ATF for MY07– which oem Subaru fluid to use, standard (Dexron III type) or HP type? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 07-09-2007, 07:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ATF for MY07– which oem Subaru fluid to use, standard (Dexron III type) or HP type?

My question is not about synthetic or aftermarket AT fluids of which I know there are choices. Rather, it’s about the correct Subaru AT fluid to use in my MY07 OB (mfr 09/06). My problem is an inconsistency in the Subaru documentation.

I don’t know if it is the same for the models sold in the US, but the Subaru owner’s manual that came with the car (which appears to be intended for both US and Canadian markets) recommends only Subaru HP AT fluid or equivalent. (Maintenance and service section, page 11-23). Dexron III is not listed at all for the AT. Moreover, on the next page there is the following bold-font “NOTE” in regard to the 4-speed AT:

[quote] For 4-speed automatic transmission:

For optimum transmission performance, only use the automatic transmission fluid that is recommended and provided by Subaru.

If the recommended automatic transmission fluid is unavailable, Dexron III may be temporarily used. If the Dexron III is used continuously there will be a noticeable increase in the vibration and noise from the automatic transmission.
[end quote]

Well, I’m not interested in increased vibration and noise, so if I understand the Owner’s Manual, I should not use Dexron III at all; rather, I should stick to the Subaru HP (or equivalent recommended) fluids.

However, in addition to the Owner’s Manual, the car came with the “Subaru Warranty/Maintenance and Roadside Assistance Booklet”. This is Canada-specific and has in it, on page 23-24, the “2007 Canadian Minimum Maintenance Recommendations” (i.e. periodic maintenance schedule). On the line for the 4EAT transmission fluid there’s a note, #3, which says:

[quote] Replace every 48,000 km (USE ATF - Dextron [sic] Fluid only) [unquote]

So the Owner’s manual and the warranty/maintenance book seem to be at odds – one says use HP, the other says only Dexron.

I checked the 07 Service Manual (downloaded from Subaru America) and it too mentions only the HP-type fluid. And to top this off, the December 2006 issue of TechTIPS (page 2) notes that “Starting with the 2006MY, all 5A/T and 4DAT transmissions are required to have the ‘HP’ designated transmission fluid.”

I don’t know if there is a difference in the ATF required for OBs with the 4EAT assembled for the US market versus those intended for Canada, but I would find that rather surprising.

I asked at my dealer’s service department. They entered the VIN number in the parts computer to find the “proper” ATF fluid. The number that came up was for “Subaru ATF” (one litre black plastic bottle, red label), but this was not the HP version. The parts department noted that they also do stock the HP fluid. (The Subaru ATF bottle that I was shown did not say whether it is Dexron III type, but it certainly was not HP.)

Unfortunately, the Subaru Canada website does not have any “contact us” information otherwise I would write to them.

I’m really puzzled. I now have about 11,000 km on the car and had planned to drain and refill the AT sump (4 - 5 litres) regularly (more frequently than the maximum 48,000 km). I certainly don’t want to risk unnecessary noise and vibration, and I do want to not only meet the Subaru requirements but also do what I can to ensure longevity. But how can I find out what fluid was originally intended/installed and what it should be?
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: ATF for MY07– which oem Subaru fluid to use, standard (Dexron III type) or HP typ

Quote:
Originally posted by plain OM

Unfortunately, the Subaru Canada website does not have any “contact us” information otherwise I would write to them.
Sure they do. I used the "site map" link on the bottom of the page to find it.
Quote:
Contact Us
If you have any concerns or questions about your current Subaru, please call our Consumer Support specialists.


Telephone
1-800-894-4212
08:30 - 17:30 Eastern time.

Mail
Subaru Canada, Inc
560 Suffolk Court
Mississauga, ON
L5R 4J7
Email

Unfortunately, contact by email is temporarily unavailable. We are currently updating our systems to serve you better.

Please contact us at 1-800-894-4212
As for an answer to your question, I'm not 100% sure but I think you want the HP stuff. The one reference to Dexron was probably a hold-over from previous years that was missed when they did updates.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default My.Subaru.com

Couple of avenues you might follow up on:

1. Contact: My.Subaru.com (online) https://my.subaru.com/login/login.jsp

Create yourself an account, or contact them directly:

Should you wish to contact someone by telephone, you can call our Customer/Dealer Services at 1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783), Monday through Thursday 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM ET and Friday 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM ET.


2. Try contacting the oil companies:

http://www.valvoline.com/pages/conta...asp?product=63


Good Luck!
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: ATF for MY07– which oem Subaru fluid to use, standard (Dexron III type) or HP typ

Quote:
Originally posted by ivwarrior


Sure they do. I used the "site map" link on the bottom of the page to find it.


As for an answer to your question, I'm not 100% sure but I think you want the HP stuff. The one reference to Dexron was probably a hold-over from previous years that was missed when they did updates.
Thanks. My understanding of "site map" links has been improved. I didn't know that the "site map" link (small print at the bottom) would have more pages and information.

