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Hello all. Over the past few months Ive noticed a winding noise coming from my transmission. I recently took it into the dealership to have it looked at and was told it needed to be replaced, for 8 grand! Ive researched a lot since then and it seems to be that subarus philosophy is just to replace the whole thing as the mechanics are not trained to repair it. I have a few questions. It seems odd to me that cvts are held up as the next best thing in transmission technology; simpler, cheaper, and more durable. Why then am i replacing my transmission at 63k miles for 8000 dollars! Will this be the case EVERY time i have transmission issues? I was lucky to have had an extended warranty up until 80k next time i will not be so lucky. Ive seen that all automobile manufacturers are going the way of CVT are they all this expensive to replace? There also seems to be some debate whether to replace transmission oil every 30-60k miles rather than the 100k mile marker as Subaru advises. Is it a wise decision to have it replaced more often? I love the subaru brand but this experience has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I bought into the brand because of its marketed "reliability" but this is ridiculous. Thanks for any input.
 

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First Off - Welcome to the forum!

Historically, transmissions - particularly automatics - have not been what you would call mechanic friendly in that they are simple to repair. While manuals are much easier, some shops just won't do them just because the time and effort involved.

One of my friends who drives an older Odyssey had a transmission problem a few years back (not a big surprise especially if you look at the poor history of Honda automatics in recent years). The dealership could only offer a replacement as well so to me, it's no surprise that it's a replacement over a repair. Now, can it be repaired? Yes, it probably can but it will require more time than dealerships are probably willing to invest so it makes sense to replace. It's very similar to overhauling an engine... it can be done but it takes time. From what I can remember, there has been a few replacements reported on the forum (about one every 9 months to a year) which is pretty good so I would consider it an oddity that one would need to be replaced so soon.

CVTs are relatively new when it comes to cars so maintenance schedules are not what you call 'time tested'. Having clean fluid in any part of a moving mechanism is always better regardless of how well designed in the mechanism as these mechanisms were built and tested using clean fluid and while they can make allowances for dirty fluid, the question would always be 'how dirty'... Many members have changed out their own fluid and had good success (of course, there's a few who did it accidentally as well) so it's not crazy hard to do. When my car was new, I asked the dealer about changing out the fluid during my first oil change and the service manager just looked at me like I was some kind of nut.

As for interval, I would go with sooner on the first change and then back to the regular interval afterwards. The first change would probably have much of the break-in stuff - like metal filings and initial wear/coatings - that should be removed sooner rather than later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First Off - Welcome to the forum!

Historically, transmissions - particularly automatics - have not been what you would call mechanic friendly in that they are simple to repair. While manuals are much easier, some shops just won't do them just because the time and effort involved.

One of my friends who drives an older Odyssey had a transmission problem a few years back (not a big surprise especially if you look at the poor history of Honda automatics in recent years). The dealership could only offer a replacement as well so to me, it's no surprise that it's a replacement over a repair. Now, can it be repaired? Yes, it probably can but it will require more time than dealerships are probably willing to invest so it makes sense to replace. It's very similar to overhauling an engine... it can be done but it takes time. From what I can remember, there has been a few replacements reported on the forum (about one every 9 months to a year) which is pretty good so I would consider it an oddity that one would need to be replaced so soon.

CVTs are relatively new when it comes to cars so maintenance schedules are not what you call 'time tested'. Having clean fluid in any part of a moving mechanism is always better regardless of how well designed in the mechanism as these mechanisms were built and tested using clean fluid and while they can make allowances for dirty fluid, the question would always be 'how dirty'... Many members have changed out their own fluid and had good success (of course, there's a few who did it accidentally as well) so it's not crazy hard to do. When my car was new, I asked the dealer about changing out the fluid during my first oil change and the service manager just looked at me like I was some kind of nut.

As for interval, I would go with sooner on the first change and then back to the regular interval afterwards. The first change would probably have much of the break-in stuff - like metal filings and initial wear/coatings - that should be removed sooner rather than later.
Thank you for the reply. I guess I will have to budget for the unfortunate circumstance that it will fail again in the future. Im hoping to get 200k out of this new transmission. Ill be sure to ask for a fluid change with my next oil change. Hopefully they will be understanding with my concerns and not look at me crazy like yours did!
 

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Thank you for the reply. I guess I will have to budget for the unfortunate circumstance that it will fail again in the future. Im hoping to get 200k out of this new transmission. Ill be sure to ask for a fluid change with my next oil change. Hopefully they will be understanding with my concerns and not look at me crazy like yours did!
I don't really blame them for looking at me that way as most dealer's service departments only know what the OEM told them and nothing else - at least when they are working.

BTW. What was wrong with the defective transmission (other than the fact that it's broken :))?
 

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I don't really blame them for looking at me that way as most dealer's service departments only know what the OEM told them and nothing else - at least when they are working.

BTW. What was wrong with the defective transmission (other than the fact that it's broken :))?
If i remember correctly the drum/belt had worn to the point where it was making noise. Seems like frequent lubricant changes may have helped...or not who knows.
 

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If i remember correctly the drum/belt had worn to the point where it was making noise. Seems like frequent lubricant changes may have helped...or not who knows.
It would be interesting to get a sample of the CVT fluid and check it against the new stuff. Also, send it in to get it tested to see if the fluid broke down in anyway.
 

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replaced mine at 122,000. but thanks to the 7500 price tag, I went with a used one for 1000 with only 12,000 miles on it(came with a one year warranty) and replaced it myself after downloading Subaru repair manual. took about 10 hours to do it myself. With trans, fluids, lift rental, and odds and ends I spent about 1500.
 

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Sorry to hear about your issues with it, hopefully that was just a rare occurance.
I had the differential fluids replaced with my first oil change, and I plan to have all fluids changed at 50k miles as well.
 

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Hello all. Over the past few months Ive noticed a winding noise coming from my transmission. I recently took it into the dealership to have it looked at and was told it needed to be replaced, for 8 grand! Ive researched a lot since then and it seems to be that subarus philosophy is just to replace the whole thing as the mechanics are not trained to repair it. I have a few questions. It seems odd to me that cvts are held up as the next best thing in transmission technology; simpler, cheaper, and more durable. Why then am i replacing my transmission at 63k miles for 8000 dollars! Will this be the case EVERY time i have transmission issues? I was lucky to have had an extended warranty up until 80k next time i will not be so lucky. Ive seen that all automobile manufacturers are going the way of CVT are they all this expensive to replace? There also seems to be some debate whether to replace transmission oil every 30-60k miles rather than the 100k mile marker as Subaru advises. Is it a wise decision to have it replaced more often? I love the subaru brand but this experience has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I bought into the brand because of its marketed "reliability" but this is ridiculous. Thanks for any input.
Get a all wheel drive Honda or Toyota 👍🏿👍🏿
 
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