Transmission fluid

I just bought a 1994 Subaru Legacy wagon with an automatic transmission. I checked the fluids,everything is in order,except the fluid in trans. The fluid looks and smells like that of gear oil,is that what is supposed to be in there,or is suppose to be ATF? If it is to be ATF fluid, what kind of fluid am I to use. thanks

Make sure you’re checking the transmission fluid, and not the front differential, which does, in fact, have gear oil in it. Automatic Subarus have a separate front differential. The short dipstick for the differential is on the passenger side of the car, behind the engine. The long dipstick for the automatic transmission is on the driver’s side, near the brake fluid reservoir.

The transmission takes Dexron ATF. The differential takes 80W-90 gear oil. Don’t mix them up!

If you have the owner’s manual, double check to make sure you’re using the correct fluids.