2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 01-20-2013, 12:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change

Intro
2011 Outback 2.5i CVT PZEV
67k Miles on original CVT and Differential fluids. Mainly highway miles with occasional towing.
I decided to take the plunge and change the fluids myself. After several hours of research, I discovered Redline CVT fluid. It is Subaru certified and for use with metal CVT belts/chains. There seems to be a lot of questions on how to change the CVT and Diff fluids so I thought I would share my experience and what I learned. I'll report back if I have any issues or learnings.

CVT Fluid Change
Fluid:
Manual says total capacity is 12.7-13.2 qts, I drained ~6.0 qts and filled with ~5.5qts.
- I used Redline Non-slip synthetic CVT fluid purchased from Amazon.com.
-You must check the level with the car level, idling, and in park at operating temperature. I have a 4-post lift which makes it easy to do.

Tools Required:
-10mm Hex required for fill Plug, 36.9 ft-lb.
-8mm Hex required for drain Plug, 14.8 ft-lb.

Sequence:
1. Remove fill Plug. Since my fluid was warm and not hot, some fluid drained after removing.
2. Remove drain Plug and drain remaining fluid.
3. Re-install drain plug and torque to 14.8 ft-lb.
4. Fill via fill hole until fluid runs out.
5. Install fill Plug and tighten.
6. Start and idle vehicle to warm fluid. Cycle transmission through all positions.
7. Check fluid level and fill if required. Torque Fill plug to 36.9 ft-lb.

Front Diff Fluid Change
Fluid:
-Manual says capacity is 1.4-1.6 qts, I drained ~1.5 qts and filled with the same amount.
-Fill via vent hose accessible from engine compartment.
-I used Redline 75w-90 synthetic gear oil purchased from Amazon.com.

Tools Required:
-T70 Torx for Drain Plug, 51.6 ft-lb.
- 14mm socket for fluid check plug, 25.8 ft-lb.

Sequence:
1. Remove vent hose prior to draining.
2. Remove drain plug and drain fluid.
3. Remove fluid check plug.
4. Clean drain plug of any metal.
5. Re-install drain plug and torque to 51.6 ft-lb.
6. Fill with 1.5 qts till check fill overflows.
6. Re-install fluid check plug and torque to 25.8 ft-lb.
7. Re-install vent hose.

Rear Diff Fluid Change
Fluid:
-Manual says capacity is 0.8 qts, I drained ~0.75 qts and filled about the same amount.
-I used Redline 75w-90 synthetic gear oil purchased from Amazon.com.

Tools Required:
-13mm Square for Fill Plug, 36.1 ft-lb.
-13mm Square for Drain Plug, 36.1 ft-lb.
-I used a 1/2" drive ratchet but a 13mm socket is on order.

Sequence:
1. Remove fill plug.
2. Remove drain plug and drain fluid.
3. Clean drain plug of any metal.
4. Re-install drain plug and torque to 36.1 ft-lb.
5. Fill via fill hole until fluid runs out.
6. Install fill plug and torque to 36.1 ft-lb.

CVT Fluids:
Redline - http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=128&pcid=9
Valvoline - http://www.valvoline.com/products/br...sion-fluid/136
Eneos - http://www.eneos.us/product/7
Subaru - http://www.subarupartswebsite.com/OE...A868V9245.html

Reference Pictures:
Attached Thumbnails
2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-cvt-drain.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-cvt-fill.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-front-diff-fill.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-rear-diff.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-cvt-drain-plug.jpg  

2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-rear-diff-drain-plug.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-rear-diff-fluid.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-cvt-fluid.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-diff-fluid.jpg   2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-t70-torx.jpg  


Last edited by drm4633; 01-20-2013 at 08:42 PM. Reason: v1.1
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great write up! Thanks!

Mods, this needs to be added to the DIY list
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great write up. Was wondering about doing this on my wife's '10 Outback with the CVT.

Quick question, for the front diff change. Is there a bolt to remove after you take that hose off or just straight through the connector that the hose was on? What did you use to fill with regards to funnel, etc?
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not trying to second guess you because it looks like you bought quality stuff but I thought the subaru cvt had a chain and not a "belt" in the CVT?

Great pics and tutorial!
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks. Chain or metal belt? Same difference?
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drm4633 View Post
Thanks. Chain or metal belt? Same difference?
Any reason you didn't use the Subaru cvt fluid?

Also, thank you for the write-ups.

Regards,
Nick
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickH View Post
Any reason you didn't use the Subaru cvt fluid?

Also, thank you for the write-ups.

Regards,
Nick
Last I checked, the subaru fluid was only available in 5gal buckets and it was hard to find online. Plus, shipping would be high. I tried to get one dealer to change my fluid and they said it did not need it without even looking or checking. I asked if I could buy it and they would not sell it to me.

Yeah, maybe I should try another dealer but I'd rather not waste my time.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Speaking of CVTs, aren't all some belt type or another. Subaru uses metal and Nissan uses composite. Not sure about the others.

Maybe chain is not the "right" word?


http://pictures.dealer.com/s/subaruo...afd3aa952d.jpg

I think the big issue is whether the belt/chain is metal or composite.

The redline fluid specifically mentions "metal" and is subaru certified. I am comfortable using it. We'll see how the long term goes. I will add the specs when I find the label.

Thanks all for the comments.
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DIY 2011 CVT and Diff Fluid Change
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlsubaru View Post
Great write up. Was wondering about doing this on my wife's '10 Outback with the CVT.

Quick question, for the front diff change. Is there a bolt to remove after you take that hose off or just straight through the connector that the hose was on? What did you use to fill with regards to funnel, etc?
No bolt, just a plastic plug with a hose attached. It pulls right off with a slight tug; like pulling the engine dip stick out. I used a small funnel with a long spout which is flexible. It worked great and i was able to pour straight out of the redline bottles.

Next time I do it, I will have hex sockets and a fluid pump to fill the CVT. I had to use an old gear oil bottle and was only able to fill using 1/2 of the bottle at a time.

Also, you must check the CVT fluid level on level ground while the car is idling at normal operating temp. I had to put ~1qt more after I ran the car for a while.
Attached Thumbnails
2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change-funnel-front-diff-fill.jpg  
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drm4633 View Post
Thanks. Chain or metal belt? Same difference?
Sorry, not trying to be snarky, but willing to learn the right lingo...
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