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Was the purpose to be "least as good" or to do preventative maintenance? If the capacity is 5.5 quarts, a complete change requires draining that amount and refilling that amount.
I see the following points:
1. The poster drained 4 quarts of fluid from the OB at 50000 miles and added 4 quarts back. Should 5.5. quarts have come out?
2. The poster added 4 quarts of fluid back.
3. The initial response states that 5.5.quarts should have been filled according to the FSM procedure, and filling 4 quarts is a sure way to burn out the CVT. Should we assume that 1.5 quarts of CVT fluid leaked out at some time, and this leak was not noticed by someone who is not afraid to DIY a CVT drain/fill? I am sure the person would have noted a leak and potentially drivability concerns due to low fluid. I am also certain that overfilling a CVT is not desirable.
4. Where do you get your information that the capacity is 5.5 quarts. The capacity is close to 12.5 quarts.

In summary, if the car was run satisfactorily for 50K miles and 4 quarts were drained and added back, it will be fine. Unless the car had problems specifically linked to the quantity of CVT fluid prior to the change, there should be no consequences going forward that is linked with the exact same level of CVT fluid added, that was drained.

Counterpoint: If the car was filled low from the factory, then you are correct, a DIY person might not know this unless there were drivability concerns. The FSM procedure for proper fluid level has to be employed to be sure that the level is correct.

Separately, I just picked up 5 quarts of CVT fluid yesterday. My 17 OB is running exceptionally well. My initial thoughts are that I will drain and add the same amount back. I am aware of the drain and refill procedure. However, if only 4.5 quarts (as an example) drains out, I will at least add 4.5 quarts back. I understand that at first pass, I might only be able to add between 3 and 4 quarts and then would have to start the car, cycle it through transmission positions, warm up, letting it idle etc., and add the last bit of fluid until I have added up to 4.5 quarts (used in this example). If my car drains 5.5 quarts, then I will purchase another quart and add 5.5 quarts prior to calling the maintenance service satisfactorily completed. Per the FSM, the correct level is checked as follows:
1) Start the engine to raise CVTF temperature to 35 — 45°C (95 — 113°F).
2) Operate the select lever in P → R → N → D and D → N → R → P to circulate CVTF with the engine idling.
3) With the engine idling, lift up the vehicle and remove the filler plug.
4) CVTF is at the specified level when it is up to the filler plug hole lower section.
 

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2015 Outback Limited 2.5
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Follow up on this post:

I had to have the car running to add the 4th quart of CVT fluid - if not running it would come out the fill hole.

I just put in the amount I removed. Seems to be a good solution.


2015 outback 50,000 miles I changed 4 quarts of CVT fluid drained from pan then refilled.
$14 a quart from dealer $65 total.
very easy to change
A drain and fill should take 5.5 quarts if you follow the FSM procedure. It is true that 4 quarts will fill to the drain hole, but then you need to drive it and bring it up to temp. Then get under it while it is running in park and the other 1.5 quarts will go in. Only using 4 qrts is a sure way to burn out the CVT and the dealer will measure what comes out if it gets toasted.
[/QUOTE]
 

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I sent in a sample at my 120k service....
This is for the 2.5, correct? Since the OP has the 3.6, there's relevant info in this thread (plus a link to a second UOA):

 

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I had mine serviced on a 2013 outback with over 100K. They were only able to remove 2/3 of the fluid...dealer said it was routine to not be able to get all the fluid out. Transmission has been working as per normal ever since. I didn't have any issues before the service, but, CVT's make me nervous...more of a piece of mind service than anything else..
 

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Fishy indeed! The CVT is my main area or worry in my 2015 Outback. In cold weather, it appears to be noisy. With hard to discern screeches and clacking sounds. The noises are inaudible if I warm up the car until the engine revs drop to normal running levels.

I had my CVT fluid changed by a trusted private mechanic at about 100000km (62k miles).

Should I look at getting a dealer to change the fluid again? Is there a definitive test to determine if the CVT is okay- (oil test, etc)? What’s going to give me some peace of mind...
Subaru engine's are noisy at start up. I suppose it's the nature of the engine. It's not as smooth as a Toyota. I have a 2003 Lexus GS300 and it's way quieter and smoother than my 2016 Subaru.
 

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Hello everyone. My 2019 Touring 3.6R currently has 48,800 miles. I do long daily commutes and the mileage adds up quickly. Because of this, I try to be vigilant with my maintenance to ensure my cars are trouble free. I've always performed oil changes and frequent transmission fluid drain & fills on previous vehicles. Being this is my first Subaru and first vehicle with a cvt, I'm hesitant to perform the service myself. Dealer pricing for this service is expensive but I'll gladly pay for peace of mind. I've read some posts here stating SOA will not honor the warranty on a cvt failure if the fluid was changed before 100k. I decided to contact SOA and asked the question. I'll post both my question and their answer below. I hope this helps.

