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Discussion Starter #1
3 weeks ago, I had my 2011 Outback in the dealership to replace the Control Valve Body in the transmission. Everything was fine until I took a road trip last week and my car suddenly revved to 3500RPM (on a flat, straight highway) and then started making strange grinding noises followed by a burning rubber smell in the car. I pulled over and called a tow truck. The mechanic (not at the dealership because I was 3 hours from the nearest Subaru dealership) drained the transmission and front differential fluids. He said there was only about 30mL of fluid in the differential and it was ruined so the entire assembly would need to be changed. My dealership has denied responsibility saying that their mechanic didn't touch the differential when doing work on the transmission. Does this sound right? If they didn't check it, should they have checked it? There are 180,000km on the vehicle. Thanks for any advice you have for me!
 

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2013 3.6R limited. 2006 Wrx Limited
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106 Posts
They are mutually exclusive other than taking up the same piece of real estate.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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yeah but that does not mean they did not accidently drain the fluid and forget to put some back in... regardless OP get SOC involved as there was nothing wrong with the car before the original dealer touched it.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5
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When I did my Control Valve Body I didn't touch my differential fluid, they are independent drain and fill ports. One thing to look at though is to look to see if there is any stains or residual fluid on the differential drain port. On my 2011 when I did that my differential ports were bone dry.

That can tell if they were being honest at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The mechanic said the drain port was clean and dry. He said that could mean they didn't touch it or that they cleaned it before replacing it - maybe there's no way to prove it one way or another.

When I did my Control Valve Body I didn't touch my differential fluid, they are independent drain and fill ports. One thing to look at though is to look to see if there is any stains or residual fluid on the differential drain port. On my 2011 when I did that my differential ports were bone dry.

That can tell if they were being honest at least.
 

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There are only 3 things that could happen to that differential fluid.
1. It leaked out to the ground, you'd see the stinky mess.
2. The seal between the differential and transmission sections went out and fluid migrated over to the other. You'd smell the differential oil in the trans fluid.
3. The differential was never filled after a service incident. At 180k km you could have had 3 service's already and it is possible the last fellr forgot to top it up. Was the service done at the same place as the CVT repair?

The smoking gun is really pointing at the CVT repair. If the fluid was left low for 10k+ miles you'd likely experience a more gradual grinding noise rather than a sudden failure.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Limited
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Time to call SOA and asking them to help you resolve the issue with the dealership. If you can get a written statement from the other shop explaining their findings that will likely be of help.
 
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