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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 2004 Outback with an Auto Trans. When the car is on a slight incline (rain or snow) the front wheels spin with no power to the rear wheels. It's acting like a front wheel drive vehicle. The dash lights are NOT illuminated or flashing.

Any Ideas?

Thanks!
 

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Doesn't sound right.

The dash lights are NOT illuminated or flashing.
That's good, but let's make sure the warning lights do work in the first place. When the ignition key is turned only to ON, but the engine isn't started, do all the instrument panel warning lights, especially the check engine, the AT Oil Temp, and the AWD (or FWD) lights, come on, and then go off when the engine is started?

Was the car purchased new, and it only started to slip now, or is it a recent acquisition and you found the problem the first time you were on slippery slope?

If the car is a recent purchase, make sure the whole rear propeller shaft is in place. (Wouldn't be the first time someone has bought a used Subaru only to find the shaft, or a part of it, is missing).

Also, the rear axles (from the rear differential to the wheels) could cause the same symptom if one of them has pulled out from the differential or has a broken CV joint.

If everything appears to be functioning, then the AWD transfer clutch could be worn out or damaged (seen this before). In this regard, has the car ever been towed with just the front, or just the rear, wheels raised?

You might be able to verify some things visually such as the propeller shaft; others might require getting the car up on a lift and/or having a mechanic take a look.
 

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There was one guy maybe a year or two ago who purchased a subaru had the same issue and the forum folks asked if he looked to see if the rear drive line was there and hooked to the rear diff. He thought the idea was crazy. Then reported back that his rear diff was not connected to anything - prior owner had "modified" the car he paid for AWD subaru and got a Front wheel drive car.

Are you sure the drive line to the rear diff is intact and in the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm the original owner of the vehicle.

All instrument panel warning lights come on and turn off when the engine is started. I don't have an AWD light.

As far as I can tell the drive line is intact, but I'll need to take a closer look.
 

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How many miles on it, and how well have you kept your tires rotated in that time? Have you always had matched tires all the way around?
 

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I'm the original owner of the vehicle.

All instrument panel warning lights come on and turn off when the engine is started. I don't have an AWD light.

As far as I can tell the drive line is intact, but I'll need to take a closer look.
Try putting a fuse into the FWD position in the fuse box and see if the FWD light in the dash comes on.
 

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If your getting a chirp or some slight wheel spin right at the start of a hard acceleration all subarus will do that on wet or slick surface etc. However they will not continue to spin the front wheels beyond the initial fast start hard throttle scratch once moving the AWD will be 100% in play and you should not get front only wheel spin unless your on some very low traction surface and have the go pedal mashed which case you will have all 4 spinning
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have 85K miles on the vehicle. They are the original tires, and I've rotated them every 8K. I rotate them front to back AND back to front. I don't cross them.

The front wheels spin beyond fast start hard throttle. I got stuck in the snow!
 

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Busted rear diff? There was a new 2011 owner here a while back with a similar issue. Subaru stepped up and found that the rear diff had failed.
 
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