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Old 08-05-2009, 01:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Transmission and Diff fluid changes

Has anyone performed a transmission fluid or differential fluid change on their Tribeca themselves? I'm thinking of saving a few bucks and trying to perform these if it's not too difficult. I changed the oil for the first time last month and I found it to be not as hard as I thought it would be.
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ours only has 14,500 miles on it. So we're far from needing to do such services.

I know this doesn't answer your question, but last week I had the tranny fluid and filter changed in my truck at 70,000. I think the tranny portion of the service was $225 which seemed about average after calling around. As for the differential, they found a small leak and topped it off. But said the fluid didn't appear contaminated and shouldn't need to be serviced anytime soon. So as long as you do the tranny you might be ok on putting off the differential fluid.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We replace trans fluid every 15k and do a flush every 30k. It's messy, and the refill is a real PITA. Then again, I get a great deal from my mechanic, but then again he only charges $170 for a flush and fill.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Doing the diffs is a fairly easy DIY...basically drain from the bottom plug and fill in the the top plug.

Changing tranny fluid is a bit more complicated as they are hard to drain out completely. Most quick-lube places can do it, but it'll cost $99+ depending on how much fluid is actually needed. They have what is essentially a pump machine that will pump out the old fluid while pumping in new fluid (not just a drain and fill). This is needed because trannies are pretty big and if you just drain it, not all the old fluid will necessarily come out. Usually they pump in ~3x the volume to make sure it's all swapped out...and why it costs so much!

My Accord's owners manual actually has instructions to DIY the tranny fluid change, and it actually says to drain and fill THREE TIMES and drive for 5 miles in between to make sure you get most all the old fluid out.

That being said, I usually do tranny and diff fluids every 30k miles.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Flushing doesn't seem to be a good idea in comparison to drain and fill every 30,000 miles.

I hear flush pushes all of the crud deeper into tranny with problems noticed after a few miles, like slipping transmission.

I had asked about my Toyota cause it has a 60,000 mile if driven hard to 100,000 mile flush interval, in which in another forum allot of the knowledgeable truck guys wont go that long but most will drain and refill every 30,000 miles.
Even though you don't get it all out, it is always replenished.

I read somewhere that HONDA has stopped flushing their transmissions and started drain and fill.

Wonder what SUBARU dealer recommends on these new 5 speed transmissions, flush or drain and refill, and how often?
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You mention pumping in fluid, is that same as flush or is that a more gentle process for tranny?

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Originally Posted by snork
Doing the diffs is a fairly easy DIY...basically drain from the bottom plug and fill in the the top plug.

Changing tranny fluid is a bit more complicated as they are hard to drain out completely. Most quick-lube places can do it, but it'll cost $99+ depending on how much fluid is actually needed. They have what is essentially a pump machine that will pump out the old fluid while pumping in new fluid (not just a drain and fill). This is needed because trannies are pretty big and if you just drain it, not all the old fluid will necessarily come out. Usually they pump in ~3x the volume to make sure it's all swapped out...and why it costs so much!

My Accord's owners manual actually has instructions to DIY the tranny fluid change, and it actually says to drain and fill THREE TIMES and drive for 5 miles in between to make sure you get most all the old fluid out.

That being said, I usually do tranny and diff fluids every 30k miles.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've watched them do my Accord, it's more of a flushing process...the machine simultaneously fills and drains the tranny casing, and by using about 3x the volume it effectively flushes out out the old fluid from all the nooks & crannies and any metal shavings from your regular gear wear.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've heard problems from flushing, at least getting first flush at higher mileage.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well FWIW I've never heard of probs flushing a tranny. Pretty much all quick-lube places do it as well as AAMCO which has the "Power Purge Plus" service and they specialize in trannies. IMHO, I don't see how you could get out the metal shavings from standard gear wear w/o flushing it?

Also my Accord has 192k on the clock (the notorious V6/5-speed combo ) and knock-on-wood it's been running strong w/ regular service @ 30k-40k intervals.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm going by my 6 speed no deep stick tundra transmission.

A Toyota dealership refuses to flush due to seeing problems of slipping and breaking down of tranny soon after.
I WOULD LOVE TO FIND an INDEPENDENT shop that will truly service tranny with this special WS (worls standard 12-14 bucks a quart fluid, mine holds 6-7) TOYOTA FLUID for my truck.

The removal of dipsticks from some vehicles is BS and is the manufacturers way of making things hard.

That's the only experience I HAVE.
MY PREVIOUS TRUCK I DID TRANNY SERVICE EVERY 60-70 THOUSAND MILES WITHOUT PROBLEMS, it had deep stick.

Its probably the fact that you do it every 30,000 miles and don't give fluid a chance to break down and build up crud that flush can spread around.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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FWIW, I know the techs at my Suby dealership and they say for the tranny, drain and fill every 15K. All of the metal flaking and bits settle to the bottom of the tranny and are easily drained off with a normal drain and fill. Plus the drain plug is magnetic to catch the very small metal debris. They've all said that a flush is like kicking a dust pile, causes all the little bits to move around the tranny and get back into gearing. Drain and fill I shall
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That is what I have heard from experienced truck guys too and an ongoing controversy/talk over at another forum, they say drain and fill and leave the flushing to the extended warranty guys.
How many quarts to drain and fill a 3.6L TRIBECA engine ( even though they don't get it all out) and how much do they charge for fluid and labor, if you don't mind asking him to give me idea?

