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I am thinking of replacing it at about 50,000 (about 2 years). I see little downside (other than a lighter wallet) as long as the dealer does it. I live in Colorado so mountain driving is normal. Not much towing expected but some off roading (nothing too severe). I too plan on keeping it to 300,000 miles. I will probably first talk to my dealer about warranty consequences and process to protect CVT cleanliness during process. Do they have one special tech who does this?
Probably when I will finally get mine done.
 

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I am thinking of replacing it at about 50,000 (about 2 years). I see little downside (other than a lighter wallet) as long as the dealer does it. I live in Colorado so mountain driving is normal. Not much towing expected but some off roading (nothing too severe). I too plan on keeping it to 300,000 miles. I will probably first talk to my dealer about warranty consequences and process to protect CVT cleanliness during process. Do they have one special tech who does this?
UPDATE: I just talked to my dealer in Colorado. They stated that here we live in what is considered heavy duty conditions so that the differential should be changed every 30,000 miles. He also stated the CVT fluid can go about 100,000 and would cost $580 to flush it out. Given that feedback I might go 50-75,000 miles for the CVT fluid change since I do not plan on towing that much. I will schedule it when great discount is available.

Another local dealer had the opinion that in this locale we should replace the CVT fluid between 30 and 60,000 miles. They fortunately would charge only $285 compared to the above quote. The lesson learned is shop around to different Subaru dealers for this service.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I was planning on changing mine around the 50k mark but the dealer generous changed my transmission fluid at 32k with the entire transmission :unsure:
 

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Can anyone getting a fluid change go the extra step and get a fluid analysis done?

For science?
I'll see if they will save some of mine, if people chip in for the testing so we can get a good analysis done.
 

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I'll see if they will save some of mine, if people chip in for the testing so we can get a good analysis done.
It's like twenty bucks.

Here's mine:


I just ran underneath the car while they were draining it.

Edit:

Apparently the HT-TR690 in the Ascent has Ascent specific fluid. Not sure how helpful it will be.
 

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Edit:

Apparently the HT-TR690 in the Ascent has Ascent specific fluid. Not sure how helpful it will be.
Yep, only the Outback XT and Ascent use it.

It will be nice to have a worst case scenario (mine, with some crazy off road feats and some towing) to compare to later testing by others.
 

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While I have little doubt my driving is NOT severe, I do have another question about CVT service. At 30k the manual says inspect CVT fluid, along with differential oil. I inquired about the cost to do just those parts of the recommended maintenance since I plan on doing the rest myself. The dealer said they don't open the CVT to inspect the fluid. If they don't do it, I'm certainly not going to try. What to do then?

Also, they told me they have an Ascent in their garage getting its CVT fluid replaced after the owner drained it while attempting an oil change! Thank you to whomever it was on this forum who posted about the drain plugs. I double checked I was draining the correct fluid so that wouldn't happen to me!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
While I have little doubt my driving is NOT severe, I do have another question about CVT service. At 30k the manual says inspect CVT fluid, along with differential oil. I inquired about the cost to do just those parts of the recommended maintenance since I plan on doing the rest myself. The dealer said they don't open the CVT to inspect the fluid. If they don't do it, I'm certainly not going to try. What to do then?!
I inspect the CVT and differentials by simply looking for any signs of a leak. If no leak then the fluid levels should still be good.
 

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I inspect the CVT and differentials by simply looking for any signs of a leak. If no leak then the fluid levels should still be good.
So they don’t need any kind of quality check on the fluids?
 

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For comparison, my Lexus has no fluid inspections or replacement specified for the trans or diff. They're "lubricated for life."
 

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Service interval is in the back of the Warranty and Maintenance book.

I don't have mine handy at the moment, but Cars101 says:


Otherwise, it's lifetime.

The parts site is incorrect about which fluid to use. SOA748V0300/SOA635312 is the correct part number.

It cannot easily be changed at home, and I strongly suggest letting a dealership do it, or following the service manual to the letter.

