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08 Tribeca issues with anyone else?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Tribeca08

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:28 AM

Has anyone else had any major problems with their 08 Tribeca? I had constantly heard wonderful things about Subaru and how reliable etc they were.(and the AWD which is a top priority for me) After having problems with my past Fords and Chevy's, when I needed another every day driver, I decided to give Subaru a try. In Sept 2011, I bought the 2008 Tribeca from CarMax with 62,000 miles. Initially after getting it, we noticed a weird feeling when driving at highway speeds. After having that checked out, they decided the front transfer case needed to be replaced. (luckily for me after my unreliable past experiences, I purchased the extended warranty) This alone was around a $900 job, fortunately covered. After that initial time, things were going well, with just a more annoyance problem of the headlights burning out quite quickly. One of them would burn out every few months or so, which is very uncommon from my past experience. Then in November 2012, after backing out of a spot, shift back into drive and clunk, guess what can't go anywhere. CarMax couldn't ever look at for another week, and basically I haven't had the car since. After CarMax couldn't solve the problem, they sent it to a Subaru dealer. Conclusion: need to replace transmission. $7500 job. After they finally get this done, the dealership noticed something else. Well then it turns out, they need to replace both axles, and the rear differential now. (which will be roughly another $4-5k) I'm amazed the warranty place wants to sink that much money into the car. Were still waiting on these parts. I have not had the car since November 2012. This must be some kind of weird fluke for Subaru, but I have to admit, I'm not very confident on becoming a Subaru owner for a second time. If I hadn't purchased that extended warranty I would have been royally screwed.

#2 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

Not as familiar with Tribeca, but the AWD is the same animal as the legacy/outback/Impreza platforms.

Were there different size tires on the vehicle? If there were, or had been in the past it can cause tremendous wear to the drivetrain parts. All wheel drive requires all 4 wheels to be the same diameter. if not then yes, they would kill your transmission, rear differential or both. There will probably be much more insight from the board here, but I would also call the dealership that did the work to your car, speak to the mechanic that did the diagnosis and ask these same questions.

IF he's a knowledgeable guy, he should be able to explain whether this was likely poor maintenance, a freak occurrence or some defect in part of the Tribeca driveline.

But for the record, you heard right on the reliability. I drive an Impreza with 267,000 miles. My wife's 2000 outback just turned 320,000 and she's been looking at getting a Tribeca sometime in the future.

Either way, it if was replaced properly, you're driving a car with 0 miles on the transmission. So even if the driveline was abused, you have a new one. Your car should be better now than the day you bought it and ready to go another 200,000 miles easy. Just be sure to keep tires that are exactly the same diameter on there and you should have little problems.

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

"front transfer case" and "transmission" are the same unit on a Subaru. It is likely they either screwed up the diagnosis with the "front transfer case" repair or screwed up something when they performed that repair when they had the transaxle assembly out of the car.

Either that or they are stroking the insurance company.

It is highly unlikely that these two repairs are unrelated and it is also VERY likely that they either don't know what they are doing or are just stroking the insurance company for what they know is really not a big deal to repair. You can repair most things on a transmission without replacing the entire thing. The dealer and independent shops see the warranty claim as a way to make money and not make an enemy of the customer.

GD

#4 ivans imports

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

the problems are brought on by people working on the car that dont know the fact that you were told it even had a front transfer case means that whoever is working on it has no clue. They are gessing whats wrong and probly screwed it up in the first place. the only time i see problems with low milage subarus is when the dealer messes with what they shouldent or gess at the problem and create more problems

#5 grossgary

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:20 AM

Unfortunately you (or the aftermarket warranty) are getting worked over.

As mentioned, there is no "transfer case" and any part of the transaxle can't be repaired for anywhere near $900. That diagnosis, repair, and cost is all suspect.

The most likely scenario is that the first issue was something simple which was misdiagnosed (intentionally or not), lined the wallets of the repair place, improperly repaired, leading to future repairs....etc.

The rear differential diagnosis is highly contentious. I personally wouldn't believe it unless I saw it. They simply never fail.

It's all speculation now but even you have heard a story from a kid, friend, co-worker that wasn't the truth and had far likelier explanations than they revealed - that's what's happening here.

