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2013 Forester 5 speed
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an 08 Forester with auto trans w/ external filter (spin on)..

coming up on 50K and I'd like to change out the trans and diff fluids .. searched the forums here (and elsewhere) and get some conflicting info ..

I've read that the 08 doesn't have the spin on filter, but mine does. Pretty sure I have the 4EAT, how can I be sure?

upon checking the levels with the dipsticks it seems that both the front diff and the trans have gear oil in them (going by smell and color) ..

what are the recommended fluids for the trans, front and read diffs ?

I've read that the trans filter doesn't need changing, but I'd like to anyway .. what if any, are the issues and should I not bother?

I've also read that you can't fully change the trans fluid but need to do a 'dilution' with new fluid 3x to 'do the best you can', seems silly (and I thought subaru prided themselves on 'good' engineering?)

where is the fuel filter? I got a in line can type (Beck and Arnley 043-0979 ) from the parts store, but have read that they are in the tank on the newer Subys.

any other hints/tips/pointers appreciated ..

TIA
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,051 Posts
everybody has their own thoughts on fluids.

i tend to just replace filter and fluid at between 2 yr 24k to 3yr 36k miles and not bother with those machines that replace everything at once.

i'm certainly never going to have an auto tranny "flushed" using any chemical products b/c i had a suburban tranny with low miles go out and i believe that was a major cause if it.

i have also read and 08 fuel filter will be in the tank. from what others have said, it sounds like a good idea to wait until maybe 80 or 90kmi and just replace the pump with a walbro and the filter in the tank at the same time as preventive maintenance.

trans fluid can get brown looking with age but should still smell different than gear oil in the diffs (gear oil is very stinky). also, it is noticeably thinner when cold than gear oil.

just be sure you carefully you review owner's manual and/or shop manuals and understand exactly where each fluid comes out and where to add each fluid. plenty of people get them mixed up.
 

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Registered
2013 Forester 5 speed
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
everybody has their own thoughts on fluids.
agreed, I like synthetic .. found I need API GL-5 and looks like 75W90 is the way to go ..

i tend to just replace filter and fluid at between 2 yr 24k to 3yr 36k miles and not bother with those machines that replace everything at once.
read around and someone somewhere suggested using the tranny cooler lines .. disconnect them, put the supply side in a jug with fresh fluid and the return side in a catch bucket .. does this work? does the tranny need to be in drive for the pump to spin? will it spin w/o the car moving?

i'm certainly never going to have an auto tranny "flushed" using any chemical products b/c i had a suburban tranny with low miles go out and i believe that was a major cause if it.
agree again, I've never liked 'flushing' anything but the 'ole toity :biggrin: ..

i have also read and 08 fuel filter will be in the tank. from what others have said, it sounds like a good idea to wait until maybe 80 or 90kmi and just replace the pump with a walbro and the filter in the tank at the same time as preventive maintenance.
good plan for the 100k change, I'd still like to confirm the location, find the right part and do it now (at 50K) ..

trans fluid can get brown looking with age but should still smell different than gear oil in the diffs (gear oil is very stinky). also, it is noticeably thinner when cold than gear oil.
I've got an '89 F-250 4x4 .. I know what gear oil smells like .. and I doubt the stuff in my tranny was ever red (like most tranny fluid I'm familiar with) ..

still wondering what to use though .. found this thread (guess I need more posts, even though the thread was from subaruforester.org, ***??) and it's still not very clear ..

checked the tranny again (it's warm now) and the fluid is much thinner and not so 'stinky' now .. maybe I just had a nose full of the diff fluid last time ..

just be sure you carefully you review owner's manual and/or shop manuals and understand exactly where each fluid comes out and where to add each fluid. plenty of people get them mixed up.
bought it used and don't have any manuals .. hence the questions here ..

but I know the front diff fluid goes in the dip stick tube on the pass side (in the US), down low, towards the back, and the dip stick is less than a foot long ..

the tranny fluid goes in the dip stick tube, drivers side (in the US) towards the back, not as low, and the dip stick is more than a foot long ..

rear diff is just like those on my truck, two plugs .. drain thru the low one, fill thru the top 'till it trickles out ..
 
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