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Discussion Starter #101
from the manual page there, looks like just move it through the drive positions and then leave it in park with the engine running.
So I checked it again, moving through the gears and checked it with engine running, and the level was exactly the same as before, a full inch above the cold full hole. It has been sitting about 2 1/2 hours, and before that, it had only been driven around the block, so wasn't even hot then.
 

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So I checked it again, moving through the gears and checked it with engine running, and the level was exactly the same as before, a full inch above the cold full hole. It has been sitting about 2 1/2 hours, and before that, it had only been driven around the block, so wasn't even hot then.
well, there ya go! it's messy to drain some out, but it sounds like you have extra fluid available.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
well, there ya go! it's messy to drain some out, but it sounds like you have extra fluid available.
I saw a couple of videos where a big syringe and tubing was used to draw some out of the dipstick tube, and another where the guy used the trigger top along with the straw, taped it to some flexible tubing, and then used the trigger to spray the fluid into the spray bottle so the amount could be measured. Seems like either of those methods would work and not be that messy.
 

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I saw a couple of videos where a big syringe and tubing was used to draw some out of the dipstick tube, and another where the guy used the trigger top along with the straw, taped it to some flexible tubing, and then used the trigger to spray the fluid into the spray bottle so the amount could be measured. Seems like either of those methods would work and not be that messy.
yep - if the dipstick tube is big enough. I have a mityvac hand pump that could do that. Use it if I overfill things like the lawn mower (Also do oil changes on the mower that way - less mess... there is no drain plug). It's slower than some other suction guns/syringes, but works.

The trigger top would take a while - doesn't displace a lot of volume. You can use anything that can develop a vacuum and draw the oil up a tube. There are even pumps like for a hand soap bottle that fit on quart oil plastic bottles for dispensing oil (that would work too).

lots of "fluid extractors" and "suction guns" on amazon and at autoparts stores... wally world, etc (I can't remember what I did with my really old metal suction gun... used to use that for draining and refilling differentials with no drain plug. That thing was all metal and a beast).
 

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Discussion Starter #105
I saw a couple of videos where a big syringe and tubing was used to draw some out of the dipstick tube, and another where the guy used the trigger top along with the straw, taped it to some flexible tubing, and then used the trigger to spray the fluid into the spray bottle so the amount could be measured. Seems like either of those methods would work and not be that messy.
I meant the trigger top and straw of an empty spray bottle
yep - if the dipstick tube is big enough. I have a mityvac hand pump that could do that. Use it if I overfill things like the lawn mower (Also do oil changes on the mower that way - less mess... there is no drain plug). It's slower than some other suction guns/syringes, but works.

The trigger top would take a while - doesn't displace a lot of volume. You can use anything that can develop a vacuum and draw the oil up a tube. There are even pumps like for a hand soap bottle that fit on quart oil plastic bottles for dispensing oil (that would work too).

lots of "fluid extractors" and "suction guns" on amazon and at autoparts stores... wally world, etc (I can't remember what I did with my really old metal suction gun... used to use that for draining and refilling differentials with no drain plug. That thing was all metal and a beast).
I called the Walmart pharmacy, the biggest syringe they have is 10 ml---that would take a while to get enough out! I thought of checking the auto section there, or Napa or O'Reilly (auto part stores), for a bigger one. Hadn't thought of the hand soap bottle type of pump. Thanks! Now, to not take too much out...a little at a time I guess, then check.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
Well, I'm still trying to make sense of why my transmission seems to be overfilled, after my son-in-law drained and filled it. I can't ask him, he's out of town working, and I need to go out of town myself tomorrow, so need to make sure the level is OK.

He told me he was surprised that only 7 quarts drained out, since the owner's manual said the capacity was 9.8 quarts. I was actually surprised that that much came out, because I thought there would be a lot that wouldn't drain out, because it would be stuck in the torque converter or somewhere.

And I don't understand how he could have drained out 7 quarts, as measured into the 7 quart pan he got at Walmart -- I looked at it, and it said 7 quarts on it -- and then put 7 quarts in, and somehow got it overfilled! I know he only used 7 quarts to fill, because I had bought 12 and there were 5 left.

