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Help! Tranny goes, dealer says "your fault"


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Matty L

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 06:54 PM

:confused: My sister has a 2002 Legacy sedan GT/LTD w/ just over 36,000 miles. In August she was in an accident that required body work, but that was it. Last week, she was driving when the car starting making noises, and wouldn't go. The dummy light did not come on until this happened. She was towed to the dealer, who told her it was the transmission, there was low transmission fluid, there was no leak, and they only honor the warranty when it's their fault. This, they said, was not their fault. They called the dealership back in NY where she had the work done to get the record of the car. The MI dealership said we should call Subuara HQ, but they did not yet give us a definative answer and what they will do. Is anyone experiencing this? She loves her Subaru, and I was planning on getting one myself. Is this how Subaru honors its warranties? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

#2 northguy

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 07:26 PM

If there was no defect in the transmission before it failed, how did it get so low to cause fault? If it leaked at a rate that was either so fast it couldn't be caught in time, or so slow it couldn't be detected, then the factory is at fault. Of course the dealer is going to say it's not their fault. Be persistent.

#3 sea#3

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 07:33 PM

You say it was invovled in an accident . Where was it hit and what was done ?

SEA#3

#4 Matty L

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 08:09 PM

You say it was invovled in an accident . Where was it hit and what was done ?

SEA#3


body work was done but the engine was fine, or so it seemed...the dealer is claiming there's no leak so...could the accident have caused the loss of fluid?

#5 Yukonart

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 08:14 PM

body work was done but the engine was fine, or so it seemed...the dealer is claiming there's no leak so...could the accident have caused the loss of fluid?


Yes, but WHERE was the car hit? Side? Front end?

It's possible, depending on where it was hit, that the engine mounts could have bent and tranny fluid could have been leaking from the bell housing since then.

#6 Matty L

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 08:30 PM

Yes, but WHERE was the car hit? Side? Front end?

It's possible, depending on where it was hit, that the engine mounts could have bent and tranny fluid could have been leaking from the bell housing since then.


the car was hit on the passenger side. most of the damage was on the side doors, but some of the front panel as well. the dealer is insisting there are no leaks though...

#7 Yukonart

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 08:40 PM

Hmmm. . . I'd get a second opinion from another dealership, if possible.


And if there was/is a leak, then I'd talk to the insurance company and the place where the car was repaired to see what can be done about it.

#8 sea#3

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 08:45 PM

So it's possible the radiator was taken out by the bodyshop. If so the cooler lines were disconnected and most likley left hanging while they repaired the car and some of the trany fluid leaked out of the lines . They pop the car back together and don't top the trany up .There's your low level and no leak sea#3

#9 SevenSisters

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 09:22 PM

Good point on the cooling line SEA#3. Matty, did your sister ever pull the dipstick and check the level? How low did the dealer say it was. The transmission should operate between the "low" and "full" lines on the dip stick.

#10 Matty L

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 09:32 PM

So it's possible the radiator was taken out by the bodyshop. If so the cooler lines were disconnected and most likley left hanging while they repaired the car and some of the trany fluid leaked out of the lines . They pop the car back together and don't top the trany up .There's your low level and no leak sea#3


No, the radiator was left alone...good idea though...

#11 Matty L

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 09:34 PM

Good point on the cooling line SEA#3. Matty, did your sister ever pull the dipstick and check the level? How low did the dealer say it was. The transmission should operate between the "low" and "full" lines on the dip stick.


almost empty, when the dealer got it...but right before a trip (right after it got back from the body shop) it was checked and was right where it was suppossed to be...

#12 Matty L

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 09:39 PM

Good point on the cooling line SEA#3. Matty, did your sister ever pull the dipstick and check the level? How low did the dealer say it was. The transmission should operate between the "low" and "full" lines on the dip stick.


Right before a trip right after it came back from the body shop, it was checked and was right where it was supposed to be.

#13 sea#3

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 11:25 PM

OK scenario #2
Get them to check the front diff level, sometimes the ATF gets "pumped" into the front diff . There is a tube that can leak between the torque converter and the trany which goes through the front diff. So ATF goes into the front diff ,trany level is low and no signs of a leak
That would be warranty
SEA#3

#14 Matty L

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 06:30 PM

OK scenario #2
Get them to check the front diff level, sometimes the ATF gets "pumped" into the front diff . There is a tube that can leak between the torque converter and the trany which goes through the front diff. So ATF goes into the front diff ,trany level is low and no signs of a leak
That would be warranty
SEA#3


Actually, it was the front diff level (80-90) that was low...they said a "pint" of that came out with metal shavings. Apparantly, just as you said that ATF gets "pumped" into the front diff, the 80-90 can go into the ATF...is there a specific name of the tube between the torque converter and the tranny? Thanks for your trouble-shooting SEA#3!

#15 TRIPOWER

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 08:48 PM

Matty
I live in NY, could you post the name and location of the "uncooperative" dealer?

#16 Steves72

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 09:51 PM

I am the 2nd owner of a 2000 OBW. Six weeks after purchasing the vehicle, I was stopped at a light, took my foot off the brake, stepped on the gas and it momentarily felt like the trans had slipped into neutral. Several more incidents like that convinced me to have a dealer look at it. When I called to make the appointment, I was informed that the transmission was covered by the factory for 5 years / 60,000 miles. My car had been off the lot for 4 1/2 years and had just under 51,000 miles at that time. The dealership confirmed that I needed a transmission and installed it at no charge.

