CVT / transmission fluid and filter change frequency? - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default CVT / transmission fluid and filter change frequency?

Hi all,
I'm still in research mode, but wanted to ask this question. I'm coming out of my first car with a CVT (2011 Honda Insight), and the recommended transmission fluid change (filter too) is approx. every 30,000 miles. Many of the experienced Insight owners know that you really need to change the CVT / transmission fluid & filter approx. every oil change to possibly every other oil change. I've had the car for three years now and it's really obvious when the fluid and filter need changing.... very rough acceleration in cold weather and sort of a pulsing type acceleration under other conditions. Once the CVT / transmission fluid and filter are changed, it's like a new car. Just wondering if any of you have experienced this type of malady with the CVT in the Crosstrek. I don't mind having to change the CVT / transmission fluid and filter at this frequency, but would just like to know if it's a problem going in.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: CVT / transmission fluid and filter change frequency?

I have 27k on my XV and have not replaced the CVT fluid runs like a champ in snow, ice and dry roads.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: CVT / transmission fluid and filter change frequency?

Thanks for the reply.... that is good to hear.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:38 AM   #4
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Their are some people that mistakenly drained the CVT fluid instead of motor oil. I've talked to a mechanic about this there's a plug on the passenger side of the transmission casing. It's ether a 8 or 10 mm hex female socket, to check it car not running on level surface unscrew plug. At about 103 degrees fluid should be at the bottom/level of hole. http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/cvt_fluid.pdf
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:39 AM   #5
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Old thread, but...

The Lineartronic CVT has no service interval for the filter.


Severe duty conditions: CVT fluid replacement every 24,855 miles (40,000 km)

CVT fluid filter is a maintenance-free part, replace only if filter is physically damaged
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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The following is just MY opinion and experience on this subject:

For many years i would ask other car owners and mechanics about changing out the transmission fluid in their automatic transmissions. It seemed like a huge fear to many owners/mechanics to change out the ATF in their automatics. I would buy the shop manual for the car and in it, it would explain how to do it. It really wasn't a "Deep dark secret" nor nuclear fusion. Obviously the transmission was filled at the factory. Oil/ATF/CVT "fluid" (what ever) does eventually get "used" and some worn out and gets dirt, tiny metal particles, etc in it. The hardest part in the past has been draining the transmission in cars that had no drain plug; and had to pull the pan off very slowly and carefully. The XV has a drain plug so I pulled it and drained the fluid, and dropped the pan. Cleaned the pan, install the cleaned out "screen/filter" (like most auto transmissions it is a screen not a filter and at $60 some dollars @ Subaru I flushed mine out), blew it out dry and re-installed. Then used rtv on the pan, re-installed and filled to the bottom of the filler plug on the left side of the transmission. Put the filler plug in started the car let it warm up ran it thru the gears, put it in park and re-checked the filler plug. (The shop manual said the fluid has to be at the bottom level of the filler plug). Added some more, ran it through the gears and re-checked and as the car was running (manual says you check with engine running), and filled till the fluid was coming out of the filler hole. Job is done!!
In case you are wondering, yes I had the car jacked up and level. The inside of the CVT is interesting because other than the screen/filter there isn't hardly anything there other than the CVT pulley's, chain and they are covered by a metal cover. (Pic 1). The filler plug is shown in(pic2).
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman1518 View Post
The following is just MY opinion and experience on this subject:

For many years i would ask other car owners and mechanics about changing out the transmission fluid in their automatic transmissions. It seemed like a huge fear to many owners/mechanics to change out the ATF in their automatics. I would buy the shop manual for the car and in it, it would explain how to do it. It really wasn't a "Deep dark secret" nor nuclear fusion. Obviously the transmission was filled at the factory. Oil/ATF/CVT "fluid" (what ever) does eventually get "used" and some worn out and gets dirt, tiny metal particles, etc in it. The hardest part in the past has been draining the transmission in cars that had no drain plug; and had to pull the pan off very slowly and carefully. The XV has a drain plug so I pulled it and drained the fluid, and dropped the pan. Cleaned the pan, install the cleaned out "screen/filter" (like most auto transmissions it is a screen not a filter and at $60 some dollars @ Subaru I flushed mine out), blew it out dry and re-installed. Then used rtv on the pan, re-installed and filled to the bottom of the filler plug on the left side of the transmission. Put the filler plug in started the car let it warm up ran it thru the gears, put it in park and re-checked the filler plug. (The shop manual said the fluid has to be at the bottom level of the filler plug). Added some more, ran it through the gears and re-checked and as the car was running (manual says you check with engine running), and filled till the fluid was coming out of the filler hole. Job is done!!
In case you are wondering, yes I had the car jacked up and level. The inside of the CVT is interesting because other than the screen/filter there isn't hardly anything there other than the CVT pulley's, chain and they are covered by a metal cover. (Pic 1). The filler plug is shown in(pic2).
You are one brave soul! Do you have pictures of the screen? I'm assuming the fill plug is on the right, next to the two harnesses?
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:22 AM   #8
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No I didn't take a pic of the "strainer/filter, sorry. BUT there is a picture of it on this video here: He shows it at about 2:16 or so in the video. Here is an interesting video on CVT fluid for non Subies:


And as far as being brave, well thank you, I just believed the CVT isn't as difficult or as "magically impossible" to work on. It is only a mechanical device with some electrical and electronic controls NOT any mystery or even as difficult as "differential equations".

And yes you are correct the filler plug is the one on the lower side of the transmission, left side of the car as one sits in it. The plug near the two electronic plugs.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:32 AM   #9
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See the enclosed PDF file from the shop manual shows the filler plug and info etc.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:21 AM   #10
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Believe it or not, a CVT is far simpler in theory of operation and component complexity than a conventional planetary gearset automatic transmission.

You are indeed correct in believing the CVT isn't all that difficult to work on. As someone who's taken apart a conventional planetary gearset 4-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission, I assure you that service technicians will probably not miss the old-fashioned conventional automatic transmissions.
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