If you can thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrx-boy
FWIW, I know the techs at my Suby dealership and they say for the tranny, drain and fill every 15K. All of the metal flaking and bits settle to the bottom of the tranny and are easily drained off with a normal drain and fill. Plus the drain plug is magnetic to catch the very small metal debris. They've all said that a flush is like kicking a dust pile, causes all the little bits to move around the tranny and get back into gearing. Drain and fill I shall
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LORE BECA
How many quarts to drain and fill a 3.6L TRIBECA engine ( even though they don't get it all out) and how much do they charge for fluid and labor, if you don't mind asking him to give me idea?

If you can thanks!
$135 for a drain and fill on our H6 motor using 5Qts of Subaru ATF. Do it yourself for just the cost of the ATF for about $50.00+/-
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Is it hard to do tranny DIY?
I thought our trannies were every 60,000 miles as per SUBARU CORP recomendations?
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LORE BECA
Is it hard to do tranny DIY?
I thought our trannies were every 60,000 miles as per SUBARU CORP recomendations?
Not at all...actually very easy. I've been doing all fluid changes on our 04' WRX, 03' Impreza Outback Sport and now will be doing the 09' Tribeca. It's just as easy as the motor oil.

- Pull the Dipstick
- Pull the Drain Plug below
- Drain, Drain and Drain...
- Replace the Plug and Torque
- Fill-er-up through the Dipstick hole (use a funnel extension...long)

TaDa...just saved your self $70+

SOA always has a set standard of "Guidelines", but I listen to the tech's. They are the ones who do all the Warranty Work and see what really happens. They say 15k...I'm down with that. Plus I love to wrench
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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AHHH, we have a deepstick.

Sounds like a good old fashioned tranny fluid change.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:20 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Where can we find the official SUBARU recommended service intervals on various things like tranny, diffs, plugs on these 3.6l/5spped tranny combo?

I've read coolant change/flush at 120,000 miles as per SUBARU...that seems too long?

Any good site links.

15,000 miles sounds too soon for tranny fluid service...30 OR 60?
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkess3
Has anyone performed a transmission fluid or differential fluid change on their Tribeca themselves? I'm thinking of saving a few bucks and trying to perform these if it's not too difficult. I changed the oil for the first time last month and I found it to be not as hard as I thought it would be.
I just finished the 60K service myself. Flushing scares me so I bought 12 qts of Subaru tranny fluid to change it myself. You can only get about 4 quarts of oil out by draining so I was going to do it 3 times(driving around a bit in between). It holds about 11 qts total I think. After the second time it looked pretty good so I stopped there. I plan on doing a 4 qt drain and fill every 15k miles.

It is easier than changing engine oil since there is a drain plug on the transmission pan and there is no filter to change(there is a filter somewhere but it is recommended not to change it). You do need a very long funnel to get the fluid into the dip stick hole though. Actually the maint specs say it is only necessary to inspect the transmission oil every 30k miles(In severe conditions it should be changed every 15k miles). You be the judge.

The 60K service says to inspect(not necessarily change) the diff fluids. Mine looked OK so I did not change them. The levels were good(no leaks).
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LORE BECA
Where can we find the official SUBARU recommended service intervals on various things like tranny, diffs, plugs on these 3.6l/5spped tranny combo?

I've read coolant change/flush at 120,000 miles as per SUBARU...that seems too long?

Any good site links.

15,000 miles sounds too soon for tranny fluid service...30 OR 60?
You should have received a "Warranty and Maintenance booklet" which has a schedule of inspections and maintenance table.

I can only speak to my 2006 maintenance schedule which might be different than the 2009, but it says transmission inspection every 30k miles and change every 15k under severe conditions. It explains what severe conditions might be.

Coolant change every 30k miles.

Check this site:

http://www.subaru.com/content/downlo...09SchedFed.pdf

It in fact says the 2009 (using Subaru super coolant) is to be changed at 11 years or 137,500 miles. Amazing!!! I wish all fluids lasted that long!!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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AT THE DEALER THEY HAVE THEIR OWN SCHEDULE.

Just asking if I should go and tell them that I want drain and fill in tranny at 15,000 miles with differential drain and fill at 30,000 miles.

Are the plugs supposed to be every 30,000 miles?

I read that 11 year on coolant as well, I don't know if one should go that long on any car?

They have the word inspect in their DEALER SCHEDULE allot with their 500 dollar service. I am not going to pay them to look but to actually do something!

Just wondering what some experienced Subby guys are doing or are going to do to their cars cause for future maintainance intervals
Subaru says inspect on allot of things.

PLEASE FILL IN BLANKS BELOW to give idea on the 3.6 l engine.

TRANSMISSION FLUID DRAIN FILL EVERY= 15,30,60
PLUGS=?
DIFFERENTIAL fluid replace=?
COOLANT=?
oil change every 3,750 or 5,000 miles

Last edited by LORE BECA; 08-11-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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