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Old 07-15-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
53x12
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Default 2012 Impreza differential fluid change?

Just wanted to make sure that the maintenance schedule for changing front and rear differential fluid was at 30,000 miles for severe driving? This is according to the Subaru maintenance schedule on cars101. So what happens if you don't do severe driving? Is it further out than that?


http://www.cars101.com/subaru/maintenance-2013.html
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
Just wanted to make sure that the maintenance schedule for changing front and rear differential fluid was at 30,000 miles for severe driving? This is according to the Subaru maintenance schedule on cars101. So what happens if you don't do severe driving? Is it further out than that?


http://www.cars101.com/subaru/maintenance-2013.html
I would wager a good percent of drivers never change that fluid. Subaru owners who use a dealer to service their cars probably will have it done as part of their regular maintenance, probably at one of the big services (the ones that they charge $500+ for), I don't know how often they schedule those, but I doubt 30,000 miles is the first one.

If you want to change it yourself, and you have a 5 speed, it is easily done for under $100 -- I switched to Amsoil Severe Gear and it is rated for 100,000 miles (fully synthetic, search the forums for info).

If you have a CVT, you probably cannot do the front differential yourself, unless it is separate from the trans fluid. A CVT owner can let you know that.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Had the differential fluids changed at about 3,000 miles by the dealer (cost about $200, including the AmsOil, if my memory is correct). I also used the AmsOil Severe Gear. Tech stated that he had a heck of a time breaking the seals on the drain/fill up plugs - first one that they ever did. For the CVT, the differentials and the CVT "fluids" are separate, while for a manual transmission they are the same. I plan to change them again at about 60,000 miles, and not before, as suggested by the Service Manager (he used to be an AmsOil representative).
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
Just wanted to make sure that the maintenance schedule for changing front and rear differential fluid was at 30,000 miles for severe driving? This is according to the Subaru maintenance schedule on cars101. So what happens if you don't do severe driving? Is it further out than that?


http://www.cars101.com/subaru/maintenance-2013.html
Lol EVERYWHERE in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia are Severe according to SOA. According to Grant, Desire', and Chris.
Anywhere that has pavement, dirt, air, rain, or atmosphere is SEVERE.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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$200 is an absolute rip off for trans/differential change on a manual trans. Drain and fill plug and no filter, more simple than an oil change.

Shouldn't be more than $20 per diff/trans.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
Just wanted to make sure that the maintenance schedule for changing front and rear differential fluid was at 30,000 miles for severe driving? This is according to the Subaru maintenance schedule on cars101. So what happens if you don't do severe driving? Is it further out than that?

http://www.cars101.com/subaru/maintenance-2013.html
I have to change the diffs on my 2005 tacoma religiously at 30k as my rear gets noisy, that being said the subarus are different and I doubt I'll consider this change before 60k.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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does cvt fluid need to be changed? I don't remember ever seeing it in the maintenance booklet.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
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I believe its under "Inspect" at 30k, 60k, 90k, 120k for the CVT fluid. So basically every 30k miles
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:48 AM   #9
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So Im guessing the only way to inspect cvt fluid is to bring it to dealer?

Can I change front and rear diff fluid without touching cvt fluid?
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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Not sure about inspecting the CVT fluid, but looking at the service manual, the front and rear diffs are separate from the CVT fluid on the CVTs models.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Angelus911 View Post
Not sure about inspecting the CVT fluid, but looking at the service manual, the front and rear diffs are separate from the CVT fluid on the CVTs models.
OK, I'm looking at the service manual for the CVTF (CVT Fluid). The CVTF inspection procedure (see page CVT-36) is basically to idle the engine to bring the CTVF up to temperature, then operate the "gear" selection lever through the P > R > N > D positions, and then back through D > N > R > P positions. Then lift the car with the engine still idling, remove the CVT filler plug, and add CVTF if the level isn't all the way up to the bottom of the filler hole. Then install the filler plug, using a new gasket. Torque spec is 36.9 ft-lb.

The manual warns that if you fill the CVTF to the bottom of the filler hole when the CVTF is not up to temperature, the fluid will later expand when warm and will overflow.

If you're comfortable with that process, then the CVTF replacement procedure (see page CVT-38) is similar. Basically, you drain the old CVTF, install the drain plug using a new gasket (torque spec 22.9 ft-lb), remove the filler plug, add new CVTF, temporarily install the filler plug, bring the CVTF up to temperature as described above by moving the gear lever through the different positions, and then top off the CVTF fluid as described above (with the engine idling).

When draining the old fluid, the manual suggests checking the condition of the old fluid, looking for metal particles (which indicates excessive wear), "thick and varnish-form fluid" (whatever that means; indicates burnt clutches), or clouded CVTF with bubbles (indicates water getting into the CVTF).

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrt1987 View Post
does cvt fluid need to be changed? I don't remember ever seeing it in the maintenance booklet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelus911 View Post
I believe its under "Inspect" at 30k, 60k, 90k, 120k for the CVT fluid. So basically every 30k miles
Yes, have it replaced. Petroleum-based lubricants do not last forever and you have to get the debris out of there if you want the transmission to last long time. I'm planning on having mine changed again before 100K miles. At 10K, it had a lot of metal particles. LOTS!
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #13
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^ same with the rear diff.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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^ same with the rear diff.
Having just changed the front and rear diff fluid on my 2012 sport limited with cvt, I must say two things.

