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Discussion Starter #81
Front differential fluid easier to refilll thru the differential check fluid plug, Be carefull on what plugs are removed. A quick lube place pulled the wrong plug when chanding engine oil and drained a customers CVT and then overfilled he engine. I heard boh engine and CVT had to be replaced.
Yikes!!!
 

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Now that I have a plan for the transmission, the next thing I want done is the differentials. Looking in the owner's manual for what kind of gear oil, it says, "Never use different brands together." I am making the assumption that the differentials have never had the fluid changed. I know for sure not since my daughter has had the car. They got it from someone else at 69,000 mi.,and my best guess is those people didn't have the differentials serviced either, because a Subaru dealer, when I had it in (at 84,000 miles) to get a dog guard installed just before the birth of my first grandchild, made the comment that belts were cracked, and a bunch of other comments that made it sound like the previous owners had not done much if anything. If they had the differentials done, it might have been another brand. So how important is it, not to use different brands together? Not everybody knows the whole history, if they bought the car used. Should I just go with my assumption that it is the original gear oil, and to be safe, take it to a Subaru dealer for the differentials, hoping they would use the same brand gear oil that the factory used, even though they are overpriced? I got a quote from an independent garage for servicing the differentials, and they mentioned using some fluid that I'm not sure about: "BG 75W90 or 75W140 Ultra Guard Synthetic Gear Oil as applicable" for the front and "75W140 or 80W90 Gear Oil as applicable. Install limited slip additive where applicable" for the rear. I have no idea what those are and wonder about the "slip additive." Yikes, here I go again, more to learn. Have much appreciated everyone who has helped me with what to do about the transmission. Can you guys (and/or gals) help with the differential info?
This is really insanely easy and simple:

1. Drain front and rear diff fluid and refill with the gear oil the manual says, 75w-90 or so has been common for decades on Subaru’s. I’d use synthetic oil.

Regular oil is fine but Id use synthetic. Add a crush washer if you want, I never do and they never leak but they’re pocket change.

Ignore additives - that LS additive is a one size fits all comment. “If needed”. Modern Subaru limited slips are sealed units sitting inside the diff and their fluid is not touchable unless torching the diff chunk inside open or something. Subaru LSDs from the 80s are the last to use additives, which that shop has probably never seen nor knows how to identify.

2. Power steering. Use an eye dropper or disposable liquid antibiotic medicine plunger dispenser thing or get a $3 large dropper or turkey blaster at store or amazon and use it to suck out power steering fluid from the reservoir and top it off. Do it again after driving to get some of the oil out of the rack too.

I just video taped my 5 year old daughter doing this last week. She sucked the fluid out and topped off the tank without me helping. I opened the hood, loosens the tight cap, placed rags in case she spilled any, and a coffee cup for her to squirt fluid into and went to work on another car. Shes 5....not even close to 6 yet. It’s that easy and it was her first time. Went like a breeze.

Do nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Thanks, NVdesertrat!
This is really insanely easy and simple:

1. Drain front and rear diff fluid and refill with the gear oil the manual says, 75w-90 or so has been common for decades on Subaru’s. I’d use synthetic oil.

Regular oil is fine but Id use synthetic. Add a crush washer if you want, I never do and they never leak but they’re pocket change.

Ignore additives - that LS additive is a one size fits all comment. “If needed”. Modern Subaru limited slips are sealed units sitting inside the diff and their fluid is not touchable unless torching the diff chunk inside open or something. Subaru LSDs from the 80s are the last to use additives, which that shop has probably never seen nor knows how to identify.

2. Power steering. Use an eye dropper or disposable liquid antibiotic medicine plunger dispenser thing or get a $3 large dropper or turkey blaster at store or amazon and use it to suck out power steering fluid from the reservoir and top it off. Do it again after driving to get some of the oil out of the rack too.

I just video taped my 5 year old daughter doing this last week. She sucked the fluid out and topped off the tank without me helping. I opened the hood, loosens the tight cap, placed rags in case she spilled any, and a coffee cup for her to squirt fluid into and went to work on another car. Shes 5....not even close to 6 yet. It’s that easy and it was her first time. Went like a breeze.

Do nothing else.
OMGosh, the Subaru dealership wants $140 to perform a power steering service, and the shop I just got an estimate from was $110. Something a 5 year old can do? I guess it's their fancy flush machine and additives.