Steve

#17 Matty L

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 05:27 PM

Matty
I live in NY, could you post the name and location of the "uncooperative" dealer?


Actually, as events are in motion, it's not the dealership that is being uncooperative...they're actuallly looking into an alternative explanation for low 80-90 fluid (ie. internally leaking into the ATF). In fact, I have to say this Michigan dealership appears to be looking out for us at this point...so far. It's Subaru corporate HQ right now that doesn't quite see themselves in a consumer-advocacy role. But this isn't over yet. From our experience, the NY dealerships we've been to in NY have been professional and courteous. It's a frustrating situation though when you've taken care of your car, something happens that you can't explain, and you're told that you must have taken the car to somebody who drained the fluid/where else could it have gone/your warranty will not be honored/$3,200 please. Thank goodness for web sites like this one where people can throw out ideas that can actually aid your situation (Sea#4). Thank you. Hopefully this will all work out.

#18 sea#3

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 01:50 AM

Matty L

Now that I have a better picture of what might have happen, it's starting to make sense why the dealer is saying it's not warranty

First , the front diff oil transferring to the trany oil in unlikely , unlike the ATF going into the front diff oil , because there is ATF oil pressure in the tube there is no pressure the other way around .

Second, did your sister have the car serviced just before her trip? If she did I think some one might have drained the front diff and forgot to fill it up.

Especially if it was one of those "lube places” I have seen the effects of some of there work . This is why the dealer would say it would not be warranty and maybe why SOA is a little reluctant to be the consumer-advocac


SEA#3

#19 swi66

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:10 PM

When our 94 Subaru was still under warranty. It was making a bad differential noise. Dealer said they all do it. Turn up the radio. I asjked him to take me for a drive in any of the other cars in the lot either new or used and show me one that made the same noise. He declined.


Once into the differential, he found "blueing" on the gears. Said we must have taken it to a quickie lube and they must have drained the differential instead of the motor. I replied it has never been to anyone other than me for an oil change. He said I must have done it, by mistake. After much arguing and threats, they rebuilt the differential.........that was the beginning of my problems.

Once rebuilt, the car would constantly bind up while driving. I said he must have put the wrong gears in the differential. They said no way, gear ratio is all the same. Car went back to dealer 8 times for the same problem and they could not find anything. I brought up the "Lemon Law' and told them to buy the car back. They certainly didn't want it because it was a postal legacy. Finally sent someone out from Subaru America to ride with me, the service manager, and the mechanic who worked on the car. Sure enough, the guy from Subaru asked the mechanic which gear ratio he installed as the postal legacies used a different ratio than the regular legacies...............

By then the all wheel drive unit was toast too...............

This was a NY Dealer..............West Herr, near Buffalo NY.

Never would go back to them...............because they repeatedlyinsisted the problem was my fault....................make them prove it to be your fault, call Subaru, even the Better Business Bureau if necessary.

swi66

#20 Matty L

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 02:04 PM

Matty L


Second, did your sister have the car serviced just before her trip? If she did I think some one might have drained the front diff and forgot to fill it up.

Especially if it was one of those "lube places” I have seen the effects of some of there work . This is why the dealer would say it would not be warranty and maybe why SOA is a little reluctant to be the consumer-advocac


SEA#3


This is exactly what the dealer is saying: somone must have drained it. The only way to counter this is to "prove a negative," prove that this didn't happen. One way is to show all your Subaru records, show everything was paid by credit card, and show no other automotive charges, but we'll leave that up to the lawyer if necessary. Hope they just find the leak and that's that. Will post what happens.

#21 cookie

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 07:18 PM

drained it they would have insurance for it. It might not be waranty but it might still be insured. You can bet that Jiffy Lubes have insurance. They need it to make up for thier lack of training.

#22 friendly_jacek

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 12:34 PM

This is a second post recently which made me realise that people are not checking fluid levels rutinely and later upset when $$$$ repair is needed.

On the other hand, I asked my wife if she ever checked oil level in the Sub she drives and her response was: "why, you do it for me". I guess good enough.

#23 swi66

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 03:14 PM

Yes those "Jiffy Lubes" may have insurance, but still try and collect.


A couple of years ago a friends wife arrived home from a Jiffy Lube with the motor smoking, filter not tight, gasket sticking out. Motor is toast. The Jiffy Lube came out, brought oil and a replacement filter and said the motor was knocking when they serviced it. This was on a GEO with 60,000 miles on it.

My friend paid a lawyer $1,200 to collect the $1,800 in replacement motor for the car, not to mention several missed days of work. It was the principal of the thing.............but still a pain in the butt. He was notified by the Jiffy Lubes lawyer later to desist in making an issue about it. Lawyer called it slander as my friend would tell anyone who would listen about how he was shafted there.............and it got back to the shop.

It seems like a general rule of thumb..........blame the owner, or a third party rather than admit guilt. Car manufacturers do not want to pay out any more in warranty work than they have to. And warranty work never makes any money for the dealer, or the mechanic...............much better to get it ignored until after the warranty is done.............

swi66




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