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89 GL Transmission Leak (Plus an apology)

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To everybody who kindly chipped in advice for my last post: I am sorry that I left out some important information that I here lay bare. I don't know how to explain the lapse, but lets just say cognitive dissonance and my own shame at being a careless idiot got the best of me.


So I bought this very well cared for 89 GL at 160,000 miles. It was running like a dream. Until about 10 miles AFTER I parked it in neutral without the ebrake (I KNOW I'M DUMB YOU CAN CHASTISE ME IF YOU WANT, IT MIGHT EVEN HELP ME BE LESS DUMB IN THE FUTURE) and it ran into a tree at about 15 mph. The only thing that seemed damaged was the front license plate. 


It drove away fine until about 10 miles later it started heaving and hawing, which later a mechanic (who hates Subarus, incidentally) diagnosed as the transmission. He also noticed the fluid was empty. Hmmm... it wasn't empty when I checked it after the problem started. This was all about a week ago and the thing has been sitting in front of my house because I'm just not sure about replacing the transmission.


I was thinking about it tonight and I realized what was leaking around the time of this accident. DUH. The transmission fluid. The stuff didn't look red at all, and the mechanic himself didn't even seem to peg it as transmission fluid, but it just makes the most sense. The oil level hasn't lowered and the dripping isn't coming from the power steering, where there is an already known leak. 


My question is how do I best proceed from here. It's been driven 5-10 miles in this condition, so assuming I find and fix the leak, is my transmission likely shot anyway? I plan on buying some tranny fluid tomorrow and driving around the block after I pour it in, is this advisable? 


And if it turns out my transmission is shot, what are your opinions on the worthiness of restoring it? I would fix a disturbed axle and fix the power steering at the same time. My mechanic who hates subarus will do the whole thing for $1500-$2000. Honestly this is a really sweet car and it's been well treated its whole life and it kind of breaks my heart to junk it. She deserves better than that. 


Thanks for the advice, and again... I'm sorry for being a jerk and not telling you all the whole story originally. Even though I am 34 I am technically a millennial, and thus by definition I am retarded at life and so none of this is my fault anyway. I blame my mom who coddled me. 


Haha, just kidding. I blame myself. 

Edited by ArtemasRex

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Put the proper amount of fluid in it, see how bad the leak is, do a short drive if it's not a gusher.. Drain was left before filling.

Use cheap atf, if it seems to work, drain and add good stuff. Take a look at what comes out, in both cases.

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Automatic transmissions rely on fluid pressure. Once they run out of fluid, they drop out of gear due to not having sufficient line pressure to operate their clutch pack and band pistons. This means that often they are not really damaged when they run out of fluid. Not that it's not possible to damage one, and for sure it's not good, but there's a good chance it will work fine if you just fill it up. 


Also - find a mechanic that doesn't hate Subaru's. In my experience, any mechanic that can't appreciate how easy they are to work on is not someone you want working on ANY car. Sure I have cars I dislike - but it's virtually always for very good reasons related to severe difficulty of repairs and general lack of quality construction or engineering thoughtfulness of the guy that will eventually have to repair it. Ford being the biggest offender here by a long way. Chrysler not far behind. I'm a Subaru and GM guy if you haven't noticed.



Edited by GeneralDisorder
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I would strongly recommend you not have a mechanic who hates Subarus work on yours. Any thing he misses or breaks will be attributed to "crappy Subaru". Find a Subaru shop, lots around, with mechanics who enjoy working on them. But first try filling with fluid as others have suggested.

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