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So I got the call from my dealer that my car is done. I've asked them to also do the 90K while they're in there... $8400 after..... sob story.... I am surprised there's no class action lawsuit on this...


You should find a law firm to bring the action, then use members here to spread the word. It's completely unacceptable.
 

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I'm not asking this to be snarky - but rather because I'm curious: On what legal grounds is it "completely unacceptable" that an out-of-warranty repair isn't reimbursed? I certainly understand the frustration involved and the anger over the cost. So I'm not saying there's no reason to be upset. I'm just trying to understand what legal argument you would have for saying it's not acceptable given the warranty contract has expired and SOA doesn't legally appear to have any commitments to cover you.
 

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Take a look at this thread http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/397945-cvt-front-diff-leak.html . I have a 2011 cvt with 73,000 miles under warranty because of the CPO warranty. I have some fairly excessive seepage through the transmission (pictures in the above thread). I have taken it to two dealers, spoke with three SOA representatives and they have been of no help. All they say is minor seepage is normal. Its is a SEALED unit, ANY seepage is not normal nor is ANY seepage minor. They expect me to drive the car until the transmission fails? All I can say is there are some serious issues with these cvts. Have I had any driving issues? No. But, any amount of fluid that escapes from the transmission should be covered under warranty, especially considering the warranty covers seals and gaskets. At this point, SOA told me to drive the car until there is an issue with transmission or the leak gets worse? Really?!? So much for "the most trusted brand in America."
Yea I'd cool the rhetoric. Have the differentials serviced $40 each they are probably over due. I'd have the cvt drain fill done by the dealer. If the fluid is really dark fluid I would negotiate a second drain fill at half price. My dealer charges $180.
Something I learned many yrs ago transmissions and gear boxes will weep when the fluids are thinned and in need of a refresh.
Any business that sees you as a risk to due business with will not step up they'll just hand you over to their lawyer.

Oh and every car I have owned had gear oil seapage when the diffs were over due for service. Once serviced they usually were clean and didnt weep oil.
 

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Regarding magnets vs metal debri. There is little to zero iron based material in modern engines and transmissions so the chances of actually getting any is pretty much zero. And if you did the engine or transmission would be toast regardless.
 

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I'm not asking this to be snarky - but rather because I'm curious: On what legal grounds is it "completely unacceptable" that an out-of-warranty repair isn't reimbursed? I certainly understand the frustration involved and the anger over the cost. So I'm not saying there's no reason to be upset. I'm just trying to understand what legal argument you would have for saying it's not acceptable given the warranty contract has expired and SOA doesn't legally appear to have any commitments to cover you.


I think the class action issue would involve the relatively early failure of a major component, when there is no scheduled maintenance called for on said component. In my 2011 the dealer refused to service my transmission, stating that is was a non-serviceable part. I'm sure others have been told the same thing, but this is surely a contributing factor in premature failure.

Would you find it acceptable for the engine to throw a rod at 61,000 miles? That's also an "out of warranty repair" but it's also an unreasonable one. Full transmission failure/replacement is unacceptable at 75,000-140,000 miles, especially when viewed against prior Subaru automatic transmissions.
 

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I think the class action issue would involve the relatively early failure of a major component, when there is no scheduled maintenance called for on said component. In my 2011 the dealer refused to service my transmission, stating that is was a non-serviceable part. I'm sure others have been told the same thing, but this is surely a contributing factor in premature failure.

Would you find it acceptable for the engine to throw a rod at 61,000 miles? That's also an "out of warranty repair" but it's also an unreasonable one. Full transmission failure/replacement is unacceptable at 75,000-140,000 miles, especially when viewed against prior Subaru automatic transmissions.
The key word here is severe duty servicing. The owners manual states 60k fluid inspection. Severe duty it lists a drain fill service.

Dealers are 3rd party companies. At some point owners must read the owners manual and as a Owner request the correct service item. The dealer does not own the vehicle you do!

What is severe duty? Daily commuting in traffic, extreme temps cold / hot, towing etc. All of those dramatically shorten the life of transmission fluids.

As for the non serviceable comment. The Subaru cvt has a real drain plug. My 05 Mercedes 7spd AT does not. The subaru is serviced in about 15-20 minutes with only fluid added.
My Mercedes requires a service kit consisting of a new pan gasket, new filter and new aluminum pan screws. Lets be very clear here. Subaru CVT's are not only serviceable but lists servicing needs for conditions that most Subarus drive in on a nearly daily basis.
 

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The key word here is severe duty servicing. The owners manual states 60k fluid inspection. Severe duty it lists a drain fill service.



