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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I will be taking our 2003 Forester XS (auto) to our local dealer for some maintenance in the near future & have a few questions before I do.

First the transmission

- Do most do a 100% fluid change or just a drain & fill? What are the capacities of each (with & without replacing the tranny filter)? The Subaru owners manual is a little 'grey' on this subject.

- wise to replace the tranny pan gasket as a preventitive measure? (there are no leaks present, but again the car has 55k miles).

- I understand that the Forester has a 'spin on' type of tranny filter with the automatic transmission. The car has about 55k miles on her......would it be a wise idea when I do a tranny fluid change to replace this item at the same time or how long are they good for? (time & mileage). Do you recommend using a Subaru replacement filter or something else? I am considering perhaps an Amsoil tranny filter.

- How much am I looking to spend (ballpark prices now) on the above service if I do the 'drain & fill' or 100% fluid change?

How much for the 'Subaru' tranny filter?

Front & rear Diffs

- O.E. Subaru fluids or synthetic? I know that many use Motul......what about Amsoil? How long (time & mileage) for each between intervals (normal service schedule as it is mostly highway driving, not severe service).

- I would also like to keep things simple & use the same viscosity grade for both front & rear diffs if possible (75w90). Is this a wise idea? Please advise.

- What other items (plug gaskets/washers etc) should I be doing (or consider) with these fluid changes?

- How much for this service (ballpark for dino & synthetic)?

I will also be doing an engine coolant flush (Subaru coolant along with the coolant conditioner) which is pretty straightforward.....unless anyone wants to add or suggest something related to this service......I am all ears. :)

I appreciate the replies everyone. ;)
 

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ATF drain plug and refill takes ~ 4.5 quarts. I use mobil 1 7590 in both differentals.
 
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Maintenance

I don't mean to sound like a smarta55, but why not call the dealer and ask how much this is going to cost? How are we to know how much your local dealer wants to charge for all of this ?

As far as the differential goes, it is easy to do yourself. It's actually the easiest friggin thing to to aside from filling the washer fluid. Gear oil is relatively cheap, and even the full synthetic is only $8 a bottle.

As far as full tranny flush, you are probably looking at $160 +/-
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
foresterFL said:
I don't mean to sound like a smarta55, but why not call the dealer and ask how much this is going to cost? How are we to know how much your local dealer wants to charge for all of this ?

As far as the differential goes, it is easy to do yourself. It's actually the easiest friggin thing to to aside from filling the washer fluid. Gear oil is relatively cheap, and even the full synthetic is only $8 a bottle.

As far as full tranny flush, you are probably looking at $160 +/-
I will be calling the dealer about prices......I was just curious to ask the folks here first roughly what they pay to better educate myself.

The tranny flush price you mention.....is that a drain & fill or 100% fluid change at that price?
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Bump,

Anybody else?
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,052 Posts

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Peaty,

I will take your advice & let the dealer do the engine coolant flush & the Tranny flush. ;)

As for the front & rear diff's, do I need to change any plug gaskets/washers on either of those plugs? Please advise & thanks! :)
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,052 Posts
The rear has no gasket, there is supposed to be a sealing compound but I just use a little Teflon tape on the threads. The front has a gasket that is supposed to be replaced, however I've reused mine a few times with no leaks.

For the rear I suggest going to the local auto store and getting a pump that you can stick in the bottle. The pump is not expensive and helps a lot. It will look like a big condiment dispenser type pump with a hose attached to the end. (see attached pic) Also, one other thing, make sure you remove the top plug before the bottom. Last thing you want is to remove the bottom and have a problem removing the top. Then you will be stuck with a car you can't drive anywhere to get tools if you need something bigger. To remove the plugs in the rear I just stuck my 1/2" beaker bar in the hole (no socket on the end) that works fine. Make sure the car is level, so you fill it up properly. If you use Teflon on the plugs when you put them back in, do not go crazy tight, just make them snug.
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Peaty (and to all), you've been a huge help. Truly a Yoda among Subi experts. ;)

I just contacted my Subi dealer (spoke with the service manager about prices, etc)...he suggested I use 80w90 for both diffs, but I think I will have the the diff fluids changed at my independent mechanic (I prefer the 75w90 fluids personally) along with the oil change (they have all the tools for the diff fluids I'm sure).

I'm going to do the Subi dealer for the engine coolant flush (along with the related conditioner) & a tranny 'drain & fill' & I will have them replace the tranny filter as well (as recommended). The prices are very reasonable considering it's the dealer. $59.95 (Canadian) for the complete engine coolant flush & the same for the tranny drain & fill (tranny filter is extra).
 

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06 X Auto
2006 Auto Auto
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976 Posts
Peaty, where are the best places to support the car? I noticed yours is raised the the photo above. I plan on buying a jack and stands but I haven't a clue of where to support the car without ruining something. Thanks!
 

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Lexusfreak said:
.........The prices are very reasonable considering it's the dealer. $59.95 (Canadian) for the complete engine coolant flush & the same for the tranny drain & fill (tranny filter is extra).
I changed out my tranny filter when we bought ours but that's not something you'll see on a maintenance schedule and that little jewell cost ~$35 US....FYI.


ogopogo said:
Peaty, where are the best places to support the car? I noticed yours is raised the the photo above. I plan on buying a jack and stands but I haven't a clue of where to support the car without ruining something. Thanks!
http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2673

Registration on that site if free if you haven't already and then you'll get to see the pictures :)
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Castrol Syntec 75w90?

Anybody have experience with Castrol Syntec 75w90 synthetic gear oil?

If so, please advise.....as Amsoil was astronomical in price!
 

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Premium Member
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114 Posts
Lexusfreak said:
Anybody have experience with Castrol Syntec 75w90 synthetic gear oil?

If so, please advise.....as Amsoil was astronomical in price!
That's what's in mine right now and I haven't had any issues for the past 6k miles or so it's been in there....
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
BigC said:
That's what's in mine right now and I haven't had any issues for the past 6k miles or so it's been in there....
Do you notice a difference at all (even slightly good or bad, less 'chattering' etc?) compared to what you previously had in there? (conventional or O.E. Subaru fluid?).
 

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Premium Member
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114 Posts
Lexusfreak said:
Do you notice a difference at all (even slightly good or bad, less 'chattering' etc?) compared to what you previously had in there? (conventional or O.E. Subaru fluid?).
No difference at all from what I can tell although I wasn't having any issues with them (diffs.). I had 60k on the car and I thought it was time to change it ;)
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
Joined
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3,970 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
BigC said:
No difference at all from what I can tell although I wasn't having any issues with them (diffs.). I had 60k on the car and I thought it was time to change it ;)
We've got 55k miles on ours so were on the same page. Thanks! ;)
 
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