Ian Powis

CVT Transmission Oil

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Has anyone any experience of changing the CVT Transmission Oil (Outback 2.0D 2013)?  Mine would have been one of the first diesel CVTs I think and the service book says the oil doesn't need changing unless the car is subject to ‘Severe Driving Conditions’ .

I do about 3-4,000 miles a year towing a caravan so asked Subaru whether this would qualify as severe driving conditions and they said yes and that the CVT transmission oil should be changed every 2 years/24k. 

It takes about 13 litres and the service book says must be Subaru oil and doesn't even give a specification.  My local dealer says that they have never done one and that the oil is only supplied in 20 litre containers at a cost of about £250 and I'd have to buy a whole container because they wouldn't want the balance siting in their inventory.

Just wondered whether anyone else had had it done and whether the same conditions applied.

Ian Powis

 

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i'd say if you're towing with cvt then a change of fluid is deffo a good idea. i notice the towing weight allowance has dropped on the cvt versus torque converter.

as for the fluid i would try an indy autobox specialist first as yours won't be the only cvt they're likely to be doing,,might work out cheaper than a subaru dealer.

 

either way changing the fluid will be a lot cheaper than a new box...😉

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Thanks - I'm not that far from you (Leighton Buzzard).  Any suggestions for auto specialists in the area that would have Subaru experience?

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The dealer should be able to perform a "drain and fill", which will replace about 5 litres of the fluid. I did this myself on my 2011 petrol, following the procedure from an online service manual. It's not difficult, just a bit of a faff. You do need an obd dongle called obd link lx to read the CVT fluid temperature though. Subaru outback.org has a DIY guide too. I think yours might be a second generation CVT and slightly different to mine, with different spec fluid. My spec was ns2, and there's plenty of it about, I used mannol, but make sure it's for CVT s with metal belts.

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Thanks 4eyes.  I'm not confident enough to do it myself unfortunately but will have a look at the guides and if I can identify the oil type accurately might let my local garage do the change.

Just had a quick look at subaruoutback.org and there are pages of posts on there about CVT and specifically oil changes from US owners so will spend some time reading through these.

Edited by Ian Powis
Found additional information

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It's not a difficult job, but there is a procedure to follow. The fluid level has to be checked at a certain temperature, between 35 and 45 deg c I think. In reality, as long as you put back in the same amount as drains out, the exact temperature isn't essential, especially if you drain the fluid "cold". I drained and refilled 5.5 litres. There are a couple of YouTube videos too.

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