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2021 XV Limited 2.5L - Plasma Yellow
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title states, I made a mistake getting ahead of myself on an oil change and drained a small amount of cvt fluid on my 2021 limited. As soon as I saw green I instantly plugged it. Probably lost less than .5 qt as my used oil and it combined didn't fill the 5qt jug I poured catch pan into.

Called local dealer and they said it'd be $260+tax as they'd have to completely drain and refill. Shouldn't i just be able to pump cvt fluid into the fill/check port above the pan until it's level or am I missing something? I've done tranny fluid maintenance on my Honda before, so I'm not afraid to do it, but this is my first Subie and CVT.

If I have to do the dealership route, I will, but trying to avoid paying that much for a mistake. Car has 11k miles on it, so the fluid should still be like new. I took the car on a 5 mile drive after doing some shifting tests in my garage and noticed no difference in shifting and no lights on dash.

Any input greatly appreciated.
 

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If I have to do the dealership route, I will, but trying to avoid paying that much for a mistake.
There are so many similar posts here. Learning how to service modern cars is not trivial and I'm surprised that there are not more posts about it here. Did you save more than the $260 plus tax by trying to do it yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are so many similar posts here. Learning how to service modern cars is not trivial and I'm surprised that there are not more posts about it here. Did you save more than the $260 plus tax by trying to do it yourself?
I've definitely saved more than 260 plus tax servicing my own vehicles, tractors, and utility vehicles the past 25 yrs. I assume there aren't more posts like this as people fear being flamed for doing something dumb like mistaking a drain plug when rushing. It happens.
 

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I've definitely saved more than 260 plus tax servicing my own vehicles, tractors, and utility vehicles the past 25 yrs. I assume there aren't more posts like this as people fear being flamed for doing something dumb like mistaking a drain plug when rushing. It happens.
There are. Not flaming just wondering if it's worth it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are. Not flaming just wondering if it's worth it...
After all the nightmare stories I've heard from people about having others do their oil change, absolutely worth it to me and peace of mind knowing its done correctly and not over torqued. If it costs me a trip to dealer, its an expensive reminder of the oil drain plug location.
 

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It's great that you want to do your own service but if you can't figure which plug to drain the engine oil from, then it's probably not a good idea to even attempt to service the CVT. It is nothing like a Honda or any other car you have worked on. Not meant to be a dig just would hate to see you cause damage as the CVT repair / replacement is in the thousands of dollars. There are multiple plugs all over the CVT that look like fill points. Some go to the front diff, others the CVT. Sure don't want to mix things up. That has also happened plenty of times with people either putting gear oil in the CVT or CVT fluid into the diff.

Probably should not even post this but here is what you are up against. (not my video)

 

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It's great that you want to do your own service but if you can't figure which plug to drain the engine oil from, then it's probably not a good idea to even attempt to service the CVT.
Yeah, this... 😸!
 

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OP made a mistake, no need to pile on.
In fact, Subaru technicians have done far worse, many a CVT has been destroyed by dealership error attempting to fill the front diff.
I'd suggest seeing if there's a local independent shop that specializes in Subaru. A half quart isn't a huge deal, but I wouldn't keep running it that way. Go ahead and do the full drain and fill, that only changes what's in the pan anyway.
 

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After all the nightmare stories I've heard from people about having others do their oil change, absolutely worth it to me and peace of mind knowing its done correctly and not over torqued.
Yep. Once had a shop replace the entire oil pan, at their cost, on my '86 Subaru Wagon 'cause the mechanic who did an oil change used an impact wrench to tighten down the oil drain plug.
 

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OP made a mistake, no need to pile on.
Not piling on. There are lots of threads here about Subaru techs, and uninformed owners, doing something wrong. Could be Best Buy or any other chain.

My point is that someone thinks they can service a 2021 automobile by watching a YT video?
 
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Not piling on. There are lots of threads here about Subaru techs, and uninformed owners, doing something wrong. Could be Best Buy or any other chain.

My point is that someone thinks they can service a 2021 automobile by watching a YT video?
Not for nothing, I learned how to replace the brake rotors and pads on my 16s from YouTube :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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.5 of a qt. is nothing in the scheme of what's in the system. If your going to "set the level", you might as well change it out as your going to virtually 80% of the work. The hard part is having the car level and getting it to the right temp. I measure exactly what comes out to gauge what "should" go back in, as it can vary.
Our BMW and Boxster run a similar action for the servicing the automatic gearboxes. I find it quite timely for those, as properly cleaning the pans out, replacing magnets, along with the hardware(torqued to spec, dial type wrench) takes a bit. If you're going to drain and refill, it should not be too bad. Don't sweat it too much.
regards
 

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I don't see any reason why the dealer cannot just "top it off". Same process as filling it up after draining it.
 

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.5 of a qt. is nothing in the scheme of what's in the system.
I've read and been told the fluid level is critical in these CVT's. Personally, I would not want to drive a brand new car at all with the CVT under-filled by 0.5qt. Just the fact that the correct fluid level is determined at a specific temperature range on a flat surface tells you just how critical the correct amount of fluid is.
 

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I don't see any reason why the dealer cannot just "top it off". Same process as filling it up after draining it.
Likely to limit liability. You're paying for a full drain and refill because they don't know what happened and don't want to just bill for the minimum. A third party shop probably wouldn't mind doing a top up.
 

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I've read and been told the fluid level is critical in these CVT's. Personally, I would not want to drive a brand new car at all with the CVT under-filled by 0.5qt. Just the fact that the correct fluid level is determined at a specific temperature range on a flat surface tells you just how critical the correct amount of fluid is.
Remember, the level can vary greatly depending on when the tech decides to cut it off at. These newer gen auto trans/cvt gearboxes have a lot of fluid(IE 10-12 qts or more). The old gen transmissions only had 4-5 qts. Trans fluid expands quite a bit with heat. I'm going to bet dealer serviced gearboxes vary by .5-1.5 qts in fill easily.
I would not want to run qt's under the median fill capacity either. Changing the fluid out on these is a smart play for long term reliability. I just wish they were easier to service properly(IE clean out the pan, change filter/strainer).
regards
 

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I'd add 1/3 qt and check for level. I wouldn't worry about a small amount unless I was doing severe off-roading. Flushed my CVT with Amsoil almost 30k miles ago, and it is a PITA. Will do occasional pan drain and refill to keep fluid fresh.

artosa
 
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