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.