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Old 05-16-2016, 12:14 PM   #1
hngu7721
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Default 2015 CVT fluid change intervals

There seems to be conflicting details about CVT fluid change on the new WRX; with some dealers suggesting 120K, while others are saying 30K under severe usage.

Would be interested to know what the general consensus is on this issue, as well as what type of fluid was used IF you've decided to proceed with the change.

TIA
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:31 PM   #2
Samurai Jack
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What does your service/owner's manual say as far as changing the CVT fluid?

Go with that.

"Severe Use" is open to interpretation.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:07 AM   #3
340Duster
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Has anyone had this done at the dealership, if so, how much did it cost?
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:47 PM   #4
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
What does your service/owner's manual say as far as changing the CVT fluid?

Go with that.

"Severe Use" is open to interpretation.
Agreed.

For a trans.......severe duty (to me) is.......
Track days
Lots of big hills/mountains
Trailer towing of 1200lbs or more
Extended periods of very fast highway driving in hot conditions (say, couple hundred miles at 80 or more MPH in the US SW on summer days).
Other engine bits get a different idea of severe, short trips or lots of idling affect other driveline bits.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:39 PM   #5
Elbert Bass
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Yeah, this is a big PIA and has been beat to death at every Subaru training class I have attended. The 2017 June Tech Tips Subaru stated this:

"CVT FLUID

The Techline has received multiple calls from Technicians inquiring about CVTF (CVT Fluid) intervals. The CVTF is a “lifetime” fluid and has no maintenance interval. In the case the customer is towing with the vehicle repeatedly, the recommendation from Subaru Corporation is to replace the CVTF every 25,000 miles. Other than repeated towing, there is no reason to replace the CVTF unless there is an issue with the CVT assembly."


I think some confusion here comes from misunderstanding the differences in operation between CVT and old 4/5EATs. A CVT does not have 5 or 6 clutch packs/brakes constantly engaging and disengaging that shed friction material into the fluid at every gear change. CVT only has a couple clutches/brakes that are always engaged or off (park/neutral - forward - reverse) all the shift work is done by a piston. The fluid is primarily lubricant and since there is no combustion contamination the fluid lasts longer. Really the only issues would be extremely high heat or contamination from mechanical failure.

I get cars in with as much as 175,000 that have had a transfer or lock-up solenoid failure and the CVT fluid is still clear and smells like new with very little darkening of color. That tells me the fluid is over engineered for the application - even differential oil gets dirty within that kind of mileage.

Obviously if you drive the car very hard, especially a Turbo CVT, you could service - a drain and fill every 25,000 to 30,000 would not hurt. Even doing that you are replacing a bit less than half of the fluid. The problem for DIY is you determine the full level with the transmission fluid at a certain temperature. That IS NOT engine coolant temperature. You must have a scan tool that will show TCM data to read transmission fluid temperature.
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:50 PM   #6
340Duster
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I was asking specifically about the one that is behind the FA20 engine. My car has 32,000 on it, and I plan to do some highway towing soon.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:21 PM   #7
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 340Duster View Post
I was asking specifically about the one that is behind the FA20 engine. My car has 32,000 on it, and I plan to do some highway towing soon.
The information from the Subaru Tech Tips article applies to all Subaru CVT. That is what Subaru has instructed Subaru service departments to advise customers.
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