CVT Fluid Level - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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CVT Fluid Level

Let me start out by admitting that I'm an idiot and accidentally drained 3.5 qts of CVT fluid during my first attempt at an oil change on my 2010 Outback. I was in a hurry and I'm used to large SUVs where the oil pan is further back than it is on the Outback. Either way, it was a dumb mistake, but I got 4 qts of fluid from my dealer and successfully put 3 qts back in. The issue is, I'm about half a quart short from what I measured I drained out. I put in as much as I could until it was draining back out of the fill hole fairly steady. The vehicle was at a slight incline from my floor jack. Should I take it to a place with a lift so the vehicle is level and see if they can get the last half quart in there or would that still be an acceptable level.

I figured I'd try here first before wasting the Subaru mechanic's time at my dealer. Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 12:47 PM
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Ouch, Im sorry to hear about that man.

Im sure someone more helpful will be along soon.

The CVT is something that i dont want to have anything to do with, ever.

I have a feeling we are going to be hearing about some issues with it in the next 2 years , I hope not though!

Good luck! Hopefully you dont have to take it to your dealer!

,Ryan
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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I was a little hesitant about that when I got mine, but I'm leasing for 3 yrs so it'll be a good test with warranty (provided my little drain didn't void it).
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ciscore View Post
I was a little hesitant about that when I got mine, but I'm leasing for 3 yrs so it'll be a good test with warranty (provided my little drain didn't void it).
If you're worried about the warranty, have the car towed to your Subie dealer. Worth $100 to not have to worry about it.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 02:02 PM
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The fluid fill/check plug is at the back of the tranny so if the front of the car is raised the tranny will appear full before it really is.

How are you filling transmission? Is there not enough room underneath to still access the fill hole without raising the front?

(The rear differential on my 07 has sort of the same issue -- vertical fill hole on the back of the case. There's enough room for me to get under the car, but not to pour the oil in. What I found is ideal is an outboard gear oil pump, such as this one:

Lower Unit Gear Lube Pump from Wholesale Marine

It fits (screws down) onto a standard 1 qt oil container, and the dip tube reaches just about to the bottom. The pump comes with a length of clear vinyl tubing at the output. There's a fitting at the end of the tube that fits the outboard. I removed it so that the tube fits easily into the differential. With the bottle on the ground, I can pump easily. Pumps such as this could be available at a marine supply house, at hardwares, places such as Harbor Freight or even Wall-Mart, as well as on-line.)
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plain OM View Post
The fluid fill/check plug is at the back of the tranny so if the front of the car is raised the tranny will appear full before it really is.

How are you filling transmission? Is there not enough room underneath to still access the fill hole without raising the front?

(The rear differential on my 07 has sort of the same issue -- vertical fill hole on the back of the case. There's enough room for me to get under the car, but not to pour the oil in. What I found is ideal is an outboard gear oil pump, such as this one:

Lower Unit Gear Lube Pump from Wholesale Marine

It fits (screws down) onto a standard 1 qt oil container, and the dip tube reaches just about to the bottom. The pump comes with a length of clear vinyl tubing at the output. There's a fitting at the end of the tube that fits the outboard. I removed it so that the tube fits easily into the differential. With the bottle on the ground, I can pump easily. Pumps such as this could be available at a marine supply house, at hardwares, places such as Harbor Freight or even Wall-Mart, as well as on-line.)
I needed to jack it up in order to get to the back of the tranny case. Maybe I could jack up the rear end and put in the last half quart?
I was using a hand pump that attaches to either a 1qt or 1gal container.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 04:48 PM
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I have a feeling we are going to be hearing about some issues with it in the next 2 years , I hope not though!
Why do you have this feeling?

ciscore, I would fill the transmission with the recommended volume of fluid specified in the service manual. You can always double check with the dealership. Your CVT will be fine.

Just because it is a CVT with a 'closed' lubrication system (don't ever have to change the fluid) does not mean that it is filled with magic. I changed the fluid on my 2000 Passat even though it was supposed to be lifetime lubricated.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 05:25 PM
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Why do you have this feeling?

ciscore, I would fill the transmission with the recommended volume of fluid specified in the service manual. You can always double check with the dealership. Your CVT will be fine.

Just because it is a CVT with a 'closed' lubrication system (don't ever have to change the fluid) does not mean that it is filled with magic. I changed the fluid on my 2000 Passat even though it was supposed to be lifetime lubricated.
I read somewhere that you shouuld change the fluid every 25000 miles if you do ALOT of towing.

,Ryan
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by combatmedic870 View Post
I read somewhere that you shouuld change the fluid every 25000 miles if you do ALOT of towing.
Yep, you are correct. Although the definition of "a lot" is a bit vague. I think the manual states if you do any towing you should change the fluid around 25k.

I occasionally tow a trailer so I will be doing a fluid change sometime.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 02:03 PM
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Waaaaaaaaaawhoooooo! I am right about something!

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