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· Registered
2002 forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Please excuse my ignorance. My wife drives a 2002 auto Forester. She took care of it until recently, when I started to do the maintenance myself. When I changed the oil I saw another identical oil filter on what appeared to be the transmission housing. I never saw/heard of this before (my only AWD car), and I didn’t see any mention of it in the users manual or my Haynes Forester car book. What exactly is this filter for and when/how it is changed? I’m guessing it’s changed when the trans fluid is changed as well?

Thanks.
 

· Super Moderator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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27,732 Posts
^^ what he said... Supposedly it's a lifetime filter and needs no replacement unless it's damaged.
 

· Registered
2006 Forester
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695 Posts
Never Change The Tranny Filter?

Wow...so the screw-on AT tranny filter shouldn't need changed unless damaged?:confused: I recently purchased a filter and fluid at the local dealer and they never mentioned this "lifetime" duration.

I'm still going to change the filter since I have it. But I have a hard time believeing in not changeing a filter that is so important, and especially since it is easily accessible and changeable.

EDIT: OK, I just did a search and read more threads which also confirm not changing the filter. Also the Service Menu for 30K does not state the filter change. Well, I got me a filter and now have nothing to do with it...guess I'll wait till 60K or 90K before considering using it.
 

· Registered
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59 Posts
The tranny is a closed system limiting the amount of fines / particulates available for the filter to trap. As the larger pores in the filter media become clogged, the filter becomes more efficient up to the point of it's dirt holding capacity & flow issues.
 

· Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,040 Posts
They say lifetime, but take your car to Jiffy Lube once, and it's a pretty safe bet that you'll have a new trans filter when you leave.

Talking to our dealership about those filters, is hilarious. Jiffy Lube calls up constantly ordering those filters because they drain the trans fluid instead of the oil.
 

· Registered
2002 Forester L Automagical
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304 Posts
Iffy lube is more like it!
 

· The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,209 Posts
I was trying to help a friend diagnose an issue with their VW Passat. I wanted to check the tranny fluid for them. Guess what, no dipstick! That's right they don't want you to mess with it, it's a sealed system for the lifetime (they say) the only way to check is similar to how a rear diff is checked. Remove some plugs down on the tranny under the car. I thought that was really odd.
 

· Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,040 Posts
When I was at school in West Virginia, a guy was changing a friends oil in the parking lot... at night... in the snow. It was something like 7,000 miles overdue. The car was a Hyundai Elantra.

He drains the fluid, dumps in the new oil, and comes inside to wash up.

There's an awful lot of red on his shirt, and the girl already drove away.

I said to him I says "John.... Why is your shirt red?"

He replies he says "It's oil. I just changed Monica's oil"

To this, I reply "but oil isn't red... ATF is red..."

Not 5 minutes later, a phone call comes in. Her car no longer moves and the engine is making funny noises. Come to find out, 8 quarts of oil in an Elantra doesn't do good things... nor does zero ATF.

That was the last I heard of it.
 

· Registered
2004 Forester XT
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292 Posts
When I was at school in West Virginia, a guy was changing a friends oil in the parking lot... at night... in the snow. It was something like 7,000 miles overdue. The car was a Hyundai Elantra.

He drains the fluid, dumps in the new oil, and comes inside to wash up.

There's an awful lot of red on his shirt, and the girl already drove away.

I said to him I says "John.... Why is your shirt red?"

He replies he says "It's oil. I just changed Monica's oil"

To this, I reply "but oil isn't red... ATF is red..."

Not 5 minutes later, a phone call comes in. Her car no longer moves and the engine is making funny noises. Come to find out, 8 quarts of oil in an Elantra doesn't do good things... nor does zero ATF.

That was the last I heard of it.

The filter on the transmissions is only for break in purposes, it serves no real other purpose (I'm sure it collects some other particles down the line). They were having problems with old transmissions during break in, particles lodging up the valve body and such. They solved this with the filter.
Jeremy
 

· Premium Member
2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,281 Posts
NOPE, That filter on the 2nd gen 4EAT was to moved from the EXTERNAL Filter added during a recall in 1990, and factory mounted on later model Legacies on the front frame rail instead of to the transmission itself. In FACT on those, it's not even a replaceable part, but you can still order it as a recall bill of material. It provides a secondary filtering if the main filter fails or ruptures since the original Duty Solenoids had very small passages and could easily clog.
That's why Subaru recommends it only be replaced in a transmission failure situation. Otherwise it's business as usual, normal fluid changes and the internal filter.
 
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· 30 Meters
2006 XTi - VF39 Protune!
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5,537 Posts
When I was at school in West Virginia, a guy was changing a friends oil in the parking lot... at night... in the snow. It was something like 7,000 miles overdue. The car was a Hyundai Elantra.

He drains the fluid, dumps in the new oil, and comes inside to wash up.

There's an awful lot of red on his shirt, and the girl already drove away.

I said to him I says "John.... Why is your shirt red?"

He replies he says "It's oil. I just changed Monica's oil"

To this, I reply "but oil isn't red... ATF is red..."

Not 5 minutes later, a phone call comes in. Her car no longer moves and the engine is making funny noises. Come to find out, 8 quarts of oil in an Elantra doesn't do good things... nor does zero ATF.

That was the last I heard of it.

Not good!
 

· Registered
1999 Forester S
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1 Posts
I purchased a 1999 Forester through a independent used car dealer. Car is almost perfect. Shortly after it was smoking from trany fluid blowing on to the exhaust system. Brought it back, they resealed trans pan . shortly after it was still leaking. They sealed it again. Daughter took it to college and told me it was still bad . I took it to a Subaru dealer and they fixed it for good. Subaru told me some one had instaled a aftermarket ENGINE OIL FILTER on the tranny instead of a Subaru tranny oil filter. This caused excessive internal pressure in the tranny and caused the trans fluid to blow out the vent ONTO - the pan. Only looked like the pan was leaking. I wonder......... if the reason this car hit the auction in the first place was for this. Either that or the dealer sent it out for an oil change at one of those quickie joints .
Anyway... we have a beautiful 99 Subi . Only a trained experienced Subaru mech would have id'ed this . Anyone else , it would have went right by them. Prob sold them a new tranny.
 

· Premium Member
2022 Forester Limited 2018 Forester XT
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16,607 Posts
Wow..go figure. Good information. Somewhere I had heard that this filter was identical with the engine filter. I would have replaced in in a few thousand miles.

Thanks. I need to become a contributing member.
 
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