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01 S, 04 XT, 14 XT
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Discussion Starter #1
For anyone who has done a cold drain on their FXT CVT, where was your fluid level when you first cracked the level check (allen head) port?

I got, guessing here, over 2 quarts out of my fill port. Car was cold, pan was level.

Total fluid drained was just under 6 quarts, which matches what I had read to expect, but no one had mentioned it being over the level check port so it was a surprise.

Filled via the 14mm hex head bolt on upper passenger trans body, bolt was identical to drain plug.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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492 Posts
You cannot just drain and fill these CVT boxes. There is an extensive procedure involved with the correct fluid. May want to read up on it.
 

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01 S, 04 XT, 14 XT
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Discussion Starter #3
You cannot just drain and fill these CVT boxes. There is an extensive procedure involved with the correct fluid. May want to read up on it.
So much presumption and condescension in three little sentences. Thanks mom. :thumbsup:
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,217 Posts
You cannot just drain and fill these CVT boxes. There is an extensive procedure involved with the correct fluid. May want to read up on it.
That may be true if you are doing a complete drain and fill. But I can see no problem with draining x amount and filling with x amount.

The question here is: Does the fluid added up top go directly to the pan. If not there could be problems.

I would do more research but in the end it would be safe to add it to the plug level check.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe he was trying to give you some, what it sounds to me like, much needed good advice..And he is absolutely correct..
I don't know you guys anymore than you know me, but you're not addressing the question I asked for input on. This site has changed as the Subaru product has changed, Forester owners have always been a mixed bag of enthusiast and sensible but are definitely tending towards sensible with the SJ. I've gone off the page of the official factory guidebook on many transmissions, including other autos, CVT and DSG that have a similar procedure to the Subaru CVT on this Forester. I mod my cars, it takes experimentation, it's not for everyone and I don't try to convince anyone of what to do with their car unless they ask me.

There are plenty of discussions of the pros and cons of this transmission fluid change approaches but that's not what I'm addressing. I'm looking for input from people with first hand experience, as stated in the first sentence.

While I've got you here, thoughts on running with scissors? Sunscreen, yes or no? :nerd:
 

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01 S, 04 XT, 14 XT
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Discussion Starter #8
That may be true if you are doing a complete drain and fill. But I can see no problem with draining x amount and filling with x amount.

The question here is: Does the fluid added up top go directly to the pan. If not there could be problems.

I would do more research but in the end it would be safe to add it to the plug level check.
My thoughts as well. The fluid (which was very hard to wrestle from the dealer's hands) does seem to have gone directly to the pan from the upper fill port. Car is driving very well after change and the new fluid does seem to have improved trans action. I was just surprised that when cold it would be over the check port, the pump must move a lot of fluid when running.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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552 Posts
I don't know you guys anymore than you know me, but you're not addressing the question I asked for input on. This site has changed as the Subaru product has changed, Forester owners have always been a mixed bag of enthusiast and sensible but are definitely tending towards sensible with the SJ. I've gone off the page of the official factory guidebook on many transmissions, including other autos, CVT and DSG that have a similar procedure to the Subaru CVT on this Forester. I mod my cars, it takes experimentation, it's not for everyone and I don't try to convince anyone of what to do with their car unless they ask me.

There are plenty of discussions of the pros and cons of this transmission fluid change approaches but that's not what I'm addressing. I'm looking for input from people with first hand experience, as stated in the first sentence.

While I've got you here, thoughts on running with scissors? Sunscreen, yes or no? :nerd:
Please, dont run with scissors and oh yes, use plenty of sunscreen. I didnt give you any advice, I was just pointing out that I dont think he was being sarcastic or disrespectful.. Thats just the way you took his reply and mine.
 

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2014 Forester XT
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109 Posts
I believe he was trying to give you some, what it sounds to me like, much needed good advice..And he is absolutely correct..
I don't know you guys anymore than you know me, but you're not addressing the question I asked for input on. This site has changed as the Subaru product has changed, Forester owners have always been a mixed bag of enthusiast and sensible but are definitely tending towards sensible with the SJ. I've gone off the page of the official factory guidebook on many transmissions, including other autos, CVT and DSG that have a similar procedure to the Subaru CVT on this Forester. I mod my cars, it takes experimentation, it's not for everyone and I don't try to convince anyone of what to do with their car unless they ask me.

There are plenty of discussions of the pros and cons of this transmission fluid change approaches but that's not what I'm addressing. I'm looking for input from people with first hand experience, as stated in the first sentence.

While I've got you here, thoughts on running with scissors? Sunscreen, yes or no? <img src="http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/images/SubaruForester_2014/smilies/tango_face_glasses.png" border="0" alt="" title="Nerd" class="inlineimg" />
I try not to get into any arguments online since I'm too old for that stuff, but you're spot on. You asked a question, and were not getting an answer. People on here (albeit a few) have done a CVT drain and fill before, DIY, with no problems. While others have had this same service done at a dealer (who a lot of people here seem to trust with their lives) and had their CVT blow up immediately after.

I chalk it down to our cars. Yes, the Forester XT is a bit of an enthusiast car. However, there are a lot of not-enthusiasts here too, since the Forester range is wide and diverse. There are people here who mod their cars to no end, and others who think changing out the floor mats will void your warranty.

