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I have a 2012 Legacy with the CVT transmission. I bought the car new and since purchase have asked the dealership about maintenance that needs to be completed on the transmission. From the get go they have said it does not need to be serviced. (seems crazy) I have even scheduled an appointment in the past to have this service completed. At that time I once again was told I did not need to change the fluid and returned home with no service completed.
Today I called 2 other Subaru dealerships in my area and asked them what they recommend and one said it needs to be changed at 100k the other stated the same thing as the dealership I’ve been going to no service needed.
Recently AMSOIL came out with a CVT fluid that meets the spec Subaru calls for in the CVT tranny so I want to use it. Aside from that comparisons were done in Nissan CVT transmissions and wear was reduced using the AMSOIL fluid over the Nissan branded fluid. Plus I am an AMSOIL dealer and feel it’s important to use a product you are going to recommend to potential clients. I've got a CVT transmission AMSOIL sells a fluid I’m going to use it.
Today I had a service scheduled to have the transmission fluid changed at the dealership that let me leave with no service and has been telling me it’s not necessary to change. Once at the dealership I let them know what vehicle I had and what service I was there to have completed. Once again they said it doesn't need changed I said regardless I want the fluid replaced and explained that I brought my own fluid to use.
The gentleman said he needed to talk to the mechanic to make sure they could perform the service. He returns with not 1 but 3 mechanics. The first mechanic proceeds to ask me about the fluid I brought and I explained it’s a synthetic CVT fluid that AMSOIL makes. He says he wouldn't use anything but Subaru's fluid. I said "why". There was silence for a couple seconds and he says because it will void your warranty. (scare tactic) Then another mechanic proceeds to say that it isn't a recommended fluid and it can't be used. I explained to him that it is a recommended fluid to be used by AMSOIL and that the spec Subaru calls for is met with the fluid I am providing. It just so happens that being involved in the lubrication industry I know the legalities of this and he is not only wrong but it is illegal for them say this. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act I explained this and they said ok well change the fluid.
Now after all of this a mechanic says that the transmission has to be recalibrated to change the tranny fluid. I said ok whatever needs to be done is fine I would like the fluid changed. Is this the case? Has anybody heard this or have firsthand knowledge of this needing to be done?
So after all of this I get a call that the fluid has been switched but the computer that is needed crashed and they have to get a new overnighted so they can finish the work.
So what are other people doing with these trannys? I can't stomach not servicing a $8,000 transmission and live with just be ready to replace it when it fails and do nothing to try and prolong its life.
 

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Not wanting to sound like a smart a but what makes you think you know better than the manufacturer of a product. Happy to listen to your expert advice or any other qualified expert not just an employee of an oil company.
 

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first, they may be within their rights to refuse to install the fluid you brought. I think M-M Act probably just affects warranty claims. I doubt it forces them to violate the manufacturer's recomendations. That said, dealers do a occasionally make exceptions to please a customer. I had a dealership balk slightly when I wanted them to use a heavier weight engine oil. They can get nervous doing stuff outside of their training. Liability, etc. So, it seems you 'scare tactic - ed' them into doing the service.

second, I have no idea about this re-calibration business they are talking about. It may be that this procedure would also need to be done with fresh Subaru fluid installed. Anyone know?
 

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Although your are an amsoil dealer and stand behind their product, and they make the claim it is approved for the subaru cvt, the question is who is qualified to make that assertion? Amsoil or the vehicle manufacturer? Unless Subaru has tested, assessed and approved the Amsoil cvt product as an aftermarket cvt fluid replacement, subaru service centers are not obligated to use it, especially in the circumstance of shorted service cycles.

The reality is you have an ethical subaru service center that won't perform unnecessary service.

If you are adamant that the cvt fluid be replaced, you can always take it to a service center that will, but you bear the risk of losing warranty if the Amsoil formulation is not completely up to Subaru stamdards and a failure occurs and the MM Act won't provide any protection if the transmission fails and analysis shows the oil is the root cause. Just cuz Amsoil saus it's a direct replacement, doesn't mean it is from a subaru service perspective. It may be but it is an unknown. A dealer is not obligated to use aftermarket products under the MM Act. The MM Act allows you to use OEM equivalent after market products in your vehicle u der your own initiative, but it does not guarranty warranty coverage in all circumstances.

