Do I have differerential or transmission issue (AWD binding)?
I'm a first time poster here, so sorry that the first post is a "PLEASE HELP ME" topic. I have an '06 LL Bean Forester, and it's primarily my wife's car. I rarely drive it, but I'm in charge of service stuff. The car has 32K miles and I just dropped it off at Firestone for its 30K mile service. $579 OTD. Ouch!
I've noticed that the last few times I've driven it, it feels like the AWD is binding when I do a low speed sharp turn. Also, I lifted it in my garage this morning to check out changing the fluids myself (decided against it), and while I had all 4 wheels off the ground and found that there is a lot of "slop" in the front axle... Allow me to clarify. I have a 4wd Jeep Grand Cherokee, and when I spin one of the front tires, the other spins the opposite direction, as it has an open differential. The Subaru does that too, but while on my Jeep, the motion is opposite and IMMEDIATE, I feel like there's a little play on the front axle of the Subaru. I can move the wheel maybe 10 degrees back and forth without spinning the opposite wheel.
That's bad, isn't it... ?
I called the Subaru stealership by my house and they told me they didn't know about the play in the front diff, but they did say that a lot of people complain about the "binding" when low speed turning. He recommended a transmission fluid change (center differential), and to add GM Limited Slip Differential additive to the transmission. Yes, the transmission. He says the LSD additive should allow the LSD to do it's job, and remain open in a turn, where now its as if it's locking.
So, long story shorter, do I have a bad front differential? Have any of you had the low speed turn issue? Maybe the issues are related, but I have a feeling I'm treating two different issues here. Any input or opinion will make me feel better. Or maybe worse. I'd like to figure this out before the 36K warranty is up.