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Old 04-05-2008, 04:02 PM   #1
kpatler
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Subaru Stars 04 WRX Wagon Front Diff. Replaced Under Warranty

Quick and dirty: Subaru is replacing my front differential under warranty, and doing a clutch job for cost of parts, after I found pieces of metal in my transmission.

Ok, so here's the story: (sorry for the length, I just want to be thorough)


I have a 2004 WRX wagon with 54xxx miles, 5MT, no mods except for a turbo timer (installed by previous owner who was a 68 year-old man.) I am the second owner. I purchased the car with 51xxx miles and just after I bought it, the CEL came on. I took it to the shop I worked for in San Francisco, read the code, and found the EGT sensor to be at fault. Cleared the CEL and went on my way. 2 weeks and 200 miles later, CEL. P0301, misfire cyl. 1. Great. Found that cyl. 1 injector was clogged. Fixed the problem.

Then, at 52xxx miles, CEL comes on again. EGT code again so I figured I'd just bring it to the dealership for an oil change and to get a feel for their service department. So, I brought my car in for a LOF (lube, oil, and filter) and to have the EGT replaced at Marin Mazda/Subaru in Northern California.

Not the most personable group of service writer's or tech's but they seemed honest enough. (However, only after I told them I'm a wyotech grad did they stop BS'ing me).

I Picked up the car after they completed only the LOF (had to order EGT and DP *which they said might need replacing*).

After picking it up, I start hearing a loud, single click from what sounded like the driver's side front axle on decelleration, in gear, that hadn't been there before. Also, under acceleration, in gear, a loud swooshing sound, which I thought could have had something to do with the EGT, as it increased and decreased with RPM's. (possible leak between DP and Turbo outlet, or burnt out cat in DP)

Brought the car back in for the new noises and the EGT/DP but the dealership decided that there was no need to replace the DP. Although not under warranty, they performed a "good will" repair on the EGT. (didn't even have to pay for parts).

They also claimed to have fixed the noises too, by "re-seating the cabin filter and tightening an exhaust heat shield." , but after picking up the car for a third time, it was still making both noises, and louder.

Brought the car back to the shop in SF, and went for a test drive with the owner/master tech. He suspected transmission problems and recommended I replace the clutch (completely seperate). Before doing any work, we pulled the transmission drain plug and found about a dozen good sized pieces of metal. With no grinding in any gears and still under warranty, we put the drain plug back in with the old gear oil and drove straight to the dealership with a RO (repair order) from the SF shop, that recommended a tranny inspection, rebuild/replacement under warranty.

Note: I don't track my car, I don't drive hard, and I know how to get the most out of a transmission with rev-matching and double clutching. So for this to happen, I was very surprised, to say the least. I have a feeling that a little Ferris Bueller action (think Ferrari flying through the air) took place while at the dealership, as there were no noises AT ALL when I brought the car in for the EGT.

After two weeks in their shop, and a claim by the service dept. that they only had "1 guy who knew how to work on manual transmissions," they found the front diff. had failed due to a "bearing failure." (I have yet to see the old front diff. but I'll post pics of it if I can.) Thankfully, they honored my warranty and will hopefully be finished with the repair by wed. of this week. Plus, I only have to pay for parts on the clutch job.

SO, although I have been without my car for the last two weeks, and forced to drive a dodge caliber rental car...I'm pretty happy with the guys at Marin Mazda/Subaru for honoring my warranty and being honest with me.

After reading all of the horror stories on this thread about people getting F'ed over by SoA, I was worried. Anywho, I can't wait to get out of this stupid Dodge Caliber R/T and back into my subie!
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #2
kpatler
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WRB

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reserved for pics of failed front diff.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:13 PM   #3
SedonaScooby
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how was the R/T's power compared to your stock subies????


i'd like to see pics of the diff as well
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
kpatler
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the "power" is weak. it's got something like 175hp, which would be pushing it if you ask me. the thing is top heavy and cumbersome to say the least. the only cool thing is the flip down speaker panel in the back, which came in handy at the beach last weekend. but aside from creature comforts---weak, altogether weak.

i'll *hopefully* be posting pics mid-week
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:21 PM   #5
kpatler
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just got a call from subaru, should be done tuesday night. (keeping fingers crossed)

gonna go by tomorrow and get pics of the diff.


edit: turns out they didn't rebuild the old diff, just decided to replace the whole unit, so no pics but on the plus side, I got my clutch done for cost of parts.
on the negative side, my car was broken into today after having back for less than 24hrs.

Last edited by kpatler; 04-10-2008 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:12 AM   #6
dowright82
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any word on this situation, I have the same problem, as well as tons of other people.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:11 AM   #7
kpatler
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Sorry for not updating. They replaced the front differential and carrier bearings no charge, under warranty. Everything runs great now (thank god).

My recommendation is to have another, reputable shop type up a legitimate repair order saying the work should be done under warranty and shove that in the dealer's face. Thats what I did and they couldn't say no to me.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
kpatler
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Another update: Took the car back in for extremely loud noise from turbo area and oil all over the DP.

Just heard from the dealership, turbo is shot, and axle boot is torn. Turbo is under warranty. Torn axle boot isn't.

HOWEVER, they're not going to charge me labor on the axle boot because it's more than likely that it was torn when they replaced the front diff. They also will be steam cleaning my DP and replacing all gaskets to avoid any more axle grease burning off of the DP and smoke pouring out of my hood scoop.

So I have to leave the car there for the next week or so until the turbo gets in, and then, PRODRIVE exhaust and springs go on!!!
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:05 AM   #9
kpatler
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Just got the wagon back with a BRAND NEW TURBO!!! I was boosting .55-.6 kHpa with my old turbo, so about 8 psi. now, with the new one, peak boost is just under 1.0 kHpa which is roughly 14.3-14.5 psi. WHAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

I'd never had full boost since I've owned it, so the difference is pretty startling. Double the boost, double the fun

Also, exhaust and springs are going on this weekend. i'll post pics in the member's gallery when i get it all finished. thanks to John Culmer at Marin Mazda/Subaru in Nor-Cal for all of his help
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
magnum2066
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Well whoever did that "test" drive before the noises came up probably jumped a curb or two and launched the car from a dead stop. Did you get an alignment recently?

Anyways glad to hear everything was fixed up, happy trails!
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:29 PM   #11
kpatler
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no alignments recently. i'm waiting to get one until after I get my new wheels and tires on.

still making the loud pop/click sound on decelleration though. hopefully they can figure it out when I bring it in next week while i'm in ARUBA.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:10 PM   #12
magnum2066
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When that happened to my parent's Caddilac it turned out that one or two engine mounts were broken. If you could, check the transmission and engine mounts. I would also inspect your CV boots again for tears. Other than that inspect the steering system all the way down to the hubs and check the tire pressure. Other than that I vote alignment check.

Most of these are guesses, I am by no means a car guru. I'll install an audio system and a short shifter with ease but my brains are limited mechanically.
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:48 PM   #13
kpatler
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going to have them take a look at the mounts next week. in the meantime....i'm going to enjoy my brand new turbo.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:23 AM   #14
Mavrik
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sounds like they had no idea what they were doing but at least made it right with you.

I bet since the turbo is not a covered item under powertrain... they only warrantied it because they might have messed something up in the DP install which resulted in turbo damage.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:30 PM   #15
kpatler
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^^^that was my guess too. but hey, i'll take a new turbo any day.

next is trying to figure out what the hell is making the ****ing pop/click sound under decell. we'll see.
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