how do you change the CVT fluid in a 2014 2.5 Limited

Asked by Jul 14, 2017 at 03:04 PM about the 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

28 Answers


This is one of the few things I would have a dealer do.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I agree...I took my car to the Subaru dealership.. and they did a fantastic job... it's expensive, but, you can be assured that it will be done precisely correct...not something you want just any local shop to do... expect to pay around $375. You only have to do this maybe once every 30,000 miles... preventative maintenance.


You will have to save a huge amount of gas money to pay for those fluid changes. Trust me the math is not in your favor.


It's not always about saving a few want your car to be in top condition, don't you? This is what preventative maintenance is all about. When it comes to maintaining a car, the math is never in your favor. Think about depreciation, wear and tear, increased insurance premiums, unforseen circumstances...Cars are a necessary expense.


CVT's are sold on the gas saving but for those of us that can do the math the extra servicing costs added to the extra purchase price outweighs the supposed fuel economy gain.


Oh, you forgot to mention the smooth power delivery of the CVTs, and their ability to dynamically adapt to engine speeds while climbing hills.... They do save fuel...All cars require a certain kind of maintenance to be running in top condition. If you want your car to provide the most performance and go the distance, then this is what's required. Many people neglect to properly maintain their cars and then wonder with amazement why they're broken down. It's a shame... you can't blame the car... It takes a lot of careful listening and being aware of changes that take place over time. Unfortunately, not everyone gets this concept.


The concept of paying for defective technology that costs you more than it saves? Subaru is learning this - the hard way!


Sure, is that the same defective technology that's in thousands of cars since the introduction of the CVTs with a 10 years or 100,000 miles warranty. See this website below of sales statistics,


Oh God, Grasshopper's back! $375 for a CVT drain and refill?!! Wow. Acewings, et al, here's the procedure: remove drain plug, at which time you'll empty about 4 qts CVT fluid. Replace drain plug. Remove upper fill hole plug (allen's tight, as supposed to be permanent). Buy an $8 pump from Harbor Freight. Pump in 4 qts CVT fluid (any synth is fine) until it starts to drip onto you. Replace plug snugly. Enjoy your car for another 4 years before repeating. Total cost: (4x$7) + $8 = $36. Because it's MUCH easier to do this on a lift expect to pay any competent wrench about 0.5 hrs labor to maybe $10/qt retail. That's bumps the job to maybe $80-100 MAX! Please hop away, Mark....

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Ernie, sorry, i guess we'll never agree on anything.. and that's too bad. I'm the person who keeps excellent mechanics like you in the professional world in business..... imagine. People like me and maybe others reading this don't want to actually get our hands dirty and car repairs are NOT are forte..we just drive and enjoy them. I'm VERY PROACTIVE about maintenance and YES, and this may shock you...I'll gladly pay for professional services on my car at either the Subaru dealership or my independent mechanic for repairs and maintenance.. including the CVT transmission service.. WOW... and I thought by now you would appreciate people like me... well, what can I say...too bad... Not everyone wants to do this or has the technical expertise.. you know..."everything's easy when you know what to do"...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Again, you misconstrue my intent, poor Grasshopper. I charge customers $100 for a CVT service. You pay $375. Herein lies a multitude of misperceptions and blindnesses. Your dealer wrench gets 0.5 hrs flat-rate for performing the service...probably about $20 on average. Whose corporate pocket do you think you're insisting on filling?


Maybe Mark really is invested in Subaru.


Yeah...whether he knows it or not!


We just disagree on the point on CVT transmission fluid change... among many other preventative maintenance issues. I'm going with the procedure that the Subaru dealership takes....which is a complete transfusion of the fluid.... which means that it's pumped out thru a special machine and refilled with all new fluid.....I know that you think that it's only necessary and BETTER to drain the old fluid and just refill...a completely different procedure...The method the dealership uses is much more involved and does cost more... I know I you think that is a BAD IDEA....I don't... It would definitely save me money to go with your method, but, I'd rather follow the dealer's recommendation for this's their car. We'll see long term how this works out.. Everyone has to make their own choices and that's mine...plain and simple..... nothing complicated here. I've had a GREAT track record of keeping my cars running a VERY LONG TIME....(my 1995 Honda Accord almost 20 years and others).. With only 83,000 miles on my 2010 Subaru Outback runs great... and I intend to keep on top of that with the recommended service intervals...At 105 months, I intend to replace the timing belt regardless of mileage... It's a preventative maintenance thing...You handle it your way, I'll follow mine.. let's just say, we'll NEVER agree , let's just drop it.


Dealers always recommend really expensive services, most of which are just fluff. They can see a sucker a mile away. Mark - if you really want to compare long mileage vehicles I suspect my record will blow yours away - at a tiny fraction of the maintenance and repair costs.


