To check the transmission fluid in a Subaru Impreza, locate the dipstick under the hood; for a change, drain old fluid and replace it with new, compatible fluid. Regularly checking and changing the transmission fluid in your Subaru Impreza is crucial for maintaining its performance and extending the lifespan of the vehicle’s transmission system.

Maintaining your Subaru Impreza involves a series of routine checks and services, one of which is ensuring your transmission fluid is at the proper level and condition. The process typically includes warming up the car to operating temperature, then examining the fluid both for quantity and quality.

Dark or burnt-smelling fluid indicates the need for a change. Due to the complexities of modern transmissions, many manufacturers, including Subaru, recommend consulting a professional for fluid changes to avoid potential issues.

DIY enthusiasts should adhere to Subaru’s guidelines, using only recommended transmission fluids and following the correct procedures to avoid damaging the transmission. Timely servicing not only keeps your Subaru running smoothly but can also prevent costly repairs down the line.

The Importance Of Checking And Changing Subaru Impreza Transmission Fluid

Your Subaru Impreza is more than just metal and rubber it’s a complex symphony of engineering that requires harmony among its parts. The transmission fluid is like the lifeblood of this symphony, ensuring that the performance of your Impreza remains smooth and reliable.

Checking and changing your Subaru Impreza’s transmission fluid is crucial to the vehicle’s longevity and can save you from the costly repairs associated with transmission failure.

The Role Of Transmission Fluid In A Subaru Impreza

Transmission fluid performs several vital functions in your Subaru Impreza. First and foremost, it lubricates the moving components within the transmission, reducing friction and preventing the wear and tear that can occur over time.

Furthermore, the fluid serves as a hydraulic medium, helping to facilitate gear shifts by transmitting power from the engine to the transmission. It also helps cool the transmission by channeling heat away from the moving parts.

Signs That Indicate The Need For Transmission Fluid Check And Change

Several indicators should alert you to check your Subaru Impreza’s transmission fluid. Here are the most common signs:

  • Difficulty shifting gears: If you experience hesitation or rough shifts, the transmission fluid could be to blame.
  • Unusual noises or whining: Noises from the transmission while driving could suggest low or deteriorated fluid.
  • Transmission slipping: This occurs when the transmission changes gears unexpectedly.
  • Leaking fluid: Puddles of red or brown fluid under your car may indicate a leaking transmission system.
  • Dashboard warning light: A lit transmission fluid light signifies it’s time for an inspection.

The Benefits Of Regular Transmission Fluid Maintenance

Staying on top of transmission fluid maintenance for your Subaru Impreza reaps several advantages:

  1. Enhanced performance: Fresh fluid ensures that your transmission functions at its best, providing smooth gear shifts and responsive performance.
  2. Extended transmission lifespan: Regular changes can prevent the costly replacement of a failed transmission.
  3. Improved fuel efficiency: A well-lubricated transmission reduces strain on the engine, which can lead to better gas mileage.
  4. Peace of mind: Knowing that your transmission is in good shape allows you to drive with confidence.

How To Check Subaru Impreza Transmission Fluid

Maintaining your Subaru Impreza involves a variety of tasks, one of which is ensuring your transmission fluid is at the correct level and in good condition.

Transmission fluid plays a crucial role in your vehicle’s performance; it lubricates moving parts, keeps the transmission cool, and helps in transmitting power from the engine to the transmission. Knowing how to check the transmission fluid in your Impreza is an essential part of vehicle upkeep.

Locating The Transmission Fluid Dipstick

Finding the dipstick for your transmission fluid is your first step. In most Subaru Impreza models, it’s typically located near the front of the engine compartment.

Look for a handle that is either yellow or orange, which indicates it’s for checking fluids. If you have difficulty finding it, consult your owner’s manual for a diagram and specific location.

Once located, pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean to prepare for an accurate reading.

Steps To Check The Transmission Fluid Level

  • Ensure the engine is warm: Start your engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Transmission fluid expands with heat, so a warm engine will give an accurate level reading.
  • Locate the dipstick: With the engine idling, locate the transmission fluid dipstick.
  • Remove and clean the dipstick: Pull the dipstick out and wipe it down with a clean rag or paper towel.
  • Insert the dipstick: Fully re-insert the dipstick back into the tube, then pull it out again to check the fluid level.
  • Assess the fluid level: There should be two marks on the dipstick: one for “cold” and one for “hot.” The fluid should be between these marks; if it’s below the “cold” mark, you’ll need to add fluid.

