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2004 Forester XT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought my 04' FXT 4eat w/ 69K on it about 3 months ago. It was salvaged do to a rear end accident and repaired nicely. As far as I could tell from the original photos there was no drivetrain damage. I have put 3000 miles on it since. Super fun car as you all know. Yesterday during a long drive uphill in 100 degree heat the transmission started to slip and whine. There is significant loss of power and random rattling like noises. Check Engine light is on and Cruise control light is flashing too. Fluids look good although I did see bubbles in fluid on dip stick. The Forester is completely new to me as I just sold my old 93' turbo legacy because of a similar tranny issue. Going to the shop tomorrow but was hoping you guys could give me some idea what a new or used tranny would cost? Would a trans flush help or fix?
 

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2009 ForesterX/07Outback
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66 Posts
Bubbles on the dipstick means your tranny fluid may be foaming due to being overfilled. Foaming tranny fluid can build excess pressure and cause all sorts of poor shifting and error codes. Let it cool completely to allow the bubbles in the fluid to subside and then check level as the manual indicates. If it is overfilled, you will need to drain some fluid out. Hopefully that is it, as it is a cheap fix.

But given that the vehicle was rear ended, you could also have underlying physical damage to the tranny as well.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the response. I just talked with my shop and they seem to think that my turbo may have failed. I didnt really get to the details cause they were closing. Anyways this all started when the check engine light came on first with no transmission issues. Like I said earlier it was really hot 103 and driving on the freeway for at least an hour and a half. I pulled over and checked all the fluids. Tranny level was good but oil was barely registering on the stick. I stopped at the closest place I could for oil with no noticeable engine or tranny issues. Topped off with 2 quarts synthetic. I then ran my errand and turned around to go home another hour and half in the heat and thats when the problems started(rattling,whining, and loss of power with bad shifts).

Does anyone here think that I may have fried the turbo?
 

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2004 FXT
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952 Posts
Your engine oil was barely registering, (but registering) and you added 2 qts?! My '04 4EAT goes through about a qt every 1300 miles. I change my oil every 3000~ miles...

Adding 2 qts may cause some problems too.
 

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Are you sure you're checking at all the right places? Drivers side of the trans by the firewall is the trans dipstick. Passenger side is the front diff.

What codes did it throw when the CEL was on?
 

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2002 Forester S
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270 Posts
Woah, which oil we talking about? Engine oil, tranny oil or front differential oil?

If a turbo fails, it will either sieze or the oil seal will go in which case it becomes a smoke screen generator.

Now slowly, what happened?
 

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2002 Forester
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292 Posts
I think you are low on Transmission fluid at the time and possibly burnt up the transmission fluid. If it works fine now and the transmission fluid smells OK, then do nothing. If transmission fluid smells bad then change it and the filter.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input here. My shop confirmed that it was the turbo. I should have known when the car was shifting fine but just had no power. Unfortunately I dont have any experience working on this car and dont know anyone who does so I had to pay a shop $1800 to do the job. New tdo4, misc parts, and 4hrs labor at $95 and that was the best for the area. I did tell the shop that they need to clean the oil pan of any possible debris but they said, "oh nooo dont worry about that just come back in after 1000 miles and do another change. Sure enough I get a call from them 3 days later saying I need to bring it in to clean the pan or Subaru wont warranty the turbo. :evilatyou: Oh yeah they want $300 to clean a pan. I could only talk them down to $245 including synthetic oil for there lovely mistake.

Can anyone confirm the book time for removing the oil pan? They said 2hrs. Fair??
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
Removing the oil pan doesn't take long (10 minutes maybe tops), cleaning it however may be a task depending on what kind of deposits you have. Your shop sounds rather shady, if I were you I would be looking for another...
 

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Removing the oil pan doesn't take long (10 minutes maybe tops), cleaning it however may be a task depending on what kind of deposits you have. Your shop sounds rather shady, if I were you I would be looking for another...
Really? All the ones I did were a PITA, as you have to lift the motor up to get to those screws at the back of the pan that the crossmember is in the way of.
 
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