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2008 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
OK, my service manual shows a spin-on filter for the 4AT...does anyone replace it when periodically?

I mean, I sure would when I replaced the tranny fluid, but when else?

I don't recall my Subaru maint. schedule even calling for it...?!?

Did I miss something?
 

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Not called for in the maintenance schedule. Subaru says it's changed only if damaged or if the transmission is being removed for rebuild. However, some owners do change it periodically.

The external Subaru AT spin-on filter is a special design that isn't apparent on the outside, but is clear when the filter is examined more closely. See http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/23762-subaru-transmission-filter-different.html?highlight=subaru+filter. The difference is also reflected in the price (relative to an engine oil filter), but since it's rarely changed, the cost is spread over a lot of miles and perhaps time.

I changed mine at around 50,000 miles, and found nothing of concern when I examined the screen and filter media. I will probably do so again at around 100k miles. (I also do a simple drain and refill of the ATF annually -- about 10k miles.)
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Subaru service materials refer to the spin on filter as "maintenance free".

Late 2008 builds use a resin screen within the transmission. The service media says it can be used in 4AT models 2005 up. I have never run into the necessity to tear into a 4AT, so I can't provide evidence of this. I can only report what the service material states. TSB 16-75-09
 

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cardoc's post reminded me that your 2008 might not have an external spin on filter - they were phased out in MY2008. Some early production might still have it. See attached, from Aug 2007 TechTips.
 

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'00OBW, '96&'94 Legacy - all rusted RIP, current: 2016 Focus MT
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What why did they stop using that filter? I hope it has some kind of filtration on the outlet to the cooler. I always thought it was genius of Subaru to put that filter on the side like that, keeping the trans cooler from plugging up with shreddings and stuff coming out of the AT. In the early 90's they had retrofit kits to add in a filter looking somethign like the old fuel filters.
 
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