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2014 2.5i Limited pzev
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finally got around to doing the cvt drain/refill today. The odometer had 81,860 miles on it. I bought the car two weeks ago and have put maybe 1200 to 1500 miles on it. I don't know if the cvt has ever been serviced or not. It had been a GE fleet vehicle. I brought the transmission up to spec temperature for fluid checks and changes. I opened the fill plug and nothing came out. I then drained it and only 4.5 qts came out. Most people who have done this have reported about 5.5 qts being drained. So I believe the transmission was about a qt low. I then refilled it with preheated cvt fluid. The car was running and I cycled through the gear selector a few times. I made sure the fluid ran out. The fill hose blocked the opening and when I removed it fluid gushed all over the floor. By this time the temp was on the high end of spec. Temp was measured using an IR gun and a forehead scan thermometer. I switched my thermometers to Celsius because it's easier for me to remember the 35-45 degree range vs the Fahrenheit range. I then let the transmission cool for a few hours down to 38-39 degrees C. I then started the car and drove it back into the garage and cycled it through the gears a few times and the opened the fill plug. I added a little more fluid and replaced the plug. I figure that the internal temperature is greater than what my tools are showing. So I don't do the final checks on the high end of spec. Anyway the cvt now has more fluid in now than it did. It should be at the correct level now. It will get one or two more drain/refills. I have driven it and I notice no difference. I'm not surprised as the cvt was quiet and smooth anyway. The fluid really didn't look terrible. I just don't know how many miles it had on it. I also don't believe in
"lifetime" fluids. Within the last week or so I drained and refilled both differentials with synthetic 75w 90 which is spec. Cvt fluid that was used was genuine Subaru cvt fluid for non turbo cvt 4 cylinder cars. This is what Subaru recommends. Some people have used Valvoline cvt fluid and others have used Redline cvt fluid. Those are most likely very good fluids. (By the way I'm a Valvoline fan). But I'm not willing to risk other manufacturers fluid on the Subaru cvt at this point. If after a few years these others prove to work well for Subaru I may change. Others have used these fluids with good results. I'm not going to tell anyone else what to use but for me this is what I'm comfortable with.
 

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Thanks for your post and information. This is something I would like to do before the weather turns colder. You mentioned you refilled with preheated CVT fluid, did you warm it in a hot water bath? Besides the importance of temperature upon fluid volume, as well as cycling through the gears have read it is important to have the car level for the procedure. Since I will be working with ramps, and or jack stands, how did you ensure the car was level? If it was on a lift that explains it. Did you replace the gaskets, crush washers for the fill and drain plug?

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I preheated the cvt fluid in a water bath. I put each bottle of fluid in gallon ziplock bags to prevent any possible water contamination. As far as the car being level I just did the work with the car sitting on my garage floor. I did put a level on the frame and it seemed to be fairly good. I didn't have it on stands at all. I just slid under it and worked in the space I had. I didn't replace washers or gaskets. The fill plug had a rubber like gasket that seemed to be in good shape. When I do the final drain and refill I need to put on a new crush washer. I tightened everything up and there is no leaks.
 

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2013, OB Limited, 2.5, dark gray. July 2016 - approx 55,000 miles.
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... Cvt fluid that was used was genuine Subaru cvt fluid for non turbo cvt 4 cylinder cars. This is what Subaru recommends. Some people have used Valvoline cvt fluid and others have used Redline cvt fluid. Those are most likely very good fluids. (By the way I'm a Valvoline fan). But I'm not willing to risk other manufacturers fluid on the Subaru cvt at this point. If after a few years these others prove to work well for Subaru I may change. Others have used these fluids with good results. I'm not going to tell anyone else what to use but for me this is what I'm comfortable with.
I'm in the same boat as you on fluid for the CVT (Diff's I got mobil1 gear oil I think, but CVT, I want genuine). That leaves me with:

1) pay a ton to the dealer and have the same person who ALWAYS overfills my engine oil touch the CVT

0r

2) I thought the genuine CVT fluid only came in like a 5 gallon bucket?

Where'd you get the fluid from? and how much did you get, and if you don't mind, what did you pay?

Thanks
 

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2013, OB Limited, 2.5, dark gray. July 2016 - approx 55,000 miles.
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Okay, so in the year since I first looked into this, it appears the availability of the fluid has massively improved. Ebay will sell me 6 x 1qt bottles delivered for under $100. Not sure what the dealer price is on this yet to know if thats a good deal or not.

-Chris

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah you can get it off of eBay. I bought mine from several different sources the first time. Now for my second drain and refill I am buying 8 quarts. The 8 quarts is $119.50. This comes out to a little over fort teen dollars per qt. It also has free shipping. I didn't see your question until today. But I'm glad you found what you needed. Also it wouldn't hurt to get the 8 quart option as you may all of a sudden need it or you can have a couple quarts left over for Your next service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I used the DYI guide here for the Gen 4 CVT fluid change. I also used a couplee of videos on youtube from someone under the name of DYI. His videos are very informative. Between these two sources of info I was able to get the job done.
 

