Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are talking 2017 3.6 CVT.

Sooooo! At 30k miles I took my car to a certified Subaru dealer for a CVT service. My feelings are drain/fill 30k and every 60k thereafter. I'm up on maintenance and barring anything disastrous, this car will see 200k to 250k before retirement. I was able to do the front and rear differentials on my own with no issue. I do not have access to the tools necessary for the CVT.

Dealer stated to me that if they do the service it very well may void the warranty. Reason is that Subaru claims the fluid "life long" and does not provide a recommended change interval.

Define "lifelong" and they can't/won't. Reminds me of BMW "lifelong" fluid that they backed off after some serious issues that were related to fluid degradation.

30k is early I get that. But I don't see any reason not to change a fluid with a view toward longevity. Has anyone else run into this? What did you end up doing?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
Joined
·
7,110 Posts
Void the warranty? No ... not as long as it's done using the correct fluid and in accordance with the FSM. (N.B. There are three distinctly different Subaru fluids to choose from. Only one of them is suitable for your CVT.)

On a more practical level, you have to weigh the possibility of damage due to it being done wrong (wrong fluid, under/over fill, fluid contamination, etc.) against the exceedingly small benefit (if any) of changing CVT fluid at 30,000 miles.

My unsolicited advice? If you do "repeated trailer towing," by all means change the CVT fluid every ~25,000 miles as recommended by Subaru. Otherwise, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Void the warranty? No ... not as long as it's done using the correct fluid and in accordance with the FSM. (N.B. There are three distinctly different Subaru fluids to choose from. Only one of them is suitable for your CVT.)

On a more practical level, you have to weigh the possibility of damage due to it being done wrong (wrong fluid, under/over fill, fluid contamination, etc.) against the exceedingly small benefit (if any) of changing CVT fluid at 30,000 miles.

My unsolicited advice? If you do "repeated trailer towing," by all means have the CVT fluid changed as recommended by Subaru. Otherwise, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I can certainly see some wisdom in those comments. Here is the BUT. Subaru has no known recommendation for the CVT fluid change. Lifelong is the term. I'm going guess lifelong to Subaru is 100k. That is not my definition of lifelong. If I'm wrong please let me know the recommended change mileage.
 

·
Registered
2018 Dark Blue Outback 3.6R Touring arrived 8/31/2017
Joined
·
343 Posts
I can certainly see some wisdom in those comments. Here is the BUT. Subaru has no known recommendation for the CVT fluid change. Lifelong is the term. I'm going guess lifelong to Subaru is 100k. That is not my definition of lifelong. If I'm wrong please let me know the recommended change mileage.
I agree, 100K miles isn’t “lifelong” and if the coolant is an indicator, it should be longer. I wouldn’t have bought my car new if I only expected that number of miles: I’d prefer no less than 200K as an expected lifespan, barring an accident or a flood or other natural disaster (I do live in an area that seems to have all options other than perhaps a hurricane) destroying it.
 

·
Registered
2018 Touring 3.6R
Joined
·
903 Posts
Define "lifelong" and they can't/won't. Reminds me of BMW "lifelong" fluid that they backed off after some serious issues that were related to fluid degradation.

"Lifetime" has a simple definition: how ever long it lasts.



Here's a fun anecdote though. I had a VW diesel many years ago and it too had "lifetime" transmission fluid. I decided to just leave it alone because it required all kinds of hijinks in order to change the fluid. I sold that car with 250k miles and never had an issue from the trans. A guy I know that is a vw/audi mechanic had a similar car and he changed the fluid every 15k miles. His trans bit the dust around 120k miles. If anything I subjected mine to much harsher driving than he did.
 

·
Registered
2018 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
549 Posts
Then 100K sounds like a better interval to change it on. Other makers such as Volvo have also lifetime transmission fluids, you can research how they fare long term.
 

·
Registered
2018 Subaru OB Premium
Joined
·
260 Posts
The maintenance section in my '18 2.5i owners manual states you shouldn't have to change the trans fluid iirc
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
Joined
·
7,110 Posts
If I'm wrong please let me know the recommended change mileage.
You seem to be looking for a specific answer, perhaps to serve as external validation for a decision you've already made. All I can do is refer you to the Warranty & Maintenance Guide you should have received with your new Outback; whether you find it useful or not, the definitive answer is there.

FWIW, I've seen anecdotal evidence that there may be an undocumented "% CVT Fluid Life Remaining" variable maintained by the CVT controller (ECU/TCU). You might want to investigate that further.
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback Premium 2.5
Joined
·
10 Posts
I would find a new dealer. My dealer recommends changing every 60,000 if you're not towing anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
I would find a new dealer. My dealer recommends changing every 60,000 if you're not towing anything.
SAme here heavy CA traffic lots of short trips oh and I tow too. Both our cvts done at 60k both were quieter and smoother in a noticeable manner.

If your dealer actually said that. Send Subaru via Subaru.com a email telling them you have no confidence in that dealers ability to properly service your car after the cvt service response you got from them. I bet you get a gift card with money and Mother Subaru looks in on the dealers umm skill sets or lack there of.
 