Dealers and larger service shops are pushed by aggressive salespeople to buy an "autoflush" pump system that very simply backflushes a tranny. You plug it in, go have lunch, and when you come back it's mostly done. Costs about $50 in fluid and 1/2 hr time to fart around; meanwhile you're paying BIG bucks to pay off their pricey blowhard. Since the CVT fluid doesn't seem to get as dirty as that in the old 4/5EAT, anything more than a simpler drain and refill is egregious. If it were about $150 or so I might consider it c, every 4 years.. Easier to just drain and refill TWICE for the same total cost every few years. I feel badly that I suggested you get your CVT fluid changed a couple of years ago, Grasshopper, as I'm trying to protect YOUR pocketbook from snake-oil expense too! Believe me: every time you BACK flush a system with sediment and sensitive valves you're asking for trouble. Maybe the analogy of cleaning a toilet helps you understand this a bit?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Hey Ernie, don't feel bad about your suggestion... I was using the Subaru to tow my little teardrop trailer... AND, my car runs just fine... but, I'm not really using the trailer very much right now, have a new vehicle.. pictured here. It's my new long distance runner and I don't need to tow anything. Plus, right now, with the CVT transmission extension, I have another two years or up to 100,000 miles to think about whether I want to flip my Subaru Outback. With less than 84,000 miles I figured that my car has plenty of life left. I'm NOT taking my Subaru on really long distance trips now that I have this newer more comfortable ride.


Is this your new home?




To whoever wrote the exchange procedure your close but not right, drain it with the fill plug loosened, then remove fill plug once drained enough then when completely drained put drain plug back in pump a few qts in fill hole, start the engine and then pump remaining fluid until it starts to trickle out then reinstall fill plug. This is the exact procedure.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Omg I just read more I am a certified Subaru technician and idk where you heard they use a special machine to do this if they told you that they are lying and got you good, and if they do for whatever reason it's more harmful removing varnish the transmission has been used to having, remove that watch you lose a tranny within short time, we drain and fill like I posted above that is exactly what we do.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

New Car Dealers are big fans of P.T. Barum if you know what I mean.


Maybe people without integrity but I can still make all my hours on honest judgments and recommendations and the writers don't know crap that's why they're writers but they do have to come off as somewhat knowledgable, so some people may take what they are saying as bull crap but in all actuality they are just doing there best to represent the information given to them, also people need to ask to see they're car themselves with the tech right there if they are concerned they are being lied to, I mean people are ridiculous and I can't say every place operates the same but I have to make a living like any one else, but I have gone weeks without making forty hours because I'm honest and to rec up a bunch of bs, if it's not broke don't fix it.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Decaf, eh?


ST, we've been through this before. Your intermediate step of refilling after running the tranny doesn't result in needing more fluid. Sir Isaac Newton discovered why a long time ago.


never said it did of you can read properly, pump a few pumps not to full then run it then fill it the rest of the way but my service precedures straight from Subaru are probably false right?


No...just needlessly complex. Easier to just pump in until full and plug it. What drains is always the same as what goes in. Why complicate it with a partial flush? I suppose if the fluid was dirty it might be beneficial to actually DOUBLE-flush-drain, but that's not what you're referring to either. Simple physics, man....


Easier is always the right way

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 759 nationwide Outback listings starting at $2,495.

Postal Code:

Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
49 Great Deals out of 934 listings starting at $1,900
Used Honda CR-V
39 Great Deals out of 2,797 listings starting at $300
Used Subaru Legacy
12 Great Deals out of 319 listings starting at $3,295
Used Subaru Impreza
38 Great Deals out of 728 listings starting at $2,994
Used Toyota RAV4
44 Great Deals out of 3,032 listings starting at $4,799
Used Toyota 4Runner
4 Great Deals out of 523 listings starting at $5,500
Used Toyota Highlander
15 Great Deals out of 1,012 listings starting at $4,950
Used Subaru XV Crosstrek
6 Great Deals out of 153 listings starting at $8,945
Used Toyota Tacoma
28 Great Deals out of 1,331 listings starting at $6,900
Used Honda Accord
54 Great Deals out of 1,245 listings starting at $1,350
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
150 Great Deals out of 4,005 listings starting at $2,400
Used Toyota Camry
34 Great Deals out of 1,926 listings starting at $1,950
Used Ford Escape
166 Great Deals out of 5,033 listings starting at $1,777
Used Honda Pilot
6 Great Deals out of 622 listings starting at $3,490

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
62 listings starting at $37,520
2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
7 listings starting at $32,888
2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
12 listings starting at $26,695
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
21 listings starting at $18,888
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
9 listings starting at $18,985

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.