School me on CVT fluid levels and CVT failure - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Angry School me on CVT fluid levels and CVT failure

My tranny blew at 61,000 miles 3 weeks ago. Subaru found the CVT fluid to be 3 quarts low. The extended warranty company denied my claim due to Lack of Lubrication. I am appealing that denial of course as the new tranny is $9800 according to Subaru.. here are my questions:

1) How far/long would a CVT go if it was 3 quarts low? Some say I wouldn't make it home from the drain and fill, some say it could go 2-5,000 miles

2) What are all of the possible explanations as to why/how the CVT could be 3 quarts low? I know one is that my mechanic failed to refill with enough CVT fluid, which he of course denies. I have a receipt for my 60K service showing he added 4 quarts of CVT fluid. The other explanation is a leak which I have no evidence in my garage of a leak (green fluid, right?) any other possible way this tranny failed besides negligence?

3) if an extended warranty is denied due to Lack of Lubrication, who has the burden of proof as to why it's low? or does it even matter why, that they can deny just because it's low without reason.

4) How in the heck do I go about convincing SOA that this could be just like the oil consumption class action lawsuit going on? I don't see in any way how this is my responsibility to pay for a new tranny when clearly either a mechanic made a mistake or the tranny is faulty. Any suggestions?

ANY advise, resources, suggestions would be much appreciated. I have been without my car for 3 weeks now because I refuse to pay $9800 for a tranny on a 3 year old car. thank you


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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:16 PM
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moved to a place to get more 2010-2014 owners eyes on the subject.

this is a 3rd party warranty company (if so which one)? who sold the warranty?

edit: is this a none subaru dealership mechanic?....I thought those units were sealed and one need special tools to open them. (like something that only a dealership or subaru specialty shop would have).

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:24 PM
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There have been problems where a mechanic (home or pro) accidentally drained the CVT at the start of an engine oil change, then added motor oil correctly to the engine.

The engine would of course be overfilled and the CVT several quarts low if this happens. If the engine had been a little low on oil going into this, there would be room for the extra oil without any other symptoms.

Any chance this could have occurred in the car's recent history?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:27 PM
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I think your mechanic is the one who goofed on the job. I believe the capacity of the CVT is roughly 13 qts. If you are doing a drain and fill, you should get 6-7qts out, therefore refilling with a minimum 5.5, likely adding more once the CVT is at operating temp.

Are you sure your mechanic knew what he was doing?

I just replaced the CVT on my 2011 and used just under 13L while reinstalling.

Edit: found this thread 2011 2.5i CVT and Differential Fluid Change
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raych View Post
2) What are all of the possible explanations as to why/how the CVT could be 3 quarts low? I know one is that my mechanic failed to refill with enough CVT fluid, which he of course denies. I have a receipt for my 60K service showing he added 4 quarts of CVT fluid. The other explanation is a leak which I have no evidence in my garage of a leak (green fluid, right?) any other possible way this tranny failed besides negligence?
DING, DING, DING. A drain-and-fill is 6 quarts of fluid. Your mechanic is to blame. Here's the fill procedure and likely where he went wrong:

(Drain the old fluid, insert and torque drain plug)

1. Fill through fill hole until it overflows - about 4 quarts
2. Start the engine, with foot on brake slowly move shifter between P, N, D, R a few times
3. Fill through the fill hole again, will get 1-1.5 quarts more in
4. Monitor fluid temp. Keep moving between P,N,D,R. At some point you'll be able to add the last 0.5-1 quart so it adds up to 6.
5. Once fluid temp has been reached, close fill hole.

Your mechanic - judging by his bill - must have stopped at step 1 and treated the CVT as if it were a differential.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:54 PM
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If it was 3 quarts low, it went somewhere. Either the underside of your car is coated in CVT fluid, you have a big puddle, or it was not refilled correctly.


Likely it was the mechanic not doing a correct job.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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@eagleeye .. thank you for moving the post. Yes it's a 3rd party extended warranty (The Warranty Group), I purchased at the dealership when I bought the car.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by eagleeye View Post
I thought those units were sealed and one need special tools to open them. (like something that only a dealership or subaru specialty shop would have).
8 mm hex for drain plug and 10 mm hex for fill plug.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Any chance this could have occurred in the car's recent history?[/QUOTE]

@ rasterman Good question, I had the 60k tune done at my independent mechanics shop. He did a drain and fill of the CVT fluid, he added 4 quarts of CVT fluid. The extended warranty is claiming negligence on his part stating that he didn't properly service the CVT
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how you guys are pulling quotes into your replies but @OBDad that makes a lot of sense. I have talked to multiple mechanics (Subaru and independent) and no can seem to prove to me how much he drained. He is pretty insistent that he put in what he drained out. I'm stuck with how to prove it and make him pay for the repair...


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