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You are not wrong because it is certainly based on both, as time and temperature are equivalent for polymers. The reason for mileage is that miles correspond to an "at use" temperature. Depending on the location of the connection system, there is a certain temperature requirement that the part will need to meet. For example T2=105C, T3=125C, T4=150C continuous use for 3000hrs. Parts need to pass heat age testing at these temperatures for 3000 hrs with a certain level of property retention specified by the OEM. These parts are tested by many means (salt spray, temperature cycling, various automotive fluid resistance, dielectric properties, etc.. ), so that is just one test the part would need to meet.

As polymers are exposed to temperature and other environmental factors, they will over time degrade. This refers to a reduction in the molecular weight of the polymer and many important polymer properties are dependent on Mw. 100,000 miles is not that long of a time for a lot of people. But it is important to keep in mind that once these pieces are degraded, that doesn't necessarily mean "broken." In practice it comes down to the connector not being as flexible as it used to be, so if you try to engage and disengage a connector, depending on how it was designed, it may not have enough flexibility for the locking mechanisms to not break and retain the connections and terminals with as great of a force as it did when new.

As you would imagine, connectors in the interior of the car have much lower temperature requirements because the conditions to which they are exposed are much less severe.

My source is that I develop polymer compounds for connection systems and perform analytical work on components for a living :). If anyone wants to talk more about polymers I can on a different thread lol!
Thanks for the informative post crudzinskas.

The 1986 Saab 900T I inherited from my dad in 2000 had what came to be called "biodegradable wiring" in the Saab forum I was in. I gather the insulation was made from vegetable-based oils instead of more conventional petroleum-based stock or some such; at any rate, it did not age well and that particular experiment was abandoned after two years. The insulation on many wires in the engine bay (it seemed to vary by color) became brittle and crumbly, and would literally fall off the conductors if flexed at all! And, of course, the connectors were also very brittle and prone to disintegrate unless handled very gently, and often even then. Depending on the situation, I would either slip heat-shrink tubing on to insulate bare wires, or splice a new wire in to replace a section. Fortunately, I worked for a company engaged in aerospace work, and had scavenged a good amount of discarded teflon-insulated wire in various sizes; that stuff was great for the purpose!
 

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The 1986 Saab 900T I inherited from my dad in 2000 had what came to be called "biodegradable wiring" in the Saab forum I was in. I gather the insulation was made from vegetable-based oils instead of more conventional petroleum-based stock ...
I think Ford, among others, also had a brief dalliance with soy-based insulation on electrical wiring. Not only did it deteriorate rapidly in automotive service, but rodents and other small critters apparently found it very tasty as well.
 
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Good morning everyone. Last month I started this thread discussing if & when to do a cvt drain & fill service. I mentioned in the thread I would have my dealer perform a drain & fill on my next service appointment and I would send a sample of the fluid to Blackstone Labs for analysis. I had the service completed, sent the fluid Blackstone and received my report yesterday. I attached the report for your viewing pleasure. After sending off my sample, I read in a post somewhere to shake my container of fluid before pouring it in to Blackstone's container. I don't know if this is accurate, and if so, will it affect the results?

Vehicle: 2019 Outback Touring 3.6R
Date of Purchase: 12/27/2018
Date of CVT service: 02/08/2020
Mileage at service: 49,925

Driving Habits: I drive a 176 round trip daily commute (M-F) that is 90%+ highway driving with some local driving on weekends. I've never towed & I have not done any off road adventures (yet). I do not abuse my car but I do test its "vehicle passing capabilities" regularly. Lol.
Looks like you have been giving your CVT calcium and magnesium supplements .? But seriously, thank you for showing us what to expect with a Subaru CVT at 50,000 miles. It looks like you can wait until 100K before changing the fluid.!
 

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No fluid is good for the life of the assembly. When the assembly fails due to fluid breakdown, thats its lifetime. That being said, I will have mine changed at 50K mi by the dealer ( I have a 2016 Outback 2.5 Limited with 45K mi). I will also have the used fluid tested. That gives me 10K mi of power train warranty should any issues arise. I will continue to change it at 50K intervals until I replace it.
 

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... I will have [my CVT fluid] changed at 50K mi ... That gives me 10K mi of power train warranty should any issues arise.
The warranty on the CVT in your 2016 Outback has been extended to 10 years/100,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I've read through these posts again and I'm surprised by the fear/panic having one's cvt serviced before some magical threshold that can't be determined. I've spoken to many dealer's service departments about this service beforehand, and the responses were more confusing than convincing. The responses ranged from performing the service at 60k, 100k, 137k, 150k & "Lifetime Fluid Man, Don't Touch It"! I mean give me a break! Service departments jump up & down screaming they don't want to touch the cvt, but if you say you tow, better get in here asap.