To: [email protected]
Subject: CVT Service

Good morning. My 2019 Outback Touring 3.6R has 48,000 miles. I service my vehicle according to the maintenance schedule. I do a long daily commute and drive a lot of miles annually. I understand the maintenance schedule suggests a cvt service at 100k. I would like to have this service performed at 50k intervals. I have read on forum sites SOA will not honor warranty claims on vehicles whose transmissions were serviced before 100k miles. I doubt the forums claims because people who tow with their cars are required to service the cvt more frequently. Can you please clarify? Thank you.

Dear Mr. G:

Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc.

We appreciate you taking time out of your day to contact us about your 2019 Outback.

The Subaru CVT transmission does not require regular fluid replacement, however it is recommended to check the fluid every 30,000 miles. It should only be replaced at these intervals if the fluid appears dirty, very low, or contaminated by water.

Otherwise, the fluid does not require replacement until the vehicle has attained a higher mileage, say 100,000 to 150,000 miles. If the vehicle is used under severe driving conditions as listed in the Subaru Warranty and Maintenance Booklet, then the CVT fluid change should be performed every 24,855 miles.

Having the CVT fluid changed at a Subaru retailer before 100,000 miles does NOT void or affect Subaru CVT warranty coverage.

For further guidance about the CVT, please talk with your local Subaru retailer service department.

Thanks for the opportunity to be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Grant Noble
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Retailer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
Thank you so much for the information. Am to go for CVT fluid change but was concerned about warranty
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Update. I had my cvt service performed today. I was charged for 7 quarts so their claim that I would need 6.5 - 7 quarts added seems accurate. I requested a sample of the old fluid which they provided. The old fluid looks pretty good. It's a light honey color (see pics) although I don't know the color of new fluid. I plan on having the fluid tested. I'll probably start a new thread when I get the results.


478584
478585
 

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Update. I had my cvt service performed today. I was charged for 7 quarts so their claim that I would need 6.5 - 7 quarts added seems accurate. I requested a sample of the old fluid which they provided. The old fluid looks pretty good. It's a light honey color (see pics) although I don't know the color of new fluid. I plan on having the fluid tested. I'll probably start a new thread when I get the results.
Thanks for sharing that - I'm on my first CVT and your thread is very helpful.

Can you describe the way your car was driven over those 48k miles? You mentioned long daily commutes - were they mainly highway miles, stop and go bumper to bumper, flat ground vs up and down mountains? Did you do any towing?

Have you noticed any difference in the way the CVT feels/drives with fresh fluid?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks for sharing that - I'm on my first CVT and your thread is very helpful.

Can you describe the way your car was driven over those 48k miles? You mentioned long daily commutes - were they mainly highway miles, stop and go bumper to bumper, flat ground vs up and down mountains? Did you do any towing?

Have you noticed any difference in the way the CVT feels/drives with fresh fluid?
I drive mostly along I80 & I287 from Eastern PA to Rockland County, NY. There's a combination of cruising and bumper to bumper traffic along the way. I don't beat on my car, but I do need to punch it now & then to get around the left lane sloths. Lol. When I'm home in Eastern PA, I do travel the winding, hilly local roads. I've never towed & I haven't gone off road (yet). I'm not sure if the feels/drives different. I think it felt better, but the car has always been smooth & responsive. Peace of mind is what I'm after.
 

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There is no technical reason that I know of or can be proven that changing the CVT fluid as frequently as every single day should cause any problem to the transmission.
 

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Some BITOG comments that I agree with:

When I had my 1999 Malibu I was at the dealer's once for unrelated work and the adviser suggested changing the transmission fluid. I had around 50K on it at the time and I said "isn't it sealed for life?" His response was along the lines of yes, but you can get a longer life if you change the fluid every now and then.
If I pay Subaru to do a fluid change at 50K then I'll have 10K left of warranty in case something gets messed up during the fluid change. If they refuse to do it during the warranty period, then I'll pay them to do it after the warranty expires.

Failure after the warranty is "normal wear" at a cost of 5-6 thousand dollars for replacement
The thread on Bitog: Lifetime Trans Fluid?
 

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There is no technical reason that I know of or can be proven that changing the CVT fluid as frequently as every single day should cause any problem to the transmission.
You would have another 50k miles.The warranty on the CVT is 100k miles, right?
 
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