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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm pretty happy with my '09 Forester so far. One (hopefully) minor nit is that the drivetrain seems a bit "whiny".

I checked the oil level in the transaxle (MT and front diff combo) this AM and it's right at the low marker. I'm inclined to add some 75W-90 gear oil to raise the level closer to the full marker, but I'm not inclined to mix oils.

Does anyone know what brand 75W-90 gear oil Subaru uses in their transaxle? Alternately, I'll just empty the TA and refill it with a synthetic from Amsoil or Mobil 1.

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #2

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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As far as the factory, goes it is probably the extra-S. Most dealers use what ever they can get their hands on the cheapest, Mobil, Castrol......
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,235 Posts
Put in any 75W-90 you want. No big deal. On the other hand....drain and fill with say Mobil 1 75W-90 for example. Don forget to get the T-70 Torx available at Autozone or on line.
 

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2010 Forester
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I'm pretty happy with my '09 Forester so far. One (hopefully) minor nit is that the drivetrain seems a bit "whiny".

I checked the oil level in the transaxle (MT and front diff combo) this AM and it's right at the low marker. I'm inclined to add some 75W-90 gear oil to raise the level closer to the full marker, but I'm not inclined to mix oils.

Does anyone know what brand 75W-90 gear oil Subaru uses in their transaxle? Alternately, I'll just empty the TA and refill it with a synthetic from Amsoil or Mobil 1.

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
I really doubt that an '09 needs a diff oil change at this point. If you hear the diff, I suggest taking it to a dealer (still on warranty, right) and at least register your complaint if nothing else. I also seriously doubt the lube change will do anything to improve the sound of the diff.
When it is time to change, however, I'd go full synthetic.
Bob
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Good plan on the 13 mm. I need to do that. Anyone find it cheaper??
I looked around... no luck. Perhaps it's an offset to AutoZone's almost giveaway price ($3.99) on the big T70 bit. :icon_wink:

If you hear the diff, I suggest taking it to a dealer (still on warranty, right) and at least register your complaint if nothing else. I also seriously doubt the lube change will do anything to improve the sound of the diff.
Probably correct. The "whine" -- which is noticeable but not really all that bad -- goes away after the car warms up. However, I would like the transaxle's oil level to be closer to the full mark than right at the low mark.

I don't believe that my car is normally subject to "severe duty" conditions, but, with winter just around the corner here in Virginia, I'll probably take it in for its 3-3/4 month / 3,750 mile oil & filter change interval in mid-December. I'll ask the dealer to top off the transaxle at that time.

And, yeah, both ends will get synthetic oil when I do the drain and refill.

Thanks again, Gents.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer

Update: I found this interesting looking gizmo on eBay. It's ~US$15.54 including shipping from the UK to the USA.

DRAIN PLUG KEY 8mm & 13mm SQUARE [1578] SUMP PLUG TOOL on eBay (end time 09-Dec-09 13:24:14 GMT)

Here's a Google search string to a few more hits.
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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***Don't use a gear oil that contains limited slip friction modifiers in the manual transmission.***

Most GL-5's on the retail shelf have limited slip friction modifiers. If the label says it can be used for both conventional and limited slip differentials, then it has the LS friction modifiers and stay away from it for the manual trans. It may make the shifting notchier.


I enjoy experimentation with this sort of thing and eventually will probably end up putting in Motul Gear 300 75W90-- no LS friction modifiers but a very strong synthetic 100% Group V Ester base gear oil. Of all types of oil, Ester synthetic clings to metal the best.

There is also a popular cocktail of 3 parts Motul Gear 300 and 1 part Redline Lightweight Shockproof that many guys swear by.

The Subaru 5MT trans is very finicky about gear oil it seems, as far as shift smoothness.
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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Also,make sure the car is perfectly level to get an accurate reading on the dipstick. My garage has a very slight grade not apparent to the eye until you look at the slab where it meets the foundation blocks on the sides, typical of residential garages for drainage. I place a carpenter's level on the slab and the bubble is 1/8" off from center. And so if I check the dipstick the fluid level will show slightly low. I have two small boards 5/8" thick that I roll the rear wheels up onto and that compensates for the slab's drainage grade and puts the car level. Just pointing this out because a parking surface can look level when its not truly level.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for the tips, LR.

