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Premium Member
‘22 Geezer Blue Wilderness
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174 Posts
If I understand correctly, based on other discussions around here, uneven tire circumference (that 1/4" number is not for diameter) can eventually wear out the MPT clutch. This results in loss of power to the rear wheels, but not much else, some folks might never notice.
I may stand corrected. Trying to go off of memory. But saw these drivetrain issues with fellow Quattro users when I was in an Audi community.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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12,509 Posts
I would get a second opinion. It's possible the seal failed.

But it might be a matter of keeping it topped off instead of complete replacement.

Further, the BBB is a private organization.

It's worth about as much as a Yelp review to get them involved.
 

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Registered
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65 Posts
It doesn’t seem like you have much of an argument. They covered the first replacement under warranty. The second one lasted about 90k miles or so. That’s less than it should last, but outside their warranty policy, and probably not totally unheard of. It’s just bad luck. It sucks for you and your wife. Sorry you have to deal with this.

I agree with the post above about giving up on the car. Personally I wouldn’t spend $4k on a car with 150,000 miles on it. I’d put that into a new car (or newer, if you prefer used).

Good luck.
 

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Super Moderator
Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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2,719 Posts
It is not common for a Subaru CVT to “explode” and if it was this forum would certainly know about it. There are at least a few forum members that report their CVT’s have gone 200,000+ miles without trouble.

I am also going to suggest it is a dealer service centre problem due to the timing of the first failure after service.

Seagrass
 

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Registered
2021 Outback Premium and 2021 Impreza
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37 Posts
I do not think at 150K the car really owes you anything - But its true a CVT can last a long time , My parents own a 2015 Forester with 210K miles , never changed the fluid and its still good. There new Subaru is on a boat from Japan as we speak :) .
 

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Registered
2013 3.6r limited, 2013 2.5 pzev limited with SAP
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102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
So i just heard back fron SOA, they are getting with Wagners Subaru as well. SOA said its interesting that its had two failed units and the car had less than 150,000 miles on it. They asked what happened, i explained to them that we had the 60,000 mile service done and shortly there after it went out on the highway and it was replaced under warranty. I then said less than a month or so ago we were getting ready to head to Alabama for vacation. We were having all the fluids done, and checked so we know it was good to go. I told them that Wagners called and said the front diff was almost empty. They told me there were no leaks found and it appeared that the seals were failing allowing fluid to mix. SOA said that was interesting. I said wagners has been the only shop to touch the cvt/front diff on the car and that included the replacement cvt/front diff. I had asked if they filled the front dif when they replaced it and was told yes as its standard practice. SOA said they would call me by the 15th to let me know what they would be able to do. SOA said a cvt should have no issues getting to a 150k and he said yeah whats going to be 3 units in a car with 150k is unheard of.
 

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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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12,655 Posts
If the front diff was empty it's probably because they either forgot to fill it or filled in the wrong plug and it went into the CVT instead.
 

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Registered
2011 Outback 3.6R Premier w/206K miles.
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90 Posts
So i just heard back fron SOA, they are getting with Wagners Subaru as well. SOA said its interesting that its had two failed units and the car had less than 150,000 miles on it. They asked what happened, i explained to them that we had the 60,000 mile service done and shortly there after it went out on the highway and it was replaced under warranty. I then said less than a month or so ago we were getting ready to head to Alabama for vacation. We were having all the fluids done, and checked so we know it was good to go. I told them that Wagners called and said the front diff was almost empty. They told me there were no leaks found and it appeared that the seals were failing allowing fluid to mix. SOA said that was interesting. I said wagners has been the only shop to touch the cvt/front diff on the car and that included the replacement cvt/front diff. I had asked if they filled the front dif when they replaced it and was told yes as its standard practice. SOA said they would call me by the 15th to let me know what they would be able to do. SOA said a cvt should have no issues getting to a 150k and he said yeah whats going to be 3 units in a car with 150k is unheard of.
I had a positive experience with SOA when I needed a computer replacement for my 2005 OB-XT. The car was well out of warranty and they covered half the cost of the replacement.
 

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Registered
'22 Outback Limited XT Abyss Blue
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514 Posts
If the front diff was empty it's probably because they either forgot to fill it or filled in the wrong plug and it went into the CVT instead.
Seems that I've read more than a few posts about people confusing the plugs between the front diff & the CVT, and putting the lube in the wrong port. What I can't remember is whether this was an issue with older gens of the OBs, or all of them. It got my attention, no matter what.
 

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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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12,655 Posts
All of the CVT's have this potential issue.
 

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Registered
2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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4,151 Posts
Definitely numerous similar CVT stories posted around here, both DIY incidents and "professional" shop mix ups. Seems there may be some history with Subaru and somewhat confusing plugs. Back in 2005, when I was researching a new Impreza purchase, I can definitely recall reading similar stories of transmissions or diffs getting drained by quick lube shops trying to do an oil change. But, technically, the CVT doesn't require much service, so I don't consider it a big deal to pay a little more and make sure I'm giving the job to a qualified shop (reliable dealer or indie Subaru shop).
 

