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Old 10-27-2000, 09:18 AM   #1
RSImpulse
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Post Never use synthetic atf?!

OK, to anyone who is even comtemplating changing ATF fluid, in a few words: BE VERY CAREFUL!

I tried having my filter and fluid changed to fully synthetic ATF (which meets the Dexron II requirements listed in the manual). and there I have seen no mention in any manual or otherwise of not using synthetic. But after changing it last night I was barely able to get the car to move. Then they go look and some oil book they have says "Synthetic not recommended" for everything Subaru. They tried changing some of it that was in the oil pan which helped slightly, but not anywhere near where it should be. So this morning they call some hotlines and Subaru themselves and they said that you do NOT run synthetic in anything Subaru and that the AT needs GL-5 oil in there. So now I'm waiting to see if they can get GL-5 reflushed through the system and see what happens... AGH, I try to do some good preventative maintenance and I end up spending $150 for oil let alone the $60 charge for flushing the system and I end up screwing it up. Also note that the manual says Synthetics aren't recommended for the final drive or the rear diff in Subaru's. I don't remember specifically about the MT's, but I "think" they were not recommended also...

Has anyone else run into anything similair?!
I did a little searching around here and didn't see any topics.

Thanks,
Levi
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Old 10-27-2000, 09:25 AM   #2
scooby5
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As far as I know API GL-5 is gear oil for MT, not ATF.

ATF oil is Dexron II
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Old 10-27-2000, 11:35 AM   #3
Revision
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Huh, wierd. There are a lot of people here who have been running Redline synthetic 75w90ns in the manual trannys and 75w90 in the rear diff (open diffs, I forget what is used in the LSD diff).
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Old 10-27-2000, 12:04 PM   #4
Gambit
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Actually revision, you ought to use NS on the non-LSD differentials too. Use the regular one for LSDs. Anyhow that's what my edline dist. told me. he's quite knowledgable albeit slow with what he's doing.
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Old 10-27-2000, 12:41 PM   #5
HydeX
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Yo
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Old 10-27-2000, 07:17 PM   #6
richeich
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Umm...who did the fluid change? That all sounds very weird. I've heard stories of places like Jiffy Lube and others draining your tranny and then putting fluid in your crankcase and having you drive off (or trying to) with basically no fluid in the transmission. Hopefully that's not what happened in your case.

Scooby5 is right about the fluids. Auto is Dexron II, manual is GL-5. I've got synthetics in all mine (3 Legacies currently, and an SVX previously), both manual and automatic, front diffs (if applicable) and rear diffs, and all engines. No problems at all.

If Subaru wants to say specifically not to use synthetics, they better put it in the owners' manuals because having a mechanic tell you that after the fact doesn't add up. Besides, if the synthetic fluids meet (and usually exceed) all the different API requirements, then quite honestly your engine won't know the difference, except in improved performance and protection.

If synthetics were that screwy, then they would've disappeared long ago.

Please give us more details if possible, and let us know what you find out about your situation. I hope nothing has been damaged.

Rich
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Old 10-27-2000, 07:34 PM   #7
Revision
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Quote from The End Wrench, a publication for professional repair technicians from Subaru N.E.W. Horizons Dealers.

Use of Oil Additives

Subaru of America does not recommend the use of any engine oil additives in any Subaru engine crankcase. Subaru engines are designed to be lubricated with normal petroleum or synthetic-based engine oils in the viscosity and grade indicated in the Owner's Manual for each specific engine and usage condition.
Subaru has not tested the effectiveness or compatibility of any engine oil additives. However, the use of such additives does not void warrenty coverage. Usage of any additive is at the owner's discretion. Since Subaru has not tested the compatibility or effectiveness of any such additives, should an engine failure occur that is determined to be caused by incompatibility or performance of such an additive, the vehicle owner would be referred to the additive manufacturer to request reimbursement of the cost of repair. - Summer 2000, Number 11.

------------
This should also apply to your tranny.

[This message has been edited by Revision (edited October 27, 2000).]
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Old 10-27-2000, 09:14 PM   #8
scooby5
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Revision,

All that statement tells me is that they don't endorse any additives in your crankcase ie: Motor oil.

I don't think any manufacturer out there endorses PTFE, Molyb or Chlorinated parrafin additives.

However, Synthetic motor oil are generaly better at lubrication than conventional motor oils. Take Mobil1 and Castrol Syntec, at the same viscosity grade, will usually give better lubrification than standard oil.

Now, RSImpulse is using a lot of terms that contradict each other:

"I tried having my filter and fluid changed to fully synthetic ATF. "

Filter? oil filter on the tranny?

"They tried changing some of it that was in the oil pan."

Oil pan? from the crankcase?

"do NOT run synthetic in anything Subaru and that the AT needs GL-5 oil in there"

We can argue the synthetic oil issue. But the AT definitely does not run on GL-5 oil. Note that the Front Diff does run on GL-5 gear oil, but not the AT gearbox.

The Shop Manual is very clear: MT runs on GL-5 and AT runs on Dexron IIE or Dexron III.

So if I got everything you said right, and I hope I'm wrong:

You asked your mechanic to change your AT Fluids. He flushed your engine crankcase, told you your AT gearbox doesn't use Dexron ATF, and filled your crankcase with GL5?

I hope I'm wrong!

The more sensible error would be that the mechanic filled your AT gearbox and your front diff with GL-5. Then it's his mistake and you really shouldn't have to pay for the cleanup.

But short answer is:

MT = GL5
AT = Dexron IIe or III , Front Diff = GL5

Synthethic or not, shouldn't matter.

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Old 10-27-2000, 11:57 PM   #9
BG5
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Post

Quote:
But after changing it last night I was barely able to get the car to move
Maybe they drained the auto trans and
put the new fluid in the wrong place, like
in the front diff?

That would sound consistent with no drive and the supposed need for GL-5 (which does NOT go into the auto tranny).
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Old 10-28-2000, 01:37 AM   #10
kid22
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Yo? nice input..LOL
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Old 10-31-2000, 09:51 AM   #11
kar250c
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Been running Mobil 1 synthetic atf in wife's Impreza L since 95 - works great!
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Old 10-31-2000, 11:58 AM   #12
Necromancer
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Yeah, that's about right.

Post

Huh? Gotta agree with scooby5 ... the original post seems to contradict itself.

There is an ATF fliter, but it usually isn't replaced ... in any case it would require you to drop the AT oil pan and re-gasket it.

Putting GL-5 gear oil in the AT would certainly cause the car big problems, most likely the engine would stall because the viscosity is WAY too high for the torque converter.

My guess is that the shop mistook the front diff for the AT, because the front diff drain plug is located about where a FWD car's tranny drain would be. Of course this would not explain the apparent phone call to Subaru telling them to use GL-5 oil in the AT ... sheez.

Just goes to show ya folks, never trust a grease monkey if you can educate yourself and do it right.

By the way I've been running Redline D4 ATF for a year and a half now with no problems whatsoever.

[This message has been edited by Necromancer (edited October 31, 2000).]
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Old 11-01-2000, 09:49 AM   #13
kar250c
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Also of note: At least starting with MY00, new suby's come with synthetic in tranny and diffs fron the factory.
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Old 11-01-2000, 07:09 PM   #14
Avenger
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How do you know your tranny and diff. fluid was synthetic from the factory? Sales person like to BS from time to time, sometime they don't even know what they are talking about.
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Old 11-03-2000, 09:50 AM   #15
kar250c
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I saw the barrels at the dealearship. Says both "subaru" and "synthetic". Service manager says this is what comes in the cars now and what they use for all replacements at dealers now.
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