('09-'13) Stuck front differential dipstick/2009 Forester XT - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Stuck front differential dipstick/2009 Forester XT

Help, I took my Forester to the dealer to have the fr/rr differential oil changed. The service person said they could only do the rear as the front dipstick was stuck and they were afraid if they forced it out the lower part may break off and get into the differential. They said it was caused by corrosion. Any ideas would be appreciated. I have already hosed it down with penetrating oil and used a pair of needle nose to wriggle it back and forth, no joy.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How many miles on the car?

I've never seen that happen. Basically, its the plastic part of the dipstick that contacts the metal filler stub on the difff. Something just sounds wrong about this.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i would assume the diff is part of the powertrain and accordingly covered by that warranty, right?

how many miles are you at?

I would hate to say this - but maybe find a real dealer or mechanic.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dealer bull SH-t line if I ever heard one. They're an authorized Subaru dealer and they can't handle the service?

Report them to Subaru ASAP.......l

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Old 08-26-2012, 06:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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They are required to service it if you pay, and if they break something, their problem to fix. Tough luck!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The dealer has warned that the dipstick is frozen, and may break and cause internal damage if removed. The dealer is not required to cause this damage and obligate himself to repair it. The dealer has notified the owner of a problem that the owner will be responsible for, unless a warranty still applies.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The dealer has warned that the dipstick is frozen, and may break and cause internal damage if removed. The dealer is not required to cause this damage and obligate himself to repair it. The dealer has notified the owner of a problem that the owner will be responsible for, unless a warranty still applies.
What I can't understand is how the devil it got frozen in there in the first place. To my way of thinking its a manufacturing defect. I mean its plastic on the stick contacting the metal sleeve on the diff, just how bad can it be?

Unless someone inserted it with 200 ft lbs of pressure and maybe jammed the o-ring in a bad spot.

As regards the responsibility for repair, if the dealer can't service it, then its time to open a case with SOA. Most of us have pulled that stick a good number of times over the years and beyond the crud that can build up on the outside there's not much to worry about.

From my own experience on my 04XT I bought a PCV valve from the dealer and took one look at what it would take to install it and said "no way". So I brought it to the dealership and asked them to replace it because I couldn't see any way of doing it without breaking the attaching fittings.

So I advised them it looked fragile, and when they went to change it they broke it all to pieces. It wasn't a warranty item but they gave me a loaner car, and ended up replacing the entire assembly for no charge. So they do have leeway.

As to a dipstick that's not removable, Subaru needs to deal with this. Its an embarrassment to the mfg for that to happen.

They have a lot of wiggle room on what they can and can't include in the 5/60 powertrain warranty, as far as that goes so does the dealer.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The op makes no mention of the mileage or service history on their '09 XT, has the stick ever been pulled.

OP does mention it wiggles. To me that would indicate that the O-ring has bonded to the tube and not the plastic of the dipstick.

Worst case one can take a torch to the tube around the O-ring spot for a few seconds and it will release the bond of the O-ring to the tube. Then replace the O-ring.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a pretty good relationship with this dealer. I take my 2005 WRX and my granddaughters 2010 Impreza there for regular service. I bought the Forester there in Feb with 52k on it. It has 62k on it now. I have an extended warrenty till 100k with 100 dollar deductable. How should I contact SOA? Better still should I get in touch with the higher ups at the dealer?
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bahamabob View Post
I have a pretty good relationship with this dealer. I take my 2005 WRX and my granddaughters 2010 Impreza there for regular service. I bought the Forester there in Feb with 52k on it. It has 62k on it now. I have an extended warrenty till 100k with 100 dollar deductable. How should I contact SOA? Better still should I get in touch with the higher ups at the dealer?
I'd try the service department one more time, maybe get the saleman involved if its someone you know well. They do thrive on repeat business.

I mean the simplest question is "Well, if the stick is stuck, how did you check the fluid before you sold me the car?" If the o-ring's welded to the tube as suggested above (good idea by the way), then its not likely it happened since you got the car.

If that's no go, then tell them nicely you're going to walk out the door and open a case with SOA..... the number's searchable here, but I think its 1-800-Subaru-3

Please keep us advised of the results.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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My God..this is not brain surgery....that mechanic should be run over a cliff (just kidding). I would just take a round object..like an extension run it through the circular handle and rotate it. In any event the way the the dipstick is constructed I don't see how its possible for the rod to fall into the differential.

Exclaimer: I could 'possibly' be wrong..but I doubt it.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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... I have an extended warrenty till 100k with 100 dollar deductable. How should I contact SOA? Better still should I get in touch with the higher ups at the dealer?
So this is all about a $100 deductible and not (possibly) the full cost of opening the transmission if the dipstick breaks and falls into it. If it is a good Subaru Gold warranty, it should not be difficult for you, the dealer and SOA to work it out.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Not about money, anyone know a way to remove it? I tried hooking it with bent nose pliers and the loop broke off. I can spin it around but still won't pull out. I have new one and can see that the oring is about 21/2 inches down the handle. I tried heating the tube, spraying some more penetrating oil, prying under the lip of handle. Still won't move. I havent had a chance to go to dealer yet, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what is holding it in. Is there a way to pull the filler tube out? Any valid ideas would be appreciated. I have thought about drilling through the handle and try getting PB Blaster in it or thredding a large self tapping screw in it so I can get some leverage for a dent puller. Extreme I know.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How about trying a pair of vice-grips?

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Did that.
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