Transmission and Differential - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
  • 1 Post By grossgary
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Transmission and Differential

At 123,000 miles the transmission failed in my 2003 Outback. I went to a shop and had it rebuilt ($2800). There was still a problem so it went back and was reserviced. That was six months ago and it seemed to be all right. Recently it developed a grinding noise so I took it back again. This time they said the transmission was fine but that it was the differential ($1500). I had it towed back to my house rather than put good money after potentially bad. I thought the differential was part of the transmission but I am told I am wrong and that the warranty on the transmission doesn't cover it. I don't know what to do. The car has had the head gasket and transmission fluid leak fixed and also the timing belt. The body is in good shape. What is my best option? Do I have it rebuilt, get a used one from the junkyard, replace it, or just cut my losses and sell it for parts? Help. Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do?

dianamdeluca is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:24 AM
Registered User
1 Lucky Texan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: behind the Krell Metal door
Car: 03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Posts: 11,412
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
get it to a different shop.

ask for a shop recommendation in a new thread - hopefully someone will suggest a good mechanic near you that can take a look at the car and determine what MUST be done and what may need to be done soon. It;s quite possible it's time to bail-out of this car, but, you need good information.

Time Flies Like an Arrow,
Fruit Flies Like a Banana!
1 Lucky Texan is online now  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:47 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alberta, Canada
Car: 2012 STI, 2005 Outback XT, 2005 Impreza RS
Posts: 68
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Are they saying front diff or rear diff? Front diff is a part of the transmission but can be changed although its not an easy job.
Rear diff is pretty easy to change and easy to find as its the same from 1996-2007(maybe even farther) in Outbacks and Foresters.
I would have recommended a used replacement transmission because it is a cheaper route,

Also I have had 4 Subaru's where the front diff has blown apart, I assume a piece got loose inside and got jammed into the lower case by the moving crown gear and blew the bottom case right out. In all cases I replaced the whole transmission (seeing as I already had good used transmissions). I looked into replacing the front diff's because the trannys were still good but never had to.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2012-03-18_163742_1.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	41.2 KB
ID:	323570  
soobyhobby is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:23 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2009
Location: WV
Car: OBW H6 VDC, H6 OB Sed, Tribeca, XT6
Posts: 9,711
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
FRONT or REAR differential?

1. Front: shop is likely responsible. It is *true* that the differential doesn't require any work during a trans rebuild - but it is part of the transmission as you said - and is unbolted from the transmission during a full disassembly. When reassembling the front diff - the ring and pinion backlash and bearing preload have to be set absolutely precisely or the front diff fails.

That needs repaired sooner rather than later, it can only gets worse and will fail.

Bearing would be the cheapest front diff repair ($100 in parts), new ring and pinion would be $800 in parts. Both very roughly $1,000 in labor.

If they won't warranty it then get a used transmission. That's how most people repair automatic transmissions anyway. Rebuilds are costly and the success rates aren't extraordinary by any stretch.

2. Rear differential is probably a mis-diagnosis of "torque bind". Subaru rear diff failure is nearly unheard of an frequently misdiagnosed. It ends up being torque bind. That means you need the Duty C solenoid or clutches in the clutch pack replaced. Shop isn't responsible for that.

If it's #2 make sure you're tires all match in size and tread depth, change your fluid (although that shouldn't matter since it has new fluid from the rebuild...).
Is the AT (transmission) light blinking 16 times at start up?
Is the check engine light on?
1 Lucky Texan likes this.

H6 OBW VDC, H6 OB Sedan, Tribeca, Lifted XT6
grossgary is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:45 AM
Registered User
1 Lucky Texan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: behind the Krell Metal door
Car: 03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Posts: 11,412
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I think dianamdeluca should print this thread out and at least have a conversation with a new shop but, we're not there so - maybe too many variables for us to do much more than make educated guesses about various scenarios.

Time Flies Like an Arrow,
Fruit Flies Like a Banana!
1 Lucky Texan is online now  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome