To check Subaru CVT transmission fluid, consult the owner’s manual for a dipstick location or a sealed transmission procedure; usually, a professional mechanic is required. Change the CVT fluid approximately every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, although this may vary based on model and driving conditions.

Maintaining your Subaru CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is essential for vehicle performance and longevity. Owners need to monitor their transmission fluid levels and quality to prevent mechanical issues and ensure smooth operation. Regular checks can identify potential problems early, saving time and money on costly repairs.

The process for checking the fluid can be tricky, making it important for many to seek help from certified technicians. As for changing intervals, adhering to recommended schedules protects the intricate components within the transmission and adapts to specific demands of your driving habits.

Trust in your Subaru’s continued reliability by closely monitoring your CVT transmission’s needs.

How To Check Subaru Cvt Transmission Fluid

Knowing how to regularly check the CVT transmission fluid in your Subaru is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. The CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission, is a sophisticated piece of automotive technology, and keeping its fluids at the proper level and condition can help prevent costly repairs down the line.

Here’s a guide on how to accurately check the fluid level and quality to keep your Subaru running smoothly.

Checking The Transmission Fluid Level

To ensure your Subaru’s CVT system operates efficiently, a periodic check of the transmission fluid level is critical.

To get started, park your car on a level surface and warm up the engine to normal operating temperature.

This is crucial because fluid expands when warm, and checking it cold could lead to inaccurate readings.

  1. Start your Subaru and let it idle for a few minutes.
  2. Pop the hood and locate the CVT fluid dipstick—often found on the transmission’s side.
  3. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean with a rag, and then fully reinsert it.
  4. Now, remove the dipstick again to check the fluid level. It should be between the “Full” and “Low” marks. If it’s below the “Low” mark, your vehicle needs additional fluid.
  5. If more fluid is needed, use the correct type recommended by Subaru for CVT transmissions.

Do note that overfilling can be as harmful as running low on transmission fluid. It’s advisable to add fluid in small increments and recheck the level each time.

Inspecting The Transmission Fluid Quality

Beyond the fluid level, the quality of the fluid can indicate your transmission’s health. As the fluid degrades over time, its ability to protect and lubricate the transmission diminishes, which could lead to increased wear and tear.

  • Check the color of the fluid. It should be a bright, translucent red. If it’s brown or has a burnt smell, it’s time to schedule a fluid change.
  • Feel the fluid between your fingers. It should be smooth without any particles. Grittiness indicates that there might be wear inside the transmission.
  • Listen for any unusual sounds while driving. If your transmission is noisier than usual or you hear grinding, it could be a sign that the fluid is contaminated or too low.

Regular inspections of your CVT fluid can help catch potential issues early. Subaru recommends an official diagnostic check if you notice any of the mentioned signs.

Fluid Condition Recommended Action
Translucent Red Good; no immediate action needed
Brown/Burnt Smell Change fluid
Gritty Feel/Unusual Noise Inspect for internal wear; possible fluid change

By adhering to these guidelines, Subaru owners can keep their CVT transmission in tip-top condition, ensuring a smooth drive and extended vehicle life.

How To Change Subaru Cvt Transmission Fluid

Maintaining the health of your Subaru’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is crucial for ensuring your car runs smoothly and efficiently. One of the most important aspects of CVT maintenance is changing the transmission fluid at the recommended intervals.

This task may seem daunting, but with the right guidance and preparation, you can perform the Subaru CVT transmission fluid change with confidence.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before you start the fluid change process, ensure you have all the required tools and materials on hand. You’ll need the following items:

  • A socket set
  • A drain pan to catch the old fluid
  • A funnel
  • New Subaru CVT transmission fluid
  • A torque wrench
  • Gloves and safety glasses for protection

Draining The Old Transmission Fluid

Changing your Subaru’s CVT transmission fluid begins with draining the old fluid. To do this:

  1. Position the drain pan under the transmission drain plug.
  2. Remove the drain plug with your socket set and allow the fluid to drain completely.
  3. Inspect the old fluid for any signs of contaminant or metal shavings, which could indicate internal wear.
  4. Replace the drain plug, using the torque wrench to ensure it’s properly tightened to Subaru’s specification.

