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How far can I drive without fluid in auto transmission? (shop screwed up)-Correction
Posted 15 May 2004 - 09:57 PM
Well, I didn't want to. I brought it home from the shop that supposedly changed the ATF (about a mile of driving), and right near home, it started lurching upon acceleration.
So I parked it and opend the door. I heard a new, fast ticking noise from under the car. I opend the hood and the first thing I saw was the ATF dipstick laying on the side of the engine compartment. I went to put it back in the tube, and then heard a new metalic clunking (rythmic) from down near the bottom rear of the engine. So I cut of the engine right away.
I pulled out the dipstick to find only a tiny wisp of fluid on the very tip.
IIRC, there's supposed to be some fluid on the stick even with the engine off, right?
[correction: Apparently I checked the fluid with the engine running the first time. When I checked it again with the engine off, there was a little fluid there. So, it wasn't completely dry]
So, is my tranny munched, or will it revive happily when it gets fluid? If it's munched (or its life has been shortened significantly), any suggestions on how I should approach the shop to get them to make reparations -- and what exactly I should ask them to do?
By the way, the shop was closed by the time I discovered the problem, and since it's Saturday I won't be able to contact them tomorrow.
Before I posted, I searched the board and didn't find it, so sorry if this has been covered
The car has 153K miles. It's a '95 Legacy L wagon (2.2L engine).
Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:02 AM
I called the dealership, and said they change oil several times daily. I drive it down in manual to minimize gear changes. using 1st and 2nd gears.
Shortly after, they apologized, they were used to having engine oil pans close to the front driveline (which is where Subaru's tranny plug IS).
So I got DOUBLE the engine oil, and ZERO ATF. I was pissed!
But, if I could recommend to you, call first on Monday. You should ask, but they probably won't send a wrecker, but drive like I did, very slowly, keep temperatures low!!!
Like I just wrote, I had this problem with low or no ATF, (and of course 2X the engine oil) my 93 Impreza has 215,000 miles on it. You should be okay if your are gentle at this time. But when I had this problem it had 40K on it then.
Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:57 AM
Posted 16 May 2004 - 01:07 AM
Posted 16 May 2004 - 08:27 AM
(2) Do not drive the car back to the shop without refilling the ATF. Have someone witness that it wasn't properly filled, then refill it yourself. Keep the receipt and demand reimbursement from the shop.
(3) This gentleman appears to be writing from outside the US, so I'm not sure he has small claims court (you don't need a lawyer/cheap to file/greatly simplified rules of evidence/relatively fast) or the equivalent available to him. Threatening suit may be worthwhile, but I'm not sure that actually suing would be.
Unless the tranny promptly dies, what is the measure of damages the court would award? The cost of the ATF that the shop didn't put in? If the tranny doesn't immediate die, I doubt a court would award much for wear and tear on a car with 153,000 mi that was driven a mile without ATF. But that said--go ahead and threaten suit if you think that would gain you leverage with the shop.
Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:22 PM
Max (Impreza_WRX_STi): you're saying that after your similar incident you've put ~180,000 miles on the same tranny with no apparent problems?
Chip: I'm in the US (California), so I do have access to small claims court.
My friend advised that I should demand a new transmission, that there is no question that the shop is liable (even though I drove it dry, it's not my responsibility to verify that the shop did what they said they did. So it's their fault that it was dry when I drove it home). Opinions?
Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:45 PM
Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:48 PM
Posted 16 May 2004 - 01:22 PM
Posted 16 May 2004 - 01:32 PM
YES, I have the stock 4EAT with 215,000 miles on it, and I have shifted it manually since day one. The day I had no ATF I literally drove the car hard. It was a jerky ride. I probably put 5 in-town miles on it.
One thing I can say, is back in 1996 Subaru's were pretty rare around my area in Illinois. Even today, the nearest dealership is 55 miles away. Also, back in 1996 There was no one else my age driving the kind of car I drove, so I had no one to really gather more knowledge with on subaru's back then. The internet and message boards like this make more possible to gain the understanding of information of our cars, and also people's mistakes (like mine). I wish in 1996 there were the options of enthusiast message boards like today,and maybe I could have just posted a thread and the answer could have been answered in a couple hours instead of me running around making things worse. Even though I have been fortunate to be able to continue driving my 4EAT.
My point is take all the info in you recieve from these message boards, it will always help you. Especially in a situation like this.
I have also used Trick Shift ATF since day one. Maybe that why it is still going?
Keep us posted
Posted 16 May 2004 - 03:47 PM
Sorry for the misinformation.
So this might increase the chance that the tranny will be ok?
Posted 16 May 2004 - 11:19 PM
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