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Old 12-18-2012, 06:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rear Differential Replacement

I have a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback. About a month ago while I was on a trip my rear differential went out . I took it it to a Subaru Dealership and they installed a brand new stock replacement.

I hadn't even driven a thousand miles on it and I heard a winding noises when accelerating and decelerating. I took it to my trusted Mechanic, the owner of a certified Napa Autocare Shop, and had him look at it. He said it was my rear differential and let me feel it. It was burning hot after 15 miles of driving and the oil from in it was burnt completely black. His diagnostic read that the rear differential appeared to be installed incorrectly and recommended that it be taken back to a delership for warranty repair.

I then took my car to the local dealership in my area and had them look at hoping that my warranty would cover any issues. The Dealership tells me that there is nothing wrong with my rear differential. They say that my AT light is flashing and my central differential/transfer case is where the issue lies and that is where the noise is coming from.

I have discussed this with my mechanic and he said that regardless of the status of my transfer case, my brand new rear differential should not be getting that hot and the fluid should certainly not be burnt.

I have my mechanics diagnostic in writing and am on my way to the dealership to get a written diagnostic from them stating that my rear differential is in perect working order.

Any advise, thoughts on what my legal stance is here?

Any advise, thoughts....
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Something is not right here.

A differential assembly from Subaru is a complete part. If it was new, it would have come from the manufacturer and not previously installed in any vehicle. It would have been tested by the manufacturer prior to shipment. It only fits in the car one way. It apparently had gear oil in it, so it wasn't run dry. The only way it could get hot is if the car was driven with a higher load than its rated for over long periods, but many of us have gone beyond the weight limit without issues, so that may leave driving with a brake on causing overload on the differential clutch which would cause a lot of heat.

It also doesn't seem that you took it to the same dealership that installed the differential, just looking at the way you typed it. If I had work done on my car, and the part that was repaired failed in a short amount of time, I would be right back to the shop that did the repair instead of running around looking for answers from another facility.

Why didn't your trusted mechanic/owner install the differential the first time?
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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perhaps the first out-of-town dealership installed a diff of improper final drive ratio? If so, it may have damaged the center diff/tranny. Though, I would have thought you would have had problems before 1000 miles.

very odd

I think you may need to contact SOA about this.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We can't make much comment on such limited information. There are some key points missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougall37 View Post
I have a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback. About a month ago while I was on a trip my rear differential went out . I took it it to a Subaru Dealership and they installed a brand new stock replacement.
This is key:

1. "my rear differential went out" explain what exactly that means , what happened. Subaru rear differentials almost never fail.

2. who diagnosed it as "went out"? if you diagnosed and asked for the repair then this might not be as much in their court as you think if something else caused the differential to fail - like a failing Duty C solenoid or transfer clutches causing torque bind.

***Subaru rear differential failure is almost unheard of. Maybe if you run it out of oil but even then you should hear noises before it completely gives up the ghost. If it does fail the most reasonable solution is a used part, this is one part that is almost never replaced as new. Would have been best to ask here before the repair.

What is that part number of the new diff?
Is it the proper gear ratio?
Has your transmission ever been worked on or replaced?

How long is your warranty - one year right?

Take actual temperatures of it and ask folks on here to do the same with theirs. I wouldn't assume "it's too hot" means anything until you compare temps of yours against a known good vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougall37 View Post
I have a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback. About a month ago while I was on a trip my rear differential went out . I took it it to a Subaru Dealership and they installed a brand new stock replacement.

I hadn't even driven a thousand miles on it and I heard a winding noises when accelerating and decelerating. I took it to my trusted Mechanic, the owner of a certified Napa Autocare Shop, and had him look at it. He said it was my rear differential and let me feel it. It was burning hot after 15 miles of driving and the oil from in it was burnt completely black. His diagnostic read that the rear differential appeared to be installed incorrectly and recommended that it be taken back to a delership for warranty repair.

I then took my car to the local dealership in my area and had them look at hoping that my warranty would cover any issues. The Dealership tells me that there is nothing wrong with my rear differential. They say that my AT light is flashing and my central differential/transfer case is where the issue lies and that is where the noise is coming from.

I have discussed this with my mechanic and he said that regardless of the status of my transfer case, my brand new rear differential should not be getting that hot and the fluid should certainly not be burnt.

I have my mechanics diagnostic in writing and am on my way to the dealership to get a written diagnostic from them stating that my rear differential is in perect working order.

Any advise, thoughts on what my legal stance is here?

Any advise, thoughts....
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