Amsoil should undergo subaru testing and certification which, if proven to be equal to or better than the subaru formulafion, would be a huge benefit to Amsoil's product market presence.
 

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I have a 2012 Legacy with the CVT transmission. I bought the car new and since purchase have asked the dealership about maintenance that needs to be completed on the transmission. From the get go they have said it does not need to be serviced. (seems crazy) I have even scheduled an appointment in the past to have this service completed. At that time I once again was told I did not need to change the fluid and returned home with no service completed.
Today I called 2 other Subaru dealerships in my area and asked them what they recommend and one said it needs to be changed at 100k the other stated the same thing as the dealership I’ve been going to no service needed.
Recently AMSOIL came out with a CVT fluid that meets the spec Subaru calls for in the CVT tranny so I want to use it. Aside from that comparisons were done in Nissan CVT transmissions and wear was reduced using the AMSOIL fluid over the Nissan branded fluid. Plus I am an AMSOIL dealer and feel it’s important to use a product you are going to recommend to potential clients. I've got a CVT transmission AMSOIL sells a fluid I’m going to use it.
Today I had a service scheduled to have the transmission fluid changed at the dealership that let me leave with no service and has been telling me it’s not necessary to change. Once at the dealership I let them know what vehicle I had and what service I was there to have completed. Once again they said it doesn't need changed I said regardless I want the fluid replaced and explained that I brought my own fluid to use.
The gentleman said he needed to talk to the mechanic to make sure they could perform the service. He returns with not 1 but 3 mechanics. The first mechanic proceeds to ask me about the fluid I brought and I explained it’s a synthetic CVT fluid that AMSOIL makes. He says he wouldn't use anything but Subaru's fluid. I said "why". There was silence for a couple seconds and he says because it will void your warranty. (scare tactic) Then another mechanic proceeds to say that it isn't a recommended fluid and it can't be used. I explained to him that it is a recommended fluid to be used by AMSOIL and that the spec Subaru calls for is met with the fluid I am providing. It just so happens that being involved in the lubrication industry I know the legalities of this and he is not only wrong but it is illegal for them say this. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act I explained this and they said ok well change the fluid.
Now after all of this a mechanic says that the transmission has to be recalibrated to change the tranny fluid. I said ok whatever needs to be done is fine I would like the fluid changed. Is this the case? Has anybody heard this or have firsthand knowledge of this needing to be done?
So after all of this I get a call that the fluid has been switched but the computer that is needed crashed and they have to get a new overnighted so they can finish the work.
So what are other people doing with these trannys? I can't stomach not servicing a $8,000 transmission and live with just be ready to replace it when it fails and do nothing to try and prolong its life.
Actually, I would probably try to use the Subaru fluid while in warranty. Amsoil may claim to meet the specs, and may even be better, but Amsoil has not spent the money to get their fluid certified. No one else has, either, as far as I know.

My car is out of warranty, so I did do a drain and fill at 60k. I used Valvoline CVT fluid. I am not a fan of Amsoil, because of their marketing tactics. Red line also makes what is probably a superior fluid. Read a whole discussion of the subject here:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/52020-2011-2-5i-cvt-differential-fluid-change.html

Good luck on your decision.
 

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If I understand it right, the fill level on the cvt is much more critical than on previous models. So the actual fill procedure involves connecting the car to select monitor. Sm can read the temperature to make the right volume compensation, and actuate the valves in the rig to knock out air bubbles.

