A word to the wise - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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  • 3 Post By Kmvoyager
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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A word to the wise

Let me start by saying I've only posted once and that was to get advice on 2.5 vs 3.6. Thanks for the advice, I ended up getting a clean 2016 2.5 limited in Feb. I have always tried to do my own maintenance on my vehicles so I thought perhaps I would try to do a front a rear diff fluid change.

The rear was easy and no problem at all. The front is what I'd like to warn everyone about. I have had the pleasure of reading about what I did on forums only after I performed the mistake and it sounds like I'm not the only person who has done something this boneheaded.

The Drain and fill level plugs are easy to find. I removed what I thought was a diff fill plug on the driver side on the differential. It honestly appeared logical that it was the fill plug but turns out it actually goes into the cvt. It isn't even the cvt fill plug, but some other plug they placed there for some strange reason.

Luckily I figured out something was wrong after over 2 quarts of oil went in and nothing came out the fill level hole. I never wanted to touch the cvt but I felt i had no choice unless I wanted to pay to have a flatbed come and take my car to a dealer and have them work on it. So I ended up draining the pan on the cvt, went to the subaru dealer bought more cvt fluid, and then ran one quart of cvt oil to help push out any remaining gear oil, then put the plug and new washer back in. Luckily I never started the car so there shouldn't be any contamination but It still bothers me there is probably a trace amount of gear oil still left. I then read up on how to correctly fill the cvt back up which I hope I did correctly. Then of course I used the correct hole to fill the front differential. I was extremely mad at myself for not doing a little more research on where the fill plug is at but at the same time I'd sure appreciate it if subaru would have marked that plug somehow. My pride is hurt, I don't trust myself doing my own maintenance as much anymore, and I have this sick feeling in my stomach I perhaps have caused some long term damage. I'm thinking about taking the car to the dealer and having them do a cvt fluid change shortly. This mess up is becoming expensive.

So please if you decided to do this yourself, don't do what i did.

Thanks
Kevin

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:53 PM
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Don’t feel bad even skilled shops screw it up. Which is why I take it back to the terrible dealer for front diff and cvt drain fill.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 04:53 PM
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FSM first and foremost for maintenance of this sort....

Sorry to hear about your troubles....hopefully no ill side effects will come out of it......
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 05:03 PM
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Wow, there are several of these threads already. I'll never understand why people blindly go for the front diff with all those plugs and nothing labelled. And a simple tip for this service - diff fluid has a strong odor, CVT fluid is mild. If what comes out doesn't STINK, then you've just drained CVT fluid.

But, yeah, don't feel too bad. I think there was even a thread where they guy actually had the FSM diagram and still screwed it up.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmvoyager View Post
I was extremely mad at myself for not doing a little more research on where the fill plug is at but at the same time I'd sure appreciate it if subaru would have marked that plug somehow. My pride is hurt, I don't trust myself doing my own maintenance as much anymore, and I have this sick feeling in my stomach I perhaps have caused some long term damage.
Don't beat yourself up - we've all done things like it. So have quick oil change outlets.

Live and learn, and continue to do your own maintenance - you're better off for it in the long run. And study up first next time!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 09:35 PM
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Last year I poured 1/2 a pint of waste oil into my wife's BMW's coolant bottle before I realized I had used the empty coolant jug to hold the waste oil after an oil change. I always mark those jugs with a Sharpie now.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 11:01 PM
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Don't feel bad - I have done a lot worse, as in a $2300 oil change.

My son was under his car removing the oil filter after draining the oil. He asked me to hand him the new oil filter for his Saturn. I saw a Fram filter still in the box sitting on the work bench in the garage and "assumed" that was it - it was not it was a Honda filter (yep I didn't check) - his filter was on the ground by the car - also a Fram filter. Long story short he got about a 1/2 mile on to the Interstate then punched it to merge with traffic when the filter gasket blew - he got off the gas right away and coasted to the shoulder but it still did too much damage to the engine. It ended up costing $2300 for a new engine albeit a lower mileage rebuilt one but still totally avoidable - talk about stupid mistakes . . . . .
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:11 AM
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A good practice when changing diff oil is this. Remove the fill plug first. Last thing you want to have happen is not being able to remove the fill plug after your have drained the diff.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:30 AM
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Don't beat yourself up, no damage was done to the CVT, and now you even have done a CVT service so there is a hidden benefit! Had this been a shop they likely would have just put the fill plug back in after 2 quarts and sent you down the road to an untimely breakdown - atleast that has happened a number of times.
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