What I've learned from the test result is I could easily go 100k between each drain & fill, although I still plan to stick to 50k intervals. It's a minor expense that gives me peace of mind.
 

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Have there been any reports of Gen5 CVT failures after 100k miles, and the owners not having changed the fluid?
If it was a high risk to follow the maintenance schedule, then I would expect those cases to exist. Most people probably don't change the fluid since dealers recommend against it many times, and Subaru does not call for it in the maintenance schedule.
So ... are there reports of failed CVTs that can likely be blamed on missed fluid changes?
 

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I have always had issues with oil tests such as the one OP submitted. If its 100 degrees out, is it hot or cold? The answer is it depends. What does it depend on? Its depends on what you are comparing it to. Compared to a 125 degree day in the Nevada dessert, 100F is a cool day. On the other hand in Montana its hotter than normal. Although, Blackstone may tell you what is in your oil, the end user really has no clue how to interpret the results.

For example, the results show 299 PPM calcium. What does this mean for the end user? It means absolutely nothing. The universal average is 240. So that means the fluid had 59 more PARTS PER MILLION or 0.000059. This number is so small, its insignificant.

There is probably not one person on the planet that can tell you anything meaningful about the results. Are they good? Bad? IS your CVT running normal? How long will it last? Unless you know what the numbers mean (and you don't) the numbers are meaningless, i.e. they have no benefit to the end user.

A chemist will likely come to the conclusion: the various metal parts are wearing out at different rates and combining at a molecular level with the fluids and creating byproducts that get deposited into the oil. You know what? A decent high school Chemistry student could have told you that.

Change your fluids more often and don't spend your hard earned money on this absolute nonsense.
 

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Blackstone may tell you what is in your oil, the end user really has no clue how to interpret the results...
I've never checked their website out, but they may give some general guidance about how to interpret the results (in addition to their own somewhat vague interpretation included in the report). UOAs are most useful if they've got enough data to establish average values for your specific transmission type. But they would need lots of used HT-CVT fluid samples to do that, and I kinda doubt they've seen much of that oil. However, they've probably seen a fair number of Subaru CVT fluid samples in total which should at least give them a general idea of how much wear the CVT has experienced. If something is unusually high, that's a red flag, and their comments suggest there's nothing alarming in the results.

Anyway, the list is constructed with the more common wear metals up top. Many of the elements toward the bottom just give a rough idea of some of the oil additives being used. B, Ca, and P (in an approximate ratio of 2:3:6) are the only things that show up in the original (orange) HT-CVT fluid (see this post). This can allow you to confirm that it's the correct oil for the transmission, and you can sometimes detect if there's been any contamination from the use of a different fluid, or if an additive has been depleted. Don't get worked up about the ppm levels - 100s of ppm is actually pretty significant. The oil manufacturer isn't just sprinkling in a little calcium powder, the trace amount probably comes from the detergent they use, and I can assure you there's a heck of a lot more than 300 ppm of detergent in there. The phosphorus is probably a film-forming additive required for the CVT's extreme contact pressures, and boron-based additives have a variety of functions. There are also plenty of non-metallic additives that won't even show up in this test.
 

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... the results show 299 PPM calcium ... The universal average is 240. So that means the fluid had 59 more PARTS PER MILLION or 0.000059. This number is so small, its insignificant.
Insignificant? Maybe, maybe not. It also means that the sample tested contains 25% more calcium than is typical. Do you consider a 25% difference to be "insignificant?"

On a related note, the odorant released by skunks is detectable by the human nose at concentrations as low as 12 parts per BILLION. I hope you would agree that skunk spray at 59 parts per MILLION ... 5,000 times higher than the 12 PPB threshold ... would not be "insignificant." (For the chemically-similar odorants added to natural gas, some sources list the threshold of nausea in humans at 2 to 3 PPM. I would consider that significant. How about you?)

There is probably not one person on the planet that can tell you anything meaningful about the results.
Arguably not true. Hyperbole, maybe?

... don't spend your hard earned money on this absolute nonsense.
Just because you don't understand the data doesn't mean that it's "nonsense."
 

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Insignificant? Maybe, maybe not. It also means that the sample tested contains 25% more calcium than is typical. Do you consider a 25% difference to be "insignificant?"

On a related note, the odorant released by skunks is detectable by the human nose at concentrations as low as 12 parts per BILLION. I hope you would agree that skunk spray at 59 parts per MILLION ... 5,000 times higher than the 12 PPB threshold ... would not be "insignificant." (For the chemically-similar odorants added to natural gas, some sources list the threshold of nausea in humans at 2 to 3 PPM. I would consider that significant. How about you?)


