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Old 05-07-2016, 05:18 PM   #1
Ferretts
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Default 2015 WRX Transmission Fluid Change: DIY Instructions

So I just rolled over the 30,000 mile mark not too long ago, and decided to change all the fluids, specifically the transmission fluid. There are tutorials for the diff. and engine elsewhere.

Before we start, if you have access to a lift, this will make your life 1000x easier.

Tools needed:

3.5 Quarts GL-5 75w-90 Gear oil (any brand as long as it is GL-5, I chose Amsoil Severe Gear)
Ratchet - To fit Torx Bit and 12 MM
T70 Torx Bit
12 MM Socket
Flat head screw driver
Either a pump or super skinny funnel - To get fluid into the gearbox
Lift or a jack and 4 jack stands
Gloves

Optional:
Impact gun - shortens the time of the job by 50%

*if you are doing this on jackstands, I highly recommend using an electric impact gun like an 18v Makita or a 20V max Dewalt*

*if you are doing this on jackstands, MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON LEVEL GROUND*


Step 1: Getting access to the dip stick
While we still have the car on the ground at a workable height, we must first take off the intercooler and engine cover to access the transmission dip stick.

I did not take pics of this step since there are already tutorials on how to get your intercooler off, and it takes about 90 seconds.

- Pop your hood, and take off the two clips holding on the engine cover on the top corners. Then pull off the engine cover.
-You must first use your flat head screw driver to loosen the worm drive clamps on the charge pipe to intercooler coupler, as well as the intercooler to manifold coupler. *DO NOT REMOVE COMPLETELY, JUST LOOSEN*
-Directly to the right of the intercooler is a silver bracket that bends slightly to the left that acts as a mounting point for the intercooler. Use the 12 MM to loosen the two bolts on the front portion of the bracket, put them in a safe location.
-Now we can unbolt the two bolts holding the intercooler in. These are on the top right and left of the intercooler. Put these in the same locationa s you put the other bolts.
-At this point the silver intercooler bracket can be removed completely by undoing a clip holding it to a hose.
-Wiggle the intercooler firmly yet gently and it should just pop out. Do not force anything, just be patient, it will come out.
- At this point we have access to the dipstick and we can get the car in the air. The dip stick is located on the passenger side and is silver in color. Below is a picture showing it.


Step 2: Draining the fluid
-With the car in the air and level, we should be looking directly at the bottom of the trans. Inspect it for any damage or leaks.
-While underneath the car, you can now remove the dip stick from the fill hole and clean it off and set it aside.
-Locate the drain plug, it is a T70 Torx bit.
-Break the bolt loose so you can spin it by hand, but DO NOT TAKE IT OUT.

-Put the oil pan directly underneath the drain plug, and finish removing the plug. The fluid will come out very quickly so make sure you have your gloves on.

-Once the fluid has stopped dripping out of the transmission, clean up the drain plug and put it back in. I tightened it with an impact gun, so no torque specs here, but make sure its tightened to the point where you can really turn it anymore.

Step 3: Putting in the new fluid
-Subaru says 3.5 quarts, so we will be putting in 3.5 quarts.
-Place the end of the pump or funnel into the same place you pulled the dipstick out of.
-Start pumping or pouring until you have 3.5 quarts in there. The dip stick is hard to read, so make sure you measure it coming out of the bottles.

-Once you have all the fluid in, put the dip stick back in and start to reassemble everything.

*Everything goes back the same way it came off. You should have no left over screws or clips.*

As you can see, the difference between fluids is huge and this is only after 31,500 miles. of suburban stop and go traffic. SO if you haven't changed your fluid already and you have more mileage than me, I would recommend it.

Feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:39 PM   #2
turbotype
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1987 Buick Regal Turbo T

Default

Nice write up. I have something to add or consider if I may.

One thing I see that seems to overcomplicate the fluid swap is removing the anything from the car except the fluid, drainplug and dipstick. Maybe I have really skinny hands and arms or your are a big dude, but I can just reach down between the strut tower and engine and pull the dipstick without removing anything else. Then to fill, I stuck a small skinny funnel (found it at Pep Boys) into the dipstick hole, then stuck a long funnel (big black cheapo one from Harbor Freight) to get the "reach". Then I just dumped the new goo into the long funnel slowly, which drained into the small funnel and into the crunchbox. I didn't spill a drop and the whole process not including drain time was literally about 5 minutes. Then just take it for a light throttle spin to work the new lube around the box, then bring it back to the garage and check the fill level to make sure you are still topped up. I needed to add about 4 oz. after my post fluid change drive to bring the fluid to full.

