Jan 262013

Call us about any Subaru transmission issues you have or stop by for a free inspection: 253–872–7468

Seattle’s first choice for expert professional “Subaru transmission service and maintenance for over twenty five years.

What’s the point of transmission service

To provide the proper automatic transmission fluid and filter change procedures every time your vehicles transmission fluids are changed ⁄ serviced.(“folks this is a really big preventive maintenance item–service your transmission regularly and you will get a lot better service from your vehicle”:Mark Bryant)

Many dealerships and almost all quick lube oil change places are using flushing machines to change your automatic transmission fluid. Big mistake!

At East Valley Auto Rebuild we never use a flushing machine to change your transmission fluid. Sure it would make you a better candidate down the road for major transmission service but that is not how we operate.

Why not use a flushing machine.  Using flushing machines does not address the critical need for cleaning the sediment in the transmission pan, cleaning the magnet inside the transmission pan, or changing the transmission oil filter (ever had your engine oil changed without changing the filter?)

Flushing machines are used to provide a quick (cheap) transmission fluid change, however they do not address transmission pan cleanliness or the absolute necessity of filter changes. By taking the Subaru transmission pan off, sediment in the pan as well as the magnet which collects microscopic particles can be cleaned, and the fluid filter can be changed. All Vehicle Manufacturers recommend a filter change with the oil (fluid) change, and recommend against the use of flushing machines due to possible fluid contamination from pan sediments.

The “Independent Guru Specializing in Subaru’s” recommends your transmission fluid and filter changes based on the following 14 steps. For your transmission pan and filter (fluid) oil change follow steps 1 through 12 and 14, for a complete system flush and filter change follow steps 1 through 14.

1. Check with the vehicle manufacture for the correct type of transmission fluid, the amount of fluid and transmission filter before starting the transmission and filter change procedure (or let the East Valley Auto Rebuild handle it).

2. For your best results, your transmission fluid should be at normal operating temperature before draining the fluid (Caution: fluid will be extremely hot).

3. With the engine off, position a drain pan under the transmission pan and drain the fluid by loosening the pan bolts. Loosen one corner more than the rest to direct the flow into the drain pan.

4. Finish removing the transmission pan bolts, and lower the transmission pan down carefully (Some fluid is still in the hot transmission pan).

5. Remove the old filter and discard in an appropriate environmental recycling facility. Most transmission filters are held in place with a bolt or two however, some are held by a clip. Make sure the filter O-rings or seals are discarded with the filter.

6. Install your new filter by using the same bolts or clips and use a new O-ring or seal (supplied with the new filter).

7. Inspect your transmission pan before cleaning. A small amount of fine gray clutch dust is normal. However,if
you find metal shavings, there could be a mechanical malfunction or major transmission damage.

8. Clean your transmission pan thoroughly with appropriate solvent and wipe dry so there is no harmful residue.
In some transmission pans there is also a magnet that should be cleaned and reinstalled in the same position in the transmission pan. Clean the transmission and transmission pan mating surfaces thoroughly of all gasket material being careful not to damage the surfaces.

9. Position your transmission pan with new gasket on the pan. Some gaskets have four holes slightly smaller
than the rest to allow threading the four bolts through the pan and through these smaller gasket holes to hold the gasket securely in place.

10. Hand-tighten the transmission bolts in a crisscross pattern until snug. Use a torque wrench to tighten
the bolts to the proper ft–lbs (check manufacture specifications) using the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications.

11. Refill your transmission through the dipstick fill hole using the amount shown as “refill capacity”
in your owner’s manual.(or bring your vehicle to East Valley Auto Rebuild where the independent guru specializing in Subaru’s is – 253-872-7468)

12. If you are performing a transmission pan fluid replacement only, skip to instruction 14. If doing a complete
transmission pan and torque converter fluid replacement, follow the steps in instruction 13.

13. Follow these additional 5 steps for complete transmission pan and torque converter fluid replacement.
1) Obtain the total transmission fluid capacity from the manufacturer and have that amount of transmission fluid available.
2) Place a drain pan large enough to hold the total fluid capacity under the oil cooler.Disconnect the oil cooler lines from the oil cooler and direct the lines toward the drain pan.
3) With another person, be prepared to add ATF to the transmission fill hole (dipstick hole) at the approximate rate as the fluid is being pumped out the transmission line into the drain pan.
4) Start the engine, and as the old fluid is pumped out, add fresh fluid into the transmission fill hole.
5) When either the fluid color brightens or the total capacity has been replaced, shut the engine off and re–attach the oil cooler lines. All your fluid in the transmission pan and torque converter has now been changed.

14. With the vehicle on level ground and parking brake engaged recheck the fluid level using the manufacturer’s procedures outlined in the owners manual. Check the transmission and lines for leaks.

East Valley Auto Rebuild DISCLAIMER: These automatic transmission fluid and filter change procedures are meant to serve as guidelines only. These guidelines do not take into consideration variations between vehicles. Changing transmission fluid should only be conducted by individuals with the proper mechanical knowledge and training. Personal injury and or transmission problems ⁄ damage can occur when the proper precautions are not followed. If in doubt, have your transmission serviced by individuals capable of performing this function like the professionals at East Valley Auto Rebuild.


  • Auburn
  • Federal
  • Way
  • Tacoma
  • Puyallup
  • Black Diamond
  • Hobart
  • Issaquah
  • Maple
  • Valley
  • Renton
  • Burien
  • Des
  • Moines
  • Normandy
  • Park
  • Kent
  • Covington
  • West
  • Seattle
  • Enumclaw
  • Buckley
  • Lake Tapps
  • Lakeland
  • Hills
  • Graham
  • Snoqualmie
  • SeaTac