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Transmission Woes

5467 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  KCe46
Hey everyone, wish this was a positive post but being this is the "Problems and Maintenance" forum there problem isn't too many happy stories. Thought I'd share my experience this past weekend and if any of you have heard of this happening on a Gen 3 Outback before, please do share.

This past weekend my wife and I were out running some errands trying to get some last minute necessities before baby comes in the next couple weeks. While on our way home the transmission started to act funny, slipping not wanting to engage in gear. As soon as I noticed this I pulled off the divided four lane we were driving on, at the time there were no lights on the dash.

Once I got the car to safety and shut it off I hopped out and had a look only to see a large pool of transmission fluid under the car along with a distinct trail that we left on our way into the lot. Knowing that we weren't going to be going any further I called USAA to get a tow to have the car taken to our mechanic. Being that they are closed on the weekends it would have to wait until this morning to see what had failed.

At this point the diagnosis is front pump seal failure. The transmission was going to have to come down and if anything else was evident they were going to give me a call. Didn't hear anything so I am assuming that nothing else popped up.

I fully expect things to go wrong and need replacing throughout a cars lifetime, but 74k seems very premature to me. I do plan on contacting Subaru and letting them know about the issue, but am not expecting anything out of them.

For those that are wondering the only transmission service it has had was at 60k when I did a drain and fill with the Subaru spec fluid. We are the second owners, we bought the car at 50k from a Subaru employee in Indiana. So I can't speak to anything prior to my ownership but being that it was under warranty at that point I would assume anything suspicious would have shown up on the carfax we had.

Feel free to share thoughts and opinions. My biggest fear at this point is there will be other significant transmission problems down the road.
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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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I have seen the rubber hoses for the transmission cooler feed/return get hard, crack and leak. A pump seal does seem odd for a 4EAT, especially the diagnosis with the transmission still in the car since you can's see a pump seal leak from underneath. Front shaft seal would leak and allow for fluid to leak out at the front case housing. And if that is the leak, the seal is cheap and the labor is R&R trans and an extra 20 minutes to change the seal, and cost of fluid.

Attached is a pic of a breakdown of the front housing with Torque Converter. Item 14 is the oil seal that would allow for a leak into the front case.

The other pic shows the oil pump breakdown, which is behind the front case and unseen unless the transmission is taken down and disassembled partially.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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And to follow up on that; if the shop you have it at says its the pump seal, you may want to rethink having them repair it. It's apparent they don't know how a Subaru transmission is assembled. On regular transmissions the pump mounts behind the torque converter and is driven by the TC and the pump seal is directly behind the TC. Not so with a Subaru.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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19,152 Posts
Let me remind you of post #3 above.

Maybe he doesn't know that the TC comes out with the shaft attached to it and he believes a bushing to be seized.

Get your car out of that shop!!!!! Take it out in pieces if you have to.

Sent PM
 
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