Subaru CVT Fluid: Is It Synthetic and Why It Matters for Your Transmission Health

Subaru vehicles have gained a reputation as reliable and durable cars that last for many years. This longevity is due in part to proper maintenance, which includes using the correct transmission fluid. One crucial aspect of Subaru maintenance is ensuring the quality of your CVT fluid. But what exactly is CVT fluid, and is Subaru CVT fluid synthetic? In this article, we’ll explore these questions and more.

What is Subaru CVT Fluid?

First of all, let’s define what CVT means. CVT stands for continuously variable transmission, a type of automatic transmission that allows for a smoother driving experience by eliminating the need for gear shifting. Instead, the CVT adjusts to the driver’s acceleration and deceleration needs in real-time.

Now, the specific type of transmission fluid used in a Subaru’s CVT is Subaru High Torque CVT Fluid. This fluid is specially formulated to provide maximum protection and enhance performance for CVT transmissions.

Is Subaru CVT Fluid Synthetic?

Subaru High Torque CVT Fluid is indeed synthetic. This means that it is chemically engineered in a lab from high-quality base oils and specific additives. Synthetic fluids offer a variety of benefits over traditional fluids, including improved heat resistance, longer service intervals, and better performance in extreme weather conditions.

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Synthetic vs Traditional Transmission Fluid

So what’s the difference between synthetic and traditional transmission fluids? Traditional fluids are made from crude oil and have a lot of impurities. They tend to break down more quickly and can lead to costly repairs if not changed regularly.

On the other hand, synthetic fluids are designed with a specific molecular structure, making them more stable and durable. They are formulated to withstand high temperatures and perform well under pressure. While synthetic fluids are typically more expensive, they provide better performance and longer-lasting protection for your transmission.

Why is it Important to Use the Correct Fluid in a Subaru’s CVT Transmission?

Using the correct CVT fluid in your Subaru is crucial for several reasons. First, it ensures that your transmission is functioning correctly and smoothly, which can prolong the life of your car. Secondly, different brands of CVT fluid have different chemical properties, and using the wrong type can cause damage to your vehicle’s transmission. Finally, using the correct fluid is essential for maintaining your Subaru’s warranty.

How Often Should CVT Fluid be Changed in a Subaru?

The recommended interval for changing Subaru High Torque CVT Fluid is every 60,000 miles. However, this may vary depending on the year, make, and model of your vehicle. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

What are the Signs of Low or Contaminated CVT Fluid?

It’s essential to keep an eye out for signs that your CVT fluid may be low or contaminated. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Shuddering or jerking when accelerating
  • Delayed or erratic shifting
  • Unusual whining or humming noises
  • Burning or overheated transmission fluid
  • Leaking transmission fluid
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If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to have your Subaru’s transmission system checked by a reputable mechanic as soon as possible.


In conclusion, Subaru CVT fluid is synthetic, and using the correct fluid is vital for maintaining the health of your transmission and keeping your vehicle running smoothly. While the recommended interval for changing CVT fluid is every 60,000 miles, it’s essential to also keep an eye out for signs of low or contaminated fluid. By staying on top of routine maintenance and using the correct fluid, you can enjoy a reliable, long-lasting Subaru for years to come.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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