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2001 Forester 4EAT
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I just replaced the radiator and did loose a small amount of ATF in the process. I was going to top it off, but I just checked the dipstick and it shows above the F mark for hot (over by at least .5 inch), and this vehicle has been stone cold for a week. It's jacked up in the front, but I would think that would make it show a lower reading.

Pardon my lack of AT knowledge, but I was under the impression that having too much ATF in the AT was a bad thing. My girlfriend has had this Forester for 5 years and it hasn't ever had the ATF changed in that time, or any sign that ther was a major problem with the trans. Sadly this is the first time I have checked it, only to find a surprise.

So does this even make sense? Could there be that much excess ATF in there and not cause problems for 5 years?
 

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admin
2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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7,251 Posts
Are you checking it with the car running?
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,931 Posts
I assume you know that the ATF is checked with the engine running and tranny in "P" you first move it slowly through all of the gears and end up in park.

If you can't get it up to temp there are a set of marks for checking it "cold" and running. Not as accurate.

Really ATF should be periodically changed. A minimum (in my mind) would be to do a drain and fill every 20K miles.
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
haha- too little ATF

I assume you know that the ATF is checked with the engine running and tranny in "P" you first move it slowly through all of the gears and end up in park.

If you can't get it up to temp there are a set of marks for checking it "cold" and running. Not as accurate.

Really ATF should be periodically changed. A minimum (in my mind) would be to do a drain and fill every 20K miles.
You would assume wrong sir. All my life I've been trying to avoid ATs but now I don't have a choice... I had thought 'cold' on the dipstick meant 'cold' as in engine off.

Ok, so I pulled it out of the garage and got the engine warm(er). When the temp gauge was dead center like normal, I checked and the ATF was very low. I'll see about changing out the fluid as I notice a couple of hoses running to the cooler in the radiator appear to be weeping fluid.

Can I get some clarification on how much fluid gets changed out? I read the specs/capacities for this model and it was saying over 8 qt of ATF in the transmission. Is that right? From a couple of videos I watched, it seems like less than 8 qts comes out, is some hanging around in the pan filter thing?
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,931 Posts
If you drain it out..about 8 oz. less than a gallon will come out. You can add 8 oz. less than a gallon and it will be good. Now I have a 2008..so it may different but I doubt it.
 

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2013 Forester Automatic
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408 Posts
If it reads "Full", I like to just drain whatever will come out, Measure it carefully, and replace it. And, I do it every so often---about 20K miles +/-.

I know it doesn't get it all out...maybe 1/2 drains out? But, replenishing is better than nothing, and the filter is a pretty good one, so, I'm not worried about replenishing being "good enough".
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,931 Posts
HA! Could very well be true. I haven't crawled under my 2013, but, I know my 2004 and 2006 had them!
ring the 2008 model run. Some 2008's have them (mine does) some don't. I think its a great feature. Sorry to see it discontinued. But from a practical standpoint, doing a drain and fill every 15K miles or so will make the filter less useful.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
Can I get some clarification on how much fluid gets changed out? I read the specs/capacities for this model and it was saying over 8 qt of ATF in the transmission. Is that right? From a couple of videos I watched, it seems like less than 8 qts comes out, is some hanging around in the pan filter thing?
8 quarts does not come out. It's a lot closer to 4 quarts. But, don't rely on what I'm saying.

A simple way to solve this problem is as follows: get an empty gallon milk jug. After you drain the ATF, pour it into the milk jug. If more than a gallon comes out, use a 1 quart oil bottle(s) (or a second gallon milk jug) to hold the remaining fluid.

You will then know how much new ATF to put down the fill hole!
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the pointers. I'll be giving it a shot next weekend.
 
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