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Old 08-06-2014, 05:02 AM   #1
Forrester09
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Default Subaru Centre Differential Problem/Circlip Failure

My 2009 Forester has done 90,000km and is 2 years and 3 months out of warranty.

After observing a large oil leak the car was taken for service on a flattop. Advice received from the transmission expert, it that this is a common problem in Subarus. The Subaru dealer naturally doesn't know of any problems in this area and advised that they won't assist with cost of repairs due to the car being well out of warranty.

I am wanting to find out as many Subaru owners as possible who have experienced the circlip failure so I can take the stats to Subaru Head Office,
Melbourne, Australia and ask for them to take some responsibility for this.

The vehicle has been serviced regularly and driven well. There has never been overloading or abuse.

I am up for a ball park figure of A$4,000 for differential and bearing kit.

Can anyone please assist me with building a legitimate case to present to Subaru. I bought the car because of its high approval rating and have never heard of anyone spending such money on repairs.

Please help.

Jane

[IMG]file:///C:\Users\Jane\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_ image001.gif[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:\Users\Jane\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_ image002.gif[/IMG]
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:46 AM   #2
Jack
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Did you bring the car to "Rapemeallthetime" motors?

Get a used diff and spend $300 on installation. $500 will buy a good used diff (with shipping) all day long. Near me, a $100 offer would find 10 people clammering to sell me the diff.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #3
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"the transmission expert"? Hmmmmm.

No, this is not a common problem. For every transmission that experiences this type of failure, there are thousands that live on happily ever after.

You are more than 2 years out of warranty. Why would you expect the manufacturer to pay for this?

As Jack said, whoever gave you the quote for $4000 (unless somehow the Aussie dollar is worth about $0.10 US) is way out of line.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
Loyale93
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Unfortunately, Jane, the above guys are right. Your car is out of warranty. Common or not, the manufacturer has no reason to pay for that sort of thing. I've never heard of that issue as being a common one.

Even if it was, you're out of warranty. If you wanted a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty, get a Kia or Hyundai or whatever it is.

As for the fix itself, $4000 is extremely expensive. You need to get a second estimate from a different "expert".
Here's a brandy new diff for $500:
http://parts.donaldsonssubaru.com/p/...8913AA102.html

Even if Installation is a full day of work, which it won't be, that's not more than $800. So now we're up to $1500. Unless they're giving you a new motor on top of that... $4000 is ridiculous.

Instead of trying to sue the company or pressure them into something that is not their problem, how about doing some additional research.
Sue the company for something that's not their fault. What do you think you are? American?

PS - in order for your pictures to work, you need to host them elsewhere. You've got the HTML and format correct, but we don't have access to your home computer. Host them on something like photobucket or imgur and then drop the links in those same IMG tags.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:18 AM   #5
gtbensley
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This is not Subarus problem at all. The car is well out of warranty. Are all your tire sizes the exact same? This could have caused a problem.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:03 PM   #6
Back Road Runner
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First time I've heard the issue was "common" was when mine failed. This was after 7 years of ownership and 5 years racing the car in rally-x and auto-x plus 120,000 daily miles. It's a random failure, and it really doesn't happen to everyone.

Parts for the repair was around $650, and pulling the transfer case for the work isn't hard at all. The engine and transmission stay in the car.

I would really look to other shops and get some quotes.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
Forrester09
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Thanks for responding. Certainly no U.S. blood in me, in fact, I was just going to wear the cost when they told me it was going to be ballpark A$2K. Once the transmission was pulled down and the damage assessed I received the $4K quotation and was told that it was a common fault and I should take a look on Google to satisfy my queries and the commonality.

If it was a common fault I was then going to Subaru to ask for assistance, perhaps parts.

It seems that 5 responses say it is not a common fault. Hardly a large cross-section of the Universe!

What the tranmission "expert" said to me yesterday was: "This differential gets replaced in alot in Subarus - failure is not uncommon. He said he has seen one at 86,000km and many at 150 - 200,000km. (Remember guys we deal in kilometers not miles).

