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Old 12-18-2017, 02:27 PM   #1
Obviously Tyler
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Default 2016 WRX CVT Oil leak - rear main seal?

Last Friday while swapping out my summer wheels with the winter wheels, I gave a look underneath my car and noticed that my front differential is wet. It has no particular color (not red/green/blue) and seems to be motor oil.

Oddly enough I noticed it about 2 months ago while changing my oil. Thought nothing of it, cleaned it up and made a mental note to check for it next oil change. Which hasn't come yet and it's wet again.

I don't believe it's the diff itself. As it appears to be coming from the back of the motor. I work for a Cadillac dealer and some of the techs here suggested it may be a rear main seal. Or a leak from the case itself. But I'm not sure as I can't find any info on a leak from the rear of FA motors.

Just looking for insight here. And before the comment is made, I have an appointment to visit the dealer this coming Friday morning. I'll report back with what they tell me.

Untitled by Tyler McGowan, on Flickr
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:47 PM   #2
undyjr
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I doubt it's the engine rear seal, the pan is dry. My money is on the differential oil fill plug.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:00 PM   #3
jasonwrx86
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Someone reused the washer?
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:06 PM   #4
Obviously Tyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undyjr View Post
I doubt it's the engine rear seal, the pan is dry. My money is on the differential oil fill plug.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwrx86 View Post
Someone reused the washer?
My diff has never been serviced.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:38 PM   #5
Boggie1688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undyjr View Post
I doubt it's the engine rear seal, the pan is dry. My money is on the differential oil fill plug.
Engine Oil Pan?

That is not pictured here. Based on that control arm bushing, this is from the trans/diff looking towards the rear. The black piece pictured on the left is the center jack point. The oil pan's drain plug is found between the skid pad, and the center jack point. What you think is the engine drain plug is the CVT trans drain plug.

The leak looks like it is coming from the drain plug or the seal of the center diff to trans. I'd start with the diff drain plug, and attempt to torque to spec. Maybe slightly over, but nothing too much. Clean the area, and monitor. You can also check the diff fluid level and see if you are low.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
undyjr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggie1688 View Post
Engine Oil Pan?

That is not pictured here. Based on that control arm bushing, this is from the trans/diff looking towards the rear. The black piece pictured on the left is the center jack point. The oil pan's drain plug is found between the skid pad, and the center jack point. What you think is the engine drain plug is the CVT trans drain plug.


The leak looks like it is coming from the drain plug or the seal of the center diff to trans. I'd start with the diff drain plug, and attempt to torque to spec. Maybe slightly over, but nothing too much. Clean the area, and monitor. You can also check the diff fluid level and see if you are low.
My apologies to the OP, it's obvious I've never been under a CVT. Just trying to give some good news.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:21 PM   #7
rtv900
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just to clarify, how much oil are you losing?
do you have drips on the floor daily? Or just a pan with residue?

And serviced or not, forget the crush washer nonsense. Those things can be re-used countless times with no leakage. If you really had to replace them EVERY time I'd hang myself.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
just to clarify, how much oil are you losing?
do you have drips on the floor daily? Or just a pan with residue?

And serviced or not, forget the crush washer nonsense. Those things can be re-used countless times with no leakage. If you really had to replace them EVERY time I'd hang myself.
Somewhere in between. It's a decent amount of oil pictured (I took bad photos ) but I doubt it's dripping. I check oil level frequently.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:12 PM   #9
mishapopa
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Looks like leaking around the washer from the drain plug. I'd personally just keep an eye on the fluid level (guarantee you aren't losing much) and have it serviced sooner than needed.
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:09 AM   #10
djemzine
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This is a known issue on the CVT WRX models and there is a Technical Service Bulletin for it. Speak to the dealer and get the pan gasket and drain plug replaced.

"This service bulletin addresses a small number of customer concerns pertaining to fluid
seepage found originating from the CVT assembly. Investigation has identified a possible
source of the seepage to be the sealant used on the CVT’s oil pump chain cover. The repair
involves removal, a thorough cleaning and inspection of the sealing surfaces followed by resealing
the cover."

