2004 Subaru Outback 192000 lemonlover's lemon

I went to go get quotes from other transmission places. I asked Subaru dealership how much an estimate would be 60 to 120 dollars. Forget that. Another place said he wouldn’t charge me for a quote if I got my car fixed at his place but I got bummed out that he was not up front. There are a couple of other places. I’m going back to Aamco just to get the estimate and parts numbers. Getting a bit of run around. I will just raise the money in mean time as they seem to want to do stuff asap and I will raise money for 3 to 4 months and park it. Wish I had a mechanic in the family.

Oh boy. You want a part number for a transmission seal and a part number for a driveshaft? Just go to Rockauto. It’s all on line. Like said before, what does a driveshaft have to do with a transmission leak? So you’re going back to the den of the lions so they can tell you that you shouldn’t drive the car or it’ll blow up and they’re the best guys around? Then let them put it up on the rack again so they can jimmy something else so you really can’t drive it? Sorry. Men in dresses or not, I’m outta here. I’ve done what I can and sometimes people just have to grab that hot pan for themselves. Good luck.

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In the good old days of corner gas stations, the proprietor knew the experts for major work that the gas station didn’t handle. Here is an example: when I was in graduate school and money was tight, my.car needed an alignment. I took it to Sears service center and it drove even worse. I couldn’t get them to make the job right. I asked the proprietor of the gas station where I bought gas and had oil changes done what to do. He said that the local expert in alignment worked at the International truck dealer (International sold pickup trucks as well as big trucks). The gas station proprietor said the alignment man was really busy, but the alignment man was a friend and he would see what he could do. A couple of days later my gas station friend called and said if I would leave the car with him, he would take it to the alignment specialist. My car was ready the next morning. The alignment specialist would come in early and do jobs. This alignment cost less than what Sears had charged and the job was done right.
My suggestion is to ask around and find out who is the expert to handle your problem. In fact, find a good independent shop to do the maintenance. If it is a repair job that they don’t handle, they will most likely know a shop that does the repair you need.
The gas station that did my work was a Standard oil station. Living in married student housing, I had no place to do my own work. I had my oil changes and tune-ups done there. I ran on Atlas tires that I bought there.
As I said, I was in school so money was tight. My time was also tight. My working relationship with the Standard station saved me time and money. From my bad experience with Sears auto service, I learned to avoid chain service repair shops. I think you might be better off to avoid a chain transmission shop.


Thank you! You get my money situation. I just canceled with the guy who wouldn’t give me a quote of what his cost would be for an estimate of a new transmission shop that is recommended on this website and rated at 2.9 . I think that some do not understand that I have to raise the money over a few months by not driving the car and taking the insurance off of it. I’m a retired woman who doesn’t live on much. The other Aamco guy is giving me the run around by not sending me the estimate. My own mechanic who does not do transmissions but who does awesome work as does his mechanics and always gives me estimates with no cost and usually right away, and will visit with me about anything, well I’m not used to this other kind of treatment. Either they are very busy or my car is a conundrum. Puzzler. Hey mechanics out there, I as an older woman really respect and love this kind of treatment where a person is able to actually talk about cars with a mechanic on a very personable level. I love mechanics and workings of cars and should have taken shop in high school but they wouldn’t allow that back in the day. Afterall our cars are often like very personal to us. I will ask around but it will be interesting to confront the manager of this Aamco because he said he’d send me the estimate and hasn’t in a week. I love confrontation, not! It’s not a skill I do very well!

C Hey I’m not discounting what you said. I’m just wondering why my good mechanic recommended these guys and I want to understand their thinking. Besides I just got the run around from another shop recommended on this website who wouldn’t tell me the cost of what just looking at the car would be. And also Subaru cost 60 to 120 dollars for an estimate. I’m looking for a shop who will look at my car without me having to pay for an estimate. I’m new in this town and getting estimates could add up fast but if you want to dismiss my own logical process go ahead.

I also don’t know what is all going on with my transmission. If you all say it’s not making any noises when I drive it, and there is a wobble down there causing oil leakage, well, we need more information.

I would get their report and then 2 more reports. Guess I need some education but don’t give up on me. I am teachable. Not that you aren’t right. I’m just trying to sort this all out logically. I mean most guys do that too when they don’t know things about cars. As a woman and a person, I try to find out all aspects of a problem when I’m clueless. Then decide but it may not be the same decision as you. It is my decision.

And I don’t even know if Aamco is right about what needs to happen, so I’m blindly going about looking up parts I don’t even know I need for something I don’t even know. I need more information. That’s why it’s so frustrating. I could buy an expensive drive shaft that’s not even needed. I need more info. That’s logical, right? I need a transmission tutorial.

Dean Martin: That’s Amore


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Got it thanks

Ok I did go to get a quote from another place besides Armco as viewers here suggested. It was 1200 dollars but then they found other things wrong and on and on, another 400 that was in the housing near the tranny but then looked in the transmission and saw some chunks of metal. As I had no more to spend, I pulled the rug out from under all of these repairs, had them button it all back up for the whole labor being 500, hoping to get it home to sell for parts. There is a good engine in it. This old bucket of bolts has been a bucket for dumping money. I should have known better but then my other 2 Subarus went to 300000 miles. So anyone need an engine, new windshield?cheap.

I understand your plight. I have a book on Fleet Management published by the SAE of which I have been a member for many years.

The advocate an accounting type approach to changing out vehicles. They also make you enter the cost of downtime, as in any industrial situation.

