Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anyone has done a CVTservice at a dealer. How much it cost? Does dealer just do a drain and refill or flush the system?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
$110 may have been dealer cost if they thought fluid swap would fix a noisy cvt. It gives us a base line fluid replacement cost. Doubt i can get it done for less than $150. But I havent checked yet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
To add another point to the discussion, I went in to have the fluid changed at 50k miles and the dealer representative recommended against it. I even mentioned that I do some light towing. The rep. mentioned that the CVT is built in a clean room and "if you have dirty transmission fluid with this CVT, you have bigger problems than dirty fluid".

Take it for what it's worth, but that's a dealer turning away a fair bit of money when someone is asking to have a service performed. I didn't have it performed based on the recommendation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
To add another point to the discussion, I went in to have the fluid changed at 50k miles and the dealer representative recommended against it. I even mentioned that I do some light towing. The rep. mentioned that the CVT is built in a clean room and "if you have dirty transmission fluid with this CVT, you have bigger problems than dirty fluid".

Take it for what it's worth, but that's a dealer turning away a fair bit of money when someone is asking to have a service performed. I didn't have it performed based on the recommendation.
Sounds like a good dealer to me. When did they suggest it be changed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Subaru and the dealer have already declared my CVT noise to be normal. So the cost was all on me for this service. But I wouldn't be surprised if there is a range of costs for folks getting the service.

$110 may have been dealer cost if they thought fluid swap would fix a noisy cvt. It gives us a base line fluid replacement cost. Doubt i can get it done for less than $150. But I havent checked yet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
The noise is a whine/whistle in addition to what most folks consider the normal CVT whine. It started around 3K miles. I did hear one other car that sounded similar but most OB's don't have it. At this point I've accepted that it is just normal variation between cars. I happened to get a noisier one. It operates just fine.

No, the noise is present at all speeds.

what type of noise? is it only when the car is going very slow (under 10 mph)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Sounds like a good dealer to me. When did they suggest it be changed?
They said the fluid is good for the life of the vehicle unless you do a lot of heavy towing as per the owner's manual. This makes me think that my dealer is maybe just a little afraid to touch the new CVT since the same statement about the fluid being good for the life of the vehicle is in the service manual for non-CVT engines as well and I would bet they'd have done a transmission fluid change if I had a traditional transmission.

In my mind, recommending to not change the transmission fluid keys off of two possible reasons:
1. It's really better not to change the transmission fluid.
2. Subaru thinks most people will be happy if their car lasts up to X miles (X being whatever number their analysists came up with for which most people will be happy that their car lasted that long) and the transmission should hold up well enough without a fluid change to that point. X could be 100,000 miles for example. If you want your car to last beyond that point, you're on your own. The reason I think this is also a possibility is because Subaru's end goal is customer satisfaction with vehicle reliability to the point where Subaru gets repeat business and good recommendations to other potential buyers. So, make a car that meets the majority of customer's expectations of low maintenance and good reliability (to a point) and you achieve both goals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
They said the fluid is good for the life of the vehicle unless you do a lot of heavy towing as per the owner's manual. This makes me think that my dealer is maybe just a little afraid to touch the new CVT since the same statement about the fluid being good for the life of the vehicle is in the service manual for non-CVT engines as well and I would bet they'd have done a transmission fluid change if I had a traditional transmission.

In my mind, recommending to not change the transmission fluid keys off of two possible reasons:
1. It's really better not to change the transmission fluid.
2. Subaru thinks most people will be happy if their car lasts up to X miles (X being whatever number their analysists came up with for which most people will be happy that their car lasted that long) and the transmission should hold up well enough without a fluid change to that point. X could be 100,000 miles for example. If you want your car to last beyond that point, you're on your own. The reason I think this is also a possibility is because Subaru's end goal is customer satisfaction with vehicle reliability to the point where Subaru gets repeat business and good recommendations to other potential buyers. So, make a car that meets the majority of customer's expectations of low maintenance and good reliability (to a point) and you achieve both goals.
Sounds possible but 100k isn't the number because the service manual goes up to 120k (I know, you meant 100k as an example). It seems more likely to me that the oil is very unlikely to break down unless it heats up (heavy towing) so there is no reason to change it. If they eliminate contaminants during assembly (clean room) then some of the causes of oil break down would also be eliminated (air, water, carbon) and that would only leave heat. (salt and detergent count too but I doubt they are a factor here)

Bottom line I could see the fluid still able to do it's job at 300k and beyond so it's possible the fluid is designed to last longer than the parts it lubricates, meaning the belt and barrings will go out before the fluid does. Well, unless it gets too hot. People in hilly hot areas might also need to change more often. For what it is worth Subaru still takes pride in the fact some of their 70's and 80's cars are still out there in the wild and many still have original parts.