I had already planned on a non-LS gear oil. I mentioned Mobil 1 earlier, research has since revealed that their 75W-90 appears to only be available in an LS formula.

I've had very good luck in the past with Amsoil, so I may stick their products, which are available locally, and appear to not include LS friction modifiers:

AMSOIL - SEVERE GEAR® Synthetic Extreme Pressure (EP) Lubricant 75W-140 (SVO) or
AMSOIL - Long Life Synthetic Gear Lube SAE 75W-90 (FGR)

My garage floor has a slight front-to-back downward tilt to it, but it'll be easy to compensate for that.

Finally, can we double check this formula for the "magic cocktail":

There is also a popular cocktail of 3 parts Motul Gear 300 and 1 part Redline Lightweight Shockproof that many guys swear by.
I though it was 50/50 or 75% Redline / 25% Motul. More here.

Thanks again,
Jim / crewzer
 

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07 FXT sport
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for my 02 wrx mt, i've had really good luck with plain old conventional valvoline 75w-90.

194,000 miles and still going strong!!

dm
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #13
^ Impressive! How often do you change the gear oil in the MT and rear diff?

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
 

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07 FXT sport
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^ Impressive! How often do you change the gear oil in the MT and rear diff?

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
I've been aiming for a 30k change out cycle. I want to state that i've been using the valvoline 75w-90 for the MT and mobil 1 75w-90 for the rear diff..

the history of my changes (just because i have them on an excel spreadsheet) for the 02 wrx has been:

33k
54k
94k
120k
147k
182k

dm
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #15
dm,

Thanks for the extra info. May I ask about why the different gear oils front and rear?

And, sort of related to this discussion, here's a link to a shameless non-profit plug.

Thanks,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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I'm going to suggest using the same oil for front and rear for what is probably me being too anal or OCD but... we have 'symetrical' AWD so why not keep the fluids 'symetrical' as well and thus the same lubricity and co-efficient of friction happening in both diff's? Although it may not make any difference because the temperature of each diff is certainly not 'symetrical'-- the oil the front diff receives gets much hotter than the rear diff oil, just feel the manual trans vs. the rear diff after driving. So the rear diff would seem to be running in higher viscosity than the front diff most of the time even if the same oil used, due to rear diff tending to run cooler. Over analyzed. I think too much.

P.S. cannot access the shameless non-profit plug linked page, says I don't have permission.
 

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07 FXT sport
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dm,

Thanks for the extra info. May I ask about why the different gear oils front and rear?

And, sort of related to this discussion, here's a link to a shameless non-profit plug.

Thanks,
Jim / crewzer
In my case the 02 wrx trannies didn't seem to care for the synthetic fluid, so I did the conventional from the beginning and stayed with it. In my 02 wrx the front diff and tranny share the same fluid, I'm not sure how the recent forester xt mt's are setup.

For our 07 fxt 4eat I put in mobil 1 75w-90 in both the front and rear diffs.

dm
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Discussion Starter #18
In my 02 wrx the front diff and tranny share the same fluid, I'm not sure how the recent forester xt mt's are setup.
dm,

Thanks for the extra info. My 09 Forester's MT is a transaxle with the MT and front diff sharing the same gear oil.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2004 FXT
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1,632 Posts
Personally, I don't think that the factory fill is Extra-S. I'm currently running Extra-S and it has a very low pour point for a conventional oil (as seen in the MSDS) and was much easier to shift in the cold than when I had factory fill. edit: Unless, of course, they made it the factory fill in the past couple of years.

Amsoil Long Life does not have friction modifiers, but I wasn't happy with its cold weather shifting. Amsoil Severe Gear has FM's. I used it for 20k and then it started to grind. I dumped it for the Extra-S and it's probably my favorite gear oil (other than a no longer made gear oil by a tribologist at bobistheoilguy.com called Specialty Formulations).

-Dennis
 
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