Generally speaking, if the annual total ownership cost starts to EXCEED the CUMLATIVE AVERAGE ANNUAL COST it’s time for the vehicle to go,

However the above assumes no catastrophic breakdowns that take the vehicle out of service for a lengthy period.

For my wife’s friends, I am often asked to be an impartial judge as to when thy should dump their wheels.

In short:

  1. When the vehicle becomes too unreliable for daily commuter use.
  2. When the vehicle has many small repairs that are disruptive and a nuisance.
  3. When the vehicle has a single large repair that exceeds the market value of a similar replacement, Or several repairs each exceeding 25% of the market value.
  4. When the vehicle has deteriorated to be unsafe
  5. When he vehicle can no longer pass emission and safety inspection.
  6. When the vehicle has corroded as to be unsightly and an embarrassment at the country club.
  7. When the vehicle is an orphan and parts are no longer available.

Item #3 seems to apply to your vehicle. A hardnosed decision is in order.

We have one poster who got 550,000 miles out of Buick but he admits it was not a sound business case. He would have been better of scraping it much earlier.

I was spending about 100 a year on this car thinking it’s engine and transmission were still good. I guess I was wrong. I’m going to sell the engine but it may have 195000 miles on it which I thought might be next on the list for rebuild. I bought the car for 5000 4 years ago and repairs so far would have been 5000 more, so 10000 car in need of driveshaft and transmission rebuild and brakes and tires and license tags. It was a losing battle but engine and new windshield will be a plus for someone as much work was done on it and new clutch, timing belt and crankshaft seals replaced, water pump. What should I charge for parting it out if it still runs ok but has body damage, hail damage. I did love it but it did drain me in repairs. What price should I charge for strong engine but old? I was thinking 800 to 1500. It still runs

Thanks, Peggy

I don’t believe that you are capable of parting out the car, removing the engine involves a lot of labor.

You will have to sell the car as is. There are people that buy cars that need repairs, so many in my area that it is difficult to find a car for less than $1000. You might get $500 for the car.

I mean I was spending a thousand a year and parking car 3 months at a time in between repairs, so really never drove it much.


An engine for sale with 200k on it? If you get $500 I would be shocked.

I hope you have a garage to park this in while it is parted out or your neighbors will call the authorities to tow this hulk away. Stripping a car in the driveway is a zoning violation in many incorprated areas.

It’s running now and I have a driveway to park it on. Not worried. Have offers already. It’s driveable.

Probably could drive it a few months as the transmission doesn’t even have signs yet of failure but I’m selling. Got it put back together so they can test drive it. Things working out but I’m having it towed home to keep it pristine, lol.


I know people suspicious of parked cars around here. Towed after a few weeks. I have triple AAA towing so I have options to keep it here, sell it or junk yard it. Don’t worry. I’ve got this. Thanks.


I don’t know know how anyone can live on $6500 a year but they certainly can’t afford a car and insurance.

You want some jokes but apparently have to be only about straight, non Scottish men.

My opinion is that someone who cannot see humor in jokes about themselves, doesn’t have a sense of humor. My best stories are about dumb things I have done. my hearing and eyesight are both poor and some of the things I think I see or hear are much funnier than what was actually said or done.

I wass born well before WWII so I am much older than you but I would have no trouble putting a driveshaft in anything that used one. When I was young and poor I bought and installed several used driveshafts and a couple of used rear axles.There is no fluid in the driveshaft, it is the seal in the transmission that needs to be replaced. It is only a few bolts to remove a driveshaft and an ice pick,hammer or big rock and a block of wood to change the seal.

I know. It looks very easy but I am older and don’t have a lift and can barely get up and down off the ground. As they took out the driveshaft and then saw the transmission had chunks of metal in it so I had them stop and put it all back together as now I need a whole rebuilt transmission. I’m selling my car now as a project car.

Yes you might be older than me but you are not me and I can do some things on a car and wish to not do others.

Thanks for reply, I’ve moved on and am looking for stabilizer wheels for my bicycle so I don’t fear falling. Plenty of buses in this town and a daughter nearby. I’ll make due with friends help, rental cars for a few day trips andwalking. I’m good leaving my project car to another.

Thanks, but I will miss my lemon,


Hi, I can’t believe the price they wanted for a drive shaft replacement, New of course because they want to have a warranty. I saw the replacement for one on YouTube and it looked very simple. I was going to have to spend 1200 on it to get it fixed but then they added on the bushing housing for 400 more and then they said the transmission had metal pieces in it and some broken clamp. At that point I had them put back in the driveshaft and I sold my car to a mechanic who looked it over and saw all of its needs for car. Many! I would have had to put 3000 into it for various parts, so now I’m a happy bus rider and paid off all my debts. I am no longer in the money draining pit. Wish I were younger and had taken shop in high school but in those days we could only take home ec. Take care. I’m no car less in Oregon and also my landlord says she wants me to move. I’m going to mountains to a camp for several months, then a new life.

Thanks for the update. Being debt-free feels good, I’m sure.

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade. Follow your dreams. :v:

But now my landlord says she wants her basement back and I need to move. I used my station wagon for two big moves. Guess I have to downsize a lot and rent a truck. Yes more lemons but trying to make lemonade. Going to rent a storage unit and go volunteer at a handicapped camp where I have a vintage companion tear drop camper circa 1969. Will live there car less and in the woods to chill out for a bit. Did love that car to haul a lot of stuf but now I have a lot of stuff to truck. My my. Life changes. Thanks for the hopeful comment.

Boy it is just not quitting. We are going to be moving, but thinking paying to store stuff in a locker is going to cost more than what the stuff is worth.