Replacing With New Transmission Fluid

After draining the old fluid, it is time to add fresh transmission fluid to your Subaru CVT. The process is straightforward:

  1. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick or fill plug.
  2. Remove the dipstick or plug and place the funnel in the opening.
  3. Pour the new Subaru CVT fluid into the funnel, making sure to add the fluid slowly to prevent overflow.
  4. Periodically check the fluid level with the dipstick to ensure proper filling, without overfilling.
  5. Once the transmission has been filled to the proper level, replace the dipstick or fill plug securely.

Regularly changing the CVT transmission fluid at the interval recommended by Subaru will help preserve the performance and longevity of your vehicle’s transmission system.

Changing Interval For Subaru Cvt Transmission Fluid

The longevity of your Subaru’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) hinges on proper maintenance, particularly when it comes to fluid health. The Changing Interval for Subaru CVT Transmission Fluid is a critical aspect to ensure your transmission operates efficiently and extends its lifespan.

Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and being attentive to the condition of your CVT fluid can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Here’s a guide to understand the ideal intervals for changing your Subaru’s CVT fluid and recognizing signs that a fluid change might be imminent.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Subaru has clear guidelines on when to change the CVT fluid. Generally, it is suggested that the CVT fluid be inspected every 30,000 miles and replaced at the 60,000 to 100,000-mile mark, depending on your vehicle’s use and operating conditions.

It is imperative to consult your Subaru’s owner’s manual or a certified dealership for the most accurate service intervals tailored to your specific model.

Not all Subaru models have the same service requirements, so it’s best to follow the provided schedule that matches your vehicle’s specifications and usage.

Signs That Transmission Fluid Change Is Needed

Even with a set interval, there are key indicators that your Subaru CVT fluid may need a change sooner than anticipated:

  • Sluggish Vehicle Performance: A distinct lag in acceleration might signal that the CVT fluid is degrading.
  • Unusual Noises: If you hear whining or buzzing coming from the transmission, it’s time to check the fluid.
  • Transmission Overheating: Should the transmission overheat, a fluid change may be required to avoid further damage.
  • Cleanliness: Fluid that appears dirty or has a burnt smell when checked should be replaced to ensure smooth transmission operation.

While you monitor these signs, never overlook the importance of regular maintenance intervals. Always ensure to change your CVT fluid as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain your Subaru in top-notch condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should Subaru Cvt Fluid Be Changed?

Subaru recommends changing CVT fluid every 25,000 to 30,000 miles for optimal transmission performance. Always consult your vehicle’s manual for specific maintenance schedules.

Does Subaru Recommend Transmission Flush Or Change?

Subaru recommends a transmission fluid change, not a flush, at certain mileage intervals. Check your owner’s manual or consult with a Subaru technician for your model’s specific schedule.

Can You Change Cvt Transmission Fluid Yourself?

Yes, you can change CVT transmission fluid yourself. Ensure you have the correct fluid type, follow your vehicle’s manual, and observe safety protocols. Dispose of the old fluid properly after the change.

How Do You Change The Cvt Fluid In A Subaru?

Warm up your Subaru to operating temperature. Raise the vehicle and locate the CVT fluid drain plug. Drain the old fluid. Replace the drain plug and refill with new CVT fluid to the correct level. Dispose of the old fluid properly.


Maintaining your Subaru CVT transmission is crucial for your vehicle’s longevity. By following the steps outlined for checking and changing the fluid, along with adhering to recommended intervals, you ensure a smoother ride.

Remember, proper transmission care keeps your Subaru running efficiently, safeguarding your investment and peace of mind on the road.

Keep up with routine checks and enjoy the journey!