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Old 07-10-2014, 12:20 AM   #1
mrosenberg7
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Default Have to replace my CVT/Front diff on 2013 impreza!! NEED ADVISE PLEASE!

Hey guys and gals. Been lurking here for a little while but first time posting. If I'm in the wrong subthread please let me know.

Dealing with a bit of nightmare here with my 2013 Impreza Sport Premium.
Quick back story:
Had my 30,000 service done at a local mechanic (Chicago) less then a month ago. First service performed outside the dealership. First long trip I take (besides my 30 miles a day commute to work) going 70, something goes wrong, weird sounds in the front, too high pitched, slight burning smells. We're about an hour west of the city at this point. Turn back, start heading home, "oil at temp" light goes on, pull over, per manual wait till the light goes off, start nursing down side roads back to civilization, seems ok at first but after a little while car sounds terrible, grinding sounds from the front. I park it at my GF mom's house (she happened to live really close to where we were) Get it towed to the dealer where I've had all the pre 30k service work done.

Here is the nightmare part:
Get a call next day. They tell me my CVT fluid levels were way overfilled, by about 1.5qt, and the front differential was filled with trans fluid and not the 75/90 gear oil. Once it got really hot (the first long trip) it started to fail. They pulled about a cubic inch of ground up metal shavings from the magnetic plug.
They deem the damage was caused by incorrect fluids and considered an outside influence and is not covered under any warranty. A Subaru field rep happened to be there and confirmed it and documented it (will be added to the vin)
Cost to replace the Front Differential and the CVT unit (apparently they are attached) is a little over $9,000!! They have to order the part from Japan, since there aren't any in US at this time.

The owner of the shop that did the 30,000 is the only time anybody was near that area of the car, its been only oil changes before this, and they were supposed to replace the front & rear diff. fluids, but weren't supposed to do anything with the CVT. But he's denying blame for now and is dodging me. I'm probably going to have to lawyer up, take him to court, report to BBB, etc. The dealer mechanic told me that he's heard of people confusing the two because the plugs are kind of close, but are clearly labeled.

I was just hoping to get some advice from people that know these cars more then I do. I can change my own oil and do minor repairs, but that's about it. Most of the info above is mainly me parroting the dealer service rep and dealer mechanic.

Does any of the stuff the dealership is telling me sound like bull****?
I have no real reason to think they are trying to screw me, but what do I know. I only have their version to go by and just looking for advice, and to make sure this all make sense.

Would a new CVT/Front Diff really cost $9,000? $7k+ parts and 9-10hrs of labor. The car was about 24k brand new. The transmission is a 1/4 of the price? I suppose it could be..

Any other advice for me?


Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:30 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, this is why a lot of people are wary of CVTs; they're expensive, few mechanics understand them, and they can't be repaired. $7k is in the same ballpark with numbers I've seen elsewhere.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:25 AM   #3
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Ouch. So sorry to hear about your troubles. Seems like that other mechanic shop is in some deep doo-doo if you have enough proof to prove they were in the fault. I know you're asking for info/advice on the cost of the transmission but I think I would also look into finding out what evidence you need to collect in order to have a solid case against this mechanic. Good luck with all of this. I really hope you make it out alright.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:58 AM   #4
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The dealer did a decent job documenting everything, and making it pretty clear that it was outside influence, so hopefully I should have a decent chance in small claims court for right under 10k. We'll see.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
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if you go to www.car-part.com and search chicago area for a used transmission there are 4 of them with low mileage for under $2000.00 if you can't afford the new one.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:38 PM   #6
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The price is pretty much normal for a complete (new) transmission.

Aisin sells it to SOJ, Aisin has to make a profit.

SOJ ships it to SOA. SOJ has to pay the shipping, plus they have to make a profit.

SOA ships it to the dealer. SOA has to pay the shipping, plus they have to make a profit.

The dealer also has to make a profit. Typical mark up over net is ~ 40% (though high ticket items are typically lower). It's not out of the question for a $3,000 transmission to become $7,000 by the time it makes it to the customer.

/\


That is actually a perfect argument for corporate owned stores (ie Tesla) , one less mark up before the end user = lower prices.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
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What does the receipt from the independent shop say?

If it doesn't state that he changed(and you paid for) transmission and front diff fluid service, the only thing you can do is try to sue. Unfortunately, it then becomes "he said, she said".

I truly wish you the best of luck!
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:49 PM   #8
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Maybe I'm not searching www.car-part.com right, but all I'm getting is "could not match your request"

Independent shop receipt does say front and rear diff. fluid change, and I do have all the dealer records from birth showing that no work in that area has ever been done.

