I'm still baffled on the differential requirement.
 

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Unless something changed, I'm positive that a 30k service requires at least an inspection of the differentials. There is probably some wear particles in there from the break-in process and factory/machining process. I usually just have them do it every 30k anyway since the inspection requires them to do the labor to open it.

If you're certain that you don't need this, I'd like to ask you to take a picture of your maintenance and warranty booklet and upload it here.

The CVTF is a lifetime fluid unless you're towing (by the book), so this one is strictly an "inspect only" unless they find some type of metal fragment or discoloration of the fluid as described in the factory service manual.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Yes I'll do the brake flushing but I'm still baffled on the differential requirement.
Rear differential is good to change early on. Its just under a quart. Make sure you have a breaker bar. Remove the upper plug first. 1/2" will work but 13cm is the correct size. Don't use impact. Dont overtorque when reinstalling.

I probably will change mine at 10K miles.
 

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That being said, it’s pretty cheap to do - only around $75 per differential by me at the dealer - and there are probably wear particles in there.
Where in NJ are you/dealer located that does it in $75? I am stopping by next week. My local dealership wants $250.
 

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Where in NJ are you/dealer located that does it in $75? I am stopping by next week. My local dealership wants $250.
Are you able to do it yourself? I don't do much anymore at the age of 72 but its not that tough. If you have a ramp and breaker bar.
 

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Are you able to do it yourself? I don't do much anymore at the age of 72 but its not that tough. If you have a ramp and breaker bar.
I don't want to hijack OP's thread. I have all the tools needed (except the Torx bit, don't remember the number) but I have never done it before so I am hesitant.
 

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In my view. Change the rear differential fluid. (not the front). At 21K miles, forget everything else, except possibly brake fluid.
Its a rip off.
From my experience for the first 30K service, both front and rear diff fluid should be drained and filled. there is a lot of metal material from break in period, in there. BTW i dont know how many of you have done this yourself but the front is almost always dirtier then the rear. the powertrain and AWD management system favors front wheel drive for efficiency. so the front diff fluid actually sees more load service then the rear. yes they both spin the same amount of distance, im talking about a power load being pushed through it.

the reason both should be replaced is to keep even wear and viscosity for each. it is also super cheap. 3 qts of mobil 1 gear oil in 30-35$. which is all you need other then tools.

I don't mind doing it as long as it is indicated on the maintenance schedule. Based on what I read, replacement or inspection is not even required under the 30month/30k maintenance. I'm I missing anything here? Thanks!
Based on the manual it is required to be inspected you are 100% correct. It is up to the tech to determine replacement. As said before it should be replaced the first time.

Yes I'll do the brake flushing but I'm still baffled on the differential requirement.
just my advice replace fluid every 30K both front and rear and you will never have a problem with the front and rear diffs. experience from owning 3 subarus and putting around 450K of service between them.

I believe technically speaking it calls for an inspection of the fluid every 30k interval as denoted with an “I” in your booklet.

That being said, it’s pretty cheap to do - only around $75 per differential by me at the dealer - and there are probably wear particles in there.

You could also have them flush the brake fluid too.
your totally correct this in everything you said. yes do a brake fluid flush too. air will get in there, fluid will break down, or absorb moisture. doing the brake fluid flushes every year or two will help prevent the bleeder valves on the calipers from seizing and will usually guarantee your brake system free from failures.

Unless something changed, I'm positive that a 30k service requires at least an inspection of the differentials. There is probably some wear particles in there from the break-in process and factory/machining process. I usually just have them do it every 30k anyway since the inspection requires them to do the labor to open it.

If you're certain that you don't need this, I'd like to ask you to take a picture of your maintenance and warranty booklet and upload it here.

The CVTF is a lifetime fluid unless you're towing (by the book), so this one is strictly an "inspect only" unless they find some type of metal fragment or discoloration of the fluid as described in the factory service manual.
You are totally dead on about the 30K service. the fluid is only to be inspected by the tech. then they will make their recommendation. which i bet 100$ will be to change the fluid at the first 30K service. changing diff fluid is like anything else cheap insurance. subaru engineers great powertrains, change fluid early and often and they last past the body of the car.

the CVT.