I've read about one or two other people using the amsoil cvt product. I haven't heard of anyone buying a new transmission yet. Sounds like a real can of worms all the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not wanting to sound like a smart a but what makes you think you know better than the manufacturer of a product. Happy to listen to your expert advice or any other qualified expert not just an employee of an oil company.
I'm not an employee of AMSOIL. I never said I was an expert I am following AMSOIL'S recommendation.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!:)
I'm guessing you are kidding? Do you not change your motor oil?



first, they may be within their rights to refuse to install the fluid you brought. I think M-M Act probably just affects warranty claims. I doubt it forces them to violate the manufacturer's recomendations. That said, dealers do a occasionally make exceptions to please a customer. I had a dealership balk slightly when I wanted them to use a heavier weight engine oil. They can get nervous doing stuff outside of their training. Liability, etc. So, it seems you 'scare tactic - ed' them into doing the service.

I never made them install anything I simply asked them if they would change it and they said yes. I didn't use a scare tactic in any way shape or form. They did by telling me first I had to use Subaru fluid. Second by telling me it could void the warranty. I simply explained to them that they can't dictate what fluid i'm going to use and not honor the warranty.

This is straight from the AMSOIL website: AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid is Warranty Secure,™ keeping your factory warranty intact. AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid is a high-performance replacement for vehicle manufacturer-branded products and is also backed by the AMSOIL Limited Warranty (G1363). For details, visit www.amsoil.com/warrantysecure.


second, I have no idea about this re-calibration business they are talking about. It may be that this procedure would also need to be done with fresh Subaru fluid installed. Anyone know?
Anybody?

Although your are an amsoil dealer and stand behind their product, and they make the claim it is approved for the subaru cvt, the question is who is qualified to make that assertion? Amsoil or the vehicle manufacturer? Unless Subaru has tested, assessed and approved the Amsoil cvt product as an aftermarket cvt fluid replacement, subaru service centers are not obligated to use it, especially in the circumstance of shorted service cycles.

I can't imagine AMSOIL can afford to be replacing everybodies CVT trannys or any other part that they have fluids for. How could is possibly benefit AMSOIL to state this and sell a product that doesn't do what they are saying? The only companies who can benefit from only using Subaru fluid is Subaru and the company that makes the fluid for them.

The reality is you have an ethical subaru service center that won't perform unnecessary service.

You are correct I have had great service at the dealership and plan on continuing to have work done there.

If you are adamant that the cvt fluid be replaced, you can always take it to a service center that will, but you bear the risk of losing warranty if the Amsoil formulation is not completely up to Subaru stamdards and a failure occurs and the MM Act won't provide any protection if the transmission fails and analysis shows the oil is the root cause. Just cuz Amsoil saus it's a direct replacement, doesn't mean it is from a subaru service perspective. It may be but it is an unknown. A dealer is not obligated to use aftermarket products under the MM Act. The MM Act allows you to use OEM equivalent after market products in your vehicle u der your own initiative, but it does not guaranty warranty coverage in all circumstances.

The dealership was willing to perform the service. The way I am looking at it is they wanted to ensure I was using a fluid that was appropriate for the transmission. AMSOIL has confirmed this and made the information available to anybody. I was more then confident that the Subaru mechanics would do the job correctly and I doubt other shops would have the software to do this re-calibration so I am glad I took it somewhere that was knowledgeable on the proper procedures.

Amsoil should undergo Subaru testing and certification which, if proven to be equal to or better than the Subaru formulafion, would be a huge benefit to Amsoil's product market presence.
Many times these certifications are very expensive to obtain and not necessary for a company with such a great market share like AMSOIL. I do agree that it could not hurt anything and possibly attract more customers that are unwilling to believe anybody but the manufacturer of a certain component.

Actually, I would probably try to use the Subaru fluid while in warranty. Amsoil may claim to meet the specs, and may even be better, but Amsoil has not spent the money to get their fluid certified. No one else has, either, as far as I know.

Why pay Subaru for this when AMSOIL has a warranty all on its own?

My car is out of warranty, so I did do a drain and fill at 60k. I used Valvoline CVT fluid. I am not a fan of Amsoil, because of their marketing tactics. Red line also makes what is probably a superior fluid. Read a whole discussion of the subject here:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/52020-2011-2-5i-cvt-differential-fluid-change.html

Good luck on your decision.
As for AMSOIL marketing they made a business decision and it has worked out great for them. AMSOIL is a small fish in the lubrication world that has had a HUGE impact in synthetic lubricants. I used valvoline before learning about the benefits of AMSOIL.
 

