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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I have new tires and rear struts/mounts coming in. My friend owns a shop and while it is ion the lift, I'd like to change the fluids since the car is new to me. (the dealer I got it from had it serviced, but I'd feel better knowing what's in there and doing it all at the same time) It'll also give me a chance to inspect the rubber bits a little better.

I'm planning to change the oil and filter, front and rear diff. fluids, possibly the tranny and possibly the coolant. What do you all use for AT fluid? Do any retailers usually carry the Castrol Transmax j or the Pensoil ATF-j? Am I better off just going to a Subaru dealer and getting their stuff?

Also, as far as diff fluids, I was thinking of going with synthetic. Any recommendations?

If I have time, I am also going to rnr the coolant. Should I stick with OEM on this as well? I don't see anything specific in the owners manual as far as specs.

Anything else I should consider while I am under there? I am excited to get new rubber on the car and getting rid of the rear end sway/bounce. It reminds me of trips to the beach in the way-back of the station wagon my Dad drove, lol. Thank god for those rear roll down windows and no seat belts. Could chum right out the back. ;0
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,368 Posts
I'm a big believer in using the Subaru ATF. A Subaru automatic trans uses ATF to moderate friction in the AT the same as any other automatic trans, but it also uses the ATF for the AWD system. That plus stories of odd shift/AWD behavior from the generic ATFs have convinced me.

Nothing special to the gear oil. Just remember to make sure you get the fill plug out before you get the drain plug out. Nothing worse than having an empty diff that can't be refilled.

I don't have any comment or pref for coolant.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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277 Posts
For the coolant, I would go with OEM Subaru Coolant. It doesn't contain phosphates or silicates.

Your other option is Peak Global. I read on BITOG that Peak may actually be the supplier for the Subaru Coolant.

Either way, don't let the service guy tell you "any green coolant is fine." That may be true, but I wanted to make sure that the coolant I put into my vehicle is compatible with the Subaru "Special Sauce" (Coolant Conditioner).
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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you might consider using a turkey baster , perhaps with a short piece of tubing attached, to replace some of the power steering fluid. Dexron III or equivalent is the proper fluid there.

brake fluid flush - or at least a bleed, probably a good idea.
 

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3 2001 Outbacks, 2 AT, 1 MT. 1 2006 Outback AT, 2000 Outback AT, 2008 Outback Sport MT
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93 Posts
+1 on Subaru brand ATF and coolant. I've been reading a lot on the differential and 5MT transmission fluid, and Subaru Extra-S, Motul Gear 300 75W-90 (not the LS formula), and Redline Shockproof (lightweight and heavyweight) seem to be the oils of choice. The big "must" is a GL-5 rating, as GL-4 cannot hold up to the pressure. If I can find it, I'll probably use the Extra-S in diffs and transmission.

JP
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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277 Posts
I use Wal-Mart SuperTech 75w-90 Semi-Synthetic. It's a GL-5 oil without LSD modifiers. My 5MT shift much better than what ever the stock stuff was, especially in the cold. I can't tell a difference in the rear end, but I didn't expect to. No news is good news. And it's only 5 bucks a Qt!
 

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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info. Plans may change, though, as my CEL came on today on the way to work. (and of course my scan tool is at home) I need to get it inspected within 7 days for MA inspection and that won't fly. Assuming it is something simple, anyone know how long it'll take before the "cleared codes" flag is gone? That doesn't fly, either. I know it has to run through a certain set of parameters, so I assume a couple hundred miles of various driving will be needed. Luckily, there were no driving symptoms. I half expect a P0420 as the exhaust looks original. A friend of mine recommended cataclean product, but that seems like a bandaid solution. We'll see, I'll probably run home at lunch and grab the scanner to see what it says.
 

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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the link. I looked in the fuse box and don't see the YL and BK wires. I assume they are under the kick panel. Just as easy to go grab my tool. It's only 10 miles away and since the light is not blinking and it seems to be driving fine, I think that short drive will be OK. Here's hoping it's something cheap, lol. Looks like I get to spend the night in the shop doing some diag.
 

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2011 Outback Limited/2.5L/CVT
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394 Posts
The Amsoil 100% synthetic ATF also works fine, based on personal experience. I also ran their PG based coolant in my 2006 Outback and was happy with it.

Mobil 1, 75w-90 gear lube for the diffs is easy to find and has good Specs.

Tk
 

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3 2001 Outbacks, 2 AT, 1 MT. 1 2006 Outback AT, 2000 Outback AT, 2008 Outback Sport MT
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I used amsoil in my Toyota T100 a few years back and noticed that my rpm's we're a bit higher at any given speed. My guess is it just didn't produce the same viscous friction as the nonsynthetic stuff did. I can't say it hurt the fuel economy much, just that it was around 300 rpm's higher.

I visited the dealer parts department and he had Extra-S for $8 and change a quart; I just need to bring my own container. That's the route I'm taking.

And don't put Mobil 1 synthetic in a 5MT. There have been numerous problems associated with it. Not necessarily a problem for a diff, but 5MT, yes.

JP
 

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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I picked up an OEM filter. I am planning to use OEM coolant and additive. I am also planning to grab some brand name full syn 5w30 when I see it on sale. Not set on the diff fluid yet. For the tranny, I'll probably couch up for the OEM stuff if it isn't insanely priced. Everything is working fine now, so I don't want to rush it and throw in something that could create problems.
 

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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So, i swapped rear suspension and changed front and rear diff. fluids along with oil and filter. The dealer had done this prior to me getting the car, but I'd rather know what is inside and when it was done. I ended up getting 75w140 full syn. and some 75w90 semi-syn. I didn't look carefully at the bottles, lol. So, I pout the semi in the rear and the full in the front. I didn't see anyone mention 75w140 over the 75w90, but I think it should be fine. It what I used to sell for BMW m/c final drives when people went to full syn. Hoping my mileage improves some, but it's nice to know it's all done. I just need to do coolant, p/s fluid and brake fluid and I'll be set for awhile.
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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Wally World Semi-Syn @$6 per bottle...Can't beat it.
I also use it in the lower unit of my boats. Works well.
 

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2011 Outback Limited/2.5L/CVT
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394 Posts
You certainly don't need a thick 75w-140 for a Subaru differential, unless the unit is excessively worn AND you live in a hot climate. Although both meet the 75w spec when cold, the 75w90 is still going to flow much easier in sub freezing weather.

Most of the 75w-140 goes into the diffs of turbo diesel pickups that haul heavy loads and have very high torque engines.

TS
 

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2013 Outback 3.6L Limited with EyeSight
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218 Posts
2013 Outback 6-cylinder

My dealer agreed to change the 5EAT auto transmission fluid at 5K and was surprised at the debris that came out. 4 1/2 quarts of Subaru ATF-HP was added and labor was $28.50.

Front and rear differentials were also drained at 5K and the Service Manager was called over to see all the metal flakes in the drain pan. Technician was joking that he had struck gold. Labor was also $28.50 per differential and I provided the Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-90 synthetic oil.

Engine LOF was likewise performed at the same time with a Subaru OEM filter and 7 quarts of 5W-30 synthetic.

MPG increased by 1.5 and transmission shifts smoother.

Got to love the drain plug on the 5-speed auto trans for easy servicing during select LOF changes.
 
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