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AT Oil Temp Subaru is a common challenge you may have to face if you own a Subaru car. Therefore, understanding the meaning, causes, and symptoms of the problem is vital in order to find a perfect solution.

This article will provide all the relevant information on AT oil temp Subaru, what it means, along with every other important aspect of the topic you need to know to be able to handle the Subaru AT oil temp light flashing perfectly. 

subaru at oil temp light flashing

Table of Contents

What Does AT Oil Temp Subaru Mean?

The AT oil temp in a Subaru car stands for its automatic transmission oil temperature system. If you discover that your Subaru displays “At oil temp”, this simply means the temperature of the vehicle’s automatic transmission fluid is too hot.

When this occurs, it may not initially hinder the proper functioning of the vehicle’s engine. However, you may soon begin to experience some symptoms that will indicate that the problem is gradually growing from bad to worse.

Upon reaching this point, you will need to act fast by contacting a professional car mechanic to fix the issue. Otherwise, you may be risking severe damage to your car which will result in even greater costs.

What Causes AT Oil Temp Blinking Subaru

The Subaru AT oil temp light blinking will normally start to light up and flash when the AT oil present inside the transmission becomes very hot. As the transmission component is a set of gears inside its housing, the clutch, therefore, has the responsibility to connect the engine with the transmission, thus allowing the transfer of power.

It is worth noting that the purpose of the AT oil temp Subaru light flashes when the engine runs is to give a signal that the temperature is higher than 200 degrees.

Therefore, this overheating AT oil temp is indicated by the flashing, and when this happens, it is advised to stop running the engine, as this could potentially lead to the failure of the transmission.

The most common cause of transmission oil overheating is usually insufficient pressure in the cooling system. This is typically caused by insufficient oil levels or actual problems with the transmission oil pump.

Another reason for this problem occurring could be due to the malfunctioning of the torque converter or maybe even hydraulic circuit problems.

The AT Oil Temp” warning signal in a Subaru is traceable to the vehicle’s transmission fluid. So, in that case, the causes are virtually transmission oil-related. Some of the causes of the warning signal include the following:

  • Low transmission fluid
  • Bad transmission fluid usage


Temperature Gauge Rising But Car Not Overheating

Low Transmission Fluid

Running your Subaru’s engine with a low transmission fluid level can increase the temperature of the vehicle’s transmission system. If this were to occur, the fluid temperature rise will be indicated first by the AT oil temp warning light display.

Bad Transmission Fluid Usage

All manufacturers will recommend specific transmission fluid brands for their vehicles for a reason. Not all types and brands of transmission oils are compatible with every vehicle on the road.

Hence, why your Subaru vehicle manufacturer will recommend Subaru ATF hp “Dexron iii” transmission fluid as the correct fluid to use.

It may be that your vehicle’s engine runs well with other automatic transmission oil initially, but the defects will start to unfold as time goes on and you’ll notice poor transmission fluid usage.

Therefore, using the wrong automatic transmission fluid will trigger the AT oil temp light Subaru to flash.

Symptoms of AT Oil Temp Subaru

A Subaru’s computerized system is designed to reveal any types of malfunctioning that require immediate attention. This helps to inform the car’s owner of the problem and fix it immediately. Some of the AT oil temp warning symptoms include:

  • Constant flashing warning light
  • Transmission failure

Constant Flashing Warning Light

The most likely symptom of an AT oil temp issue in a Subaru is, of course, the constant flashing warning light. The AT oil temp warning light displayed on the dashboard is the most common way to diagnose a problem within your vehicle’s transmission system.

A Subaru’s computerized system will immediately detect any abnormal increases in the transmission fluid temperature, and trigger the warning light to flash instantly.

Keep your whit about you and keep an eye on your dashboard to be able to detect the AT oil temp warning as soon as it lights up.

Transmission Failure

If you fail to act on the automatic transmission oil temperature warning signal within time, it can lead to a transmission failure problem in the long run.

The consequences of the transmission overheating manifest themselves in the form of the breakdown of solenoids, friction discs, as well as several other elements of the transmission.

When this happens, driving your Subaru car will become quite challenging to drive because the transmission plays a pivotal role in the car’s mobility.

You will begin to notice that the car will shake when shifting gears, these gears will be knocked out or they will not engage at all. As a consequence, the transmission will be completely out of order, and the repairs will be very costly.

How to Fix At Oil Temp Subaru

Knowing what to do when oil temp light comes on and how to fix AT oil temp Subaru are pretty straightforward. If you discover that your car’s dashboard system displays Subaru AT oil temp warning signal, then you should follow the guidance of the following tips, explained in more detail below:

  • Allow the engine to idle
  • Inspect transmission fluid level

Allow the Engine to Idle

First of all, when you discover your Subaru AT oil temp warning, you should find a safe location to park. After doing so, allow the car’s engine time to idle.

Hopefully, the transmission will cool down simultaneously with the engine idling. If you’re lucky, the warning signal will go off on its own after a while.

The airflow beneath the car may cool down the transmission oil, but that may not always be enough. Therefore, you must stop some parts from moving as quickly as possible.

Inspect Transmission Fluid Level

If the problem is not resolved by stopping the car and allowing the engine to idle in anticipation of the AT fluid cooling down, you may need to try this alternative. It’s time to turn off the engine completely and inspect the car’s transmission fluid level.

If the fluid level is low, this can cause the AT oil temp to be high. If this is the case, it is recommended to gently top off the fluid level with the manufacturer’s recommended automatic transmission fluid for Subaru.

When topping up or changing car transmission fluid, it is important to let the car cool down first. It may be worth changing the filter along with the fluid to see if you can resolve the problem.

Here’s an example of a Subaru ATF filter readily available on Amazon:

Many people wonder whether it is okay to change the transmission fluid themselves, well as long as you do the job properly it is certainly safe to do so. The YouTube video below is great guidance to help you through the process:

However, if any of the approaches above fail to resolve your trans oil temp light, you should immediately contact a professional mechanic to help you fix the issue as soon as possible.

This advice applies to any of the following popular queries:

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Subaru AT Oil Temp Light Flashing: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What does it mean when at oil temp light comes on?

When the AT oil temp light comes on it is an indicator that your transmission fluid temperature is too hot. The warning comes because your transmission and engine can only handle so much heat.

Why is my Subaru at oil temp light blinking?

If the AT Oil Temp light is blinking in your Subaru, it typically indicates an issue with the automatic transmission system. It can mean low fluid levels, overheating, sensor malfunctions, or electrical issues. If you notice the AT Oil Temp light blinking, it is recommended to take your Subaru to a qualified mechanic or a Subaru dealership for diagnosis and repair.

How do you fix the oil temperature light on a Subaru?

Fixing the AT Oil Temp light issue on a Subaru involves identifying and resolving the underlying cause. You can check the transmission fluid levels, inspect for any leaks, address any overheating issues, test the temperature sensor and electrical connections. If the light is still on, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

How long can you drive with oil temperature light on?

If the oil temperature light is illuminated in your vehicle, it is generally recommended to avoid driving the vehicle until the issue is resolved. Continued driving with a malfunctioning transmission can lead to severe damage. Promptly addressing the issue will help ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your Subaru’s transmission system.