Thanks for posting. It's really rare to have a dealer say you don't need something done when it is in their best interests to just take your $$$. You see if they don't take people's $$$ people tend to question what the dealer says and maybe not go back, if they do take your $$$ and make something up then people feel warm and fuzzy and give them more $$$. It's a weird win/win that dealers are very tempted to follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
Well I'll bring this thread back to life and ask one more time. When the dealer changed your fluid (if you've ever had it done on the CVT) just how much fluid was changed, I know it holds 13 qts, but how much can be drained and replaced! And what have dealers charged for doing so I've seen a post stating $110 and another stating 230 that's a big spread, and I know some of stand firm that it does not need changing at all.

I don't believe ANY fluid used to lubricate moving parts should be considered permanent. My 2000 Honda Odyssey held 7+ qts. and a simple drain and fill would take me 3qts, 6oz they advised against any type of "power flush" and most people would do the drain and fill 3 times to consider it changed with some driving in between. I just started doing a drain and fill every other oil change (6k miles) the Odyssey's weakest point was the transmission.

I want to keep my Outback in top condition with the CVT lasting the TOTAL life of the car is important if the repair cost or should I say replacement cost is like 7500 as I've heard.

So far other then 1 person posting they used an after market fluid and did it themselves I have found little information on fluid changes being done. And have only read of very few failures I hope this all means the CVT is a solid unit! But I also just read 1 post of a Dealer and Subaru stating someone needed a replacement and they would get no help because the fluid had never been changed and the car had just over 100k. That makes no sense to me when the book says unless you tow it does not need to be done. Most likely that person did not have a 7yr/100k service contract and was out of warranty since 36k.

Anyway all I'm looking for is amount of fluid actually replaced and at what cost as it seams this does not fall into the DIY arena for several reasons and I would want the Subaru fluid (I'm not buying 5 gallons and storing the leftover fluid, my dealer stated the pail is something like $230 at their cost and not for resale anyway).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,108 Posts
Anyway all I'm looking for is amount of fluid actually replaced and at what cost as it seams this does not fall into the DIY arena for several reasons and I would want the Subaru fluid (I'm not buying 5 gallons and storing the leftover fluid, my dealer stated the pail is something like $230 at their cost and not for resale anyway).
Let us know when you find out. I think maybe 2 people on the forum have done this so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Don't most transmissions have a small pressure vent near the top? Does the CVT not have one of these if it is truly a sealed unit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
tranny fluid changes

I've been driving for 58 years. I've owned lots and lots of different cars. I've never, ever had anything like a transmission fail because of lubrication problems. I've never had anything fail because of lube problems. When I started driving in 1955 it was standard to change engine oil every one thousand miles. Many cars then either didn't have oil filters or it was an extra cost option. As the years and miles rolled on I've always serviced and cared for my cars per the factory recommendations. If they say don't change transfluid (as in my 2010 Outback, I won't do it). All of my cars have lasted without ANY major problems by doing this.

I did own a BMW that was supposed to have its manual trans fluid changed early on. I took it to the dealer and the official Herr Professor Doktor Mekanic who had immigrated from Germany did the fluid change. He used automatic transmission fluid in the manual trans! So much for certified service. The transmission never failed but it did make strange squeeling noises from that point on. Moral, if it says don't change the **** fluid, don't change it!

I have a greenie neighbor who changes his oil at least every 3,000 miles. In the next breath he screams about greedy oil companies and nearly has a stroke at the mention of fracking. He didn't like it when I told him to quit wasting oil by changing his too often. I wonder how much petroleum wouldn't be needed if we didn't do uneeded oil and lube changes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
+1. I would much rather take my chances with what the factory put in my CVT then to have the dealer touch it.
If and when mine gets changed, it will be me doing the changing. The only time I ever had a dealer change anything (20 plus years ago) I had to drain a quart out, when I got home. (Honda Accord).
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
About this Discussion
51 Replies
24 Participants
leodlion
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top