The Ultimate Subaru Forester Transmission Maintenance Guide

Hello neighbor! I’m glad you stopped by with your question about the transmission of the Subaru Forester. I can see that you’re not very familiar with the automatic transmission of your car. Let me explain everything to you based on my experience as an automotive mechanic.

Types of Transmissions in Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is equipped with various types of transmissions depending on the year of production, model, and market. However, the most common options are the automatic transmission (AT) and the continuously variable transmission (CVT).

YearEngine TypePossible Transmission Types
2000-2002EJ EnginesManual, Automatic
2003-2008EJ EnginesManual, Automatic, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
2009-2012EJ, FB EnginesManual, Automatic, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
2013-2018FB EnginesManual, Automatic, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
2019-PresentFB, FA EnginesManual, Automatic, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Table with different types of transmissions for Subaru Forester based on the year of manufacture of the car and engine brand

Service Life of the Forester

Transmission The service life of the transmission in a Subaru Forester depends on several factors, including driving style, operating conditions, and regular maintenance. On average, the transmission can last from 100,000 to 200,000 miles or even longer with proper care.

Let me explain in simple terms, neighbor. If your car has an automatic transmission (or a transmission with a CVT), it doesn’t like sudden starts and pedal-to-the-metal acceleration. It needs time to accelerate the vehicle and shift to the next gear. That’s why I suggest smoothly accelerating your car, avoiding sharp accelerations at intersections.

By the way, here’s another reason for my advice – better fuel efficiency. Driving with such a style will make your car much more fuel-efficient.

Common Transmission Problems in Subaru Forester

Some Subaru Forester owners have encountered issues related to the automatic transmission or CVT. These problems may include jerking during gear shifts, vibrations, transmission fluid leaks, and others. However, this is not just a Forester issue; it applies to all cars with automatic transmissions.

Checking Transmission Fluid Level

Checking the transmission fluid level is an important part of regular transmission maintenance. To check the transmission fluid level, follow these steps:

  1. Park the car on a level surface and make sure the engine is running.
  2. Open the hood and locate the transmission fluid dipstick.
  3. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it with a cloth or paper towel, and insert it back.
  4. Remove the dipstick again and assess the fluid level based on the markings. The fluid should be within the recommended range – not too much, not too little.

Fluid Change Interval

The interval for changing the transmission fluid in a Subaru Forester may vary depending on the model and operating conditions. Typically, it’s recommended to change the fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Factors influencing the interval include driving style, vehicle load, road conditions, and climate.

Signs of the Need for Fluid Change

If you notice the following signs, it may be time to change the transmission fluid:

  1. Increased noise levels or vibrations during gear shifts.
  2. Difficulty shifting gears or jerking during acceleration.
  3. Appearance of leaks or fluid seepage under the car.
  4. Elevated transmission temperature.

What Else to Replace with Transmission Fluid

When changing the transmission fluid, it’s also recommended to check and, if necessary, replace the transmission filter. This helps maintain cleanliness and efficient operation of the transmission.

Choosing Transmission Fluid

When selecting transmission fluid for your Subaru Forester, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as stated in the user manual. It’s important to choose compatible fluid with the right viscosity and specifications.

Year of ManufactureEngine BrandFluid SpecificationRequired VolumePopular Brands
1998-2008EJ25DEXRON®-III4.75 quartsToyota DEXRON®-III ATF, Castrol DEXRON®-III ATF
2009-2013FB25DEXRON®-VI6.3 quartsValvoline DEXRON®-VI ATF, Mobil 1 DEXRON®-VI ATF
2014-PresentFB25CVT Fluid3.5 quartsSubaru Genuine CVT Fluid, Valvoline CVT Fluid
Table with recommended gear oil based on engine type, tolerance specifications

Fluid Replacement

Required tools

  • Wrenches for bolt removal
  • Container for old fluid
  • Transmission filter (if needed)
  • New transmission fluid

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Lift the front of the car and secure it properly.
  2. Disconnect hoses and connectors linking the transmission to the vehicle.
  3. Remove the bolts securing the transmission to the engine.
  4. Carefully lower the transmission and remove the old fluid.
  5. Check the condition of the transmission filter and replace it if necessary.
  6. Refill the new transmission fluid through the dipstick, following the recommended level and type of fluid.
  7. Lift the transmission back into place and secure it with bolts.
  8. Reconnect hoses and connectors to the transmission.
  9. Start the engine and ensure that the transmission shifts correctly.
  10. Perform a leak check and make sure all components are in place.

I’m glad, neighbor, that I could provide you with all this information about Subaru Forester transmissions. Now you can diagnose and, if necessary, service your car’s transmission on your own!

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