I'm guessing if you asked this on a WRX forum, you might get more help. I don't know if their CVT has the same fluid capacity and procedures but it might be worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Please, dont run with scissors and oh yes, use plenty of sunscreen. I didnt give you any advice, I was just pointing out that I dont think he was being sarcastic or disrespectful.. Thats just the way you took his reply and mine.
Obviously it's just my opinion, but neither of you has said anything to change my initial impression and if anything have reinforced it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I try not to get into any arguments online since I'm too old for that stuff, but you're spot on. You asked a question, and were not getting an answer. People on here (albeit a few) have done a CVT drain and fill before, DIY, with no problems. While others have had this same service done at a dealer (who a lot of people here seem to trust with their lives) and had their CVT blow up immediately after.

I chalk it down to our cars. Yes, the Forester XT is a bit of an enthusiast car. However, there are a lot of not-enthusiasts here too, since the Forester range is wide and diverse. There are people here who mod their cars to no end, and others who think changing out the floor mats will void your warranty.

I'm guessing if you asked this on a WRX forum, you might get more help. I don't know if their CVT has the same fluid capacity and procedures but it might be worth a look.
Thanks. I do try to monitor WRX, Legacy/Outback and BRZ forums as they all have bits of relevant info. I've benefited immeasurably in the past from folks who tried things I wasn't willing to and discussed their experiences online, I wish there was more FXT specific info available as it turns out there are more variations in new gen Subarus across model lines than there used to be. Trans and steering rack are my current question marks. We'll get there.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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While others have had this same service done at a dealer (who a lot of people here seem to trust with their lives) and had their CVT blow up immediately after.

It isn't a matter of trust, just that it the CVT blows up soon after they've worked on it they pay to fix it. If it blows after you change the fluid you will likely pay the ~$8k. Risking $8k to save $2-300 in labour costs is bad economics, imho.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,217 Posts
It isn't a matter of trust, just that it the CVT blows up soon after they've worked on it they pay to fix it. If it blows after you change the fluid you will likely pay the ~$8k. Risking $8k to save $2-300 in labour costs is bad economics, imho.
Who is going to know that you removed x quarts and replaced with x quarts?
In the U.S. we have the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1977 which says that the vehicle must fail specifically bc of an act the customer performed. Replacing oil does not qualify unless you did something wrong like put in the wrong fluid.

I understand what you are saying though.
 

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2016 XT Premium
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269 Posts
Filled via the 14mm hex head bolt on upper passenger trans body, bolt was identical to drain plug.
How many quarts did it take to refill it to the plug? And have you cracked the fill plug since to see if its still at the same level you left it at or overflowing again?

Its interesting that so much came from the fill port while cold and good to know the thing hasnt exploded on you since.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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My thoughts as well. The fluid (which was very hard to wrestle from the dealer's hands) does seem to have gone directly to the pan from the upper fill port. Car is driving very well after change and the new fluid does seem to have improved trans action. I was just surprised that when cold it would be over the check port, the pump must move a lot of fluid when running.
When you are talking "upper fill port" are you talking about the one below or is there on on top of the engine. If there is, can you take a pic of it.?
 

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2014 Forester XT Premium CVT
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Im very new to this forum and honestly, a brand new owner of a used 2014 "FXT" (lol)
it has about 70,000 miles
I plan to do an oil change, a "cold fill" tranny fluid exchange, and a differential fluid exchange... just kinda want to hit that reset button, ya know? Good idea?
Also, I bought Valvoline max life for the tranny... bad idea?
and would appreciate some links on how to do a cold fill. thx!
 

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2017 Forester XT
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184 Posts
Im very new to this forum and honestly, a brand new owner of a used 2014 "FXT" (lol)
it has about 70,000 miles
I plan to do an oil change, a "cold fill" tranny fluid exchange, and a differential fluid exchange... just kinda want to hit that reset button, ya know? Good idea?
Also, I bought Valvoline max life for the tranny... bad idea?
and would appreciate some links on how to do a cold fill. thx!
Use ONLY original Subaru high torque CVT fluid for the tranny... for the front and rear diff, you can use aftermarket oils
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i Tour CVT
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314 Posts
I found this on a/the Crosstrek forum -

AGAIN not my procedure but someone there posted what they did

Just did mine '16 XV; read about the PITA fill procedure and decided to try a different approach. Turns out the "fill port" on the driver's side of the front DIFFERENTIAL is actually a port into the CVT. You fill the diff through the same port on the passenger side. The plug on the driver's side in a similar location is sealed with an o-ring. I drained the CVT cold and carefully measure how much I got out - 5 qts. I also confirmed that I had fluid ABOVE the traditional fill fill port (side of the tranny) when the unit was cold. Replaced the tranny fill plug. Poured a bit of fluid into the port on the diff -- and confirmed that it ran out of the drain port on the tranny. Replaced the drain plug - and put 5 qts. into the tranny through the 'high' port on the diff - driver's side. Everything works like a champ. Much easier/more effective than the hit-miss fill procedure with the thing running.

====== not my procedure


MY THOUGHTS - I honestly dont understand how/why a COLD drain and refill could go bad - assuming you refill with the same amount that came out..

brian
 
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