For the other services: Transmission: Dealer wants $350, independent shops around $200-$250. Differentials: Dealer wants $110 each, independent shop $90 each.

I notice "walker" gives a thumbs up to seagrass's post. How about others out there, is it really that simple, do you agree, to do the differential and power steering fluids? I know way back in this discussion, others have mentioned the simplicity of the differential service.

Thanks, seagrass and walker!
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Thanks, NVdesertrat!

OMGosh, the Subaru dealership wants $140 to perform a power steering service, and the shop I just got an estimate from was $110. Something a 5 year old can do? I guess it's their fancy flush machine and additives.

For the other services: Transmission: Dealer wants $350, independent shops around $200-$250. Differentials: Dealer wants $110 each, independent shop $90 each.

I notice "walker" gives a thumbs up to seagrass's post. How about others out there, is it really that simple, do you agree, to do the differential and power steering fluids? I know way back in this discussion, others have mentioned the simplicity of the differential service.

Thanks, seagrass and walker!
I just looked at the estimate from the independent shop, and they are talking about connecting power steering flush equipment to "flush out old fluid from the power steering pump, lines, valves and rack and pinion and replace with BG Power Clean Power." So again, all that flushing is not really necessary, just a "suck and fill" for the power steering fluid?
 

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Just use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from the reservoir, refill it, then turn the wheels from lock to lock (engine running, of course), suck out the reservoir again, refill, and repeat the whole procedure one more time. This will get almost all of the old fluid out of the rack.

Extremely simple procedure that will take you all of maybe 10 minutes at the most.
 

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Just use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from the reservoir, refill it, then turn the wheels from lock to lock (engine running, of course), suck out the reservoir again, refill, and repeat the whole procedure one more time. This will get almost all of the old fluid out of the rack.
yup. That's all I've ever had to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Well, my son-in-law changed the transmission fluid. He drained out 7 quarts and then put in 7 quarts. He said he drove it a short distance and ran it through the gears and then checked it again. I haven't driven it since then. I just went out and started it up, ran it through the gears three times, then checked the level while the car was running. The level seemed way high to me. I checked it three times. It was about half an inch above the full line for when it is hot. So I am worried about driving it, because I read that it could damage the car to overfill the transmission fluid. Please help!
 

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Well, my son-in-law changed the transmission fluid. He drained out 7 quarts and then put in 7 quarts. He said he drove it a short distance and ran it through the gears and then checked it again. I haven't driven it since then. I just went out and started it up, ran it through the gears three times, then checked the level while the car was running. The level seemed way high to me. I checked it three times. It was about half an inch above the full line for when it is hot. So I am worried about driving it, because I read that it could damage the car to overfill the transmission fluid. Please help!
Was the car parked on an incline? I would drive it around the block and then check again, it should still be cold to do a cold check. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to pull all the fluid through.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Was the car parked on an incline? I would drive it around the block and then check again, it should still be cold to do a cold check. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to pull all the fluid through.
No, it was on the level. I will drive around the block and check it again, thanks.
 

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So again, all that flushing is not really necessary, just a "suck and fill" for the power steering fluid?
Exactly. I'd do it 3 times in total and a few more if the fluid still looks dark. It takes like 3 minutes. It's so easy. If you can make kool aid you can do this. And there's nothing that could really be screwed up. Like I said my 5 year old literally did it herself and I wasn't even hovering over her shoulder worried about it. But my kids are super special of course!

Also the power steering never really has issues anyway, so it's not really worth it if cost or stress over dealers is an issue. People routinely drive Subaru's 200,000 miles without every changing the fluid and have no statistically relevant issues at all. So it's not worth fretting over.

Keep in mind - I would never say that/this about other cars - some power steering systems are far less forgiving and have platform specific issues, but this is a subaru forum. I don't know non-Subaru's very well except that some have issues and probably should be flushed regularly. But a general shop may not know this - so I wouldn't fault them for recommending or doing a $100+ flush.

Anyway, back to your car, a subaru.

In the very rare cases they do exhibit issues due to not changing the fluid, the very few i've seen are at 200k on original fluid and will start feeling "lumpy" and they progressively slowly get worse until the power steering can drop out once while steering very briefly and feel extra lumpy - but it's totally drivable just annoying.

