Looking for some advice, CVT problems - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for some advice, CVT problems

Recently my 2011 OB decided it was going to need to go into the repair shop and cost me an arm and a leg... So I thought I would come out and get your advice as to what I should do.

Back Story

I was visiting some friends in Des Moines, (it is about a 3-hour drive, which is nothing new for my car) but on this trip, it decided that it was going to blink the TMPS light at me. So I pulled off and checked the tires, they were low but not enough to trip TMPS. Anyway Drove it down to Des Moines parked at the friend's house for a while. I went to go to Wal-Mart for something and when I turn on my car the Check engine light is on, the cruise is blinking at me VDC is off and the brake light blinking as well. So I drove it thinking it was nothing major until it started lurching and the AT Oil Temp light started to blink at me. Drove it back to the house and went to the closest o'Rlieys in the morning. They checked the light and it said something about the torque converter. Called the nearest dealership and they said that they would not be able to look at it until Monday or Tuesday. So I Drove 3 hours back home and the car worked fine on the highway albeit with all of the lights blinking at me. Called my regular dealership on Monday and took it in right away. They called me and told me it was the torque converter and it would be about $1500 to fix. So I told them to do it being that the car is a 2011 with 154000 miles on it. They got the part in, installed it and when they were testing it kept throwing the error code. they decided the next part to fix is the valve body $800 but they are not charging labor. Now that is on back order.

TL;DR
The car broke in Des Moines and the stealership thinks it is Torque Convers, its not and now waiting for $800 valve body to come in.

Should I Let them keep throwing parts at it or just give up after the Valve Body comes in?

Total Bill so far $1425 +tax - torque converter and install
$800 Valve Body
$2000 (about)



Last edited by aostwinkle; 03-20-2017 at 10:05 AM. Reason: took out offensive word
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:41 PM
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moved thread and updated title.

_______

anyone change the CVT fluid in this yet? how long in years / miles was on the old fluid?


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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I got the car with 115,000 miles on it, I'm unsure if they ever change the fluid before that but I have not, as far as my memory serves.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 12:13 AM
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It probably was the torque converter, initially. A bushing wears out and the resulting particles then clog the valve body. This is a known issue with the first generation of the CVT. The replacement converter has a bearing in place of the faulty bushing. It might not hurt to call the corporate office as they have worked with many people on discounting the repair. But I wouldn't hold my breath as you are not the first owner.

My other car is a Subaru.... Come to think of it, so is my other other car

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagondude View Post
It probably was the torque converter, initially. A bushing wears out and the resulting particles then clog the valve body. This is a known issue with the first generation of the CVT. The replacement converter has a bearing in place of the faulty bushing. It might not hurt to call the corporate office as they have worked with many people on discounting the repair. But I wouldn't hold my breath as you are not the first owner.
Agreed. Doesn't take much shrapnel to muck with the inner workings of a transmission and the transmission cooling system.

I'm sure the OP didn't help it any by deciding it was a good idea to drive the car for 3 hours with flashing warning lights. I would expect the CVT to fail next. It's just dang near impossible to successfully flush out all the debris.

But Karma can be a biotch. They are called "dealerships" not "stealerships"....
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 08:20 AM
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Looking for some advice, CVT problems

I am convinced the valve body solenoids clog up because the bushing debris from the torque converter is ferrous and the solenoids in essence are electromagnets attracting the debris. There's a lovely photo somewhere here where someone posted the ferrous mass dripping from the valve body after a similar failure.

Good reason to get some drain plugs that are magnetic while you get this job done, along with fresh CVT fluid. http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/.../topics/295337

I'd also continue to do drain and fills for a few more times to get more gunk out. Only 50% of the fluid gets replaced each time (you'll get more than that since replacing the torque converter also gets a good chunk new fluid in).
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 09:42 AM
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I'm afraid I'm not as optimistic as your dealer. You drove it 3 hours at highway speeds with all those warning lights and a lurching transmission hoping it was nothing major. And the transmission has a bad TC and gunked up valve body. And it's 6 years old with 154,000 miles and no record of transmission service. I suspect you may be looking at needing a new transmission, but maybe the valve body and a thorough cleaning will do the trick.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:40 AM
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I believe this is the first case I have read where the dealer offered to replace the valve body. Perhaps Subaru is getting bolder about letting dealers work on CVT's. It seems in the past they always want to change the whole CVT.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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So the General consensus is that I will probably need a new transmission. So that would beg the questions would it be worth it? I still owe 9k on the car. Does anyone have any idea what it would cost to get that replaced?

Last edited by aostwinkle; 03-20-2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Added information
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aostwinkle View Post
Sorry about the "Stealerships" thing... That is what all car dealerships are called in our area. Also, I have never and will never call them that to their faces.

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________________________________

So the General consensus is that I will probably need a new transmission. So that would beg the questions would it be worth it? I still owe 9k on the car. Does anyone have any idea what it would cost to get that replaced?
Good luck with the tranny repair. My old BMW cost me $3,500 to install a specialist remanufactured tranny from an independent shop. BMW dealer wanted about $7,000. I would look for an independent Subaru shop and not the dealer.
However, "dealerships" ARE "stealerships" when it comes to working on older cars that are out of warranty. Just the general consensus.


Thank you
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Added LED backup and LED courtesy lights.


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