I'm documenting everything possible, times when I tried calling the shop, dates and times I was supposed to to meet him there and he didn't show up, things like that. I am getting some good advice from a person who used to be a small claims court judge in Ohio a while ago, she doesn't practice law anymore, but has been advising me on how to document everything. Things like recapping attempted conversations in emails and sending them to the mechanic and cc myself so there are time stamps and etc.. Pain in the ass but I have to really have my **** together if I want to have a chance here...
I was hoping he would have Professional Liability Insurance, this is exactly what its for, but might not be the case.

Last edited by mrosenberg7; 07-10-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:53 PM   #9
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Select 2013, Subaru Impreza, Transmission, USA, distance, your zip code. There are some really low mileage ones, less than 5k miles, for $2k or so.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #10
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Oh, got it. I was searching Illinois. Thanks.
I already told the dealer to order the part and to proceed with the repairs, takes 8-10 days to get the part. But maybe I can call it off.

I'll need to really think about this. So the Transmission and the Front Diff. are together here in one unit?

Thing is if I can get my money back, even if its eventually I'd rather have the dealer put in a new one, but if I cant then this would be the way to go. I need to decide quick.

Oh, and thank you again to everyone for all the advice!
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:51 PM   #11
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Just out of curiosity, why did you chose someone else to do your 30K being you had the dealer perform all the other services?
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:27 PM   #12
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Well, funny enough I was actually hoping to find a good mechanic near by to start going to instead of the dealership. Little cheaper (hindsight is laughing at me), walking distance from my apartment in the city so I can just get work done on weekends and not loose time waiting, had decent reviews, and claimed to work on Subarus all the time.

Dealership I went to was near my work out in the burbs 20+ miles away and kinda inconvenient each time I went there.
I would have to wake up super ealry each time, get there at 7am for oil changes and hope they get done before I was late for work. 30k service was gonna take them 5-6 hr.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrosenberg7 View Post
Well, funny enough I was actually hoping to find a good mechanic near by to start going to instead of the dealership. Little cheaper (hindsight is laughing at me), walking distance from my apartment in the city so I can just get work done on weekends and not loose time waiting, had decent reviews, and claimed to work on Subarus all the time.

Dealership I went to was near my work out in the burbs 20+ miles away and kinda inconvenient each time I went there.
I would have to wake up super ealry each time, get there at 7am for oil changes and hope they get done before I was late for work. 30k service was gonna take them 5-6 hr.


It's an oil change, air filter, tire rotation and brake check (amongst other little checks) All the big stuff is at 60 and 105 any more.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post


It's an oil change, air filter, tire rotation and brake check (amongst other little checks) All the big stuff is at 60 and 105 any more.
It took them at least an hour each time I went there for a basic oil change/inspection. But since the car was brand new I wanted the dealership to do the work at first.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:55 PM   #15
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Maybe they did not need that much time, but for the flexibility in the other appointments as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrosenberg7 View Post
It took them at least an hour each time I went there for a basic oil change/inspection. But since the car was brand new I wanted the dealership to do the work at first.
An hour is not bad if there is no Express lane.

I asked because in cases like this it is usually about cost and with Murphy's Law something will go wrong and the customer incurs a higher cost.

I just had a woman take her car to Costco for tires over us because they were about $100 bucks cheaper for the set of 4 and of course after they cracked her wheel. Of course they tried blaming us which didn't fly with the customer because we were the ones who recommended tires and did not touch them. In the end they refused to cover the damage they caused. So now she is now out $500. She told me how bad this sucks because she tried to save a buck and got what she paid for. A much higher cost than if she originally did business with us. Plus she had to bring it back for the alignment. BTW, she is a regular with me when it comes to her services and such.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfang View Post
Maybe they did not need that much time, but for the flexibility in the other appointments as well.


An hour is not bad if there is no Express lane.

I asked because in cases like this it is usually about cost and with Murphy's Law something will go wrong and the customer incurs a higher cost.