You cannot use aftermarket CVT Fluid and cannot use different Subaru CVT Fluid... it will damage the CVT, as I helped a tech realize after he burned out two.

There's currently zero compatible aftermarket fluids.
My dealer had 25% off all service (also my new tires) so I asked them to change the differential fluids for front and rear. I am at 28,000 so I know it is early but I am having my 30,000 mile service done and with that discount I could not pass it up. Most of the dealers around here in Colorado right or wrong consider the driving conditions to be severe. They were not even asking me about it but since I had it on my mind and given the great price I pulled the trigger.
 

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Service interval is in the back of the Warranty and Maintenance book.

I don't have mine handy at the moment, but Cars101 says:


Otherwise, it's lifetime.

The parts site is incorrect about which fluid to use. SOA748V0300/SOA635312 is the correct part number.

It cannot easily be changed at home, and I strongly suggest letting a dealership do it, or following the service manual to the letter.

You cannot use aftermarket CVT Fluid and cannot use different Subaru CVT Fluid... it will damage the CVT, as I helped a tech realize after he burned out two.

There's currently zero compatible aftermarket fluids.
We had our CVT fluid changed at 26635 miles, along with the normal 30k service. On the paperwork it says they "PERFORM COMPLETE TRANSMISSION FLUID EXCHANGE, INSTALL FLUSHING AGENT TO LOOSEN AND CLEAN DIRT AND DEPOSITS, COMPLETELY EXCHANGE UP TO 13 QTS OF TRANSMISSION FLUID. INSTALL 1 BOTTLE OF FLUID CONDITIONER TOA. SUBARU HIGH TORQUE CVT LV FLUID." Their all caps, not mine.

Anyway, they don't show the part number for the fluid. Is "Subaru High Torque" the right one? What does LV mean? Also, what about the fluid conditioner TOA? Is that a snake oil profit generator for the dealer? I'm concerned they didn't follow the book on this one, after reading your comments. We had towed our 2500+ pound camper about 25% of the miles so they said that was severe service. They didn't ask me if I towed anything, so I guess it's good that I told them. They said I should do the CVT fluid changes at 30k, and the differentials (with ADVANCED SYNTHETIC FLUID EXCEEDING OEM SPECIFICATIONS) at 15k. That seems excessive to me. $560 every 30k seems like a lot to me, but I'm coming from a 2007 Toyota Sienna that never had any transmission fluid changes in the 205k miles I drove it. We actually towed the same camper the same distance the last year we had it.
 

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Subaru High Torque LV does generally designate the correct fluid. If you have the work order and want to DM me a copy of the line items, I can take a look at it. But, it should be correct. Only the Ascent and Outback XT fluid is designated High Torque LV.

The LV designator stands for "low viscosity".

4793


We had our CVT fluid changed at 26635 miles, along with the normal 30k service. On the paperwork it says they "PERFORM COMPLETE TRANSMISSION FLUID EXCHANGE, INSTALL FLUSHING AGENT TO LOOSEN AND CLEAN DIRT AND DEPOSITS, COMPLETELY EXCHANGE UP TO 13 QTS OF TRANSMISSION FLUID. INSTALL 1 BOTTLE OF FLUID CONDITIONER TOA. SUBARU HIGH TORQUE CVT LV FLUID." Their all caps, not mine.

Anyway, they don't show the part number for the fluid. Is "Subaru High Torque" the right one? What does LV mean? Also, what about the fluid conditioner TOA? Is that a snake oil profit generator for the dealer? I'm concerned they didn't follow the book on this one, after reading your comments. We had towed our 2500+ pound camper about 25% of the miles so they said that was severe service. They didn't ask me if I towed anything, so I guess it's good that I told them. They said I should do the CVT fluid changes at 30k, and the differentials (with ADVANCED SYNTHETIC FLUID EXCEEDING OEM SPECIFICATIONS) at 15k. That seems excessive to me. $560 every 30k seems like a lot to me, but I'm coming from a 2007 Toyota Sienna that never had any transmission fluid changes in the 205k miles I drove it. We actually towed the same camper the same distance the last year we had it.
 
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