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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #1
I know pretty much everybody avoids this, but I guess I'm feeling brave and wondering if anybody out there has changed their automatic transmission. I haven't really paid attention to the tranny when I change the oil, but I'm assuming there is a lower line that can be disconnected to drain into a pan and then I just need to keep putting fluid in the top until it comes out clean. I'm assuming the car would have to be in drive (with the brake set obviously) to make this work. Yes, I'm crazy, but has anybody else tried this? I may have to just finish the diffs and take it somewhere to have the tranny flushed, but my brave side feels like giving it a go.
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #4
Black98 said:
I'm fairly new but I'd say scoobymods.com does have a how-to for the 4EAT fluid change.
I would agree, but I haven't found anything over there besides manual tranmission changes, which are usually simple, and some guys who just drained and refilled the tranny. I'm trying to do more of a flush and get the fuild out of the torque convertor as well since the drain and refill method only gets about half the fluid out if I remember correctly.
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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Attached .pdf
 

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2004 Forester XT
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Black98 said:
Errrrrr....that's the instructions for the front diff....not to be a smarta**.

I'm fairly new but I'd say scoobymods.com does have a how-to for the 4EAT fluid change.
My fault, I am a moron.:tongue:
 

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2003 Forester X
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121 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ferret said:
Attached .pdf
Thanks, I'll save that. I'm guessing if I drop the drain plug it's going to rush out too quickly to fill from the top as it runs out? Anybody crazy enough like me to try this?
 

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I change it per the manual, and I do it often, because that only changes out about half of the total volume.
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #9
MountainBiker said:
I change it per the manual, and I do it often, because that only changes out about half of the total volume.
That's a good approach, it's just that I bought mine used almost a year ago and it's got 55k on it now and I'm sure it's never been changed so I'm trying to get all of the old fluid out of there.
 
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My procedure to change fluid is somewhat bizarre, but to each his own?

The total capacity is around 10 qts., and I can only get about 4 qts. per fluid change. Sooo......I buy a case and do the procedure 3 times. I figure by the 3rd "change" it's an acceptable % of fresh fluid.

I DO NOT trust places with the machines that flush the trannys. Too many horror stories.
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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Black98 said:
My procedure to change fluid is somewhat bizarre, but to each his own?

The total capacity is around 10 qts., and I can only get about 4 qts. per fluid change. Sooo......I buy a case and do the procedure 3 times. I figure by the 3rd "change" it's an acceptable % of fresh fluid.

I DO NOT trust places with the machines that flush the trannys. Too many horror stories.
That's pretty much how I do my AT fluid change too.
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #12
Black98 said:
My procedure to change fluid is somewhat bizarre, but to each his own?

The total capacity is around 10 qts., and I can only get about 4 qts. per fluid change. Sooo......I buy a case and do the procedure 3 times. I figure by the 3rd "change" it's an acceptable % of fresh fluid.

I DO NOT trust places with the machines that flush the trannys. Too many horror stories.
I guess I could do that. I was considering switching over to a synthetic since I use synthetic in every other fluid. Any harm in mixing the synthetic with the conventional stuff?
 
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There is no harm in that, the synthetic is compatible with the conventional Dexron III.
Just take care to refill with the same amount you take out, making sure you don't overfill.
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,969 Posts
I just had the tranny fluid changed in my 03 XS (Subi Dexrom III fluid) along with a new tranny filter (as a pre-caution) & the car is going just fantastic. I will consider using a Dexron III synthetic next time around (Castrol Syntec Dexron III is the only one I know of that matches perfectly). :)
 

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It's easier to change the tranny fluid than the oil. I change tranny fluid everytime I change out oil. The frequency keeps it fresh enough not to have to worry about doing a flush and changing it all out at the same time.

I changed out the filter too when we got ours at 51k miles on it as I was pretty sure they never changed fluid up to that point. I'm not saying do it as it is an expensive little buzzard, I just wanted to have a fresh start with the car and know what I had...
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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FWIW, I will never again use AT synthetic fluid in my Forester. My first drained was done using Mobil 1 Syn AT fluid. I suspect the syn fluid caused the tranny to slip when upshifting. It got rather annoying at times and even gots "bangs" during upshifts. Many Subie folks I have talked too advise me not to use syn fluid for the AT because it is too "thin" for our trannies. I flushed out the syn fluid and went back to conventional AT fluids and the problems went away.
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #17
That's interesting. It does seem like I mostly hear of people using conventional fluids in automatic transmissions. I just tend to default to synthetic fluids.
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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sclough said:
That's interesting. It does seem like I mostly hear of people using conventional fluids in automatic transmissions. I just tend to default to synthetic fluids.
I was going to do the same thing.......it was advised by many here, & I also spoke with 2 service managers plus SOA......all advised to stick with the 'regular' Dexron III stuff.......I took their advice. :)
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #19
Given that the consensus seems to be away from synthetics, and that trying to flush the fluid manually is going to be a major pain to say the least, I'll probably just buy up some conventional fluid and change it 3 or 4 times as I change the oil and do a filter change the first time. That would still be cheaper than paying somebody to change it I think and I always feel better about things when I worl on my car. Anybody know what kind of fluid Subaru uses in there? I'm used to manual fluid and not familiar with automatics. Can I just use an Dextron III? (I'm not trying to spark a "favorite oil" type thread :roll: .
 

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Dexron III of your favorite brand.

It would sure be nice if you put in a signature so everyone could see your model and year. That would help here, since '06 uses a different fluid.
 
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