He said the circlip has come off the centre differential and because of this the gear box has been damaged with fragments and although some of the bearings look fine, they all need to be replaced otherwise I might end up with the same problem again. He did not recommend the use of secondhand parts for the reasons outlined above.

I appreciate being sent the link to the US$500 part and will email that to the guy. I will also get him to detail the costs for each part.

I also appreciate your input. I have not ever spent this amount on a car repair in my life and it hurts! I used to drive an Alfa Romeo and that didn't cause me one problem (despite everyone telling me it would). This Subaru is supposed to be bullet proof. Seems not.

Again, thanks for your considered input. You will appreciate that when having the car towed and taken to a "transmission expert" alot of the decision making was out of my hands. I am just trying to make a more informed decision by contacting the Forum.

Any further input would be greatly appreciated, bearing in mind that every day I procrastinate, is another day I am without a vehicle and using a loan car. And yes, if I have to wear it. I have to wear it.

Jane
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
Forrester09
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Update on repair cost breakdown: Australian Dollars

Issue is that the casing has been worn away, not just simple replacement of centre bearing.

$2,600 gear box, repaired and ready to go back straight back into car. All bearings are being replaced, even ones that don't look damaged, to prevent further issues down track;
$600 labour costs (includes removal and refitting)

$600 clutch kit - heavy duty clutch recommended
$110 fly wheel machine for clutch

$77 gear box oil


Total $3,987



Jane
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:01 PM   #9
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What you are telling us is that parts (mostly bearings) are going to cost $2,000? They are replacing bearings that don't look damaged? They are worried about 'fragments' in the transmission?

I'm sorry, but this isn't like an automatic where it can be difficult to clean out all the small fluid passages in the case. You can completely disassemble the trans and clean everything out quite easily.

Heavy duty clutch? Why? Was your clutch slipping or chattering before? It may be worn due to normal miles (sorry, kilometers) but I doubt you need a 'heavy duty' unit. About the only thing that sounds heavy duty to me is the price.

You can find the gear oil for a lot less than the $19.25/qt they want to charge you. Even if you buy quarts (rather than bulk) you won't need more than four. The transmission takes 3.5, I believe.

Even taking into consideration the Aussie - US dollar conversion (1 US dollar = $1.07), I'm almost certain you can find a used transmission in good shape for under $2,000.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:09 PM   #10
Forrester09
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Appreciate your response SPAMBOT. I now have placed a call to Subaru HQ detailing the costs and they will get back to me.

Litres here not quarts!!! When will you guys get with the times!!!!

Thanks again.

Jane
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:07 AM   #11
i_c_the_light
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Kiwi cousin here.

You're paying too much.

Also, the centre diff failures are more common on any AWD manual Subaru made on or after 1998. The older models didn't have this problem.

Also they shouldn't even be touching the clutch and the flywheel. Those two components are attached to the engine, and replacing the clutch is pointless unless you are close to be needing a new one to save you labour costs later.

Last edited by i_c_the_light; 08-08-2014 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:37 AM   #12
Forrester09
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Thanks neighbour. Mine is a 2009 Forester AWD, so that makes sense. Appreciate your input.

Jane
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:03 AM   #13
Jack
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How is the used market in Oz for Subaru parts? I know that near me, I could wave $1000 in the air and have a dozen local members zooming to me with a used tranny and offer to install it for me. (I do have a lift, though).
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:24 AM   #14
Forrester09
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Fortunately I have use of another car and have everything on hold. Feeling my way. I am very appreciative of the feedback and will be speaking to "my guy/expert" this week. It would seem from what has been said that I might be paying too much and possibly having more work quoted than necessary. It certainly is a hard one. It will be interesting to see what HQ get back with. They have left me hanging for two days which is annoying. Jane
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:44 AM   #15
Nvr2old
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Ask your transmission guys if they ever deal with salvage yards and would they consider installing a used unit in your vehicle. Used units always come with a warranty (from salvage yards that are reputable). You don't want to call them thieves but if the shoe fits...
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