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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What kind of changes has Subaru made to the HTCVT since the 16FXT I use to own? Many people had issues with the CVT in the FXT it seemed. I did not have a failure in the 3 years I owned it but it did lag a lot off the line. Did Subaru make changes to make the CVT more reliable in the newer Outback XT?
 

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First , I believe that the XT trans is different than their standard cvt. I also would have to believe many updates and/or improvements would be made from 2016 to 2021. Sorry I have nothing specific at this point without searching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First , I believe that the XT trans is different than their standard cvt. I also would have to believe many updates and/or improvements would be made from 2016 to 2021. Sorry I have nothing specific at this point without searching.
Yes, I know the HTCVT is different. Just wondering what possible changes were made to add reliability to the unit.
 

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again with no specifics I can assume that from 2010-15 in which Subaru gave extension to 100K on the warranty that they would also have made adjustments so it s not an issue going forward. Some units will fail on every manufacturer. Heck, I know Brand new $100K Porsche PDK transmissions that have failed when new and they are bullet proof.
 

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I think reliability on the Outback XT CVT is TBD given that the first model year for the current version is 2020. That said...

- I expect they have made improvements to the design. I have no proof beyond knowing that they have warrantied a lot of CVTs. I doubt they want to keep doing that. My 14 Crosstrek (not the high torque CVT), had the CVT valve body replaced under warranty at 5 years old with around 80K miles on it.

- The Outback XT moves pretty good. I would not say there is a lag, though the CVT does occasionally hunt for gears due to the simulated gearing. Nothing overly annoying, but it is noticeable.

- Given what I have seen on Subaru warrantying CVTs up to 100K miles, how easy my Crosstrek was to warranty, and reading about warranty repairs on forums, I am not overly concerned about the reliability on mine. If it has an issue I am confident it will be repaired. Hopefully that repair will be timely and the issues will be infrequent. I have seen nothing on the forums to indicate frequent CVT issues.

- I have seen a few CVT issues on the forum. It seems like most of them were instances of dealers trying to chase down loss of power related issues and eventually working on the CVT to try to figure it out. Noting that I have not been on the forum that long, so there may be more than I have seen. Search is your friend on this one. Ultimately if you do not see a ton of issues via search, then I expect there are not a ton of them. People tend to come to forums with their issues.


Hopefully one of the people on here with access to Subaru tech info can provide a more complete answer. I do not believe there is much publicly available on this topic.
 

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There have been numerous small parts revisions that if you spend time looking at parts.subaru.com you can put the pieces together of what happened when, whether it's the torque converter, wiring harness, or other parts. Some parts may not be specifically mentioned because it was a change in an entire assembly and all you know is that it was revised, but not necessarily in what manner.

One change from 2019 to 2020 was that the HT-CVT fluid for the TR690 changed to an LV-High Torque CVT fluid, where LV = Low Viscosity. Similarly there was a fluid change for the TR580 in 2020 - but the new fluid is NOT backwards compatible for the 2019 and older. This tells me that there probably were other internal changes as I doubt it was only a software change for the new fluid but ??

The TR690 that uses the new LV CVT fluid is the same one in the Subaru Ascent that tows up to 5000 pounds, except that in the Ascent the final drive ratio is different.

Did your FXT have a transmission cooler? The 2020+ Outback XT has a heat exchanger between the CVT fluid and engine coolant, plus an external transmission cooler in front of the radiator.
 

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Hopefully the fluid gets better and better for a longer and longer "lifetime" - temperature certainly plays a role in its longevity. There are a lot of variants out there, just make sure if you change it or have a shop change it that they get the right one - CVT, CVT-II, CVT-III, LV, HT, etc.
 

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Hopefully the fluid gets better and better for a longer and longer "lifetime" - temperature certainly plays a role in its longevity. There are a lot of variants out there, just make sure if you change it or have a shop change it that they get the right one - CVT, CVT-II, CVT-III, LV, HT, etc.
I think it s recommended at 100K.
 

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I would be happy if that was the case. In my 2011, they were highly resistant to doing it at all unless you were towing, which satisfied the interval requirement in the footnote for the CVTF. I have a long time before I get there with my XT, but it would be great to see something in print. Subaru Canada requires a 60,000 mile/100,000 kilometer change interval.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I heard in other countries its recommended to change around 3 years. I have not looked too far into it yet though.
 
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