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Yeah you can get it off of eBay. I bought mine from several different sources the first time. Now for my second drain and refill I am buying 8 quarts. The 8 quarts is $119.50. This comes out to a little over fort teen dollars per qt. It also has free shipping. I didn't see your question until today. But I'm glad you found what you needed. Also it wouldn't hurt to get the 8 quart option as you may all of a sudden need it or you can have a couple quarts left over for Your next service.
Thanks. I saw many of the independent Subaru online parts dealers selling quarts for just over $11. I will follow your advice and go for at least 8 quarts. What a change since when it was non-authorized aftermarket fluids that probably work by the quart, or a 5 gallon bucket for like $250.

I'm at 52,000 miles, and hope to have time in a couple of months to do this (I've got a back log of parts for diff fluid, spark plugs and now CVT fluid to do ... all ahead of schedule). I've done numerous transmission changes on a VW tiptronic, and found that once I did it the first time, it became no harder than an oil change (just getting the temperature right to set level really). So I'll probably do the Outback every other year from now, I really really really don't want to have the CVT ever fail ... a full CVT replacement/rebuild would likely be beyond my skills/time, I'd far rather ''waste'' $50/year on Subaru CVT fluid:)
 

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I first did a cvt drain at around the time it lost a head gasket...and I now do it every two years just because I know that there have been issues with my gen tranny. That keeps the fluid fairly fresh and...better safe than sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was going to do my second cvt drain/refill today. I crawled under the car and loosened the fill plug. I noticed some fluid on the drain plug. I reused the crush washer last time I did the procedure. So I decided to wait and try to find the proper crush washer before I do it again. Since the transmission was in the proper temp range I went through the procedure of checking the fluid level. Even before I got too far unscrewing the fill plug the fluid was running out. Looks like I've got enough fluid in there!
 

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I was going to do my second cvt drain/refill today. I crawled under the car and loosened the fill plug. I noticed some fluid on the drain plug. I reused the crush washer last time I did the procedure. So I decided to wait and try to find the proper crush washer before I do it again. Since the transmission was in the proper temp range I went through the procedure of checking the fluid level. Even before I got too far unscrewing the fill plug the fluid was running out. Looks like I've got enough fluid in there!
If you get a chance, could you post the part number and price for the crush washer? I know I can look for it, but I always feel better when I hear of someone getting it and it being correct.

Thanks,
 

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If you get a chance, could you post the part number and price for the crush washer? I know I can look for it, but I always feel better when I hear of someone getting it and it being correct.

To clarify, the FILL plug washer is NOT a crush washer. Only the DRAIN plug washer is a crush washer. Yes, the fill plug and the drain plug are the exact same thread and size. But they use different washers, likely because the drain plug has a lower torque (being screwed into a thin pan) that benefits from a crush washer and the fill plug being torqued to a much higher spec directly in the transmission body and doesn't need a crush washer.

So here goes:

Fill plug washer: 803918060
Drain plug washer: 11126AA040
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I've spent a lot of time today trying to find that specific crush washer. I've searched the threads here but haven't found anything definite for a 14. I'm kinda lost on this one.
 

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I assume you missed my post above, but at any rate to remove the "random dude on Internet said that..." (yes, me) and give you some hard, cold proof for the part number I'm stating above:

https://estore.subarupartswarehouse...-------------M110411-/49286903/803918060.html
See "parts compatibility" - will show your 2014 listed.

For a parts diagram listing see this: https://estore.subarupartswarehouse..._driveline=53352&ukey_trimlevel=0&modelYear=0
You'll find the part in the parts diagram under "G91606" which references the same parts number - 803918060

And like I said - it's not a crush washer :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah I realize the fill plug is not a crush washer. I'm looking for the drain plug crush washer. I could use the fill plug washer/ring too. Maybe I just wasn't following you ��
 

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Ah ok, I guess I was the one confused then. Thank you for clarifying. The parts number for the drain plug gasket I gave above appears to only run through 2012 but I'm willing to bet it works fine for 2013/2014 as well. Nevertheless, the parts diagram I linked in my prior post is your best friend here. By selecting the drain plug gasket in the interactive diagram (listed as D92609) you get the parts number, 803926090.

https://estore.subarupartswarehouse.com/p/Subaru__25L-CVT/GASKET/49286912/803926090.html

Here's a reference:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks. I need to replace it next time as its seeping. At least the tranny isn't a quart low like the first time I checked it before the first drain/refill. Really hope this cvt hangs in here for the long haul!
 

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I wonder if the fact that you ran the engine immediately prior could have contributed to the missing quart? It normally takes a while for the fluid to seep back into the pan after you turn the engine off and the oil pump stops pumping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had wondered about running the engine too. But still if the temp is correct and the engine running it should run out of the fill hole if the level is correct. It didn't do that on the first time. Maybe I had the engine off at that time. Today when I did a fluid check it ran out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But yeah if the engine was off at that time and the pump was no longer running then the fluid could have been up in the torque converter. Who knows. Anyway I'm glad it runs out now!
 
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