Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Dearborn, MI
Car: 1996 Legacy Outback
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
1996 Auto Transmission Problems, Torque Bind, and More
When I bought the car, it was low on oil and coolant, and had way too much transmission fluid in it. When I pulled the pan drain plug, it filled a 8-quart pan 1 inch from the top.
I put in 4 quarts, and checked it running in park after shifting through all gears. I hadn't driven it, so I expected it to be in the cold range, but was barely on the very bottom tip of the dipstick. I added another quart, and that seemed to overfill it.
I drove it yesterday, and it had torque bind. I could barely get it to turn into the driveway last night, but then I drove it around the block today and it wasn't as bad, but still there. The Oil Temp light does flash 16 times, and the FWD fuse does nothing.
I checked the transmission fluid level again today, and it's barely on the bottom of the dipstick again (I checked it the same way). So either I'm checking the fluid wrong, or it's disappearing somewhere. I also checked the front differential, which was over full.
Another intermittent problem is smoke coming from under the hood at idle in drive. All the way home from getting the car it was a problem, but I figured it was just the excess transmission fluid venting out onto the exhaust, (near passenger CV/front diff dipstick) since that's where it seemed to be burning off. It still happened yesterday though while at a red light, and then hasn't happened since. Is that where my transmission fluid is going?
It's also worth noting that I just saw this morning that the rear tires are the same size and brand, but each front is a different brand, although the same size. I know there is supposed to be almost no tire circumference difference, so I wonder if that is/was part of the problem.
The other odd thing, is that after installing new headlights yesterday, my Check Engine light (which has been on since I got the car) is now sometimes the right turn signal. I don't understand that at all, the left one is fine, and the turn signals work.
So if you could tell me what I did wrong, and/or what the previous owners did wrong, how many things are now broken and need to be replaced, and stuff like that, I'd appreciate it.