Interpreting The Transmission Fluid Color And Condition

The color and condition of your transmission fluid can tell you a lot about the health of your transmission. Use a white paper towel to wipe the dipstick and observe the color:

  1. Pink or Red: This is a sign of healthy transmission fluid.
  2. Brown: Indicates the fluid is old and may need changing.
  3. Black or Dark: Suggests the fluid is burnt and should be changed immediately.

Additionally, sniff the fluid. If it smells burnt, this is another signal that the fluid needs to be replaced. In your assessment, consider the texture as well. Gritty or dirty fluid indicates contamination and the need for a fluid change.

Regular checks will prolong the lifespan of your transmission and ensure your Subaru Impreza runs smoothly.

How To Change Subaru Impreza Transmission Fluid

Maintaining your Subaru Impreza is key to ensuring its longevity and peak performance, and one of the crucial maintenance tasks is changing the transmission fluid.

Over time, transmission fluid breaks down and can become contaminated, which can lead to transmission issues and costly repairs.

But with the right tools and a bit of know-how, you can perform a transmission fluid change right in the comfort of your own garage. Below, we’ll guide you through this process step by step.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before you begin the process of changing your Subaru Impreza’s transmission fluid, it is essential to have all the right tools and materials at hand. This will not only save time but also prevent any mid-task surprises.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Jacks and jack stands or a vehicle lift
  • A socket set
  • A large drain pan to catch the old fluid
  • New transmission fluid (ensure it’s the type recommended by Subaru)
  • New transmission filter (if applicable)
  • Torque wrench
  • Funnel with a flexible spout
  • Rags and absorbent pads for cleanup
  • Replacement gasket or gasket maker for the transmission pan

Draining The Old Transmission Fluid

To remove the old transmission fluid from your Subaru Impreza, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure the car is parked on a level surface, and apply the emergency brake.
  2. Lift the vehicle safely using the jacks and secure it with the jack stands.
  3. Position the drain pan beneath the transmission fluid pan.
  4. Remove the transmission fluid pan bolts using the socket set, and carefully lower the pan. Old fluid will begin to drain, so be cautious.
  5. Once the fluid has drained, remove the old transmission filter if your model requires it, and clean the transmission pan with rags.
  6. Replace the gasket and reinstall the pan with the torque wrench, adhering to Subaru’s specifications for torque.

Remember: disposal of old transmission fluid must be done in accordance with local regulations.

Replacing The Transmission Fluid And The Filter

After draining the fluid and handling the filter, it’s time to add fresh transmission fluid to your Impreza:

  1. Install the new transmission filter, if applicable, ensuring it’s securely in place.
  2. Using the funnel with a flexible spout, pour the new transmission fluid into the transmission through the dipstick tube or fill point—depending on your model.
  3. Add fluid gradually, checking the level with the dipstick to prevent overfilling.
  4. Replace the dipstick and, once full, start the engine and allow it to run through the gears while stationary to circulate the new fluid.
  5. Check for any leaks under the vehicle and rectify any found.

Tip: refer to your owner’s manual for the exact amount of fluid your transmission requires.

Resetting The Transmission Fluid Life Indicator

Lastly, if your Subaru Impreza features a transmission fluid life indicator, it’s important to reset it after changing the fluid. This will ensure accurate monitoring for your next service interval.

To reset it:

  1. Turn the ignition key to the ‘on’ position, but don’t start the engine.
  2. Access the transmission fluid life indicator on your Impreza’s dashboard display.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts or your owner’s manual instructions to reset the indicator.
  4. Once reset, turn off the ignition. Your Subaru is now ready to hit the road with fresh transmission fluid.

Note: Procedures to reset the transmission fluid life indicator may vary; always refer to the vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Change the transmission fluid in a Subaru Impreza every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, depending on driving conditions and transmission type. Always consult your owner’s manual for the most accurate advice.

Where Do You Check The Transmission Fluid On A Subaru Impreza?

To check the transmission fluid on a Subaru Impreza, locate the dipstick in the engine bay, usually with a yellow handle. Pull it out, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and then pull again to check the level.

Does Subaru Recommend Transmission Flush?

Subaru recommends checking your owner’s manual for transmission flush intervals, as it varies by model and driving conditions. Regular maintenance typically includes a flush every 60,000 to 100,000 miles to remove contaminants and ensure optimal performance.

How Often Should Subaru Cvt Fluid Be Changed?

Subaru recommends changing CVT fluid every 25,000 to 30,000 miles for optimal transmission performance and longevity. Always consult your vehicle’s manual or a professional for specific guidance.


Maintaining your Subaru Impreza is crucial for performance and longevity. Regular checks and changes of transmission fluid are key. Follow this guide for a smooth ride and peace of mind. Don’t ignore your car’s needs; ensure a happy journey with proper vehicle care.

Stay on top of maintenance and drive confidently.