Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
I havent heard about that happening with the Ascent yet, but I have read about some people doing that by mistake in other forums. They drained the cvt fluid by mistake and then overfilled the motor oil. Most times, it was too late before they realized and their transmission was in bad shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Just be careful and "measure twice and cut once". Subarus engines hang way out ahead of the axle so it's a little disorienting when you get underneath and see the tranny drain in the vicinity of where you might expect the oil drain to be. Once you see the oil drain it'll be more obvious. If you compare the two drains while you're under there, you can clearly see that one looks like an oil pan and the other looks like a transmission.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,948 Posts
Has anyone had an issue with changing the oil and draining the transmission fluid by mistake?

If you did, please have it towed to the nearest Subaru dealership. The Ascent CVT does NOT use the same CVT oil as any previous TR690 CVT, and the fill procedure is very very specific.

Please do NOT let any other shop put regular CVT oil in it, even if it's supposedly compatible with other TR690 Series CVTs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Has anyone had an issue with changing the oil and draining the transmission fluid by mistake?
I had a customer had one of the quick change oil places do that to his car. They got to buy him a new engine and transmission out of it. Also have a couple of customers that got one of the boat pumps so they never have to go underneath at all, just shove the hose in and pull the oil out that way.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
...just shove the hose in and pull the oil out that way.
I understand that’s a common way to do oil changes; however, is there a concern long term about sludge buildup at the bottom of the pan? My thought is that removing the plug (from the oil pan not the transmission) would flush more of that out. Thoughts, experience, anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
I understand that’s a common way to do oil changes; however, is there a concern long term about sludge buildup at the bottom of the pan? My thought is that removing the plug (from the oil pan not the transmission) would flush more of that out. Thoughts, experience, anyone?
Warm engine (thus warm oil), and so long as the hose reaches the bottom of the sump area, you'll probably get more out via extraction than via conventional draining. The problem is the shop puts it up on a lift, so the underside of the vehicle is flat, fully supported on all four tires. Most of us who change our own oil typically put it on two ramps, which provides a downward slope - so with the Ascent, the oil drain plug is on the drivers side of the engine, at the bottom. Which means that if the car is on an incline, there's going to be a small amount remaining in the oil pan.

That wasn't an issue with my pick-up, where the oil drain was on the rear of the oil pan, and thus everything would flow out. I won't even get into the intelligence of certain other car manufacturers, who put the oil filter such that it could be reached from under the car - but would drain all over the front axle assembly. (Chevy)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
I had a customer had one of the quick change oil places do that to his car. They got to buy him a new engine and transmission out of it. Also have a couple of customers that got one of the boat pumps so they never have to go underneath at all, just shove the hose in and pull the oil out that way.
This is what I do, although I have not yet done it with the Ascent as I still have the dealer doing the maintenance on it. I have used the pump on my wife's Nissan, and also on the Mustang when I still had it. Works like a charm and it means I win't have to climb under the car at all once I start doing the Ascent myself.

The one I have is the Topsider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,406 Posts
If you did, please have it towed to the nearest Subaru dealership. The Ascent CVT does NOT use the same CVT oil as any previous TR690 CVT, and the fill procedure is very very specific.

Please do NOT let any other shop put regular CVT oil in it, even if it's supposedly compatible with other TR690 Series CVTs.
Can't be that hard, is it? I have never changed out CVT fluid yet but I wouldn't imagine it's much more specific than:
1. keep the car leveled ground;
2. check fluid when tranny pan temp @ temp (e.g. 100degF); and
3. top-off to specified mark.

Have you changed yours out yet?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,948 Posts
Can't be that hard, is it? I have never changed out CVT fluid yet but I wouldn't imagine it's much more specific than:
1. keep the car leveled ground;
2. check fluid when tranny pan temp @ temp (e.g. 100degF); and
3. top-off to specified mark.

Have you changed yours out yet?
I haven't changed mine.

It's a bit more than that, including removing the breather and breather pipe from the CVT, having a very specific range, and filling it until it exactly reaches or overflows where the breather tube connects.

The BIGGER problem is it comes in one container size, which costs $440+ for the 1.5 gallon pail. Even on sale, it's about $360+. Subaru steadfastly claims that no other CVT fluid can be used in the Ascent. Elsewhere, they specifically state that using other CVT fluid will damage the Ascent's TR690.

That makes a CVT fluid change a pretty costly thing to do at home.

471
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Has anyone had an issue with changing the oil and draining the transmission fluid by mistake?
I haven't done so - yet - but I was very careful when we got our first Subarus (nearly back-to-back, with two MY05 in 2005), as I'd read more than a few online Forum post about such horror stories with various "quick-change" places.

Unfortunately, it's not altogether rare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
awesome - thanks. Folks can jut remember the oil drain is in the cut-out. I’ll admit my first oil change I had a fleeting thought to make sure I had the right plug, knowing people did this on the outback which i used to own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Here is a pic of the transmission pan. I plan to have caution stickers made and put one on the transmission pan and one pointing out that oil drain.
I wonder if plasti-dip would survive an application on one pan or the other to easily tell the difference.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
I literally wouldn’t have ever made the mistake myself but thank you for bringing this up. I’d like to think I’ll change my own oil each time but I cant guarantee that. Some sort of warning on there could prove priceless!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,948 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Has anyone had an issue with changing the oil and draining the transmission fluid by mistake?
Well I will admit I did it. Overconfidence or just old age setting in. After owning Toyota Vehicles for years it never occurred to me I could screw it up. In fact, I was showing my 16 year old son how to change the oil. I was excited with the top mounted filter and figured it was a 15 minute job.

After draining it and noticing the clarity of the fluid I identified my mistake and immediately called the dealer.

since we bought the vehicle in NC and live in Alaska - using the sole dealership in Anchorage for oil service is not a viable option (hour away).

in the end, the Subaru Car Care Service we purchased - which we really like - picked up towing minus the 100 dollar deductible And the dealership refilled the fluid and reset the system for a painful 450 dollars.

To Subaru I would say put a F-ing sticker on the pan - there are so many great qualities and detailed designs to the vehicle - we love it.

I plan on following a previous poster’s recommendation and having a sticker made - and then will use my oil extractor to change the oil in the future. The funny part is it will take me 6 oil changes to correct this mindless goof. Such is life and the cost of living in a location with minimal Subaru support.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top