To check transmission fluid in a Subaru Forester, locate the dipstick under the hood, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and then pull it out again to check the level. The Forester typically requires Subaru-specific CVT fluid with the capacity depending on the model year; consult the owner’s manual for exact specifications.

Fluid changes should occur every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on driving conditions. Regular maintenance of your Subaru Forester is crucial for its longevity and performance.

As part of this maintenance, monitoring the transmission fluid is essential. Smooth gear shifts and reliable performance hinge on maintaining appropriate fluid levels and quality.

Owners must know the type and quantity of fluid their vehicle needs, as well as the intervals for changing it, to ensure their Subaru Forester runs optimally.

By following these guidelines and consulting the vehicle’s manual, drivers can keep their Forester’s transmission functioning flawlessly for miles to come. Remember, keeping track of fluid conditions can prevent costly repairs and maintain your Subaru’s longevity.

So, always ensure to check and maintain your Forester’s transmission fluid as per the recommended schedule.

How To Check Transmission Fluid Subaru Forester

Maintaining the transmission fluid in your Subaru Forester is crucial for the longevity and performance of your vehicle. Proper care includes regular checks and changes to ensure that your Forester’s transmission operates smoothly.

Below, you will find a step-by-step guide to assess and maintain the transmission fluid in your Subaru Forester, ensuring your vehicle remains reliable on and off the road.

Locating The Transmission Fluid Dipstick

To begin, you must locate the transmission fluid dipstick. In a Subaru Forester:

  • Ensure your car is parked on a level surface and the engine is cool.
  • Open the hood and secure it with the prop rod if necessary.
  • Locate the transmission fluid dipstick. Typically, on a Forester, it’s found toward the rear of the engine compartment. The dipstick handle is usually yellow or red to distinguish it from the oil dipstick.

Checking The Transmission Fluid Level

Checking the fluid level is a straightforward process:

  1. With the engine off, remove the dipstick, and wipe it clean with a rag.
  2. Re-insert the dipstick fully, then pull it out again to check the fluid level.
  3. Ensure the fluid level falls within the “Full” marking on the dipstick when the engine is cold. If the engine is warm or hot, check the fluid level against the appropriate marking.
  4. Note the fluid’s appearance as well—it should be a bright red color and not have a burnt smell.

If the level is low, you will need to add additional fluid.

Adding Or Changing Transmission Fluid

Adding Fluid: If you need to add transmission fluid:

  • Only use the Subaru-recommended transmission fluid type to avoid any compatibility issues.
  • Locate the transmission fluid filler cap, which is typically near the dipstick.
  • Use a funnel to add the fluid slowly, checking the level frequently to avoid overfilling.

Changing Fluid: The process of changing the transmission fluid is more involved and often requires draining the old fluid completely, cleaning the pan, replacing the filter, and then refilling with new fluid. It is recommended to have this service performed by a professional to ensure it’s done correctly.

Maintaining proper transmission fluid levels and changing intervals is key to keeping your Subaru Forester running efficiently.

Remember, always refer to your Subaru Forester’s owner’s manual for specific details regarding transmission fluid capacity, fluid type, and changing interval, as these can vary based on your vehicle’s year and model.

Fluid Capacity And Type

Understanding the specifics of your Subaru Forester’s transmission fluid is crucial for optimal vehicle performance. This segment of the blog post delves into the nuances of Fluid Capacity and Type, a topic that’s essential for every Subaru Forester owner keen on vehicle maintenance.

Grasping this information ensures your Forester runs smoothly, preventing future transmission complications.

Determining The Fluid Capacity For Subaru Forester

Knowing the precise fluid capacity of your Subaru Forester’s transmission can save you from overfilling or underfilling, both of which can lead to issues down the road.

The fluid capacity varies depending on the model year and type of transmission (automatic or manual) your Forester has.

Subaru typically provides this information in the owner’s manual, but for quick reference, here’s a general guide:

  • 4-Speed Automatic: Approximately 9.8 quarts (9.3 liters)
  • CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission): Around 13.2 quarts (12.5 liters) when dry, but service fill is often less.
  • Manual Transmission: Approximately 3.5 – 3.9 quarts (3.3 – 3.7 liters)

Always cross-reference with your specific model’s manual, as these values can change based on various model year updates or specific trim levels.