Arguably not true. Hyperbole, maybe?


Just because you don't understand the data doesn't mean that it's "nonsense."
Ok, so you are saying you do understand the data. Tell the forum, what is the effect of 25% more calcium in CVT fluid? Does it mean performance will be less, does it mean, failure is imminent, does that mean, the owner should be concerned? Does calcium in a CVT have the same health benefit as it does to humans? Does that mean the chain is wearing out too fast? Or too slow? You can't even conclude if its a good thing or a bad thing. What does it mean since you claim to understand the data. Start Googling and get back to us. The bottom line is that you don't know. No one knows. Blackstone gives you data that you cant interpret. Its completely useless data. If I told you it was 20 degrees out, you take this data I gave you and you take corrective action by wearing a jacket. There is no corrective action to take with the Blackstone report. Completely meaningless. Prove me wrong, please, but do it a better way than by making skunk odor examples on a Subaru Outback forum.
 

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Have there been any reports of Gen5 CVT failures after 100k miles, and the owners not having changed the fluid?
If it was a high risk to follow the maintenance schedule, then I would expect those cases to exist. Most people probably don't change the fluid since dealers recommend against it many times, and Subaru does not call for it in the maintenance schedule.
So ... are there reports of failed CVTs that can likely be blamed on missed fluid changes?
Are there any such cases or reports of failed CVTs?
 

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Ok, so you are saying you do understand the data. Tell the forum, what is the effect of 25% more calcium in CVT fluid? Does it mean performance will be less, does it mean, failure is imminent, does that mean, the owner should be concerned? Does calcium in a CVT have the same health benefit as it does to humans? Does that mean the chain is wearing out too fast? Or too slow? You can't even conclude if its a good thing or a bad thing. What does it mean since you claim to understand the data. Start Googling and get back to us. The bottom line is that you don't know. No one knows. Blackstone gives you data that you cant interpret. Its completely useless data. If I told you it was 20 degrees out, you take this data I gave you and you take corrective action by wearing a jacket. There is no corrective action to take with the Blackstone report. Completely meaningless. Prove me wrong, please, but do it a better way than by making skunk odor examples on a Subaru Outback forum.
Zoulas,

You've been here for 5 years and making a post nearly every 3 days so I know you know better than to have a snippy attitude.

Let's have a course correction towards civility.
 

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Mr. Rub, respectfully, there are a handful of people on this forum that practice intimidation tactics and make claims they understand something they really don't have a clue about. My only request from Mr. Ammcinnis was that if he makes a claim about something that he back it up with facts. I think (and I hope you agree) the information on this forum should not be as fake as the evening news.
 

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Brucey
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Mr. Rub, respectfully, there are a handful of people on this forum that practice intimidation tactics and make claims they understand something they really don't have a clue about. My only request from Mr. Ammcinnis was that if he makes a claim about something that he back it up with facts. I think (and I hope you agree) the information on this forum should not be as fake as the evening news.
Sources of high calcium in an oil analysis.
 

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...The bottom line is that you don't know. No one knows. Blackstone gives you data that you cant interpret. Its completely useless data. If I told you it was 20 degrees out, you take this data I gave you and you take corrective action by wearing a jacket. There is no corrective action to take with the Blackstone report. Completely meaningless. Prove me wrong, please, but do it a better way than by making skunk odor examples on a Subaru Outback forum.
Yes, @Brucey has a good source there. They provide links to discussion of each element in the table on this page:

Like I said, while your average Joe might struggle a bit even after googling, that doesn't mean the data is useless. Far from it. But most folks don't concern themselves with the more exotic elements (and for good reason, since interpretation can get thorny there) and simply use Blackstone to quantify typical wear metals. Calcium (since it's not likely present in any significant amount in any of the alloys used to construct the working parts) is not going to be a product of any sort of wear. So, unless the level is very unusual, there's no need to concern yourself with it. If iron and/or aluminum suddenly jump to 100s of ppm, you may have a serious issue and it's probably time to get the CVT checked out.
 

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Mr. Rub, respectfully, there are a handful of people on this forum that practice intimidation tactics and make claims they understand something they really don't have a clue about. My only request from Mr. Ammcinnis was that if he makes a claim about something that he back it up with facts. I think (and I hope you agree) the information on this forum should not be as fake as the evening news.
You can disagree with someone all day long. Just do it respectfully.

Think of the forum as a place where Norman Rockwell would come to be inspired.
 
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