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Old 08-22-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
CLL_OBP
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Default 2012 Impreza CVT fluid change

I went to the dealership the other day and had my CVT fluid dumped. After seeing all the gunk and metal from the draining the differential fluid over the weekend, I wanted to get the tranny fluid changed to. I just had a gut feeling about doing this.

At 10,500 miles, I know it was real early to get this service done but after seeing the CVT filter, I'm glad I did. I was sitting in the lounge when the technician called me in the shop to take a look. It was littered with metal shavings and itty-bitty black silicone-type pieces. He banged the filter against his hand and dumped it out. He did it again and more came out. Finally, he took it to the parts washer and cleaned the hell out of it.

Whenever you all decide to service your CVT, I would strongly advise to drop the pan and clean the filter rather than drain and refill. Next time I'll be doing this myself.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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what fluid can be used? would mind doing this myself.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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According to Subaru, you can only use their CVT fluid. It has a blue-ish color and cost $14 a quart and they charged me for 9 qts.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLL_OBP View Post
I went to the dealership the other day and had my CVT fluid dumped. After seeing all the gunk and metal from the draining the differential fluid over the weekend, I wanted to get the tranny fluid changed to. I just had a gut feeling about doing this.

At 10,500 miles, I know it was real early to get this service done but after seeing the CVT filter, I'm glad I did. I was sitting in the lounge when the technician called me in the shop to take a look. It was littered with metal shavings and itty-bitty black silicone-type pieces. He banged the filter against his hand and dumped it out. He did it again and more came out. Finally, he took it to the parts washer and cleaned the hell out of it.

Whenever you all decide to service your CVT, I would strongly advise to drop the pan and clean the filter rather than drain and refill. Next time I'll be doing this myself.
I would like to do this too eventually and by servicing the CVT you mean bringing your car to the dealership to be serviced while you requested them to change the CVT fluid and clean the filter?
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CLL_OBP View Post
According to Subaru, you can only use their CVT fluid. It has a blue-ish color and cost $14 a quart and they charged me for 9 qts.
you know, i giggled a little when i saw 14$/qt, then i stopped at 9 qt. so you are telling me it cost you about 200 for that service!?

9*14=$126, add: 75-100 hour labor= arm
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkL

I would like to do this too eventually and by servicing the CVT you mean bringing your car to the dealership to be serviced while you requested them to change the CVT fluid and clean the filter?
Yes, I specifically wanted the CVT serviced. The guy at the service desk looked at me with a puzzled look on his face as to why do I want this and it's not time yet, blah blah blah. I told him, do you realize how much debris is in the original fluids of these brand new cars? He just said alright and took my information.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ans2k

you know, i giggled a little when i saw 14$/qt, then i stopped at 9 qt. so you are telling me it cost you about 200 for that service!?

9*14=$126, add: 75-100 hour labor= arm
Oh yes indeed, it's not cheap. Plus $29 for this "three bond" stuff to put the pan back on. It's that orange sealant/gasket you see around the pan. Then $20 for hazardous waste disposal. It totaled just under $300.
The technician actually told me I should get a new filter ($70) but thats when I told him to wash that stuff out in the parts washer. BTW, the screen in the filter is also metal so completely submerging and shaking should get most of the stuff out.
The car is quieter while driving now that the diff and tranny fluids have been changed. You can tell the difference right away.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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My gosh, what is the recommended service interval for our CVT tranny? Looks like I am going to do a complete cvt tranny, differential flush before 10K just to make sure all the metal shavings are gone from the initial breaking-in period.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by uspopo
My gosh, what is the recommended service interval for our CVT tranny? Looks like I am going to do a complete cvt tranny, differential flush before 10K just to make sure all the metal shavings are gone from the initial breaking-in period.
Wow! They don't list any type of service interval for the CVT. Just replace under severe driving or towing condition. I don't what's up with that but it seems like they're implying it's good for the life of the car if you drive under normal conditions.
See www.cars101.com/Subaru/maintenance3.html
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:59 AM   #10
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Overkill if you ask me , don't waste your money.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Probably overkill,

I changed mine at about 3,200 miles on the odometer using Amsoil Severe Gear (mine is a 5 speed, trans and front differential share the same fluid) and it cost about $60 to do.

There were metal shavings in both the front and rear differentials, which is normal, but that does not mean it is good to leave them there.

Next change is at 100,000 miles...
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:46 AM   #12
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According to "uncles" on this forum, changing your tranny fluid early is for "kidiots" and you deserve to "blow out your tranny to teach you something".
Good thing you posted in Imprezas insetead of Service and Maintenance!

I have a 5MT and dumped my fluid and refilled with Amsoil Severe 75w90. A BUNCH of crap came out. My car seemsa appreciate the amsoil, too. No regrets, except posting it in Service and Maint.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #13
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I wouldn't say that is overkill either but it wouldn't be bad to do it after the break-in period and then go by the regular service maintenance that Subaru recommends. Personally, I would appreciate buying a a second hand car from someone that took extra care of their vehicle. My Impreza is my first new car in 14 years and it is my daily commuter and with that said I want to make sure I do all my regular maintenance and a few extra oil and tranny/diff flushes in between definitely wouldn't hurt either.

