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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,


Serviced the Differentials and CVT on my 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium at just over 100k.

Going with all OEM fluids and replacement gaskets.

I ran into an issue where I pulled the CVT Drain plug after loosening the check valve, drained the CVT, used an old 5qt oil jug to measure (ballpark) the used fluid that came out. Measured it at around 5.5-5.75.

Began refill till check valve overflowed, put the cap in, started the car, shifted through Park/Reverse/N/D/M1 and paddled to M2. Put back in park. Let it idle briefly and topped off. Shut it off, topped off, started and filled till it wont take any more.

Thing is, I was only able to get 4.5 back in. A level on the bottom of the CVT case said it's level side to side and front to back.


Tried even dropping it off jack stands and driving it around cycling through (low speed, short 3 minute drive, didnt get above 2nd gear) and brought it back and still cant get more in.


Took it out for a longer drive and shifted through all the gears(paddled up to 6th) +long reverse. Brought it back and am going to let cool down overnight to mess with in morning but this has really got me scratching my head. Any thoughts? Hitting the road mid day tomorrow and really don't want to drive this thing anywhere far being a quart short.

Would appreciate any help greatly!

*Bonus Points*-I bought a Blue Drive OBD2 monitor for my car for this project to get a read on exact CVT temp but I couldnt for the life of me find where that read was stashed on the app--anyone out there got one that could shed any light? Was going to go with an OBDLink LX but wanted to make sure things worked for this project and thought the BlueDriver would ensure that as it's a bit more integrated/supported. But I'm tempted to return and get the OBDLink. Just used a thermometer through the check plug for this project.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Let it cool down. Fluid expands. Try to fill at the fill port again when cool?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Traildogck, Thanks for plucking the grapevine for me--I really appreciate it.



Unfortunately long summer days+PST means I'm calling to the wind on the later side of things than I would like.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,144 Posts
Traildogck, Thanks for plucking the grapevine for me--I really appreciate it.



Unfortunately long summer days+PST means I'm calling to the wind on the later side of things than I would like.
I do not have a CVT. I suspect though, since it a fill port with no dip-stick. The "full" reading when filling would have to be cold. Since you drove it, you would have "exercised" the transmission. I suspect, if it needs more fluid, it will take it when cold. If not, it doesn't.

Disclaimer - I am a redneck. Take advice accordingly.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited
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Do you understand the car needs to be running and the temperature of the fluid needs to be correct. It sounds like you may be trying to accomplish the final fill without the engine running.
 

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Cycling through the gears will distribute the fluid and allow you to get the remaining quart in. Start the car and with your foot on the brake pedal cycle through the gears P, R, N, D and then put the car back in park and leave running. While idling open the fill hole and put in the approximately remaining 1 quart of CVT fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Engine needs to be running and CVT temp needs to be around a hundred I believe.

This page details the procedure.

I apologize, I left that step out when I went over my procedure. Before I dropped things off of the jack and drove them around, I left it in Park with the engine running for one of the 3-4 tops off I cycled through at this stage.


*update* Actually I did mention this "Shut it off, topped off, started and filled till it wont take any more. " but thats beside the point--I just appreciate the help. Headed down to take care of things now.

I didn't try this after driving it around the lot as the fluid was getting out of that 95-104 degree range.

Will go down and try again after this cup of coffee but anyone have any back up thoughts?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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I am happy others chimed in since I wasn't thinking last night. Any ATF would need to be warm, duh.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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A couple of questions:


-Are you absolutely sure you put in 4.5 qts and not 5.5? I can see an empty getting lost and causing confusion.


-When you refer to the check valve I'm assuming you are talking about the overflow where fluid just start running out at the correct level? Did the fluid coming out of the overflow ever look cloudy or have lots of air bubbles?



From what I'm hearing it sounds like you are doing everything right. However, I wouldn't have run through the gears before completely topping of with the car running. One possibility is it sounds like you might have run through the gears with the fluid level a bit low and maybe that introduced a lot of small bubbles into the system. I really have nothing to back that up though.


Any updates?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the follow up all!

Unsure what the exact cause was but either way, I was able to get the last quart and change into the CVT this AM.


I went down with a cool engine, checked level, added a bit, then started car and incrementally filled till overflow. There seemed to be a sudden point where it took alot after ~8 minutes of idling. Then started after taking almost all of it, started to and persisted to a slight trickle overflow.



My best guess is yesterday the engine was a bit too warm and the fluid had expanded to fill? So perhaps starting from cool and letting things come up to temp helped to solve things?



Unsure right now but am happy to have gotten things but up to level!


Thanks Everyone!
 
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