1. The rear diff fluid was filthy. I mean really filthy. If you wanna keep this beast 100,000 or more, strongly suggest getting the wear in debris out early.

2. There are things on the front drivetrain that could EASILY be mistakes for the front diff fill port. The correct one is on the passenger side above the right inner cv joint, and comes loose with an 8mm hex. On the drivers side, there is a plug with a 10 mm hex that looks like it's part of the diff. If you remove this plug, green cvt fluid comes out. For an inexperienced mechanic this could be a disaster. Get the shop manual or make sure you smell plugs and fluids

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Old 12-30-2013, 03:45 PM   #15
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Anybody doing more than an oil change should get a shop manual. Given there are already at least two CVT owners who drained the CVT fluid when they were not meaning to drain the CVT fluid, potential mechanics who are not sure should double check the location of that drain valve, and avoid it.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:28 PM   #16
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Anybody doing more than an oil change should get a shop manual. Given there are already at least two CVT owners who drained the CVT fluid when they were not meaning to drain the CVT fluid, potential mechanics who are not sure should double check the location of that drain valve, and avoid it.
The bottom drain valve is easy to spot for even a journeyman mechanic for the CVT.

But, that driver's side plug - waaaaay up, and Lord help me, it IS on the differential side of the gasket between the transmission and differential (I'm still working that out in my head how fluid from the transmission gets to that plug - guess I need to check my own shop manual more thoroughly) could easily fool someone who didn't have the manual memorized.

But, definitely agree. My first purchase for the car was the shop manual. First time I've REALLLY had to use it.

Shawn
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by shawnhayes View Post
Having just changed the front and rear diff fluid on my 2012 sport limited with cvt, I must say two things. 1. The rear diff fluid was filthy. I mean really filthy. If you wanna keep this beast 100,000 or more, strongly suggest getting the wear in debris out early. 2. There are things on the front drivetrain that could EASILY be mistakes for the front diff fill port. The correct one is on the passenger side above the right inner cv joint, and comes loose with an 8mm hex. On the drivers side, there is a plug with a 10 mm hex that looks like it's part of the diff. If you remove this plug, green cvt fluid comes out. For an inexperienced mechanic this could be a disaster. Get the shop manual or make sure you smell plugs and fluids Shawn
This makes it fool proof. The diff is an 8mm hex and the cvt fluid is a 10. Only take an 8 with you under the car and you can't go wrong on the passenger side.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:08 PM   #18
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This makes it fool proof. The diff is an 8mm hex and the cvt fluid is a 10. Only take an 8 with you under the car and you can't go wrong on the passenger side.
I thought the same thing, but this "fool" will probably forget that piece of information in the intervening 30,000 miles (which will take me 45 months to achieve). It would be nice for the plugs to have labels, either plastic taped on or cast into either the plug or the housing.

I like totally idiot proof stuff, myself.

Shawn
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
Just wanted to make sure that the maintenance schedule for changing front and rear differential fluid was at 30,000 miles for severe driving? This is according to the Subaru maintenance schedule on cars101. So what happens if you don't do severe driving? Is it further out than that?


http://www.cars101.com/subaru/maintenance-2013.html
I am a beginner mechanic at the Subaru dealership, it does depend on how you drive but the set interval for all diff services we sell is every 50K miles. Obviously every car is different i would just check the diff dip stick. You can tell by smell or how dirty it is if the front is dirty you can bet the rear is too.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
Anybody doing more than an oil change should get a shop manual. Given there are already at least two CVT owners who drained the CVT fluid when they were not meaning to drain the CVT fluid, potential mechanics who are not sure should double check the location of that drain valve, and avoid it.
hahaha aw man those poor people. I'm pretty sure every oil drain pain on every Subaru is black......
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
I am a beginner mechanic at the Subaru dealership, it does depend on how you drive but the set interval for all diff services we sell is every 50K miles. Obviously every car is different i would just check the diff dip stick. You can tell by smell or how dirty it is if the front is dirty you can bet the rear is too.
I'm not a professional mechanic but can you name a few cars? I don't think I've ever seen a differential with a dipstick. Just a fill/check plug that you stick your finger in.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:38 PM   #22
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The front differential in the 5 speed impreza has a dipstick, mainly because the front differential is also the manual gearbox.

The rear diff is the same as the CVT, two plugs, no dipstick.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:56 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
The front differential in the 5 speed impreza has a dipstick, mainly because the front differential is also the manual gearbox.

The rear diff is the same as the CVT, two plugs, no dipstick.
Correct, but the 5 speed it not the only one with a dipstick, the one for my car is aluminum and is hard to tell if you are not looking very well. there are plenty of Subaru's that have a yellow topped dipstick located on the pass side to check front diff fluid. I might just be thinking about outbacks and foresters and 2.0i imprezas, and crosstrecks, and tribecas all have one.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:57 PM   #24
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Just went to do a transmission fluid change on my 2013 impreza manual and I cannot find the dipstick tube. I figured it would be similar to my 2004 wrx, simply drain and fill from the tube... Maybe I am blind...
Kevin
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:59 PM   #25
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Oh geeze... just found it... Tucked right behind the block.
Kevin
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