·
Registered
2016 WRX, 2017 BRZ, 2017 Legacy
Joined
·
366 Posts
Legacy 2.5i premium.

I asked my SA about changing the fluid, knowing that the Subaru CVT's don't have a reputation for longevity. His answer was simply that they didn't yet know when or if the fluid should be changed. He said if it were his car he'd do it around 80k, and have the dealership do it because it needs to be hooked to a tool which which cycle/purge and recalibrate the unit (i.e. it's not a home mechanic type of thing).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
What is your question?

Recommendation

2017 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period

Laughing at Oneself and with Others is Good for the Soul
Great chart! Big thanks to the author. It also has a disclaimer top and bottom, in affect stating consult your owners manual. Kinda puts us back in the same starting point.

For me, my driving situation will be fine for 60k drain/fill cycles. I find it disingenuous on the manufacturer to put out the "lifetime" statements and not quantify what "lifetime" actually means.
 

·
Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
·
11,293 Posts
"4 under severe driving replace the CVT oil should be replaced under severe driving at 24,855 miles "

50k is my plan for the CVT. I do do severe driving and heat that fluid up at times.
 

·
Registered
'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
2,499 Posts
I find it disingenuous on the manufacturer to put out the "lifetime" statements and not quantify what "lifetime" actually means.
I don't. To me, it clearly means "the car will become unserviceable as a practical matter for other reasons before this fluid needs to be changed".

Whether this is actually justified in the real world remains to be seen, but the meaning seems clear to me.

I enjoy scoffing at "lifetime warranties" as much as the next guy: "It doesn't work. You need to fix it." "It doesn't work. Its lifetime is over; the warranty expired when it did." but I doubt that would be a viable business model for dealing with merchandise like cars in the US. Can you say "lawsuits"?
 

·
Registered
'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
2,499 Posts
"4 under severe driving replace the CVT oil should be replaced under severe driving at 24,855 miles "
Gotta love false precision like that!* 40,000.000 km = 24854.848 miles (or, rounded to the nearest mile, 24,855).

40,000 km, from context, is obviously 40 thousand km (not 40.000 thousand km), or about 25 thousand miles (not 24.855 thousand miles).

False precision:

"If a car's speedometer indicates the vehicle is travelling at 60MPH and that is converted to KPH, it would equal 96.5606KPH. The conversion from the whole number in one system to the precise result in another makes it seem like the measurement was very precise, when in fact it was not."

* I'm not slagging Brucey. The literature really does say that, which is odd because other similar conversions honor the initial units' precision correctly in the same document.
 

·
Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
·
11,293 Posts
Gotta love false precision like that!* 40,000.000 km = 24854.848 miles (or, rounded to the nearest mile, 24,855).

40,000 km, from context, is obviously 40 thousand km (not 40.000 thousand km), or about 25 thousand miles (not 24.855 thousand miles).

False precision:

"If a car's speedometer indicates the vehicle is travelling at 60MPH and that is converted to KPH, it would equal 96.5606KPH. The conversion from the whole number in one system to the precise result in another makes it seem like the measurement was very precise, when in fact it was not."

* I'm not slagging Brucey. The literature really does say that, which is odd because other similar conversions honor the initial units' precision correctly in the same document.
I mean, I change my oil every 8046.72 kilometers. I don't see the issue.

I mostly heat the fluid up doing this stuff:

[ame]https://youtu.be/WuG1yivsXGc?t=66[/ame]

But since installing the cooler I'm less worried.
 

·
Registered
'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
2,499 Posts
I mean, I change my oil every 8046.72 kilometers. I don't see the issue.

I mostly heat the fluid up doing this stuff:

<video of stuff>

But since installing the cooler I'm less worried.
So you'll extend that to 8100 km? Woo! Livin' on the edge!!

[Edit to add] flying from Washington, DC to DFW this morning, we could identify the New River Gorge Bridge. From 30,000 feet and dozens of miles away, it's still recognizable and still impressive! My wife (a WV girl) really liked seeing it.
 

·
Registered
2015 OB 2.5i Ltd replaced 2010 OB; 20 mm WRX rear sway bar & Michelin LXT Premier tires; replaced 2010 2.5 OB Ltd. City car is 2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Prem
Joined
·
423 Posts
Gotta love the recommended Maint schedule posted by Yoda. It indicates that the CVT fluid should be inspected every 30K. And how, I would like to know, does one inspect the CVT fluid without pulling the drain plug???

Note that SOA put an extended, 100K warranty on the 2015 CVT (other years also?)
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
Joined
·
7,110 Posts
And how, I would like to know, does one inspect the CVT fluid without pulling the drain plug???
RTFM ... the Factory Service Manual, that is. The 30,000 mile "inspect" is for external leaks only; it is not for fluid level or condition.

The procedure to check fluid level is also outlined in the FSM. It requires removing the CVT fill plug, not the drain plug.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top