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Hey guys, I actually don’t need help! But I wanted to share what happened with my 2013 Outback. I used these forums a lot when searching and nothing quite answered my concern.

Two weeks ago at 83k miles I got the dreaded AT Temp, VDC, Brake, etc, etc, etc light display. Through research, figured out it was the known issue for the CVT. Took it to the dealer, I was still under the extended 10 yr, 100k mile power train extension that Subaru did. They replace the Valve Body to the CVT & sent me on my way.

Once I had the car back, I noticed when from a stopped position and turning somewhat severely right, under normal acceleration a noticeable rubbing kind of low hum sound. I think I can best describe it as the sound a manual vehicle makes if you attempt to start in too high of a gear. I could sometimes mildly replicate it when turning left, but could also hear it when going reverse.

I within two days returned to the dealership and vocalized my concern. My service advisor seem to jump to the conclusion that it was likely a wheel bearing and submitted my car to the shop with a request to verify this issue, I for some reason thought it was more rear differential related.

She called and confirmed with me the next day it was the rear right wheel bearing. $520 later and I would be on my way. Knowing I was likely over paying I went ahead and cleared the work rather than deal with the hassle of finding someone else.

I get the car back, and within a couple of hours of having. Back I noticed the sound again! I was furious, feeling somewhat scammed I called the dealership pretty upset.

I was deferred to a service manager, who failed to call me back, and eventually two days later I called back and asked to speak with them directly. They had me return, offered a loaner car, and a free oil change (I had already requested it to be done and it didn’t happen).

They had the car for two days and were unable to replicate the sound. They invited me back to the dealership to ride with a tech (which I appreciated) to see what we could find.

I rode with him and was able to within a few minutes replicate the sound. He was somewhat surprised as it wasn’t what he anticipated to hear, and agreed that it didn’t sound like a bearing issue at all. He seemed to hint that perhaps this was a standard sound I could expect from an AWD car, and since my Valve body wasn’t functioning properly I wasnt getting true AWD performance before the fix, so the sound is more pronounced that what I’m used to. He did concede that the sound was louder than what he is used to hearing though. I walked him through some questions so I could best understand what he was thinking.

I asked, does the valve body control fluid accessing different components? He admitted that yes it did, But normally they get stuck in the on position. I think he immediately recognized the flaw in his logic, if he is alleging that perhaps I didn’t hear it before because it wasn’t working, it means the valve body was either entirely or partially closed for some level of time. To his credit, I don’t think he was being deceitful, we were simply trying to reason what the issue could be.

I returned him to the dealership, and he thanked me for showing him, he had a much better idea of what to look at. The next day (today) they called and informed me they’ll be replacing my entire transmission under warranty. Win for me I would say.

I read stories of other people describing my same experience, but believing their issue was normal, or resolved by the replacement of bearing. For me, my gut said something doesn’t sound right. I’m not the original owner, and have only had the car for about 10k miles, so I couldn’t speak of what it sounded like from the factory, but I followed my gut. Good luck guys!
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Great for you for being persistent. 👍

There's no noise from a proper functioning AWD system. The tech doesn't know or was BSing you.

The AWD kicks on shortly after the car is moving and the torque converter locks at approx 18 mph. After that the gear ratio is variable depending on your foot and the speed of the car. The AWD remains active until you stop.

The standard any more at the dealers is to replace the valve body and wait for further complaints. This is because in the beginning they were swapping complete units and the engineers were only finding issue with the valve body. If the torque converter starts acting up, it's valve body and torque converter. So to reduce unnecessary expense and go through available full units, only replace the valve body to start.

You ought to get a refund for the bearing they replaced prematurely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great for you for being persistent. 👍

There's no noise from a proper functioning AWD system. The tech doesn't know or was BSing you.

The AWD kicks on shortly after the car is moving and the torque converter locks at approx 18 mph. After that the gear ratio is variable depending on your foot and the speed of the car. The AWD remains active until you stop.

The standard any more at the dealers is to replace the valve body and wait for further complaints. This is because in the beginning they were swapping complete units and the engineers were only finding issue with the valve body. If the torque converter starts acting up, it's valve body and torque converter. So to reduce unnecessary expense and go through available full units, only replace the valve body to start.

