I've been on a search for substitutes for Subaru ATF-HP because it's time for my 30k mile service, and I will drain and fill the trans. Long story short, I have found nothing that I can confidently say is an aftermarket replacement.
The alternatives listed in the Owner's Manual are not available, at least not in the USA.
There are many, many, high quality ATFs out there (Mobil 1, Amsoil, Castrol, Valvoline), but none state clearly and definitively on their data sheets that they meet the Subaru ATF-HP spec. Some list Subaru ATF, but that is the old stuff (Dexron III equivalent). I'll bet that some of the aftermarket ATFs will work, but I don't see any documentation.
There are a few ATFs that claim to be "universal" and suitable for ALL transmissions. I just find it hard to believe that one ATF can replace Ford Type F, DexronIII/Mercon V, Dexron VI, Chrysler ATF+4, Toyota WS and Honda CVT. I know those are all very different specs, and I can't see how one ATF can replace them all and give optimum performance.
So I'm using genuine Subaru ATF-HP this time. Maybe in 2 years, someone will have an aftermarket equivalent that is clearly documented.
Just the thread I needed. Documentation is indeed not there in products in the northeast. Odd because the owners manual suggests fluids that are not availble 5 years the manufacture of my XT.
I also have some erratic shifting, not dowshifting on hills with a good amount of throttle, which prompted me to look for fluid. Royal Purple may be OK but is $15./quart. My fluid is light brown like fresh motor oil so it seems to be OK from the posts in this thread.
By the way my XT has 80k miles and was maintained great by it's first owner though the tranny does not appear to have been changed. I got it ith 75k miles. So is 80k enough for the change according to Subaru?
hp transmission fluid experience
I have a 2008 outback and I have had a recent experience with the HP transmission fluid I would like to mention. Valvoline transmission fluid that was recommended an a universal replacement for many fluid and HP was a listed as one. After the change the transmission started slipping and slamming onto gear on up-shift. Also the torque converter lockup was not able to hold correctly causing a obvious higher power-train temperature.
I contacted the supplier I used and they assured the fluid was a proper replacement and to give the computer software time to adapt to the different characteristics of the new Valvoline fluid. The problems continued so I personally called Valvoline and they again stated the fluid was in fact correct and the battery may have to be disconnected for 15 min to clear the PCM and TCM memory. After driving for a short time the PCM and TCM would relearn.
Never happened and I had to drain and refill twice to clear the fluid. My guess is that the fluid was missing the friction modifiers and was too thick perhaps to do what was required by this transmission design. Super tech Walmart Mecon V
Link: Super Tech MERCON V Automatic Transmission Fluid, 1qt: Automotive : Walmart.com
was recommend and works great but I just purchased a case of 12 of Subaru HP on ebay for 86.00 free ship.
Set of 12 Automatic Transmission Fluid 12 Quarts Idemitsu TPF HP Subaru | eBay
I have 5000 mile on the mercon v now I will change to the oem hp at 10000 mi.
Matic J is suppose to be close as well as mentioned. Nissan had issues with some transmissions with the older fluids and I read this is backward comparable with some fluids.
hope this info helps
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