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2007 X Automatic
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, this is my first post!

Today (right now, actually) I emptied the transmission fluid from the plug valve. I guess I should note that the vehicle was cold, but the fluid didn't flow slowly so I figured it was OK (ambient temperature was 70F so not "cold").

Now, I drained ~5quarts and I added back only ~4quarts, but the reservoir to add ATF is completely full and I cannot add any more. Trouble is, the reservoir is not going down. I've let the car idle in park for about 30min to no avail. I'm worried because the vehicle will not go into drive (reverse or any forward gear on this automatic transmission).

Are there any suggestions? My friend suggested that I continue to let it idle to fill up and possible add some "medical" ATF (I think he means that Lucas stuff), but I'm not sure.

P.S.
The ATF that came out was pretty dark brown -- definitely not red. The engine was recently rebuilt and the block replaced, so I can give more details if needed.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
Transmission pan = rectangle(roughly in line with the front doors) behind the front cross member

Engine oil pan = rounded bulbous shape(about even with(just ahead of) the front wheels)in front of the front cross member

Transmission dip stick/fill tube = drivers side

Front diff dip stick/fill tube = passenger side

Your not the first with a similar first post
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f89/forester-perplexed-about-trans-problem-118614/



Engine oil filter/oil pan
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,589 Posts
Drained ATF Pan..............filled Windshield wiper container.
 

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Registered
2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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4,150 Posts
The tranny fluid should be put into the dipstick tube with a proper funnel made for the job. Is this what you did?
Dark brown is a very bad thing. Even burnt tranny fluid tends to be dark red.
 
G

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Drained ATF pan, filled front diff. I did this once to my 2006 when I still had the 4EAT. I realized my mistake when the front diff dipstick was drowning in ATF. :lol: Don't worry, it happens and is an easy mistake to make.


How much damage would idling for 30 minutes with 5 less quarts of fluid be to the transmission?
 

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Registered
2007 X Automatic
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Late update -- you were pretty much spot on. I drained the ATF and filled the front diff.

I then drained the diff and refilled with the 75w90 oil twice after siphoning off what I could from the top. Once to make sure there was no more red ATF in there.

I'm having a hell of a time getting a good reading on the ATF amount now, though, whether read hot or cold. I doubt it was overfilled before I drained it (I put back the 4 quarts that I drained), but who knows. I guess the next step is to let it run for awhile and check it there's any bubbling and then check with the dipstick while it's still on to see where the level is at.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,589 Posts
Check it cold.

Have car on the level..start it. Put it through all the gears. Pull the dipstick. Wipe it and reinsert and read with engine running. There are notches on the dipstick that show the level cold. Its lower than the hot. Not ultra accurate but it gets you in the ballpark.
 

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2010 Forester Premium X AT
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1,000 Posts
the trick to good readings on mine was to fill it, leave the dipstick out, let it sit for at least 30 seconds, start it, shift through all the gear selectors, let it run for at least 30 seconds, then insert dipstick and check. It was only a matter of ounces between the high-low marks. Also, I had bubbles on the dipstick even when it was low, high, cold, or hot. I've heard that bubbles may be an indication of overfill, but it definitely wasn't the case for me.
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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4,150 Posts
It may have to run a bit to get the air back out since you ran it without any. It may need to get some fluid back into places that drained out some. Just a thought.
 

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2007 X Automatic
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been driving for a few days and checked the levels again just now after a drive and while the engine was still running. It hits the mark just midway between the L and F for the hot reading -- checked 3 times.

I did see a few bubbles like Inspector mentioned, but I also read that's a common thing with Subaru and not necessarily indicative of an overfill (mine clearly is not).

Not sure how much air could be left inside since I've been driving all week.

Checking the color of the ATF now that I replaced it (well, I didn't flush it) there are definitely a few bits of black on the dip so I'm a bit worried. It could just be the old fluid mixing in with the new? Should I flush it entirely and check back again in a week?
 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
DO NOT FLUSH IT COMPLETELY! You will ruin your transmission. If you want to change it out, drain out the pan during every oil change for the next 3-4 oil changes. Do one gallon at a time. You'll find this will work best. Full flushes on a car with more than 30-40k miles brings on all kinds of problems. This stems from the fact that there is a significant amount of friction material in your fluid helping things to grip as they should, flush all that out at once and your trans. will slip.
 

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2007 X Automatic
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks, that sounds like some real wisdom. I did plan ahead when I purchased the ATF-HP fluid and got 15 quarts instead of the 4 that were needed so this is a plausible solution.

I'll just change it out a little more frequently than it needs to be done I suppose.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,589 Posts
I think I would change it out once more within the next week or two. A fill will require about 10oz short of a gallon. Don't worry about bubbles. Drain it on the level.
 
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