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Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxle

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The lubricant supply in the automatic transaxle is separate from that in the drive axle. The fluid level should be checked at regular intervals and should be changed every 30,000 miles (48,300 km). If the vehicle is frequently operated under severe conditions the lubricant should be changed at 15,000 mile (24,000 km) intervals.

FLUID RECOMMENDATION



Dexron® type automatic transmission fluid is recommended by Subaru for use in their automatic transaxles.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the dipstick from the tube-Legacy



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Fig. Fig. 2: With the dipstick clean, the upper and lower hash marks are visible



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Fig. Fig. 3: Use a funnel to add fluid through the dipstick tube

To check the automatic transmission fluid, drive the car several miles to bring the transaxle up to normal operating temperature. Park the car on a level surface, place the gear selector in P position and leave the engine idling.

Open the hood and locate the automatic transaxle dipstick on the left side of the engine, near the fire wall. Remove the dipstick, wipe it with a clean rag and reinsert it all the way. Remove it and note the reading.

While checking the fluid level, smell the oil on the dipstick. If the fluid has a burnt smell, serious transaxle problems are indicated.

As long as the reading is between the upper level and lower level marks the fluid level is correct. If the level is at or below the lower mark, additional fluid is necessary. Add automatic transmission fluid with the Dexron® designation only.

Fluid should be added through the neck of the dipstick hole using a funnel. With the engine still idling, add fluid in small quantities at a time and recheck the level after each addition. Stop when the fluid level is close to the upper level mark. Avoid overfilling; do not fill above the upper mark.

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 4 and 5

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Fig. Fig. 4: Loosen the transaxle pan drain plug



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the drain plug and allow the fluid to drain into the pan beneath

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place a container of adequate capacity beneath the drain plug located at the bottom, center of the transaxle case.
  4.  
  5. Remove the drain plug and allow the fluid to drain. The drain plug is located on the bottom left side of the transaxle case.
  6.  
  7. After draining, replace the drain plug and gasket. Tighten the plug to 17-20 ft. lbs. (23-26 Nm). Do not overtighten.
  8.  
  9. Remove the transaxle dipstick and fill the transaxle through the dipstick hole with the proper amount of automatic transmission fluid.
  10.  
  11. Check the fluid level.
  12.  

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15

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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosen the fluid pan retaining bolts-1.8L engine



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Fig. Fig. 7: After the fluid has been drained, loosen the pan bolts-Legacy transaxle shown



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Fig. Fig. 8: Lower the transaxle's fluid pan and ...



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Fig. Fig. 9: ... remove the gasket from the fluid pan



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove and clean the magnet inside the pan



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Fig. Fig. 11: Loosen and remove the filter screen retainer bolts



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Fig. Fig. 12: On some models, a fluid tube must be removed before the filter can be detached



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Fig. Fig. 13: After the filter has been removed, inspect the screen for debris-1.8L transaxle shown



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Fig. Fig. 14: Removing the filter screen from a Legacy transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 15: Automatic transaxle filter and retaining bolts

Normal maintenance does not require removal of the transaxle oil pan, or changing or cleaning of the filter. However, if a leak is detected at the transaxle oil pan gasket, it must be replaced. Some models do not incorporate an oil strainer.

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the drain plug and drain the transmission fluid into a suitable container.
  4.  
  5. Remove the mounting bolts and lower the oil pan and gasket.
  6.  
  7. If you wish to remove the oil strainer, simply unbolt it from the valve body. It can be cleaned in a nonflammable solvent and dried with compressed air or allowed to air dry.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install the oil strainer and tighten the bolts to 26-35 inch lbs. (4-5 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Using a new gasket, install the oil pan and bolts. Tighten the bolts to 30-39 inch lbs. (3.5-4.5 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle and fill the transaxle with fluid. Start the engine and check the transmission fluid level.
  6.  

 
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