Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 500 Posts

·
Registered
2011 2.5i CVT PZEV Dark Blue
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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. This one: https://amzn.to/2MDyYvW
-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. This one: https://amzn.to/2HZTVOf

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. This one: https://amzn.to/2HZTVOf

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/brands/valvoline/automatic-transmission-fluid/136
Eneos - http://www.eneos.us/product/7
Subaru - http://www.subarupartswebsite.com/OEMParts/subaru-153/S/SOA868V9245.html

Reference Pictures:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2010 Outback 2.5 Premium
Joined
·
36 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
2011 Outback Premium CVT, AWP, Steel Silver
Joined
·
826 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
2011 2.5i CVT PZEV Dark Blue
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

·
Registered
2011 2.5i CVT PZEV Dark Blue
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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/subaruofkeenesne/0145/7bd63a564046387201849dafd3aa952d.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.
 

·
Registered
2011 2.5i CVT PZEV Dark Blue
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
'13 Outback 2.5i CVT Prem. & '07 Tundra 5.7 V8 Ltd.
Joined
·
107 Posts
Very nice and thank you!
1. Where did you get the 13 mm socket?
2. My OB doesn't have a dipstick for the CVT. How can i check the level? Or just try to fill until it overflows on the fill plug?
 

·
Registered
'13 Outback 2.5i CVT Prem. & '07 Tundra 5.7 V8 Ltd.
Joined
·
107 Posts
Intro
CVT Fluid Change
Fluid:
Manual says total capacity is 12.7-13.2 qts, I drained ~6.0 qts and filled with ~5.5qts.

Reference Pictures:
so that means that you didn't change but less than half of the fluid ... Maybe better to leave it to the dealer to get the Subaru fluid and either change it all or leave it alone? Aren't you concerned to mix 2 different fluids? Next time you might end up with 3 ... What will they say to me when i go for a warranty repair?
Thank you for sharing everything and the pics are awesome!
 

·
Registered
'13 Outback 2.5i CVT Prem. & '07 Tundra 5.7 V8 Ltd.
Joined
·
107 Posts
Intro

Rear Diff Fluid Change


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.
:[/B]
Is that 13mm square or hex?
 

·
Registered
2011 2.5i CVT PZEV Dark Blue
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Very nice and thank you!
1. Where did you get the 13 mm socket?
2. My OB doesn't have a dipstick for the CVT. How can i check the level? Or just try to fill until it overflows on the fill plug?
1. Harbor Freight - 12 Piece Drain Plug Socket Set
2. You check it while idling by taking out the fill plug and see if it overflows.
 

·
Registered
2011 2.5i CVT PZEV Dark Blue
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
so that means that you didn't change but less than half of the fluid ... Maybe better to leave it to the dealer to get the Subaru fluid and either change it all or leave it alone? Aren't you concerned to mix 2 different fluids? Next time you might end up with 3 ... What will they say to me when i go for a warranty repair?
Thank you for sharing everything and the pics are awesome!
Thanks for the feedback.

The CVT has a torque converter just like any other automatic slushbox. So you can't get all the fluid out unless you do a re-circulation drain. I plan to drain and refill every 30k from this point forward.

No, I'm not really concerned, my car is out of warranty anyway. I realize I maybe heading into undocumented territory. I'd rather change it than let ride for the lifetime of the vehicle which i hope to be >250k miles.

I'm not suggesting you change it. This guide is help others if they do decide to change their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Great write up! Looks like we drive about the same.33,000 a year all highway. My wife has 41K on her 2012. Our tires still have 8-9/32nds and brakes look new. Did you have to do anything other than oil and filters @ 67K? It seems to get better with every mile. The engine is smooth as glass and I have been using Amsoil Long Life from 7,500 and that helps. We never used a drop of oil.
 

·
Registered
'13 Outback 2.5i CVT Prem. & '07 Tundra 5.7 V8 Ltd.
Joined
·
107 Posts
I'm not suggesting you change it. This guide is help others if they do decide to change their own.
Thank you so much and really appreciate it!
The website I found (from this forum, of course) for the 13mm socket is:
Shop Tools - Ultimatetoolco.com
They seem a little pricy though ... I will check out your supplier for sure and Thanks!! again :).
 

·
Registered
'13 Outback 2.5i CVT Prem. & '07 Tundra 5.7 V8 Ltd.
Joined
·
107 Posts
Hm, now I am totally confused :). I think the rear diff on my 2013 OB, 2.5i, CVT takes a hex head. So do I need 13mm hex or square? Does anyone know?
 
1 - 20 of 500 Posts
Top