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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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12,655 Posts
One would hope that a dealership would do it right but when there's high staff turnover or more experienced staff out sick then maybe some of the less experienced folks are pushed into doing stuff they haven't done before. One thing contributing to the problem are that there are youtube videos where the terms "left" and "right" are used and it confuses people because we usually think of left side as the driver's side but in at least one youtube video the guy calls it the right side because he's facing the rear of the car not the front.
 
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Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i AT
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22 Posts
My wife has a 2013 2.5 limited pzev with SAP. At 63,000 miles on it we had the 60,000 mile service completed. At 65,000 miles on the highway on the way to flordia from ohio the cvt/front diff exploded. So we had the car towed back to wagners subaru. After a few days wagners called saying the cvt/front diff needed replaced because it was destroyed. So after alot of conversations they replaced the whole units.

A couple weeks ago we took it in to have the front diff fluid changed as i had already done the rear diff on hers and the front and rear on my 13 3.6r. A short time later wagners called saying yet again the cvt/front diff needed replaced yet again. THis time they said the seals between the cvt and front diff are failing allowing the fluids to mix. I'm perplexed as the car has less than 150,000 miles on it and its going to be its 3rd CVT/Front Diff.

So I've tried emailing Subaru of America Multiple times, I've Spent hours on hold and have yet to get ahold of anyone. So today i finally gave up and filed a complaint with the BBB against SOA and this issue.

Has anyone ever delt with the BBB and or SOA and their horrible CVT/ Front Diff ???????
Get your dealer to hook you up with a SOA contact. I did this for the dashboard on an '08 outback last year (50K mi) and got a new free dashboard. It got sticky though garaged it's entire life.
The BBB will do nothing here.
 

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Registered
2011 Outback 3.6R Premier w/206K miles.
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90 Posts
The BBB is the original Yelp. They have no teeth, it's a joke filing a "compliant" against anybody.
Agreed. He probably brought more awareness to the issue posting in this forum than he would by filing a complaint with the BBB.
 

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Registered
2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,698 Posts
My wife has a 2013 2.5 limited pzev with SAP. At 63,000 miles on it we had the 60,000 mile service completed. At 65,000 miles on the highway on the way to flordia from ohio the cvt/front diff exploded. So we had the car towed back to wagners subaru. After a few days wagners called saying the cvt/front diff needed replaced because it was destroyed. So after alot of conversations they replaced the whole units.

A couple weeks ago we took it in to have the front diff fluid changed as i had already done the rear diff on hers and the front and rear on my 13 3.6r. A short time later wagners called saying yet again the cvt/front diff needed replaced yet again. THis time they said the seals between the cvt and front diff are failing allowing the fluids to mix. I'm perplexed as the car has less than 150,000 miles on it and its going to be its 3rd CVT/Front Diff.

So I've tried emailing Subaru of America Multiple times, I've Spent hours on hold and have yet to get ahold of anyone. So today i finally gave up and filed a complaint with the BBB against SOA and this issue.

Has anyone ever delt with the BBB and or SOA and their horrible CVT/ Front Diff ???????
Here is what likely happened: When the dealer did the 60k service, they failed to fill the front diff. The tech probably put some gear lube in, but less than half what was required.
Then, at this latest service the lot boy/tech filled your transmission with gear oil (Not CVT fluid) and there is no effective way to flush it out. So they tell you that the fluid migrated. Which is nearly impossible.
Can you or I prove any of this? Nope.
Good luck!
 

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Registered
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613 Posts
One would hope that a dealership would do it right but when there's high staff turnover or more experienced staff out sick then maybe some of the less experienced folks are pushed into doing stuff they haven't done before. One thing contributing to the problem are that there are youtube videos where the terms "left" and "right" are used and it confuses people because we usually think of left side as the driver's side but in at least one youtube video the guy calls it the right side because he's facing the rear of the car not the front.
That's why you use driver/passenger side, never left or right.
 

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Registered
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1,160 Posts
Here is what likely happened: When the dealer did the 60k service, they failed to fill the front diff. The tech probably put some gear lube in, but less than half what was required.
Then, at this latest service the lot boy/tech filled your transmission with gear oil (Not CVT fluid) and there is no effective way to flush it out. So they tell you that the fluid migrated. Which is nearly impossible.
Can you or I prove any of this? Nope.
Good luck!
This seems to point toward a dealership service screwup since it was so close to the 60k service….. btw, $4k for a replacement cvt doesn’t sound like a reman. More likely a used cvt for an 8-yr old vehicle. BBB can’t help with these type of issues unless you can provide proof positive that the dealer is completely at fault And even then, their influence is limited. SOA has been very helpful with many such cases.
 
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