Dealers are 3rd party companies. At some point owners must read the owners manual and as a Owner request the correct service item. The dealer does not own the vehicle you do!



What is severe duty? Daily commuting in traffic, extreme temps cold / hot, towing etc. All of those dramatically shorten the life of transmission fluids.



As for the non serviceable comment. The Subaru cvt has a real drain plug. My 05 Mercedes 7spd AT does not. The subaru is serviced in about 15-20 minutes with only fluid added.

My Mercedes requires a service kit consisting of a new pan gasket, new filter and new aluminum pan screws. Lets be very clear here. Subaru CVT's are not only serviceable but list servicing needs for conditions that most Subarus drive in on a nearly daily basis.


I don't disagree with your opinions, but I take issue with Subaru not calling for scheduled maintenance and subsequently denying coverage. If it were your transmission I suspect you would agree.

I understand that it CAN be serviced, but my dealers (two of them) refused to service the CVT even after multiple requests. They both told me they were instructed by Subaru not to service the CVT and that it was maintenance free. I was able to get one dealer to document this for the file, in anticipation of future issues. As it is, I sold the 2011 and picked up a 2017 on lease. I'll be interested to see how the CVT reliability tracks moving foward - and how Subaru handles it.
 

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I don't disagree with your opinions, but I take issue with Subaru not calling for scheduled maintenance and subsequently denying coverage. If it were your transmission I suspect you would agree.

I understand that it CAN be serviced, but my dealers (two of them) refused to service the CVT even after multiple requests. They both told me they were instructed by Subaru not to service the CVT and that it was maintenance free. I was able to get one dealer to document this for the file, in anticipation of future issues. As it is, I sold the 2011 and picked up a 2017 on lease. I'll be interested to see how the CVT reliability tracks moving foward - and how Subaru handles it.
Subaru lists a 60k inspection and lists suggestion service under severe use conditions.

The only issue I have is that dealer staff use sales pitch "nonserviceable" words in the service department when they are paid on commission and want to sell high profit low cost "dealer service packages" But when it comes down to who pays and uses the vehicle its you the owner. I'd say its a 50/50 error dealer and owner.

As for the weepy fluid leak service the diffs and the cvt fluid and drive it. There is a chance it wont weep after getting proper weight oils in the case. If it does, drive it and trade it in.
And yes Subaru might surface and just fix it. Subaru is known to do that sort of thing. Thats why I own one.
 

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Regarding magnets vs metal debri. There is little to zero iron based material in modern engines and transmissions so the chances of actually getting any is pretty much zero. And if you did the engine or transmission would be toast regardless.
This is my CVTs upgraded magnetic drain plug after 3,500 miles of service:



There is a pan magnet in the bottom of the CVT pan as well. There are plenty of ferrous components in a transmission. Those who published their Blackstone CVT fluid analysis at 60k and 120k a while back also reported quite a bit of ferrous particles in the submitted samples.

I fully agree with you that if there's much more than what my drain plug shows above (normal, minor fine metal "paste" type wear) it's a cause for concern.
 

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What is severe duty? Daily commuting in traffic, extreme temps cold / hot, towing etc. All of those dramatically shorten the life of transmission fluids.
Forgive me for going by memory - as my memory often fails me. But I do seem to recall the 40,000 km (24855 miles) drain/fill CVT service listed in the maintenance schedule actually only defines "severe" as towing. Which could be why there is such insistence from some people that it's "maintenance free" if you're not towing.

I fully agree your definition above is usually what is meant by severe conditions. But I somehow seem to remember it specifically only saying towing for the CVT drain/fill. I could be wrong though but unfortunately I'm not near the maintenance schedule papers right now.

So I agree with the laments stated here about a lacking maintenance schedule for CVT drain/fills. I service it as if it were any other automatic transmission and do frequent drain/fills as I have no respect for any "lifetime" fluid claims. I'm on my third so far.
 

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I think the class action issue would involve the relatively early failure of a major component, when there is no scheduled maintenance called for on said component. In my 2011 the dealer refused to service my transmission, stating that is was a non-serviceable part. I'm sure others have been told the same thing, but this is surely a contributing factor in premature failure.

Would you find it acceptable for the engine to throw a rod at 61,000 miles? That's also an "out of warranty repair" but it's also an unreasonable one. Full transmission failure/replacement is unacceptable at 75,000-140,000 miles, especially when viewed against prior Subaru automatic transmissions.
I agree it's unacceptable if it's a pattern and not a statistical fluke. I am just not convinced there's any legal claim basis though, given the expired warranty. But, I'm not a legal expert. Which is why I decided to just go with my own CVT maintenance schedule given my long term interest in keeping the vehicle. Our other car is 23 years old and still runs like new. I'd like to be able to say the same about the Outback when it gets that old if human beings are still allowed to drive at that time :)
 

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Should've been a little more clear about this. I also had the front and rear diffs changed out (in for a penny, in for a pound) and those looked fine. They did draw random samples of the main as it drained just to see if there were any "gross" metal particles and didn't see any (that doesn't mean I might've had finer debris though). Will keep you all posted when the next drain and fill happens in a few months.
 

