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2008 forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, i need some help, I attempted to change the ATF on my 08 yesterday. Being the first time, i went to the dealership and bought the Subaru ATF (which happened to be ATF-PSF) and the guy told me that i would need 4 quarts since thats what they use when they do it at the shop. Once it was cool enough, i let it drain for about 20 min, put the new filter back and re-filled it. Took it for a test drive and noticed a strange noise at low speed from 1st to 2nd gear. Not quite "grinding" but similar to the washer machine in spin cycle displacing water (or fluid in this case). Now, it only happens at low speed from a stop and not at higher speeds. Was 4 quarts not enough? Now of course being Sunday the dealership is closed so, if i need to add more, is it safe to add a different type such as M1 ATF?
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... I attempted to change the ATF on my 08... bought the Subaru ATF (which happened to be ATF-PSF)... 4 quarts... let it drain... put the new filter back and re-filled it. Took it for a test drive and noticed a strange noise at low speed from 1st to 2nd gear....
The transmission holds about 10 quarts. Only 3.75 quarts can be removed by draining it. The transmission requires ATF-HP. You must check the bottles to be sure that the dealer parts department does not sell you the older kind, as the counter person cannot not differentiate the two on his screen or know what year car takes what kind of ATF. I think the HP bottle is silver and the other is white. Also, the external filter on the transmission was deleted in June of 2007 for the 2008 model year.

Since you have a filter, are you sure you have a 2008?
If you don't use ATF-HP, the 2008 Owners Manual says "there will be a
noticeable increase in the vibration and noise from the automatic transmission." But I doubt that mixing in 4 quarts of ATF-PSF would cause your symptoms.
If you drained 3.75 quarts, removed a filter containing 0.5 quart, and replaced 4 quarts, then the transmission could be low by .25 quart. I doubt that would cause your symptoms, either.
But you don't say that you checked the level on the dipstick. Do it hot, and see what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, i forgot to mention that i did checked the dipstick both hot and cold. When i did it hot it did not quite show an actual level on the dipstick. This morning on the cold side it showed a level between the 2 markers for the "cold" reading. And to answer the other question, it is an 08 base model forester.
 

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Yes, i forgot to mention that i did checked the dipstick both hot and cold. When i did it hot it did not quite show an actual level on the dipstick. This morning on the cold side it showed a level between the 2 markers for the "cold" reading. And to answer the other question, it is an 08 base model forester.
Cold reading is unreliable. The ATF should only be checked hot, idling in Park on level ground. You say the dipstick "did not quite show an actual level" when hot. That sounds like the AFT could be low enough to cause your problem.

To have an ATF filter, your 2008 must have been made before June 2007. From the Aug 2007 TechTips:
". . .the D-4AT ATF filter has been discontinued since June 2007 in FHI production lines, and July 2007 in SIA production lines, transmission number: 3928538. A newly-designed cover has replaced the spin-on filter. On models with regular (not Direct) 4AT transmissions, the spin-on ATF filter will remain. NOTE: All re-manufactured transmissions will continue to be shipped with the spin-on filter installed except for H-6 models that do not utilize the filter installed on the transmission case.
Applicable Model
Legacy All 08 and after
Impreza North America 08 and after
Forester All 08 and after
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbull...ns-filter-change-47877/index5.html#post554406
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another thing, i read in previous postings that usually you can drain aprox. 3.5 to 4 quarts. I let it drain for a little while and got about 5.5 quarts out of it.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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You did check the level with the engine running right? And you pup it slowly through all of its gears?? Also I thought there was a venting required when replacing the filter. (I don't know the details). Also the tranny filter is Different from the engine filter. The engine filter will not pass enough ATF through it.
 

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Another thing, i read in previous postings that usually you can drain aprox. 3.5 to 4 quarts. I let it drain for a little while and got about 5.5 quarts out of it.
I didn't realize that extending draining and dripping would let that much come out. Previous posts say that 3.75 quarts comes out in a quick drain, and that is what the dealer assumed you would do. But you drained 5.5 plus .5 filter, and replaced 4, so are 2 quarts low on ATF. That alone is the problem.
 

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But you drained 5.5 plus .5 filter, and replaced 4, so are 2 quarts low on ATF. That alone is the problem.
Maybe some comes out when you remove the filter. BTW I have an 08 and have the filter. Where do you find the Date of manufacturer.
 

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on most cars the yr and month of manufacturer, is found on the drivers door frame or the door itself, on the same sticker that tells you the GVW and tire pressure, if not there (it should be) you should be able to find it on the id plate in the engine bay

and for the OP, unless the car is underfilled or overfilled you should go off of what you drain out, so as it was said, you need to add 1.5 to 2 qts of ATF, and if the wrong trans fluid was put in the car should be flushed!!!! if your dealer did indeed give you the wrong fluid i would talk to them, see if they wont give you a discount off of the flush, being it was partly their fault
 

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... if your dealer did indeed give you the wrong fluid i would talk to them, see if they wont give you a discount off of the flush, being it was partly their fault
The parts department is not responsible for giving you the right ATF. They don't know which fluid your car takes, or even know that there are two fluids. They will just go back and pull however many quarts you want off the shelf.

Like with any part, you have to know what you want, and check that you get the right thing before using it. The counter guy brought me ATF in white bottles, and I could see from the label that it was not ATF-HP, so I said I needed HP, which he went back and found in silver bottles.
 

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I have an 08 and have the filter. Where do you find the Date of manufacturer.
My 2008's filter has been replaced with a blank cast alloy plate bolted over the hole. By 2009, the transmission was cast with this place closed.

The date is on the sticker at the bottom of the B-pillar between the doors:

 

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The date is on the sticker at the bottom of the B-pillar between the doors:
OK yea its there.

To have an ATF filter, your 2008 must have been made before June 2007. From the Aug 2007 TechTips:
You must be exactly right. Mine has the filter and is May of 07.
 

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This is definitely a low fluid case. I had the same issue when I, too, drained out 5.5+ qts (in my case, the dealer replaced my failed tranny and they overfilled the rebuilt one, so I actually had about 6 qts come out) and the issue went away as I slowly added more. That dipstick is hard as hell to read! You think it says full on the stick, but the fluid is just stuff that ran down the stick so I ended up having to fill it, leave the dip stick out, drive it a bit to check for sound (for me, it happened when pulling out of my garage, so I didn't have to go far) and when the sound went away, I drove it around the block a few times to get the fluid up to temp and put it through all the gears, then drove back into my garage, and put in the dipstick to check.

As for the ATF-PSF... I'm guessing this is the older spec ATF? I've never really seen a bottle of it since my dealer seems to only carry ATF-HP. In any case, most guys are using ATF-HP to drain and refill, even when they may have the older spec ATF in there, so I don't see mixing as an issue.
 
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