Of the two possible scenarios:
1. the story you were told being what actually happened
2. the story you were told involving incompetence or abuse

#2 is far more likely given the high rates of unfairness from mechanics/shops and the very low rates of the kind of work you've been sold.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:25 AM

rear axle and differential replacement...while almost absurd to begin with...shouldn't cost $4,000 - $5,000, that's insane. I guess you're paying Subaru prices but the rear differentials and axles are insanely simple to replace so there shouldn't be much labor charged at all. $500 labor....so $3,500 - $4,500 for a rear diff and axles is plain nonsense.

they're $200 or less from a yard and will last the life of the vehicle. i'm sure Subaru prices are very steep for those rarely replaced items, but nonetheless i doubt they're smoking that much crack...are they?!

but, you don't care insurance is paying for it all, so doesn't much matter, you're getting all new parts. :headbang:

indeed you're probably just venting and won't even revisit this site! i wouldn't blame you after this debacle. :mad:

#7 avk

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

What was the weird feeling when driving at highway speeds?

#8 MilesFox

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

I am going to guess and say that the front diff failed from lack of or improper maintenance, such as some grease monkey draining both the trans and front diff but only adding fluid to the trans, missing the diff, or adding the wrong fluids to the diff. The fact that they were referring to a 'transfer case' shows that they don't understand this transmission, as there is no transfer case, but rather a center differential (or clutch drum in automatics) built into the transmission housing that is driven from the front differential. A transfer case is something added onto the rear of a RWD trans to give output to the front axle. The subaru trans has front axles that go into the front diff housing, whilst having a tailshaft to the rear diff.

The diff fails. They either replaced the whole trans, or replaced a used diff from another model, possibly being the wrong gear ration, causing more troubles and the trans fails again if the diff is a different ratio than the rear.

By this time they notice the axles need replaced, which they should have been serviced much sooner. It is possible the axle failed many miles ago, but transmissions were replaced instead, and therefore burned themselves out.

The moral of the story is a perfectly good car was ruined several times by improper or wrong service. Old-timer ford and chevy knowledge does not apply to a subaru. Your technicians were doing it wrong.

typically with any subaru transmission failure is due to lack of or improper maintenance. Most general mechanics don't know the subaru trans has 2 dipsticks!

Edited by MilesFox, 21 January 2013 - 10:22 PM.


#9 nipper

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

I'm going to defend the Front Transfer Case on this one. If the guy you are talkig to is an auto writer, the insurance claim form (his end) may have a seperate check box for transmission, and nother for transfer case, instead of an AWD check box. I have seen it before. Its just thier way of notating the transmission and/or AWD unit is bad.

If they are going to use subaru parts to fix everything, try not to smile too much, as you are getting basically a entire driveline.

I have seena few tribecas on other boards have tranny issues (like three) and needed new trannies around 120K. I would assume that Subaru did not use a legacy Auto for a heavy car like a tribecca, but you never know.

#10 avk

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:08 AM

Tribeca uses 5EAT with VTD. In any case, I agree with Gary that the OP will not be likely to follow up.

#11 nipper

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

Tribeca uses 5EAT with VTD. In any case, I agree with Gary that the OP will not be likely to follow up.


:Flame:
:banghead:
:horse:

i would be jumping for joy if i got an entirely new driveline for 900 bucks

:)


i hate when we never get to hear how things turn out.

#12 Tribeca08

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. Was mainly just poking around to see if there were any known issues since I too was surprised at the big repairs given Subarus reputation. I'm very thankful I got the warranty and everything is being covered. Just Hope this isn't a reoccurance with this specific vehicle. They've still been waiting for the axels so I still don't have the vehicle back yet.

#13 nipper

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

YAY hes back!

I am going to guess what ever happened was no one did any maint on this car aside from oil changes. Check the condition of your brake fluid, if that hasnt been changed ...

#14 MilesFox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:00 AM

Well now that you are a member of this forum, you should be alright from here! :clap: Good luck and we'll see you again

#15 avk

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Check the winch mechanism for the spare wheel, make sure it's operable.

#16 ivans imports

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

the only problem iv'e seen on those cars is a 06 with 165000kms with a burnt valve running on 5




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