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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 01 OBW has the weirdest dipstick results when I check it. I've done many a drain and fill of tranny fluid but this one just never seems to have an accurate reading. It goes into the first curve smooth but on the second curve it kinda "catches" before it seats back into the dipstick hole. I have tried to baby it in there but it always catches. The dipstick always has fluid above the F line at cold or hot, like it has splashed up there or been rubbed on from the side of dipstick tube, it doesn't matter if I check while running or off. IME checking cold has always been the best check for my Subaru's, similar to Honda, but even if I follow the owner manual steps it still is like their is fluid splashed all over the end of it

Basically though it's annoying because I don't know where exactly I am. I've settled for 3 qts after a drain and fill as the magic spot. I drive it for a while and see how my transmission is shifting and add 200ml or so. I thought maybe I had the wrong dipstick but I checked a few of my gen in the junkyard and they matched. I've read some posts that seem to show that this is a common issue of sorts.
 

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Lots of posts here about the difficulty using Subaru dipsticks. Both the engine and transmission have the same issue.

Should always check ATF level with the car level, engine/transmission warmed up, and engine running. With the engine off, the level will definitely be above the Full marks. Proper level is between the Cold and Full marks.

I find that if I remove the dipstick, wait for 10-15 seconds, and then insert the dipstick, and remove it, the level is more clearly defined. (If the dipstick is immediately reinserted and pulled, the smudging is back.) It seems the wait allows ATF that is in tube to drain down, leaving the dipstick a clear path.
 
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