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Old 12-09-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
truckin41
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Honda ATF in a Subaru?

This is probably a first but here goes... I want to do a 3-4 qt drain/fill of the ATF fluid in my '08 Subaru outback and Subaru specifies only Subaru fluid from the dealer ($$$!). No alternative from local auto store. I have near a case of Honda PW-1 and can get it cheap at local dealer (H&A parts) 20 min away. anything from a Subaru dealer is over the top expensive and looking for a shortcut.

Has anyone tried or heard of this working on an Outback? What's the worse that can happen if I try it with 4 qts? I know, if it shifts or runs crappy, I need to do a 100% flush with the expensive Subaru stuff.

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

Not sure about mixing the Honda and subaru ATF fluid, you can use Lucas all vehicle ATF, it will work in the Honda and Subaru
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

My thinking is why would you invite/risk trouble? Use the right stuff for your vehicle. Don't second guess the engineers that designed it. Worst case, you get to spring for a new tranny. Best case, it works without issue.

Let us know how that works out for you.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

Use the right stuff or a universal from Castrol, Amsoil, BG, etc. would certainly be better than not using the correct one.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
truckin41
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

Ok, first, why not use the "right stuff"? $9-$10/qt at local Sub. dealer vs the Honda fluid for $6.18/qt. at HandA Accessories. Granted if I'm only doing an approx 4 qt drain/fill, it's only $13 extra but it's the principle. I would not do it unless I was convinced 99.9% that it was ok. Like if a few of you said, "yeah, no problem, I do it all the time, the Honda PW-1 is an awesome superset of every other ATF fluid made", then I'd probably jump in.

I knew it was a long shot...so it's off to the Subaru dealer since it looks like the Castrol Transmax J does not cut it in spite of it's being listed in the owner's manual. Also, appears off the market. But, my local Napa store has a few cases of some flavor of Castrol "one size fits all" Japanese ATF fluid for about $6, forget exact name. Could be some old inventory Transmax J.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:47 AM   #6
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

The principle? You're considering inviting potential tranny issues over $15? And you change tranny fluid how often?

Come on now. Even on notoriously fickle Honda trannys, a tranny change every other oil change is an additional $25 (DIY)... once a year for me. I consider that CHEAP insurance. Now maybe Subaru trannys are not as fickle as Honda. I have no idea. But a $3/quart price diff for 4 quarts of the right stuff is inconsequential in the scheme of things, imho.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:15 AM   #7
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Having gotten in to atf a little recently, i looked up redline D4 ATF.

the Redline is compatible with Honda and Subaru fluids.


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Old 12-10-2012, 08:18 AM   #8
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

Good source of Subaru info (search results for ATF):

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...1675j1723613j3
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:23 PM   #9
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

I have to agree -- for such a small amount ($20) you're going to risk damaging a $2000+ part?

Doing this would be false economy (aka: Penny Wise, Pound Foolish)

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: Honda ATF in a Subaru?

I started looking around the Subie forums also and found related issues. But most long term owners were saying stick with the factory fluid, even though the cost is high. It is actually just as high if not more for many universals, especially Amsoil, BG, Redline, etc.

Even though both Honda & Subie can use Dexron III in an emergency they still require a drain and fill at your earliest convenience. I would not don't assume the other properties in the fluid are the same for both vehicles. Dexron is just a compatible base.
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