Again, just something to consider to speed the process. But maybe not everyone can reach down and pull the dipstick so easily.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:16 PM   #3
xwingsx
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Awesome write up. Very similar to my 08 outback I had just done the fluid before I traded it in for the WRX only have 724 miles on my carriage now so won't need to be doing this for awhile but great to have something to look at when I'm at 30k.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:18 PM   #4
Ferretts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbotype View Post

Again, just something to consider to speed the process. But maybe not everyone can reach down and pull the dipstick so easily.
You could definately do it that way, however, I feel the time spent removing and installing the intercooler offsets the time spent fiddling around like a contortionist or cleaning up spilled fluid which isn't cheap.

Just my personal preference though. I used a lift and an impact gun so the whole process took less than 30 minutes, so removing the intercooler was no big deal.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
Mulder
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Quote:
I tightened it with an impact gun, so no torque specs here, but make sure its tightened to the point where you can really turn it anymore.
Not recommended. Well, at least not unless you're applying for a job at Jiffy Lube-
Steel plug + aluminum case + impact gun = stripped threads and/or cracked case.
Either use a torque wrench or put the Torx socket on a hand ratchet and tighten it just past snug. According to the FSM torque is in the 30-50 ft-lb range depending on the type of washer.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:47 PM   #6
Ferretts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
Not recommended. Well, at least not unless you're applying for a job at Jiffy Lube-
Steel plug + aluminum case + impact gun = stripped threads and/or cracked case.
Either use a torque wrench or put the Torx socket on a hand ratchet and tighten it just past snug. According to the FSM torque is in the 30-50 ft-lb range depending on the type of washer.
You need to be especially thick to do anything you have suggested. I'm not sure what type of impact gun you use, but a 1/2" torque wrench can do way more damage than a 20v impact gun.

Also, the first thing I learned when wrenching on cars is to start all bolts/nuts by hand to prevent cross threading or stripping. I should have put "use common sense" as the first step.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:55 PM   #7
turbotype
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I like the idea of using a impact gun to buzz the drainplug out, but I don't think it would be a good idea to use one to tighten a drainplug that threads into aluminum. But then again, it's not like you are changing the gear oil once a week where the case and plug would see the repeated "hammering" of the impact tool. Just have to careful I guess.

On the other hand, if you have a good quality torque wrench, I say use it! A torque wrench will allow you to tighten the drainplug to the exact specification outlined in the service manual.

Copied from the 2015 WRX (USDM) service manual.

Tightening torque:
44 Nm (4.5 kgf-m, 32.5 ft-lb) (aluminum gasket, silver)
70 Nm (7.1 kgf-m, 51.6 ft-lb) (copper gasket, brown)
70 Nm (7.1 kgf-m, 51.6 ft-lb) (metal gasket, black)
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:57 AM   #8
bunz559
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ISM

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Thanks for posting this! Finally a DIY! Just received my fluids and going to do this next week. Was wondering if sizes and steps were similar to previous years, seems like it is.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:00 AM   #9
Hoon Goon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferretts View Post
You need to be especially thick to do anything you have suggested. I'm not sure what type of impact gun you use, but a 1/2" torque wrench can do way more damage than a 20v impact gun.

Also, the first thing I learned when wrenching on cars is to start all bolts/nuts by hand to prevent cross threading or stripping. I should have put "use common sense" as the first step.
If one was to use common sense they would not need a DIY to change their oil.

How can you do damage with a torque wrench set at the proper setting? You can't. Even if you don't use a torque wrench you are not gaining anything using an impact but 5 seconds versus using a regular 3/8" socket and getting it gudentite. Not worth it for the risk involved, especially when dealing with aluminum.



Sweet drain pan.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:07 PM   #10
Ferretts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoon Goon View Post
If one was to use common sense they would not need a DIY to change their oil.

How can you do damage with a torque wrench set at the proper setting? You can't. Even if you don't use a torque wrench you are not gaining anything using an impact but 5 seconds versus using a regular 3/8" socket and getting it gudentite. Not worth it for the risk involved, especially when dealing with aluminum.



Sweet drain pan.
Not all torque wrenches are accurate. And they all lose their calibration over time. And if you are using a tq wrench thinking it's in in/lbs and it's actually ft/lbs. You will have a bad time.

Plus I have broken bolts by cranking down with a 3/8 ratchet, a human with the correct wrench is much stronger than a electric impact.


Either way, start threading by hand and you shouldn't have any issues.
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