@unkn0wn you should have the fluid in the CVT checked. have them check CVT fluid level and condition. the findings should be written on your repair order receipt for service. this will just protect you down the line if you have any future problems.

dont let the dealer talk you out of it by saying that the CVT needs to cool down. what they are saying is true, for them to check the fluid level but it does not take hours. its more like 1 hour especially that its now cold outside. so they can leave your car outside and bring it in to do the work in an hour, after CVT fluid cooled down. it is important to get your CVT inspections documented. they are due every 30K just like the diffs.

funny though because if you meet severe duty the service interval is 24,855 miles.

Here is Subaru's definition of severe driving: Quoted from https://www.worldsubaru.com/subaru-m...e-schedule.htm
"*Examples of Severe Driving Conditions:
•Repeated short distance driving.
•Driving on rough and/or muddy roads.
•Driving in dusty conditions.
•Driving in extremely cold weather.
•Driving in areas where road salts or other corrosive materials are used.
•Living in coastal areas.
•Repeated trailer towing."


check out the maintenance schedule
 

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Are you able to do it yourself? I don't do much anymore at the age of 72 but its not that tough. If you have a ramp and breaker bar.
I don't want to hijack OP's thread. I have all the tools needed (except the Torx bit, don't remember the number) but I have never done it before so I am hesitant.
Agreed with you guys. people should be doing this service them selves its very easy and perfect for beginners.

if your still on the fence then just bring it to a trusted local mechanic. give them the Gear oil . synthetic 75w90 gear oil, fiction additive not required. requires 3 qts split between the two diffs. look up the amounts in the owners manual or just follow the procedure. that should be posted in the technical section. if not ill post a right up for it.

local mechanic would be an 1- 1.5 hours for the work in total, it will only take a mechanic around 40 mins to do. this task is far from anything that requires a subaru techs factory training.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm at the dealer right now doing the 30k/30month service. My service advisor advised me to wait for my actual 30k miles to change the differential fluids. I'm actually ready for them to do it but he is very persistent. Ill probably do it on my next service. They are actually charging 59 per differential without tax. As for the brakes, they did this moisture reading thing and fluid is still ok but I decided to still flush it based on what I read here in the forum.
 

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I'm at the dealer right now doing the 30k/30month service. My service advisor advised me to wait for my actual 30k miles to change the differential fluids. I'm actually ready for them to do it but he is very persistent. Ill probably do it on my next service. They are actually charging 59 per differential without tax. As for the brakes, they did this moisture reading thing and fluid is still ok but I decided to still flush it based on what I read here in the forum.
70$ after tax per diff is very fair price for the dealer doing the work.
 

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That $59 + tax per diff fluid change seems like a good deal esp. from a dealership if it includes the quart of oil split between the two diffs. I had an independent Seattle area Subaru shop do mine last year for $130 plus tax and I provided the gear oil ($18?). I had it in for other stuff and figured why not since I didn't have any ramps etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
kōbai-iro;7483355 said:
That $59 + tax per diff fluid change seems like a good deal esp. from a dealership if it includes the quart of oil split between the two diffs. I had an independent Seattle area Subaru shop do mine last year for $130 plus tax and I provided the gear oil ($18?). I had it in for other stuff and figured why not since I didn't have any ramps etc.
I believe the price is for parts and labor already, I was ready to do it but my service advisor told me that I can still wait for the actual 30k miles. Ill probably have it done on my next maintenance.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 

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Like some I wanted to change it early because of the initial gear wear-in so I only had like 12,000 miles on vehicle in 3 years but a lot of short start and stop driving - which I figured could qualify for severe service. And I earlier said it was 1qt gear oil split between the two diffs but it is 3 qts! I don't recall what I paid exactly for those but probably more than the $18 I quoted so that always has to be figured in replacement cost.
 
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