You ought to get a refund for the bearing they replaced prematurely.
So I was wondering how far to push that, because I do feel as if I was done wrong on the bearing. They’re essentially saying when I first brought it up, before we had a final diagnosis, that they always stethoscope these issues, and that likely, that was going too, we just didn’t know it. I can’t necessarily argue that, because I haven’t any proof that it wasn’t, and of course they don’t have proof that it was.

The only thing in my favor is of course the paperwork stating that after replacement of the part, technician drove, and there was no sound....well... I never heard a bearing sound, and of course the (real) sound persisted.

Whats your take?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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6 one way, 1/2 dozen the other. EXCEPT, it's on them to prove the bearing was bad. So given that they didn't locate the source of the noise, as shown by a return visit, then the bearing was not the source. They assumed replacing a bearing would resolve the issue. It didn't.

I see a lot of cars that had been to the dealer service and the wrong part was replaced, or they were swapping parts to "try this out and see what happens". They really are not trained properly to diagnose the cars and the issues in the relevant systems. AT ALL. They can sit in a class, but that doesn't mean they paid attention. It's like the ASE testing. You can pass their idiotic tests, but do you know what you're doing? People pass those test without ever turning a bolt on a car or using diagnostic software. Read, study, take the test, get your card. I had an L1 tech under me years ago. He was an idiot. Or stupid. Or both. Wouldn't listen to anything, broke things, a lot of guess work, and took too long with customer cars. Replace with a good known part is not part of my diagnostics, but he tried it a lot. Wasting time and money.

You gave them a place to look based on your perspective. They went with it and the tech read the complaint and assumed wheel bearing right off; and stuck with it. If they can't provide a bad bearing from your car and prove the bearing they are presenting came from your car, then to me, they owe you. Maybe they have a camera system in the shop and can show you on video that the tech used a stethoscope at the wheels. I doubt it. I think he probably hear the brake pads rubbing the rotor. When a bearing is bad, you can feel it and hear it without a stethoscope. The friction is what creates the noise.

And as far as what a bad bearing sounds like - low hum or droning in conjunction with vehicle speed. Sometimes the sound will change with steering pitches at a steady speed. That's the weight shifting on the bearing. The wheel with a bad bearing will also be hotter than the others at the center due to the added heat created by the bad bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
6 one way, 1/2 dozen the other. EXCEPT, it's on them to prove the bearing was bad. So given that they didn't locate the source of the noise, as shown by a return visit, then the bearing was not the source. They assumed replacing a bearing would resolve the issue. It didn't.

I see a lot of cars that had been to the dealer service and the wrong part was replaced, or they were swapping parts to "try this out and see what happens". They really are not trained properly to diagnose the cars and the issues in the relevant systems. AT ALL. They can sit in a class, but that doesn't mean they paid attention. It's like the ASE testing. You can pass their idiotic tests, but do you know what you're doing? People pass those test without ever turning a bolt on a car or using diagnostic software. Read, study, take the test, get your card. I had an L1 tech under me years ago. He was an idiot. Or stupid. Or both. Wouldn't listen to anything, broke things, a lot of guess work, and took too long with customer cars. Replace with a good known part is not part of my diagnostics, but he tried it a lot. Wasting time and money.

You gave them a place to look based on your perspective. They went with it and the tech read the complaint and assumed wheel bearing right off; and stuck with it. If they can't provide a bad bearing from your car and prove the bearing they are presenting came from your car, then to me, they owe you. Maybe they have a camera system in the shop and can show you on video that the tech used a stethoscope at the wheels. I doubt it. I think he probably hear the brake pads rubbing the rotor. When a bearing is bad, you can feel it and hear it without a stethoscope. The friction is what creates the noise.

And as far as what a bad bearing sounds like - low hum or droning in conjunction with vehicle speed. Sometimes the sound will change with steering pitches at a steady speed. That's the weight shifting on the bearing. The wheel with a bad bearing will also be hotter than the others at the center due to the added heat created by the bad bearing.
Not where I expected to be, but I got my car back after installation of a new remanufactured transmission. If it’s possible this noise is more noticeable, and easier to replicate now more than ever.....what could this be??

I don’t even know if I can bring It back to this dealer again, they’re going to either think I’m crazy or a pain in the ass.
 
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