And I have no idea how much extra there might be in there, to make the level come up a full inch past the cold full mark. I would get the engine hot and check it hot, but I don't want to chance ruining the transmission by doing that. I believe I am measuring it correctly, because I am checking it with engine running, after running it through all the gears. I know that sometimes there is fluid up higher on the dipstick, on just the edges, so I am sure to look where it is dry in the middle part of the stick. I have done it multiple times, and it is always the same, one inch too high, which is even higher than the hot full mark, even though I have checked it cold. And the car is on a level surface. So when I take some out (after I get something I can get it out through the dipstick tube with), I am paranoid I will take too much out, then run the car to get it hot, and find out that I have run it with low fluid.

I really feel like I am obsessing about this, so I am going to go to bed now and watch TV to get my mind off it, until tomorrow morning. This too shall pass, I will get through it. Hope my little car will too!
 

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I wouldn't really trust the measurements on a drain pan, and if it says it's a 7 qts pan, it's probably 7 qts to the absolute brim. So yeah, could easily be 5-6 qts out and 7 qts in.

I believe that typically when draining this transmission, you expect to get somewhere between 4-5 qts out, with the rest being stuck in the cooler, torque converter, other bits of the transmission, etc. This is why people recommend multiple drains and fills, to dilute the old fluid with new, and eventually replace most of it.
 

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He told me he was surprised that only 7 quarts drained out, since the owner's manual said the capacity was 9.8 quarts. I was actually surprised that that much came out, because I thought there would be a lot that wouldn't drain out, because it would be stuck in the torque converter or somewhere.

And I don't understand how he could have drained out 7 quarts, as measured into the 7 quart pan he got at Walmart -- I looked at it, and it said 7 quarts on it -- and then put 7 quarts in, and somehow got it overfilled! I know he only used 7 quarts to fill, because I had bought 12 and there were 5 left.
Typical drain/oil pan capacity on the 4EAT is ~4 quarts, unless you let it sit for a while and let it trickle-out. The total system capacity is about 10 qts. So I'm not surprised it's reading overfilled if you poured 7 qts back in.

Best way is to drain a qt or so out from the drain plug, check the level, and top-off as needed (adding an 1/8th of a qt at a time). Drain into a clean pan if you want to reuse, but that's more hassle than it's worth, to me.

I always try to get the car to operating temp before getting a final reading on the trans stick. Yes, it has cold readings, but I find they can vary much more than the hot readings.
 

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If you werent over 200 miles away I'd offer to come help. If you have a facebook join pnw subaru advice. There is lots of people on there who would be willing to comeover and help you out real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
I wouldn't really trust the measurements on a drain pan, and if it says it's a 7 qts pan, it's probably 7 qts to the absolute brim. So yeah, could easily be 5-6 qts out and 7 qts in.

I believe that typically when draining this transmission, you expect to get somewhere between 4-5 qts out, with the rest being stuck in the cooler, torque converter, other bits of the transmission, etc. This is why people recommend multiple drains and fills, to dilute the old fluid with new, and eventually replace most of it.
That's what I thought! He must not have got 7 quarts out.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
Thanks, I'll try Facebook.
Well, my husband was having a better day than usual, so he checked the transmission fluid, then drove it a few miles, checked it again, and advised me to take it into town to a shop and get them to check it. Of course, by this time it was hot, so I was hoping nothing was getting ruined. The shop checked it, put it on a hoist and drained out 3/4 of a quart. There, done. Now I can make it to my out of town appointment. I don't have any confidence in my son-in-law's auto mechanic ability, so I will be getting the work done at a shop from now on. My husband was an excellent mechanic, also knew what he was and wasn't capable of. Very smart man. Unfortunately his mind and body are not what they used to be. What an adventure this has all been!!o_OI've had a couple of recommendations for the place I took it to today, so am hoping they will be good. I will remain a member on this owner's group, it's interesting to me now. Wish I had had more interest previously, but well, hubby's not the patient kind and so it probably wouldn't have worked out, learning from him that is...

Thanks for all your help, people!!!
 
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