Too bad the e-mail isn't working, but I'll try calling them today and see if I can get a definitive answer.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you decide which fluid to use? I think you need the Idemistu/Subaru-HP ATF. It's about $6/qt in the U.S. Idemitsu is a big oil player in Japan, but no so much here.

From Fluid Maintenance: Go With the Flow

P/N SOA868V9240 is recommended for use in all pre-2006 model year Subaru vehicles with 4-speed electronic automatic transmissions. This unique fluid contains an advanced additive package that provides optimum shift quality over a wide range of operating conditions while maintaining superior pump flow characteristics needed by the power steering system in all Subaru vehicles. Its anti-wear additives help to protect the transmission from copper corrosion
and excessive wear.

The fluid also contains friction modifier additives to maintain a high viscosity index that allows for smooth shifting and smooth steering in temperature extremes, plus anti-foaming additives to deliver peak power steering performance.

Available in one-quart bottles, this fluid is compatible with all automatic transmission and power steering internal seals and O-rings. It meets Subaru OEM specifications and must be used for warranty repairs.


Genuine Subaru Factory Fill Automatic Transmission Fluid (P/N SOA868V9241) HP and Power Steering Fluid is specifically designed for use in all Subaru vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. Special friction modifiers and other additives ensure stable, precise operation over long periods of use. It offers superior temperature extreme fluidity for smoother shifting and maintains proper fluid pressure in hot and cold weather.

Available in 1 quart bottles, the special new formula maintains superior pump flow characteristics needed by the power steering system in all Subaru vehicles.
It meets Subaru OEM specifications and must be used for warranty repairs.
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Porcupine 73

Thanks for the Endwrench link.

Quote:
Originally posted by porcupine73
Did you decide which fluid to use? I think you need the Idemistu/Subaru-HP ATF. It's about $6/qt in the U.S. Idemitsu is a big oil player in Japan, but no so much here.
Well, yes and no.

I did contact Subaru Canada and had an-email response that says that my OB uses Type HP, but it also goes on to say that Dexron III can be used when topping up or changing as the two fluids are compatible. (No reference to the Owners Manual warning against using Dexron.)

The Endwrench article clearly links “Subaru ATF” to pre-06 automatics, but it does not say that we are supposed to use Type HP in MY06+ (as did the Dec 06 TechTips article). (I guess the distinction could be inferred.)

There are other anomalies in the Subaru service documentation. For example, in the 2007 OB service manual (pdf download) I found that in some sections of the manual we are told to bleed the air out of the valve body after draining and refilling the pan, while in other sections there is no mention of this.

I have since written to SOA (because they are the source of the documentation) highlighting the anomalies regarding the recommended ATF, and the air bleed procedures.

HP fluid is available from local dealers – about the same price as you noted.

I’m fairly certain that the HP fluid is the one to use, and based on what I’ve read in forums etc, a simple drain of the AT pan and refill does not seem to require bleeding the valve body.
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think what Subaru is implying is that the Idemitsu HP ATF can be used in any Subaru automatic transmission or steering fluid system, even if that system called for Dexron. But all 5EAT and all MY06+ 4EATs require the HP ATF.

Maybe it has something to do with GM not renewing licenses for Dexron blenders.

My guess would be that the HP ATF exceeds the specs for Dexron III in certain areas. It may also be more heavily friction modified than Dexron fluids. That is probably why the HP can be used in Dexron applications, but not the other way around.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That’s is probably the case. The HP can substitute for the Dexron, but not the other way around. But the information I have seems to be inconsistent in this regard.

It’s the anomalies in the documentation that trouble me. I appreciate that with so many different publications, some necessary changes could have be missed. This could be leading, for example, to my dealer’s parts department’s computer still listing “Subaru ATF” for my ‘07 4EAT (with the HP version applying only to the 5 speed AT).

Incidentally, I was in error in my original posting regarding the 07 Service Manual.
I had said "I checked the 07 Service Manual (downloaded from Subaru America) and it too mentions only the HP-type fluid." In fact, in the General Volume, under Recommended Materials, it lists “Subaru ATF” as the primary recommended fluid, (not HP, with the HP versions only listed as alternatives. And, the MY08 Manual lists the HP fluid as the primary “recommended” fluid. If the change to HP was with MY 06, then there should be corrections made (TSB’s) to the 06 and 07 manuals. Perhaps this will come in time.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My 05 Outback's manual states for the 5EAT automatic:

Quote:
Use one of the following types of automatic transmission fluid:

Genuine Subaru ATF IDEMITSU ATF HP

Castol Transmax J

Pennzoil ATF-J*
*Available only in the USA (except Alaska and Hawaii)

*Using any non-specified type of ATF could result in damage inside the transmission....

*If your vehicle has a four-speed automatic transmission, you can use "Dextron III" type ATF in addition to the recommended fluid types listed above
Jay
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi thanks for the info. Not sure if you were referring to porc's post or not about the MY06+; you said 5EAT and porc said >>But all 5EAT and all MY06+ 4EATs require the HP ATF.
Ah cancel, I see post already edited.
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