And you know what - you suck the fluid out of the reservoir, top it off and the symptoms all but go away. Do it one more time and they disappear entirely.

Power steering fluid isn't a big deal. I've yet to see a fluid induced failure and every one with symptoms I've seen is basically fixed with one few minute swap of fluid in the reservoir and completely remedied with a second. But I would do it more than twice....i'm just saying the symptoms disappear entirely by the second swap.

The super frugal/practical person could easily just wait for symptoms to bother changing the fluid.

I'm sure a failure mode is possible...but that's outlier might get hit by a meteor so wear your helmet all day stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Exactly. I'd do it 3 times in total and a few more if the fluid still looks dark. It takes like 3 minutes. It's so easy. If you can make kool aid you can do this. And there's nothing that could really be screwed up. Like I said my 5 year old literally did it herself and I wasn't even hovering over her shoulder worried about it. But my kids are super special of course!

Also the power steering never really has issues anyway, so it's not really worth it if cost or stress over dealers is an issue. People routinely drive Subaru's 200,000 miles without every changing the fluid and have no statistically relevant issues at all. So it's not worth fretting over.

Keep in mind - I would never say that/this about other cars - some power steering systems are far less forgiving and have platform specific issues, but this is a subaru forum. I don't know non-Subaru's very well except that some have issues and probably should be flushed regularly. But a general shop may not know this - so I wouldn't fault them for recommending or doing a $100+ flush.

Anyway, back to your car, a subaru.

In the very rare cases they do exhibit issues due to not changing the fluid, the very few i've seen are at 200k on original fluid and will start feeling "lumpy" and they progressively slowly get worse until the power steering can drop out once while steering very briefly and feel extra lumpy - but it's totally drivable just annoying.

And you know what - you suck the fluid out of the reservoir, top it off and the symptoms all but go away. Do it one more time and they disappear entirely.

Power steering fluid isn't a big deal. I've yet to see a fluid induced failure and every one with symptoms I've seen is basically fixed with one few minute swap of fluid in the reservoir and completely remedied with a second. But I would do it more than twice....i'm just saying the symptoms disappear entirely by the second swap.

The super frugal/practical person could easily just wait for symptoms to bother changing the fluid.

I'm sure a failure mode is possible...but that's outlier might get hit by a meteor so wear your helmet all day stuff.
OK, thanks for the additional info on the power steering fluid. I won't worry about it for right now. What my current issue is, the apparently overfilled transmission fluid, is what is bugging me. I, on the advice of SwitchPNW, drove the car around the block, came home, parked again on the level, ran it through the gears, checked it again (it was still cold) and the level appears to me to be a full inch above the Full cold hole on the dipstick (just where the dipstick starts its twist.) I was going to drive to town to get a prescription (we live out in the country; town is about 4 or 5 miles away), but I'm afraid to, so parked it back in the garage until I figure this out.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
OK, thanks for the additional info on the power steering fluid. I won't worry about it for right now. What my current issue is, the apparently overfilled transmission fluid, is what is bugging me. I, on the advice of SwitchPNW, drove the car around the block, came home, parked again on the level, ran it through the gears, checked it again (it was still cold) and the level appears to me to be a full inch above the Full cold hole on the dipstick (just where the dipstick starts its twist.) I was going to drive to town to get a prescription (we live out in the country; town is about 4 or 5 miles away), but I'm afraid to, so parked it back in the garage until I figure this out.
Oh, also, I double checked what my son-in-law told me he did. The pan he got at Walmart says it's a 7 quart pan, and there are 5 quart bottles left (I bought 12), so it seems he did drain out 7 quarts and put 7 back in. Unless the pan is just approximately 7 quarts, depending on how full you get it.
 

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Oh, also, I double checked what my son-in-law told me he did. The pan he got at Walmart says it's a 7 quart pan, and there are 5 quart bottles left (I bought 12), so it seems he did drain out 7 quarts and put 7 back in. Unless the pan is just approximately 7 quarts, depending on how full you get it.
note that there are 2 sets of markings - one for cold, one for hot. It's best to check it when it's hot. when you checked it, was the car running and in park?

470659
 

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Discussion Starter #99
It's been sitting a while now, so I will check it again. Check it with engine running, after running through the gears?
 
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