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CVT Transmission woes...

Yikes. I'll keep on dutifully doing regular drain and fills on mine.

My uneducated opinion is that there is no obvious quality issue with the CVT units (apart from the early torque converters). I think the issues are two-fold:

1. The answer is too often "you need a new CVT unit" when clearly there should be ways to do it cheaper, as evidenced by users on this forum who were told this but managed to fix the unit themselves by replacing the valve body. I'm not saying that's always going to be the answer, but there should be more middle ground for repairs smaller than a full replacement, and there should be more OEM repair parts available for the CVT unit. The cost of the unit itself should also come down.

2. If you're not towing, there is nothing in your owner's manual's maintenance schedule about CVT fluid replacement, creating the in-my-opinion laughable concept of "lifetime fluid". Meanwhile we start seeing that no such magic fluid exists and fluid deterioration seems to have at least partially had a role in some of these recent higher mileage failures.
The fact that the dealers are told that the CVT is not serviceable is interesting. As OBDad stated above, I am one of the owners of an Outback (2011 Limited) which suffered from the same symptoms as described (shuttering, bucking, flashing ATF temp, etc.), and pulled codes P2764 (torque converter clutch pressure control - solenoid control circuit low) and P2762 (torque converter clutch pressure control - solenoid control circuit range/performance). After seeing that the flashing ATF temp light meant that the were error codes related to the transmission (and also noting that once the ATF temp light came on, the engine smoothed out - seemingly bypassing the issue) - the side paddles could not be used for manual shifting, and researching for a couple of days... it became clear to me that it was likely related to a bad solenoid associated with the control valve body. I took it to one of the top dealers in MA to verify. They charged me $110 to tell me that they recommended a new CVT transmission http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/attachments/gen-4-2010-2014/306298d1477316383-2011-ob-2-5i-cvt-valve-body-failure-ccf10232016_00001.pdf, saying that there were no serviceable parts. The cost? $7,600.

What I did in September 2016 (getting the FSM for my Outback and with that, ordering everything that I would be impacting by changing the control valve body (o-rings, filter, additional magnet, gaskets, etc)), was to take a chance that the codes were right - and that a solenoid was bad. It took me the better part of six hours, because I was not used to opening up a transmission larger than a riding lawnmower. And this is my main mode of transportation. I started early on a Saturday morning, and was done in the afternoon - a big part of that time was cleaning the old liquid gasket off the pan - then waiting for the newly applied liquid gasket to set before torquing the bolts. But draining the CVT, slowly separating the pan from the CVT body (trying not to dent or bend the pan), then separating the valve body from the CVT (and draining all the additional oil trapped above) took the vast majority of the time. The changing of the valve body took about 15 minutes. Twelve machine bolts and a tube connecting the CVT body to the valve body. That is it. When I filled CVT with fluid, started it up and saw no codes, then drove it and all was well, my eyes welled up. For about $1,000, including fluid, my car ran great again. That was at 182,000 miles. Now, four months and 13,000 miles later (195,000), it is still running great.

My point is that the idea that the CVT is not serviceable is kind of ridiculous, as if that were the case I would not be able to buy the control valve body, filter, o-rings, machined connector tube, etc. from a Subaru dealer. They had them in stock in a different dealership in MA, and they were very happy to help - saying that they had done a few valve bodies, but were too told that they should consider it a non-serviceable component.


 

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Have 2014 Subaru Impreza with 44,000 miles. The CVT transmission is beginning to buzz when accelerating. In there anything I can check or do before I take it to the Dealer?
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 Limited owners here,.. our current situation (July-Sept 2019) .. at 86K miles, the transmission begins stuttering/bucking at different speeds, loads and a lot when it's hot... they re-trained. replaced the torque converter, re-trained.. then the FSE claimed it was the upper intake manifold issue... NOTHING HAS FIXED THE SUTTERING PROBLEMS!... so, Subaru America said, they have done all they could.... I protested with a sign and the Subaru Santa Cruz step up and offered to replace with a NEW transmission....(out of their pocket).... well, it still STUTTERS?!?... yeah crazy, makes us think,.. the problem is 1: the CVT again or 2: the electronics? (we are BETA TESTERS?)
 
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