NUMBER: SB.16.04.17
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:24 AM   #11
Obviously Tyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djemzine View Post
This is a known issue on the CVT WRX models and there is a Technical Service Bulletin for it. Speak to the dealer and get the pan gasket and drain plug replaced.

"This service bulletin addresses a small number of customer concerns pertaining to fluid
seepage found originating from the CVT assembly. Investigation has identified a possible
source of the seepage to be the sealant used on the CVTís oil pump chain cover. The repair
involves removal, a thorough cleaning and inspection of the sealing surfaces followed by resealing
the cover."

NUMBER: SB.16.04.17
Thank you. I noticed this was an issue for the FXT as well but didn't want to assume the WRX was having the same problem.
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:36 PM   #12
n7slc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djemzine View Post
This is a known issue on the CVT WRX models and there is a Technical Service Bulletin for it...
Does this bulletin apply to the 2015 models as well?
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djemzine View Post
This is a known issue on the CVT WRX models and there is a Technical Service Bulletin for it. Speak to the dealer and get the pan gasket and drain plug replaced.

"This service bulletin addresses a small number of customer concerns pertaining to fluid
seepage found originating from the CVT assembly. Investigation has identified a possible
source of the seepage to be the sealant used on the CVT’s oil pump chain cover. The repair
involves removal, a thorough cleaning and inspection of the sealing surfaces followed by resealing
the cover."

NUMBER: SB.16.04.17
My wife's 2015 Outback 3.6R has the same exact leak (very common) and subsequently uses the same high torque CVT as the WRX. This TSB is the correct one; however, the repair has nothing to do with the pan or drain plug. The transmission has to come out in order to get to the oil pump chain cover as it's on the inside portion of the bell housing.

Here's the thread to the leak on the 3.6R. Pictures look familiar, right?

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...5-ob-3-6r.html

Last edited by MaddMax; 12-20-2017 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #14
Obviously Tyler
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Man. Not looking forward to my drivetrain potentially needing to come out.

Never feels the same afterwards.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:44 AM   #15
t00w
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n7slc View Post
Does this bulletin apply to the 2015 models as well?
Yes. I just had mines done.

303135 CVT R&R and reseal oil pump chain cover
1 31377AA510 Ring Seal
1 SOA868V9600 Three Bond 1215
1 803916100 gasket 16.3 X 22 X 1.0
1 826920070 O ring
2 SOA868V9116 Cal-spec brake cleaner

Service manager said it would of cost $880 for repair, lucky I was still within warranty period.
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:03 PM   #16
Obviously Tyler
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Just got back from the dealer. They mentioned seeing this leak before and all they did was re-torque the diff drain plug and clean the area.

I was happy to not be there long but they asked me to keep an eye on it. Iím hoping it doesnít return and it was just a drain plug issue.
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Old 12-28-2017, 12:20 PM   #17
jasonator
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So I just did an oil change in my 2015 CVT and noticed the same thing as well. Is the TSB a service they will perform if Im out of warranty?

FWIW, I did have the CVT fluid drained and replaced by my dealer at 50K. Ive done a few oil changes since then and this just recently manifested....
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Old 12-28-2017, 04:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
So I just did an oil change in my 2015 CVT and noticed the same thing as well. Is the TSB a service they will perform if Im out of warranty?

FWIW, I did have the CVT fluid drained and replaced by my dealer at 50K. Ive done a few oil changes since then and this just recently manifested....
Unfortunately a TSB is not a recall and it will be hard to get it covered under warranty.
You can try asking.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:05 AM   #19
Elbert Bass
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Actually you should be covered. TSB 16-103-16R for the oil leak from the TR690 CVT chain cover is included in the CVT Warranty Extension. Reference TSB 16-107-17R, it clearly states TSB 16-103-16R is included in the extension.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:12 AM   #20
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I was not aware of a CVT warranty extension. Thank you.
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