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Car has 118,000 miles, runs great. We've put almost 30K on it. I changed* ATF and filter a few months ago.* (yes, i used the right ATF)*

Tonight the trans did a bunch of bad weird things. Driving on the highway it begins surging, RPMS go to 4000 rpm.**

Slow the car down to about 45 and it stabilizes somewhat. Forced to stop at a light and it can barely move, at this point my wife pulled over and waited for me.

When i got there the ATF was normal level, we fired the car up and drove off. She was able to maintain 45-50 for the drive home. ATF light came on but i could not retrieve a code.

When i put it in park it made a grinding noise and park did not hold the car.

Also clunks going into reverse.

Could it be the differential ?

Obviously we are not driving it but there are no Subaru shops around here so it's gonna sit until i have an idea how catastrophic this is.
 

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A few observations:

H6 3.0, with the 5EAT automatic?

When i got there the ATF was normal level, we fired the car up . .
Was the engine off when checking the ATF level? It has to be checked with the engine running.

ATF light came on but i could not retrieve a code.
Was the light on steady, or flashing? If the AT Oil Temp light was steady it indicates a high temperature; there's no code.

When i put it in park it made a grinding noise and park did not hold the car.
Was the car stopped with engine still running when the grinding was heard? Or was the engine off?

The inability to hold the car in Park is often due a broken front axle CV joint, or an axle that has moved out from it's normal position in the differential. It only has to move a fraction of an inch or so to disconnect the drive system (splines) while still in the differential (i.e., the axle might not be hanging down to the ground).
 
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