I just had a woman take her car to Costco for tires over us because they were about $100 bucks cheaper for the set of 4 and of course after they cracked her wheel. Of course they tried blaming us which didn't fly with the customer because we were the ones who recommended tires and did not touch them. In the end they refused to cover the damage they caused. So now she is now out $500. She told me how bad this sucks because she tried to save a buck and got what she paid for. A much higher cost than if she originally did business with us. Plus she had to bring it back for the alignment. BTW, she is a regular with me when it comes to her services and such.
She probably saved you from having to replace her wheel or you denying the same thing. The wheel was probably cracked prior to going on any wheel machine or alignment machine.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:20 PM   #17
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She probably saved you from having to replace her wheel or you denying the same thing. The wheel was probably cracked prior to going on any wheel machine or alignment machine.
Not at all. It was done by them as it was not leaking air before the tires were replaced and then a day later it starts and then they find out the area where the bead seats on the wheel has a nice crack in it. No brainer on who damaged that. I apologized to her for the situation and that she has to go through this with them. I even told her that is a case closed decision on whose fault it is and if it had been us I would have replaced her wheel for free.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:29 PM   #18
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I don't know but that's pretty rare. She's probably 1 in 5000 that happened to. How would a crack happen at the bead wall from a tire break down machine or balancing machine unless they dropped the wheel or something? Costo uses pretty good equipment since that's all they do is tires weird. And a whole day later 24 hours? Maybe she hit something. lol
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:01 PM   #19
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How could it happen? Carelessness when dismounting and mounting the tire. Cracks do not happen by themselves. She didn't hit anything as there was zero damage to the tire and the next day she noticed it losing air.

Anyways any luck OP in getting the shop to cover your repairs?
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:43 PM   #20
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So thank you to very much munkis and Notch 8 for the used parts website suggestion. Didn't realize that was even an option. The dealer rep made it sound like these were impossible to find for a car this new.

I'm definitely going the used transmission route, called a few shops that are recommended on the Chicago threads and they gave me some reasonable quotes. I buy the part, they do the work, probably gonna cost about 2-2.5k. Around 3k total with all the rental car cost. HUGE relief! I thought I'd be out 9.5k even before all lawyer fees if it goes that way.

As Notch8 pointed out there are a few with pretty low miles, most $1,500 and under, I just need to check the VIN's to see what happened to the original car.

Also, finally got the owner on the phone today after sending him a pretty formal email last night detailing everything that's happened and him dodging me. But we just talked in circles for a while. Basically: Him - "We didn't do it, no way we could have done it." Me - "But nobody else could have possibly done it". At the end he said that he's going to contact his fluid provider to double check exactly what was ordered for that job and call me back tomorrow. Didn't really sound promising, but his tone did change slightly towards the end a bit. I mean, the story is pretty strait forward here. We'll see tomorrow, maybe he'll be willing to pay the $3k.

So.. There is a slight light light at end of the tunnel.

Again, can't thank all you guys enough!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:57 AM   #21
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you might want to ask the dealer if they would put the used transmission in.

It takes Subaru only CVT fluid and there is a special filling procedure.

As well as filling the front differential properly and not mixing up the fill/drain plugs which it sounds like your mechanic may have already done.

The also have to do what is called a "relearn" on the CVT control module so it can adapt to the new part, the indpenedent shop can't do that.

Dealer will likely do it for you but obviously would be no warranty on the trans other than what the junkyard is giving (usually 90 days part only exchange)
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:29 PM   #22
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One thing this thread has taught me is if I ever buy a CVT and keep it beyond the life of factory warranty, I'd actually consider buying a extended warranty for the first time ever.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
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One thing this thread has taught me is if I ever buy a CVT and keep it beyond the life of factory warranty, I'd actually consider buying a extended warranty for the first time ever.
Not sure; however, I believe that the CVT is covered under the 5 year/60k power-train warranty from Subaru.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:38 PM   #24
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you might want to ask the dealer if they would put the used transmission in.

It takes Subaru only CVT fluid and there is a special filling procedure.

As well as filling the front differential properly and not mixing up the fill/drain plugs which it sounds like your mechanic may have already done.

The also have to do what is called a "relearn" on the CVT control module so it can adapt to the new part, the indpenedent shop can't do that.

Dealer will likely do it for you but obviously would be no warranty on the trans other than what the junkyard is giving (usually 90 days part only exchange)
I asked them, but the dealer rep said it they can only put in a new one.

I'm gonna have to ask the place that's putting the new/used one in about the "relearn". They are more of a performance shop and work on a lot of Subarus, come highly recommended, so hopefully the'll be able to do that, otherwise I'll have to see if the dealer can do just that part, if it works that way.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:28 AM   #25
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In my opinion, you should have the dealer replace the transmission and make the shop that did your fluid change pay for the repairs. It's pretty obvious they are the ones that messed it up. Why should you put a used transmission in, pay for it, and no longer have a warranty through Subaru? (Yes, Subaru will know if there is an issue down the road).

If you have to get a lawyer, do it. Calmly talk to the owner of the shop and tell him what is going on. Most reputable shops will step up and take care of the issue. Don't mention the lawyer route until it becomes evident he isn't going to take care of it.

Also, why would you risk taking the car to another 'aftermarket' shop to have a transmission replaced (a major repair) when the last one screwed up a minor service?
Sometimes saving money is not worth the hassle, as I am sure you already know.
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