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I'd bite the bullet and let a EXPERIENCED Subaru mechanic (who knows what he's doing and has serviced Subaru CVT's before) change the CVT fluid the first time while under warranty.

Then upgrade to Amsoil when out of warranty. During the next fluid change, you might be able to avoid the hassle of reading the fluid temperature with measuring the fluid that is drained out and adding the same amount back in during refill.
 

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I'm not an employee of AMSOIL. I never said I was an expert I am following AMSOIL'S recommendation.

As for AMSOIL marketing they made a business decision and it has worked out great for them. AMSOIL is a small fish in the lubrication world that has had a HUGE impact in synthetic lubricants. I used valvoline before learning about the benefits of AMSOIL.

I do not wish to get into a discussion about multilevel marketing and questionable publishing of pointless test results online.

I used Valvoline because it is most likely superior to the Subaru fluid, and is inexpensive in comparison to Amsoil, Redline or Subaru fluid. If I were to use something other than Valvoline, it would be Redline's version, as it has been my experience that they produce truly superior products.

For this application, since whatever I use is only replacing 50% of the fluid, it is not economically reasonable to spend Redline money. If I could change ALL the fluid (Without resorting to a flush......Which I believe to be a problematic procedure) I would put in Redline, and leave it considerably longer.

The most reasonable course to my thinking is to do a drain and fill every 25 to 30k. Other people's thinking will result in other strategies.
 

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Drama...

#1 read your owners manual.
#2 All this concern about the cvt no mention of miles or use
#3 I would do the front diff first if you really knew anything about the car

Your post reads like a gorrilla marketing blogger for Amsoil, your user Id is even crafted to get picked up by Google Search.
 

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If I understand it right, the fill level on the cvt is much more critical than on previous models. So the actual fill procedure involves connecting the car to select monitor. Sm can read the temperature to make the right volume compensation, and actuate the valves in the rig to knock out air bubbles.

I've read about one or two other people using the amsoil cvt product. I haven't heard of anyone buying a new transmission yet. Sounds like a real can of worms all the same.
The reason for connecting to the select monitor is to fill the unit when the temperature is in the proper range. The temperature can be checked with an IR temp gun, which is what I did. Otherwise, the procedure that is covered in the link I posted, and will work just fine for anyone that is confident in their mechanical abilities, and is willing to do it. You can screw it up, but if you make sure you understand what you are doing ahead of time, it ain't that hard. It took me maybe an hour, start to finish, including getting the car jacked up and level......And this was for the first run through.

It is a bit more involved than changing oil, and I would not recommend it to anyone that is afraid of changing their own timing belt. Good luck.
 

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Interesting thread. The official full service manual from subaru...the one the techs use...has no indication for a change of the CVT fliud. It does, however state that under extreme use it should be changed at 25,000miles. Now, the dealer service schedule from my dealership that has all the added stuff so that they make some $$$ from customers...has a scheduled CVT oil change at 57,500 miles. I guess it really depends on the dealership as to whether it is part of service. You may have request it be done in order to get it changed.
 

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I was thinking of doing it myself by getting the Subaru CVT C-30 oil, but, AFAIK it's only available on 5 gallon bucket.



:8:
 

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I was thinking of doing it myself by getting the Subaru CVT C-30 oil, but, AFAIK it's only available on 5 gallon bucket.



:8:
Which explains why I used Valvoline. 5 gallon bucket of the Subie stuff retails for about $250, or $12.50 a quart. 6 quarts of Valvoline on Amazon is under $50, or $8.34 a quart. $50 every 30k works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I do not wish to get into a discussion about multilevel marketing and questionable publishing of pointless test results online. Thanks I didn't start a post to talk about that.

I used Valvoline because it is most likely superior to the Subaru fluid, and is inexpensive in comparison to Amsoil, Redline or Subaru fluid. If I were to use something other than Valvoline, it would be Redline's version, as it has been my experience that they produce truly superior products.

The CVT fluid cost for me was a little over 9 bucks a qt.