Last edited by uspopo; 08-23-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLL_OBP View Post
Oh yes indeed, it's not cheap. Plus $29 for this "three bond" stuff to put the pan back on. It's that orange sealant/gasket you see around the pan. Then $20 for hazardous waste disposal. It totaled just under $300.
The technician actually told me I should get a new filter ($70) but thats when I told him to wash that stuff out in the parts washer. BTW, the screen in the filter is also metal so completely submerging and shaking should get most of the stuff out.
The car is quieter while driving now that the diff and tranny fluids have been changed. You can tell the difference right away.
Does it have to be done at the dealership, could I get my local mechanic to do it? So when would be a good time to get it changed (as far as mileage is concerned)?
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkL

Does it have to be done at the dealership, could I get my local mechanic to do it? So when would be a good time to get it changed (as far as mileage is concerned)?
No, the dealership doesn't have to do it. If your mechanic has the 2012 Impreza service repair manual, sure.

However, I just found out the fluid only comes in a 5 gallon bucket so that $14 a quart the technician told me must be what they charge the customers. The bucket cost $270. With that, you might as well let the dealership do it since that's about the cost of the complete job instead of just the fluid and then taking it somewhere else to pay additional money.

The maintenance and warranty booklet in my glovebox shows the CVT fluid as "I" - Inspect, Correct or Replace if necessary every 30k miles.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #16
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Making sure you got the level right seems like a very annoying part of the CVT fluid change job.
Or, maybe, measure exactly how much you drained, and add the same amount.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TObject
Making sure you got the level right seems like a very annoying part of the CVT fluid change job.
Or, maybe, measure exactly how much you drained, and add the same amount.
It has an check/overfill plug just like the front differential.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CLL_OBP View Post
It has an check/overfill plug just like the front differential.
If you add it to the filler plug while cold, you will overfill the transmission.
The temperature needs to be between 35 and 45 Celsius through the ordeal. The gear level needs to be operated P-R-N-D and D-N-R-P to circulate the liquid while idling. And then the level check has to be done after that without shutting off the engine.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:15 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by CLL_OBP View Post
No, the dealership doesn't have to do it. If your mechanic has the 2012 Impreza service repair manual, sure.

However, I just found out the fluid only comes in a 5 gallon bucket so that $14 a quart the technician told me must be what they charge the customers. The bucket cost $270. With that, you might as well let the dealership do it since that's about the cost of the complete job instead of just the fluid and then taking it somewhere else to pay additional money.

The maintenance and warranty booklet in my glovebox shows the CVT fluid as "I" - Inspect, Correct or Replace if necessary every 30k miles.
That's a good point, I was hoping to save a few bucks, guess not.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:15 PM   #20
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Default ive accidently just drained my cvt fluid insted of my engine oil

how can i replace the cvt fluid myself?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #21
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how can i replace the cvt fluid myself?
Oh no! In the earlier post, you see how much this fluid cost by the quart (dealer) and by the bucket (customer). Check to see if your local dealer will sell it by the quart since they won't be doing the refill. The fill plug is on the passenger side of the engine near the inner C.V. joint. If they only will sell the CVT fluid by the bucket, you might as well call the free 12 month towing service (if that applies) and sent it to the dealer and have them do it.
You did just drain the CVT fluid instead of the oil, are you comfortable with doing this? Maybe you should consider sending your car to the dealer so they can drop the pan and clean out the screen like I had done. Might as well IMO.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:00 PM   #22
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I was surfing the shelves over at my local Advance Auto Parts the other day and I noticed Valvoline CVT Fluid(http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/cvt_fluid.pdf). I read the back and it said that it meets the standards for Subaru Lineartronic CVTF and will not void new car warranties. It was on the shelves for $9.99/quart. This may be a cheaper option for people wanting to do more frequent fluid changes. Even an average person can do a fluid change themselves for about $100 assuming you need 9-10 quarts.

Now for the big question. Would you guys trust this fluid?
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:04 PM   #23
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Now for the big question. Would you guys trust this fluid?
This reminds me of food and nutrition stuff. "Experts" say something is bad for you and then a year later they say its good or vice versa.

When I was reading about CVT fluids last summer, the notion was belt driven CVT fluids should not be used in chain driven CVT's because it lacks the extra protection (anti-wear) needed for a chain. Now they got one fluid for both? I'm not brave enough to try. These CVT's are expensive to replace so I'll stick with the Subaru fluid unless somebody comes out with something designed specifically for chain drive.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by 79letour View Post
According to "uncles" on this forum, changing your tranny fluid early is for "kidiots" and you deserve to "blow out your tranny to teach you something".
Good thing you posted in Imprezas insetead of Service and Maintenance!

I have a 5MT and dumped my fluid and refilled with Amsoil Severe 75w90. A BUNCH of crap came out. My car seemsa appreciate the amsoil, too. No regrets, except posting it in Service and Maint.
Personally, I don't believe you can ever go wrong exceeding the recommended maint. interval, especially with a new vehicle. Getting all that initial wear debris out of there simply cannot be a bad thing no matter how you slice it. Obviously, there is a point that it is silly, but I don't think this is it.

After reading this thread when it first got posted, I have every intention of having mine done around 10 grand as well.

John
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:05 AM   #25
nickottawaontario
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Default cvt change

So you said you can do the CVT change yourself?
I was doing my first oil change on my 2012 impress and I made the dumbest mistake of emptying my CVT.
Now the question is, will Subaru let me walk away with 9 quartz of their blue liquid and where do I fill it up?
Also, was talking to a sube service tech, he seems to say that each time u drain the CVT fluid, you need to reprogram some part of the software. Any comments guys? Total sube newb here and I need some help Asap
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