Oil leak from the rear of the auto transmission on 00 Outback

Discussion in 'Subaru Outback' started by _AWDfan_, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. _AWDfan_

    _AWDfan_ Guest

    2000 Outback was diagnosed with some engine oil leak/seapage around
    transmission in rear.
    The mechanic says some seals over there have to be replaced. Along with
    another leak form the oil pan gasket the repair estimate runs about
    $1000. Seems very high to me...
    Do you think it is justified? Any "snake oil" solutions that might

    The car had head-gasket repaired with many other things (timing beltm,
    water pump etc) done on the way very recently. I am very surpriced the
    mechanci who did that did not notice the leaks. If they did would that
    save on the replacement cost (i.e. less labor)?

    _AWDfan_, Nov 20, 2005
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  2. The best "snake oil" I've found for auto trannies is Lucas automatic
    transmission additive. I don't recall what the bottle looks like, but the
    additive looks like a very thick Dexron. Considering the awful reputation
    Lucas has otherwise ("Why do the Brits drink their brew warm?" "Because they
    have Lucas refrigerators.") I was surprised it works so well. It didn't stop
    the leak in my old Volvo - it had been leaking for many years by then - but
    it slowed it down about 90%. I add fluid once a year instead of every few
    weeks. The 2-3 shifting even smoothed out a bit, which is remarkable after
    over 200K miles and 20 years.

    (Before adding anything, give the others a chance to weigh in so if there is
    a dark side you will know about it before committing.)

    Michael Pardee, Nov 20, 2005
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  3. _AWDfan_

    S Guest

    Hi AWDfan

    It's not uncommon to find leaks at the rear tranny seal. Unless it's
    real bad (leaving puddles of ATF), just top off fluid as required.
    $1000 seems excessive; bring it by and I'll do the seal for you for
    $100 + parts; 5 or 6 quarts of ATF, plus about $20 for the seal.
    Really, tho, it doesn't take too much to do this, in fact a totally
    reasonable DIY project; drain the fluid, unbolt the drive shaft from
    the rear diff, unbolt the center carrier if so equipped, and slide the
    front of it out of the tranny. Use a large channel-loc pliers to pull
    the shield off of the tailpiece, pry out the old seal, and use an
    appropriately sized socket to drive in a new one. Reassemble, and
    refill. An hour max.
    Leaks at the oil pan, and/or the engine crank seals (betcha the oil
    pan gasket _isn't_ where the oil is coming from, tho) are stinky, and
    more troublesome to fix. While these can probably be addressed with
    the motor in the car, I've found that it's easier, and neater to lift
    the motor out of the car for this service. (For the front seal, I
    would generally plan on doing the timing belt, water pump, oil pump,
    etc, while I'm into it.) I could see where service at that level could
    run up a $1000 bill, but that still seems on the high side; I'd have
    estimated $700-$800 . . . probably most of an 8 hour day plus parts.
    Hmmmm. Same mechanic? A savvy wrench would have done as I suggested
    above, and replaced the front seal and oil pump O-rings while into the
    timing belt. Should have recommended that, anyway. Cost to do
    everything vs cost to do just the timing belt would be higher, but
    most or the extra cost is parts. Majority of the labor is in
    disassembling the front of the motor to gain access to the timing
    belt, etc.
    Rear seal replacement requires that the engine and tranny be
    separated, and the oil pan is troublesome with the engine in the car.
    This is why I lift the motor out for these chores; it's just not that
    much trouble, and it greatly facilitates doing a clean job on the
    seals and such. Good opportunity for steam-cleaning and detailed
    inspection of engine/engine compartment/steering components (and
    clutch assy. if so equipped), as well.

    Hope this answers some of your questions. Times and cost estimates
    derived from what it takes me to do the work, working on my own
    vehicles in my garage. I _do_ have a car hoist, shop crane, tranny
    jack, etc, and that helps a lot. FWIW, I was just kidding re the $100
    seal job; only very rarely will I work on someone elses' car. Frankly,
    I'd rather go fishin' . . .

    ByeBye! S.

    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101
    S, Nov 22, 2005
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