Identifying The Correct Fluid Type For Subaru Forester

Selecting the correct transmission fluid type for your Subaru Forester is not just recommended; it’s paramount. The right type of fluid ensures that your transmission is properly lubricated and can help in prolonging its life.

Here are the fluid types recommended for a Subaru Forester:

Acura TL Transmission Fluid Information
Fluid Type Capacity (Approx.) Change Interval
CVT fluid (for CVT models) 12-13 quarts 25,000-30,000 miles
ATF (for automatic transmission models) 9-10 quarts 30,000-60,000 miles
Manual Transmission Fluid 3.5-4 quarts 30,000-60,000 miles

Be mindful that the use of non-recommended fluids can lead to improper lubrication and potential damage. Always stick to the manufacturer’s specifications when it comes to your Forester’s transmission fluid.

For the most accurate information, refer to your Subaru Forester’s service manual or confirm with your Subaru dealer.

Fluid Change And Changing Interval

Maintaining your Subaru Forester involves more than just regular oil changes and tire checks. Transmission fluid plays a crucial role in keeping your vehicle’s gearbox operating smoothly.

Over time, this fluid can break down or become contaminated, leading to the need for a change. Understanding the process and interval for changing your transmission fluid will ensure that your Subaru Forester keeps running efficiently.

When To Change The Transmission Fluid

Kicking off a regular maintenance schedule for your vehicle is incomplete without knowing the right time to change the transmission fluid. Generally, symptoms such as difficulty in shifting gears, unusual noises, or a noticeable decrease in fuel efficiency might signal it’s time for a change.

Additionally, if you notice a burnt odor or a change in the color of your transmission fluid, it’s strongly recommended that you schedule a fluid change to prevent potential damage to your transmission.

Step-by-step Guide For Changing The Transmission Fluid

  1. Gather all necessary tools and supplies: This includes the correct type of transmission fluid for your Subaru Forester, a funnel, drain pan, gloves, and safety glasses.
  2. Ensure the vehicle is on a flat surface: Engage the parking brake for safety.
  3. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick: In Subaru Foresters, it can often be found sticking out of the transmission.
  4. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean: Reinsert it fully and then remove again to check the fluid level.
  5. Drain the old fluid: If the level is low or the fluid appears dark and dirty, proceed to drain the old fluid by removing the drain plug. Allow the fluid to fully drain into the pan.
  6. Replace the drain plug: Once drained, secure the plug back into place.
  7. Add new transmission fluid: Use the funnel to add the new fluid through the dipstick tube. Be sure not to overfill.
  8. Check the level again: After adding the fluid, start the engine, shift through each gear, then recheck the fluid level and adjust as necessary.
  9. Dispose of the old fluid responsibly: Take it to a proper recycling center or auto parts store.

Recommended Changing Interval For Subaru Forester

The recommended changing interval for Subaru Forester’s transmission fluid is typically every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, this can vary depending on your driving habits and the conditions under which you drive.

For those frequently towing or driving in harsh conditions, the interval might need to be shorter. Always consult your owner’s manual or a professional mechanic for your specific vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

Regularly checking the transmission fluid and adhering to recommended service intervals are essential for the longevity of your Subaru Forester’s transmission. Staying on top of this task will save you from costly repairs and ensure a smooth driving experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do You Change The Transmission Fluid In A Subaru Forester?

For a Subaru Forester, replace the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles to maintain optimal performance. Always consult your vehicle’s maintenance manual for specific recommendations.

How Often Should Subaru Cvt Fluid Be Changed?

Subaru recommends changing CVT fluid every 25,000 to 30,000 miles for optimal transmission health. Always consult your vehicle’s manual or your dealer for the most accurate maintenance schedule.

How Often Should You Change Differential Fluid Subaru Forester?

Change your Subaru Forester’s differential fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for optimal performance. Always refer to the owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

How Do You Check Transmission Fluid In A Forester?

To check the transmission fluid in a Forester, warm up the engine and park on level ground. With the engine idling, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it fully, and then pull it out again to check the fluid level.


Maintaining your Subaru Forester’s transmission fluid is crucial for vehicle health and smooth gear shifting. Regular checks and changes using the correct fluid type and capacity ensure longevity.

Adhere to recommended intervals for optimal performance. Don’t overlook this vital maintenance step; your Forester counts on it for a reliable ride.