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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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It would be good to show a photo of the funnel required for filling the auto transmission and the front differential... I got a separate funnel for each fluid, since the corrugations retain some fluid and I didn't want to use the same funnel for both.
Here is a funnel with tube from the forum:
http://www.subaruforester.org/gallery/file.php?n=289&w=o
Auto stores sell cheap transmission funnels with a corrugated tube and a rigid nozzle that fits into the filler tube of the 4EAT and the filler hole of the front differential.
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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4,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,712 Posts
This is something that I always wondered about. I always used the cold reference because I would be adding cold fluid. Just how much do you need to drive it to get a good "hot" read?
My understanding is when its up to operating temp. That would be several miles during summer, more in winter. It might actually take longer than the engine bc it is actually heated/cooled by the radiator.
 

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2009 x 4EAT
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40 Posts
Great tool for Diff oil

I just did the rear and front differential drain and fill on my 2009 X today. When I bought the oil at Advance Auto, I asked about a tool to pump these oils, and was shown an inexpensive ($10) Performance Tools pump. It works great, even on the front differential, though a rag under to catch a couple of drops is a good idea.
 

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1972 Datsun 510 Manual
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96 Posts
Well I made a major mistake today...I have a 08 Forester XT with a 4EAT, and from the pics I assumed the filling tube for the tranny was what is shown in the second pic. For future reference, please don't fill you trans fluid here!!!!!!! WOW what an ordeal. If I knew it was goint to be this bad I would have taken it to the shop.

By the way if you have an oversized aftermarket TMIC the trans dipstick may be impossible to get to with out removing the intercooler. I don't know if there is a better way, but that is what happend to me today. So, after wasting about 1 gal of AMSOIL trans fluid filling the already full front diff, and removing the TMIC to do a fluid change I thing I will be takink it to the shop from now on.

I guess the best lessons are hardest learned.

Pics before and after the mayhem...Thanks to my boy Ryan for all his help!!
 

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2009 Forester
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1 Posts
Hi Everyone, Just have to tell someone! Last week had Walmart change my engine 2009 / 57,000m Forrester's oil. Car ran poorly on 25 mile ride home. Checked tranny fluid and, guess what? not enough to touch the end of the dip stick. Long story short: Walmart drained the tranny and not the engine, but they did add another 4 qts engine oil to the engine on top of what was there to begin with. After a week of investigation they admitted fault and referred case to their insurance. Insurance would pay only to have car towed to shop, fluids replaced; evaluated by shop; and two days of rental car. Shop said that car seems to have suffered no damage. So no further compensation. Guys at shop all agreed that given the history they wouldn't pay book value for the car, but Walmart's insurance company won't cover the difference. I know this isn't the first time this error has happened. But suggest readers think twice before letting Walmart have your business... Chris
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,712 Posts
Shop said that car seems to have suffered no damage. So no further compensation. Guys at shop all agreed that given the history they wouldn't pay book value for the car, but Walmart's insurance company won't cover the difference. I know this isn't the first time this error has happened. But suggest readers think twice before letting Walmart have your business... Chris
I think those of us on the board are well aware of this, unfortunately.

Get an oil analysis done at Blackstone Labs If the analysis (on the auto tranny) comes back with high metals, go back to Walmart and tell them you intend to take them to small claims court. If they refuse..you take them to court.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,064 Posts
We have seen many private parties here on the forum make this same mistake, many times it is the reason for their first that brings them here.

I think what throws many people off and allows for the screw up is the fact that the engine is so short front to back and sits in front of the front wheels. People who are in a hurry(lube/repair shop) or owner who doesn't know, doesn't give whats above the belly pan a second look.

The only thing you can do is push back at them, get a second opinion, trans oil analysis which will look for high wear materials and give you and idea of the transmissions overall health. Once you have these opinions and evidence, push back. With this you have potential evidence for legal recourse, which they will likely want to avoid.
 

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2004 Forester XS Automatic
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159 Posts
Almost made the same mistake myself on an 04 Forester auto non-turbo.

The dipstick on the passenger's side was labelled "diff", so that obviously was the front differential. The dipstick on the driver's side has hot and cold levels for the fluid, so that's your indication it's transmission.

So, when in doubt, verify using the dipsticks before filling.
 

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98 subaru 5 speed
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11 Posts
I'll take some pictures today/tomorrow if I can get enough light in my garage. My 4eat XT is sitting up on ramps with the entire intake manifold and everything removed so all the dipsticks and drain plugs are easily visible.


Earlier SF models do not have the torx plug for the front diff, but instead have a square drive like the rear diff (the switch to the torx happened sometime in 02 or 03).
Would the square drive in a 98 be 3/4"? I can see the rear end pretty easily, and it looks about that size. It's another trip to the parts store if it isn't....
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,712 Posts
Its 13 mm I assume. 1/2 " breaker bar will work. Don't ue an impact. Best to back it up on ramps and use a breaker bar for good leverage.
 

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98 subaru 5 speed
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11 Posts
Its 13 mm I assume. 1/2 " breaker bar will work. Don't ue an impact. Best to back it up on ramps and use a breaker bar for good leverage.
Is it the same size front and rear? Some pb blaster and the breaker bar should work well together again if that's the case.
 

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2011 Forester auto
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11 Posts
Getting back to the auto-trannie fluid. Rather than just say "get your fluid at the Subie dealer",... what type does an '06 2.5X use? Pre '06 I understand it's Dex III.
thecruiser
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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4,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
'06 is ATF-HP. If you don't want to get it from Subaru, just google ATF-HP and you should find all the information you need. You can get it from a number of sources, including Beck-Arnley, which stocks all Subaru spec fluids. Valvoline, Mobil 1, and Amsoil also all make multi-vehicle synthetic transmission fluids which claim to be compatible with it.
 

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2011 Forester XT
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59 Posts
Great thread for me to find as my Forester is now off warranty and I want to change all the diffs and tranny oils. The only question I have is, does the transfer case and transmission share the same oil?. I can't find anything about it. Maybe my search and reading skills are a bit off. Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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4,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
There is no transfer case. There is a front diff, and a rear diff. The front diff shares the same fluid as the transmission in the manual transmission models, not the automatic transmission.
 

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'19 Forester LTD CVT
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3,248 Posts
Great thread for me to find as my Forester is now off warranty and I want to change all the diffs and tranny oils. The only question I have is, does the transfer case and transmission share the same oil?. I can't find anything about it. Maybe my search and reading skills are a bit off. Any guidance would be appreciated.
Agreed with gurove above.

You need the rear diff (75w-90 NON LS, generally you can tell it is non LS by the lack of limited slip/LS being on the label) and front diff (75W-90 NON LS again). The transmission (auto) take about 3.5-4 qts at a time. It takes about 3 drain and refills to change most of the fluid.
 
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