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Automatic Transmission Filters on Foresters


Andrew Hutchings
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I've recently changed the ATF on my Forester, using genuine Subaru A.T.F., bought from my local dealer. That bit was easy; warm engine & gearbox, park on level road, pull out dipstick, drain old A.T.F., replace plug & top up with new fluid. Having watched the Youtube links about this I see there's a filter I should have changed at the time. So, back under my car with a torch, but I CANNOT see any sign of a filter anywhere! Have I missed a trick? Mine's a 2010, 2 litre non-turbo petrol vehicle, if that helps.

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I believe the filter was only fitted on Foresters up to 2008, so probably ended with SG9.

Its not imperative to change it anyway unless the gearbox has suffered or had a rebuild, from what i have read up on these things, because the filter doesn't work quite like an oil filter where all oil (except under high pressure) goes through the filter medium, it appears only a percentage of the oil flow goes through the ATF filter medium at any one time, hence why for those cars fitted it would be a mistake to fit a standard oil filter (some 1/4 of the correct ATF filter cost).

I changed my SG9 ATF oil the other day, and agree with you what an easy job, probably easier than changing the engine oil, i intend to swap a sumpful annually to keep a good percentage of fresh oil in the box all the time.

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Juddian, thanks for this. Yes, an oil and filter change on a  Forester is harder than other vehicles, but having bought a filter cup from my accessory shop and a couple of genuine Subaru filters & sump washers it's not too bad. Oddly the smell of hot oil that dribbled onto the exhaust was the worse thing about the entire job! I do like the instructions printed on the plastic underside of the engine panel, with arrows & easy-release studs. I'm going to use castrol GTX Magnetec 10w/40 next time as this is what my motor factor recommends and will be adopting a changing schedule of a filter & oil change every 3,000 miles, with an ATF drain & refill every 6,000 miles. 

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Good Grief Andrew, i thought i was the only one left who believes in tip top servicing being the way to keep motors running well, and if you do all the stuff like this yourself its cheap as chips, rather happy to find i'm not the only one out there.

I tend to buy 5W40 full synthetic of a good make in 20 litre packs when its on offer, i use the same oil in my Landcruiser, however i thought i was getting a bit low on oil and had another 4x5 litre packs delivered, only to find i still had a box with 4x5 litre packs still in the garage :biggrin:

So now just about to start on the Fuchs batch and then it will be Elf,  is being slightly bonkers an advantage i wonder or is it compulsory for those of us who delve under cars regularly :wacko:

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