How to Change Subaru Transmission Fluid

Written by vanessa padgalskas
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If your car is shifting hard or you have gone 30,000 miles since the last transmission fluid change, you should change the transmission fluid. You will feel the car shift smoother after the old fluid is drained and new fluid added. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission, and old transmission fluid is one of the main causes of a failing transmission.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Transmission fluid
  • Small funnel
  • Socket wrench
  • Pan to catch the fluid

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    Change Transmission Fluid on a Subaru

  1. 1

    Open the bonnet and remove the dipstick. The dipstick has a loop at the top and is located near the rear of the engine. Removing the dipstick will release pressure in the transmission fluid reservoir and allow the fluid to drain quicker. Put the dipstick somewhere clean. Any particles that get on the dipstick and then are transferred to the transmission fluid can damage the transmission.

  2. 2

    Jack the Subaru 6 inches off the ground if you are unable to slide under it. If you have car ramps, you can drive the car on the ramps to lift it. This will make getting to the drain plug much easier.

  3. 3

    Put a pan underneath the transmission fluid reservoir to catch the draining fluid.

  4. 4

    Remove the drain plug on the transmission fluid reservoir with a socket wrench. It will most likely be a 17mm lug, but it depends on the year and model of your Subaru. The fluid will take about 3 to 5 minutes to completely drain.

  5. 5

    Screw the lug back on the fluid reservoir and lower the car from the jack. You are now finished with the work underneath the car.

  6. 6

    Put a small funnel in the hole where the dipstick was located and begin pouring in new transmission fluid. Make sure your funnel is clean and has not been used with any fluid other than transmission fluid to avoid transferring other fluids into the transmission. Refer to your owner's manual to find out how much fluid you should add and what type of fluid you should use.

  7. 7

    Put the dipstick back after the fluid has had 5 minutes to settle. Pull the dipstick out to make sure the fluid level reaches the top hash mark at the end of the dipstick. This will guarantee the fluid is at the correct level. Close the bonnet and record the current mileage at the time you changed the fluid in a maintenance journal. You will know to change the fluid again in 30,000 miles.

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