For this application, since whatever I use is only replacing 50% of the fluid, it is not economically reasonable to spend Redline money. If I could change ALL the fluid (Without resorting to a flush......Which I believe to be a problematic procedure) I would put in Redline, and leave it considerably longer.

My thought is why cut corners on the fluid when you have such an expensive transmission?

The most reasonable course to my thinking is to do a drain and fill every 25 to 30k. Other people's thinking will result in other strategies.
My plan was 50K


Drama...

#1 read your owners manual. Did it states to have it inspected I believe every 30k. Unless they are checking if its low you won't be able to tell much by just visually looking at the fluid. U
#2 All this concern about the cvt no mention of miles or use You are correct the car has 55k and is driven a mix between highway and city. No towing
#3 I would do the front diff first if you really knew anything about the car
I did that with 75w-90 AMSOIL around 5k.

Your post reads like a gorrilla marketing blogger for Amsoil, your user Id is even crafted to get picked up by Google Search.
My ID is what I use on all my forums. Some I sponsor others I don't.

Which explains why I used Valvoline. 5 gallon bucket of the Subie stuff retails for about $250, or $12.50 a quart. 6 quarts of Valvoline on Amazon is under $50, or $8.34 a quart. $50 every 30k works for me.
 

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My plan was 50K

My thought is why cut corners on the fluid when you have such an expensive transmission?
You missed my logic.......I am going to have to change the fluid on some reasonably short schedule, anyway, since there is no effective way to change ALL the fluid.

Since I will be swapping it anyway, no need to use fluid whose claim to fame is extreme longevity.

If I were using Amsoil, I would change it on the same basis as I would Valvoline, since it is most likely in the same category, quality wise. If it all drained out, I would use Redline and run it twice the miles. But that is just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You missed my logic.......I am going to have to change the fluid on some reasonably short schedule, anyway, since there is no effective way to change ALL the fluid.

Since I will be swapping it anyway, no need to use fluid whose claim to fame is extreme longevity.

If I were using Amsoil, I would change it on the same basis as I would Valvoline, since it is most likely in the same category, quality wise. If it all drained out, I would use Redline and run it twice the miles. But that is just me.
That is a baseless claim comparing the valvoline and the AMSOIL but you are welcome to believe what you like. The OEM is saying there is no need to change the fluid how can you go twice as long? Either way I have the loaner car through the weekend now. Whatever they are waiting on didn't show. Ugh
 

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I would definitely plan on changing the transmission fluid sometime, if you plan on keeping the car more than 100K miles.
 

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Not wanting to sound like a smart a but what makes you think you know better than the manufacturer of a product.
The problem here is, and this applies to the other posters that raised the same concern, is that he isn't talking to SOA, he is talking to the mechanics at the dealership, which just happens that, according to SOA, are completely wrong about the CVT, as is every single dealership out there stating that the CVT is a service-free unit. No unit is service-free and the evidence is in your manual, that reads this, and please correct me if I am wrong and has been updated:

CVT transmission oil- Outback, Legacy
Replace only under severe driving or towing conditions.#4
Use Subaru CVT oil only.
There's no dipstick to check the CVT fluid.

2014 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period

Severe driving is
> Repeated short trips, stop-and-go, extensive idling
> Rough, muddy, dusty, wet, humid, cold, mountainous, salty conditions
> Towing a trailer.
> Racing

#4. under severe driving replace the automatic transmission fluid at 15,000 miles. CVT oil should be replaced under severe driving at 24,855 miles


Complete post here
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/1646450-post92.html

Let's say the vast majority of Subarus do not meet the strict guideline that SOA deems severe. So let's double the interval. Why not triple it. That still means that if you plan on keeping the car happy for the long run, it might be best to at least consider changing the CVT before 100K.
Having said that, personally I wouldn't touch the CVT under warranty, unless I had a good reason.
But come 60-70K miles, I do plan on addressing at least a partial CVT fluid change.

I think the important question is this. How many Subaru service departments are asking the owners how they drive their cars, to gauge and see if the CVT fluid ought to be addressed?
 
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