13 Outback $6000 CVT Problem - Low Whirling Noise - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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13 Outback $6000 CVT Problem - Low Whirling Noise

All,

Today I got a shock. I noticed a small whirling noise that happens periodically during dropping in speed. Sometimes this is more noticeable but you still need to listen fairly close. So I called the Subaru dealer and went in today to check it out.

After a test ride with the tech and trying to listen to the noise, he came up with the conclusion that the CVT bearing is going and that it can't be fixed. He went on to say that a new transmission is required and it costs $6000. I can't say how shocked I was.

The car has 93500 miles and hardly what I would call that old. In my eyes transmissions should last for much longer if cared for properly which I have done. I also expect that a bearing if bad can be fixed.

Has anyone heard about this? Can this be detected on a lift?

LeRoy


Last edited by lep3; 02-16-2017 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Heading incomplete
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:21 PM
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Yes - bearings can 'go bad' prematurely.

Yes - All bearings are selected from a list of 'standard' bearings and very easily sourced for under $25.

HOWEVER: Most Subaru dealerships are not in the business of rebuilding transmissions. It is easier for them to simply replace the entire thing. They do not care if it costs the customer more money.... it is all about how much THEY can earn -vs- time spent.

Rebuilding a xmission is specialized work which often requires special tools and skills. A person with those skills often chooses to work elsewhere besides a car dealership.

Have you considered an actual xmission shop who do this kind of thing for a living?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:48 PM
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Did you try calling SOA and seeing if they could take on any of the cost. You are probably too far out of warranty, but who knows. I will say 6K sounds low for replacement. I was quoted 9300, then the warranty price was 7500 after I talked to SOA.

Have a lot of people had success with trans shops? I had two tell me to buy a different car.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:07 PM
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Subaru is pretty adamant about not having dealer techs work on the innards of the CVT. It either gets replaced via a remanufactured one if available or a new one.

You are 30,000+ miles out of power train warranty. I don't believe Subaru owes you anything. I'm sure you had the option to purchase an extended warranty when you bought the car. You opted to roll the dice and pass on it.

Ask your dealer about the price for a re-man or find a independent tranny shop in your area that can rebuild or replace with a used one having some sort of warranty.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies...

Yes, the Subaru Dealer is calling the local rep to see if any assistance can be provided by Subaru.

Yes, I actually called several transmission shops and got the same response. Subaru Outbacks and Legacy CVT transmissions have known issues and one place already replaced 2 this month so far. Obviously a quality issue.

@ z28dug,

My 2 cents...

Yup 30,000 miles out of warranty and the only way to tell if there is an issue is sound. For all I know this started over 30,000 miles ago and I just didn't notice it or it was so small that I didn't hear it.

What I do know is I never thought that a component failure before 100K miles would result in a price tag of half the cars value to fix it. Never happened with any other car I have owned. In addition, there is no fix for it other than a full replacement of the component and that should be unacceptable in anyone's definition of quality or reliability. Poor design costs passed to the customer. So now I'm burning oil (BTW a class action suit against Subaru) and changing a tranny.

No I didn't get the extended warranty and frankly I don't remember being asked. Here is another way companies suck the money from he public. Rather than stand behind their product, they ask for more money for extra protection and then we will help you. Really!!! This isn't right.

I don't expect much from Subaru and I'll assume that I'll need to go after market or rebuilt for the replacement. But I'll tell you what. I'll never buy another Subaru again and I'll tell each and every person that I know that is considering a Subaru my story. Hopefully when it starts to hit the bottom line at Subaru (BTW, predictive reliability scores in Consumer reports mag is showing Outbacks moving down) then maybe they will do something.

LeRoy
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lep3 View Post
I don't expect much from Subaru and I'll assume that I'll need to go after market or rebuilt for the replacement. But I'll tell you what. I'll never buy another Subaru again and I'll tell each and every person that I know that is considering a Subaru my story. Hopefully when it starts to hit the bottom line at Subaru (BTW, predictive reliability scores in Consumer reports mag is showing Outbacks moving down) then maybe they will do something.

LeRoy
And yet there are how many other Outbacks and Legacys of the same generation on the road that have had ZERO issues with the transmission? Your experience is not necessarily representative of the brand. My brother has a 2010 over 150K miles and still going strong. My point is that no mechanical device is going have a 0% failure rate, and as production volumes go up the number of failures go up even if the % of failures remains the same.

I get that you're disappointed, I do. Did that shop tell you what year and how many miles those other CVT's were? They could have been 2010's with over 200K+ miles. A shop just saying "we've done 2 other Subaru CVT replacements this month" means little if you're in an area with a high concentration of Subaru's as the % is still somewhat low. Now, if you're in Miami, FL, that might be a whole other argument.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply...

I get your point however here are my issues:
1) There is no way to detect the issue unless you start to hear a noise and in my situation you could hardly tell unless listening very close. This can go undetected for a long time especially with people who have hearing issues.
2) You can't fix the unit, its basically a $6000 throw away item. That might be ok for TVs and cell phones or toasters but not for an auto especially when prices for new ones are through the roof.

However the good news is that Subaru did respond to my request through the dealership and will be replacing the transmission at a cost to me of basically $250 and that I get a updated service. I didn't have the plugs changed at 60,000 miles.

I do feel much better but still intend to get rid of the car after the transmission is put in.

LeRoy
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 03:41 PM
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My two 10's have been problem free. The cvt does require a level of patience its slow to shift into D and R, and probably should always get a parking brake when parked. Fluid changes at 60k should probably be mandatory for anyone planning to keep it past 80k.

My 2010 is probably my last Subaru purchased without a warranty. Simply given how complex they have become.

My next ride will be cross brand shopped. I like the new GMC products. The new 7pass Subaru could be interesting, but a cvt in a larger SUV will not exactly be a plus for me unless Subaru really has it sorted out in an impressive way.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lep3 View Post
Thanks for the reply...

I get your point however here are my issues:
1) There is no way to detect the issue unless you start to hear a noise and in my situation you could hardly tell unless listening very close. This can go undetected for a long time especially with people who have hearing issues.
2) You can't fix the unit, its basically a $6000 throw away item. That might be ok for TVs and cell phones or toasters but not for an auto especially when prices for new ones are through the roof.

However the good news is that Subaru did respond to my request through the dealership and will be replacing the transmission at a cost to me of basically $250 and that I get a updated service. I didn't have the plugs changed at 60,000 miles.

I do feel much better but still intend to get rid of the car after the transmission is put in.

LeRoy
Not exactly a throw away item. It goes back to the factory to be remanufactured.

Did Subaru promise a 'new' CVT? There is a Subaru TSB requiring dealers to replace CVT's with a remanufactured unit if available. Only will replace with a new unit if a reman is not available.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 09:44 PM
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2 points!

1) I'm glad I decided to go with a 2014 3.6....last of the real autos that are supposedly bullet proof. I plan on keeping the beast for the long haul and am doing well so far on fue economy.

2) Gets one to thinking about learning how to rebuild a CVT! Sounds like a skill that is ripe with opportunity!

I can't believe you would bash Suburu after they basically gave you a transmission for a tad more than a deductible on a warranty!

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